Monday, November 26, 2012

Progress against bed bugs; ivermectin

All property investors are aware of the danger that bed bugs pose to properties and residents. Bed bugs have spread throughout the United States - especially in the aftermath of federal bans on certain pesticides.

Newsweek carries the story of a new drug (ivermectin) and a new approach that may help fight bed bug infestation:
The investigators ingested a medication called ivermectin, approved decades ago to treat various parasites and worms, and then exposed themselves to a swarm of bedbugs. They knew of course that the bugs, like any frisky vampire, could not resist the offer of warm human flesh; after all, bedbugs live on our blood. Right on cue, the insects hurried to the arm, bit down, had a nice blood meal—and dropped dead. The medication in the research volunteer’s bloodstream, though too weak to affect the human, was more than strong enough to kill the ambushed bedbugs.

This drug may present limited direct usefulness to landlords or hotel owners, as it is unlikely that tenants or guests could be required to take such medication. But any use by the general population could slow the spread of these bugs and thus help investors avoid infestation in the first place. 

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