Gaseous chlorine dioxide as an alternative for bedbug control

Shawn G. Gibbs, John J. Lowe, Philip W. Smith, Angela L. Hewlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


objective. This study evaluated the efficacy of gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO 2) for extermination of bedbugs (Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus). background. Bedbugs have received attention because of recent outbreaks. Bedbug eradication is difficult and often requires a timeconsuming multifaceted approach. setting. Laboratory and hospital room. methods. Bedbugs were exposed to concentrations of ClO 2 of 362, 724, and 1,086 parts per million (ppm) in an exposure chamber. Bedbug mortality was then evaluated. The ability of ClO 2 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 ClO 2 yielded 100% bedbug mortality assessed immediately after exposure. Live young were not observed for any eggs exposed to ClO 2 gas. ClO 2 at a concentration of 362 ppm for 1,029 parts per million hours (ppm-hours) achieved 100% mortality 6 hours after exposure. A ClO 2 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 ClO 2 in a hospital room, indicating that the concentrations needed to kill bedbugs can be achieved throughout a hospital room. conclusions. ClO 2 is effective at killing bedbugs in the laboratory, and similar concentrations of ClO 2 gas can be achieved in a hospital room. ClO 2 can be removed from the room without residuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-499
Number of pages5
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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