Saturday, February 06, 2010

Besides nuking your house or spraying with DDT

This may work on bedbugs....(my bold)
How to Build Your Own Bedbug Detector.

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have created a homemade bedbug trap using a plastic cat-food dish, an insulated jug and some dry-ice pellets. According to Wan-Tien Tsai, who reported her findings in December at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, the dry-ice-and-thermos combo captured the bloodsucking critters in an infested apartment just as effectively as, if not more so than, equipment used by professional exterminators.

The most important part of this MacGyverized contraption is an insulated one-third-gallon jug--like the kind sold in camping-supply stores--filled with 2½ lb. of frozen carbon dioxide, which costs about $1 per lb. (and should be handled only with gloves). As the dry-ice pellets slowly evaporate, the open thermos spout lets the CO[subscript 2]--which falsely signals bedbugs that a breathing, blood-filled meal is nearby--seep out overnight. That's usually enough time to entice the nocturnal insects into the other key component of the trap: the overturned food-and-water dish on which the thermos sits. The bugs climb the outer surface of the dish, which can be scuffed with sandpaper for better traction, and get stuck in its moat, made slippery-smooth with a dusting of talcum powder.

This trap was designed to give consumers a cheap way to determine if they have--or, in many cases, still have--a bedbug problem that requires a proper extermination. Bedbugs have made a serious comeback in North America over the past few years, especially in big cities like Toronto and San Francisco.
This would be wonderful if it works. I'm still getting hits and the occasional argument in favor of bringing back DDT. Which would really make Rachel Carson turn in her grave.


Dusty Crickets said...

On the topic of DDT/malaria...I wonder when we might see the catnip mosquito repellent or better yet a recipe to grow/make your own.

ellroon said...

I'm very proud of that cat pic I found and put the words on it myself...

Mahakal in comments talks a lot about the wonders of neem oil as well.

Anonymous said...

The American Council on Science and Health says as many as 100 million lives have been saved by DDT in Africa, Asia and South America. THERE WAS NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR BANNING DDT, IT WAS A POLITICAL DECISION.
The evidence that DDT harms birds or anything besides bugs and mosquitoes is thin!