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Literature Review

When setting traps for suspected disease vectors, it is important to consider the life cycles and
ecology of these vectors to ensure that the selected traps will be effective. Several specimens were
collected by patients in this case of an unknown disease spreading throughout the United States. Upon
analysis, six vectors were found to be common to most patients: Cimex lectularius, Dermacentor
variabilis, Amblyomma americanum, Triatoma gerstaeckeri, Aedes vexans, and Ctenocephalides felis.
Using information from gathered patient profiles, the suspect vectors were further narrowed down to the
two ticks (D. variabilis and A. americanum) and the bed bug (C. lectularius). Dry ice traps were set for
these three suspect vectors, as the literature supports their effectiveness for trapping both the bed bug and

C. lectularius Ecology
The bed bug, C. lectularius, is an obligate blood feeder in all life stages that prefers human hosts
and has seen its population resurge in recent decades (Vaidyanathan 2013). Its host-seeking behavior is
tied primarily to olfactory responses to human odorants (Liu 2015). Additionally, bed bugs are difficult to
detect due to their preference for very secluded cracks and crevices in their indoor habitat (Vaidyanathan
2013). Searching for them is both difficult and time-consuming; therefore, traps that mimic human
odorants and draw bed bugs to them are a preferred method for identifying the extent of a bed bug
infestation and for collecting specimens. A homemade dry ice trap has been shown to be the most
effective method for attracting and collecting bed bugs in occupied apartments, when compared to
commercial alternatives (Wang 2011).

D. variabilis and A. americanum Ecology

Ticks are significant pests that transmit pathogens affecting both humans and animals worldwide
(Whetten 2016). Two of the most common ticks, Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma americanum,
commonly known as the American dog tick and Lone Star Tick respectively; are hard ticks that are
rapidly contributing to human/vector-borne diseases in the southeast part of USA. Due to their diminutive
appearance and difficulty finding, trapping ticks with a simply dry ice trap can be an efficient and
convenient method to help eradicate or control tick outbreaks. Carbon dioxide is a universal attractant for
blood-feeding arthropods, and used as dry ice, is the main attractant used for collecting ticks (Carr 2012).
Traps baited with dry ice have been reported to collect significantly more adults and nymphs of
Amblyomma americanum L. and adults of Dermacentor variabilis (Carr 2012).

Dry Ice Traps

The simple dry ice trap was chosen for its broad effectiveness, relative ease of use, and economic
feasibility. The CO2 released by the dry ice mimics respiration in vertebrates, attracting a variety of
blood-feeding arthropods (Springer 2015). Placing and examining traps requires less time and skill than
inspecting for vectors--making it ideal for locating and trapping secluded vectors like C. lectularius--but
there is some additional health risk associated with potential exposure to dry ice (Wang 2011).
Additionally, the use of dry ice as the source of CO2 in these traps has shown a comparable effectiveness
to more sophisticated methods of CO2 release, but at a much lower cost (Springer 2015).
Works Cited:

Carr, A. L., R. M. Roe, C. Arellano, D. E. Sonenshine, C. Schal, and C. S. Apperson. 2013.

Responses of Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor variabilis to odorants that attract
haematophagous insects. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 27: 8695.
Liu, F., and N. Liu. 2015. Human Odorant Reception in the Common Bed Bug, Cimex lectularius.
Scientific Reports. 5.
Mays, S. E., A. E. Houston, and R. T. T. Fryxell. 2016. Comparison of novel and conventional methods
of trapping ixodid ticks in the southeastern U.S.A. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 30: 123
Springer Y.P., Eisen L., Beati L., James A.M., Eisen R.J. 2014. Spatial Distribution of Counties in the
Continental United States With Records of Occurrence of Amblyomma americanum. Journal of
Medical Entomology. 51: 342351.
Springer Y.P., Taylor J.R., Travers P.D., Jacobs-Lorena M. 2015. Variation in baiting intensity
among CO2-baited traps used to collect hematophagous arthropods. Journal of Insect Science. 15:
Vaidyanathan, R., and M. F. Feldlaufer. 2013. Bed Bug Detection: Current Technologies and Future
Directions. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 88: 619625
Wang, C., W.-T. Tsai, R. Cooper, and J. White. 2011. Effectiveness of Bed Bug Monitors for
Detecting and Trapping Bed Bugs in Apartments. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104: 274