Relative increases of bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., populations are probably due in large measure to their resistance to pyrethroids, which have been used extensively against urban pests. A Connecticut population of bed bugs was assessed for sensitivity to pyrethroids and exposed to commonly-used commercial insecticides applied to various substrates on which the residues were allowed to age for 0–24 wk. Type I and type II pyrethroids differed in toxicity when applied at a high dosage (1 µg) per bed bug. Some type II pyrethroids (cyfluthrin, λ-cyhalothrin, cis-cypermethrin, and deltamethrin) caused >80% mortality, whereas exposure to type I pyrethroids caused <5% mortality over 72 h (with one exception, pyrethrins caused 23% mortality). Dust products were not affected by residue aging; mortality response over time of exposure closely fit (R2 > 0.95) an exponential rise to a maximum model from which the survival half-life (S1/2) was calculated directly. Tempo Dust (Bayer Environmental Science, Montvale, NJ) killed bed bugs relatively quickly, as did Syloid 244 (Grace Davison, Columbia, MD) and Drione (Bayer Environmental Science, Montvale, NJ) on hardboard and mattress fabric substrates (S1/2 < 1 d); DeltaDust (Bayer Environmental Science, Montvale, NJ) provided a relatively slow kill (S1/2 ≈ 3.5 d). The sprayable pyrethroids, Cyonara 9.7 (Insecticide Control solutions, Pasadena, TX) and D-Force HPX Aerosol 0.06% (Waterbury Companies, Waterbury, CT), displayed reduced residual toxicity as they aged; the mortality was <50% on some substrates after 4 d. Desiccant dusts, with their physical mode of action and long residual activity, appear to be superior to sprayable pyrethroid products for killing bed bugs.
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Vol. 105 • No. 5