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Bed Detection in Low-Income, High-Rise Apartments Using Four or Fewer Passive Monitors

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Journal of Economic Entomology
It may be possible to detect bed bugs using fewer passive monitoring devices that previously thought. The bed bug, Cimex lectularius, can be a difficult and costly pest to manage, especially in high-rise housing where the bugs can quickly spread to multiple units. Early detection of an infestation is critical to slowing their spread and improving management. Passive monitoring devices can offer a cost-effective means of early bed bug detection for PMPs, but the total number of monitors needed to do the job has been debatable. 

To determine the minimum number of monitors needed to detect low-level infestations in high-rise housing, entomologists from the University of Tennessee tested three different brands of passive monitor.

In each apartment, they placed one, two or four monitors of a single brand and measured if the devices could detect bed bugs over an 8-week period. Researchers found that the two top-performing monitor brands could detect bed bugs with between 80-90% accuracy, regardless of how many monitors were placed in an apartment. Additionally, monitors placed near a bed or other furniture where a tenant slept were more likely to detect bed bugs. Overall, these findings may help improve bed bug detection while reducing the cost of surveillance programs in high-rise apartments.

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