Presentation Title

From Bed Bugs to Dead Bugs: Exploring Natural Alternatives to Eliminate Bed Bugs, Cimex lectularius with Essential Oils

Faculty Mentor

Dr. David Mbora

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 10:30 AM

Location

CREVELING 103

Session

POSTER 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Due to the countless unverified claims on natural bed bug remedies on the internet, the purpose of this research was to determine if two natural remedies - a tea tree oil treatment and an essential oil mixture of eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary - would be effective in eliminating bed bugs, Cimex lectularius. I predicted that the tea tree oil treatment would be the most efficient in eliminating bed bugs because of its antimicrobial and solvent properties to suffocate insects. I tested my hypothesis by comparing the elimination efficiency on an equal number of male and female bed bugs under three treatments: tea tree oil treatment, essential oil mixture treatment, and a deionized water control. Each treatment had three replications of two separate jars – one containing 16 males and one containing 16 females. The males and females were separated into gendered tubs to ensure no reproduction within the experiment. Before treatment started, the subjects were given 7 days to acclimate along with one blood meal. After acclimation, the bed bugs were sprayed three times with their respective treatment once a day until the populations were eliminated. The effectiveness of the treatments was then measured by counting the amount of bed bugs that were alive every day of the experiment until every treatment’s population was eliminated. The main findings were that both natural remedies I tested were effective in eliminating bed bugs. The essential oil mixture proved to be the most efficient in eliminating bed bugs. On the 7th day after one spraying treatment, the essential oil mixture only had 3 males and 3 females left alive while the tea tree oil treatment still had 15 females and all males alive. After a second spraying treatment, both treatment groups eliminated the rest of their respective populations, and the entire control population survived.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 10:30 AM

From Bed Bugs to Dead Bugs: Exploring Natural Alternatives to Eliminate Bed Bugs, Cimex lectularius with Essential Oils

CREVELING 103

Due to the countless unverified claims on natural bed bug remedies on the internet, the purpose of this research was to determine if two natural remedies - a tea tree oil treatment and an essential oil mixture of eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary - would be effective in eliminating bed bugs, Cimex lectularius. I predicted that the tea tree oil treatment would be the most efficient in eliminating bed bugs because of its antimicrobial and solvent properties to suffocate insects. I tested my hypothesis by comparing the elimination efficiency on an equal number of male and female bed bugs under three treatments: tea tree oil treatment, essential oil mixture treatment, and a deionized water control. Each treatment had three replications of two separate jars – one containing 16 males and one containing 16 females. The males and females were separated into gendered tubs to ensure no reproduction within the experiment. Before treatment started, the subjects were given 7 days to acclimate along with one blood meal. After acclimation, the bed bugs were sprayed three times with their respective treatment once a day until the populations were eliminated. The effectiveness of the treatments was then measured by counting the amount of bed bugs that were alive every day of the experiment until every treatment’s population was eliminated. The main findings were that both natural remedies I tested were effective in eliminating bed bugs. The essential oil mixture proved to be the most efficient in eliminating bed bugs. On the 7th day after one spraying treatment, the essential oil mixture only had 3 males and 3 females left alive while the tea tree oil treatment still had 15 females and all males alive. After a second spraying treatment, both treatment groups eliminated the rest of their respective populations, and the entire control population survived.