Results when testing Cedar Oil products against Bed Bugs
Monday August 17 2009 @ 01:16 PM
Cedar Oil is advertised as a safe, effective insecticide for controlling a variety of public health pests including Bed Bugs. Bed Bug Central and Rutgers University have partnered to put a variety of Bed Bug products to the test. Cedaroil is the first in the series. Cedar oil was chosen due to the claims being made to the public for use in controlling bed bugs.
Bed Bug Central funded Rutgers University’s, Dr. Changlu Wang to conduct research that examined the effectiveness of cedar oil. The research examined the effectiveness of the cedar oil product on both bugs and eggs that were treated directly with the product as well as the residual effectiveness of the product once dry. This is a brief summary of the research findings.
The product tested was cedar oil a category 25b EPA exempt product that contains 10% cedar oil and 90% latex. The bed bugs used in this research were from a field collected strain.
Direct Spray on Bed Bugs and Eggs.
The direct spray caused immediate immobilization of the bed bug nymphs, followed by 100% mortality within 1 minute of the topical application. In addition to being 100% effective on bugs directly treated with the product, it also proved to be effective against eggs that were directly treated. None of the 61 treated eggs hatched after 17 days compared to 75% egg hatch in a non-treated control group
The Results showed that product tested is highly effective against bed bugs including eggs when applied directly.
Continual Forced Exposure to Dry Residue aged for 24 hours
The Cedar oil formulation exhibited only moderate effectiveness against bed bugs as a dry residue. The dry residue experiment was conducted under NON-CHOICE conditions where bed bugs were confined to the treated surface continuously for 14 days. Some mortality was observed after three days of continuous exposure to treated surfaces.
The manufacturer advertises the product as being repellent to a number of insects. In addition Dr. Wang’s work also suggests that bed bugs are repelled by the cedar oil product. Depending upon the degree of repellency, the effectiveness of the dry residue could be greatly affected in the field as insects that are not forced to remain on the treated surface may look to avoid treated areas.
Additional Notes of Interest
We were quite surprised with the findings of this study, particularly when it came to the eggs. This prompted some additional investigation into the effectiveness of the two constituent materials, cedar oil (10%) and latex (90%). No mortality was observed when either generic cedar oil or latex were directly applied to bed bugs. This clearly raises some interesting questions regarding the effectiveness of the cedar oil product. The fact that the each of the constituent ingredients are ineffective when tested alone suggests that there is something unique about the type of cedar oil or latex used by Cedar Industries or that there is something about the formulation process that gives the product it’s insecticidal activity.
Rick Cooper noted that Bedlam is one of the only products to have ovicidal effects for pests. The cedar oil product did show promising signs that it too, has this effectiveness on bed bugs. More research is needed to confirm this, but ultimately we found this very surprising and unexpected.
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