Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Response To Fumigation Using Sulfuryl Fluoride
  Key Words  
  Vikane, multi-unit housing, egg mortality
  Dini M. Miller and Marc L. Fisher
  Structural fumigation for household nuisance pests, like cockroaches or ants, is generally considered to be prohibitively expensive. However, for pests that are of public health importance, fumigation may be a more viable option than previously thought. Infestations of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. and multi-unit housing facilities where residents are elderly or health compromised are increasingly at risk for bed bug infestations. One such housing facility in Pennsylvania had 40 of 80 apartments treated for bed bugs within the last two years, yet the bed bug problems continued. Because of the ineffectiveness of spray insecticide treatments and the health concerns regarding repeated insecticide applications, the Pennsylvania Housing Authority decided to attempt a whole structure fumigation. Our study evaluated the effectiveness of sulfuryl fluoride (VikaneŽ) fumigation for control of bed bugs within the housing facility. Captive bed bug samples of adults, nymphs and eggs, were placed in locations within each apartment where natural bed bug populations were found. Naturally occurring bed bugs were collected to evaluate the effects of fumigation on endemic populations. Bed bugs samples were collected and counted after the fumigation. All adult and nymph bed bug samples, both captive and natural, were killed during the fumigation. Fumigated bed bug eggs were observed over a two week period within which all of the eggs collapsed and no hatch was recorded.