Bed bug aggregate pheromone traps “within two years” says Dr. Gerhard Gries

by nobugsonme on June 17, 2008 · 6 comments

in bed bug dogs, bed bug research, bed bugs, british columbia, canada, entomologists, vancouver

This Globe and Mail article is about Vegas, Care Pest and Wildlife Control’s bed bug dog, based in Burnaby, British Columbia.

But it includes a section on the status of bed bug aggregate pheromone research being undertaken by Dr. Gerhard Gries of Simon Fraser University:

Understanding how insects communicate with each other is the key to developing effective new tools in the fight to eradicate bedbugs.

Simon Fraser University professor Dr. Gerhard Gries, an expert in insect chemical ecology, is investigating how bedbugs use airborne chemical compounds called pheromones to communicate.

Not only have Prof. Gries and his collaborators identified this compound, they now know how to manufacture pheromones in a laboratory.

“A synthetic replica of this message, made of very harmless chemicals, can be put into a trap and placed in a room with a potential infestation, and if any insects appear, you know there are bedbugs in the room.”

The SFU-developed pheromone traps have been patented and will soon undergo testing. If all goes well, they will be in the toolboxes of Vancouver exterminators within two years.

We’ve heard more than one team is working on bed bug pheromone traps.

Whoever wins the race to the working bed bug trap will have a lot of happy customers.

Not to sound ungrateful, but I sure hope it takes less than two years.

1 Cody June 18, 2008 at 3:31 am

Maybe we could just crush up some bugs and make our own.

2 lieutenantdan June 18, 2008 at 9:49 am

I remember two years ago hearing that pheromone traps were due out in two years. I suggest that we should not get our hopes up.

3 Winston O. Buggy June 18, 2008 at 11:40 am

Unfortunately very little about bed bugs is quite so simple. If you set out to create a good viable pest you would be hard pressed to do a better job.

4 nobugsonme June 18, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Winston is right, bed bugs are amazingly designed.

Dan, you’re absolutely right.

Although Richard Cooper claims to have a working trap,
which implies his model (aggregate pheromones or not) will likely be available much sooner than two years.

5 Laura love June 15, 2009 at 6:17 am

This will be a fantastic product once released! Only question is what to do with your bed bug problem once you know you have them? Can you lure them out with the Pheromone?
I have traveled quite a bit and I have had severe cases of bed bugs 3 times. I HATE THEM!!! I would love to be able to carry Pheromones around that tell me if my room is infested and if so I would be out of that room as quick as lightening!

6 nobugsonme June 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Laura, there are already two bed bug monitors using kairmone lures. You can read about them here.

Although one active bed bug monitor, the CDC 3000, is packaged in a kind of “suitcase,” I don’t think it would be practical to lug on your travels.

Moreover, it is pricey to buy and run, with a need for constant refills.

It may be a good solution for detecting bed bugs in your home. But the best solution for you as a traveler would be to learn to do a visual inspection of the room. Advice on that in our Travel FAQs.

Additionally, you might benefit from placing your luggage in a Packtite when you come home, in case you do encounter bed bugs and cannot detect them. This is our FAQ about the Packtite.

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