Dusts can often be overlooked in a pest control regimen because sprays seem to give immediate results. A closer look at recent research studies point to insecticide dusts as a bed bug solution with residual results.
Romero, Potter, and Haynes of the University of Kentucky conducted a research project using four different bed bug populations to test the effects of various ‘dusts’ on those populations. Two of the populations were extremely pyrethroid resistant, one was moderately resistant, and one population had has no previous exposure to insecticides. Five different dusts were used on all bed bug populations and results were recorded concerning mortality and the length of time associated with each. The dusts that were utilized for the study two pyrethroid based dusts and three desiccant dusts. The desiccant dusts work by either abrasive qualities similar to sand paper. They are able to remove the protective waxy coating of an insect as it crawls over the particles. The other way that it works is by ‘absorbing’ the thin lipid layer on insects. Delta Dust and Tempo were used as the pyrethroid based dusts, and Drione, Mother Earth D, and NIC 325 were used as the desiccant dusts.
The study found that in 24 hours, Tempo dust killed 100 percent of the bed bugs from all four of the populations. Drione took 72 hours to work, but also resulted in killing 100 percent of the bed bugs from all four populations. Delta dust resulted in up to two weeks to kill 100 percent of the bed bugs from all of the resistant strains. MotherEarth D took four days to kill over 90 percent of the bed bugs, and ten days to kill all strains at 100 percent. NIC 325 showed the lowest success, with only 50 percent of bed bugs killed after 13 days of exposure.
The most promising result of the study indicate that pyrethroid resistance may be overcome with the use of dusts. This characteristic may be the weak link in bed bug pyrethroid resistance that can tip the scale towards regained control over the bed bug epidemic. There is not a definite explanation for why this combination is effective, but it is definitely a theory that is worth exploring.
What This Means to YOU:
To the Do It Yourself pest controller, it means that dusts should be investigated as an addition to any home bed bug management protocol. Dusts can be used around base boards in cracks and crevices, in the backs of nightstands and numerous other places that bed bugs choose to hide. Diatomaceous earth has an extremely low toxicity to humans and animals, and can be reapplied regularly without due concern to your families health, as a treatment and a preventative method. Either way, this research study definitely shows that dusts can play a vital role in home pest management.