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Gaseous Chlorine Dioxide as an Alternative for Bedbug Control

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Shawn G. Gibbs*
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, Nebraska
John J. Lowe
Affiliation:
Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, Nebraska Center for Preparedness Education, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, Nebraska
Philip W. Smith
Affiliation:
Center for Preparedness Education, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, Nebraska Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Angela L. Hewlett
Affiliation:
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
*
Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, 985110 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (sgibbs@unmc.edu)

Abstract

Objective.

This study evaluated the efficacy of gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO2) for extermination of bedbugs (Cimex lectularius and Citnex hemipterus).

Background.

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

Setting.

Laboratory and hospital room.

Methods.

Bedbugs were exposed to concentrations of ClO2 of 362, 724, and 1,086 parts per million (ppm) in an exposure chamber. Bedbug mortality was then evaluated. The ability of ClO2 to penetrate various spaces in a hospital room was evaluated using Bacillus atropheus as a surrogate organism.

Results.

Concentrations of 1,086 and 724 ppm of ClO2 yielded 100% bedbug mortality assessed immediately after exposure. Live young were not observed for any eggs exposed to ClO2 gas. ClO2 at a concentration of 362 ppm for 1,029 parts per million hours (ppm-hours) achieved 100% mortality 6 hours after exposure. A ClO2 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 ClO2 in a hospital room, indicating that the concentrations needed to kill bedbugs can be achieved throughout a hospital room.

Conclusions.

ClO2 is effective at killing bedbugs in the laboratory, and similar concentrations of ClO2 gas can be achieved in a hospital room. ClO2 can be removed from the room without residuals.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2012

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