Bed bugs are not repelled by commercial ultrasonic frequency devices

December 10, 2012

Alternative means of controlling urban insect pests by using ultrasonic frequencies are available and marketed to the public. However, few of these devices have been demonstrated as being effective in repelling insect pests such as mosquitoes, cockroaches, or ants. Despite the lack of evidence for the efficacy of such devices, they continue to be sold and new versions targeting bed bugs are readily available.

However, according to a soon-to-be-published article in the Journal of Economic Entomology, commercial devices that produce ultrasound frequencies are NOT promising tools for repelling bed bugs. In "Efficacy of Commercially Available Ultrasonic Pest Repellent Devices to Affect Behavior of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)," , authors K. M. Yturralde and R. W. Hofstetter report the results of their tests of four commercially available electronic pest repellent devices designed to repel insect and mammalian pests by using sound.

The devices, which were purchased online, were used according to manufacturers' instructions. A sound arena was created for each ultrasonic device, in addition to a control arena which featured no sound. However, the authors found that there were no significant differences in the number of bed bugs observed in the control (no sound) and sound arenas, and that bed bugs were neither deterred nor attracted to the arena with the sound device.

The authors conclude that the ultrasonic devices may not have deterred or attracted bed bugs because they may not have produced the right combination of frequencies. Bed bugs are commonly exposed to frequencies made by their host species (humans) and by appliances and machines found in homes. Therefore, it may be possible that bed bugs also would exploit sounds made by their human hosts, such as breathing or snoring. Future studies of bed bug bioacoustics may be served well by using low-frequency sounds produced by host species.
-end-
The Journal of Economic Entomology is published by the Entomological Society of America, the largest organization serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines in the world. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are students, researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, consultants, and hobbyists. For more information, please visit http://www.entsoc.org.

Entomological Society of America

Related Bed Bugs Articles from Brightsurf:

Bed dust microorganisms may boost children's health
In the most extensive study of its kind, researchers from the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with the Danish Pediatric Asthma Center at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, have found a link between microorganisms living in the dust of children's beds and the children's own bacteria.

Bed bugs modify microbiome of homes they infest
Bed bug infestations can modify the home microbiome, according to a new NC State study.

Bugs resort to several colours to protect themselves from predators
New research has revealed for the first time that shield bugs use a variety of colours throughout their lives to avoid predators.

New evidence on bed bug burden in urban neighborhoods
In the first study to use systematically collected data from multifamily housing inspections to track bed bug infestation, investigators including Christopher Sutherland at UMass Amherst 'confirm what has long been suspected for bed bugs, but also for public health issues in general' -- infestations are strongly associated with socioeconomic factors, including neighborhood income, eviction rates and crowding.

How to keep stink bugs out this winter
Every winter stink bugs infiltrate homes across the United States and two new studies published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by Virginia Tech researchers may shed some light on ways to keep the pests away.

How to keep the stink bugs out this winter 
Two new studies published in the Journal of Economic Entomology may shed some light on ways to keep the pests away

'Bugs' in the gut might predict dementia in the brain
The makeup of bacteria and other microbes in the gut may have a direct association with dementia risk, according to preliminary research.

Going to bed with your ex might not be as bad you think
Conventional wisdom holds that people set themselves up for even greater heartache when they jump into bed with their ex-partner after a breakup.

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter
A Rice University computer scientist and his colleagues have proposed a scalable algorithm for quantum state tomography to significantly accelerate the imposing task of validating the accuracy of quantum computers.

New type of bed net could help fight against malaria
A new type of bed net could prevent millions of cases of malaria, according to new research published in The Lancet today.

Read More: Bed Bugs News and Bed Bugs Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.