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J Med Entomol. 2002 Jul;39(4):675-9.

Maintenance of a laboratory colony of Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) using an artificial feeding technique.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación Básica, Merck Research Laboratories, Merck, Sharp & Dohme de España, SA, Madrid, Spain.


The in vitro maintenance technique described in this article has been used successfully to rear Cimex lectularius (L.) by feeding for >2 yr all nymphal stages and adults through parafilm "M" sealing film on different types of blood. Using this feeding technique, the subsequent egg production of female bedbugs was remarkably high. The blood was maintained at 37 degrees C to enhance the attachment of the bugs. The effect of anticoagulation methods for the blood meal was investigated, and heparinized blood was found the most suitable for feeding bugs. All stages of the bugs fed weekly on blood in the artificial feeding system remained attached for up to 0.5-1.0 h, until completion of their blood meals, and all reached engorged weights. More than 90% of the bugs fed artificially on whole blood, and they molted or laid eggs successfully.

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