Watch Out! Bedbugs Becoming Genetically Resistant to Pesticides

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Bedbug insecticide products are displayed at the Bed Bug University North American Summit 2010 on September 22, 2010 (Brian Kersey / Getty Images)

The bedbug actually could be the bogeyman: it’s scary, it comes out at night, and like a horror movie, it’s now becoming resistant to our tools for wiping them off the face of the earth.

(Read about Ohio’s bedbug problem.)

Ohio State University researchers mapped out the genome of laboratory-reared bedbugs and compared them to those that repeatedly survived pesticide treatment. They found that the latter expressed differences in a specific gene, suggesting that a good ol’ dose of chemical spray won’t help much in getting a good night’s sleep.

(See a video from Chicago’s bedbug summit.)

Bedbugs have proved to be a nuisance in the past, until the 1940s with the introduction of DDT. In the past few years, the problem has resurfaced with a vengeance. It’s not clear why the problem has taken hold again; but, the fact that they are becoming resistant could be a factor.

Brings new light to “Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite,” doesn’t it? (via New Scientist)

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