By: Michael Simpson
I have been watching the Bed Bug plague transform before my eyes as people and businesses scramble to find solutions. I recently heard that buying weak pestisides from a store only worsens your chance of eliminating these pests.
One tool in the pest control arsenal that shows promise is a desiccant dust. But there’s a catch – the bed bugs have to walk through the powdery pesticide. Once they do, the bed bugs essentially dehydrate to death.
Scientists at Ohio State University found a solution, using the bed bugs’ own alarm system to fool them. When disturbed or threatened, bed bugs produce alarm pheromones to alert their peers to the trouble. The alarm causes a bustle of bed bug activity, as they move about trying to avoid whatever harm may be coming their way.
Researchers combined a synthetic version of the bed bug alarm pheromone with a desiccant dust. The bed bugs responded to the alarm by walking…right into the desiccant powder.
Unlike the chemical pesticides used for bed bugs today, desiccants are non-toxic. Bed bugs are becoming resistant to chemicals, so we’ll need a new solution sooner, rather than later. This pheromone-desiccant combo just may be the answer.
The research is published in the current issue of the Journal of Medical Entomology.