The bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), has resurged recently as a domestic pest in North America with very limited options for decisive control. We report efficacy studies with sulfuryl fluoride (SF) toward use as a structural fumigant to control bed bugs. Laboratory studies were conducted in which eggs, adults, and nymphs from a pesticide susceptible laboratory population were fumigated for 24 h using SF at 99.8% purity in airtight, 3.8-liter glass containers under two temperatures, 25°C and 15°C. Bed bugs were placed in separate ventilated glass vials and wrapped in mattress padding before fumigation. The gas concentration within each jar was determined using quantitative gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Dose-response trials using eggs of known age (48–96 h) were conducted at five or six target concentrations measured as concentration X time accumulated dosages (g-h/m3) and one untreated control at each temperature. Each target dose was replicated in four different fumigation containers (replicates), with at least 32 eggs per replicate. The number of hatched and unhatched eggs postfumigation, and number of live and dead nymphs that resulted from hatched eggs, were evaluated daily for at least 1 wk after egg hatch. The lethal accumulated dosage (LAD99) for bed bug eggs was 69.1 (95% fiducial limits [FLs] of 62.9–79.5) g-h/m3 at 25°C and 149.3 (95% FLs of 134.4–177.9) g-h/m3 at 15°C. Confirmatory trials with dosages of 1.5× the LAD99 were conducted at 25°C and 1,5× the threshold mortality dose at 15°C with at least 15 adults, 13 late-instar nymphs and 79 eggs of known age per replicate. At 25°C, a target dosage of 103.7 g-h / m3 resulted in 100% mortality of adults and late-instar nymphs. Nymphs emerged and survived from two of 439 eggs treated with SF dosages that were 6–7 g-h/m3 less than the target dosage. No nymphs emerged from eggs fumigated with dosages >97.9 g-h/m3 in the validation study. Therefore, the threshold dosage for complete egg mortality (97.9 g-h/m3) was used, rather than the LAD99, to calculate the monitored field dosage rate of 148.2 g-h/m3 (= 1.5 × 97.9 g-h/m3) for control of all life stages of bed bugs at 25°C. Based on these results, at 15°C, 1.5× the threshold dosage for complete egg control (189.7 g-h/m3) was used to calculate a target dosage of 285 g-h/m3 for the confirmatory trial, which resulted in 100% mortality of adults, late-instar nymphs, and eggs.
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Vol. 107 • No. 4