Posttreatment Feeding Affects Mortality of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Exposed to Insecticides.

Research paper by Narinderpal N Singh, Changlu C Wang, Richard R Cooper

Indexed on: 24 Oct '15Published on: 24 Oct '15Published in: Journal of economic entomology


Insecticide sprays and dusts are used for controlling bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L. In natural environments, bed bugs have daily access to hosts after they are exposed to insecticides. The established laboratory insecticide bioassay protocols do not provide feeding after insecticide treatments, which can result in inflated mortality compared with what would be encountered in the field. We evaluated the effect of posttreatment feeding on mortality of bed bugs treated with different insecticides. None of the insecticides tested had a significant effect on the amount of blood consumed and percent feeding. The effect of posttreatment feeding on bed bug mortality varied among different insecticides. Feeding significantly reduced mortality in bed bugs exposed to deltamethrin spray, an essential oil mixture (Bed Bug Fix) spray, and diatomaceous earth dust. Feeding increased the mean survival time for bed bugs treated with chlorfenapyr spray and a spray containing an essential oil mixture (Ecoraider), but did not affect the final mortality. First instars hatched from eggs treated with chlorfenapyr liquid spray had reduced feeding compared with nymphs hatched from nontreated eggs. Those nymphs hatched from eggs treated with chlorfenapyr liquid spray and successfully fed had reduced mortality and a higher mean survival time than those without feeding. We conclude that the availability of a bloodmeal after insecticide exposure has a significant effect on bed bug mortality. Protocols for insecticide efficacy testing should consider offering a bloodmeal to the treated bed bugs within 1 to 3 d after treatment.