Good news: bed bug aggregation pheromones

by nobugsonme on March 15, 2007 · 27 comments

in bed bug research, bed bug rumors, bed bugs, signs and symptoms of bed bugs, tipping point, tools and weapons

A pest control professional confirmed for us today the reports Parakeets heard about bed bug aggregation pheromones being developed.

We’re told that within 2-3 months, assuming the red tape is cut swiftly enough, glue traps should be available for sale which use bed bug aggregation pheromones to attract bed bugs to aggregate there.

This is very exciting: if bed bugs could be detected quickly, perhaps even in the absence of any signs or symptoms, well, maybe every infestation could be treated in its infancy.

1 parakeets March 15, 2007 at 8:23 am

Yes, I was thrilled to hear about bedbug pheromones soon being available. I thought it would be 2-3 years, not in 2-3 months. This might be the ticket for the many people who are being bitten nightly but cannot see bedbugs or capture any proof. The bedbugs will be attracted to sticky traps laced with aggregate pheromones. This product should also reassure people who are in “bedbug remission” that their infestation hasn’t returned. Tenants, landlords, hotels, and PCO’s –all will have a potentially much better way of detecting and monitoring bedbugs.

We all have to come up with a good name for it, similar to “Roach motel.” “Bedbug aggregate pheromone sticky traps” just doesn’t capture the imagination, even if it does capture a bug or two.

What company is coming out with this product? I want to invest.

2 S. March 15, 2007 at 8:52 am

Oh my god this is so exciting.

We could call it Eternity. The fragrance for men and women bedbugs.

Eternity: What Happens When You Die, A-Holes.

3 nobugsonme March 15, 2007 at 11:49 am

Yes– just to clarify for others, this is not for catching them, just for sampling.

But sampling as Parakeets points out, is amazing.

The more I think about it, the more excited I get.

People will get confirmation of what’s biting them, unseen.

Will neighbors who don’t report bed bugs have to have these in their home (& will this have to be legislated?) I hate coercing people, but the multi-unit dwelling “neighbor who doesn’t itch” has a really serious effect on the sufferers next door.

Will NYC’s HPD simply pop some of these down instead of inspecting? Will this be more effective? (We heard the other day from someone whose inspector refused to inspect.)

4 nobugsonme March 15, 2007 at 11:51 am

How about we call it the “bed bug love shack”?

There are too many bed bug motels already 😉

5 S. March 15, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Nobugs, you say it’s for sampling, not catching. Do you mean that the glue might catch one or two, but won’t necessarily catch them all? Or will it not even catch any?

What is sampling?

How about The Shack Em Up, Stack Em Up, Stick Em Down Rootin Tootin Bed Bug Saloon.

6 nobugsonme March 15, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Ha ha–

Yes, I mean this is NOT a roach motel-style trap to catch all your bed bugs. It’s going to lure in a few so you know without a doubt that they’re there.

This may not seem momentous to those of you who know you have bed bugs right now, but it will help in diagnosing a problem, and testing whether its solved.

Maybe people without a problem will even put them up from time to time to monitor.

7 parakeets March 15, 2007 at 3:26 pm

I think these detectors could be even MORE effective than inspectors in cases where the infestation is places such as the wall voids, baseboards, crown molding, or not overly huge. Inspectors can spend hours looking at a room, but what if, instead of being along the seams of a mattress, or under some furniture, the bedbugs are in a place inspectors can’t access to check such as those above or even in the ceiling above a ceiling light fixture? No inspector can be in a home 24/7 like a monitor can, and we know bedbugs prefer to come out at night, particularly if they’re well-fed. (After I’ve been away for 10 days, when I get back my bedbugs graciously and immediately come out during the daytime to welcome me home with affectionate nibbles.)

I once said before– “Roach Motels”don’t work; we need “Bedbug B&B’s.” This product is kind of a “Bed bug bed check” too.

8 James Buggles April 5, 2007 at 1:42 pm

Any update on the availability of this product or at least the name of the company developing this product?

9 willow-the-wisp April 5, 2007 at 2:54 pm

I’M Glad I can probalby catch a lot of people’s attention here–becase this article seem facinating: I had a 20 minute telephone chat with M May from the SF Chronicle just now. look for my summary of it in–what is it called ,,, Will’s Laudromat fourum topic whatever–I’ll hop right back to this thread when I type it thx 🙂

10 Bugalina April 5, 2007 at 2:56 pm

S..YOU MAKE ME LAUGH !!! I feel your joy !! I will camp out in front of the Hardware Store for days to be first in line for this product…Yes it will only be an indicator, but ..and its a big BUT…it will resolve a lot of grey areas.. For example, I have my mother in laws home…3Xtreated by PCOs 2x treated by me..but still the fear lingers…the worry is everpresent…If I had this could tell me – Yes or No…not Maybe…could be….probably not…think positive…do you think..what is this mark on my could they still be there..maybe they could. I could put some traps into my THREE storage facility lockers and breathe a sigh of relief if they show up negative..or if they don’t at least I will know….I can keep them as a constant proactive tool in my that lord forbid they re-occurred..I would be immediately on top of the matter…No having to beg a PCO to believe me…no having to get insulted by a dermatologist who tells me I am crazy..charges me 600 dollars for a biopsy…only to leave the practice because they knew he, Dr. Auerbach, was Way out of line…when I mentioned the breakfast, lunch and dinner bite pattern to an entomologist (last year)…he scoffed at me..and said “he never heard of anything so ridiculous . His firm refused to treat the house I was renting, no matter that bites were all over me. The humilation I had to endure at the hands of supposed “professionals”…who knew much less than I did…..and all because I couldn’t come up with a BUG…only the bites…( nearly two months into the infestation a monster appeared on me, but this was after the humiliations ) Please let this be true…please..please…please….please…I want my pre-bed bug days life back….I want to plop on a bed…I want to travel again..I want to feel happy when my son comes home with his luggage…I can’t stand it when people say that this bug isn’t harmful…It is… so many ways…Ever the skeptic..I can only say..Please..before this product is put on the market…make certain it works..don’t get our hopes up, only to take our money for an inferior product..Please ..please..please..

11 willow-the-wisp April 5, 2007 at 3:59 pm

I’d also like to see them expand this idea and put the pheremones into something that won’t stick-emm, let them even have something to suck that tastes like blood but is arsnic: Every morning the door automatically shuts–like a clap on clap off light-switch. Then all you have to do is heat the (reusable box) fry the litle bastards and then stick it in the dishwasher LOL
We could call that one “Bed bug bed and Breakfast inn-only”
I see a lot more happening with this–provided it is in the right hands–peopel who want to rid humans of cimex–not people who want to “CONTROL.”
I want erradication.

12 WantMySkinBack April 5, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Wow, Willow. I think it’s time for you to see a Patent Attorney and build the prototype. That sounds awesome.

13 WantMySkinBack April 5, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Mosquitos and Ticks are blood suckers too. They have traps for these bugs… they too are attracted to Co2 except squitos like darkness…. check out this product and see if it can be used for Bed bugs???

14 willow-the-wisp April 5, 2007 at 5:45 pm

dont make me blush WMSK–the bugs will see it and start lobbing onto my face+)

15 buggedinbrooklyn April 5, 2007 at 6:42 pm


about 15 days with no new bites.
yep, I could use a trap like this under my couch and under my beds, right about now.


16 nobugsonme April 5, 2007 at 7:51 pm

HI James,
The source of the information is a PCO involved in the project. S/he was not able to give us any more information (it’s classified, I think.) Hopefully we will know soon.

17 hymenoptera April 6, 2007 at 1:36 pm

While this does sound like good news I wouldn’t put that 2-3 month
down on the calendear yet. It’s not just a matter of identifying the
pheromone but synthesizing it and that putting it on a re designed
trap to address some bed bug specific behavior. Radius will also be a
factor since it is a aggregate pheromone and not a sex pheomone.
That traumatic insemination takes all the attraction out of it.

18 nobugsonme April 6, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Hi Hymenoptera, The 2-3 month estimate came from someone claiming to be on the team making the product. But we should definitely not hold our breath. For the reasons you say, we don’t even know how well it will work. Methinks bed bugs will be fooling us for a bit longer.

19 October 16, 2007 at 11:06 pm

It looks to me like that as long as one of these traps will attract bed bugs to it moreso than to me, it will be effective in monitoring them, if not eliminating them .

Mr Bill

20 nobugsonme October 17, 2007 at 12:22 am

Yes, MrBill. When they are available, they will be a fine thing. Even if imperfect, a huge help. From what I understand, you will still be preferable to the trap. But many people lack evidence, and some do not even appear to react to bites, and so catching bed bugs provides needed information.

21 November 1, 2007 at 12:08 am

Well, if they can make a trap that catches roaches, why not one that catches bed bugs?


22 nobugsonme November 1, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Bill, it’s a lot easier to kill roaches than bed bugs. All you have to do is leave some food out laced with boric acid, or go really high-tech with a tube of roach gel.

Bed bugs, we know, are much trickier. Since all they want is your approx. 98F, carbon-dioxide emitting body, it is harder to nab them.

Bed bug aggregate pheromones are what bed bugs use to tell each other, “Hey guys! Party over here!” so that they gather. Simulating that is no easy matter.

23 Lisa November 12, 2007 at 3:13 pm

I caught two bed bugs, after being treated for Scabies and then being told I had Delusions Of Parasites (all by my Dermatologist. My family doctor didn’t know what I had. I was open to the possibility of Delusions Of Parasites, however, I was getting new bites and my 11 year old Maltese was suffering from bites. We both would get itchy in the car, too.
I turned on my laptop at midnight and let it get good and hot. I turned it off and put it in a white plastic trash bag and put it under my covers and I turned off the lights and waited in the next room. At 1 a.m. I went in to my bedroom wearing two pair of reading glasses and flipped on the overhead light fixture that had three new very bright bulbs and on the wall two feet about the head of my bed and two inches above the vent that is 3 feet up from the floor was a bed bug! They are super fast crawlers, so I slipped it off the wall into a plastic bag. The bed bug crawled to the corner of the bag and started to try to burrow out. I put the whole bag in a white porcelain bowl and got a glass test tube and caught the bugger. Then he played dead for 3 days. I put the test tube on my photocopier and secured the tube and took a copy every 5 minutes. Out came his legs and he was crawling all over the test tube.
I showed my doctor the test tube and he thought it was just a small piece of matter, not a bug, until I showed him the photocopies magnified 400x. He was blown away. Truly blown away. He called in his staff he stared at the tube and started shouting, “It’s alive! Oh my God! Come look at this!” He called in his staff of three and showed them all.
I called the County Health Inspector and the Orkin Man. They both suspect Bed Bugs and Bird Mites. We have nests all over the apartment building and up until last month, the trees were touching the apartment building. The trees were covered with webs, bugs and birds. County Health took samples and my Bed Bug for testing. The bug was in the six legged stage. Bed Bugs go through six life cycles and leave black bits in your bed and rust color streak marks on the sheets. If you park your car under a tree, the bird mites can get inside the door cracks and sunroof. They can enter your home through the roof, windows, etc.

24 nobugsonme November 12, 2007 at 9:52 pm

There are some inaccuracies in what you state above: bed bugs do go through six life stages, but they never have more or fewer than six legs. In other words, they are always in the “six-legged stage.”
Bird mites have eight legs.
The smallest bed bug is 1mm (1/32 inch) so I do not think you would have to magnify a bed bug 400x to see it. Adult bed bugs are 1/6 inch or 6 mm long. Bird mites (which are an entirely different species of animal) are smaller.
In any case, I am very glad you got your diagnosis and that you are getting treatment.

25 nobugsonme December 10, 2007 at 2:42 am

Groundhog Sean says 6-12 more months of pheromone research would be optimistic.
Don’t hold your breath!

26 rob November 1, 2008 at 7:39 am

you could possibly call these traps the bedbug hut, or the bedbud bed & breakfast. just another pco

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: