We observed the movement, attraction, and resting behavior of laboratory Rhodnius prolixus Stål within a house environment, simulated by a Styrofoam box. Movement of R. prolixus into various refuge types (fiberpots or white-, cream-, or black-colored modified Gomez-Nunez boxes) at different strata was assessed. Greater numbers of fifth instars sought a refuge than third instars. Fasted nymphs sought a refuge more than fed nymphs. Our simulated house environment showed potential as a laboratory arena to observe the resting preferences, dispersal, and response of kissing bugs to potential attractants. Our data indicated that fiberpot refuges may serve as an effective and inexpensive monitoring device to detect low density kissing bug infestations.
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Vol. 38 • No. 6