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Bed Bugs

How Does Bed Bug DNA Detection Work?

As bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) develop from egg to larval to adult stage, they leave behind genetic clues of their presence in dust and on household surfaces: bed bug DNA is present in their egg casings, molted exoskeleton, and in their feces.

A filter cassette attached to a pump or a vacuum cleaner can be used to collect dust from a large area of bedding, carpeting, upholstery, surrounding furniture, linens, or anywhere you suspect bed bugs may have been or could be hiding. Alternatively, you can use a sterile swab to collect samples from the edge of mattresses, behind headboards, in piles of books or papers, or any household surface where bedbugs can hide away.

All DNA is extracted from the collected sample. Using a set of species-specific primers and a fluorescent probe developed for Forensic Analytical Laboratories, Inc, only bed bug DNA is amplified by real-time PCR and detected by the instrumentation.

Bed Bug DNA Detection is precise and sensitive. Our primers and probe have been tested against closely related species and other common household insects and are shown to only detect Cimex lectularius DNA. This analysis is capable of detecting as little as 5ug of bed bug parts per 100mg in extracted dust, and 50ug of bed bug parts from a swab sample.

Within 24 hours of sampling you can get presence/absence data for bed bug DNA for the area you choose to sample. A positive result indicates that bed bug DNA was present in the sample. A negative result indicates that the sample did not contain any bed bug DNA.