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Bed Bugs Show Resistance to Common Pesticides

4/12/17 8:35 AM

An important component of pest management is proving to be losing its effectiveness with an all too common bloodsucking bug. A new study out of Purdue University shows 10 different types of bed bugs are developing resistance to common pesticides, which is the main cause of their comeback over the past few decades. Although this is not a new problem, it's one that can no longer be combatted with chemicals alone.

Researchers collected the bed bugs from populations across the country to test their resistance to pesticides containing chlorfenapyr or bifenthrin. Made up of an organic compound, bifenthrin attacks the nervous system of inspects and can only be used by professional exterminators. However, chlorfenapyr can be found in stores, and is an over-the-counter chemical spray that targets the mitochondria of cells.

Over a period of seven days, researchers examined how much pesticide it took for the bed bugs to die once they were exposed. They found five out of the 10 bed bug populations showed reduced susceptibility to bifenthrin, meaning more than 25% survived. Three of the 10 developed reduced susceptibility to chlorfenapyr.

While these pesticides do work against bed bugs, it's important to use them sparingly to keep them from losing any more of their effectiveness. Researchers say people have a better chance at getting rid bed bugs by pairing pesticides with alternative solutions that use heat.

Since bed bugs can hide in the smallest crevices, extreme heat is the only way to kill them in those hard-to-reach places. Most pest control specialists heat the infested area up to 135 °F or 140 °F for several hours and ensure the required temperature is maintained for the duration of the treatment. MadgeTech offers a variety of wireless data loggers for constant, accurate temperature monitoring. To view the entire collection of monitoring solutions for environmental monitoring, click here.

For more information about how pest control specialists use heat to kill bed bugs, click here.

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