The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius
L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), is a blood-feeding ectoparasite which experienced world-wide resurgence during recent decades. The control of bed bugs is often challenging, due to their cryptic nature and resistance to commonly used insecticides. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the antiparasitic drug moxidectin on bed bug survival, reproduction, and development. The LC50
(lethal concentration to kill half the members of a tested population) of moxidectin against bed bug male adults, female adults, and large nymphs were 52.7 (95% CI (confidence interval): 39.5–70.8), 29.3 (95% CI: 20.7–40.5), and 29.1 ng/mL (95% CI: 23.3–35.3), respectively. Moxidectin (≥ 25 ng/mL) reduced egg laying of bed bug females, but showed no significant effect on egg hatching. One time feeding on rabbit blood containing 20 and 40 ng/mL moxidectin showed no negative effects in bed bug feeding and blood meal ingestion, but significantly reduced digestion rates and nymph molting rates. Although moxidectin at concentrations of 20 and 40 ng/mL only caused moderate mortality in bed bugs, it significantly interrupted digestion, development, and oviposition of survived bed bugs for at least one week after feeding. Moxidectin is a promising supplement of the existing bed bug control materials if its use on humans can be approved in the future.
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