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Breakthrough in Bed Bug Research

Breakthrough in Bed Bug Research

In the last few decades, bed bug infestations have experienced a resurgence as a global public health threat. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and North Carolina State University have developed a fungal biopesticide that has the potential to control bed bugs that are insecticide resistant. Their studies led to the creation of Aprehend, a patent-pending compound based on Beauveria bassiana, a natural fungus that causes disease in insects.

"The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of this product on an insecticide-susceptible lab strain of bedbug, and compare that to its effect on three field-collected strains known to be resistant to insecticides," said senior researcher Nina Jenkins. "We also compared mortality of these four bedbug strains after exposure to either a commercial pyrethroid insecticide or Aprehend."

Previous studies have shown that the formulation can be used as a long-lasting barrier treatment. Bedbugs that cross the barrier acquire fungal spores and spread them to other insects in the area, resulting in a more than 95 percent mortality rate within a week.

Read more at Penn State.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

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