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Bed Bugs Now Resistant To Pesticides

Bed bugs are developing resistance to the chemicals used to treat them, reported Business Insider.

Researchers have identified a collection of 14 genes responsible for the emerging immunity. The genes are active in the insect’s exoskeleton rather than the digestive tract. As they only drink blood, the exoskeleton is usually the only part of them that comes into contact with current chemical treatments.

Researchers used RNA fragments to deactivate the defensive genes in lab bed bugs. This caused the insects to lose their immunity. However, their genetic alterations were not transmitted to future generations.

Based on these findings, scientists will need to develop new ways to target one of humanity’s most deeply-rooted pests.

Pest control techniques may include chemicals to inhibit the insect’s genetic defenses and cope with detoxifying activity that occurs in the exoskeleton. Researchers say the high number of genes involved in resistance makes this a very difficult problem to tackle.