Laboratory Rearing of Bed Bugs





Chin-Heady, E., J. J. DeMark, S. Nolting, G. Bennett, K. Saltzmann, and R. L. Hamm. 2013. A quantitative analysis of a modified feeding method for rearing Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) in the laboratory. Pest Management Science. 69: 1115–20. doi: 10.1002/ps.3482

A new artificial feeding method for bed bugs was compared to a commonly used method which employs custom-made glassware and a circulating water bath to warm the blood. The new petri dish method resulted in similar bed bug population growth rates, but was less expensive, quicker, and allowed for multiple feedings and reduced the potential for bed bug death due to flooding with water or blood.












Montes, C., C. Cuadrillero, and D. Vilella. 2002. Maintenance of a laboratory colony of Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) using an artificial feeding technique. Journal of Medical Entomology. 39: 675–679. doi: 10.1603/0022-2585-39.4.675

“The in vitro maintenance technique described in this article has been used successfully to rear Cimex lectularius (L.) by feeding for >2 yr all nymphal stages and adults through parafilm “M” sealing film on different types of blood. Using this feeding technique, the subsequent egg production of female bed bugs was remarkably high. The blood was maintained at 37 ºC (98.6 ºF) to enhance the attachment of the bugs. The effect of anticoagulation methods for the blood meal was investigated, and heparinized blood was found the most suitable for feeding bugs. All stages of the bugs fed weekly on blood in the artificial feeding system remained attached for up to 0.5-1.0 h, until completion of their blood meals, and all reached engorged weights. More than 90% of the bugs fed artificially on whole blood, and they molted or laid eggs successfully.”


De Meillon, B., and L. Golberg. 1946. Preliminary studies on the nutritional requirements of the bedbug (Cimex lectularius L.) and the tick Ornithodorus moubata Murray. Journal of Experimental Biology. 24: 41–61.

Various blood diets affected the development of bed bugs and ticks. They did not develop as well on modified diets or on diets where the host was injected with medicinal drugs or deprived of vitamins such as thiamin.