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Susceptibility of insecticide-resistant bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) to infection by fungal biopesticide.

BACKGROUND: Bed bugs are a public health concern, and their incidence is increasing worldwide. Bed bug infestations are notoriously difficult to eradicate, further exacerbated by widespread resistance to pyrethroid and neonicotinoid insecticides. This study evaluated the efficacy of the newly developed fungal biopesticide Aprehend™, containing Beauveria bassiana, against insecticide-resistant bed bugs.

RESULTS: Overall mortality for the Harold Harlan (insecticide-susceptible) strain was high (98-100%) following exposure to Aprehend™ or Suspend SC (deltamethrin). The mean survival times (MSTs) for Harold Harlan bed bugs were 5.1 days for Aprehend™ and 4.8 and 3.0 days for the low and high concentrations of Suspend SC respectively. All three strains of pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs were susceptible to infection by B. bassiana, resulting in MSTs of <6 days (median = 4 days) and >94% overall mortality. Conversely, mortality of the three insecticide-resistant strains after exposure to Suspend SC was only 16-40%.

CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that Aprehend™ is equally effective against insecticide-susceptible and insecticide-resistant bed bugs and could provide pest control operators with a promising new tool for control of bed bugs and insecticide resistance management. © 2017 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

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