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Surprising Science

A New Weapon In The War Against Bedbugs

A trap created by Rutgers University scientists that resembles an overturned plastic dog food bowl caught many more bedbugs than a similar, shallower trap. The addition of special chemical lures made them even more effective.

What’s the Latest Development?

A paper published in a recent issue of Journal of Economic Entomology describes how Rutgers University researchers sought to improve upon existing “pitfall” or “interceptor” bedbug traps. Their design involved overturning a plastic dog food bowl, wrapping its outside in electric tape, and coating the inside with a substance that prevented insects from escaping. Compared to a shallower, commercially available trap, the new trap collected 2.8 times more bugs. In addition, the team developed a chemical lure made up of spearmint oil, coriander oil, and other ingredients. In tests, traps with the chemical included caught 2.2 times more bugs than traps without it.

What’s the Big Idea?

By the time most people are aware of a bedbug infestation, the population has already grown to alarmingly large numbers. Locating and killing them before they have a chance to multiply involves sophisticated and often expensive methods. Common pitfall traps are placed by or under furniture so that bugs will fall in, but they don’t actively attract them. The Rutgers team claims that their trap “can be placed anywhere inside the home to detect bed bug infestations, to determine the distributions of bed bugs in an infested dwelling, and to measure treatment results.”

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Read it at International Business Times


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