What Kills Bed Bugs, and What is Just Making Them Stronger?

Evolution in nature has undoubtedly produced impressive results – and the changes we are seeing in bed bugs is no exception to the rule.  Whether the physical features of these pests are changing, or it is becoming more resistant as a result of tolerance from treatment methods  – What kills bed bugs is constantly being challenged by the best and brightest minds in science and the pest control industry.

In a recent Fox News story, scientists in Australia announce that bed bugs may in fact be developing a thicker exoskeleton, which is resulting into a stronger tolerance and resistance during chemical treatments – Which means the chemicals and the methods – what kills bed bugs – needs to be re-evaluated!  I suspect that bed bugs may be evolving a thicker skin as part of natural evolution, but I also think the bed bug life cycle is conducive to the tougher bugs surviving, while the others succumb to treatments.

Understanding Bed Bugs in Nature

Deciding what kills bed bugs can only be done effectively if we have a thorough understanding of how bed bugs survive! Just like any pest or creature, the bed bug will fight to live – Hiding, and becoming elusive and smart to avoid treatments, but also evolving through natural selection to withstand and prosper.

The more resistant group of thicker skinned bed bugs already exists in nature, as a variation of the species. When the thin skinned bugs are eliminated with chemical treatments, there are more opportunities for reproduction with the thicker skinned bugs. They get more of the food source, and more of the hiding spots – In the simplest terms. This gives them the advantage to pass their genes down to the next generation, eventually out populating the the less resistant variety. I think this is a good example of just how tough these bugs are, and just how diverse nature truly is!


The Million Dollar Question: What Kills Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs can be kept under control with treatment, and prevented by following best practices and avoiding common problem causing behaviors. Treatment with chemicals may be sufficient, but cannot be expected to eliminate bed bugs completely in one shot.  Some pests may be resistant, and some stages of the bed bug life cycle can not be effectively treated with chemical treatment.  Adding heat treatment into your equation is what kills bed bugs the most thorough and affordable way.  Heat penetrates all stages of the bed bug life cycle, and regardless of how evolved or tough the pests are – They can’t withstand the heat treatment.

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