Scientists have been studying the stubborn and tiny bedbug to figure out better ways to help companies like Preventive Pest eradicate them. A new study covered in Science Daily suggests that researchers at The Ohio State University may have found a way to use bedbug chemistry against them. Read on to find out the latest in pest control breakthroughs.
Bed bugs Sound the Alarm
Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that live off of the blood of mammals. This includes humans. Because they breed so quickly and hide so well, bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and almost always require professional treatment.
Bed bugs have become an increasing problem in Nevada and around the United States because the insects spread quickly and are hard to kill. Bed bugs like to sneak into suitcases and clothing and travel to a new home where they quickly dig in – usually in the seams of your mattress where you don’t see them until they have spread to epic proportions. Humans have been fighting back with chemical and heat treatments. We now have bedbug-sniffing dogs that can alert to an infestation. But scientists have turned their attention to eradicating these pests and they think they’ve come up with a new, more effective way of stopping them.
A research study at The Ohio State University suggests that using common chemical signals emitted from the bed bugs themselves could actually improve our success in killing the tiny pests. The problem, the researchers pointed out, is that bed bugs are becoming immune to the chemicals we’re using to kill them, which is particularly bad news for the hospitality industry who has been hit hard by these pests.
OSU scientists studied how bed bugs emit chemical warning signals, called alarm pheromones. Researchers studied these signals, which seem to have two primary ingredients (E)-2-hexenal and (E)-2-octenal. When these insects are disturbed they secrete these hormones and become agitated, moving around their nesting area and becoming more visible to their human hosts.
Scientists used a simple method for eradicating the bed bugs. First, they laid a field of diatomaceous earth, which is a naturally occurring chalky silica powder that is pulled from the earth. It’s made up of the skeletons of tiny aquatic creatures called diatoms. The diatoms microscopic skeletons are very sharp and can cut open the bodies of tiny insects, like bed bugs. diatomaceous earth has been used since the 1960s to safely kill pests. The scientists also used a compound called Dri-die, which is made from the silica gel.
Second, the OSU scientists sprayed a synthetic pheromone over the bed bugs, which agitated them. As the bed bugs ran over the diatomaceous earth, their outer waxy shell was cut to pieces. This caused them to lose water from their bodies and dehydrate, eventually killing them. The scientists concluded that this method could be very effective for agricultural purposes, such as in chicken coops, where bed bugs are a huge problem.
Pest Control to the Rescue
Pest control companies are always searching for better ways to kill the creatures that are bugging their clients. Preventive Pest looks for the most effective and least toxic applications that can help families live more comfortably. If you have a pest problem, don’t hesitate to call us.