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Video: Save a Chicken, Feed a Bed Bug

By Richard Levine

A few years ago at a meeting of the Eastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America, I met a graduate student from Virginia Tech named Preston Brown, who conducted research on bed bugs with Dr. Dini Miller.

Richard Levine

I noticed a round welt on his arm that almost looked like a tattoo, and when I asked about it, Preston replied, “Well, somebody’s gotta feed the bed bugs.”

Fast forward a few years to yesterday, when I visited the Urban Entomology Lab at the University of Florida, where I met with graduate students Ben Hottel and Holly Beard, both of whom work on bed bugs. They normally use chickens to feed their colonies, but in exchange for an interview I offered my arm to the little bed buggers.

In the following video, I got to ask them questions about the bugs and watch as they engorged themselves on my arm:


Click here to read more about the visit to the lab.


Richard Levine is Communications Program Manager at the Entomological Society of America and editor of the Entomology Today Blog.

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