Bed bug behaviour and light/dark

My  bed bug experiment room is typically lit 100% of the time to enable my video camera to record activity. I realize that is not optimal but to this point my desire to observe behaviour has outweighed my wish for ideal conditions. I did purchase an IR illuminated camera quite a while ago but have yet to use it as I am not sure that IR light would alter the behaviour as well.

I noted in a previous experiment that, even after a considerable period of starvation, that I was unable to entice a number of bed bugs out of their harbourage despite an artificial C02 source or even my own presence. Most recently I was testing the efficacy of a modified glue board trap and found that I captured 7 out of 8 bed bugs in the device within 12 hours. However, the last bug simply refused to move from his “harbourage”(favourite spot). This lasted 2 weeks! This was similar to the behaviour I noted in earlier experiments.

Last night, as an experiment, I turned the light off in my experiment room. I checked the experiment in the morning and lo and behold my modified glue board trap caught the last bug. Interesting.

What I learned here is that a brightly lit room can dissuade a small number of bed bugs from activity, even if they are starving. You can not pin bed bug behaviour down to absolutes – bed bugs exhibit a range of behaviours.

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