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Bed bug research


1. Bed bug behavior

We study bed bug behavior. Our research focus is determining and characterizing bed bug's strong innate behavior to certain cues to exploit the behavior for bed bug control / management.

One of the our recent studies looked into the bed bugs' behavior to the volatiles emitted from their own shed skins (exuviae). The study also included chemical examination of the volatile chemicals evaporating from the bed bugs' exuviae. Four pheromone compounds known as aldehydes are consistently found in the exuviae. We determined that that the shed skins retain those compounds in the glands and gradually dispense them over time. The study also indicated that living bedbugs are likely to settle down in the vicinity of the shed skins by sensing these compounds. 


2. Insecticide and bed bug control

We study effect of various insecticides' effectiveness to control bed bugs.

One of our recent studies investigated the effect of feeding status (for example, recently fed vs. starved) on the mortality response of bed bugs on various types of insecticide products. Our study indicated that bed bugs with a recent bloodmeal survived significantly longer compared with the unfed ones on their exposure to fresh or aged residual deposits of some insecticide products. 



3. Bed bug detection

We explore various methods for bed bug detection within infested structures or items. We ara currently investigating the effectiveness of various bed bug detection methodology. The goal is developing most reliable and easy-to-use bed bug detection methodology.


4. Bed bug IPM

In a collaborative project recently funded by UC ANR, we explore the current status of bed bug infestation / control in multiunit housing system throughout California. We also collaborate with our industry partners and state IPM advisor to develop and implement the best IPM practices for the most challenging environment of bed bug infestation. 

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