Efficacy of commercially available ultrasonic pest repellent devices to affect behavior of bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)

K. M. Yturralde, R. W. Hofstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Little is known about the potential for acoustic communication in bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), or the use of sound as cues in host location, although many hemipterans are known to communicate with sound. Most behavioral research has focused on bed bug pheromones that are used in aggregation and as alarm signals. We investigated the influence of sound as a deterrent and as an attractant, either of which could ultimately be used to monitor and control bed bugs. Female bed bugs were tested in two-choice tests with four different commercially available ultrasonic repellent devices. We found that female bed bugs were equally likely to occur in arenas with or without sound produced by ultrasonic devices. These devices did not repel or attract bed bugs during choice trials. However, more bed bugs preferred the middle corridor between the test (sound) and control (no sound) arenas when the sound devices were played. Bed bugs were also more likely to exit the middle corridor during control trials compared with treatment trials with ultrasonic devices. Our results confirm that commercial devices producing ultrasound are not a promising tool for repelling bed bugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2107-2114
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Cimex lectularius
  • bed bug
  • management
  • repellency
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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