Monday, 18 April 2016

Bed bugs' thick skins beat insecticide

13 April 2016

Bed bugs might be developing thicker "skins" to help them survive exposure to common insecticides.

Human population growth and international travel have helped the bug become a source of irritation in hotel rooms around the world.

Insecticides are the most common way to kill them, but they have rapidly developed resistance.

Now, an Australian team writing in Plos One journal thinks it has found one of the reasons why.

Killing resistant strains of the bug may require concentrations 1,000 times larger than those needed to eliminate non-resistant creatures.

Infestations have spread to homes and offices and the bugs are extremely hard to get rid of once they gain a foothold.

They can survive for up to a year without feeding and a single fertilised female can infest a whole building.

While they were a common part of life in the 1940s and 50s, the introduction of DDT and other powerful insecticides initially restricted their populations.

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