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CES 2014: A Bedbug Detector that Looks Interesting but has Detractors (Video)

Roblimo posted about 3 months ago | from the sometimes-a-real-dog's-nose-is-better-than-an-electric-one dept.

Earth 72

This is a slightly puzzling product. To begin with, Christopher Goggin, shown as the inventor of the Electronic Dog Nose (as featured in Popular Science) may not be the actual inventor, at least according to some of the comments attached to that 2011 Popular Science article. Yet other comments on the same article claim that the unit Goggin supposedly ripped off is totally different from his, and doesn't work, while his does. A report (pdf) on bed-bugs.co.uk says the device "...clearly fails to perform to the manufacturers specification and procedures." Goggin's badge at CES showed his company affiliation as Datt Solutions Group, but Datt's website did not mention him as of Jan. 21, 2013, several weeks after CES 2014 closed. A New York Real Estate blog is skeptical, as are others. Goggin also claims to have a laser device that will kill the bedbugs you find. It sounds great. But a person who prefers the tried and true to new products that may or may not work might want to use old-fashioned, all-natural Diatomaceous earth, which kills not only bedbugs but other insect pests, and costs very little compared to most other methods. If that method doesn't work, then it may be time to try dogs, lasers, and other ways to find and kill bedbugs, which have been spotted everywhere from luxury hotels to housing projects, even in taxicabs and movie theaters.

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72 comments

...what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029679)

The summary read like random words in a blender

I think some of the infinite monkeys have knocked off early today

Re:...what? (3, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 3 months ago | (#46029779)

The monkeys were fired after they got really smug about using Elizabethan English for *everything*.

Diatomacious earth is natural and deadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46032619)

Lasers don't cause permenant scarring in your lungs if you breath them in. Diatomacious earth can. So yes lets all use natural products and bleed in our lungs.

Re:Diatomacious earth is natural and deadly (2)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 3 months ago | (#46033355)

With the increase of insect resistance to pesticides we'd going to need some novel countermeasures. I propose widespread deployment of Diatomaceous Earth. Sure some people will die but the rest will evolve resistance.

Now you'll say "That's complete madness. Humans are the ultimate K selected species [wikipedia.org] so they've got no chance of out evolving r selected insects [wikipedia.org] " Ordinarily that would be true but by careful use of mutagens and radiation and encouraging r selected traits like promiscuity and abandoning your kids. I think we can win.

And we need too, to ensure that human civilisation, not bed bug, dominates New York. NOW AND FOREVER.

Re:Diatomacious earth is natural and deadly (1)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | about 3 months ago | (#46034703)

You raise a valid safety issue, however reportedly what is sold as "food grade" DE is primarily amorphous silica, not crystalline, and it's the crystalline form that has been (primarily) linked to lung damage. In particular, DE sold for use in swimming pool filtration has a high percentage of crystalline silica and should therefore be avoided.

E.g., noted here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth [wikipedia.org]

Safety considerations

Inhalation of crystalline silica is harmful to the lungs, causing silicosis. Amorphous silica is considered to be low toxicity, but prolonged inhalation cause changes to the lungs.[26] Diatomaceous earth is mostly amorphous silica, but contains some crystalline silica, especially in the saltwater forms.[27] In a study of workers, those exposed to natural DE for over 5 years had no significant lung changes, while 40% of those exposed to the calcined form had developed pneumoconiosis.[28] Today's common D.E. formulations are safer to use as they are predominantly made up of amorphous silica and contain little or no crystalline silica.[29]

The crystalline silica content of D.E. is regulated in the United States by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and there are guidelines for the maximum amounts allowable in the product (1%) and in the air near the breathing zone of workers (6 mg/m3).[29]

In the 1930s, long term occupational exposure among workers in the cristobalite D.E. industry who were exposed to high levels of airborne crystalline silica over decades were found to have an increased risk of silicosis.[30]

Today, workers are required to use respiratory-protection measures when concentrations of silica exceed allowable levels.

Diatomite produced for pool filters is treated with high heat (calcination) and a fluxing agent (soda ash), causing the formerly harmless amorphous silicon dioxide to assume its crystalline form.[29]

Confusing copy. (2)

PktLoss (647983) | about 3 months ago | (#46029693)

The title leads me to think this is a video about a bed bug detector. The copy in the post goes on and on about where someone worked, or claimed to work, and what their website said...

Please edit copy and try again.

Re:Confusing copy. (-1, Flamebait)

Roblimo (357) | about 3 months ago | (#46031357)

I'm sorry. I wrote that for people with 3-digit IQs. I'll try to keep things simpler in the future.

Re:Confusing copy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46032023)

Given the data (roblimo's /. UID), UID length and IQ must be inversely correlated! (AC here, so that means we've got a lower UID than 0. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.)

Re:Confusing copy. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 3 months ago | (#46032663)

I'm sorry. I wrote that for people with 3-digit IQs. I'll try to keep things simpler in the future.

Give me a break. The criticism is well justified. The summary is truly horrific writing.

Re:Confusing copy. (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 3 months ago | (#46034671)

No, you wrote that for people who already knew whatever the hell it is you were going on about. Which is pretty pointless, since they already know.

I can't make head or tails of this summary. It's rambling gibberish. And I certainly have a three-digit IQ.

Learn how to write so that other people can actually understand you. That's your job. Leave the smug condescension for when you are actually capable of the fairly simple task of writing a summary.

where did the house go? why all the fire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029699)

i lasered the bedbugs, things got out of hand, there were mosquitos & fruit flies too... sorry

This is a slightly puzzling product. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029727)

A report (pdf) on bed-bugs.co.uk says the device "...clearly fails to perform to the manufacturers specification and procedures."

Obviously, the device is running buggy firmware.

Re:This is a slightly puzzling product. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 3 months ago | (#46029867)

A report (pdf) on bed-bugs.co.uk says the device "...clearly fails to perform to the manufacturers specification and procedures."

Obviously, the device is running buggy firmware.

Oh great.. Now I have to clean my late afternoon coffee off the keyboard. Well played AC... Wish I had mod points...

Remind me NOT to drink coffee and read /.

Is is just me? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 3 months ago | (#46030163)

Or does anyone else feel itchy after reading the summary?

Re:Is is just me? (1)

nightsky30 (3348843) | about 3 months ago | (#46034455)

Crappy movies, people talking and texting on their phones, and one more reason not to go to the movie theater!!! I wasn't itchy until I read your comment :)

Re:This is a slightly puzzling product. (1)

Megane (129182) | about 3 months ago | (#46029891)

If the developers aren't sure what is needed to make it work properly, maybe they should sleep on it for a while.

WTF is this actually about? (5, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | about 3 months ago | (#46029733)

My hovercraft is full of eels.

Re:WTF is this actually about? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 3 months ago | (#46030231)

In that case, I'm sure you'll like our eel detector that looks interesting but has detractors (Video)!

Re:WTF is this actually about? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46030751)

The more I think about it, I have to admit that your post makes a lot more sense than the actual article. In regards to the eels, I recommend Fa-breeze.

Re:WTF is this actually about? (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#46030861)

My hovercraft is full of eels.

I will not buy this tobacconist, it is scratched.

Re:WTF is this actually about? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46031407)

Or, as SLJ would say... "muthafukin eels om my muthafuckin hovercraft"

Can it be 3D printed in space? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029787)

Or is this another Luddite product that fails to account for the fact that computers got better?

Can't Compare (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 3 months ago | (#46029789)

Greatest bedbug detector and eliminator in the world:

http://gallery.photo.net/photo... [photo.net]

Turn six of them loose in your house and you'll never see another bug again.

Re:Can't Compare (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029817)

Let me guess how this ends. With gorillas dying when freezing weather hits?

Re:Can't Compare (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 3 months ago | (#46030185)

When we lived down South, my wife would absolutely freak out when these things would get into the house. Then she got really furious when I suggested that we should leave them alone, they weren't hurting anyone, and they would keep down the bug population.

Better than dirt (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 3 months ago | (#46029823)

Nobody wants to stay in a hotel to sit in a movie theatre with yellow brown dirt everywhere. Depending on the size and wattage the laser idea could quickly disinfect rooms without leaving a mess. Or a portable one could run through once a week or so.

Re:Better than dirt (1)

Megane (129182) | about 3 months ago | (#46029907)

Nobody wants to stay in a hotel to sit in a movie theatre with yellow brown dirt everywhere.

You mean that's not just popcorn dust?

Interesting but not useful (4, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about 3 months ago | (#46029839)

So he has a mechanical nose to detect them, and he has a point-and-shoot laser to kill them. Neither of those are a good idea.

First of all, the detector. This one's the better of the two ideas. If it can do all that a dog can do, then it's probably worth it for someone uber-paranoid or in a high-risk environment. But it's 3-4 times the price of a dog visit, so someone who just wants a quick check around the apartment is better off with the dog. And that's still with the big IF it can do it as well as a dog.

Oh, and his worries that a bug-dog will jump all over your furniture or eat poison are ludicrous. They're highly trained professionals, like their handlers. Not quite police-dog level, but close. A bug-dog that wrecks the place or eats poison will not be a bug-dog for long.

Next topic - the laser. First of all, his statement about industry-standard insecticides is wrong. Only some exterminators still use pesticides for bedbugs; the others use heat. If they do use pesticide, there are new ones out there that are extremely potent and will not likely need to be reapplied. But the go-to treatment now is heat, and they do it in a much more effective way than this dumb laser. Bedbugs want to survive just like any other living creature - they will run away from a targeted blast of heat, and they'll run someplace the laser can't reach them, like inside the walls (if they weren't there already, which they probably were). Effective heat treatments raise the entire interior temperature of your apartment/house above bug-lethal temperatures. There is no escape.

Don't buy from this guy. He knows a little about what he's talking about, but his solutions are the wrong solutions. If you think you have bedbugs, contact a professional pest control operator. They are extremely difficult to kill, and you will often only make the infestation worse if you try to DIY it.

Re:Interesting but not useful (5, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about 3 months ago | (#46029967)

Oh, and I forgot to mention this quote:

. But most of the time bed bugs are the result of just poor housekeeping in one place.

Which is flat out false. Bedbugs have nothing to do with cleanliness or housekeeping. They eat blood, not trash. They are attracted to you, not your mess.

Re:Interesting but not useful (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 3 months ago | (#46030191)

Furthermore, they can hitch a ride on anyone who visits your house. You don't have to be a dumpster-diver to get them.

I've had them. They're a major pain in the ass to get rid of when you can't afford the heat treatments.

But what are you going to do? Seal yourself off and never allow any company over?

Even then, your neighbour in the apartment building can get an infestation, and they do wander the halls.

Re:Interesting but not useful (3, Informative)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 3 months ago | (#46031395)

It's also false because bedbugs are insanely awesome hiders (advanced persistent parasites). As someone that had them for 2 years spanning 2 residences, and was finally able to out-smart/engineer them (with heat in addition to ridiculous housekeeping measures), and now been rid of them for more than 2 years... I'm just saying, you gotta respect them. They are _nothing_ like roaches when it comes to 'poor housekeeping'. With roaches, you can do pretty well just by working on better housekeeping. With bedbugs, there is no fucking hope without further measures (heat- but done right, took me 3 months of 'heat waves' before I finally achieved full eradication, and my problem-space was much simpler than most peoples.

Re:Interesting but not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46030395)

My girlfriend found one (ONE!) possible larvae in Vancouver and freaked out. She got a bug dog in, which indicated in several places in her tiny apartment, so she searched very carefully to decide which furniture to throw out and which to steam... she never found any evidence of another bug.

Makes me think maybe some of this is going on:

http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2010-2011/02/20110223_drug_dogs.html

Re:Interesting but not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46032639)

Well, bed bugs don't have larvae (and the measures taken seem incredibly ineffectual at getting rid of bed bugs), so probably.

Re:Interesting but not useful (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 months ago | (#46031993)

Dogs are unclean animals. The idea of them coming into your house and jumping all over your furniture including the bed that you sleep on every night is repugnant to a pretty significant portion of the world's population. There is definitely a market for an alternative to that.

Re:Interesting but not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46041511)

Protip: If you don't allow Mohammedans in your house you will be called a bigot.

If you keep a big friendly dog, they will stay away all by themselves.

Re:Interesting but not useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46032601)

Only some exterminators still use pesticides for bedbugs; the others use heat. If they do use pesticide, there are new ones out there that are extremely potent and will not likely need to be reapplied.

Not strictly true, in my experience. Sometimes poison will be used because the owner of the building is gullible, or because the 'exterminators' are just non-skilled people with a tank of poison.

Rave for Diatomacious. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029847)

It works. It clogs exoskeleton joints and sucks moisture out of them. It's completely and absolutely harmless for you, babies, pets, etc - it's a very pure, fine dust.

Re:Rave for Diatomacious. (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 3 months ago | (#46029939)

It's completely and absolutely harmless for you, babies, pets, etc.

Once it's settled out of the air, sure. During application and until it settles, you should wear respiratory protection and keep kids/pets/etc out of the area. That pure, fine dust can and will cause inflammation of the respiratory tract if inhaled.

Re:Rave for Diatomacious. (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#46032411)

It's completely and absolutely harmless for you, babies, pets, etc.

Once it's settled out of the air, sure. During application and until it settles, you should wear respiratory protection and keep kids/pets/etc out of the area. That pure, fine dust can and will cause inflammation of the respiratory tract if inhaled.

Well, I probably wouldn't want to inhale too much of the dust in any case, but you should use food-grade DE. Other grades can be treated in a way that can cause serious lung issues.

Diatomaceous Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029857)

At the end of a hard day I just can't wait to rest my weary body on a bed dusted in diatomaceous earth.

But seriously, I'm no princess laying on a stack of mattresses here, but if I feel so much as an abandoned eyelash rolling around under me in bed I freak out and frantically swish it away.

Bedbug detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46029859)

Fill an old coffee cup with ten tablespoons (150 grams) of sugar, two tablespoons (30 grams) of yeast, and one and a half quarts (one and a half liters) of water, and put it in the middle of an upturned dog bowl.

Voila! You have just made a bedbug detector that beats others on the market and is much cheaper.

This do-it-yourself (DIY) device to trap bedbugs was created by Narinderpal Singh, Changlu Wang, and Richard Cooper from Rutgers University in New Jersey. It does not kill the bugs, but it can alert homeowners to infestations at their earliest stages, when the bugs are more easily exterminated.

Re:Bedbug detector (2)

wcrowe (94389) | about 3 months ago | (#46030239)

I'd like to see how you get one and a half quarts of water in an old coffee cup.

Re:Bedbug detector (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46035075)

It must be a really old coffee cup - one with a little corroded hole in the bottom.

Re:Bedbug detector (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 months ago | (#46032067)

Fill an old coffee cup with ... one and a half quarts (one and a half liters) of water....

Before you try this over your mattress, you might want to check the size of your coffee cup.

Diatomaceous earth works. (1)

Revek (133289) | about 3 months ago | (#46030009)

A bag cost nine bucks at a the farm store. Its not a poison. Its a FDA approved additive for livestock feed. It is composed of fossilized diatoms. Works well on fire ants also. Doesn't really kill them all, it just encourages them to move on. It will get rid of many small insects.

Re:Diatomaceous earth works. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#46032399)

Yup - used it to de-flea the house after treating the pets.

Oh, be sure to buy food grade though. The filtration-grade stuff (often used in pool filters) is treated differently and can cause lung problems if inhaled (silicates/etc). The food-grade stuff is, as the name suggests, suitable for ingestion. It isn't really used as an ingredient in human food, though it might very well be used in processing food (it is a decent filtration substrate, less effective than carbon but it lasts a lot longer).

My understanding is that the little pieces of silica basically get caught in the exoskeletons of insects and puncture their skin, causing them to dehydrate. I thought it was fatal to them, but it does get rid of them. With the flea problem we had I just sprinkled it into any place the pets frequented and all the beds, and just lightly rubbed it in. After a few weeks I vacuumed it up anyplace it was still around. A little goes a long way and it is dirt cheap - it is literally dug out of the ground.

most methods to eradicate bed bugs fail (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 3 months ago | (#46030241)

Per companies a friend of mine contacted when they had a sudden infestation in a single bedroom, the only way to kill bedbugs (as of 2013, when it happened) was to seal up the room and literally bake the space at a really high temperature, for a day or two (I don't recall the exact timeframe, but it was substantial and sounded expensive, energy-wise.)

That process kills the bugs, larvae, and eggs - everything. Nothing else is guaranteed to work - especially because of the really long gestation time of the eggs (you may think they're gone but then they pop up again months later.) The process worked for the friend, and they haven't had a problem since.

It's too bad we don't have something as effective as DDT was that also won't do as much collateral damage.

Re:most methods to eradicate bed bugs fail (1)

bjdevil66 (583941) | about 3 months ago | (#46030279)

One other thing: Theaters being bedbug hangouts sounds crazy, but per the companies it is far more common than you'd think - and they are a real problem. A common transport vector is when a woman puts their purse on their floor of the theater, next to or under their seat. The bedbugs drop right into the open purse, she takes the purse home, they crawl out in your bedroom, and you suddenly have a real problem.

Re:most methods to eradicate bed bugs fail (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#46030507)

One source:

100 minutes @ 106F

25 minutes @ 109F

4 minutes @ 113F

1 minute @ 120F

The caveat is the heat must penetrate at these temperatures into books, couch cushions, walls, bedding, etc. Every crevice the creature can hide in must reach the desired temperature before the time element kicks in.

Re:most methods to eradicate bed bugs fail (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 3 months ago | (#46030677)

Could you link your source? That seems low to me. It's been a while since I checked (I did all my research during my infestation in 2012), but IIRC nothing below 113F is lethal. I remember 60 minutes at 113F, 20 minutes at 140F, ~30 seconds at 160F, and instantaneous at 212F.

Re:most methods to eradicate bed bugs fail (3, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about 3 months ago | (#46030747)

Never mind, found this [thermalremediation.com] . 113F is the lethal temp. 122F is immediate kill temp.

Math fail... I thought we're all neckbeards here? (1)

braden87 (3027453) | about 3 months ago | (#46031947)

Ugh it hasn't been "several" weeks since CES closed. My company was there so I know it ended Jan 10. Let's do some grade 1 math: Jan 21 (when this post was written) - Jan 10 = 11. Several is definitely plural, so you'd need at least 14 days. 14 > 11.

Using DE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46032749)

The thing with diatomaceous earth is that it gets in the air easily and can hurt your lungs. I'd rather use kidney bean leaves, which have little hooks to catch their legs.

I use two methods (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#46033421)

...neither of which involve any sort of antenna stuck in the side of a Walkman.

The first is a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Moves the little bastards like you wouldn't believe.
The second is a liberal spraying with a little cocktail of my own design: it consists of a few drops of clove oil, a quantity of organic solvent, and water. Kills anything with more than four legs stone dead instantly, doesn't aggravate my lung condition and doesn't smell like someone just fumigated the place. One treatment every two months, and I'm gravy.

Re:I use two methods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46041517)

If you need to treat it every two months, then it isn't working and you are likely leaving quite a few of them behind in deep places you're not reaching and/or you're not getting the eggs. One decent treatment and a few precautions like not putting luggage on your bed and then you can go years without a problem.

Better luck with the sticky pads (2)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 3 months ago | (#46033465)

Had a friend who had these. Nothing they tried worked.

I found some sticky pads on the web (MUCH cheaper at farmer stores apparently).

Put one under each bed leg.

Problem solved very quickly.

Also tried disposable plastic containers filled with Talc under each leg. That stopped the biting but didnt' kill the bugs.

We were amazed by how many other bugs got caught on the things.
Spiders-- silverfish-- doodle bugs-- no roaches so that was nice.

Anyway recommend them. They will mess up carpet tho so you would need to put something under them if you have carpet.

Microwave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46035201)

I wonder if one can use a microwave oven with the door removed (and of course with the safety switch bypassed), to fry bugs.

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