Research finds bedbugs can be killed with lower dosage of chemical

Jul 18, 2014 by Lindsey Elliott

A recent change to bedbug fumigation will make it more cost-effective to get rid of the pests, thanks to research from Kansas State University.

The phrase "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" might have become more common in the past decade because bedbug infestations in the United States have grown as travel has increased. The parasites have built up resistance to many of the insecticides used to kill them, adding to the problem.

Dow AgroSciences asked Tom Phillips, an entomology professor at Kansas State University who specializes in fumigant gases, to test a gas used to control drywood termites and determine if it could be used at a lower dosage to kill bedbugs. Phillips conducted a dose response study to find the lowest level of sulfuryl fluoride, known as Vikane, needed to kill bedbugs at all life stages.

"Fumigation is affecting the things that are breathing and the more breathing, the more mortality," Philips said. "Eggs are the most tolerant life stage of most insects and are harder to kill with fumigant gas. The embryo in the egg still respires and can be killed, it just takes longer because the gas has to get past the eggshell."

Phillips found that Vikane used at 1.9-fold the termite rate eliminated bedbug adults, late-instar nymphs and eggs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the label change, reducing the amount of chemical used to treat by one-third.

"This is a good thing because we can be more efficient by using less gas. And from a consumer's standpoint, it will cost less money because less chemical is being used," Phillips said.

Bedbugs are most prevalent where groups of people live, especially in transient housing such as hotels, apartment buildings and nursing homes.

Explore further: A better bedbug trap made from household items for about $1 (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bedbugs: Easy to attract, hard to eliminate

Feb 09, 2013

(HealthDay)—Death, taxes ... and bedbugs? Infestations of bedbugs are on the rise in the United States and elsewhere, and while people are "bedbug magnets," the tiny pests are hard to detect, an expert ...

Recommended for you

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

Dec 19, 2014

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Jul 18, 2014
Think serial dilution due to laundry cycles. Use deltamethrin synthetic pyrethroid on bedroom furniture foundation and surrounds. Bed linen is just like undergarments, not to be shared. SHUN ICKY
MrVibrating
not rated yet Jul 18, 2014
If you're on a budget, household bleach kills them instantly. Mix a strong solution in a plant sprayer, and spray around mattress seams, the bed structure, surrounding walls, furniture surfaces and skirting boards. Repeat a few weeks later. They can't even tolerate the spray's dried residue, so won't return..
dna42
not rated yet Jul 20, 2014
1 thing to say Co2 gas. Bag the room flood it let it
sit. Open windows. I have used this to eradicate many things personally. From bugs to moles to unwanted plants (yes I know plants breath co2) but u can freeze them out like crab grass. By simulating a frost. I have done this. Its all natural and I have work hand in hand with the epa with the use of this. Out of the box thinking.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.