Rube Goldberg-esque bedbug trap plans(6 posts)
So last night when I was freaking out I dreamed up a trap to catch bedbugs. Not sure if this will work so I wanted to run it past the many educated minds on this board to see if you guys could point out any flaws in the system.
Here's the basic plan. Start with one of those sticky glue traps. Set trap atop bed. Apply a light dusting of Drione (or DE) around the perimeter of the trap. On top of the trap, set one of those "Hot Hands" packets (ubiquitous here in Colorado during the winter -- those little packets that you can stick in your gloves while skiing and give off heat for about 6 hours) and a small, inflated balloon.
The idea is to set up something that gives off both heat and carbon dioxide. Not sure how well the balloon will work for carbon dioxide but it's the best I could see.
Even briefly fantasized about sleeping on the air mattress in the living room surrounded by bags of ice while my trap is on the bed in my bedroom but realized it would be impractical.
Any ideas/obvious flaws I overlooked? I know it wouldn't give off optimal levels of CO2 but I liked the heat packets idea.
This has been mentioned before as a suggestion though no one has reported back at having done it.
ps an open can of selzer has also been suggested to offer the C02 for a few minutes. YMMV. Let us know if you catch one.
I wonder how a bedbug knows the direction of the CO2 source. There are constant small air currents in a room which could waft the CO2 produced by a sleeping person away from the bedbug.
Also, a sleeping body produces warm air which drifts upward through the weave of the blankets to produce a constant, slow, upward-moving convection air current. This rising air would result in a seepage of cooler air through the blanket weave lower down, near the mattress. The exposed head of a sleeper produces a similar effect without the blankets. Thus, convection current draws air toward the body from all sides, hindering detection of CO2 by a bedbug. The lungs produce the CO2, which is heavier than air; but perhaps its warmth from the lungs takes it upward with the air.
Also, is it firmly established that bedbugs are attracted by CO2? Or is it the animal scent of the body that attracts them -- if so, it seems that an unwashed body would attract bedbugs more strongly than a clean body. (Yes, bedbugs are found in both clean and unclean environments. But persons in a clean environment may be a bit careless about peresonal cleanliness.
As for heat, an srtificial source of heat that is warmer than human body heat might not attract them when the bedbugs get close enough to sense the high heat. There is also the matter of the wavelength of the infrared rays.
These sort of things need to be checked scientifically by operations research. Scientists in white coats in labs, with microscopes and other equipment, do marvelous work. But in some cases their work has not been extended into the real world environment, with all its complications, variations, and human interferences. That is where operations research comes in -- it checks the lab work in the real world, and also looks into things not done at all, in excellent but narrowly-focused lab work.
The CO2 attraction seems to have a scientific background. But in order for the results of an experiment to be accepted as proven scientific fact, a scientific experiment must be replicated many times, in many places, by many different scientists working for many different kinds of research organization, in many countries, with all differences in results accounted for. I wonder whether the CO2 claim has such a solid background, or is it the result of a single scientific check. A single experiment is worse than useless because it may be misleadingly applied to all cases.
Operations research is badly needed for the growing bedbug problem. (The British call it 'operational research'.)
By the way, in my last post I did not to mean to imply that only unclean persons are bitten by bedbugs. Even a very clean person will be bitten. I'm saying that it may be a matter of relative attractiveness.
Operations research could give a definit answer.
I'll try it, we got plenty of double-sided tape.....a large cardboard sheet and a balloon should do the trick.
I thought of a simular trap that would be plugged in with a heater unit that would heat to body temp and would employ the use of a canister of compressed CO2 (like you use in BB guns) and would periodically release a puff of CO2. The trap itself would be a glueboard or maybe electricution like a roach trap my grandmother had.
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