How to Build Your Own Bedbug Detector

Go ahead — scientists designed this so you can try it at home

Illustration by Nicole Fineman for TIME; Bedbug: Nigel Caitlin / Getty

Itching for a good after-school science experiment? Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have created a homemade bedbug trap using a plastic cat-food dish, an insulated jug and some dry-ice pellets. According to Wan-Tien Tsai, who reported her findings in December at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, the dry-ice-and-thermos combo captured the bloodsucking critters in an infested apartment just as effectively as, if not more so than, equipment used by professional exterminators.

The most important part of this MacGyverized contraption is an insulated one-third-gallon...