Researchers have been working to try and discover why the life-ruining bed bugs have made a resurgence in this country. In the 1940s and 50s the launch of DTT and other strong insecticides mostly wiped out the country’s bed bug problem. But, in the last ten years there has been a global resurgence, and we’ve had no luck controlling this invasion. The researchers are also trying to find out what is making more and more of these pests increasingly resistant to insecticides. David Lilly from the University of Sydney and his team of researchers recently set out to get the answer to these questions once and for all.
Using scanning electron microscopy, Lilly and his team began a study on the bed bugs’ cuticle in particular. They compared the cuticles of bed bugs that were easily killed by insecticides to those that were able to resist chemicals. They found that the bed bugs that were able to resist the chemicals actually have thicker cuticles than those easily killed by insecticides. What’s more disturbing is that the more these bed bugs with thicker cuticles breed the more of these resistant bed bugs there are for us to fight against. And with each generation those cuticles continue to grow thicker and thicker in response to the stronger chemicals being used to eradicate them. However, this study may just finally help scientists find a way to develop more effective insecticides to use against bed bugs.
Have you ever had bed bug problems? How difficult was it for you to get rid of them?