American scientists say new research could lead to better ways to kill bedbugs, the tiny pests that terrorize travelers and homeowners around the world.
Entomologists at Ohio State University have found DNA genes in the bedbug genome that appear to make the insects resistant to pesticide. The findings were published online last week in the Public Library of Science.
“Pinpointing such defense mechanisms and the associated genes could lead to the development of novel methods of control that are more effective,” said Omprakash Mittapalli, assistant professor of entomology and co-author of the study.
The research project on the bedbugs was funded by the U.S. government and conducted at the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Bedbugs can attack anywhere, including high-end hotels in Paris and New York. Extermination efforts cost businesses and homeowners billions of dollars every year.
“While bedbugs are poised to become one of the major household pests across the United States in the coming years, we know very little about their genetic makeup and their mechanisms of resistance to insecticides,” Mittapalli said.
The scientists said their work on the DNA findings was “the first study to elucidate the genetic makeup of the insect and to obtain fundamental molecular knowledge regarding potential defense pathways and genes that may be involved in metabolic resistance to commonly used pesticides.”
The six-legged bugs feed on blood at night. Bedbugs do not carry diseases, but the people they bit often suffer from itchy, red welts. They are known to hide in mattresses, shoes, luggage, and closets and are easily carried by people from place to place.What people are talking about.Story about genetic research insect.