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Researchers Develop New Trap To Capture Bloodsucking Bed Bugs

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,23 days | from the brooklyn-to-become-inhabitable dept.

Science 141

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) are small blood-sucking insects that can live in cracks and crevices in and around your bed and crawl out at night to bite your exposed skin and feed on your blood, just as mosquitoes do. Now BBC reports that researchers from the Rutgers University Department of Entomology have developed a new trap that has a 77% probability of capturing bed bugs, nearly three times as many bed bugs over 28 days (PDF), as the the Climbup insect interceptor trap, which the authors cite as the best monitor on the market. A better trap design can allow people to detect bed bugs while they are still in small numbers. 'If you have only 10 or 20 bugs in your apartment, it's very hard to see with your eyes,' says Lead author Narinderpal Singh. 'When people realize they have bed bugs they are often already in their thousands, or hundred thousands. It's relatively easy to eradicate the bed bugs when they are in small numbers, but when they are everywhere, it's very hard to eradicate them.' The device can be created at home very cheaply and consists of a plastic dog bowl that's been inverted, with the outer wall covered with a layer of dyed-black surgical tape. The researchers contend that higher walls make their trap more effective than the interceptor trap because it's harder for bugs to escape."

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BedBugRegistry (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497473)

Fuck you North East!!!! http://www.bedbugregistry.com/ [bedbugregistry.com]

Wow ... (2)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497519)

The device can be created at home very cheaply and consists of a plastic dog bowl that's been inverted, with the outer wall covered with a layer of dyed-black surgical tape.

After years of research and government grants, we have invented ... a black dog bowl. ;-)

Re:Wow ... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497879)

The problem was solved hundreds of years ago. Spreading bay leaves or kidney bean leaves [examiner.com] in the infested rooms traps all the bedbugs.

Re:Wow ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498137)

That has other issues, though - like how to use them on anything but flat floors, or how to get a large enough supply of fresh leaves to everyone all year (they don't work when dry).

Re:Wow ... (1)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498893)

Please tell me where I can purchase fresh kidney bean leaves in Iowa, in January, and in large quantities.

Just because a solution exists does not mean it's practical, or even possible to implement.

Re:Wow ... (3, Interesting)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499323)

Please tell me where I can purchase fresh kidney bean leaves in Iowa, in January, and in large quantities.

Just because a solution exists does not mean it's practical, or even possible to implement.

The same place you get your zucchini from, most likely. Argentina or someplace like that. It's Summer down there.

Re:Wow ... (1)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500595)

So now I need to travel to Argentina to handle a bug problem? Because I'm reasonably sure that there are no businesses around here actively importing kidney bean leaves. I've definitely never seen them in WalMart or any of the grocery stores I shop at.

What local chain do you typically purchase your truckloads of kidney bean leaves from?

Re:Wow ... (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | 1 year,23 days | (#44502011)

If they really do work to trap bedbugs, this could be a good opportunity for an importer to start bringing them in. Of course that's only useful if they work better than a black dog bowl.

Re: Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44500247)

I used scrunched up plastic sheets which confuses the little buggers - they freak out when they get stuck. That combined with flea spray sorted the problem pretty quickly but this was in a modern apartment.
It's a horrible problem as you keep finding them for months and it does make you paranoid.

Re:Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44500703)

I used heavily scrunched up plastic sheets. The buggers would get confused and even seemed to freak out when they couldn't dig down. That combined with pet flea spray (pemerithrin) which dried them out seem to work pretty well.
It's a horrible problem to have as you keep finding them for months and it makes you paranoid.

Re: Wow ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497883)

After years of advertising budgets told us we had to buy a special trap at inflated prices from a for-profit rip-off^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcompany!

Funny, but glad (3, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498327)

I'm just glad they didn't spend $15 million in tax payer money to invent a $10,000 trap that no one would use. (No one who isn't buying traps with tax payer money, anyway.)
I wonder if the same design works for fleas. I understand fleas are also attracted to CO2, so the yeast + sugar water thing would likely improve results with fleas as well.

I'd been baiting my traps with an an aerosol can of CO2 produced by emissions from an SUV belching C02 into a Styrofoam container full of dry ice kept cool by an R-22 refrigeration system powered by my diesel generator.

Re:Funny, but glad (1)

Arrepiadd (688829) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498663)

I wonder if the same design works for fleas. I understand fleas are also attracted to CO2, so the yeast + sugar water thing would likely improve results with fleas as well.

My guess is it wouldn't work as well (the entire plastic bowl + CO2 source thingy). It says in the article one of the main advantages of this contraption is the high walls that make it hard for the bugs to come out. Fleas would most likely just jump out of the trap once they realized there's CO2 in there but nothing to eat.

Re:Funny, but glad (1)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498779)

Fleas are easy. Shine a (hot) desk lamp over a wide bowl of soapy water. The fleas will jump at the light, fall into the water, and drown.

Re:Funny, but glad (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499621)

I'd been baiting my traps with an an aerosol can of CO2 produced by emissions from an SUV belching C02 into a Styrofoam container full of dry ice kept cool by an R-22 refrigeration system powered by my diesel generator.

Yep. That sounds like an all-American solution to a problem.

Not all-American, just the southern part (1)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,23 days | (#44501121)

Nah, not all-American, that's just the southern part. To bring in the rest of America, the Styrofoam is made from corn pulled from the school lunch program in Iowa.
The corn is trucked down to southern California in trucks that run on highly toxic lithium batteries, which made by smelting thousands of tons of lithium ore in coal
furnaces and charged with electricity from either the coal power plant, or the ethanol burning plant down the road. Ethanol burning, mind you, not ethanol powered.
It uses 20,000 gallons of diesel each day to run the plant, drying all the water out of the ethanol and such. The ethanol is then burned along with some chemical catalysts to produce the power for it's customers. Well, not customers, exactly - really the feds are the the customer - they pay 90% of the bills. The users only pay 10%, to match the price of electricity from natural gas. But I digress. The ethanol is also made from the same Iowa corn, of course, so most of the corn that's brought in doesn't get made into styrofoam, but instead made into ethanol for electricity to charge the lithium-battery trucks that bring the corn. The only problem is, it's getting harder to get
enough corn from Iowa because they say there's a food shortage up there. I don't know why, with all that farmland they have.

Anyway, so down in SoCal they make the corn Styrofoam by bubbling corn porridge with cyanostrychninehydrodeathdioxide. They used to make it by blowing air into plastic, but plastic aint biodegradable, so they they use corn porridge with cyanostrychninehydrodeathdioxide bubbles for the Styrofoam. That's awesome because all those new corn porridge jobs netted the Corn Stirrer's Union another $12 million per employee in retirement benefits. After they make the Styrofoam there, they truck it over to Connecticut so that a woman-owned business there can sell it back to the SoCal company they bought it from, who gets a $90 million tax credit for buying from a woman-owned business.

And THAT is how they styrofoam is ALL-American.

Re:Funny, but glad (1)

Cyberax (705495) | 1 year,23 days | (#44501695)

Uhm... Dry ice is already solid CO2.

Re:Wow ... (1)

gewalker (57809) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498551)

I was just hoping we could adapt this research and use it on politicians. Bedbugs don't have nearly the negative impact on my life as those bloodsuckers do.

Re:Wow ... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498883)

Optimizing the trap shape was just one factor. It also looked at different baits used in conjunction with the trap.

someone will get rich for sure (1)

ClassicASP (1791116) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497543)

simple idea, lots of people will want it. that ones almost as good as the post-it note. nobody wants bedbugs.

So did the world beat it? (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497577)

The path to their door, I mean...

.

This story bites. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497623)

This story bites. Enough said.

Sticky tape? (1)

jasno (124830) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497631)

So placing a sticky card under your bed won't work?

Is there a place where a normal person can buy the chemical attractants?

Re:Sticky tape? (3, Interesting)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497733)

You mean, yeast, sugar and water? Any supermarket. The article proves that CO2 cylinders are not better.
Fascinating setup (the building they chose, how they collected and nurtured the bed bugs, that they kept someone living in the apartment in the 4 weeks the experiment was run).

Re:Sticky tape? (3, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498495)

Bed Bugs are known for crawling up the wall, onto the ceiling, and then dropping right onto the bed from above. Yes, they do that!!! This things are attracted to heat and C02 from your breath. So it's best to leave a ceiling fan on to disrupt the air and throw them off. But once they've air-dropped onto your bed, I'm not sure if they've already left a pheromone trail for others to follow rendering the fan useless.

Re:Sticky tape? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499917)

The 6"x8" sticky pads solved my friend bedbug problem and was inexpensive.

But, you need to keep all parts of the bed from touching the ground and the walls except the parts on the pad.

As a bonus it catches many other insects as well (lots of spiders).

Re:Sticky tape? (1)

Nyder (754090) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500359)

So placing a sticky card under your bed won't work?

Is there a place where a normal person can buy the chemical attractants?

They also use some sort of Pine Spray. My unit got bedbugs before, took 2 cleanings to finally get rid of them all, but they sprayed some Pine Smelling crap around.

Haven't had any since the last spraying, a year or so ago.

Hate bedbugs. Made me paranoid for months afterwards, every little spec i think i see move...

Glue traps didnt work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497651)

They seem to be able to catch anything.

Re:Glue traps didnt work? (3, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498805)

They might catch some, but bed bugs are attracted to CO2, heat, and various other chemicals. One of the linked articles actually mentions a story about a guy with an infestation who had put the legs of his bed in buckets of water to keep the bed bugs from crawling up the legs of the bed, as well as surrounding his bed with diatomaceous earth (which bed bugs typically won't cross, since it can clog the holes they breathe through), only to have the bed bugs crawl up onto the ceiling and then drop down on his bed from above, with the fecal trail going up the wall to prove that's what they were doing.

Really, the traps that they're creating are not designed to deal with an infestation. They're designed to alert you with a higher certainty to the presence of an infestation, since everything I've read seems to indicate that a bed bug infestation is not something that the typical consumer is capable of handling on their own.

Ah bedbugs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497715)

My landlord is so paranoid about getting them I have to initial three separate paragraphs in my lease stating "I will not bring used furniture into the house" "I will notify the landlord immediately if any bedbugs are detected" "I will take steps to ensure bedbugs do not enter the house."

Maybe they should figure out how to prevent them from reproducing instead of trapping a few examples of a menace that, as the summary notes, numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

Re:Ah bedbugs (2)

EvanED (569694) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497941)

I'm sure there are people working on that. But it's not like you can snap your fingers and the bed bug fairy will deliver a fix. In the meantime, people have to rely on traditional extermination methods, and traditional extermination methods require that you be aware that traditional extermination methods are necessary. And that's what the work described by the article is addressing...

Re:Ah bedbugs (3, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498169)

> Maybe they should figure out how to prevent them from reproducing instead of trapping a few
> examples of a menace that, as the summary notes, numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

I have occasionally wondered about using some variation on "phage therapy" for this. As I understand the protocols, the basic outline is:
1. Breed target organism (originally bacteria infecting a patient)
2. Sample natural water, and filter it with a ceramic filter to leave behind only phages as biological material.
3. Apply samples of phage water to target organisms, watch for signs of infection and death
4. If reliable agent is found, use dead targets to make more and isolate a workable phage
5. if reliable agent not found, goto step 2.

There are a lot of viruses out there.... I would bet something infects bedbugs and kills them effectively, and just needs a little help finding them.

Re:Ah bedbugs (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498385)

I have occasionally wondered about using some variation on "phage therapy" for this.

Why this won't work: In a wild population there is usually a high degree of genetic diversity. Most bedbugs may die from the virus, but some will survive. Those that survive will reproduce and create a new generation with greater immunity.

Re:Ah bedbugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498807)

Not to worry. Come winter, the gorillas will simply freeze to death.

Re:Ah bedbugs (1)

Culture20 (968837) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498411)

"We'll have to spray your house with ebola virus to get rid of the bed bugs. Should be safe to come back after a couple days. If you experience any massive bleeding from all orifices and severe vomiting, please call the 911 and burn your house down while you wait for the CDC."

Re:Ah bedbugs (3, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499213)

They're working on this. Beauveria bassiana [wikipedia.org] is a parasitic fungus that infests arthropods. It's already used against aphids and termites, and is being investigated for use on mosquitoes and bedbugs.

Re:Ah bedbugs (2)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498373)

> My landlord is so paranoid about getting them I have to initial three separate paragraphs in my lease

On a seperate note, I was once in the market for an apartment and was considering one that I didn't end up taking. The landlord was at about this level of paranoia about cockroaches. In fact, he said that if we did move in.... he wanted us to unpack all of our boxes outside, because he was afraid of the possibility of roaches getting into boxes and living off the packing tape glue.

That and he was specifically worried about the possibility that we would attempt to fill the bathtub with charcoal and roast a pig in it. He specifically forbade that too, not that such a thing ever would have seemed like a good idea to me, apparently the possibility worried him.

Re:Ah bedbugs (1)

Svenia (3001819) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498873)

I was following this trail of logic successfully at the roach part. I get it, I can't stand roaches. Where I get lost though is the bathtub of charcoal for roasting a pig. I wonder if this was something he just had a weird fear of? Was it something a former tenant attempted to do? Did you just give him the "going to roast a pig in the bathtub" type of vybe? Perhaps he was just really, really high? Such a bizarre concern to have of your residents.

Re:Ah bedbugs (1)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499245)

I thought it was odd too, he claimed he had heard of many immigrant families trying this and it causing massive house fires. Which, would make a lot of sense, I would assume turning the bathtub into a charcoal pit inside a building made of wood would tend to work out poorly.

That said, he is the only person I have ever heard concerned of such things, and in the decade since then have not heard of any fires started that way, so... either it happens so often that the news just ignores it (which seems unlikely since they report fires in general) or it was just a rumor based on something that may or may not have happened once or twice. A quick google search only seems to turn up suggestions for using a bathtub to brine a pig, which shouldn't involve filling the tub with coals.

Re:Ah bedbugs (1)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499705)

Sounds like the sort of story I'd tell to landlords after a few beers....

Re:Ah bedbugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44499119)

People are strange creatures. If you doubt it, just check youtube.

As far as the packing glue thing is concerned, he's actually right. A thin film of oil residue from aerosolized cooking oil, and damp pipe condensation can sustain a roach infestation for YEARS.

Quit fucking around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497721)

Just give us the same thing that got rid of them the last time around. DDT works.

Re: Quit fucking around. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497911)

Can you say "collateral damage"?

Re:Quit fucking around. (4, Informative)

Guido von Guido II (2712421) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498857)

Just give us the same thing that got rid of them the last time around. DDT works.

Bedbugs were apparently resistant to DDT by the 1950s [cdc.gov] .

Re:Quit fucking around. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500723)

But the US was bedbug free by then, and almost bald eagle free as the naysayers kept wanting to use DDT on their crops.

It sucks you and to be you. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497749)

Slashdotter: But then nobody would want to get in the bed with me.

Ya know what also works? (-1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497799)

I have read there has been a dramatic increase in bed bugs over the last decade in major urban centers. There is a very good reason why it has.

People have been told to save energy (and the environment) by using cold water to wash their laundry. While your laundry comes out smelling and looking clean just the same, you STILL need to use high temp wash under certain situations, like washing your bed sheets.

I mean this is why I hate stupid green alarmists because they can't apply rational common sense to anything. Sure, washing your jeans or shirts in cold water makes an environmentally sound choice, but then you get the stupid green alarmists who wash EVERYTHING in cold water using some weak ass granola derivative laundry detergent.

Guess what? Bed bugs survive cold water washes using ineffective detergent which is why bed bugs are increasing in urban centers which have a high concentration of stupid green alarmists.

Use common sense and realize that your bed sheets and underwear should be washed with the hottest fucking cycle your laundry machine can muster, that will end your bed bug and (most liikly) crab issues.

Re:Ya know what also works? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497857)

You regularly wash your mattress and pillows in hot water?

Re:Ya know what also works? (3, Insightful)

Izrun (677155) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497955)

Interesting point. Unfortunately you framed it in a bigoted rant and will subsequently be ignored.

Re:Ya know what also works? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498057)

Not really a good point at all. Bedbugs don't hide in the sheets. They hide in the crevices of the mattress, box-springs, bed frame, and surrounding areas. You might find a few bugs crawling the bedsheets, but it's not where they lay their eggs.

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500033)

Exactly- and very tiny areas like under the rail that supports the nightstand drawer.

I don't understand why they leave the bed and come back.

That speaks to selective pressures.

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

Nyder (754090) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500467)

Not really a good point at all. Bedbugs don't hide in the sheets. They hide in the crevices of the mattress, box-springs, bed frame, and surrounding areas. You might find a few bugs crawling the bedsheets, but it's not where they lay their eggs.

Case in point, I got infested when a friend gave me a chair for my computer desk.

While it infected my bed, it wasn't the source.

Logic is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44502321)

Your friend gave you a chair that was infested with bed bugs. That chair then infested your bed but it wasn't the source. Do you know how dumb that sounds? Either logic or English has failed you.

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44497993)

I mean this is why I hate stupid green alarmists because they can't apply rational common sense to anything.

And as a result, you're a stupid contrarian douchebag?

Cleaning clothes to remove normal stuff you can absolutely do in cold water.

If your underwear and sheets need to be sterilized, you have other issues you need to deal with.

You are a fucking idiot and an asshole.

Re:Ya know what also works? (3, Insightful)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498427)

> I have read there has been a dramatic increase in bed bugs over the last decade in major urban centers. There is a very good reason why it has.

Yeah, that's where the most people are and where people move around the most. If you live in the boonies you never see people in on business trips, and you're more likely to own a house with no close neighbors instead of live in an apartment with a constantly-shifting set of neighbors. Less vectors.

> People have been told to save energy (and the environment) by using cold water to wash their laundry.

And they aren't people in the country? Got news for you: When you have your own water heater instead of a coin-op laundry, you look for ways to save hot water.

> While your laundry comes out smelling and looking clean just the same, you STILL need to use high temp wash under certain situations, like washing your bed sheets.

Wow. You're an entomologist like Rosie O'Donnell is a metallurgist. First off, the bugs don't live en masse in the sheets, so that won't halt an infestation. Second, when you're trying to kill bedbugs in fabric, it's usually recommended to DRY it on high heat and not even bother tossing it in a wash cycle unless you were going to anyway.

> I mean this is why I hate stupid green alarmists because they can't apply rational common sense to anything.

Try not to look in any mirrors. Learning the concept of self-awareness might destroy you.

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498549)

So the bugs survive the cold water wash only to be killed in the dryer.

Hint: clothes and sheets aren't the only place bugs like to hide.

Re:Ya know what also works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44499871)

Not everyone uses a dryer. The only place I've seen widespread dryer adoption is in the USA. I can't stand them myself, they use lots of power, damage clothing much more rapidly, cause static build up and cause skin irritation because you have to use bleach for whites. Much rather line dry.

Re:Ya know what also works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498599)

I always use hot water when washing things like linens, socks, underwear, sleepwear and sportswear. Pretty much everything else I wash cold with cold water specific detergent. I've never in my entire life had bed bugs anywhere that I've lived, nor problems with dust mites. Rarely, I'll wake up with a small spider bite, but I'm ok with that.

Bug problems almost always stem from a lack of hygiene and regular cleaning. Bedding should be washed a minimum of once a week, but it's better to wash every three days or so. It also helps if you have hardwood floors (or any uncarpeted floor) and an air or water bed. Personally, I sleep on a very nice Serta air bed, which means that there is no place for any bugs to hide except in the sheets or blanket.

Re:Ya know what also works? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499015)

Bedbugs have nothing to do with hygiene. They live off blood and only blood, not dirt or mold or anything related to cleaning.

And there are always places to hide. An air or water bed is a good start, yes, although you can get the same effect by encasing your mattress in a bug-impermeable casing. But they can still live in the bedframe, the walls, nearby furniture, etc.

In fact, a quirk of bedbug biology makes it even worse. Bedbug sex is extremely painful for the female (the term is literally "traumatic insemination"), to the point that female bedbugs will often flee and hide after the first mating if there are other males in line. Then she'll lay her eggs in that new hiding spot. So you'll get a second colony in your ceiling fan, or your electrical sockets, or some other crazy hiding place.

Re:Ya know what also works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44499251)

Well, I have always been a pretty clean person and I have never had beg bugs anywhere that I've lived.

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

Uberbah (647458) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499625)

Well, I have always been a pretty clean person and I have never had beg bugs anywhere that I've lived.

And I carry around a Tiger Stone in my pocket. Never been attacked by a tiger.

Re:Ya know what also works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44499725)

Sounds like someone is in denial about their cleanliness.

Something has to initially draw the bugs to your home. That's filth. Ants, flies, cockroaches, dust mites, etc are all attracted to poor sanitary conditions. I have never had problems with any of them, but I have known plenty of slobs who did.

Re:Ya know what also works? (3, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500545)

*sigh*

Ants, flies, cockroaches, dust mites, etc. are not bedbugs. Bedbugs are not drawn to filth. They might use trash strewn about as a hiding place, but "clean that mess up or you'll get bedbugs!" is just not true. Bedbugs are drawn to you, because you are their food source. They spread by hitchhiking on clothes, luggage, etc. from an infested area to an uninfested area. Hotels are prime breeding and distribution spots. Or, if you live in an apartment complex or building, they'll spread between the walls from apartment to apartment.

If you really want to avoid getting bedbugs, the best thing you can do isn't to keep your room meticulously clean. It's to put your clothes and luggage in the dryer as soon as you return home after spending a night in a hotel.

Re: Ya know what also works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44501315)

Bedbug sex is extremely painful for the female..

dude..! i knew some juicy info from the bedbug war frontlines will surface in this /. discussion, but this surpassed even my wildest expectations

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500389)

Bug problems almost always stem from a lack of hygiene and regular cleaning.

Not with the bugs in question.

Ever stay in a hotel? If so, than it's basically nothing but pure, dumb luck that saved you from bringing some of these critters home with you. And should that happen someday, it's highly unlikely that you would even notice them until they had already multiplied into a pretty well established population. And if you think that staying in upscale hotels will save you, I'd point out that the only place I've ever encountered these critters was in a high end suite at one of the most upscale hotels I'm likely to ever see, much less stay at. Definitely priced out of reach for any regular person paying out of their own pocket. And yet, I spent the next 6 weeks waiting for those godawful bites to subside.

The only thing that saved me from bringing them into my house was a trip to the laundromat straight from the airport where I ran all of my clothes through 2 dryer cycles, and tossed my luggage into the dumpster out back.

Personally, I sleep on a very nice Serta air bed, which means that there is no place for any bugs to hide except in the sheets or blanket.

I'm sure the room that bed is in offers plenty of crevices that they would find extremely cozy.

Re:Ya know what also works? (1)

MiniMike (234881) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499955)

Question- Do you use a clothes dryer? They typically heat clothes to about 180 F or higher. Hot water heaters are usually set to 120 - 130 F, so unless the clothes washer has a booster heater that is the hottest the clothes in the washer will get. Why will the clothes dryer not kill bed bugs?

Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,23 days | (#44497895)

a new trap that has a 77% probability of capturing bed bugs

Well, what does that mean? If I have bedbugs, and I leave this out overnight, is there a 23% chance it'll be empty in the morning? Will it capture 77% of the total number of bugs? Over what time period? And so on...

The BBC article is a bit less vague:

In a laboratory setting, they found that their trap had a 77% probability of capturing bed bugs released, whereas the shallower trap only had a 23% probability.

Although this too could use a rewrite. Does it mean 77% of all the bugs were caught by the new trap, and 23% by the old? Makes sense, given that the probabilities add up to 100% (and the article's photo shows both traps in the test area at the same time). But if they are meant to be independent probabilities, then there's a 17.71% chance that any particular bug won't be caught at all*.

*obviously statistically speaking all bugs will all get caught eventually, another reason not to assume this second interpretation is correct, unless they were doing this a timed trial. Go bedbug, go!

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (3, Interesting)

deroby (568773) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498273)

Mathematically speaking I would think that it's impossible that all bugs will get caught eventually, no ?

Night 0 : 100 bedbugs run around

Night 1 : 100 * .77 bugs get caught, 100 * .23 remain
Night 2 : (100 * .23 ) * .77 bugs get caught, (100 * .23) *.23 remain ...
Night n : 100 * (.23 ^ n) bugs remain...

So you'll get an asymptote that borders on catching them all, but not ever really... Especially as we're not taking into account that the remaining bugs will probably multiply...

But I agree that for 'whole numbers of bedbugs' n should be smallish... might make a nice spreadsheet/graph to figure out, especially if you add variables like how long it takes for them to reproduce etc ...

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498465)

without taking into account multiplication, you have to realize that the bed bugs are finite, and can't be split into 0.00001 bed bugs. So there could be a point at which all bed bugs could be caught. Throw in the multiplication and it gets tricky, especially since they're egg-laying.

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (1)

deroby (568773) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500561)

I know, hence my 'for whole numbers of bedbugs' remark ... the egg-laying makes it even more challenging indeed ... wikipedia here I come =)

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (1)

Notabadguy (961343) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500981)

Mathematically speaking I would think that it's impossible that all bugs will get caught eventually, no ?

Night 0 : 100 bedbugs run around

Night 1 : 100 * .77 bugs get caught, 100 * .23 remain
Night 2 : (100 * .23 ) * .77 bugs get caught, (100 * .23) *.23 remain ...
Night n : 100 * (.23 ^ n) bugs remain...

So you'll get an asymptote that borders on catching them all, but not ever really... Especially as we're not taking into account that the remaining bugs will probably multiply...

But I agree that for 'whole numbers of bedbugs' n should be smallish... might make a nice spreadsheet/graph to figure out, especially if you add variables like how long it takes for them to reproduce etc ...

No trap can fix that. When:

Night n : 100 * (.23 ^ n) bugs remain = 1, the remaining bed bug is the Chuck Norris of the bedbug world. The only logical outcome is that you'll wake up on night n+1 to find yourself in that upside down black bowl.

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (1)

Arrepiadd (688829) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498745)

Well, what does that mean? If I have bedbugs, and I leave this out overnight, is there a 23% chance it'll be empty in the morning?

Yes, that's what that means. It is said that these are merely monitors, they are not meant to kill all the bugs. Just like having a mouse trap empty does not mean no mice in your house, having no bedbugs in your trap does not mean no bedbugs. But, keep it there for n days and the 0.23^n chance of it consistently failing at catching something becomes negligible.

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499275)

Yes, that's what that means.

I still think that's pretty unlikely for the reasons stated above - particularly that a) a time period isn't mentioned and b) the 77% for the new trap and the 23% for the old trap add up to 100% - not all that unlikely in the lab conditions depicted.

Re:Wait, what? Be careful when you quote stats (4, Informative)

unrtst (777550) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499285)

If you want the real numbers, read the (free) pdf:
http://esa.publisher.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/jee/2013/00000106/00000004/art00036 [ingentaconnect.com]

They actually did a pretty thorough job of testing them and various attractants in various levels, and have real numbers in the report.

To attempt to answer you question (which can't be answered 100% accurately because there were many scenarios tested and you and the summary didn't state which was referenced)... not all the bugs got caught; the bugs that did not get caught were generally inactive and lethargic (I'm guessing they were old, or not hungry, etc), so they didn't really count them; the new traps caught about 2.5 fold more bugs given the same lure (or lack thereof); tests were run in a variety of settings, including an arena made from a wooden door and several infested apartments while people were there.

Also, for those wondering, the new trap is:
* inverted plastic dog bowl (600ml volume, 18cm diameter, 6.4cm depth, from IKEA)
* outer wall of bowl was covered with a layer of paper surgical tape (caring international)
* tape was died black with Fiebing's Lether Dye (Tandy Leather Factory)
* Incide of bowls were coated with a light layer of fluoropolymer resin (Bio-Quip products, Rancho Dominguez, CA) to prevent the bugs from crawling out

And the best lure was:
* 150g yeast (Lesaffre Yeast Corp)
* 750g granulated cane sugar (U.S. Sugar Co. Inc)
* 3L water (40degree C)

Fill a plastic tub with the lure mixure, mix it up, put on a lid, and rest it on top of two traps.
Lower amounts of lure stil work (not as well as the above amount, but much better than none - see paper for full details).

fear of dog bowls (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498065)

Natural selection will favor bed bugs with an inate aversion to upside down containers.

over there (1)

coutysd (3011631) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498071)

For some people, it's a long way to get to know a person completely, and there are steps to take.

Compared to? (1)

Horshu (2754893) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498085)

But is it more effective than putting kidney bean leaves on the floor? Story was out months ago about this old (OLD) method that works because the leaves have tiny hooks on then that latch on to the bugs' legs. Set them out at night, gather them in the morning and burn.

Where is your local kidney bean leaf supplier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498315)

I've looked on Google and can't find one near me...

Re:Where is your local kidney bean leaf supplier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498959)

Use the natural replication process, Genius.

You can buy dried kidney beans at many food stores. [walmart.com] Just buy a pound of them, and then plant them in a planter box, plastic cups, whatever. Beans are notoriously easy to sprout and grow. Just grow the beans, and pick the leaves in a conservative fashion (a few leaves per plant, many plants), then lay them out on the floor at night, rough side up. The bugs get ensnared in the tiny hairs and barbs on the bottoms of the leaves, and you just sweep the leaves up and dispose of the bastards.

(Hint: you can sprout them under standard fluorescent lighting, in plastic cups filled with standard potting soil. If you live in NewYork, ask the building manager if you can grow the beans on the roof, after stating what they are for. You don't need much space at all for them really.)

As far as I know, artificial material science has not been able to even come close to the effectiveness of kidneybean leaves. Kidney bean leaves are MURDER on bedbugs.

Re:Where is your local kidney bean leaf supplier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44500067)

Just grow a bunch of viney bean plants in your bedroom and arrange the vines so that they grow around your bed.

Re:Where is your local kidney bean leaf supplier? (1)

Horshu (2754893) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499283)

Try a friggin' Home Depot. Look for a display that says "Burpee". That fails, try a grocery store...look for an aisle that says "Rice/Beans".

Re:Compared to? (1)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500459)

Where do I buy a large quantity of fresh kidney bean leaves? Particularly in winter?

And what if the hotel I'm staying in doesn't like the idea of me burning a pile of leaves in their parking lot in the morning?

A solution that can't be implemented is just as useful as no solution at all.

Re:Compared to? (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500665)

1) you grow them, genius. Beans will sprout any season, if you start them indoors. a 1lb bag of kidney beans costs a few dollars. You can get a surprising number of leaves from that. Dry beans are available year round.

2) You dont burn them silly. You stuff them into the dumpster out back. Be sure to take pictures of the bugs for facebook.

3) While I admit that sneaking living plants into a hotel is going to be a difficult prospect, you can get a very similar effect by using glue boards. More expensive by far than kidney bean leaves, but more easily transported, and with a longer shelf life. You can get them in "Enormous" sizes. Failing that, you can always Make your own [gemplers.com] .

Again, take pictures of all the trapped bedbugs for facebook, then dispose of the bugs in the big dumpster behind the hotel.

Capture? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498187)

Fuck that.. Liberal use of poison!

Re:Capture? (2)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498613)

Bedbugs are immune to most common poisons. A professional treatment is damned expensive. Lots of inner-city landlords aren't willing or able to throw out that kind of cash.

Re:Capture? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44499011)

I still dont see how a commercial disposable products can hold up against the ready supply of a biologically mass replicated alternative, like kidneybean leaves.

Even in an inner city, it is absurdly easy to grow beans. You can get a pound of dried kidney beans for a few bucks at the grociers, and in about 2 to 3 weeks, have a towering vine of bedbug snaring death ready to be used for bug control.

It's a mechanical method, since the tiny hairs on the bottoms of the leaves are just the right size and shape to ensnare the bugs. Just pluck fresh leaves, and lay them in the hallways and bedrooms rough side up. By morning, uncountable numbers of the bugs will have been trapped.

Re:Capture? (1)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500465)

Bedbugs are immune to most common poisons.

Read this as: "The only poisons that work require a license to purchase".

CO2 bag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498463)

I've heard that bed bugs are particularly sensitive to CO2. I wonder if anybody makes a plastic bag that you put over your box spring and mattress. Then, vacuum out the air and attach a CO2 cartridge and inflate the bag. Do this in the morning and I've been lead to believe that the bugs are dead by nightfall. Is this wrong or is it really that simple?

Re:CO2 bag? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499147)

You misheard. CO2 isn't a poison; it's an attractant. They track you down using your body heat and the CO2 you exhale, so many traps are baited with CO2 and/or some form of heater.

However, your idea is very similar to one that does work, which is baking them. Bedbugs are vulnerable to heat, and will die in a few hours at above 120-degF. Higher temps have shorter kill times, and steam kills them instantly.

Re:CO2 bag? (1)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499671)

I believe the GP was saying that you should replace the air in the bag with 100% CO2, suffocating them.

Re:CO2 bag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44499989)

Not 100%, since high vacuum wouldn't be atttainable. I was lead to belive by other sources that high concentrations of CO2 were fatal to the bugs over the course of several hours.

After googling around I see that the bugs live in other places beside the bed, so it's a moot point. The idea of persistent cold killing them sounds more interesting. During a New York City winter maybe you could open the window (with a screen of course) while you're at work. Combine that with several other techniques and maybe, just maybe you might make the environment poor enough to collapse and destroy the population.

At any rate, keeping your mattress bagged when not in use couldn't hurt.

Re:CO2 bag? (1)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,23 days | (#44501047)

Vacuum isn't necessary. Just 100% CO2 in a cylinder on one end of the bag, and a one way valve on the other end of the bag. Release the CO2 slow enough that it has time to fully mix. When you've released 1 volume of CO2, the concentration of air is 50% normal. 2 volumes, 25%, 10 volumes 0.1%. That should be plenty low to suffocate anything.

Re:CO2 bag? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | 1 year,23 days | (#44501823)

You are overthinking the problem.

To get near 100% CO2 in the bag, just visit a grocier or gas station that sells dry ice, then, when you bag and vac the mattress, just pack the naked dry ice block in with the plastic, with said valve.

The vac just makes sure the ambient oxygen levels are low to begin with.

This doesn't solve the problem with the bugs being in places other than the mattress though. Like roaches, they infest walls and crawlspaces.

Some form of natural predator insect would be advantageous, in conjunction with mechanical removal methods, like the traps.

Not as good as the MBA trap (3, Funny)

paiute (550198) | 1 year,23 days | (#44498789)

The Paiutech Department of Verminology has developed a new trap that has a 100% probability of capturing MBAs, nearly three times as many MBAs over 28 days (one fiscal month), as the classic hooker with blow trap, which the authors cite as the best monitor on the market. A better trap design can allow people to detect MBAs while they are still in small numbers. 'If you have only 10 or 20 MBAs in your corporation, it's very hard to see with your eyes,' says inventor and Paiutech COO Marion Sam. 'When people realize they have MBAs they are often already in their thousands, or hundred thousands. It's relatively easy to eradicate the MBAs when they are in small numbers, but when they are everywhere, it's very hard to eradicate them.' The device can be created at home very cheaply and consists of an empty bottle of Chivas Regal filled with bleach to which is affixed the label: "Six Sigma Smart Juice".

Heat Kills All (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44498975)

Having stayed in the Hilton (Union Square San Francisco) and coming home with bed bug welts and bites, I can I think I can explain a few things. First, once you see the (clustered) bites, it's too late. Those bites take days to show sometimes. Second, The hotel denies everything. Having been denied satisfaction I left the hotel, but did NOT return home right away fearing for the little fuckers are in my luggage.

I stopped at a coffee shop to internet surf. I found this guy's blog about his battle with bedbugs and how he had to remove ALL furniture from his house in his losing battle against the little bugs. This guy had traps setup, tracking migrations from room to room, sticky side up tape being the most effective. The other side note about the bugs, all sorts of chemicals may or may not work, and HEAT over TIME was the ONLY way to kill these things dead.

I stopped at a dry-cleaner and walked in with NO LUGGAGE and explained the situation I thought I was in. The cleaner said they could take most of my luggage, but not all. They brought out a bio-hazard bin and took my clothes for "special" treatment. I had to take my shoes, suitcase and a few other items home. I threw everything in a 170 degree electric oven for 4 hours each until clean. The car I drove home in, went out to the central valley and sat in the summer sun for 5 hours while I watched movies and drank coffee.

Long story short, use the internet to keep you home safe. HEAT over TIME will KILL the fuckers.

Re:Heat Kills All (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44500107)

Interesting story. Two questions:

1) Why didn't you leave your luggage in the car while it baked in the central valley? That should have taken care of any critters in there too.

2) What about the clothes you were wearing?

Re:Heat Kills All (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,23 days | (#44501297)

At the time, I wanted my luggage GONE and out of my hands. The clothes I was wearing went in to the oven as soon as I walked in my door. I was betting on the odds that my luggage in the back of the pickup truck and the clothes I had on in the cab of the truck were very unlikely to cross contaminate. That being said, After the trip to the valley, the clothes went to the oven, again playing the odds that the cab was clean and I wasn't infected while the car was baking.

There was NO way to be sure I did NOT have hitch-hikers while the car was baking, but the odds were enough for me at the time.

After that entire fiasco, I can safely assume I did not bring home the little biters as I have not had any bite marks or welts over a year and a half later.

Friend had bedbugs- we did this (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | 1 year,23 days | (#44499883)

We got some inexpensive disposable containers, filled them with talcum powder, and put the legs of their bed in it. That stopped the bites right away (apparently they were elsewhere in the room and traveling to her bed. But, it didn't trap them. Apparently they couldn't climb up the plastic.

Next ,we get the 6"x8" sticky pads and put them under each bed leg. It was a bit of a mess (stuck to the bed) but it trapped the bedbugs the first night and THEN proceeded to catch hundreds of other bugs over the course of 6 months (spiders mostly).

They are much cheaper in bulk and when not sold as bed bug pads.

After I searched for the, I got bed bug ads on lots of sites for about a month (I guess google was serving their ads. But it was creepy to get bed bug ads on a gaming site).

A tip when traveling (3, Informative)

Time_Ngler (564671) | 1 year,23 days | (#44500207)

I used to stay in cheap hostels and in Singapore there was one which was infested with bed bugs. I was getting bit every night until I found that if I sprayed a ring of high powered DEET insect repellent in a ring around the edges of the mattress, the bed bugs wouldn't cross the ring and therefore wouldn't bite me. (I had a DEET spray that was supposed to last 8 hours). Better than spraying yourself with DEET every night.

I have heard they can climb on the ceiling and drop down, but thankfully that didn't happen (maybe it's a rare occurrence?).

My experience (3, Informative)

GoJays (1793832) | 1 year,23 days | (#44501545)

As having gone through a bedbug infestation. It is not pretty. It makes you paranoid, you see a spec of dirt on the floor and you swear it is a bed bug and your heart skips a beat. You get an itch while in bed, you think you have been bitten, you rip off the covers, and start searching.... this continues for MONTHS after the infestation is gone. I woke up many times to find my girlfriends on her hands and knees with a flashlight checking the baseboards, and drawers at 3am. The mental aspect of the infestation is much worse than physical.

So how did we get rid of them? We tried various techniques. Encasing our mattress/boxspring and pillows in bedbug proof cases. Putting the legs of the bed in bowls of water. Spraying multiple times, sweeping constantly. The spraying did reduce the numbers, but didn't eliminate them totally. The final nail in the coffin for them was going out and buying a clothes steamer, and steaming the mattress, boxspring, pillows, baseboards, and any other hiding spots in the bedroom. They have to be heated to a certain temperature (can't recall the exact temp at the moment) in order to kill the adults and eggs. So it was a very slow process to make sure they were cooked by the steam. We repeated this process every other day for over a week. At the same time we washed our bed sheets and clothes... ALL OF THEM, even ones we rarely wore and were still clean.

Of course we were paranoid that there were still eggs, waiting to hatch that we had missed... and we were just waiting for that second outbreak. Lucky for us it never came.

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