‘Super bed bugs’ becoming widespread problem as pests develop resistance to overused insecticides
by: Jennifer Lea Reynolds
(NaturalNews) A study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology is the first to confirm bed bugs’ resistance to the insecticides which are designed to banish the annoying parasites. The finding suggests that insecticide overuse is responsible for the resistance, causing people to question if they’re truly getting their money’s worth when they set out to destroy them. Of course, it also goes without saying that the finding reinforces the hazards of such chemical reliance, shedding even more light on the problems that can result.(1)
All the more reason for society to step back from its collective dependency on trying to spray, fog, mist and spritz its problems away.
For the study, researchers gathered bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan, then subjected them to four kinds of neonicotinoids (or neonics): acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. They also used such chemicals on a bed bug colony that hadn’t been exposed to insecticides for over three decades, and exposed a pyrethroid-resistant bed bug population from Jersey City, New Jersey to the same chemicals. The Jersey City group of bed bugs had not been exposed to neonics since 2008.(1)
The results are in: Bed bugs showing significant resistance to neonics
The bed bug colony that had never been exposed to neonics died after contact with even small amounts of pesticides. The Jersey City bed bugs, on the other hand, showed moderate resistance to two of the four neonics involved – acetamiprid and dinotefuran – but not to imidacloprid or thiamethoxam.(1)
Perhaps even more interesting, were the findings involving the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs. They were shown to have an even higher resistance to neonics, specifically in instances where combinations of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were involved. In particular, when compared to control groups, the Michigan bed bugs were 462 times more resistant to imidacloprid, and a whopping 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid. The Cincinnati bed bugs were also 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid compared to the control group, and 358 times more resistant to dinotefuran.(1)
Study’s expert suggests turning to ‘use of non-chemical methods’
Troy Anderson, an expert from Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who was involved in the study said, “While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working.”(1)
New Mexico State University’s Dr. Alvaro Romero, who was also part of the study, adds that, “Companies need to be vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids. … If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.”(1)
Ah, non-chemical methods. Now we’re talking!
Even the study’s abstract states, “The rapid increase of bed bug populations resistant to pyrethroids demands the development of novel control tactics.”(2)
Bed bugs not the only ones becoming resistant to neonicotinoids; bee population affected too
In the case of insecticides, another consequence of overuse has been made evident. Instead of bed bugs, however, it involves bees.
In particular, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came out with its first scientific risk assessment study, outlining just how detrimental neonicotinoids are to the bee population. While the EPA’s assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention, Jim Jones, explained that several factors can contribute to bee population decline, he made it very clear that the neonicotinoid imidacloprid shouldn’t be ruled out.(3)
He says that “there’s a significant effect” that can lead to “a less robust hive,” when more than 25 parts per billion of imidacloprid is found in nectar that’s been brought back to the hive. Indeed, this number has been exceeded, demonstrating that it has the potential to become problematic, and perhaps even alter the bee population.(3)
Sources for this article include: