Woman Lets 200,000 Bedbugs Bite Her for Study

For years, scientists have been trying to perfect a chemical lure that would act like bedbug pheromones, drawing them out of mattresses or other infested areas and into traps. However, biologists at Simon Fraser University realized that the real trick wasn’t necessarily creating the traps themselves–it was keeping enough bedbugs alive for the study and chemical development to progress. The lab has kept 5,000 bedbugs at a time to use as test subjects, all of which need a monthly supply of blood to be kept alive. The scientists tried chicken blood and guinea pigs, none of which worked due to feeding complications.¬†Bedbug1 15160428-resized-600

At last, one of the researchers, Regine Gries, realized she wasn’t allergic to bedbug bites and began feeding them directly off her exposed arms. This solution worked, but it has meant Gries being bitten over 200,000 times since 2006. The lab has finished formulating a chemical lure, which is now going to be incorporated into far more effective bedbug traps starting this year. ¬†Property owners and families may start getting some real relief from bedbug infestations; but until these new traps are on the market, traditional pest management techniques remain valid.

Protect Yourselves from Bedbugs

 

1. Regularly Wash Clothes and Linens

Bedbugs can often hide in dirty laundry, including clothes that have been left on the floor. Regular washing of bed sheets, dirty clothes, and other linens can help reduce the chances of acquiring bedbugs–just be sure to thoroughly heat dry.

2. Inspect Luggage Before Bringing it Home

When you’ve been traveling, you may have been exposed to bedbugs without realizing it, and some of them may have hidden in your suitcases. Before storing these after a trip, closely inspect them to make sure you aren’t bringing any unwanted visitors home with you.

3. Don’t Acquire Used Furniture

When getting couches, chairs, or beds, try to avoid buying them directly from other homes. Go with store-bought arrangements, as buying from another person or family could expose you to a bedbug infestation as the pests often hide in older pieces that have been in use.

4. Encase Your Mattress

If your mattress or box spring does acquire bedbugs, one of the most effective treatments is to fully encase both. Proper bedbug encasements trap the pests, protecting you from bites while letting the population starve out.

Contact OmniShield today to learn more about bedbug pest control and how to avoid being bitten.