The first research documenting bed bug resistance to pesticides occurred in 2006 and 2007. The products studied were pyrethroid insecticides including Deltamethrin (Suspend SC, Delta Dust) and Lambda-cyhalothrin (Demand CS). This was ground breaking news in the fight against bed bugs and still not well known/publicized today. This is best seen by the continued promotion and sale of products that are ineffective at best.
Then the research moved to answering why are they resistant. In 2008 and 2011 the physiological resistance has been attributed to a kdr-type gene mutation (nerve insensitivity) and an increase in detoxification enzymes in the bed bug.
Recently a published article by Dr. Miller attributed the significant increase in bed bug population due – “most importantly” – to bed bug resistance to the repeated application of pyrethroid insecticides. This information was presented as fact and a precursor to the research presented. What amazes me is the scientific community’s understanding that this resistance has occurred when there are so many professional pest control companies still utilizing these products. It goes to show that with bed bugs, you need a bed bug specialist!
Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist
(a great list of cited research can be found at the end of Miller’s article)