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11 March 2021 The Behavioral Response to Heat in the Common Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)
Raymond Berry III
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The bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., is a common ectoparasite found to live among its vertebrate hosts. Antennal segments in bugs are critical for sensing multiple cues in the environment for survival.To determine whether the thermo receptors of bed bugs are located on their antennae; innovative bioassays were created to observe the choice between heated and unheated stimuli and to characterize the response of bugs to a heat source. Additionally, the effect of complete antenectomized segments on heat detection were evaluated. Heat, carbon dioxide, and moisture are cues that are found to activate bed bug behavior; a temperature at 38°C was used to assess the direction/degree at which the insect reacts to the change in distance from said stimulus. Using a lightweight spherical ball suspended by air through a vacuum tube, bed bugs and other insects are able to move in 360° while on a stationary point. Noldus EthoVision XT was used to capture video images and to track the bed bugs during 5-min bioassays. A bioassay was created using four Petri dish arenas to observe bed bug attraction to heat based on antennae segments at 40°C.The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of heat on complete antenectomized segments of the antennae.The results in this experiment suggest that bed bugs detect and are attracted to heat modulated by nutritional status. Learning the involvement of antennae segments in heat detection will help identify the location and role of thermoreceptors for bed bug host interaction.

Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2021. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Raymond Berry III "The Behavioral Response to Heat in the Common Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 58(4), 1626-1637, (11 March 2021).
Received: 25 September 2020; Accepted: 13 January 2021; Published: 11 March 2021

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