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A New Model of Evolution: A Look at Bed Bugs

Size of bed bug compared to dime

You don’t have to wait millions of years to witness evolution. A February 2015 article the New York Times  by Carl Zimmer states that it’s happening right now with bed bugs. Zimmer reports that scientific studies reveal that some bed bugs are actively becoming a new species. While this is bad news for the public, it’s thrilling for biologists and interesting to bed bug experts.

Bed Bug Studies and Research Results

Pest control professionals explain that the recent explosion of bed bugs is due to the halt of DDT use and the bug’s newly evolved resistance to pesticides. Zimmer reports that scientists were able to study the offending insects by working with exterminators to collect bed bug DNA samples, which gave them clues about their natural history. Bed bugs are more difficult to study than most insects because of bed bug pest control efforts—homeowners generally want to get rid of the bugs (not study them) as soon as they’re discovered.

The biologists discovered that some bed bugs feed on humans and bats. The ones that feed on bats are genetically distinct from the ones that solely feed on humans. The samples collected also gave the scientist insight as to how bed bugs changed their behaviors, bodies and DNA based on human sleeping patterns and housing changes throughout history.

Bed Bug Tips from Oregon and Washington Pest Control Experts

At Eden, we’re passionate about bed bug pest control. Throughout the years, we’ve published posts and articles about the insects and how we control them. The following provide basic information that’s essential to know:

  • Bed bug overview: Learn more about the bug’s life cycle, how to identify them and what to do if you discover them.
  • Traveling and bed bugs: Bed bugs are plaguing hotel rooms across the country. Learn how to avoid and identify them before your next trip.
  • Bed bug infestation detection: Bed bugs infestations aren’t as simple to detect as you may think. Learn how Washington and Oregon pest management experts do it.
  • Bed bug control: At Eden, we know that pesticides are ineffective when battling bed bugs. Check out how we deal with the insects using safe methods that are more effective and longer lasting than harmful chemicals. (Hint: It sometimes involves a dog.)

If you have a bed bug infestation or suspect an infestation, call Eden right away to schedule a free on-site inspection. The sooner you take care of the problem, the sooner you’ll sleep easier.

[ Photo by: Medill DC , on Flickr, via CC License ]

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