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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328696

Research Project: Prevention of Arthropod Bites

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

Title: Bed bug laboratory maintenance

item Feldlaufer, Mark
item O'CONNOR, LINDA - Airrx Antimicrobial Science, Inc
item ULRICH, KEVIN - Home Paramount Pest

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/9/2016
Publication Date: 2/23/2018
Citation: Feldlaufer, M.F., O'Connor, L.L., Ulrich, K.R. 2018. Bed Bug Laboratory Maintenance. In: Doggett, S.L., Miller, D.M., Lee, C., editors. Advances in the Biology and Management of Modern Bed Bugs. Indianapolis, IN: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. p. 199-208.

Interpretive Summary: Bed bugs are obligate, blood-sucking insects. The worldwide resurgence of infestations has resulted in an increased research effort by academic, industry, and government laboratories to develop strategies to mitigate this blood-sucking insect pest. We have demonstrated that a particular part of whole blood, namely plasma, is a necessary component of any laboratory feeding regime that does not rely on feeding bed bugs directly upon humans or other animals. This information will be useful and important to any laboratory in the public or private sector that rears bed bugs in an effort to develop control methods for this insect pest.

Technical Abstract: The common bed bug Cimex lectularius L. and the tropical bed bug C. hemipterus Fabricius are obligate blood-feeding insects, so the blood-feeding of these species on a routine basis is required to maintain colonies. This current manuscript details the need for blood plasma in any in vitro feeding regime. After 10 weeks, about 2.6 times the number of nymphs and about six times the number of adult bed bugs were found in groups fed red blood cells fortified with plasma, as opposed to those fed red blood cells without plasma. The potential development of an artificial blood source is also addressed.