Using Humans as Poisoned Bed Bug Bait

Imagine this scenario:   You have a bed bug problem in your home. You take a pill and go to bed.  Bed bugs come out and bite you while you sleep.  But you get your revenge: the pill you’ve taken, while harmless to you, is lethal to the bed bugs and few days later they die.

Recently the New York Times ran a fascinating article on the possibility of using a common deworming pill to do just that–kill bed bugs feeding on a human host.

This process is called “xenointoxication,” which is Greek for “poisoning the guest.”  And it could potentially be accomplished with ivermectin which has a long history of treating both people and animals for worms.

Dr. Johnathan M. Steele has been conducting research on the potential use of ivermectin to kill bed bugs. In the initial trials, 50% of bed bugs died after 2 days and 63% died after 20 days, after feeding on a human host who had taken invermectin.  But it’s possible there might be greater lethality with higher dose or dosing for longer periods of time. However at this point, it is unclear just how safe higher doses would be for humans.

It sounds like a nutty idea.  But when I had bed bugs I was so distraught, I would have definitely considered taking a pill to help get kill them off.  Which tells you something about how taxing it is to deal with a bed bug infestation.

A lot more research needs to be done to see if this is a viable and safe option in getting rid of bed bugs.

So we definitely do not recommend you run out and get ivermectin to do this, no matter how distraught you are. (We have developed an 8-Step Approach to getting rid of bed bugs, which works really well.)

But it is an intriguing possible future weapon in the war against bed bugs.

 

Posted by Andrew Havlis

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