Is More Research Needed To Control Bed Bugs?

It’s been over ten years since bed bugs began nibbling their way once again from sea to shining sea in the United States.  Today, April 26, 2013 marks the end of Bed Bug Awareness Week.  Where exactly are we at in the fight against bed bugs?

Some states have taken the bull by the horns and have developed laws that spell out the exact responsibilities that landlords and tenants must follow when bed bugs are present in a home.  Some states, such as New York, have seen their bed bug population drop tremendously.  Some states, such as Illinois and Ohio, have seen their bed bug population increase tremendously.

Many strains of bed bugs have proven to be resistant to pesticides that are currently available.  Keep in mind that many pesticides that are currently used for bed bugs and other insects have been re-purposed from pesticides that were once developed for agricultural use.  Despite the widespread availability, store bought bed bug pesticide products have proven to be completely ineffective against killing bed bugs.

Bed bugs are known to carry approximately 50 pathogens on their body.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state that bed bugs are a public health concern, but they remain steadfast that bed bugs do not transmit any diseases to humans.

According to Infection Control Today on April 25, 2013, an interesting study was done by scientists at the University of Cincinnati.  There, the DNA of bed bugs in the Cincinnati area were collected and examined from various residences. The scientists are hoping that their findings about the bacteria that were found on the bed bugs will help to develop pesticides that will one day kill the bloodsuckers.

Entomologists across the United States want more funding for bed bug research, but the reality is that funding will likely still be limited until bed bugs are considered to be more than just a nuisance pest.