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European textile project to fight bedbugs and ticks

A European project aims to fight, the negative consequences of bedbugs and ticks by developing biodegradable materials. Due to severe climate change in Europe, the population of ticks and bedbugs are on the rise. Migration reduces the susceptibility to bedbugs, changes in patterns of insecticide use are some of the reasons contributing to the rise in insects.

This issue resulted in the development of natural material in line with EU-authorized biocide standards brought together a consortium of 10 partners, in collaboration under the BETITEX project. The team is focusing their design efforts in two key domains including SMEs in the form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and domestic use in the form of home linen.

Bedbugs do not cause much harm to health but as far as ticks are concerned, it carries pathogens which can cause severe illnesses. The BETITEX research revolves around the use of repellent spray. These sprays contain biocides that can result in higher protection against ticks and bedbugs, however the acceptability by the European Biocides Directive due to their toxicity and their environmental impact is in question. To tackle this, the project aims to develop lab cultures of both bedbugs and ticks, alongside biocide efficacy testing of the insecticide-treated textiles.

The use of eco-friendly technologies is yet to be common among manufacturers across the board. This is the reason members of the BETITEX consortium expect their results to contribute to the promotion of a greener and more competitive economy through the use of natural, biodegradable textile materials in combination with eco-friendly textile technologies.