Groups of starved, virgin adult male or female bed bugs were stimulated to search for a host by the presence of a heated artificial feeder. Some of the bed bug groups were allowed to obtain a blood meal and some were not. After the removal of the feeder, bed bugs were observed throughout the scotophase to record their searching and aggregation behavior. Groups of male and female bed bugs that were unable to obtain a blood meal continued to search in the arena for the majority of the scotophase. Bed bugs that were able to obtain a blood meal returned to their shelter to aggregate 30 min after feeding. Overall, the proportion of bed bugs aggregating in shelters during the scotophase was significantly greater for those that had fed successfully than those that had not. However, all bed bugs, regardless of feeding status, began to return to shelters to aggregate 2 h prior to the photophase.
Keywords: Cimex lectularius; aggregation activity; bed bug; movement.