Fungus for Bed bug

In my experience as an exterminator, the most stressful and traumatic pest problem that anyone can have is a bed bug infestation. It is getting more and more difficult to get rid of bed bugs because they are getting immune to chemical pesticides.

Exterminators have to provide several chemical pesticide applications, using different pesticides every time, to completely get rid of bed bugs. Each time the residents have to do hectic preparations before receiving the service and have to be away from home for several hours. This whole process requires lots of efforts and money and causes physical and mental trauma to the residents.

There has been research going on for several decades to come up with a non-chemical, eco-friendly, affordable and effortless solution to get rid of bed bugs.

Research in Penn State University’s Department of Entomology pointed to some interesting characteristics of Beauveria bassiana, a naturally occurring fungal spore, that seemed promising as a pesticide for use against bed bugs. Further research led to formulation and registration as a biopesticide by October 2017 under the name Aprehend®.

What are bedbugs?

Bed bugs are small reddish-brown insects about the size and shape of an apple seed. These bugs feed on human blood. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in colour, about 1 to 5mm in size and have a flat circular body with horizontal groves on their backs.

Pest Control for bed bugs

What is the fungus Beauveria bassiana?

Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and acts as a parasite on various insect species like bed bugs, termitesthripswhitefliesaphids and various beetles. When the microscopic spores of the fungus come into contact with the body of an insect host, they germinate, penetrate the cuticle, and grow inside, killing the insect within a matter of days.

beauveria-bassiana-on bed bugs

How is the fungal biopesticide applied?

Aprehend® is applied by exterminators using specialized equipment strategically in narrow (2-inch) barrier bands in the areas where bed bugs will walk. These are areas such as sides of mattress, bed frames, head boards, baseboards, closet shelves etc.

aprehend spray kit

How does the biopesticide for bed bugs work?

When a bed bug comes into contact with an Aprehend®-treated surface, the fungal spores stick to its feet and body and are taken back to its harborage. The spores transfer easily between bed bugs by direct contact, targeting bed bugs that do not leave the harborage.

After 24 hours, spores on the bed bug will germinate, like seeds, and penetrate directly through the cuticle of the bed bug. Once inside, the fungal disease grows in the blood system, killing the bed bug within 3-7 days.

Bed bug cuticle fungus

What are the advantages of using Aprehend® Biopesticide?

Biopesticides are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides. Biopesticides generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals. Biopesticides can be effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, thereby resulting in lower exposures and largely avoiding the toxicity problems caused by conventional pesticides.

Other advantages of using Aprehend® biopesticide:

  • Results in days and 3 months active residual effect
  • Minimal preparation required by residents
  • No chemicals, No odor
  • Safe for babies, pregnant ladies, pets and senior citizens
  • Usually requires only 1 application

How does biopesticide compare with other pest control methods for bedbugs?

In my personal opinion, Aprehend® biopesticide is the most effective, non-chemical, safe and effortless pest control method available to us at this point of time. If you want to know more about it, you can call or text me on +1-437-985-5552.

If you want to know more on how the biopesticide compares with other pest control methods, you can read my article “Types of pest control methods for bed bugs – What are they and how do I choose them?”