Bed bugs are a small parasite which tuck themselves away into your bed and live and reproduce there. We have all heard of them and have been told to avoid this or that place because it may have bed bugs.
This hardy insect has been managed well by the pest industry for many decades now. But in some parts of the country, pest control specialists are experiencing bed bugs which are resistant to pesticides. The natural reaction may be to simply use more pesticide to treat the infestation but in this case more is not always better.
Professional pest control agents must always consider which treatments to use and how much of a treatment they should apply. Using more treatment may not be ideal for a tough case of bed bugs. Instead, there may be a more natural alternative which, when combined with current methods, ultimately will reach the desired results.
A professor and student from Purdue University have experienced positive results when using natural essential oils in combination with pesticides. Entomologist Ameya Gondhalekar and his former Ph.D. student, Sudip Gair have discovered that essential oils can improve lethality of pyrethroids, a class of commercial and household insecticides.
They published their finding in two separate reports for a journal called Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. “We’ve seen that we can kill resistant bed bugs with traditional pyrethroid insecticides, but we have to use increasingly larger amounts. Applying them at those levels is a problem,” said Gondhalekar, a research associate professor in entomology. “Our findings show that essential oils can kill bed bugs, but the combination of essential oils and pyrethroid insecticides has a synergistic effect.”
Pesticides work by opening sodium channels within the parasite’s nervous system and essentially cause it to use all of its energy at once and “burn out”. Bed bugs have developed a resistance to pesticides by overproducing levels of an enzyme called cytochrome P450. The essential oils may bind themselves with this enzyme therefore stripping away this defense mechanism.
As pests evolve so too much pest control specialists. Sunstate Pest will always be at the forefront of pest treatment so that our customers have pest free homes.