Alcohol Keeps Bed Bugs Away

New study shows that bed bugs avoid hosts with a higher blood alcohol content


Like to have a glass of wine (or three) before bed? There's an unexpected benefit to going to bed a little buzzed: A new study shows that bed bugs avoid hosts who have a little more alcohol in their system.

The study from the University of Nebraska shows that bed bugs, specifically the Cimex lectulariu, bite less (and consequently lay fewer eggs) when the host has alcohol in their blood.

Ralph Narain, a Ph.D. candidate, tested the theory by mixing 200-proof ethanol with blood samples from a local blood bank, and compared how bed bugs reacted to alcohol-free blood and alcohol-laden blood. Bed bugs went to town on the alcohol-free blood, but their body mass (or how much blood they consumed) decreased by 60 percent when given the alcohol-filled blood. The BAC of the blood sample was only 0.10 percent.

Of course, Narain says he doesn't recommend boozing to control bed bugs (looking at you, New Yorkers). He says it's more of an "interesting-to-know" fact.


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