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Date Created: 12/20/15
One Auburn Researcher Seeks to Improve the Body of Knowledge on Bedbugs There just about no pest more feared than bedbugs, and in many areas their populations are booming. Bedbugs are one of the few parasites that only prey on a specific species – and in their case they've chosen us, humankind as their host. Bedbugs were once nearly completely annihilated from the modern world by the use of pesticides and improved hygiene, but they have made resurgence and are infesting hotels, houses, apartments, and even public spaces. That's why researchers are working to study the pests and how they live. This wasn't always the case. After bedbugs seemed to disappear in the 1950s, scientific interest in the species waned and the data on the bugs became outdated. But eventually the pests developed resistance to common pesticides and began to reappear, which has left scientists racing to understand a species that was once thought to have fallen by the wayside. That's why the Auburn University Department of Entomology, headed by Professor Art Appel, has focused graduate level research efforts on bedbug life cycles – specifically, the insects' metabolism. Environmental Heat 417 Browning Court Suite A, Purcellville, VA 20132 540-441-7246 Bedbugs have a unique metabolism that allows them to stay dormant for extraordinarily long periods without food. Researchers, exterminators and bed bug victims have long been amazed – and disturbed – by bed bugs' ability to come back with a vengeance weeks, even months after they seem to have been eradicated. Research has shown that the bugs can last up to a year without food. Appel's team has decided to figure out how that's possible, and what limits the bedbugs have in starvation mode. Normally, bedbugs feed on a regular basis, coming out from hiding every night and biting sleeping humans to drink their blood. Our nutrient-rich blood provides ample energy for mating and reproduction. But Auburn's research has shown that if deprived of a food source, bedbug metabolism starts to wind down right away. Their energy level drop within just days, and soon goes into a conservation mode that involves little activity, mating or even growth. They can go into a hibernation-like state to survive in hiding until they detect the presence of a host once again. Will this information be valuable in fighting bedbugs? It's hard to say. Appel's department has done some research into how different pesticides affect bedbugs and how they build up a tolerance, but the core issue facing science at the moment is understand bedbugs as an organism: their habits, metabolism and life cycles. All of that can end up being vital to control efforts. While there is no single cure for bedbugs, the most effective way to get rid of them is bedbug heat treatment. Heat treatment can eradicate all bedbugs and eggs without having to dispose of bedding or personal belongings. If you live in VA call Environmental Heat Solutions for heat treatment and extermination today. www.greenbedbugsolutions.com
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