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Bed Bugs Attracted to Dirty Laundry, Research Shows

10/06/2017

A new study from the University of Sheffield shows that when bed bugs can’t find a human host, they will seek out items — specifically, soiled clothing — that contain human odors.

The study shows that (1) soiled clothing is significantly more attractive than clean clothing to active bed bugs moving within a bedroom sized arena and (2) elevation of CO2 to a level that simulates human occupancy in the same arena appears to initiate search behavior rather than direct it. Our results show, for the first time, how leaving worn clothing exposed in sleeping areas when travelling can be exploited by bed bugs to facilitate passive dispersal.

“Our results show, for the first time, how leaving worn clothing exposed in sleeping areas when traveling can be exploited by bedbugs to facilitate passive dispersal,” the study’s authors conclude.

The study was published late last week in the journal Scientific Reports.


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