Bed Bug Control: Natural Products, Insect Growth Regulators, and Misc. “Green” Insecticides


Gaire, S., M. E. Scharf, and A. D. Gondhalekar. 2019. Toxicity and neurophysiological impacts of plant essential oil components on bed bugs (Cimicidae: Hemiptera). Scientific Reports 9(1): 3961. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40275-5.
“Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) are globally important human parasites. Integrated pest management (IPM) approaches, which include the use of essential oil-based insecticidal compounds, have been proposed for their control. This study aimed to define insecticidal activity and neurophysiological impacts of plant essential oil constituents. The topical and fumigant toxicity of 15 compounds was evaluated against adult male bed bugs. Neurological effects of the 6 most toxicologically active compounds were also determined. In both topical and fumigant bioassays, carvacrol and thymol were the most active compounds. The potency of bifenthrin (a pyrethroid insecticide) in topical bioassays was 72,000 times higher than carvacrol, while vapors of dichlorvos (an organophosphate insecticide) were 445 times more potent than thymol. Spontaneous electrical activity measurements of the bed bug nervous system demonstrated neuroinhibitory effects of carvacrol, thymol and eugenol, whereas linalool produced an excitatory effect. Although citronellic acid and (±)-camphor increased baseline activity of the nervous system their effects were not statistically significant. Bifenthrin also caused neuroexcitation, which is consistent with its known mode of action. These comparative toxicity and neurological impact findings provide new information for formulating effective essential oil-based insecticides for bed bug IPM and conducting mode-of-action studies on individual essential oil components.”

Machado, C. D., V. Raman, J. U. Rehman, B. Maia, E. K. Meneghetti, V. P. Almeida, R. Z. Silva, P. V. Farago, I. A. Khan, and J. M. Budel. 2019.Schinus molle: anatomy of leaves and stems, chemical composition and insecticidal activities of volatile oil against bed bug (Cimex Lectularius). Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 29(1): 1–10. doi: 10.1016/j.bjp.2018.10.005.
“The present work investigates the leaf and stem anatomy, chemical composition and insecticidal activities (against Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, 1758) of the volatile oils of Schinus molle L., Anacardiaceae, a Brazilian native traditional medicinal plant. Noteworthy micro-morphological features that can help in the identification and quality control of the species include the presence of isobilateral and amphistomatic leaves, anomocytic and cyclocytic stomata, capitate glandular and conical non-glandular trichomes, large secretory ducts in the midrib, presence of druses and prismatic crystals, and the petiole vascular system comprising of five vascular bundles arranged in U-shape and an additional dorsal bundle. The major components of the volatile oil include β-pinene (14.7%), α-pinene (14.1%), limonene (9.4%) and muurolol (11.8%). Insecticidal activities of the volatile oil against bed bugs were investigated for the first time; strong toxicity by fumigation with the volatile oil of S. molle was observed and reported herein.”


Anderson, J. F., F. J. Ferrandino, M. P. Vasil, R. H. Bedoukian, Maher, M, and K. McKenzie2018. Repellency of naturally occurring or related compounds, DEET, and para-menthane-3,8-diol to bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology. 55(3): 666-672. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjx253

“Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), have become a major health nuisance in the past 20 y in cities and elsewhere throughout many areas of the world. Few studies have reported on repellent compounds that could reduce their transport in luggage. We evaluated the repellency of six naturally occurring or related compounds used in flavor/fragrance applications or structurally related compounds, para-menthane-3,8-diol, and N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) to bed bugs in a 183 × 183-cm arena . Repellency was assessed using soft-sided polyester lunch bags serving as surrogates of luggage and barrier cloth towels upon which rested untreated lunch bags. We report for the first time repellency of delta dodecalactone, 2-(3, 7-dimethyl-2, 6-nonadien-1-yl)-cyclopentanone (a.k.a. ‘methyl apritone’), gamma dodecalactone, and para-menthane-3,8-diol to bed bugs. Propyl dihydrojasmonate, 3-methyl-5-hexyl-2-cyclohexenone, gamma methyl tridecalactone, and DEET are also documented to be repellent to bed bugs. These compounds provided relatively long-term protection. Propyl dihydrojasmonate prevented bed bugs from seeking refuge in treated lunch bags 27 d after treatment, and when applied to cloth towels repelled harborage-seeking bed bugs for 146 d. Methyl apritone blended with 3-methyl-5-hexyl-2-cyclohexenone and delta dodecalactone as an individual compound applied to cloth towels repelled bed bugs for 190 and 276 d, respectively. The above-mentioned compounds, either individually or as blends, may reduce risk of bed bugs seeking harborage in treated suitcases or towels upon which untreated luggage is placed.”

Budel, J. M., M. Wang, V. Raman, J. Zhao, S. I. Khan, J. U. Rehman, N. Techen, B. Tekwani, L. M. Monteiro, G. Heiden, I. Takeda, P. V. Farago, and I. A. Khan2018. Essential oils of five Baccharis species: investigations on the chemical composition and biological activities. Molecules. 23(10): 2620. doi: 10.3390/molecules23102620

“This paper provides a comparative account of the essential oil chemical composition and biological activities of five Brazilian species of Baccharis (Asteraceae), namely B. microdonta, B. pauciflosculosa, B. punctulata, B. reticularioides, and B. sphenophylla. The chemical compositions of three species (B. pauciflosculosa, B. reticularioides, and B. sphenophylla) are reported for the first time. Analyses by GC/MS showed notable differences in the essential oil compositions of the five species. α-Pinene was observed in the highest concentration (24.50%) in B. reticularioides. Other major compounds included α-bisabolol (23.63%) in B. punctulata, spathulenol (24.74%) and kongol (22.22%) in B. microdonta, β-pinene (18.33%) and limonene (18.77%) in B. pauciflosculosa, and β-pinene (15.24%), limonene (14.33%), and spathulenol (13.15%) in B. sphenophylla. In vitro analyses for antimalarial, antitrypanosomal, and insecticidal activities were conducted for all of the species. B. microdonta and B. reticularioides showed good antitrypanosomal activities; B. sphenophylla showed insecticidal activities in fumigation bioassay against bed bugs; and B. pauciflosculosa, B. reticularioides, and B. sphenophylla exhibited moderate antimalarial activities. B. microdonta and B. punctulata showed cytotoxicity. The leaves and stems of all five species showed glandular trichomes and ducts as secretory structures. DNA barcoding successfully determined the main DNA sequences of the investigated species and enabled authenticating them.”

Sharififard, M., I. Alizadeh, E. Jahanifard, C. Wang, and M. E. Azemi2018. Chemical composition and repellency of Origanum vulgare essential oil against Cimex lectularius under laboratory conditions. Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases. 12(4): 387-397. doi: 10.18502/jad.v12i4.357

“Background: The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius), a nocturnal blood-feeding ectoparasite, is considered an urban pest with public health importance in human environments. We aimed to determine the repellency effect of oregano essential oil, Origanum vulgare, against this pest under laboratory conditions. Methods: The essential oil was prepared from dried leaves using hydro-distillation method. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) was used for analysis and identification of oregano essential oil compounds. Treated surface method in Petri dish was carried out to evaluate repellency potential of the oil using 4th and 5th instar nymphs and adults. The concentration-repellency response of oregano essential oil was calculated and compared with a commercial insect repellent stick containing 33% N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET). Results: The oregano essential oil consisted of 158 compounds with terpineol (22.85%) and α–terpinene (20.60%) being the major components by volume. The EC50 and EC99 of oregano oil (effective concentrations causing 50% and 90% repellency of bed bugs) were 1.61 and 6.57mg/cm2 at 9h after application, respectively. The 40% oregano es­sential oil exhibited 100% repellency against bed bug at 3, 5, 9 and 24h after application while the repellency index of DEET 33% was 100% at 3 and 5h and it decreased to 80% and 27% at 9 and 24 hours. Conclusion: Oregano oil 40% exhibited more repellency compared to commercial insect repellent stick containing 33% DEET. Further studies are warranted to confirm the effectiveness of oregano essential oil in personal protecting against bed bug biting.”

Sierras, A., A. Wada-Katsumata, and C. Schal. 2018. Effectiveness of boric acid by ingestion, but not by contact, against the common bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 111(6): 2772–81.

“Boric acid has been used as an insecticide in the successful control of agricultural, public health and urban pests long before the advent of synthetic organic pesticides. Boric acid products, formulated as dusts, sprays, granular baits, pastes, gels, and liquids, are widely available to consumers and pest management professionals, especially to control pest infestations within homes. Boric acid dust is commonly used against bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L. [Hemiptera: Cimicidae]), but its efficacy has not been demonstrated. We evaluated the efficacy of boric acid as an ingestible and residual contact insecticide on bed bugs, and compared its efficacy on the German cockroach (Blattella germanica L. [Blattodea: Ectobiidae]) which is known to be susceptible to boric acid by both routes. Dose–response studies of 0–5% boric acid in blood demonstrated that ingested boric acid caused rapid mortality at concentrations of ≥2%, and even 0.5% and 1% boric acid caused 100% mortality, albeit at a slower time course. In contrast, bed bugs survived contact with high concentrations of boric acid dust. Smaller boric acid particles did not increase mortality of either unfed or recently fed bed bugs. The same boric acid products were effective at causing mortality of German cockroaches by both contact and ingestion. We thus conclude that although boric acid is an excellent candidate active ingredient for an ingestible bait formulation, residual applications of dust or spray would be ineffective in bed bug interventions.”

Zha, C., C. Wang, and A. Li2018. Toxicities of selected essential oils, silicone oils, and paraffin oil against the common bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 111(1): 170-177. doi: 10.1093/jee/tox285

“The common bed bug [Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)] and tropical bed bug [Cimex hemipterus F. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)] resurged in the United States and many other countries over the past decades. The need for safe and effective bed bug control products propelled the development of numerous ‘green insecticides’, mostly with essential oils listed as active ingredients. Various inorganic and organic oils also were used for bed bug management. However, there are no published studies on their toxicities against bed bugs. In this study, we screened 18 essential oils, three silicone oils, and paraffin oil (C5-20 paraffins) for their toxicities against bed bugs. All the oils exhibited insecticidal activity in topical assays. Their toxicities varied significantly; all of the evaluated essential oils were less effective than silicone oils and paraffin oil. The LD50 values of the most effective essential oil (blood orange), paraffin oil, and the most effective silicone oil (dodecamethylpentasiloxane) are 0.184 ± 0.018, 0.069 ± 0.012, and 0.036 ± 0.005 mg per bug, respectively. Direct spray of 1% water solution of 3-[hydroxy (polyethyleneoxy) propyl] heptamethyltrisiloxane, the only silicone oil that mixes well with water, resulted in 92% bed bug mortality after 1 d. Results of this study indicate silicone oils and paraffin oil have the potential to be used as safer alternative bed bug control materials.”


 Campbell, B., R. Baldwin, and P. Koehler2017. Locomotion inhibition of Cimex lectularius L. following topical, sublethal dose application of the chitin synthesis inhibitor lufenuron. Insects. 8(3): 94. doi: 10.3390/insects8030094

“To date, few studies have evaluated chitin synthesis inhibitors against bed bugs, although they would provide an alternative mode of action to circumvent insecticide resistance. Acute and sublethal effects of lufenuron were evaluated against two strains of the common bed bug. Combined acute and sublethal effects were used to calculate effective doses. The dose that was effective against 50% of Harlan strain bed bugs was 0.0081% (w/v), and was much higher against Bradenton strain bed bugs (1.11% w/v). Sublethal doses were chosen to determine the effect that leg abnormalities had on pulling force. Both Harlan and Bradenton strain bed bugs had significantly lower locomotion ability (p < 0.0001) following topical application of lufenuron. The observed sublethal effects that limit locomotion could prevent bed bugs from moving within a domicile and taking a blood meal, subsequently reducing a bed bug population over time.”

Hinson, K. R., E. P. Benson, P. A. Zungoli, W. C. Bridges, and B. R. Ellis2017. Assessment of contact and residual efficacy of natural-based and commercial products for bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) control. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society. 90(3): 252-261. doi: 10.2317/0022-8567-90.3.252

“The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) has recently surged in numbers internationally. A variety of plant-based, or “natural”, products that are stated to kill or repel bed bugs are being marketed directly to consumers, even though the efficacy of many of these products remains poorly known. This study was conducted to determine whether some products advertised as natural are potential tools for management of bed bugs. Five natural-based products were applied as direct sprays to insecticide-susceptible (Harlan) and pyrethroid-resistant (Jersey City) strains of bed bug. Products that were most effective as direct sprays were chosen for residual-spray assays, which were compared with an industry-standard insecticide labeled for control of bed bugs. Both assays were conducted for a 2-wk period. For direct-spray assays, Green Bug® was the only product to produce 100% mortality within 1 min–1 hr (based on strain). Bed Bug Patrol® required 1–2 wk (based on strain) to produce 100% mortality, whereas all other products failed to exceed 70% mortality by the end of the 2-wk period. The two natural-based products (Bed Bug Patrol® and Green Bug®) selected for residual-spray assays failed to differ from the control. Zenprox® (0.25%) produced 100% mortality when applied to the insecticide-susceptible (Harlan) strain yet failed to differ from the control when applied to the pyrethroid-resistant (Jersey City) strain. These findings demonstrate that some natural-based products may be ineffective as residual spray applications for bed bug management.”

Khan, J., I. Khan, A. Qahar, M. Salman, F. Ali, M. Salman, K. Khan, F. Hussain, and A. Abbasi2017. Efficacy of citronella and eucalyptus oils against Musca domesticaCimex lectularius and Pediculus humanus. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 7: 691–695. doi: 10.12980/apjtd.7.2017D7-2

“Objective: To assess potential impacts of two indigenous plant oils: the citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) for their insecticidal effect against Musca domestica (house fly), Cimex lectularius (bed bug) and Pediculus humanus (louse). Methods: The oils of these two medicinal plants were applied separately at various concentrations (1, 2 and 3 mL/cup) in cups lined with filter paper containing the target insects. Mortality was evaluated after fixed intervals (6, 12 and 24 h) subsequent to the release of adult insects. Results: Results showed that both oils exhibited concentration and time dependent mortality against the tested insects. Data pertaining to present investigation clearly showed that percentage mortality owing to these botanicals against these medical pests was significantly high (98.33%) at the rate of 3 mL for 24 h of exposure, followed by 2 and 1 mL concentrations with 12 and 6 h of exposure times. Conclusions: The results suggest that these plant oils possess good insecticidal properties against house fly, bed bug, and louse, and are safe to humans. Furthermore, the molecular (biochemical) based study of these botanicals against diverse species of pests will be of much significance to control these pest insects.”

Politi, F., A. Silva, M. Furlan, J. Nascimento, I. Moro, R. Pietro, M. Garcia, R. Guido, and A. Godinho2017. Insecticidal activity of an essential oil of Tagetes patula L. (Asteraceae) on common bed bug Cimex lectularius L. and molecular docking of major compounds at the catalytic site of ClAChE1. Parasitology Research. 116(1): 415–424. doi: 10.1007/s00436-016-5305-x

“Emerging resistance to insecticides has influenced pharmaceutical research and the search for alternatives to control the common bed bug Cimex lectularius. In this sense, natural products can play a major role. Tagetes patula, popularly known as dwarf marigold, is a plant native to North America with biocide potential. The aim of this work was to evaluate the biological activity of T. patula essential oil (EO) against adult common bed bugs via exposure to dry residues by the Impregnated Paper Disk Test (IPDT) using cypermethrin as a positive control. We selected the enzyme acetylcholinesterase as a target for modeling studies, with the intent of investigating the molecular basis of any biological activity of the EO. Chemical analysis of the EO was performed using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Additionally, oral and dermal acute toxicity tests were performed according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines. The sulforhodamine B assay (SRB) was performed to verify the cytotoxicity of EO to HaCaT cells. The EO eliminated 100 % of the bed bugs at 100 mg mL−1 with an LC50 value of 15.85 mg mL−1. GC-MS analysis identified α-terpinolene, limonene, piperitenone, and piperitone as major components of the mixture. Molecular modeling studies of these major compounds suggested that they are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors with good steric and electronic complementarity. The in vitro cytotoxicity evaluation revealed a LC50 = 37.06 μg mL−1 and in vivo acute toxicity showed an LC50 >4000 mg kg−1, indicating that the EO presents low risk of toxic side effects in humans. The T. patula essential oil components provide a promising strategy for controlling bed bug populations with low mammalian toxicity. These findings pave the way for further in vivo studies aimed at developing a safe and effective insecticide.”


Donahue, W. A., M. W. Donahue, B. E. Vinson, A. T. Showler, W. L. A. Osbrink, and L. Hui2015. Knockdown and lethal effects of eight commercial nonconventional and two pyrethroid insecticides against moderately permethrin-resistant adult bed bugs, Cimex lectularius (L.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Biopesticides International. 11: 108–117.

“The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (L.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) is undergoing a rapid resurgence in the United States during the last decade which has created a notable pest management challenge largely because the pest has developed resistance against DDT, organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethroids, the latter class of insecticide being most commonly used today. Eight nonconventional insecticides Orange Guard (a.i., d-limonene), Natria Home Pest Control (a.i., soy bean oil and eugenol), RestAsure (a.i., sodium laurel sulfate, sodium chloride, and potassium sorbate), CedarCide (a.i. cedar oil), Essentria Broadcast Insecticide (a.i., 2-phenethyl propionate, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil), EcoSmart Organic Home Pest Control (a.i., 2-phenethyl propionate, clove oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and thyme oil), Cirkil (a.i., neem oil) and CimeXa (a.i., silica gel) were compared with two pyrethorids Bonide Bedbug Killer (a.i.,permethrin) and D-Force (a.i.,deltamethrin) as positive controls, and water for direct contact spray knockdown and lethal effects in the laboratory over 4 days. Orange Guard, CedarCide, Essentria, EcoSmart, and Cirkil provided extensive knockdown within 15 min (recovery was, at most, negligible), and caused 80 to 100% mortality within a day making them as effective as the two pyrethroids. CimeXa did not cause appreciable knockdown, but nearly complete mortality was achieved within a day. Product effects in terms of active ingredients and factors that might increase and decrease product effectiveness, such as cimicid aggregation behavior and residual effects, are discussed.”

Feldlaufer, M. F., and K. R. Ulrich2015. Essential oils as fumigants for bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Entomological Science. 50(2): 129–137. doi: 10.18474/JES14-27.1

“Certain plant-derived essential oils are classified as ‘minimum risk’ pesticides that require no registration with the Environmental Protection Agency and, therefore, have become attractive in formulations of pest-control products. In Petri dish assays, fumigation of a pyrethroid-susceptible strain of bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), with various essential oils results in mortality that approaches or equals 100% after 5 d. However, when bed bugs were exposed to the same essential oils in sealed, commercial trash bags for 5 d, only rosemary oil killed greater than 99% of the bed bugs. These results are compared with a commercial product that contains cold-pressed neem oil that killed 100% of the exposed bed bugs in both the Petri dish and trash bag studies.”


Goddard, J. 2014. Long-term efficacy of various natural or “green” insecticides against bed bugs: a double-blind study. Insects. 5(4): 942–951. doi: 10.3390/insects5040942

“Bed bugs are resurging throughout the world, and, thus, effective pest control strategies are constantly needed. A few studies have evaluated 25(b) and other natural, or so-called “green” products, as well as over-the-counter insecticides for bed bugs, but additional studies are needed to determine efficacy of bed bug control products. This double-blinded research project was initiated to examine long-term effectiveness of six commercially available natural or “green” insecticides against bed bugs and to compare them with three known traditional residual products. Water was used as a control. Products were evaluated against both susceptible and resistant strains of bed bugs (1200 bugs each), and two different substrates were used. Temprid® (Bayer Corporation, Monheim, Germany), Transport® (FMC Corp., Philadelphia, PA, USA), Invader® (FMC Corporation, Philadelphia, PA USA), Cimexa® (Rockwell Laboratories, Kansas City, MO, USA), and BBT-2000® (Swepe-Tite LLC, Tupelo, MS, USA) were the only products which showed any substantial (>40%) bed bug control upon exposure to treated substrates after the six-month waiting period, although results with the resistant bed bug strain were much reduced. Alpine dust® (BASF Corporation, Florham Park, NJ, USA) killed 27% of bed bugs or less, depending on strain and substrate. EcoRaider® (North Bergen, NJ, USA) and Mother Earth D® (Whitmire Microgen, Florham Park, NJ, USA) (diatomaceous earth) produced 11% control or less. Cimi-Shield Protect® (Pest Barrier, Carson, CA, USA) showed no activity against bed bugs in this study. Analysis using SAS software showed a three-way interaction between treatment, substrate, and bed bug strain (Numerator DF 9; Denominator DF 80; F = 4.90; p < 0.0001).”

Singh, N., C. Wang, and R. Cooper2014. Potential of essential oil-based pesticides and detergents for bed bug control. Journal of Economic Entomology. 107: 2163–2170. doi: 10.1603/EC14328

“The bed bug, (Cimex lectularius L.), is a difficult pest to control. Prevalence of insecticide resistance among bed bug populations and concerns over human-insecticide exposure has stimulated the development of alternative bed bug control materials. Many essential oil-based pesticides and detergent insecticides targeting bed bugs have been developed in recent years. We evaluated the efficacy of nine essential oil-based products and two detergents using direct spray and residual contact bioassays in the laboratory. Two conventional insecticides, Temprid SC (imidacloprid and β-cyfluthrin) and Demand CS (λ-cyhalothrin), were used for comparison. Among the 11 nonsynthetic insecticides tested, only EcoRaider (1% geraniol, 1% cedar extract, and 2% sodium lauryl sulfate) and Bed Bug Patrol (0.003% clove oil, 1% peppermint oil, and 1.3% sodium lauryl sulfate) caused &gt;90% mortality of nymphs in direct spray and forced exposure residual assays. However, the efficacy of EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol was significantly lower than that of Temprid SC and Demand CS in choice exposure residual bioassay. Direct spray of EcoRaider caused 87% egg mortality, whereas the other nonsynthetic insecticides had little effect on bed bug eggs. EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol did not exhibit detectable repellency against bed bugs in the presence of a carbon dioxide source. These findings suggest that EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol are potentially useful pesticides for controlling bed bug infestations, but further testing in naturally infested environments is needed.”

Wang C., N. Singh, and R. Cooper. 2014. Efficacy of an essential oil-based pesticide for controlling bed bug (Cimex lectularius) infestations in apartment buildings. Insects. 5(4): 849-859. doi: 10.3390/insects5040849

“Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L. and Cimex hemipterus F.) are among the most difficult urban pests to manage. Many essential oil-based bed bug control products that are considered reduced risk to mammals compared to synthetic insect neurotoxins have become commercially available, but their effectiveness as a stand-alone control method is unknown. This study assessed the field efficacy of an essential oil-based bed bug control product (EcoRaider; a.i. 1% geraniol + 1% cedar oil + 2% sodium lauryl sulfate) compared to a pyrethroid and neonicotinoid mixture spray (0.075% Temprid SC; a.i. beta-cyfluthrin + imidacloprid). After 12 weeks, the three treatments-EcoRaider, Temprid SC, and EcoRaider + Temprid SC caused 92.5 ± 2.7, 92.9 ± 3.0, and 91.7% ± 2.7% bed bug count reduction, respectively. No significant differences existed in the bed bug reduction among the treatments. Bed bugs were eliminated from only 22% of the treated apartments. Among those still with bed bugs, 76% of the residents did not know bed bugs were present. We documented the residents’ self-control practices and discussed the potential of using essential oil-based insecticides in bed bug management programs to minimize the health risks to building occupants and pets and to slow down the development of insecticide resistance.”


Goodman, M. H., M. F. Potter, and K. F. Haynes 2013. Effects of juvenile hormone analog formulations on development and reproduction in the bed bug Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Pest Management Science. 69(2):240-244. doi: 10.1002/ps.3376

“BACKGROUND: Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) have become a common insect pest in urban areas and are often difficult to manage. Eradication is made more problematic by widespread insecticide resistance, raising interest in alternative control products. Juvenile hormone analogs (JHAs) such as methoprene and hydroprene are relatively harmless to non-arthropods and have proved to be effective against other urban insect pests. Two JHA products (Gentrol (R) and Precor (R), Central Life Sciences, Schaumburg, IL) were tested for efficacy against various bed bug stages as direct spray and as dry residue using three bed bug strains. RESULTS: At 1x and 2x the label rate, Precor (R) [active ingredient (S)-methoprene] had no significant effect on the development or fecundity of bed bugs. At 2x the label rate, confinement to residues of Gentrol (R) [active ingredient (S)-hydroprene] had no significant effect, but residues at 3x and 10x the label rate caused a reduction in fecundity and impaired development. Field strains were more susceptible to the reproductive effects of (S)-hydroprene than a long-maintained laboratory strain. CONCLUSIONS: While JHAs are attractive alternatives for pest management because of their inherent safety and distinct mode of action, these JHA formulations would have little impact on bed bug populations without relabeling to allow for higher application rates.”


Schmahl, G., K. A. S. Al-Rasheid, F. Abdel-Ghaffar, S. Klimpel, and H. Mehlhorn2010. The efficacy of neem seed extracts (Tre-san®, MiteStop®) on a broad spectrum of pests and parasites. Parasitology Research. 107(2): 261–269. doi: 10.1007/s00436-010-1915-x

The contact toxicity of a patented neem seed extract was evaluated against a variety of arthropod pests. The extracts (diluted with shampoo or water) killed bed bugs, cat fleas, head lice, cockroaches, house dust mites, poultry mites, harvest mites, and ticks (Ixodes and Rhipicephalus). Some species (beetles, kissing bugs [Triatoma], fly maggots) were not very susceptible to the neem seed extract.