Life Undercover: Behavioral Characteristics of a Stealthy Blood Feeder
(11/20/2013) 68 minutes


The recent world-wide resurgence of the bed bugs has prompted my laboratory group to investigate unique aspects of their behavior," Haynes said. "Bed bugs are well adapted to stealthy habits that often lead the host to be unaware of an expanding population. Their activity pattern is governed by a circadian clock that dictates that they primarily feed late at night. Carbon dioxide plays a role in stimulating movement, with heat and perhaps other semiochemicals playing a role in attraction. The early instars are not as effective in finding hosts as the later stages or adults. Signals produced by mature females facilitate host-finding by the first instars, suggesting a parental role. Re-aggregation in cracks and crevices around the bed following foraging bouts is in part mediated by pheromones. The nature of the behavioral responses to host and habitat cues provide leads to pest management.

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