You may think that bed bugs are just a local issue but that is naive. Turns out bed bugs are annoying people across the globe. Lucky us!
Because traveling around the world has become much easier and more frequent, this has allowed bed bug populations to increase and infest worldwide. (Wonder if they have different accents?)
As you may know, one doesn't know they have a bed bug problem until they wake up the next morning and see the bites and red welts on their bodies. But thanks to British scientists, Dr. Tagg Morgan and Colin Pillinger who helped build the original Ptolemy device for the Rosetta comet-landing mission, this may have changed.
Their instrument uses mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical composition of Comet67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Mass spectrometry works by removing electrons from molecules and converting them to positively charged ions which exhibit a particular spectrum when it's passed through a magnetic field.
Dr. Morgan and Dr. Pillinger have now established their company, Insect Research Systems, that uses a matching concept to pursue the pheromones released by bed bugs.
"Bed bugs tend to come out in the dark and during the day they go and hide which makes them difficult to spot," said Dr. Morgan. "They also have very flat bodies which means they can crawl into very small crevices where you wouldn't be able to see them. We want to find them before they find you." I'm 100% on Dr. Morgan's side for this, right?
"But bed bugs release chemicals to communicate with each other and these are what we are trying to find. It means that people could be pro-active about checking for the bugs and making sure they aren't present. You could screen rooms regularly and treat if they were found."
This bed bug detection device is a small handheld instrument that can uncover the proximity of the insects within five minutes! This is a real game-changer folks.
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