Assessment of Tropical Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), Infestations in Cape Coast, Ghana: Household Control Practices and Efficacy of Commercial Insecticides and Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets Against Field Bed Bugs

J Med Entomol. 2021 Jul 16;58(4):1788-1797. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjab042.


This study reports the first baseline information on tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus (F.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), infestations in Ghana. The purpose of this study was to assess bed bug infestation levels, and the efficacy of locally available insecticides and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) in controlling field bed bugs populations in the Cape Coast region. A survey was undertaken to assess bed bug infestation levels and current control practices by residents. In total, 205 bed bug affected households were identified in 20 communities and live bed bug infestations were associated with most of these premises. Many homeowners knew of other households (from 1 to 3) with a bed bug infestation. Residents reported itching and swelling of the skin from the bed bug bites and the bites were considered severe. The most common household bed bug control strategy was the application of insecticides. However, LLINs and commercially formulated insecticides commonly used by households (notably chloropyrifos and pyrethroid-based formulations) did not efficaciously suppress field collected strains of C. hemipterus. Using a dipping bioassay, mean mortality ranged from 0 to 60% for eggs, nymphs, and adults, and less than 40% mortality was observed in bed bugs placed on insecticide-treated filter paper. Each LLINs (all are pyrethroid based) produced a mean mortality of less than 20% in adult bed bugs. For a more effective response to the global bed bug resurgence in developing countries, government and supporting agencies need to render assistance to bed bug affected residents through the provision of improved pest management strategies.

Keywords: Cape Coast; efficacy; infestation; insecticide; tropical bed bug.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bedbugs*
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Insect Control / statistics & numerical data
  • Insecticide-Treated Bednets*
  • Insecticides*
  • Male
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Insecticides