Bed bugs built "dramatic levels of resistance" to pesticides

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Nocturnal bed bugs are building resistance to key pesticides– giving the insects immunity from many of the most common insecticides used to kill them.

That is the startling finding published by Virginia Tech and New Mexico State University entomologists in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Researchers said the bloodthirsty bugs have built “dramatic levels of resistance” to four pesticides in particular: acetamiprid, imidacloprid, dinotefuran, and thiamethoxam. These compounds are common in many bed bug remedies marketed to consumers.


It is clear that lab work is required to better examine pests’ evolution and to develop a more effective insecticide.

“Further research is needed,” the researchers wrote.

Although bed bugs feast on human (and animal) blood, the University of Florida calls them a ‘nuisance’ pest.

“Bed bugs are not known to transmit any diseases,” according to the University of Florida.

Still, UF suggests consumers do their best to avoid them. A homeowner’s best course is to regularly wash bedding (and dry it on high heat); steam clean carpets; and inspect luggage following a trip (bed bugs are hitchhikers).


The presence of just one bed bug should raise a red flag.

“Females lay 2-5 eggs a day and 200-500 eggs in her lifetime,” UF said. “Bed bug infestations will not go away without proper treatment.”