Insecticide resistance in the bed bug: a factor in the pest's sudden resurgence?

J Med Entomol. 2007 Mar;44(2):175-8. doi: 10.1603/0022-2585(2007)44[175:IRITBB]2.0.CO;2.


Infestations of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Heteroptera: Cimicidae), are increasing around the world at an alarming rate and have become a major public health concern. The evolution of insecticide resistance could be a primary factor in explaining this resurgence. Extremely high levels of resistance to two pyrethroid insecticides, deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin, relative to a susceptible colony, were detected in populations collected from human dwellings in Kentucky and Ohio. Offspring of a cross between a resistant and susceptible colony had intermediate susceptibility. Evaluations of populations from across the United States indicate that resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is already widespread. Without the development of new tactics for bed bug management, further escalation of this public health problem should be expected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bedbugs / drug effects*
  • Ectoparasitic Infestations / prevention & control
  • Insect Control
  • Insecticide Resistance
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Nitriles / toxicity*
  • Nymph / drug effects
  • Pyrethrins / toxicity*
  • United States


  • Insecticides
  • Nitriles
  • Pyrethrins
  • decamethrin
  • cyhalothrin