LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS OF THE 'BB SECURE RING' AND ITS ABILITY TO ACT AS A BARRIER TO THE COMMON BED BUG, Cimex lectularius

Technical Report (PDF Available) · July 2010with 360 Reads
Affiliation: Westmead Hospital
MC Bed Bug Management Report, 2006
Doggett, Russell & Jones 0
LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS OF
THE ‘BB SECURE RING’ AND ITS
ABILITY TO ACT AS A BARRIER TO
THE COMMON BED BUG,
Cimex lectularius
Stephen L. Doggett & Richard C. Russell
Department of Medical Entomology, ICPMR & University of Sydney,
Westmead Hospital, WESTMEAD, NSW 2145, Australia.
July 2010
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology i
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Stephen L. Doggett & Richard C. Russell
Department of Medical Entomology,
ICPMR and University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital,
WESTMEAD, NSW 2145, Australia.
Ph: 02 9845 7265 Fax: 02 9893 8659
Email: Stephen.Doggett@swahs.health.nsw.gov.au
©2010. This report was produced by The Department of Medical
Entomology on behalf of Ms Barbara Biggs. All images and videos are
copyright to the Department of Medical Entomology. The Department of
Medical Entomology, ICPMR, accepts no responsibility for the use of this
report or supplied videos by other parties. The use of brand names and
any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this report
does not imply endorsement by the Department of Medical Entomology,
ICPMR, or discrimination against similar products or services not
mentioned. All experimental procedures developed within this report
remain the intellectual property of the Department of Medical Entomology.
The videos on the accompanying CD contain material which is copyright to
third parties and is included for educational purposes only; under no
circumstances should these be publicly broadcast via any form of media.
Warning and Disclaimer
Every effort has been made to make this document to be as complete and
accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied. The information
provided is on an ‘as is’ basis. The authors shall have neither liability nor
responsibility to any person, organisation or entity with respect to any loss
or damages arising from the information contained in this document.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology ii
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Currently the world is experiencing a major resurgence in bed bug
infestations due largely to insecticide resistance. As the likelihood of the
introduction of new and effective insecticides in the near foreseeable future
is minimal, most of the recent management innovations have been in the
area of non-chemical control.
One form of non-chemical control is ‘Barrier’ technology. This approach aims
to prevent bed bugs from accessing the bed and biting the sleeping victim.
However most physical barriers are obvious and have little appeal to the
hospitality industry. In contrast, the BB Secure Ring is a discreet unit that is
placed between the bed base and leg/caster, and should be more acceptable.
The BB Secure Ring is composed of polytetrafluoroethylene (a Teflon®-like
material), which is an ultra smooth plastic. The structure of the leg of bed
bugs means that these insects have trouble grasping onto smooth surfaces.
The laboratory trials described herein test the ability of the BB Secure Ring to
act as a barrier to the common bed bug (
Cimex lectularius
). In an initial
‘Proof of Concept’ trial using a model bed, the BB Secure Ring was able to
successfully act as a barrier to 40 adult mixed sex bed bugs.
Four larger scaled trials were conducted to more thoroughly assess the
efficacy of the BB Secure Ring. The result was that the BB Secure Ring
prevented access to 100% of bed bugs, of all stages. Overall, 1,844 bed
bugs in the BB Secure Ring trials were prevented access and this total
included 212 females, 275 males, 89 5th instars, 91 4th instars, 174 3rd
instars, 369 2nd instars and 637 1st instars. In contrast, the control without
the BB Secure Ring contained a total of 1,890 bed bugs and 1,700 (89.9%)
of these were able to access the upper part of the model bed.
Testing the size of the BB Secure Ring revealed that a minimum overhang of
7.5mm is required to maintain effectiveness.
The BB Secure Ring was able to prevent access to all stages of both the
Sydney and Monheim strains of the Common bed bug (
Cimex lectularius
).
In the process of testing via utilising new BB Secure Rings, the quality
assurance of the product was verified.
The experiments described herein demonstrate that in laboratory trials the
BB Secure Ring can prevent access to all stages of bed bugs. This device
may prove to be an additional useful tool in the arsenal of products
available for bed bug prevention and management.
Stephen L. Doggett
Senior Hospital Scientist &
Principal Investigator
31/July/2010
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology iii
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Test Animals................................................................................................ 2
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Aim............................................................................................................. 3
Methods...................................................................................................... 3
BB Secure Ring
.....................................................................................................3
Experimental Model
...............................................................................................3
Bed Bug Strain
......................................................................................................4
Experimental Procedures
.......................................................................................4
Statistical Analysis
.................................................................................................4
Results and Discussion................................................................................. 4
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Aim............................................................................................................. 9
Methods...................................................................................................... 9
BB Secure Ring
.....................................................................................................9
Experimental Model
...............................................................................................9
Bed Bug Strains
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Experimental Procedures
..................................................................................... 11
Statistical Analysis
............................................................................................... 11
Results.......................................................................................................12
Experiment 2
...................................................................................................... 12
Experiment 3
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Experiment 4
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Experiment 5
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Statistical Analysis
............................................................................................... 15
Discussion..................................................................................................15
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Aim............................................................................................................17
Methods.....................................................................................................17
BB Secure Ring
................................................................................................... 17
Experimental Model
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Bed Bug Strain
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Experimental Procedures
..................................................................................... 17
Statistical Analysis
............................................................................................... 17
Results and Discussion................................................................................17
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.2
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1
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 1
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Since the late 1990’s, there has been a dramatic and worldwide increase in the
number of bed bug infestations, both of the Common (
Cimex lectularius
) and
Tropical (
Cimex hemipterus
) species (Doggett
et al
. 2003, 2004; Doggett 2005). For
Australia alone, during the period 2000 to 2006 the number of infestations increased
by some 4,500% (Doggett & Russell 2007, 2008). Numerous suggestions have been
offered to account for the rise of this public health menace, however it is thought
that insecticide resistance has been the main contributing cause. Resistance has
been reported overseas with the synthetic pyrethroids (SPs) and the carbamates
(Boase
et al
. 2006, Romero
et al
. 2007), while many Australian pest managers
anecdotally reported product failure during the early years of the 21st Century
(Doggett & Russell 2007). Insecticide resistance testing has now been undertaken
within the Department of Medical Entomology with a local strain of bed bugs and
strong resistance to both the SPs and carbamates has also been recorded (Lilly
et al
.
2009).
Unfortunately, most of the insecticides registered in Australia belong to those groups
that have demonstrated resistance. This has meant that control is a major challenge
and treatment failures have been all too common. As a consequence of the failures
and the resurgence, the Australian Environmental Pest Management Association (the
peak industry association for pest managers) has responded by producing a Code of
Practice for the Control of Bed Bugs (Doggett 2010). One of the major aims of the
Code of Practice (CoP) is to promote ‘Integrated Pest Management’, which
encompasses both non-chemicals means of control as well as the judicious use of
insecticides. The reason for this approach is to reduce the reliance on insecticides
due to the high level of resistance.
Non-chemical means of control can reduce the overall biomass of the infestation via
such methodologies as vacuuming and steam. This means there is a smaller
population of bed bugs when chemical control measures are implemented and thus
eradication is more likely to be successful. Some non-chemical control means aim to
detect infestations early (e.g. monitors and traps), while others aim to reduce the
risk of infestations by providing reduced harbourages (e.g. mattress encasements),
and other methodologies aim to prevent bed bugs accessing the bed. The latter
group is not so much about controlling infestations, but reducing their risk and are
thus considered ‘harm minimisation’ or ‘preventative’ measures. Presently the only
such device recommended within the CoP is the ‘ClimbUp Interceptor’ barrier
(www.insect-interceptor.com). This is essentially an inverted plastic bowl constructed
of a smooth plastic that is placed under the bed legs. Bed bugs are quite unique in
that their leg structure is different to that of most other insects. It is thought that
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 2
bed bugs evolved within caves, from a bloodsucking ancestor that was associated
with and dependent on bats. Being associated with caves and their rough surface,
overtime the bug lost the foot pad (‘pulvilli’), which enables insects such as flies to
crawl up smooth surfaces like glass. Instead, the early bugs only retained two claws,
sufficient to traverse rough surfaces but not suitable for walking on and up smooth
surfaces. The ClimbUp Interceptor acts as a barrier whereby bed bugs on the floor
are unable to climb onto the bed. This means that the sleeping victim will not be
attacked and the infestation can not grow without a blood source. This device has
shown to be effective in public housing at reducing the incidence of bed bugs (Wang
et al
. 2009).
Although such barriers have been demonstrated effective, the main disadvantage of
ClimbUp Insect Interceptors is that they are obvious and almost announces that
there is an inherent bed bug problem. Naturally such a noticeable device would not
be acceptable to the hospitality industry, whose reputation can be severely damaged
by the actual or implicit presence of bed bugs. This industry especially has been
impacted severely by bed bugs; infestations are expensive to control, threaten
reputations as mentioned, and there is risk of litigation if guests are bitten. A barrier
that was not obvious, shown to be effective at stopping bed bugs from accessing the
bed and thereby reducing the risk of infestations, should appeal to the hospitality
industry and may offer the manufacturer considerable commercial benefits.
In 2009, Ms Barbara Biggs approached the Department of Medical Entomology with
a view to testing the concept of whether a barrier made out of
polytetrafluoroethylene (‘PTFE’) could prevent the access of bed bugs [note that
PTFE is most well known by the DuPont brand name ‘Teflon®’]. Preliminary
investigations utilising PTFE sheeting found that bed bugs were not able to maintain
a grip on the surface, nor successfully walk over it if inclined at a steep angle.
Subsequently, discs of PTFE were manufactured and termed the ‘BB Secure Ring’,
with the view of being placed between bed legs (or casters) and bed bases. If bed
bugs are unable to walk over this surface, then the BB Secure Ring would provide a
non-obvious barrier to bed bugs and have the potential to minimise infestations.
The aim of these laboratory investigations was to test the ability of the BB Secure
Ring to act as a barrier to the Common bed bug,
Cimex lectularius
. Another
important aim was to develop an experimental model for testing such devices.
Test Animals
The bed bugs used were the Common bed bug,
Cimex lectularius
. Two strains were
utilised: the ‘Sydney’ and the ‘Monheim’ strains. The Sydney strain was established
by the Department of Medical Entomology during 2004. The founder specimens
were sourced from various infestations within the Sydney metropolitan area and are
known to have a high degree of insecticide resistance to both the synthetic
pyrethroids and the carbamates. The Monheim strain was derived from Bayer in
Monheim, Germany. This is a strain that has been continuously held in colony since
the 1960’s (exact date unknown) and is highly susceptible to all insecticides tested to
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 3
date. It was imported into Australia by the Department of Medical Entomology
during 2008. Being held in colony for over 40 years, means that the Monheim strain
is highly inbred and exhibits atypical behaviour; it is highly active during daylight
hours and not as photophobic as wild or recently colonised strains.
Both colonies are maintained within mesh covered 1L plastic containers which have
internal cardboard harbourages. The bed bugs are provided with a blood meal once
per week via anaesthetised rats, and held at 25oC with 80%RH.
Blood seeking bed bugs were collected by placing a heat source (an incandescent
lamp) above the holding containers with the covering mesh removed. Bed bugs
climbing to the top of the cardboard harbourages were collected. Various non-
engorged stages were used for experimental purposes. The sex and nymphal stage
of the bed bugs were not determined prior to experimental usage. All experiments
were undertaken in a non-humidified laboratory, 22±2oC with natural daylight.
E
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Aim
The first experiment was a pilot trial to demonstrate ‘proof of concept’, namely that
BB Secure Rings can successfully act as a barrier to bed bugs. The pilot trial also
tested the experimental model.
Methods
BB Secure Ring
: The BB Secure Rings were manufactured by Allied Gaskets (Unit
4/8-10, Britton Street, Smithfield NSW 2164, Australia). The size of the BB Secure
Ring employed in this and subsequent experiments (unless otherwise stated) was
8.5cm (diameter) x 0.35mm (thick), with each Ring having a 9mm central hole.
Experimental Model
: A simple model was designed and constructed to simulate a
bed. It was composed of a sheet of Chipboard (1.2 x 30 x 45cm) with eight 6.5cm
diameter holes drilled through the sheet. There were to allow for heat flow and to
give bed bug access to the surface. Attached were four offset pieces of Oak dowel,
9cm in length x 3.5cm in diameter, acting as the legs (Figure 1). These were held in
place by a single screw and were removable to allow the placement of the BB Secure
Ring. For the test models, one BB Secure Ring was placed between each dowel leg
and the Chipboard sheet (Figure 2), while the control had no BB Secure Rings
(Figure 1). Each leg was then placed into a ClimbUp Interceptor (Figure 3) and it
was into this that the bed bugs were placed. The ClimbUp Interceptors were held in
position on a sheet of cardboard via double-sided tape (Figure 4). This was done to
allow the experimental set ups to be easily placed into and removed from plastic
tubs. On top of the Chipboard sheet was placed an electrically powered reptile
heating mat (Microclimate International, Microclimate Vivarium Heat Mat, unit size:
16”x12”; Figure 5). Measurements via an infrared thermometer found that the
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 4
surface temperature of the mat varied between 37 and 43oC. It was envisaged that
this heat source would attract the bed bugs, leading the insects to climb up the legs.
Each experimental set up was then placed into large plastic tubs [17(W) x 27(L) x
31(H)cm], which had double-sided carpet tape (Bear brand, 36mm wide) placed
10cm below the top to prevent bed bugs escaping (Figure 6). The electrical cords of
the reptile heat mats were covered with Vaseline for the same reason. Prior to the
start of the experiment, a 5mm thick ring (barrier) of Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap Insect
Trap Coating (available from Australian Entomological Supplies,
www.entosupplies.com.au) was placed on the Chipboard approximately 5mm
outside the edge of the BB Secure Ring (Figure 7). For the controls, without the BB
Secure Ring, a similar diameter barrier of Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap Insect Trap
Coating was placed (Figure 8). The idea being that any bed bug that breached the
BB Secure Ring or walked over the Chipboard would be trapped in the sticky gel.
Bed Bug Strain
: The Sydney strain was used in the pilot. A total of 80 adult bed
bugs were utilised; 40 each for the control and tests, with ten bed bugs being placed
at the base of each leg. All bed bugs were unengorged, host seeking and not sexed.
Experimental Procedures
: The initial pilot was conducted on 16/Dec/2010 at 16:00,
using one test (with BB Secure Rings) and one control (without BB Secure Rings).
The reptile heat mats were allowed to heat up to operating temperatures for 30min
prior to the commencement of the experiment. Bed bugs were then added to the
base of the dowel within the ClimbUp Interceptors. Each dowel had been individually
numbered in both models and the experimental models were then placed into the
plastic tubs. At 10:00 the following day (17 December 2010), the models were
removed from the tubs and the number of bed bugs either trapped in the gel or on
the Chipboard between the gel and the top of the dowel was recorded.
Statistical Analysis
: No statistical analyses were undertaken as only a simple ‘yes/no’
result was required for this ‘proof of concept’ trial.
Results and Discussion
In the initial pilot trial no bed bugs became stuck
to the Tanglefoot, in fact they even appeared to
be somewhat repelled by the gel. Instead, those
bed bugs that were between the junction of the
dowel and the gel ring were considered a ‘breach’
and are recorded in Table 1. For the control
without the BB Secure Ring, there was a total of
six bed bugs in this area, while there was none in
the corresponding region of the test model. Thus
this trial suggested that the BB Secure Ring was
able to successfully act as a barrier to bed bugs.
However, the small number of insects in the trial meant that further investigations
were required and the failure of the gel to trap the insects meant that the
experimental design required modifications.
Table 1. Results of the pilot trial with
the BB Secure Ring.
No. Bed Bugs
Leg
No. Control Test
1 1 0
2 1 0
3 3 0
4 1 0
Total 6 0
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 5
Figure 1. The model bed used for the laboratory evaluation of the BB Secure Ring. This
is the control, which does not have the BB Secure Ring positioned between the dowel legs
and Chipboard sheet.
Figure 2. This is the test model with the BB Secure Ring
in situ
.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 6
Figure 3. Each leg was placed into Climbup Interceptors; the bed bugs were then placed
into these.
Figure 4. Each Interceptor was positioned onto a sheet of cardboard via double-sided
tape, this allowed the experimental set up to be easily placed into plastic tubs to ensure
complete bed bug containment.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 7
Figure 5. In the pilot experiment, a reptile heating pad was placed on top of the
Chipboard to entice blood-seeking bed bugs up the dowel legs.
Figure 6. Each experimental set up was placed into individual plastic tubs that had
double sided tape placed around the top to prevent the escape of bed bugs.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 8
Figure 7. In the initial experimental set up for the pilot, a ring of Tanglefoot sticky insect
gel was placed around the BB Secure Ring on the Chipboard sheeting to capture any bed
bugs that breached the barrier.
Figure 8. An equivalent diameter of Tanglefoot was placed on the Chipboard of the
controls; here bed bugs can be seen walking over the area between the top of the leg
dowel and the
g
el.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 9
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Aim
In Experiment 1 the ‘Proof of Concept’ was established, namely that the BB Secure
Ring can successfully act as a barrier to at least a small number of bed bugs. As only
a limited number of insects and only adult stages were used, Experiments 2-5 aimed
to establish if the BB Secure Ring can successfully act as a barrier when bed bug
numbers are much greater and when multiple stages are present. Each of these four
experiments is ostensibly a replicate, but with varying number of bed bugs and some
slight developments in the experimental model. Each experiment used different BB
Secure Rings in order to test the quality control of manufacture.
Methods
BB Secure Ring
: The same BB Secure Ring design as per Experiment 1 was
employed in Experiments 2-5, although new rings were used in each experiment.
Experimental Model
: Models identical to those as employed in Experiment 1 were
constructed and used, with some minor modifications. As the Tanglefoot sticky gel
was ineffective at trapping bed bugs, this was no longer used. Rather the approach
was to modify the set up in order to provide a large harbourage area into which the
bed bugs could crawl onto, once the insects had climbed up the dowelling and onto
the Chipboard. This was achieved by placing a concertina-folded sheet of brown
craft paper (Marbig ‘Kraft’ paper roll, 375mm wide, 60gsm) on top of the Chipboard
sheet (Figure 9). The paper was replaced in each experimental trial. In Experiments
2 and 3, the reptile heat pad was placed on top of the concertinaed paper (Figure
10) and operated during the course of the experiment. However, it was found that
host seeking bed bugs tended to climb up the dowel even without the heat
attraction, and so the heat pads were not employed in Experiments 4 and 5. The
same test and control models were used across the four experiments, and between
tests the models underwent disinsection (in case there were any viable eggs on the
timber) via placement in a -20oC freezer for 7-10 days.
Bed Bug Strains
: The Sydney strain was used in Experiments 2 and 3, while the
Monheim strain was employed in Experiments 4 and 5. In the four experiments, no
set number of bed bugs was placed at the base of the dowels, rather a random mix
of stages were used. As described earlier, a heat source was placed above colony
bed bugs for attraction and collection of host seeking non-blood engorged insects
(Figure 11). A small strip of cardboard was held for a few seconds at the top of the
harbourage. The bed bugs that climbed onto this strip were brushed off into a 100ml
urine pot for temporary holding. This was repeated such that bugs were brushed off
into a further seven pots (for eight in total in order to apply to the eight dowel legs).
This collection cycle was repeated a minimum of a further 4-5 times. As a result, the
complete range of instars was collected, including both adult sexes. Four containers
were then randomly selected for each control and test model.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 10
Figure 9. The experimental setup was modified after the pilot trial with the addition o
f
concertinaed folded paper on top of the Chipboard, which provided an additional
harbourage.
Figure 10. The reptile heating pad was placed on top of the folded paper in Experiments
2 and 3, however it was found that this was not necessary to cause the bed bugs to climb
the dowel legs and so not used in subsequent trials.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 11
Experimental Procedures
: After the four pots of bed bugs were randomly selected,
one container each was emptied into one of the ClimbUp Interceptors at the base of
the dowel legs. Thus all four legs for both test and control models had bed bugs
placed at the base of the dowel. Each model was then positioned into the plastic
tubs as described under Experiment 1. The following morning, the experimental
models were removed from the tubs and examined for bed bugs. Any found on the
Chipboard, the folded paper or the heat pad were considered a ‘breach’ and
removed. Similarly, any that were in the large plastic tub would have fallen off the
upper part of the experimental model, and were considered a ‘breach’ and removed.
All collected bugs were frozen for later identification to instar for the nymphs,
according to the nymphal key of Usinger (1966), and the sex of the adults was
determined. All stages were then tallied following identification. After removal of the
‘breaches’ the models were placed back into the tubs and re-examined over various
subsequent days for a maximum of 14 days. However, most experiments were
operated for 7-8 days as by this time (especially with the Monheim Strain) there
were few bed bugs left in the control. The dates that each Experiment was set up
and the dates each trial were examined are included in the results.
Statistical Analysis
: No statistical analysis was undertaken on the number of bed bug
‘breaches’ between the tests and controls due to the ‘yes/no’ nature of the results. A
one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted via Microsoft Excel data
analysis on the combined data for the four experiments between the test and control
Figure 11. Colony bed bugs (‘Monheim’ strain) that had climbed to the top of the
cardboard harboura
g
e.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 12
models comparing the individual number of each sex and stage of bed bug used.
This was to test if the collection of samples used in the trials were random.
Results
Experiment 2
was initiated on 21 December 2009 and read over three separate
days up to 4 January 2010. The large gap in dates was due to the non-availability
of staff over the Christmas break. For the control (without the BB Secure Ring),
there was a total of 60 bed bug ‘breaches’, i.e. bugs of various stages and sex
were found on the Chipboard, paper, heat pad or in the tub (Table 2a). A total of
109 bed bugs was added to the control model and 55% climbed up beyond the
legs (i.e. were ‘breaches’). For the test, no bed bugs were able to breach the BB
Secure Ring (Table 2b). A total of 155 bed bugs was added to the test model.
Table 2a. The results of Experiment 2 for the control model, i.e. without the BB
Secure Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’, i.e. those
that were found on the Chipboard, paper, heat pad, or in the holding tub.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
22-Dec-09 23 15 1 1 3 0 0 43
23-Dec-09 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 6
4-Jan-10 3 2 2 3 1 0 0 11
Total-breach 28 21 3 4 4 0 0 60
Non-breach 17 15 7 5 2 3 0 49
Total Bed Bugs 45 36 10 9 6 3 0 109
Table 2b. The results of Experiment 2 for the test model, i.e. with the BB Secure
Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’, i.e. those that
were found on the Chipboard, paper, heat pad, or in the holding tub.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
22-Dec-09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23-Dec-09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-breach 53 33 22 16 19 8 4 155
Total Bed Bugs 53 33 22 16 19 8 4 155
Experiment 3
was initiated on 11 January 2010 and read over six separate days,
up to 19 January. For the control (without the BB Secure Ring), there was a total
of 279 bed bug ‘breaches’, i.e. were found on the Chipboard, paper, heat pad or in
the tub (Table 3a). All stages and sexes were represented in the collected
‘breaches’. A total of 379 bed bugs was added to the control model and 74%
climbed up beyond the legs (i.e. were ‘breaches’). For the test, no bed bugs were
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 13
able to breach the BB Secure Ring (Table 3b). A total of 352 bed bugs was added
to the test model.
Table 3a. The results of Experiment 3 for the control model, i.e. without the BB
Secure Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
12-Jan-10 25 24 24 72 28 14 2 189
13-Jan-10 1 2 17 26 7 2 1 56
14-Jan-10 1 1 4 9 4 0 0 19
15-Jan-10 1 0 3 1 1 0 0 6
16-Jan-10 0 2 3 0 0 1 0 6
19-Jan-10 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3
Total-breach 28 32 51 108 40 17 3 279
Non-breach 7 7 40 33 9 3 1 100
Total Bed Bugs 35 39 91 141 49 20 4 379
Table 3b. The results of Experiment 3 for the test model, i.e. with the BB Secure
Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
12-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
19-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-breach 21 64 66 139 51 8 3 352
Total Bed Bugs 21 64 66 139 51 8 3 352
Experiment 4
was initiated on 21 January 2010 and read daily for seven days. For
the control (without the BB Secure Ring), there was a total of 768 bed bug
‘breaches’, i.e. were found on the Chipboard, paper, heat pad or in the tub (Table
4a). All stages and sexes were represented in the collected bed bugs. A total of
784 bed bugs was added to the control model and 98% climbed up beyond the
legs (i.e. were ‘breaches’). For the test, no bed bugs were able to breach the BB
Secure Ring (Table 4b). A total of 753 bed bugs was added to the test model.
Experiment 5
was initiated on 3 February 2010 and read daily for seven days. For
the control (without the BB Secure Ring), there was a total of 593 bed bug
‘breaches’, i.e. were found on the Chipboard, paper, heat pad or in the tub (Table
5a). All stages and sexes were represented in the collected bed bugs. A total of
618 bed bugs was added to the control model and 96% climbed up beyond the
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 14
legs (i.e. were ‘breaches’). For the test, no bed bugs were able to breach the BB
Secure Ring (Table 5b). A total of 584 bed bugs was added to the test model.
Table 4a. The results of Experiment 4 for the control model, i.e. without the BB
Secure Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
22-Jan-10 65 86 179 107 73 70 59 639
23-Jan-10 1 1 9 3 1 0 0 15
24-Jan-10 1 1 6 4 3 0 0 15
25-Jan-10 5 3 24 14 9 2 3 60
26-Jan-10 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 5
27-Jan-10 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 3
28-Jan-10 0 2 12 4 6 4 3 31
Total-breach 73 94 234 132 92 77 66 768
Non-breach 2 1 8 1 2 2 0 16
Total Bed Bugs 75 95 242 133 94 79 66 784
Table 4b. The results of Experiment 4 for the test model, i.e. with the BB Secure
Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
22-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
28-Jan-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-breach 66 93 265 136 79 60 54 753
Total Bed Bugs 66 93 265 136 79 60 54 753
Table 5a. The results of Experiment 5 for the control model, i.e. without the BB
Secure Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
4-Feb-10 74 69 224 94 16 10 15 502
5-Feb-10 1 2 47 9 2 0 1 62
6-Feb-10 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3
7-Feb-10 0 4 6 1 0 0 1 12
8-Feb-10 0 1 6 0 0 0 1 8
9-Feb-10 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 6
10-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 75 79 287 105 18 11 18 593
Non-breach 0 3 19 0 1 1 1 25
Total Bed Bugs 75 82 306 105 19 12 19 618
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 15
Table 5b. The results of Experiment 5 for the test model, i.e. with the BB Secure
Ring. Each number represents the number of bed bug ‘breaches’.
Adults Nymphs
Date Read Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
4-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-breach 72 85 281 78 25 15 28 584
Total Bed Bugs 72 85 281 78 25 15 28 584
Statistical Analysis
: Table 6 provides the total number of bed bugs used in
Experiments 2 to 5. The one way ANOVA comparing the individual number of each
sex and stage of bed bug used between the tests and controls demonstrated no
statistical difference (i.e the P value is greater than 0.05 in all cases).
Table 6. The number of bed bugs used in Experiments 2-5 separated by stage
and sex, with P values comparing the numbers used between the tests and
controls.
Female Male 1 2 3 4 5
Exp
No. Cont Test Cont Test Cont Test Cont Test Cont Test Cont Test Cont Test
2 45 53 36 33 10 22 9 16 6 19 3 8 0 4
3 35 21 39 64 91 66 141 139 49 51 20 8 4 3
4 75 66 95 93 242 265 133 136 94 79 79 60 66 54
5 75 72 82 85 306 281 105 78 19 25 12 15 19 28
Total 230 212 252 275 649 634 388 369 168 174 114 91 89 89
*P
Value 0.78 0.78 0.97 0.91 0.95 0.80 1.00
*One way ANOVA
Discussion
In Experiments 2 to 5, the BB Secure Ring was able to successfully act as a barrier
against all bed bug stages. In combining the data from the four trials, without the
BB Secure Ring, some 1,700 out of 1,890 bed bugs (or 89.9%) accessed the
model above the dowel legs (Table 7a). Whereas the BB Secure Ring prevented
access to all 1,844 bed bugs used in the test models (Table 7b).
These numbers in a field situation would represent a substantial infestation and so
the experiments have more than amply tested the efficacy of the BB Secure Ring
in the laboratory situation.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 16
In Experiments 2 and 3 the Sydney bed bug strain was used. The decision to later
utilise the Monheim strain was one of logistics; the Monheim strain has a higher level
of fecundity and more bed bugs of this strain were available at the time for
experimental purposes. As mentioned earlier, there are behavioural differences with
this strain, yet these were to the advantage of the experimental set up. Of the
Sydney strain for the controls, almost 70% of the bed bugs climbed above the leg
dowels, whereas for the Monheim strain it was over 98%. Thus this latter strain
provided a more challenging test to the BB Secure Ring.
In comparing the number of bed bugs of all stages used between the test and
control models, there is no significant difference for any stage. This indicates that
the bed bug samples were randomly selected, thereby minimising experimental bias.
One of the aims of these experiments was to further evolve the experimental model.
The addition of the concertina-folded paper was successful; many bed bugs used
this as a harbourage (as can be seen in the video on the accompanying CD). The
removal of the heat pad made no obvious difference and was not utilised with the
Monheim strain, where almost all bed bugs climbed up the dowel legs. Thus the
model was highly successful in testing the ability of the BB Secure Ring to act as a
barrier, and the experimental model could be used for testing other barrier devices.
Table 7a. Combined results from Experiments 2-5 for the number of bed bugs
‘breaching’ the controls (i.e. without the BB Secure Ring). Included also are the
total number of non-breaches and the overall number of bed bugs used.
Adults Nymphs
Experiment Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
2 28 21 3 4 4 0 0 60
3 28 32 51 108 40 17 3 279
4 73 94 234 132 92 77 66 768
5 75 79 287 105 18 11 18 593
Total-breach 204 226 575 349 154 105 87 1700
Non-breach 26 26 74 39 14 9 2 190
Total Bed Bugs 230 252 649 388 168 114 89 1890
Table 7b. Combined results from Experiments 2-5 for the number of bed bugs
‘breaching’ the tests (i.e, with the BB Secure Ring). Included also are the total
number of non-breaches and the overall number of bed bugs used.
Adult Nymph
Experiment Female Male 1 2 3 4 5 Total
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-breach 212 275 634 369 174 91 89 1844
Total Bed Bugs 212 275 634 369 174 91 89 1844
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 17
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Aim
The five previous experiments demonstrated that the BB Secure Ring was able to act
as a barrier against all bed bug stages. The diameter of the BB Secure Ring used in
these experiments was 8.5cm, with the leg dowel being 3.5cm, ensuring that there
was a 2.5cm overhang of PTFE. Naturally there will be a minimum overhang
whereby the BB Secure Ring is no longer effective. The aim of this experiment is to
determine this measurement by testing BB Secure Rings of differing diameters. An
optimum sized BB Secure Ring will also be the most cost effective to produce.
Methods
BB Secure Ring
: The BB Secure Rings were produced by the same manufacturer as
per the previous experiments and were of the same thickness (0.35mm). The
following diameters were tested; 40, 50 and 60mm, which produced an overhang of
2.5, 7.5 and 12.5mm respectively. A control with no BB Secure Ring was included as
a comparison.
Experimental Model
: The same experimental model was used as per Experiment 3
onwards, namely the identical model base with the concertina-folded paper and no
heat pad.
Bed Bug Strain
: Only the Monheim strain was employed in this experiment and only
adult bed bugs.
Experimental Procedures
: There were four models in total to test the three different
sized BB Secure Rings plus the control, and all were tested at the same time. To
each test model the same sized ring was placed between the dowel and Chipboard
of all four legs. An estimated ten bed bugs each were then added to the base of all
dowel legs. Thereafter, methodologies were as described per Experiments 2-5. The
experiment was set up on 16 February 2010 and results recorded five times over a
seven day period. There were no replicates for each trial.
Statistical Analysis
: A one way ANOVA was conducted via Microsoft Excel data
analysis on the total number of bed bugs between the tests and the control where
‘breaches’ occurred. However, where there were no ‘breaches’, no statistical analysis
was undertaken due to the ‘yes/no’ nature of the results.
Results and Discussion
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 18
Table 8a contains the number of bed bugs that were able to access the Chipboard
and the folded paper for the control (no BB Secure Ring) and for the 40mm diameter
BB Secure Ring. Table 8b has the results for the 50mm and 60mm BB Secure Rings.
Table 8a. The number of bed bug ‘breaches’ for the control (i.e. no BB Secure
Ring) and for the 40mm diameter BB Secure Ring. Included also are the number
of non-breaches and the total number of bed bugs used in the experiment.
Control: No BB Secure Ring Test: 40mm BB Secure Ring
Date Read Female Male Total Female Male Total
17-Feb-10 15 13 28 12 21 33
18-Feb-10 6 2 8 0 3 3
19-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 2 2
22-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 3 3
23-Feb-10 1 0 1 0 0 0
Total-breach 22 15 37 12 29 41
Non-breach 1 2 3 0 0 0
Total Bed Bugs 23 17 40 12 29 41
Table 8b. The number of bed bug ‘breaches’ for the 50mm diameter BB Secure
Ring) and for the 60mm diameter BB Secure Ring. Included also are the number
of non-breaches and the total number of bed bugs used in the experiment.
Test: 50mm BB Secure Ring Test: 60mm BB Secure Ring
Date Read Female Male Total Female Male Total
17-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0
18-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0
19-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0
22-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0
23-Feb-10 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total-breach 0 0 0 0 0 0
Non-breach 20 29 49 20 20 40
Total Bed Bugs 20 29 49 20 20 40
For the control there were 37 breaches and for the 40mm diameter BB Secure Ring
there were 41 breaches. These were not significantly different (P=0.92). Whereas
the 50 and 60mm BB Secure Rings were able to completely prevent bed bug access.
This demonstrates that there must be a minimum overhang of 7.5mm for the BB
Secure Ring to be an effective barrier.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 19
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In the laboratory trials described herein,
appropriately sized BB Secure Rings (Figure 12)
were able to successfully act as a barrier against
100% of bed bug samples that included all
stages. In combining the data, the BB Secure
Ring prevented access to all 1,973 bed bugs,
whereas for the control without the BB Secure
Ring, 1,783 out of 1,927 were able to climb up
and access the upper part of the experimental
model. This demonstrates the high efficacy of
the BB Secure Ring in the laboratory situation.
As noted earlier, these numbers in a naturally occurring infestation would represent
a seriously large infestation and thus the trials provided an exacting test of the BB
Secure Ring. Furthermore, field investigations have found that different strains of
bed bug occur together naturally (Romero
et al
. 2007; Szalanski
et al
. 2008), and
the ability of the BB Secure Ring to work effectively against both the Sydney and
Monheim strains of bed bugs further testifies to its efficacy.
For each experimental trial, fresh BB Secure Rings were employed. As they were
continually able to act as a complete barrier to bed bugs, the quality assurance of
the product has been verified.
All trials were conducted in a non-humidified laboratory, with natural lighting at a
temperature of 22±oC. These conditions are very comparable to the environment in
hotels, where the BB Secure Ring is most likely to be employed.
The high definition video on the accompanying CD, labelled
‘The_BB_Safe_Ring_video.avi’, demonstrates visually what happens when the bed
bugs attempt to climb onto the BB Secure Ring from the leg dowel. The bed bugs
simply are unable to grip onto the PTFE surface and thus are unable to climb over
the ring. Bed bugs do climb over each other and by doing this can extend the
potential reach by which the BB Secure Ring could be breached (this can be
observed in the video). As demonstrated in Experiment 6, a minimum overhang of
7.5mm is required for the BB Secure Ring to remain effective.
Also included on the accompanying CD are high definition videos of the test and
control models from Experiment 3. The video ‘BB_Safe_Ring_trial_nodisc.avi’ is of
the control model that does not contain the BB Secure Ring and bed bugs can be
readily seen walking over the surface of the folded paper. Whereas, the video
‘BB_Safe_Ring_trial_withdisc.avi’ is of the test model with the BB Secure Ring and no
bed bugs are walking over the folded paper. As mentioned above, both the test and
control in Experiment 3 were set up at the same time using comparable bed bug
numbers, and these videos were produced minutes apart. Note that on all the
videos, the BB Secure Ring is called the ‘No Bug Disc’; at the time when the videos
were produced the final name had not been given to the product.
Figure 12. The BB Secure Ring, as used in
the trials.
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 20
Other than the use of the sticky gel in the development of the model in the first trial,
no problems were experienced during the course of the experiment and none with
the BB Secure Ring. However, in fitting an 85mm diameter BB Secure Ring between
the caster and the base of a miniature bed, the bed base had insufficient backing in
order to keep the Ring flat. As a result it warped, appeared unsightly and could
provide an additional harbourage to bed bugs. Perhaps the miniature bed is not
representative of those normally used by the hospitality industry, but investigations
and/or market surveys should be undertaken to ensure this warping would not be a
problem with current bed designs. A solution to warping rings could be to either
make them thicker or provide a more solid backing ring of cheaper material.
Investigations should be undertaken to establish the durability and integrity of the
BB Secure Ring when placed
in situ
within a hotel room. It is envisaged that the
largely hidden positioning of the ring would provide a degree of protection; however,
vacuuming and constant use of the room may lead to scratching and marking of the
PTFE surface. BB Secure Rings should be placed into rooms, removed over time and
then tested as per the experiments described herein to test product durability and to
provide recommendations on replacement times.
As noted within the trials, a degree of overhang is required for the BB Secure Ring to
maintain effectiveness. It is not known if there is sufficient room for placement of
the appropriately sized BB Secure Ring with typical beds used in hotels. This needs
to be ascertained by surveying and working in collaboration with bed manufacturers.
Presumably, however, only minor modifications would be required if necessary.
Further evaluations will be required of the BB Secure Ring in the hotel situation to
determine any limitations of the product on an ‘as-used’ basis. As the BB Secure Ring
is only being placed on the legs, this will not stop bed bugs accessing the bed (and
potentially guests) via crawling up the wall. Thus, other solutions will be required to
counter this possible movement of insects. One possibility is to paint the wall behind
the bed with a paint that has high slip properties; whether such paint exists and is
effective at stopping bed bugs is not known. Another possible solution is provided on
the BB Secure Ring web site (www.bbsafe.com.au) and this consists of a spacer with
an inbuilt PTFE ring situated in the middle of the spacer. This product is designed to
keep the bed from touching the wall and the Ring prevents bed bugs breaching the
spacer. As a gap is produced behind the bed, this may cause issues with pillows
falling down behind the bed (and the pillows would provide a bridge for bed bugs). A
bed head may further allay this problem, but would increase costs to the hotelier
and provide another harbourage site for bed bugs. Further developments and
investigations are warranted to solve this technical issue.
The BB Secure Ring would also be rendered less effective if blankets or valances
touch the floor. Such limitations would need to be explained to clients in instruction
manuals to ensure that the product is most effectively employed.
It would be expected that the BB Secure Ring will not stop all primary infestations,
particularly in the situation where bed bugs have been brought in via luggage, which
had been placed onto the bed. However, once in a hotel or multiple occupancy
Laboratory Investigations of the BB Secure Ring
Department of Medical Entomology 21
dwelling, the bed bug infestation often spreads from the initial site. It is not
uncommon for bed bugs to spread to 20% or more rooms within a facility (Doggett
& Russell 2008). The BB Secure Ring may well prove most effective against these
secondary types of infestations, and if it does, then the hotelier may expect to save
considerable money in control costs, have reduced risk of litigation, and help
maintain their brand reputation. As such, the BB Secure Ring may prove to play an
important role in the risk management against bed bug infestations.
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With the reduced arsenal of effective insecticides in the world due to the high level
of resistance, novel solutions are required to combat the growing global bed bug
resurgence. As there is unlikely to be any new class of insecticide developed and
available for bed bug management in the near future, the focus on control
innovations has increasingly been in the area of non-chemical solutions.
One form of non-chemical control recently introduced has been barriers, which are
devices that aim to prevent bed bugs from accessing the sleeping victim. Without a
blood meal the bed bug infestation is unable to thrive. As such, barriers are seen as
a preventative, or more correctly, a risk management tool. For the hospitality
industry, where reputation is essential for maintaining business, many barriers have
little appeal as they are obvious and almost announce that bed bugs are
problematic. In contrast, the BB Secure Ring is placed between the caster or bed leg
and bed base, and is not readily obvious. Thus its discreet nature should have more
commercial appeal to the hospitality industry.
The experiments herein demonstrate that in laboratory trials the BB Secure Ring can
prevent access to all stages of bed bugs. This device may well prove to be an
additional useful tool in the arsenal of products available for bed bug management
and prevention.
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Merilyn Geary, Senior Technical Officer, Department of Medical Entomology and
David Lilly, Technical Manager, Ecolab Pest Elimination provided experimental
assistance and maintained the bed bug colonies.
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Department of Medical Entomology 22
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th
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  • Article
    Full-text available
    Since the late 1990s, bed bugs of the species Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus have undergone a worldwide resurgence. These bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that readily bite humans. Cutaneous reactions may occur and can start out as small macular lesions that can develop into distinctive wheals of around 5 cm in diameter, which are accompanied by intense itching. Occasionally, bullous eruptions may result. If bed bugs are numerous, the patient can present with widespread urticaria or eythematous rashes. Often, bites occur in lines along the limbs. Over 40 pathogens have been detected in bed bugs, but there is no definitive evidence that they transmit any disease-causing organisms to humans. Anemia may result when bed bugs are numerous, and their allergens can trigger asthmatic reactions. The misuse of chemicals and other technologies for controlling bed bugs has the potential to have a deleterious impact on human health, while the insect itself can be the cause of significant psychological trauma. The control of bed bugs is challenging and should encompass a multidisciplinary approach utilizing nonchemical means of control and the judicious use of insecticides. For accommodation providers, risk management procedures should be implemented to reduce the potential of bed bug infestations.