Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Resurgence: Plotting the Trajectory
  Key Words  
  Cimex lectularius, reservoirs, infestation chain, low-income pest
  William H Robinson and Clive J. Boase
  The bed bug has had a longstanding relationship with low-income high-density housing. Proximity of dwellings, re-use of furniture, and control options limited by affordability, have all contributed to the continuation of this pest in such areas. The recent resurgence and spread of this pest may be attributed to the widespread appearance of resistance to commonly used insecticides, resulting in the development of extensive infestation reservoirs and networks in hotels, hostels, and urban apartments. The flux of people moving in and out of these traditional reservoirs has accelerated the resurgence, which now extends to public transport, leisure facilities, the workplace, and middle and high income hotels and accommodation. The resurgence has triggered the development of a wide range of novel bed bug detection and control technologies. Although these technologies are relatively expensive, elimination of bed bugs from upperincome hotels and housing will nonetheless be achieved, because these segments of society have the ability and motivation to pay for the measures. However there is a likelihood that the infestation network will remain largely intact in inexpensive hotels, hostels, and low-income housing, because the costs of these control methods are prohibitive for this sector. As a result, there is a risk that we will see the bed bug returning to economic exile, becoming a widespread and enduring household pest in the low socio-economic segment of society. The challenge is for the pest management industry, city authorities and agencies, housing managers and residents, to develop and implement bed bug control programs that are relevant and effective in this segment.