LAS CRUCES (KRQE) - Bed bugs continue their cross-country invasion of homes and hotel rooms.
But now there is new hope of stopping them thanks to the work of researchers in New Mexico.
An assistant professor at New Mexico State University is looking into the best ways to repel, kill and even trap bed bugs.
With more people traveling, so are those pesky bugs. They hide in crevices and cracks and feed at night.
Infestations have been reported in all 50 states in the U.S. and in many other countries in the last decade.
“Albuquerque is a city that has many problems with infestations, and it seems the infestations in Albuquerque are growing dramatically lately,” said Alvaro Romero, an NMSU assistant professor researching urban entomology.
That is why Romero is working on cheaper, more effective ways people can say bye-bye to bed bugs.
“We don't have ways, effective ways to control bed bugs,” Romero told KRQE News 13 in a Skype interview Thursday.. “Today bed bugs have become resistant to insecticides, to those insecticides pest-control companies use to try to eliminate infestations.”
So Romero and his team are researching ways to trap bed bugs with devices that would mimic human attributes these bugs find attractive like body temperature and carbon dioxide levels.
They are also studying repellents for the first time to see if they actually work and trying to develop early detection devices that can catch the problem before a whole family moves into your bedroom.
Hopefully they'll be cheaper alternatives to the only current solution to infestations, pest-control companies.
“The pest-control companies need to go to your place several times, and that costs a lot of money,” Romero said.
He said he is still in the early stages of research but hopes to work with companies to develop prototypes within the next few years.
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