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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2012 May;33(5):495-9. doi: 10.1086/665320. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Gaseous chlorine dioxide as an alternative for bedbug control.

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  • 1Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, Nebraska 68198, USA.



This study evaluated the efficacy of gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO(2)) for extermination of bedbugs (Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus).


Bedbugs have received attention because of recent outbreaks. Bedbug eradication is difficult and often requires a time-consuming multifaceted approach.


Laboratory and hospital room.


Bedbugs were exposed to concentrations of ClO(2) of 362, 724, and 1,086 parts per million (ppm) in an exposure chamber. Bedbug mortality was then evaluated. The ability of ClO(2) to penetrate various spaces in a hospital room was evaluated using Bacillus atropheus as a surrogate organism.


Concentrations of 1,086 and 724 ppm of ClO(2) yielded 100% bedbug mortality assessed immediately after exposure. Live young were not observed for any eggs exposed to ClO(2) gas. ClO(2) at a concentration of 362 ppm for 1,029 parts per million hours (ppm-hours) achieved 100% mortality 6 hours after exposure. A ClO(2) concentration of 362 ppm for 519 ppm-hours had 100% mortality 18 hours after exposure. Up to a 6-log reduction in B. atropheus spores was achieved using similar concentrations of ClO(2) in a hospital room, indicating that the concentrations needed to kill bedbugs can be achieved throughout a hospital room.


ClO(2) is effective at killing bedbugs in the laboratory, and similar concentrations of ClO(2) gas can be achieved in a hospital room. ClO(2) can be removed from the room without residuals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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