Chemical Messages Sent by Bed Bugs Decoded By New Technology
Previous studies of bedbug chemical signals have been based on the collection and analysis of volatile chemicals they secrete over a period of time. In this new research, the authors tracked the changes in secreted volatile compounds using video imaging and improved gas analyzers, and found distinct increases in different chemicals depending on the bugs' activity. For example, they found that two compounds were emitted as defense from unwanted mating attempts by both female and male bugs. They also found large variations in the chemicals secreted by the bugs in individual emissions, which the authors suggest emphasizes the need for such real-time tracking technology rather than testing samples collected over long periods of time.