After a half-century of relative inactivity in the U.S., bedbugs returned in the late 1990s. Nationwide, 95 percent of pest-control companies have treated an infestation in the past year. A decade ago, it was just 22 percent.
In the 1940s and '50s, liberal use of DDT and other insecticides all but wiped out the pests. Scientists hypothesize that the few that survived proliferated—females can lay up to five eggs a day, and 500 during a lifetime—and passed along pesticide-resistant traits. Millions of bedbug generations later, scientists are finally zeroing in on how, exactly, bedbugs made their comeback.
Entomologist Dini Miller of Virginia Tech says bedbugs probably developed thicker, denser, waxlike exoskeletons, also called cuticles, that repel chemicals in pesticides. To test the hypothesis, her group is comparing cuticle-coding genes in both insecticide-resistant and susceptible bedbugs, as well as measuring their cuticle thickness and hydrocarbon content, which indicates how much wax is present. Miller says the results will be published next year.
Contemporary bedbugs produce more P450 enzymes than their ancestors. The enzymes metabolize oily toxins like pyrethroids, the most common chemicals in pesticides, rendering them harmless. Entomologist Subba Reddy Palli of the University of Kentucky and his colleagues have identified at least 100 genes that code for P450s, and changes to any of them could account for the metabolism boost.
Pyrethroids bind to and block sodium channels, paralyzing bugs. Palli's studies show that 88 percent of bedbugs in the U.S. have mutated to block pyrethroids. "The future is to target something other than the sodium channel," Palli says, "although eventually bedbugs will adapt again. It's always a game of catch-up."
Search and Destroy
When pesticides won't work, physical removal is the only option. Find the bedbugs' hiding spots with the help of a professional exterminator or trained dog. Bedbugs typically live where you sleep. Kill the pests by vacuuming them up, along with their shed skins and droppings. Throw all clothes, linens and any other fabrics into the dryer. Coming soon: an improved option for detection, the electronic dog nose.
I thought they were generally harmless.
I don't believe they are harmless. They were PROVEN to carry MRSA already. They haven't "proven" other bacteria/ viruses/ etc, are transmitted, however, common sense says that if it gets access to your body fluids blood from biting then gets access to another persons blood ... common sense just like needle sharing. They lie to not induce panic ... just like mosquitoes, they proved it carries diseases like Malaria but "Oh not HIV"? BS ... I think it is possible (maybe not AS likely)... they just don't want panic. Better to let the sheeple die I guess...
HIV virus is not transmittable between all species.. I doubt bed bugs can carry the HIV virus! but sure they can transfer other diseases.. perhaps...
There are lot of bugs out there and sting... if all these viruses were transmittable, the human population would have been eradicated centuries ago..
How well do they do in 10% humidity and 105 degree F temps??
I bet they still dry out an die.
Frank, the BedBugChaser here, you may want to Google "Alarming combo: Bedbugs with 'superbug' germ found" this story is scary, isn't it? Also, Avtron just finished our latest and greatest weapon in the war on BedBugs, go to http://www.avtronloadbank.com/lb_whatsnew.htm#Heater to see the what the future holds for the BedBug, and your home will not burn down!!
Bring back DDT #DUH.
And control US illegal immigration.
The studies that showed a cancer link have been proven false!
The ban on DDT was considered the first major victory for the environmentalist movement in the U.S. The effect of the ban in other nations was less salutary, however. In Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) DDT spraying had reduced malaria cases from 2.8 million in 1948 to 17 in 1963. After spraying was stopped in 1964, malaria cases began to rise again and reached 2.5 million in 1969.33 The same pattern was repeated in many other tropical— and usually impoverished—regions of the world. In Zanzibar the prevalence of malaria among the populace dropped from 70 percent in 1958 to 5 percent in 1964. By 1984 it was back up to between 50 and 60 percent. The chief malaria expert for the U.S. Agency for International Development said that malaria would have been 98 percent eradicated had DDT continued to be used.
Tank you Rachel Carson.
Small cans of bedbug spray have started to appear in the "Travel Size" sections of my local stores. Yuck.
I've read that the problem has been exacerbated by the fact that hotels don't change bed linens daily anymore and no longer wash them in hot, or even warm, water. Environmental concerns, you know.
See my “bed bug dog Lillie” finding bed bugs on YouTube
I see no evolution in this article. The changes are simply superficial, like the different metabolism and skin thickness between different humans.
Bed bugs are really harder and to find them one of the best pest controller is required.