ESA 2010: bed bugs and politics? But wait, Lou, Metarhizium anisopliae, dispersal…

Another year, another Entomological Society of America meeting to think about.

In a section titled “Bed Bugs, People, and Politics,” Harold Harlan, Michael Potter, Stephen Kells, Susan Jones, Lou Sorkin, Mark Sheperdigian, Changlu Wang, and Dini Miller will… I’m not entirely sure. No doubt they will share what they’ve learned, but you don’t have to know anything to know that they won’t be candid about the real politics of bed bugs and the real problems caused by it. No one really does that.

Check out the title of Lou Sorkin’s presentation: CimEX and The City: Only in New York?

Sounds like a treat!

I also think that Mark Sheperdigian’s presentation has an excellent title: Arming an unarmed populace.

If only.

On with the science.

Metarhizium anisopliae

Do you remember the talk about fungus research last year?

Cimex lectularius L. (Cimicidae – Heteroptera) control using the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae — Gale E. Ridge and Anuja Bharadwaj, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station:

Cimex lectularius L. adults were treated with the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. In the laboratory, male and female bed bugs were treated with a range of fungal concentrations and by different delivery methods. Mortality was influenced by fungal concentration and delivery method. Metarhizium anisopliae is considered safe to humans. This study indicates that M. anisopliae could be an effective biological control agent for C. lectularius.

Dr. Ridge! Questions, questions. How do these fungal biopesticides work and what are the challenges? They have been studied for malaria vector control. Here’s a recent study that found a strain of Metarhizium anisopliae to be promising for certain mosquitoes, Mnyone et al. 2009 Parasites & Vectors doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-2-59:

The long-standing barriers that have prevented the widespread uptake of biological control agents include low virulence and short-term residual activity. In order to overcome such barriers it is necessary to screen an array of fungal strains to identify those with the greatest potential for development.

The article above is open access; this one is not, but mentioning in case you unlike me have access: Thomas & Read 2007 Nature Reviews Microbiology doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1638.

Another dispersal teaser!

Population genetic structure within and among aggregations of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) — Virna L. Saenz et al. — North Carolina State University:

[W]e present the preliminary results of a novel hierarchical analysis of bed bug population genetic structure, with specific focus on the genetic effects of both active (within-building) and passive (human-mediated) movement. Through the application of polymorphic species-specific molecular markers, we address five key questions regarding bed bug diversity and dispersal: 1) what does within-aggregation genetic diversity tell us about infestation dynamics?; 2) within multi-unit apartment buildings, are infestations founded by single, or multiple introduction events?; 3) once established within buildings, do bed bug infestations follow a predictable dispersal pathways [i.e. infestation of apartments vertically and horizontally adjacent to the primary site of infestation]?; 4) within cities, are infestations more genetically similar to each other than to those from alternate cities?; and 5) do major interstate highways represent corridors for the dispersal of infestations. Samples were collected from ten states along the eastern United States and ten individuals from each collection genotyped for between 10 and 15 microsatellite loci. Results will be discussed

Wow. Do they seriously already have answers to these questions? Ms. Saenz! (Here’s a nice story of collecting bed bugs — and getting bitten.)

I am very interested in these dispersal questions but obviously this larger research project at NCSU also threatens to answer all those difficult questions people want answered about why and how we came to be in this mess. I wonder if some of us will find the answers inconvenient when they come? It’s going to be interesting for sure.

More abstracts

Molecular analysis of NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase in the bed bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) — Fang Zhu et al. — University of Kentucky

Combining heat and dichlorvos to control bed bugs, Cimex lectularius — Margie Pfiester Lehnert et al. — University of Florida

Evaluations of pyrethroid susceptibility and the effects of insect growth regulators against the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, in the laboratory — Sumiko R. De La Vega and William A. Donahue, Jr., Sierra Research Laboratories:

Three strains of C. lectularius were evaluated in this project – two field-collected strains (“Earl” and “Cincinnati”) and one laboratory strain (“Ft. Dix”). Life tables were constructed for length of embryo development, fecundity, hatch rates, and survivorship as well as feeding and behavioral differences. Efficacy evaluations were conducted in the laboratory for differences in susceptibility to direct applications of pyrethroid formulations. Various insect growth regulators were also evaluated by direct application to bed bug eggs and substrates for ovicidal potential and the subsequent effects on feeding and ecdysis in first instar nymphs which successfully completed eclosion.

Effect of ATP on engorging responses of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. — Alvaro Romero and Coby Schal, North Carolina State University

Bed bug, Cimex lectularius, sampling techniques — John F Anderson, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Bio-efficacy of commercial insecticides against bed bug (Cimex lectularius) — Hiroshi Okamoto et al. — Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd:

In the early 1990s, bed bug infestations began to be seen an increase across the nation. In Japan, the occurrence of bed bug is also increasing in hotels or apartment houses. In this study, we evaluated insecticidal activity of Pyrethroids, Organophosphates and Carbamate which are commercialized in Japanese market for controlling the bed bug. Most of the active ingredients are available in other countries. In topical application test and filter paper contact test, d-d-t cyphenothrin and fenitrothion showed high killing activity. In oil spray tests, imiprothrin showed the highest knock down activity. Therefore, the combination use of d-d-t cyphenothrin and imiprothrin or fenitrothion and imiprothrin might be effective in the bed bug control.

Resolving the roles of symbionts in the bed bug — Mark Goodman et al. — University of Kentucky

Time to aggregation in the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) — Matthew Douglas Reis — Virginia Tech

Mathematical model: A new toll for understanding bed bug populations in U.S — Andrea M Polanco-Pinzon — Virginia Tech

Cuticular analysis of field collected bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) that are known to be pyrethroid resistant — Reina Koganemaru et al. — Virginia Tech and University of Florida

BCE Symposium–Cultural Adaptation and Deployment of Scientific Advances Pursuant to Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius) Elimination in the United States — of these, this is especially interesting:

The development of Phantom® termiticide-insecticide for bed bug control: A cooperative effort — Robert Hickman — BASF Pest Control Solutions

What are the obstacles to pesticides development? What helps and what hinders? Don’t we all want to know?

Engaging People from Diverse Fields in Urban IPM Programs — see especially:

Options for dealing with people who refuse to do their part in an IPM program — Jonathan Wild — Bed Bug Task Force, Housing Authority of Portland, Portland, OR


Options for people who can’t do their part in IPM — Christiana Bratiotis — School of Social Work, Boston University

Pretty neat, ESA.

Update, November 28, missed this:

Repellent products for bite-free sleep – a low-maintenance, minimal-chemical answer to the bed bug problem — Robin Todd — ICR Laboratories

Update, December 13:

Check out Jim “spideyjg” covering the presentations from San Diego.

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