Nesting And Questing Activity In Bed Bug Populations: Male And Female Responses To Host Signals
  Key Words  
  Bed bug, Cimex lectularius, Cimex hemipterus, host location.
  Anders Aak, Bjørn Arne Rukke, Arnulf Soleng, And Marte K. Rosnes
  A large-arena bioassay is used to examine gender differences in the spatiotemporal patterns of bed bug, Cimex lectularius Latreille 1802, behavioural responses to either a human host or CO2. After release in the center of the arena, 90% of the newly fed bed bugs move to hiding places in the corners within 24 h. They require 3 days to settle down completely in the arena, with generally low activity levels and the absence of responses to human stimuli for 5 days. After 8-9 days, persistent responses can be recorded. Gender differences are observed, in which females are more active during establishment, respond faster after feeding, expose themselves more than males during the daytime, and respond more strongly to the host signal. The number of bed bugs that rest in harbourages is found to vary significantly according to the light setting and gender. Both genders stay more inside the harbourages in daylight compared with the night, and males hide more than females during the daytime but not during the night. The spatial distribution of the bed bugs is also found to change with the presence of CO2, and peak aggregation around the odour source is observed after 24 min. Both male and female bed bugs move from the hiding places or the border of the arena toward the centre where the CO2 is released. Peak responses are always highest during the night. Bed bug behaviour and behaviourregulating features are discussed according to control methods.