Raleigh, NC - NC State University researchers said new methods to control bedbugs are in the works. Dr. Coby Schal and his colleagues told WFMY News 2, they are trying to find innovative methods since bedbugs are difficult to eliminate.
"A very large percentage of the bedbugs are resistant to the best insecticides that we have," said Dr. Schal. "The key to new approaches, innovative approaches to controlling bedbugs is really to understand the basic biology of bedbugs."
Bedbugs feed on blood, making them attracted to places where people live.
"We're taking humans, chickens, rats and other animals and trying to isolate chemical smells from these hosts that bedbugs are attracted to," said Dr. Schal. The next step is to combine those chemicals in the form of a trap.
Dr. Schal says the bugs come with a bad stigma.
"The idea of sharing a bed with a large population or even a small population of insects that nightly suck blood from you, there's a huge psychological cost," he said.
While bedbugs are not completely understood, Dr. Schal says taking care of the problem early is essential.
"If you let it go and you think 'well, it's not that bad, I'm only getting a couple bites a day or a night,' and you wait a few months, the problem becomes much more difficult to deal with," he said.
He says heat treatment is effective if done properly. However, it takes skill to do well and is best left to a professional.
Dr. Schal recommends to avoid putting your suitcase on a bed when you travel or get home from a trip as bedbugs can get inside. Also, he says the bugs like to hide in the seams of mattresses and in box springs. At hotels, he recommends checking the headboards for bedbugs as they are often disturbed by frequent linen changing.
WFMY News 2