Scientists Create Gadget That Traps Bed Bugs

With the “City of Lights” under siege and Parisians grappling with how to get rid of the invasion of bed bugs, scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden have created a gadget that lures the blood-sucking pests to their death. Bed bugs, which are notoriously difficult to kill, are attracted to CO2, a gas we exhale as we breathe. It’s for that reason they prey on sleeping humans. Because we barely move when we’re asleep, carbon dioxide effectively forms a “cloud” around us that entices them to bite. The new gadget — called Ifigenia — is an oxygen-sized tank that emits CO2 itself. The creepy creatures become trapped inside with nowhere to go and soon die. Although Ifigenia is only a prototype, its creators — Simon Lilja and Maja Åstrand (pictured) — are confident that the machine’s allure is potent enough to prevent bed bugs from venturing into adjoining rooms during any insecticide treatment. It could even shorten treatment times, which pest control firms admit can take up to 6 weeks to completely eliminate infestations.