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Bed Bug Biology and Behavior
Department of Entomology
Bed bugs have a severe impact on the quality of life. This impact extends from rural communities to cities. Management of bed bug infestations is not simple, and is exacerbated by the limited availability and efficacy of insecticides. An understanding of behavior and biology of bed bugs will contribute to our potential to control bed bugs. By understanding how heat and CO2 serve as stimuli to attract bugs, we may be able to develop new methods of bed bug detection. The microorganisms that may be involved in digestion of blood are a potential new target for bed bug control. An understanding of sublethal effects of insecticides will allow for their prudent use, including information on where insecticides should be applied, which stages are affected and whether avoidance of insecticides will scatter bed bugs to adjacent rooms.
2009 Project Description
Infestations of the bed bug are increasing around the world at an alarming rate and have become a major public health concern. Because resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is widespread in the U.S. there is a great demand for novel approaches for pest control. An understanding of the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in the bed bug has the potential to lead to new approaches for the control of resistant populations.
We used the P450 enzyme inhibitor piperonyl butoxide (PBO) to determine the role of detoxifying enzymes in deltamethrin resistance in three field-collected strains. We found that while PBO reduced the lethal dose required to kill 50% of each strain, residual resistance compared to a susceptible strain remained.
The behavioral responses of bed bugs to deltamethrin (a pyrethroid), and chlorfenapyr (a pyrrole), two commonly used insecticides for bed bug control in the US were evaluated. In two-choice tests, grouped insects and individual insects avoided resting on filter paper treated with deltamethrin. Insects did not avoid surfaces treated with chlorfenapyr. Harborages, containing feces and eggs, and treated with a deltamethrin-based product, remained attractive to individuals from a strain resistant to pyrethroids. Insecticide barriers of chlorfenapyr or deltamethrin did not prevent bed bugs from reaching a warmed blood source and acquiring blood meals.
We tested five different dusts representing two insecticide categories: two pyrethroid-based dusts, and three desiccant dusts. Both types were effective in killing bed bugs, even from a resistant strain.
Synergists such as piperonyl butoxide, insecticides with novel modes of action such as chlorfenapyr, and dusts have the potential to contribute to management of pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs.
Domingue, M. J., Haynes, K. F., Todd, J. L. and Baker, T. C. 2009. Altered olfactory receptor neuron responsiveness is correlated with a shift in behavioral response in an evolved colony of the cabbage looper moth. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 35:405-415.
Mas, F., Haynes, K. F. and Kolliker, M. 2009. A chemical signal of offspring quality affects maternal care in a social insect. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 276: 2847-2853
Romero, A. Potter, M. F., and Haynes, K. F. 2009. Are dusts the magic bed bug bullet Pest Management Professional. 77(5): 22,23,26,28,30.
Romero, A., Potter, M. F., and Haynes, K. F. 2009. Behavioral responses of the bed bug to insecticide residues. Journal Medical Entomology. 46: 51-57
Romero, A., Potter, M. F., and Haynes, K. F. 2009. Evaluation of Piperonyl Butoxide as a Deltamethrin Synergist for Pyrethroid-Resistant Bed Bugs. Journal of Medical Entomology. 102: 2310--2315.
Sloggett, J. J., Haynes, K. F. and Obrycki, J. J. 2009. Hidden costs to an invasive intraguild predator from chemically defended native prey. Oikos. 118: 1396-1404.
Sloggett, J. J., Obrycki, J.J., and Haynes, K. F. 2009. Identification and quantification of predation: novel use of gas chromatography-mass spectrometric analysis of prey alkaloid markers. Functional Ecology. 23: 416-426.