BLOOD-sucking bedbugs are one thousand times more resistant to common pesticides compared to a decade ago and are invading cities around the world, scientists have warned.
Researchers from Ohio, US, made the surprising discovery when building a genetic map of the pests, which are about the size of an apple seed, and have warned of future infestations.
“The resurgence of bed bugs poses an urgent situation as infestations are rampant globally, nationally, and locally,” the researchers wrote in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.
Resistance to chemicals designed to kill the bugs can become a permanent part of their genetic inheritance. The bugs are now also less prone to stress from heat, cold and dehydration.
The study also identified a spike in the number of bed bug infestations around the world, including in Australia.
“During the past decade or so, the resurgence of (bedbugs) has been recorded across the globe including North America, Europe, Australia, and Eastern Asia with an estimated 100 per cent to 500 per cent annual increase in bed bug populations,” the researchers wrote.