Date of this Version
J. Entomol. Sci. 54(1): 43–53
With the resurgence and increase in infestations of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), across the world, there has been renewed interest in molecular research on this pest. In this paper, we present current information on the biology, medical importance, management practices, behavior and physiology, and molecular research conducted on bed bugs. The majority of molecular studies are focused towards understanding the molecular mechanism of insecticide resistance. Bed bugs are hematophagous insects with no prior record of vectoring any disease organisms. An improved understanding of how bed bugs lack vector competency may provide information to prevent disease transmission in other hematophagous insects. The genome of bed bugs has been sequenced, and genomic studies may provide a better understanding of bed bug behavior that might be utilized in developing effective management strategies. Recently, with the advancement of RNA interference (RNAi) as a tool to suppress insects, a few RNAi studies have been conducted in bed bugs. RNAi in bed bugs shows potential to suppress populations in laboratory conditions. However, delivery of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into bed bugs under field condition requires extensive research.