I write a LOT about BedBugs… but I think I’ve discovered why BedBugs make “tasty-humans” go BAT-sh!t crazy. It’s evolution, and researchers have proven my point.Hello, my “tasty-human” friends. I’m MrBedBug, Chief SpokesBug for FLfresh.com and EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator. I am a TV star on MrBedBug-TV on YouTube and Editor of the BedBug News Reports.com There is a new article in the March 2015 issue of Molecular Ecology, [yes, people really do read this stuff], the article is looking at the evolutionary “family tree” of –my- family. [since I am the famous MrBedBug] There are several interesting points, but I’ll break out the ones that matter to you…if you are reading the BedBugNewsReport.com web pages, looking for a way to KILL BEDBUGS !!
First, the new study confirms the post I’ve made before, that Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble had Bedbugs, when they moved the family from the cave into BedRock, and took the job with Mr Slate. The earliest BedBugs were blood-suckers…with Bats as the preferred meal. All that hanging upside down must have gotten tiring for a few of my distant cousins, who decided humans were tasty too, and sleep all night, not all day. Walking around on the ground is easier than hanging on for dear-life from the ceiling, so “my” branch of the tree evolved to live with humans not bats….and that leads us to the next interesting item.
BedBugs have evolved in two separate branches from the tree, so now they are almost distinctly different. The “tasty-human” feeding BedBugs have adapted your human- ways. Smaller legs to run faster, [there’s no need to hang-on for dear-life overhead], but “we” have also evolved to remain immune to the ever-more toxic chemicals sprayed to kill “us”. This is just one of the reasons why BedBugs are so persistant and hard to kill.
Famously Charles Darwin said something like: —from simple beginnings evolve amazing things, unpredictable–. That’s what researchers, Dr Warren Booth, [a biologist at the University of Tulsa] and his collaborater Ondrej Balvin, [a bedbug research expert at Charles University in Prague] have to say. BedBugs could be the perfect model to study evolution, because both “branches of the tree“ are easily found. Balvin collected bedbugs from across Central Europe with his Czech colleagues and Booth gathered USA Bedbugs and when the root DNA is checked it’s evident that the BedBugs who feed on you “tasty-humans” are becoming a new species. A quote from the paper/article explains it. “Genetic differentiation may exist among sympathric populations of a species due to long-term associations with alternative hosts” Simply, the populations separated, fed by different host, but rarely both, until they were distinctly “Bat-Bugs” or “Bed-Bugs”, but not both.
The researchers gathered [I’ll call them ]Bat-Bugs [to make this post simpler] from bat roosts in houses, churches and castles. Very little is/was known about the bugs that depend on bats for their meals, so the “big deal” importance of this new article is the details on the “Bat-Bug” side of the family. It is like hearing about the lives of distant cousins that you know were out-there, but had never spoken too. Dr. Booth compared DNA sequences from over 200 bugs. Those that live with bats, he found, were genetically quite distinct from those living with “tasty-humans” like I do.
Both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA supports the theory that there isn’t any “team-switching”. You are either a Bat-Bug, or a Bed-Bug and the bugs that love “tasty-humans” exhibit limited genetic diversity and elevated levels of inbreeding. That means once you have BedBugs in your home, your awareness goes up and you don’t bring a new generation in [at least until the 1st infestation is cleaned] and pest control treatments that do work, clean the DNA “map”. Bat-Bug populations in a bat roost exhibit higher genetic diversity and lower levels of relatedness, which means they travel with the bat-family and die of old age, not pest control sprays.
One last tidbit. BedBugs have evolved to deal with “tasty-humans” in other ways too. BedBugs are becoming ever-more immune to the toxic chemicals used by big industry, franchise pest control companies. Each generation that survives is stronger, more tolerant of chemicals than the last. This fact is well-known by most experienced Bedbug experts, and is one of the reasons that the EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator that we talk about is different. It is a [kid-safe + pet-friendly] way to kill BedBugs, but is NOT a “poison”. BedBugs won’t become immune to it. You can read more about how it works at www.FLfresh.com
Here is a link to the original copy of the March 2015 issue of Molecular Ecology, with the study about BedBugs and BatBugs,
There has been some press coverage too.
The New York Times wrote about what researchers, Dr Warren Booth / University of Tulsa and Ondrej Balvin / Charles University in Prague have to say in the new BedBug research.
There are other press reports, but most of them repeat the NY Times article, or don’t add anything to this conversation.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The more you know about HOW BedBugs live, hide, feed, breed and travel, the better you can protect yourself in the “BedBugs Wars”. Get the facts. We track all the latest research [and battle-plans from the Bedbug Wars] at www.FLfresh.com Get effective “Tips and Tricks” on how to avoid a Bedbug infestation in the first place, and learn the options you have to clean a BedBug infestation in your home or apartment/condo and workplace. www.FLfresh.com is the national distributor of EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator, a non-toxic [kid-safe and pet-friendly] way to KILL the BEDBUGS in your life.