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Auburn researchers investigate bedbugs

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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -

Bedbugs.

Everyone knows of these blood-sucking creatures, but can't seem to figure out how to get rid of them.

Now a team of Auburn University researchers are trying to better understand the bedbug's biology by specifically looking at their metabolism.

"What we're looking at now is seeing how different chemicals effect them so if you treat a bedbug right after its been fed with one chemical it might have no effect at all, but if you treat it with the same chemical after a month it kills it very easily. We want to see if that is related to its metabolism at all," explains AU Entomology graduate student, Zachary DeVries.

This research will provide a better framework on how bedbugs function, ultimately leading experts on how to attack the problem.

"If we have a complete understanding of the organisms biology were really better adapted to predict when chemicals are going to stop working and we can adjust our strategy so management is more effective and lasts for a longer period of time," says DeVries.

There are many ways to avoid bedbugs. These tips can save you and your family time, money and mass infestation.

First, be aware of your surroundings.

Make a habit of inspecting where you are. For example, your home, a hotel or even a movie theater, anywhere a lot of people are for a short period time.

And don't try to treat the pests yourself. Call a professional.

"If you have a live bedbug you know that they're there, but the other things you want to look for is fecal stains, that look like mold or mildew and also shed skin that is a white-brownish color."

If you do believe you have been around bedbugs, throw your clothes in the dryer.

In 30 minutes the bedbugs, including eggs, will be killed.

"If you're not paying attention the problem can get out of hand real fast," explains DeVries.

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