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Bedbugs don’t like boozy blood.
A new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that bedbugs avoid blood with a high alcohol content: Those feeding on alcohol-laced blood eat less and lay fewer eggs than teetotalers. For most of the suckers, blood is their main source of food.
“(Bedbugs) need a blood meal to grow and to molt and to reproduce,” Ralph Narain, a doctoral candidate at the university, told the website LifesLittleMysteries.com. “And one of their main hosts are humans, and we consume a lot of (alcohol).”
Narain fed bedbugs blood containing different levels of alcohol and found that bedbugs that feasted on a “sober” meal doubled their body mass and laid an average of 44 eggs. But the more alcohol the bugs consumed, the less they grew. Those that ate blood with the highest levels of alcohol grew a mere 12.5% and laid only a dozen eggs.
Narain presented his findings in May at the National Conference on Urban Entomology in Atlanta.