Sublethal exposure to an insecticide may alter insect feeding, mating, oviposition, fecundity, development, and many other life history parameters. Such effects may have population-level consequences that are not apparent in traditional dose-mortality evaluations. Earlier, we found that a routinely used combination insecticide that includes a pyrethroid and a neonicotinoid (Temprid® SC) had deleterious effects on multiple bed bug (Cimex lectularius, L.) behaviors. Here, we demonstrate that sublethal exposure impacts physiology and reproduction as well. We report that sublethal exposure to Temprid SC has variable aberrant effects on bed bugs depending on the strain, including: a reduction in male mating success and delayed oviposition by females. However, after sublethal exposure, egg hatch rate consistently declined in every strain tested, anywhere from 34%-73%. Conversely, impact on fifth instar eclosion time was not significant. While the strains that we tested varied in their respective magnitude of sublethal effects, taken together, these effects could reduce bed bug population growth. These changes in bed bug behavior and fecundity could lead to improved efficacy of Temprid SC in the field, but recovery of impacted bugs must be considered in future studies. Sublethal effects should not be overlooked when evaluating insecticide efficacy, as it is likely that other products may also have indirect effects on population dynamics that could either aid or inhibit successful management of pest populations.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in PLOS ONE, v. 12, 5, e0177410, p. 1-14.

© 2017 Crawley et al.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch Project KY008066.

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This is publication No. 17-08-023 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.

The data set is available in Dryad DOI: 10.5061/dryad.rr762.

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MateChoiceFemales.xlsx (10 kB)
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MateChoiceMales.xlsx (10 kB)
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SublethalExposureAfterMatingEggLayingOverTime.xlsx (29 kB)
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SublethalExpsoureBeforeMating.xlsx (33 kB)
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