Remain Calm: Kissing Bugs Are Not Invading The US

Authored by Gwen Pearson. This article was first appeared on WIRED, 12.03.15.

CHILL. KISSING BUGS ARE not invading North America. They’ve been here for at least 12,000 years, probably longer. The link between Chagas disease and kissing bugs (Triatoma) is real, and Chagas disease is a serious, untreatable disease you do not want to acquire. But nothing other than a recent burst of media attention is, well, news.

I talked to Dr. Sue Montgomery, leader of the epidemiology team in the CDC Parasitic Diseases Branch, as well as some key US researchers on Chagas disease. I also checked with several Insect Diagnostic Clinics around the US. Everyone agreed: There is no evidence that new infections of Chagas are increasing in the US, or that the insects that transmit the disease have increased or changed their range. The disease itself is extremely rare; fewer than 40 human infections have occurred in the US since 1955. Continue reading

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.

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Searching your hotel room for bed bugs

In Wired

By Gwen Pearson

You’re packed for your trip, your boarding passes are downloaded… and then that little moment of terror hits. What if the hotel you’re going to stay in has bed bugs? It’s a real concern, but by being vigilant, you can reduce your chances of bringing home some unexpected souvenirs.

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