ActiveGuard™ Mattress Liners have been used to control house dust mites, and they also are commercially available as an integrated pest management tool for use against bed bugs (Cimex lectularius). The aim of our study was to evaluate responses of numerous populations of the bed bug to the permethrin-impregnated fabric, with particular regard to contact toxicity, repellency, and feeding inhibition. Continuous exposure to ActiveGuard fabric resulted in rapid intoxication for three of four populations, with 87 to 100% of moderately pyrethroid-resistant and susceptible bed bugs succumbing by 1 d. In comparison, a highly resistant population reached 22% mortality at 10 d. Video data revealed that bed bugs readily traversed ActiveGuard fabric and spent a considerable amount of time moving about and resting on it during a 12-h period. ActiveGuard fabric was non-repellent to bed bugs from five tested populations. Furthermore, significantly fewer bed bugs successfully fed to repletion through ActiveGuard fabric than through blank fabric for the five populations. With just 30 min of feeding exposure, mortality ranged from 4% to 83%, depending upon the bed bug strain. These laboratory studies indicate that ActiveGuard liners adversely affected bed bugs from diverse populations.
Keywords: Cimex lectularius; behavior; feeding inhibition; insecticide-treated fabric; repellency.