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Scientist Volunteers as All-You-Can-Eat Buffet for Bedbugs in the Name of Science

In a bid to find a remedy for bedbugs, Canadian scientist Regine Gries has spent nearly a decade studying the parasitic creatures. In fact, she is so dedicated to the project that she actually allows thousands of hungry bedbugs feast off her own blood! Thankfully, her efforts have paid off – she and her husband Gerhard have perfected a chemical that is capable of luring bedbugs away from mattresses.

Regine and Gerhard are both biologists at Simon Fraser University, just outside of Vancouver, in British Columbia. Their lab features a Plexiglass-walled colony with about 5,000 bedbug residents. The bugs live inside glass jars – about 200 to a jar – each covered with a fine mesh that’s held in place using rubber bands. And once a month for the past nine years, Regine has rolled up her sleeves, inverted the jars on to her arms, and allowed the bedbugs to reach through the mesh to bite into her skin!

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Guy Has Temporary Tattoo Done by 1,000 Bedbugs Feeding at Once

Don’t let the bed bugs bite, is what we’ve always been told. But Matt Camper, an urban entomologist at Colorado State University, is doing the exact opposite. He’s gone and created a unique ‘bedbug tattoo gun’ – made of a jar, some wire mesh and thousands of hungry bed bugs. You simply invert the jar onto your skin, let the bed bugs bite, and later admire the pink, temporary tattoo they leave behind.

Camper’s unique invention will be featured on an upcoming edition of ‘Outrageous Acts of Science’ on the Science Channel. There’s a rabbit pattern on the top of the jar, through which the bugs are allowed to access human flesh. According to wildlife expert Ellie Harrison, it takes two hours for the tattoo to really show up on the skin. “Two hours after the bed bugs have fed, the inflammatory response really kicks in and immune cells will flood into the tissues from the blood, producing redness and swelling and heat,” she says on the TV show.

“Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood,” she said. “They find us via two sources. Firstly, they detect our body head, and secondly, they detect our carbon dioxide emissions. And they don’t need to be that close, they can be 10 feet away and still find food.”

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