• Cimex lectularius;
  • knockdown mutations;
  • pyrethroid resistance;
  • bed bug



Pyrethroid resistance in the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., has been reported worldwide. An important resistance mechanism is via knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations, notably V419L and L925I. Information regarding this kdr-type resistance mechanism is unknown in Australia. This study aims to examine the status of kdr mutations in Australian C. lectularius strains.


Several modern field-collected strains and museum-preserved reference collections of Australian C. lectularius were examined. Of the field strains (2007–2013), 96% had the known kdr mutations (L925I or both V419L/L925I). The ‘Adelaide’ strain (2013) and samples from the preserved reference collections (1994–2002) revealed no known kdr mutations. A novel mutation I936F was apparent in the insecticide-resistant ‘Adelaide’ strain, one strain from Perth (with L925I) and the majority of the reference collection specimens. The laboratory insecticide-resistant ‘Sydney’ strain showed a mixture of no kdr mutations (20%) and L925I (80%).


The novel mutation I936F may be a kdr mutation but appeared to contribute less resistance to the pyrethroids than the V419L and L925I mutations. The detection of high frequencies of kdr mutations indicates that kdr-type resistance is widespread across Australia. Hence, there should be a reduced reliance on pyrethroid insecticides and an integrated management approach for the control of C. lectularius infestations. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry