A few months ago, I posted about Roscoe, the bed bug sniffing dog who has his own Facebook page. Move over Roscoe, there is a new detector in town, tiny wasps. A couple weeks ago, I posted about using wasps for detection of important odors. The wasp-based odor detection technology also works to detect bed bugs.
Georgia scientists Glen Rains and Joe Lewis have demonstrated that their Wasp Hound technology can detect bed bug infestations. The current device consists of a fan that pushes air into a chamber. A cartridge containing 5 trained wasps can be inserted into the chamber. When the target odor is present, the wasps will respond with characteristic movements. A camera in the device captures the wasp response and the movement analyzed. It requires about 20 seconds to get a response.
A convenient method of quickly detecting bed bugs would be helpful in controlling bed bug infestations in large buildings such as hotels or apartments. The better the detection, the better the control. Early detection could allow control to begin before an infestation is established and spread throughout the building.