Bedbugs not averse to inbreeding | Science News

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Bedbugs not averse to inbreeding

Pests have also grown resistant to common insecticides

11:46am, December 8, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — Bedbugs that infest a room and spread within a building are often one big extended family, the offspring of a single female that begot sons and daughters that then interbred with impunity, researchers reported December 6 at a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Other scientists at the meeting reported on mechanisms that allow bedbugs to escape death by rapidly evolving to detoxify insecticides thrown their way. In that study, the researchers identified enzymes that the insects need in this detoxification process.  

Cimex lectularius, the bedbug, has become a scourge of slum tenements and upscale hotels alike in the past 10 years, staging an impressive comeback after being knocked back to insignificance with insecticides in the 1950s and 1960s. But even before that there were hints of future problems, said entomologist Kenneth Haynes of the University of Kentucky. The first reports of the insecticide DD

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