Bed bug (Cimex lectularius) attraction to residual human-host scents extracted in various solvents

Monday, November 11, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Corey M. McQueen , Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have resurged in the last decade and have become a common urban pest.  As hematophagous ectoparasites of human hosts, bed bugs have demonstrated potential attraction to human-host kairomones.  The list of putative attractants is growing, but much of the research is focused on volatile compounds emitted by the host.  However, human sweat that is residually deposited on clothing is comprised of many compounds with a wide range in polarities.  In this poster, we examine bed bug attraction to residual human host scents extracted in solvents of higher polarity to determine if putative attractants have been missed in previous assays.  An open-air bioassay was used to examine bed bug attraction to human-host chemicals extracted from 100% cotton disks worn by the host for 10 hours.  Bed bugs showed significant affinity for extracts of higher polarity solvents.  Since bed bugs showed significant attraction to the more-polar extracts, it is possible that lists of putative human-host kairomones are missing potentially less-volatile compounds.  Identification of human-host kairomones may prove beneficial in increasing bed bug monitoring capabilities.  It also permits identification of sites where bed bugs are most likely to frequent.