Population Growth Potential of the Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius L.: A Life Table Analysis


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Experimental life tables were constructed and analyzed for three strains of the common bed bug: a pyrethroid-susceptible laboratory strain (HS), a highly resistant field strain (RR), and a field strain with a declining level of resistance (KR). Egg to adult survival in the RR strain was 94% compared with 79% and 69% in the HS and KR strains, respectively. The RR strain also developed significantly faster from egg to adult (~35 days) than the other two strains (~40 days). Analysis of a survivorship and fecundity life table for the RR strain produced the following results. The average life expectancy for a newly laid egg was ~143 days, and that of a newly molted adult was ~127 days. Females produced an average of 0.64 daughter eggs/day with the highest weekly production during the fifth week of adult life. Analysis of daily reproductive parity showed that females produced 1-3 and 4-6 eggs on 79 and 21% of the days, respectively, when egg laying occurred. The net reproductive rate (R0) of the RR strain was ~35, which represents a 35-fold increase in the population per generation (~92 days). The intrinsic rate of increase, r, was 0.054 indicating that the population multiplies 1.1 times/female/day (_) and doubles in size every 13 days. The stable age distribution (cx) was dominated by nymphs (54%), followed by eggs (34%) and adults (12%). Reproductive values (vx) for the strain increased from egg to the adult stage.



Cimex lectularius, bed bug, life table, life history, resistance, survivorship, development, pyrethroids


Polanco, Andrea M.; Brewster, Carlyle C.; Miller, Dini M. 2011. "Population Growth Potential of the Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius L.: A Life Table Analysis." Insects 2011, 2(2), 173-185; doi:10.3390/insects2020173.