Wednesday, 18 December 2013

To the Cold, Bed Bugs Say 'Bite Me'

By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer | December 09, 2013 02:04pm ET

Controlling bed bug infestations by freezing the pests may not be as effective as once thought, a new study suggests.

Researchers found the blood-sucking pests have a high cold tolerance, but they will eventually succumb to the cold after several days of exposure. To survive in cold environments, the bugs use "freeze-intolerant" strategies, such as lowering the freezing point of their bodily fluids.

After decades of absence, bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, infiltrating hotels, schools, homes and offices. The pesky insects feed on mammals and birds, usually at night, by injecting a sharp proboscis into the victim's skin, leaving red, itchy bites.

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