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The Life of an Urban Pest Scientist

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I had to blurr the images because they are far too scary. Interesting article from Gizmodo on the current research on pest control. Bedbugs and cockroaches have become resistant to many traditional pesticides and combating infestations is getting more expensive. Its horrifying stuff but I am grateful someone is looking into it!

For some six years at NCSU, as a fledgling scientist and currently postdoctoral researcher, DeVries has cut his teeth studying the pests that plague our homes, focusing on the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) and the German cockroach (Blattella germanica). His work has ranged from studying how bed bugs learned to fight off the chemical weapons that almost wiped them out to showing how worthless bug bombs are at clearing out a cockroach infestation. But he’s soon moving on, having recently accepted a new job at the University of Kansas, where he’ll get to run his own lab starting next year.

“What really drives me to work with bed bugs and cockroaches, pests that do gross a lot of people out, is the fact that I know they create serious problems,” DeVries told me over the phone.

“For us to really solve the bedbug problem, we can’t just solve it on our own, we can’t just solve it one individual house at a time,” he noted. “We have to target communities, we have to try and get rid of bed bugs everywhere. Or we can just keep getting rid of bed bugs individually, you know, forever.”

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