New bed bug technology developed
As bed bug infestations increase across North America, scientists are scrambling to find better ways of detecting and eradicating them. Yesterday, Science News released an article about a technological breakthrough that will make the search for bed bugs that much more effective. Bed bug battlers can now search for the pests in houses using the very same device that’s used to scan air travelers.
Two companies, VisiRay of Corvallis in Oregon and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have signed an option agreement to create the devices together. The device uses millimeter wave technology, which allows inspectors to see through drywall and particleboards. It actually allows them to see images of pests on the other side of the wall.
Credit for the company goes to a group of graduate students from the University of Oregon Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. This year, the White House announced its new Startup America initiative, which makes licensing technology like this affordable for start-up companies. And the timing couldn’t have been better, what with the widespread infestations.
Initially developed using Federal Aviation Administration grants, the technology used waves to scan passengers in 78 U.S. airports.
Bed bugs can carry drug resistant bacteria
In other news, Canadian researchers have found drug-resistant bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci in bed bugs. Dr. Marc G. Romney of St. Paul’s Hospital/Providence Health Care in Vancouver, BC collected and tested 5 bed bugs for drug-resistant organisms and bacterial colonies.
Vancouver is experiencing an alarming increase in bed bugs, particularly in the downtown area of Eastside. Some 31% of residents have reported infestations in the area.
Although bed bugs are not known to spread disease, researchers have found that they do indeed carry some of the more difficult to treat infections. Researchers are not sure if the bacteria originated in the bed bugs or if they were infected by already infected people.