The newly developed fungal biopesticide Aprehend, containing spores of Beauveria bassiana, is the first biological control agent to be incorporated into management programs to control the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Aprehend is sprayed as barriers where bed bugs are likely to walk and pick up spores as they search for a bloodmeal. A key application target for Aprehend is the box spring, which may be covered by encasement-type or insecticide-impregnated covers. Since some insecticides can reduce the persistence of fungal spores, we tested the efficacy and spore germination percentages of Aprehend when applied to the two types of box spring covers. We found that spore germination was about 11% lower on the permethrin-impregnated ActiveGuard cover than on the encasement-type AllerEase cover. However, bed bugs exposed for 15 min to Aprehend on the two box spring covers suffered similarly high levels of mortality irrespective of the cover material. Thus, there was no inhibitory or additive effect of the ActiveGuard cover on bed bug mortality. Lastly, overall mortality was higher if bed bugs were exposed to Aprehend-treated ActiveGuard than the ActiveGuard cover alone. Our findings indicate that if pest managers are using ActiveGuard covers in combination with Aprehend, best practice would be to use ActiveGuard on mattresses and apply Aprehend directly to the box spring or to a box spring covered by an encasement-type cover.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science