The rise of the super bedbugs

12 April 2017

Bed bugs are fast becoming resistant to insecticides.

“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” - no really, be careful of the bed bugs as they're fast becoming resistant to insecticides.

The thought of creepy crawlies resting under your body as you sleep, no matter how minuscule they are, is enough to make anyone shudder, but now news has hit that there are super bedbugs lurking about. And what’s worse, the critters don’t just stay in your bed – they spread, and fast!

Experts blame a rise in travel for this new wave of bedbugs, with the bugs latching on to clothing and bags before making their way back home with people.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, Purdue University researchers found that chemicals alone are no longer a foolproof way to get rid of infestations.

Read more: Sleeping soundly is all to do with genes

The team instead advise vacuuming, steam or heat cleaning, anti-bedbug mattress covers and pest traps in the war on bedbugs.

The team looked at 10 different bedbug populations from various American states, including Indiana, New Jersey and Ohio, and exposed them to insecticides chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin for seven days.

The results found that three showed significantly reduced susceptibility to chlorfenapyr and five to bifenthrin.

“The longer you use any product for the control of a particular pest, the more resistance issues you are going to have,” lead author Ameya Gondhalekar explained.

To create a less inhabitable environment for the pests, experts advise clearing up clutter around your house as the bugs are attracted to dirt. Also inspect your bed and mattress on a regular basis, making sure you vacuum it and keep it clean. Wash sheets on high temperatures and remember to keep your bed frame and headboard just as tidy – 30 percent of bed bugs make their home in there!

Also always be careful when bringing second-hand furniture into your home, and make sure you thoroughly inspect before.

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