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by Alliance Environmental · October 24, 2011

Bed Bug Resistance to Insecticides Becoming More Clear

Bed bugs have developed resistance to the most common insecticides used to control their populations—pyrethroids.  The pests have developed multiple genetic mechanisms to defeat the neurotoxins which are the active ingredients in these chemicals. 

The Virginia Tech Vector-Borne Disease Research Group has found genes in the bed bug transcriptome (genes that are expressed) which produce enzymes used to deactivate and break down insecticides.  The production of these enzymes is much higher in the bugs with these genes than in a control population.  The team also found a mutation in the target gene for pyrethroid insecticides which enhances the resistance of the bed bug nervous system to the chemical’s toxic effects.

The scientists tested a highly resistant population of bed bugs from Virginia against a non-resistant strain from New Jersey that has been raised in the lab since the 1970’s and found that the resistant bugs required 5200 times more of one insecticide and 111 times more of another to kill the insects.

It’s no wonder bed bugs are harder and harder to wipe out and we hear so many stories of thousands of dollars spent by home and business owners attempting to eradicate infestations only to have the bugs come back again and again. 

A much safer and effective solution to a bed bug infestation is a heat treatment.  Adult bed bugs, larvae and eggs are all killed at temperatures of 150°F (65°C).  Alliance Environmental Group can treat anything from an entire structure to a specific area with ThermaPureHeat(r).  Heat treatment requires no food bagging, no waiting time to re-enter the structure, no odor or chemicals and causes no harm to people, animals or your relationship with your neighbors.
If you discover a bed bug infestation in your home or office, keep calm and call in a professional.  Alliance Environmental Group is here to help!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions.  She welcomes your comments!  For more news and tips, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!  For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!

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