Scientists developing first bed bug trap

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Bed Bug Central public relations associate Calvin Allen shows a vial containing live bed bugs at the Bed Bug University North American Summit 2010 on September 22, 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois. Getty Images, Brian Kersey

Right now, there's only one surefire way to know if you've got bed bugs -- and it itches like crazy. By the time you notice the lines of red, itching, burning bites, the bugs could have been multiplying in your mattress for days or even weeks. But researchers in Canada have a plan to catch the critters early and make it easier to stop an infestation from spreading.

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A team of biologists and chemists at Simon Fraser University have identified for the first time a chemical scent that will lure bed bugs out of furniture and into traps. They published their research on the attractive pheromones in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie.

"The biggest challenge in dealing with bed bugs is to detect the infestation at an early stage," said Gerhard Gries, one of the biologists who has spent years on the project. "This trap will help landlords, tenants, and pest-control professionals determine whether premises have a bed bug problem, so that they can treat it quickly. It will also be useful for monitoring the treatment's effectiveness."

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Don't Let These Bloodsuckers Get You!

Bed bugs were largely eradicated ages ago, but in the last decade they have reemerged in plague-like proportions around the world. Cities across the U.S. have seen infestations in homes, hotels, movie theaters and designer stores.

And once you've got bed bugs, they're very hard to get rid of -- but very easy to pass around.

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Scientists developing first bed bug trap

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