Encasing Mattresses in Black Plastic Will Not Provide Thermal Control of Bed Bugs, Cimex spp. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)

Stephen L. Doggett, Merilyn J. Geary, Richard C. Russell
2006 Journal of Economic Entomology  
The suggestion that bed bug (Cimex spp.; Hemiptera: Cimicidae)-infested mattresses wrapped in black plastic and exposed to sunlight will be heated sufÞciently to kill the bed bugs was tested. Two types of mattresses were tested: a thin mattress of solid foam rubber and a thick multilayered inner spring mattress. Temperature probes were placed on both upper and lower sides of the mattresses, which were wrapped in black plastic and placed outside on a summer day for Ͼ9 h wherein the ambient
more » ... ature peaked at 36.5ЊC. The maximum recorded temperature on the upper (sun-exposed) sides was 85ЊC for both mattresses, whereas lower side temperatures for the thick mattress never exceeded 35ЊC, and some areas of the thin mattress failed to exceed 36.5ЊC. Therefore, with published thermal death points of 40 Ð 45ЊC depending on exposure time, and opportunities for bed bugs to avoid lethal temperatures by retreating from hot zones, this technique seems to be not suitable for bed bug management.
doi:10.1093/jee/99.6.2132 pmid:17195683 fatcat:negktylzm5bdpe4q7ukvbchfze