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Bedbugs Study reveals a surprise




(newser)

Bedbugs were around the same time as T. Rex. It is one of the surprising discoveries about the pests revealed in a new study in Aktuel Biology. Scientists have generally assumed that bedbugs were not older than bats – which go back about 60 million years – because bats thought to have been their first food source. But the new research, based on DNA samples from more than 30 species of bedbugs, reveals that insects first discovered about 115 million years ago, the BBC reports. So what did they feed if bats were not around? So much is still unclear, but it was probably not dinosaurs because they tended not to have a "home" where bedding can thrive. Press release.

"These results will help us better understand how bedbugs developed the traits that make them effective pests," says researcher Mike Siva-Jothy of the University of Sheffield. More to the point, for those who hope to avoid them: "It will also help us find new ways to control them." The study suggests that a type of bedbugs typically starts by feeding on animal hats, but may turn to human blood over time. "A new species of bedbug overcomes every half a million years," one of the researchers says. This kind of adaptability is one of the reasons why the insects have been able to endure so long, an ecologist says Science . (Here is just a hotel horror story.)

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