A new study has been released by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, and is being hailed as a possible new breakthrough in the war against bed bugs. While bed bugs are a relatively harmless parasite, not known to spread diseases or be much more than a difficult-to-eradicate nuisance, these pests have nevertheless shared homes with humans for thousands of years, and have been one of the most persistent, and disgusting, pests for just as long.
Bed bugs, like most creatures with exoskeletons, occasionally shed their outer skins as they grow, leaving behind small replicas of themselves. The researchers at U.C. Riverside have determined that these shed exoskeletons of the bed bugs continue to release the same pheromones that the living pests release. Further, as bed bugs gravitate towards these pheromones and are drawn to them, the researchers have concluded that the shed bed bug skins can be used in miniature traps as lures for living bed bugs. As the bed bugs gravitate away from their host’s bed and furniture and into these traps, they are trapped and the population can be removed from the home.
While these traps are not yet commercially available, they could prove an invaluable tool in the war against these disgusting, parasitic, and extremely stubborn pests.