Bedbugs and Condoms

I’ve covered how ectoparasitic insects are cultured (and fed) before here at the Bug Blog. It gets discussed in this interesting article from NYT:

“The classic bedbug strain that all newly caught bugs are compared against is a colony originally from Fort Dix, N.J., that a researcher kept alive for 30 years by letting it feed on him.  But Stephen A. Kells, a University of Minnesota entomologist, said he “prefers not to play with that risk.”  He feeds his bugs expired blood-bank blood through parafilm, which he describes as “waxy Saran Wrap.”

I think this is one of my favorite quotes EVAR from a news story:

“Coby Schal of North Carolina State said he formerly used condoms filled with rabbit blood, but switched to parafilm because his condom budget raised eyebrows with university auditors.”

Even better, I know the guy that invented the now-defunct condom system!   The article ends with questions asked of Dini Miller:

Well, he was asked — can you feel them bite?  “No,” he said. “If I put them on my arm and close my eyes, I never feel them. But I once got my children to put them on my face, and I did. Maybe there are more nerve endings.”

Why in the world, he was asked, would he ask his kids to do that?
“Oh, you know,” he said. “Bug people are crazy.”

3 Comments

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  1. And his rabbit blood bills were just glossed over?

  2. Well, yeah! I mean, all faculty have a routine rabbit blood sacrifice line item in their budgets, right?

  3. We have had a record year ourselves with Bedbugs. At times we are treating four to five premises a week for Bedbugs

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