By Andrew Liszewski
They’re not as instantly repulsive as cockroaches, but a bed bug infestation can be far worse. Besides feeding on your blood and leaving you with nasty, itchy hives, they’re one of the hardest infestations to detect and one of the most difficult to get rid of. So if you think you’re at risk or have been exposed, finding and getting ridding of them early, before they have a chance to really get themselves entrenched, is kind of important. And thanks to a Cocker Spaniel named Nina, that might be a lot easier in the near future.
Nina belongs to an inventor and mechanical engineer named Chris Goggin, who already has a dozen patents to his name. But his latest creation, the Bed Bug Detective, will appeal to anyone at a particularly high risk for getting bed bugs, like say travelers. The detector ‘sniffs’ the air for a couple of very specific pheromones released by bed bugs, and is sensitive enough to detect concentrations as small as 200 parts per million. Dogs are good at this too, and have also been trained to detect bed bugs, but they’re not as travel friendly, and have unique demands of their own.
Chris Goggin’s Bed Bug Detective on the other hand will only cost you a one-time payment of ~$200, and can be used to detect the presence of the little buggers even if they’re hiding inside cushions, sheets or wall sockets. And besides some extremely custom software and a special sensor unit, the Bed Bug Detective is constructed from mostly off-the-shelf parts so Goggin is hoping to have it on the market in a very optimistic six weeks or so. The sooner the better.