Skepticism over new handheld bed bug "sniffer" -- is it really as good as a dog's nose?

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
May 24, 2011 - 3:55PM

While we're on the topic of bed bugs today, don't get too excited just yet about the imminent debut of a handheld $200 bed bug sniffer that claims to "pinpoint bedbugs to within one square inch, from a distance three times as far away as a dog could," according to Popular Science blog, which handed it an award for innovation.  But the Bed Bug Detective device is raising considerable skepticism on, a trusted resource for bed bug debuggery.

"Is the science behind the Bed Bug Detective — that bed bugs (and their hard to detect and eradicate eggs) can be detected by their trail of carbon dioxide, methane and pheromones — valid?" asks Bedbugger. "Are we witnessing a breakthrough product? Or something useful, but limited in ability (note that similar termite CO2 detectors exist which can only detect insects at 6 inches or less and at far greater cost)?" quotes the reaction of one of the world's top bed-bug fighters, London-based David Cain: "It is feasible to make an electronic nose for bedbugs," says Cain, "but the detector would need to be based on a GC/MS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer) and if you had not already guessed they are not cheap and certainly not hand held."


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Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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