New research suggests bed bugs don’t have much taste for boozy blood and lay fewer eggs when their feedings contain alcohol.
This penchant for a sober meal could mean fewer bites for hosts who imbibe, a New York entomologist now studying at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found.
“(Bed bugs) need a blood meal to grow and to molt and to reproduce,” Ralph Narain, the University of Nebraska Ph.D. candidate from Suffolk County, told the website LifesLittleMysteries.com. “And one of their main hosts are humans, and we consume a lot of (alcohol).”
Narain fed blood mixed with different levels of alcohol to groups of the bugs in his lab and presented his findings to the National Conference on Urban Entomology in Atlanta last month.
The bed bugs that fed on clean blood reportedly doubled their body mass and laid an average of 44 eggs each.
The more alcohol the bugs received, the less they grew. Those that drank blood laced with the most alcohol grew only 12.5 percent and laid only a dozen eggs, Life’s Little Mysteries reported.
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