Modern bed bugs are resistant to multiple insecticide classes, particularly the pyrethroids. The efficacy of pyrethroid-impregnated mattress liners marketed for bed bug management has been variable. This study evaluated the efficacy of a permethrin-impregnated mattress liner, ActiveGuard, against 24 bed bug strains, consisting of both Cimex hemipterus (F.) and Cimex lectularius L. A 'mat assay', employing an allethrin-impregnated mat, was used to establish the pyrethroid resistance profile of all strains. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of ActiveGuard exposure on bed bug knockdown: 1) exposing the bed bugs continuously on the liner for up to 24 d, 2) holding the bed bugs on the liner for either 4 or 6 h, and 3) placing a noninsecticide treated fabric above the liner with the bed bugs held continuously on top. Our results indicated that all modern strains (collected within the last 15 years during the current resurgence) were pyrethroid-resistant, although the magnitude of resistance was highly variable between strains. In the continuous exposure study, an incomplete knockdown was recorded for most modern bed bug strains, with some having no knockdown even up to 7 d of constant exposure. In the 4 or 6 h exposure study, the level of knockdown was reduced even further, and very few bed bugs were knocked down in the double fabric study. The results of this study indicate that pyrethroid-impregnated mattress liners are not likely to be effective in the management of most modern bed bug infestations involving either C. hemipterus or C. lectularius.
Keywords: Cimex hemipterus; Cimex lectularius; ActiveGuard; efficacy; resistance.
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