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Bedbug & Beyond

Posted: December 4th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Well, it was bound to happen. For all your holiday giving needs, Bed Bath & Beyond is featuring a “Bedbug Protection” badge on their home page. It links to their bedbug protectors section.

Most of the products are typically accepted as handy and dandy, like mattress encasements and pillow encasements (although some experts note these are not specifically necessary since bedbugs tend not to congregate in areas that get squished and squashed about). They offer some detection products, including the ClimbUp Insect Interceptor. They also offer a number of sprays, which we have not evaluated. Let’s just say we approach such things with a dose of skepticism, especially the magic travel sprays.

They’re offering Space Bags and BugZip luggage encasements. But what really piqued our interest was this: the Allergy Luxe Bed Bug Storage Bag. It’s nice to know that when we finally get our scientific bedbug colony, our little darlings will have a swanky home! At last, a place to store your bedbugs! Isn’t that what we all really need? Stop using your beds; that is so 2000 and late. If only Prada would throw a hat in the ring and create one.

Thanks to alert reader LBC for the tip!

Science Corner: Eastside, Westside, Carbon Dioxide

Posted: October 17th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

By now we all know bedbugs come running for the great taste of people juice, but do you know how our new blood sucking overlords find us in the dark?

In a line so precious I had to lift it straight from one of our source articles, those parasitic little bundles of fun are attracted to us gravy trains by our exhaled “plumes of concentrated carbon dioxide” (PLUMES oh I love you bedbugs).

But JRN, I hear you mumbling between gooey handfuls of drug store mac & cheese, what can I do with this information? Well don’t you worry your pretty little head, that’s what smart people from other countries come to American universities for! True to form, Wan-Tien Tsai and Changlu Wang of Rutgers have taken this fact and created a makeshift bed bug monitoring rig worth a look.

Dry ice; check. 1/3 gallon jug; check. Cat food dish; check. Talcum powder; check. Paper to make itty bitty bedbug ramp (for serious); check.

What do I have to work with?

We're trapped in a bedbug infested bedroom with a fire extinguisher and 18 tampons...but the lease isn't up for MONTHS!

By placing the dry ice in the jug and keeping the spout just slightly open, the small carbon dioxide stream of an exhaling mammal (PLUMES!) may be simulated. This jug is placed atop the overturned cat dish, the inside walls of which have been treated with the talcum powder for extra slipperiness. An adorable ramp is added, half to assist the bedbugs up the side of the dish and half to assist you in narrowing your eyes and cackling away in anticipation of luring dozens of small ignorant creatures to their deaths. Well, capture anyway.

If this detector comes across as a little too…Rube Goldberg for your tastes, consider the cost: a startling $15. Add to that the possibility that this little number may actually outperform professional monitors, and I’m sold.

For complete instructions to the bed bug monitor devised by Wan-Tien Tsai and Changlu Wang, visit the Detecting Bed Bugs Using Bug Monitors page at the Rutgers University website, and download the accompanying 3 page PDF.

For instructions that have nothing to do with bedbugs yet still may prove useful in life or death situations, try this: MacGyver – The Complete First Season

The United States of Bedbug Innovators

Posted: October 4th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Because we want to keep you abreast of all the latest in bedbug news and information, we pored over the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Website looking for new developments in bedbug related technology.  We were hoping to find the equivalent of the tin cans tied together with string in bedbug contraptions.  To our surprise, there was very little to be found in the manner of such devices and doohickeys.  In point of fact only three patents, all dating 2010, mention the term “bedbug” or ‘bed bug” by name in the title.  The majority of patents that reference bedbugs are for pesticides that list “Cimex lectularius as among the potential intended targets within the specification.

The term “bedbug” becomes more common patent parlance in 2010, with two mechanical patents.  One was for a bedbug detector.  This sensor picks up on some biochemical substance that indicates bedbugs.  At first, this sounds like a funny idea.  I mean, if we needed something complicated to detect bedbugs, they wouldn’t really be a problem, would they?  I can think of some other handy dandy bedbug detectors- my arms and legs.  I should patent them as well.  But also because they are so very shapely.  But don’t forget that many infestations are very mild, the evidence is difficult to find, and the bedbugs themselves unseen. In the cases of most businesses, you don’t get human bait sleeping there (unless you count my under-the-desk naps).  And so these detectors are a critical element in early detection of small problems.

The other mechanical bedbug patent was for a bed bug monitor.  This device can either be a standalone detector or a detector with a trap.  In the case of the latter, the trap is a glue board which is meant to provide the actual evidence of bedbugs.  In the case of the former, a standalone detection device,  it employs attractants to bedbugs such as pheromones, heat and bedbug food.  Which at first sounds hilarious.  If I knew there was a device out there that could actually attract bedbugs, I sure as hell would go out and buy that right away.  Because one thing I mostly certainly want to attract is bedbugs.  But the point of this device is not to call up the neighborhood bedbugs and invite them over for a party (bedbugs do not use telephones) but to lure the varmints to the device or trap to speed an early detection, when the problem is small enough to go otherwise unnoticed. All available information indicates that early detection is integral to heading off an infestation.

In the real products department, see also: the Bedbug Beacon – CO2 Monitor and the BB Alert Passive Monitor and the Climbup – Insect Interceptor.

Honorable mention in the area of bedbug invention, goes to the owner of this design patent: