Insecticide Resistance in Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius, Eggs and First Instars

| July 11, 2015

Brittany E. Campbell1 and Dini M. Miller2

1 University of Florida, Department of Entomology, Gainesville, FL, US
2 Virginia Tech, Department of Entomology, Blacksburg, VA, US

Abstract: Bed bugs continue to proliferate across the United States and the world. While travel helps them spread across the world, their persistence is contributed widely to their ability to combat the insecticides we use to try to kill them. Pyrethroid resistance has been well documented in adult bed bugs, but thus far other bed bug life stages have been neglected in resistance studies.

While all bed bug life stages are difficult to control, the egg stage is particularly difficult to kill with many of the registered products available for bed bugs. Alternatively, many pest control operators in the United States will do follow-up treatments with liquid insecticides two weeks after an initial treatment to kill first instars that hatch out of the eggs (and any other bed bugs that were missed in the first treatment).

The goal of this study was to determine insecticide resistance in eggs and first instars of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, and try to distinguish why the egg stage is particularly hard to kill and whether first instars are really that vulnerable to insecticides.

Three strains of bed bugs were used for this study, one pyrethroid-susceptible and two pyrethroid-resistant field collected strains. Mortality was monitored for eggs and first instars treated with two insecticides (Temprid SC and Transport GHP). LC50 (the lethal concentration required to kill 50% of an insect population) values were determined for both life stages. Higher concentrations of insecticides were required for egg and first instar mortality from resistant populations compared to the pyrethroid-susceptible strain.

Just like the adults, this research suggests that resistance is present even in the early developmental bed bug stages (eggs and first instars) and could cause pest control operators to have treatment failures.


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Insecticide Resistance in Bed Bug Eggs and First Instars

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