Prototype of the Bedbug Detective: © Chris GogginTwo years ago, when the deluge of the bedbug became the scourge of the day, Chris Goggin, a mechanical engineer, wondered if he could create a machine as sensitive to odors as a dog. The particular sensitivity would be to the pheromones emitted by bedbugs.
There are special intensive training classes for dogs which many entrepreneurs, especially exterminators, are participating in to establish their credentials as bedbug exterminators. But the care, training, and feeding of dogs is expensive and so are the exterminator's detection services.
So, Goggin set about building a digitized organic compound sensor. "It took a lot of software," Goggin told the Wilmington Delaware StarNewsOnline, "a lot of code and some chemistry."
Goggin and his machinist/model-maker, John Matthews, eventually came up with a hand-held device that is capable of detecting the bedbug's specific pheromones at 200 parts per million in the air. Even this tiny amount of pheromones will set off the sensor's alarms.
Bedbug Detective drawing: © Chris Goggin
The Bedbug Detective will be manufactured for exterminator and individual use, and a $200 price target is anticipated. An individual could sweep the Detective over bedding, furniture, clothing, wall sockets, corners, and cracks in the woodwork where the bedbugs might hide - at home, work, hotels, movie theatres... (There now, I don't mean to scare you!)
Of course, the Bedbug Detective will not exterminate the bed bugs, just identify them.
StarNewsOnline, photos included by permission of Chris Goggin (Thank you!)