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.”