The effect of temperature and humidity on the survival and water loss of the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus (F.), was studied using two field-collected strains. Insects were exposed to temperatures ranging from 20 to 45°C and relative humidities (RHs) of 33, 75, and 100%. C. hemipterus survived longest under the interaction of low temperature (20°C) and high RH (75–100%). Survival and water loss were significantly affected (P < 0.01) by temperature and RH (either singly, or in interaction). Strain and sex significantly (P < 0.01) influenced bed bug survival, but not on water loss. Eggs, first instars, and adults reached their upper thermal lethal limit within 1 h at 39°C, 44°C, and 46°C, respectively. The survival and water loss profiles showed that starved C. hemipterus started to die after losing 35–45% of their body weights.
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Vol. 47 • No. 6