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Field evaluations of insecticide treatment regimens for control of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (L.)

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BACKGROUND: Because bedbugs, Cimex lectularius L., have not been a problem in the USA for over 40 years, few insecticide products are labeled for their control. Most products that are labeled for bedbugs are pyrethroids. However, recent studies indicate that field‐collected bedbugs may be resistant to pyrethroids. There are also non‐pyrethroid products labeled for bedbugs, but, like the pyrethroids, none of these products has been evaluated for field efficacy. This study evaluated the efficacy of two insecticide treatment regimens for bedbugs in multi‐unit housing. Both of the treatments included multiple products currently being used by the pest management industry.

RESULTS: The ‘traditional’ treatment consisted of applications of pyrethroid products and an insect growth regulator. The ‘novel’ treatment consisted of applications of non‐pyrethroid products. The traditional treatment significantly reduced the number of bedbugs from 39.8 ± 10.1 per unit prior to treatment to 2.2 ± 1.0 at the end of the test period (P = 0.02; 95% reduction). The number of live bedbugs in the ‘novel’ treatment was also significantly reduced from 71.4 ± 25.3 bedbugs per unit to 10.2 ± 4.4 after 8 weeks (86% population reduction).

CONCLUSIONS: Although both treatment regimens reduced bedbug numbers, the fact that bedbugs were not eliminated after multiple applications suggests that the insecticides, applied at the current label rates, were inadequate. These results suggest that a more integrated approach to bedbug control is necessary in multi‐unit housing situations. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry

Keywords: Cimex lectularius; bedbugs; insecticide treatment; multi‐unit apartments; pyrethroids, chlorfenapyr

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2009

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