They’re the scourge of hospitality and tourism sectors worldwide, and now bed bugs are harder than ever to eradicate. According to a new study, the development of thicker skin is one way bed bugs could have learnt to combat sprays.
The study conducted by the University of Sydney is about to improve understanding of the insects and help get rid of them. As well as producing nasty bites and causing sleepless nights, they’re an expensive cost to beat.
University of Sydney PhD candidate David Lilly has discovered thick-skinned bed bugs are more resistant to commonly used bug sprays. By comparing the skin of bed bugs, an exoskeleton called a cuticle, Lilly found that the thicker the cuticle the more likely the bed bugs were to survive exposure to pesticides.
He said the development of thicker skin is one way bed bugs could have learnt to combat the sprays.
“The new findings could explain why failures in the control of bed bug infestations are so common. They may also unlock new pathways to developing more effective insecticides for bed bug control.
“If we understand the biological mechanisms bed bugs use to beat insecticides, we may be able to spot a chink in their armour that we can exploit with new strategies,” he said.