Management Of Bed Bugs On Commercial Aircraft
  Key Words  
  Aircraft fumigation, heat treatment, methyl bromide
  Adam L. R. Juson
  Bed bug (Cimex lectularius) infestations on board aircraft is a growing concern and has substantial financial impact on commercial airlines, in some cases it has resulted in Port Health Authorities grounding aircraft. Airlines that have a proactive approach to bed bug management fare much better than those with a reactive approach, suffering 80% fewer seats infested and 69% fewer insects in the heaviest seats. A range of detection systems were evaluated with detection rates on known infestations ranging from 12.5% to 95% accuracy. The withdrawal of methyl bromide left European carriers without an eradication system, its reputation of achieving 100% eradication in a single treatment was confirmed in this study. With limited insecticides holding Aerospace Materials Standard (AMS) 1450A approval and the ethical issues of pesticide use in passenger cabins new technologies were needed. Chemical treatment strategies achieved an average 15% reduction in infested seat count. Heat treatment in its different forms was seen as a direct replacement to methyl bromide. Open and recirculating heat capsule systems were evaluated and achieved 95% and 92.5% reduction in infested seat count respectively. However the frequency that recirculating heat treatments caused damage to aircraft and the reduced efficacy compared to open systems made this technique unpopular with aircraft operators.