Resistance Is Not Futile

Bed Bug Supplement - Bed Bug Supplement

Although bed bug resistance to insecticide is real, it’s not insurmountable. PMPs just need to be prepared. By Anne Nagro

November 21, 2019

More than half of PMPs (54 percent) said bed bug resistance is a concern in their market areas, found the PCT 2018 State of the Bed Bug Control Market survey, sponsored by Zoëcon. Nearly a third (32 percent) said resistance is a manageable problem; 36 percent have not yet encountered it.

PMPs are taking the problem seriously: More than half (53 percent) have implemented a bed bug resistance treatment protocol. For 89 percent of PMPs, this includes rotating the use of products.

Source: 2018 Readex Research; Number of respondents for left, center charts: 238; Number of respondents for right chart: 126 (those who have implemented a bed bug resistance treatment protocol)
Source: 2018 Readex Research; Number of respondents: 238

In follow-up interviews, PMPs expressed concern about consumers who self-treat for bed bugs using ineffective, repellent and often highly flammable products. Not only are they adding to resistance problems, but they’re pushing bed bugs further into cracks and crevices and risking serious injury by not following product labels, they said.

Heat treating has its own challenges. Bed bugs “can tolerate higher temperatures and it takes longer exposure time to kill them” when they have “a cool belly and a hot back,” such as when sitting atop a concrete slab, said Tami Stuparich, owner, California American Exterminator, Boulder Creek, Calif. The pests also can survive in the cool spots that can occur under boxes and piles of clothing.

Technicians must be aware of this and take steps to make sure they’re killing all of the bugs, said Stuparich.

The author is a frequent contributor to PCT.