A Canadian researcher did let the bedbugs bite and in the process may have discovered a way forward in the fight against future infestations. Offering up her forearm to the bloodthirsty pests in the name of science, Canadian biologist Regina Gries identified histamine as the arrestant compound that tells bedbugs where to set up shop, usually between a mattress and box spring, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News.
Gries and a research team from Simon Fraser University then developed a chemical cocktail of histamine and other alluring compounds to bait traps in bedbug-infested locations around Vancouver. They found the pheromone-laced bait not only enticed the bedbugs, it kept them put – a key step in detection. The researchers are working with a pest control manufacturer to develop commercial traps based on their findings.