We’re Losing The War On Bedbugs

In the ongoing battle between bedbugs and the humans whose blood they suck, it seems the bugs may be winning — at least in some parts of the country.

New research conducted on bedbugs from homes in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jersey City, New Jersey, and Troy, Michigan, shows the pesky little bloodsuckers have become resistant to the insecticides commonly used to kill them.

“While we all want a powerful tool to fight bedbug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively as it was designed to,” Dr. Troy Anderson, an assistant professor of entomology in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and one of the scientists behind the research, said in a written statement.

More research is needed to determine whether bedbugs in other parts of the country have become resistant to the insecticides, a family of compounds known as neonicotinoids, or neonics. But that disturbing possibility might help explain the results of a recent online survey by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, which showed that 64 percent of pest management professionals think bedbug infestations are on the rise.

Bedbugs are found just about everywhere there are people, according to the survey. That includes not just apartments and single-family homes, but also hotels and motels, college dorms, stores, movie theaters, libraries, nursing homes, office buildings, daycare centers and even public transportation.

Blech! Bed bugs don’t cause illness, but their bites can cause ugly welts and intense itching.

For the study, which was published online Thursday in the Journal of Medical Entomology, Anderson and Dr. Alvaro Romero, an assistant professor of entomology at New Mexico State University, compared the effectiveness of neonics on bedbugs collected from homes to a control group of bugs from a colony —> Read More