Bed bugs are nasty pests that live on fabrics (especially beds) and leave you with annoying itchy welts. They are also notoriously hard to get rid of.
But new research shows that we can kill these bugs by taking a drug traditionally used to fight off parasitic worms, Bloomberg’s Jason Gale reports.
To see if the new treatment worked, researchers allowed beg bugs to feed on human blood from people who have taken the drug ivermectin, commercially known as Stromectol.
Three out of five bed bugs died three hours after their blood meals. The drug can not only kill bed bugs, it can also prevent the small young ones from growing by preventing molting. This is great news, since bed bugs are increasingly resistant to traditional pesticides.
The drug could be the key to combating what’s reemerged as a widespread problem, particularly in dense cities like New York. According to 2009 estimates, more than 400,000 New York City residents experienced bed beg infestation. The critters are so common, they have even taken over places like Google, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, and an AMC Movie theatre in Times Square.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.