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1 December 2006 Encasing Mattresses in Black Plastic Will Not Provide Thermal Control of Bed Bugs, Cimex spp. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)
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Abstract

The suggestion that bed bug (Cimex spp.; Hemiptera: Cimicidae)-infested mattresses wrapped in black plastic and exposed to sunlight will be heated sufficiently to kill the bed bugs was tested. Two types of mattresses were tested: a thin mattress of solid foam rubber and a thick multilayered inner spring mattress. Temperature probes were placed on both upper and lower sides of the mattresses, which were wrapped in black plastic and placed outside on a summer day for >9 h wherein the ambient temperature peaked at 36.5°C. The maximum recorded temperature on the upper (sun-exposed) sides was 85°C for both mattresses, whereas lower side temperatures for the thick mattress never exceeded 35°C, and some areas of the thin mattress failed to exceed 36.5°C. Therefore, with published thermal death points of 40–45°C depending on exposure time, and opportunities for bed bugs to avoid lethal temperatures by retreating from hot zones, this technique seems to be not suitable for bed bug management.

Stephen L. Doggett, Merilyn J. Geary, and Richard C. Russell "Encasing Mattresses in Black Plastic Will Not Provide Thermal Control of Bed Bugs, Cimex spp. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)," Journal of Economic Entomology 99(6), 2132-2135, (1 December 2006). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-99.6.2132
Received: 9 May 2006; Accepted: 1 June 2006; Published: 1 December 2006
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