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New, more effective bed bug trap may be coming this year

Traps with a new blend of bed bug attractant may be on the market sometime this year. Better yet, the total chemical cost may make them affordable.

Just last month, researchers at Simon Fraser University announced that they had discovered a new blend of chemicals to attract bed bugs to a trap. For years scientists have been searching for a blend of pheromones to use in a bed bug trap to help control bed bugs. Pheromones are chemicals that animals release to communicate with other members of the same species; they are used mainly to find and attract mates.

Scientists have been successfully duplicating these pheromones—which usually translate to scents—for decades. Researchers had identified several chemicals that made up bed bug pheromones, but they were missing a critical last piece. Recently, they discovered that the missing piece was not a scent, but a histamine, which makes bed bugs stop walking and settle in for a meal.

Histamines are chemicals that human white blood cells produce as part our immune system, but in bed bugs, they signal the bugs to go to one place.

The blend of pheromones and histamines attracted 100 percent of the bed bugs in the vicinity of the trap. Scientists are confident that it will be an inexpensive and effective way to find and monitor new infestations or small populations of bed bugs.

Some researchers are skeptical that the new trap will be effective for large populations of bed bugs, as female bed bugs dislike crowded situations.

For more information about the new trap, read these articles:

Gwen Pearson. Building a Better Bed Bug Trap. Wired.com

Scientists Identify Pheromone for Bed Bug Traps, Entomology Today.

 

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