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Do-it-yourself Bed-bug Detector @ Science News

After trying some 50 arrangements of household objects, researchers have come up with a new low-cost, homemade bed-bug detector. To lure the bugs out of hiding, Wan-Tien Tsai of Rutgers University in New Brunswick put dry ice into an insulated, one-third-gallon jug, the kind available at sports or camping stores. Adding 2.5 pounds of dry ice pellets and not quite closing the pour hole allowed carbon dioxide to leak out at a bug-teasing rate for some 11 hours at room temperature, she said. She stood the jug in a plastic cat food dish with a piece of paper taped on the outside of the dish as a bug up to the rim. The bowl’s steep, slippery inside, with an added dusting of talcum powder, kept bugs from crawling out again. In tests in real apartments, the homemade setup detected bed bugs as well, or better, than did two brands of professional exterminating equipment, Tsai said December 16 at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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