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How do bugs become immune to pesticides?

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  1. skritch

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 14:31:04
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    The ones who die from it can't procreate a generation of immune progeny, so how does it happen?

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 16:33:25
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    Evolution, baby!

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. skritch

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 16:35:54
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    Got it, nobugs! Thanks!

  4. BBNewbie

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 16:45:31
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    Probably the ones that just get sick from it and don't die. They probably just get a partial dose...not enough to kill them and they develop a resistance that is passed on to their offspring. Same thing that has happened with the overuse of antibiotics. Some bacteria have almost become super bugs...it's really becoming a big problem.

    Just my opinion...but it sounds good.

    S

  5. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 17:41:50
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    Evolution. You have a population of bed bugs with a lot of genetic variation. Some of them might have inherited mutations that make them resistant to a certain pesticide. This resistance is already in the population, undiscovered. When you treat with the pesticide, huge swaths of non-resistant bed bugs will die, but the resistant ones will survive. They breed, and the population bounces back, except now all of them are resistant.

    Resistance appears to be associated with lower fitness (to become resistant the bed bug physiology is tweaked away from optimal), so the current bed bug population is in some ways more delicate than the bed bugs we had around 60 years ago.

  6. skritch

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 18:07:33
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    Nemo, So how does science use the new "delicacy" to its advantage when developing ways to combat the newer populations of the bug?

  7. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 20 2013 19:21:13
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    I don't know we really can. I say they're wimpier because I read a paper on time to starvation that compared resistant bed bugs to a non resistant strain. The resistant ones starved much faster--currently bed bugs do not seem able to survive a year starving when before they sometimes would. The good thing is that this means resistance is unlikely to be maintained in the population if we stop using pesticides targeted by a certain resistance mechanism, so some pesticides could conceivably be useful again in future. With a resistance mechanism with no fitness cost we can't expect the resistance to ever be lost.

  8. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 21 2013 7:28:36
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    If anyone wants to read about hapless imprisoned bed bugs being mercilessly starved, the paper is here.

  9. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 21 2013 9:12:27
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    Dear Folks,

    The development of resistance is a complex issue with many factors to consider.

    The following are offered for your review and consideration>

    Q: Is resistance in pests a big deal?
    A: It depends on the pest and the situation. We have been dealing with insecticide resistance for a long time with numerous pests.

    Q: Is resistance of bed bugs to today's insecticides a big deal?
    A: No, not really. Despite our knowledge of resistance present within certain populations of bed bugs, the industry has suitable insecticides and methodologies with which to successfully deal with resistance. And, even though insecticide resistance has been documented and measured in certain bed bug populations, these bed bug populations may be successfully controlled using the labeled rates of various available insecticide products and elimination methodologies.

    Q: How does resistance actually occur?
    A: We could argue that by using certain pesticides over time that man is actually "selecting for" resistant traits which ma lead to resistant strains. Resistance does not occur in one generation but over time and many generations.

    Q: Are there different types of resistance?
    A: Yes. There are different types of resistance which means that there are different metabolic processes within the target insect that cause resistance to occur. In a recent publication and presentation from our friends at Virginia Tech University Department of Entomology the presenter noted that in one resistant strain they observed a thickening of the integument. This meant that the bed bug's exoskeleton was measureably thicker than that of non-resistant bed bug. of course a thicker integument means that it would take longer, if at all, for a lipophyllic insecticide compound to migrate through the exoskeleton of the target insect. of course there are other bio-chemical modes of resistance to consider. That's what researchers do and this research provides information for chemical engineers with which to work on and develop more effective compounds.

    Q: It seems that this resistance thing is complex?
    A: That's because it is !

    Q: Practically speaking, should bed bug victims be worried or concerned about resistance?
    A: No. This is equivalent to being worried about the development of solar energy. Are we going to run out of energy in our lifetime or that of our great, great, great grandchildren? No, we're not so, why worry ?

    Q: What if my PCO tells me that I have resistant bed bugs?
    A: Really? Hmmm . . . If your PCO is having trouble eliminating your bed bug problem and blames it on resistance then in my view you likely have a PCO who is resistant to being effective in his work. PCOs are effectively eliminating bed bug problems even under horrendous conditions and huge populations with the insecticide products and methodologies available to them today. Practically speaking, resistance is a non-factor.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.


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