Over the past two decades, there has been a worldwide resurgence in the bed bugs Cimex lectularius L. and Cimex hemipterus (F.). This is primarily due to insecticide resistance, making bed bug management and eradication challenging and expensive. To address the need for more affordable control solutions, "lethal harborages" were explored. Cardboard squares were treated using insecticidal dusts at different dosage levels, including silica dioxide, diatomaceous earth, deltamethrin, permethrin, and fipronil. Two strains of C. lectularius, one susceptible and one resistant, were allowed to enter the treated harborages, and mortality rates were recorded daily. The silica dioxide products proved to be the most efficacious, consistently achieving 100% mortality between 14-17 d at the highest dose. An artificial environment trial using the "new ChinChex®" formulation of silica dioxide resulted in the complete elimination of bed bugs in the treated harborages within 21 d. These findings suggest that lethal harborages, especially those impregnated with silica dioxide, offer a cost-effective solution that could be incorporated into broader integrated bed bug management strategies. This approach may help alleviate the burden of bed bug infestations in economically disadvantaged communities.
Keywords: Cimex lectularius; bed bug; diatomaceous earth; insecticide efficacy; lethal harborages; pyrethroids; silicon dioxide.