A review of data on laboratory colonies of bed bugs (Cimicidae), an insect of emerging medical relevance

Cannet A, Akhoundi M, Berenger JM, Michel G, Marty P, Delaunay P

Parasite 2015;22:21

Abstract

PMID: 26091944

Cimicidae are hematophagous Heteroptera, feeding on human blood, that have been the subject of significant medical investigation. In particular, they have been colonized under laboratory conditions to study their medical relevance. Laboratory colonization of these bugs is a multifactorial phenomenon. Our goal was to conduct a comparative literature review to classify the published data, demonstrating preferred bed bug colony conditions. We show that physical factors including temperature, relative humidity and photoperiod, and physiological factors such as type and frequency of blood meals play important roles in laboratory colonies. Any change in these factors produces changes in life-cycle duration. Temperature and blood meal are the most important factors, with a marked impact on the life-cycle of laboratory populations, depending on the species. A wide range of temperatures (15-34 °C) and relative humidity (46-75%) with an average of 25 °C and 59% were found for these colonies. Two widely used blood sources for the colonies were rabbits and humans.