Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovative new nanotechnology stops bed bugs in their tracks -- literally

Date:
May 30, 2013
Source:
Stony Brook University
Summary:
Bed bugs now need to watch their step. Researchers have developed a safe, non-chemical resource that literally stops bed bugs in their tracks. This innovative new technology acts as a human-made web consisting of microfibers 50 times thinner than a human hair which entangle and trap bed bugs and other insects.

A screen capture of a video demonstration of the new technology stopping bed bugs in their tracks.
Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook University

Bed bugs now need to watch their step. Researchers at Stony Brook University have developed a safe, non-chemical resource that literally stops bed bugs in their tracks. This innovative new technology acts as a human-made web consisting of microfibers 50 times thinner than a human hair which entangle and trap bed bugs and other insects. This patent-pending technology is being commercialized by Fibertrap, a private company that employs non-toxic pest control methods.

The nanotech solution was developed at Stony Brook University's Center for Advanced Technology in Sensor Materials (Sensor CAT), a program funded by NYSTAR, as part of a statewide effort to encourage greater technological and economic collaboration between industry and research universities.

Miriam Rafailovich "Our nanotechnology produces entanglements that are millions of times more dense than woven products such as fabrics or carpets," said lead researcher Miriam Rafailovich, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Co-Director in the Program of Chemical and Molecular Engineering at Stony Brook University. "The microfibers trap them by attaching to microstructures on their legs taking away their ability to move, which stops them from feeding and reproducing."

Successful tests were performed using live bed bugs and termites in Professor Rafailovich's lab with the assistance of Ying Liu, a scientist with Stony Brook University's Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center and Stony Brook graduate students Shan He and Linxi Zhang.

Kevin McAllister, Fibertrap's co-founder added, "We are very excited to move this advancement from the lab to the consumer. Our goal has always been to make a difference for people living in areas where bed bugs are pervasive and difficult to eradicate."

The microfibers are safe for humans and pets and unlike chemical treatments the insects cannot develop a resistance to it.

About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from one millimeter (mm) to seven mm (roughly the size of Lincoln's head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Infestation

Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within eight feet of where people sleep. A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) For more information please check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bed Bug FAQs.

Statistics

New York City consistently ranks in the top 10 or 15 cities with the worst bed bug problem across the nation. An annual list released by Orkin Pest Control based upon bed bug business in U.S. cities, lists Chicago as having the worst bed bug problem for 2012; New York City comes in at #10.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Stony Brook University. "Innovative new nanotechnology stops bed bugs in their tracks -- literally." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530165850.htm>.
Stony Brook University. (2013, May 30). Innovative new nanotechnology stops bed bugs in their tracks -- literally. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530165850.htm
Stony Brook University. "Innovative new nanotechnology stops bed bugs in their tracks -- literally." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530165850.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins