Secret Site Map
Monday, March 30, 2015

Home News Researchers Examining Bed Bug Actions for New Management Tactics

Researchers Examining Bed Bug Actions for New Management Tactics

Bed bugs

Learning more about the behavior of bed bugs is one approach being used by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists to identify compounds to help control these pests.

| February 14, 2013

ARS scientists are identifying new compounds to control bed bugs. Click the image for more information about it. (Photo: USDA)

Learning more about the behavior of bed bugs is one approach being used by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists to identify compounds to help control these pests.

The resurgence of bed bugs over the last decade has caused problems in major U.S. cities where they infest homes, apartments, hotels, shelters and even places of work. The small, blood-feeding insects are not known to transmit diseases, but they can cause severe reactions in people who are allergic to them. Bed bugs usually go unnoticed until their numbers increase significantly, and getting rid of them can be costly.

Entomologist Mark Feldlaufer and chemist Kamlesh Chauhan at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, Md., have identified two new alarm pheromones—4-oxo-hexenal and 4-oxo-octenal—in immature bed bugs. The releasing of alarm pheromones, which are defensive compounds, causes aggregated bed bugs to scatter.

Scientists collected cast skins that retain chemicals from the bed bug's scent glands and then used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry technology to analyze and identify compounds. Swedish researchers subsequently identified the same compounds from a related species, the tropical bed bug, demonstrating that the compounds are biologically active.

This indicates that alarm pheromones may have implications in bed bug management, according to Feldlaufer, who works at BARC's Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory. By causing insects to disperse, the likelihood of bed bugs coming into contact with a control agent increases.

ARS and University of Nevada-Reno scientists also identified 17 compounds in the bed bug's outer protective layer of skin, a discovery they believe may play an important role in bed bug aggregation behavior.

Read more about this research in the February 2013 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

 

Top news

Pair of Destructive Termites Create New Hybrid Colonies

Two of the most destructive termite species in the world -- responsible for much of the $40 billion in economic loss caused by termites annually -- are now swarming simultaneously in South Florida, creating hybrid colonies that grow quickly and have the potential to migrate to other states.

UF/IFAS Grad Student Wins Prize for Mosquito Trap Research

Casey Parker recently won the ONE WORLD competition, organized by the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Challenge 2050 Project in conjunction with the Syngenta Good Growth Plan.

NPMA Board of Directors Approves Pollinators BMPs

During its meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 14, the National Pest Management Association's (NPMA) Board of Directors approved the organization's Pollinator Best Management Practices (BMPs).

PCT Announces Commercial Pest Management Virtual Conference

Featuring a “Who’s Who” of speakers with decades of experience serving the commercial pest management segment, the April 29 virtual event is filled with information you need to know to expand your presence in this dynamic marketplace. Cost is only $99 and attendees will receive full access to all of the educational sessions and a complimentary copy of the highly-acclaimed PCT Guide to Commercial Pest Management, a $29.95 value!

EcoRaider Launches Free Trial Program

PMPs can put EcoRaider to the test in their own field applications.

x