Gene-Morphing Bed Bugs Now Virtually Indestructible

Have we properly freaked out about bedbugs yet this year? Not really? Let's do it, now! The Wall Street Journal published a piece today that had even our most hardened staff members quivering in their cargo shorts. Here are the scariest bits:

--"bedbugs may have boosted their natural defenses by generating higher levels of enzymes that can cleanse them of poisons." [THEY CAN PROVIDE THEIR OWN ANTIDOTE!]

--New York City bedbugs now are 250 times more resistant to the standard pesticide than bedbugs in Florida..."due to changes in a gene controlling the resilience of the nerve cells targeted by the insecticide." [THEY CAN MORPH THEIR OWN GENES!]

--"the ability of bedbugs to survive once-lethal doses of insecticides is the newest evidence that efforts to eradicate pests that plague humankind may make some of them stronger." [WE MAY BE MAKING THEM STRONGER!!!]

In fact, via the Journal,

Laboratory tests in the U.S., Europe and Africa show today's bedbugs can survive pesticide levels a thousand times greater than the lethal dose of a decade or so ago. "There is a phenomenal level of resistance," said bedbug entomologist Michael Siva-Jothy at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. "It has evolved very recently."

AND: They give that resistance to their bedbug-children! "Any surviving insects pass on traits to their offspring and to succeeding generations."

Itchy yet? Well, relax, say the scientists studying the bugs -- hopefully "understanding" them will help us learn to control them. (Guys, in real life, that almost never works.)

Previously: Bedbug Registry Creator Talks Infestations, Prevention, and the Worst Reported Cases in New York City


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

Heat treatment is the most effective. (114 degrees for 7 minutes) It kills all adults and eggs and all other stages in between in one treatment. And companies who use this greener method use highly trained dogs to sniff out where the infestations lie in record time. Treatment takes one day and it's over.

Louise Hodges
Louise Hodges

This is called Pesticide Resistance and whatever stronger, more potent synthetic toxins are used, a certain percentage of pests will ALWAYS survive and pass the immunity on to successive generations. Not with Greenbug! Greenbug is completely natural using cedar to kill. Think of cedar chests and closets - why do you never see a bug? It is because cedar is deadly to pests yet harmless to humans. Cedar has never been available in spray form before Greenbug. It is a naturally occurring biological response - bed bugs cannot become immune. Get Greenbug for People to repel and kill bed bugs on you and your belongings, Greenbug for Indoors to keep them out of your home from the apartment next door. No stinky chemicals - the pleasant, natural scent of cedar and Greenbug works! Go to


Tell me, what is "the standard pesticide?" There are various pesticides available to professionals, with various modes of action. Pest control professionals know the best combinations of treatments to use in controlling bed bugs. One thing that must be done if at all possible, when treating a structre is to achieve complete control. Just like taking an antibiotic, one should not stop until the course of treatment is completed. Don't stop just because symptoms stop (or bed bugs appear to be gone). This will help reduce the possibility of developing a resistant, "super bug."

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault