SAN DIEGO – Amid the high-tech science showcased at the Entomological Society of America’s annual meeting, bedbug specialists repeatedly called for a low-tech defense: More people need to learn what a bedbug looks like.
Today’s bedbug strains often carry considerable resistance to the widespread pyrethrin-based pesticides licensed for indoor use, said Dini Miller of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Heat treatments, sniffer dogs or repeated courses of spraying get costly and don’t prevent repeat infestations. Do-it-yourself options, often based on vague, wishful or outright wacky notions of bedbug biology, have their perils too. “Technology alone is not going to save us,” Miller said.