Living With Bed Bug Attractants

Bed Bug

Underside of Immature Bed Bug

A group of scientists* have reported the discovery of a mix of chemicals that lure bed bugs into a trap. This discovery opens the possibility of detecting bed bug populations in the early stages of an infestation by strategic trap placement.

The most effective attractant has six chemical components. Five are volatile and effective at a distance. The sixth, histadine, has low volatility and does not attract bed bugs from a significant distance. Histamine functions as arrestant that encourages bed bugs to remain in a shelter once it is entered.

The five volatile chemicals that attract bed bugs from a distance are: dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-octenal, 2-hexanone. The five component blend is more attractive to bed bugs than any of the chemicals singly or in other combinations. The volatile components could attract bed bugs from longer distance, but the histamine was essential to getting the bed bugs to stay in the trap. The scientists found all immature stages and both male and female bed bugs in their traps. The traps with attractants caught more bed bugs than commonly used sticky traps. A sticky coating on the trap may deter bed bugs from entering and contacting the histamine arrestant.

Solving our problems with bed bugs will not be easy, however, we are making progress.

*Regine Gries, Prof. Robert Britton, Michael Holmes, Huimin Zhai, Jason Draper & Prof. Gerhard Gries. 2015. Bed Bug Aggregation Pheromone Finally Identified. Angewandte Chemie. Volume 127: 1151–1154.
DOI: 10.1002/ange.201409890

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Bed Bugs, by jjneal, Pest Management. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Living With Bed Bug Attractants

  1. Pingback: Living With Bed Bug Attractants | Entomo Planet

  2. Pingback: New Developments in Bed Bug Treatment

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