Chris Goggin doesn't like the title "inventor," despite the fact that nearly two dozen patents list him as one. He prefers "innovator." Either way, the Wilmington, North Carolina, mechanical engineer and former product developer — his résumé includes military missile electronics, the George Foreman Spin Fryer, and fuel-tank mechanisms for the F-22 Raptor jet recognizes the need for a new device when he sees one. Two years ago, as more and more people began waking up with itchy, red welts on their body, he realized the world needed a cheap and effective way to detect bedbugs.
The notorious insects, which reemerged in the U.S. about 10 years ago after a 50-year hiatus are extremely difficult to find. They can hide in the folds or cracks of nearly any object. Unlike cockroaches and mice, bedbugs don't respond to poison-laced baits or bombs. Exterminators must deliver poisons more directly, so pinpointing the insects' exact location is vital in stamping out an infestation. During a typical inspection, an exterminator may spend up to an hour per room seeking bedbugs out. Goggin's Bed Bug Detective does the same job in 15 minutes.
Exterminators in the U.S. currently employ around 200 dogs, a number that's on the rise. But the training and care for a dog can run a pest-control company between $30,000 and $70,000, according to the National Pest Management Association, a cost that's generally passed on to the customer. Since training isn't regulated, some dogs do not learn to find bedbugs adequately. Those that do can locate an infestation to only within a few feet, which still leaves a lot of space that must be searched by hand. Dogs also don't distinguish between male and female pheromones (egg-laying females pose the highest infestation risk) or sense other signatures such as the insects' odorless carbon dioxide and methane emissions.
Goggin's electronic version uses CO2 and methane sensors, as well as a proprietary pheromone detector, to pinpoint bedbugs to within one square inch, from a distance three times as far away as a dog could. The device can also tell the bugs' sex. The handheld unit will go on sale this year for $200. Goggin says a new model that works for a wider variety of pests, including cockroaches, ants and mice, is on the way.
Name: Bed Bug Detective
Inventor: Chris Goggin
Time: 1.5 years
UPDATE, September 2012: The detector, called The Bed Bug Detective when this article was first published but more recently sold under the trade name The Electronic Dog Nose, claimed to detect bed bugs through a proprietary set of sensors. These sensors, said Goggin, were chemically sensitive to the bugs' pheromones and expired CO2/methane. The device is intended to mimic the noses of specially trained bed-bug-sniffing dogs (although it isn't entirely clear what exactly the dogs smell when they identify bed bugs).
Since the article published, several bed bug experts, including entomologists and pest control operators, have come forward with concerns about Goggin's claims. One has run tests on the product with negative results. Others remain highly skeptical. Consumers have also written the magazine with complaints on the product, mostly noting unfulfilled orders and slow responses from the company.
Because of these reports, Popular Science requested a unit last March for independent testing. We are still waiting on it, although Goggin says it will arrive within the next 10 days. Until we have the unit in hand and have had an independent researcher test it, we can't verify the inventor's claims. Readers should not take our article as an endorsement of The Electronic Dog Nose or any other bed bug sensing device sold by Mr. Goggin.
If and when Popular Science receives a unit and has it tested, we will publish a follow-up.
- A Better Mechanical Prosthetic Hand
- A Crime-Fighting Armored Glove
- A Printer You Wave Like a Magic Wand
- A Safer Landing Pad for Snowboarders
- A Glare-Blocking LCD Sunglass Lens
- A More Effective Bedbug Detector
- A Low-Cost Test for Pre-Natal Diseases
- An Efficient Way to Treat Boat Waste
- A Light, Motorized Body-Board
- A Mirror That Measures Vital Signs
Could be a useful tool for colleges and universities, but the article seemed to imply that the intended user is a professional exterminator--as it did not provide any information about how to deliver poisons. If my assumption is correct, this product may not be available to the general public. Is that the reason for the absence of the manufacturer or company which is making it?
I am interested in purchasing this product can you tell me where ?
I work for a nonprofit co. with many dorm type buildings
i am liscensed to treat for bedbugs using thermapure at this time we use dogs to sniff them out. this product could help . Please send any information to email@example.com
So far the only way to really kill these little bed bugs is using really strong pesticides. And while we can kill them, it’s not so great to be laying our skin, back on the bed with these strong pesticides. I hope soon they find some kind of attractant, trap and kill these bugs, that aren’t as hazardous to humans. I really appreciate the development of the electronic bug locator. In this lest pesticides do have to be used, by knowing exactly where the bugs are.
Would you please clarify the criteria for qualifying for these awards and the judging process, particularly for the bed bug detection device?
If this device worked as described in the article, it would be a quantum leap in the fight against bed bugs, which is now quite arduous and filled with uncertainty. For example, people who are about to move to a new home but discover bed bugs in their current one, or who need to move because their current building has an intractable problem, need to determine which of their belongings is harboring even a single stray insect. Ultimately, people pay thousands of dollars for gas fumigation, abandon property or transfer bed bugs to their new home and neighbors. With a maintenance-free hand held device, not susceptible to fatigue or subtle handler biasing (as dogs can be), this becomes a less onerous issue.
Was this award given for a device that was convincingly demonstrated to expert judges to work? Or, is Popular Science going on the inventor's statement? Or, is the award for "concept"?
Can such a device be brought to market in 2011 and sold for $200? When companies with the "economies of scale" like Apple or Samsung struggle to bring to market evolutionary devices and sell them for $500, can a solo inventor pull it off and sell his for $200? And as it serves a unique and critical purpose, why price it so low? A Colorado inventor created a relatively low-tech device (the Pack-Tite) which is used to gently bake items known or suspected to harbor bed bugs (bed bugs die at around 115-125F). It sells for $300. People will pay multiples of that for a device that tells you if an item even requires treatment.
The ink is barely dry on the story of a device called the "ADE-651" explosives detector. A small hand-held device, it sold for $15,000-60,000 and was purchased by, among others, security forces in Iraq. Investigators found the item to be an empty plastic box containing a merchandise security RFID tag. British Authorities are prosecuting the producers of this device and banned its export.
Are we witnessing a breakthrough product, something useful, but limited in ability (as similar termite CO2 detectors are), or a re-hash of the ADE-651? Is this invention market-ready, or is it, like many concepts that have graced PS (which I've enjoyed all my life), just a concept?
By granting this award, you've raised expectations. Fairly soon, people will be recommending to those fighting or fearing bed bugs to "just get a bed bug detective device". Hoteliers whose guests just found bed bugs will tell this to their guests. Landlords whose tenants just found bed bugs. Workplaces. Will there be a $200 (or even $1,000) device that will solve their problem and soon?
I hope this will be available to everyone at an affordable price. If only professionals can get a hold of this they will of course charge a fortune for it's use. Professionals are already charging more than the average lower income individuals can afford for bed bug extermination. If you are lower income and get bed bugs you pretty much have to live with them due to the high costs of bed bug products and services. Something needs to be available to all, so that bed bugs can be eradicated again once and for all. No one should have to live with bed bugs.
There is another similar personal bed bug detector product that just came on the market.
Before I decided to advertise the BBD-100, I spoke to the inventor, an experienced pest control expert, about the technology and science behind using the unit to detect BB's unique biological signature. The same ones mentioned in the article above. I then researched his explanation to see if the unit could be used by folks contemplating a local or long distance relocation.
The science is real. The same type of biotechnology using insects or animal byproducts has been used for years to detect other, more destructive pests found in building and properties throughout the world!
I then spoke to several entomologists who've been testing various new products that use some of the unique biological signatures of cimicidae to easily and inexpensively detect their presence in all life stages.
The experts familiar with the BBD-100 lab-test results confirm that the claims made by the inventor and manufacturer are accurate, IF THE UNIT IS USED AS DIRECTED!
The unit just became commercially available in late April, 2011, so it's probably still way too early to have a large body of consumer feedback from individual owners or companies who've tested the product in a real-world environment.
Since the experts maintain that early detection IS THE BEST KEY to effective critter control, however, these new products are non-intrusive, affordable applications that have a relatively low cost of operation.
And, best of all, these new type of electronic detection units are small enough to fit into a pocket or purse.
Visit my relocation related blog at RELO Roundtable and click on the bed bug category to review my personal bed bug detector article and related resources.
Thank you Popular Science for all the great invention articles! As all I am sure would agree it's appreciated to be recognized by you're peers for something you enjoy doing.
Some answers to comments;
The Bed Bug Detective is an all new product designed specifically from the ground up to detect Bed Bugs, as stated it is an electronic nose that senses organic compounds (pheromones) and in-organic gases such as CO2 and CH4.
It is a simple low cost solution that will be available to both commercial and retail consumers. -Chris
Pay attention closely everyone. The man in this article, Chris Goggin proclaims he does not like the title "inventor" and with good reason, because he did not invent this bed bug detector. Thanks Chris Goggin for being honest about one thing, true, you are not an inventor, oh wait, you are an inventor of lies! In fact, Chris Goggin is currently being sued for patent infringement because he stole this idea from a true inventor who has worked very hard over the years to bring a device to the masses that can detect bed bugs. Chris Goggin is a fake and will be held in the court of law very soon for his fraudulent activity and patent thievery. Chris Goggin also does not have a single patent on this so called bed bug detector and his unit has not even been tested. In fact if you talk to the few people unlucky enough to have bought his unit you will come to find that it does not work accurately like the real detection device, the (BBD-100). Beware of this man, Chris Goggin and hold yourself to an honorable standard and steer clear of this thief. The one and only bed bug detection unit is the BBD-100 and this is a fact.
If you have or suspect bedbugs, get some "food grade" diatomaceous earth (pet stores, etc.). Sprinkle thinly around beds and near likely traffic/hiding places. Over (a fairly short period of) time, the bugs walk over it and pick up microscopic sharp shards which scrape and puncture their exoskeletons and joints, causing them to bleed/dehydrate and die.
Non-toxic, no smell, can be left in place as long as desired. Saved my a## after transporting a few from a severely infested apt. building that had been cleared 4X with heavy fumigation, and poison sprays around baseboards. Lost some of my favorite pieces of furniture because they couldn't be sure of clearing them.
The bugs were back within a month of the last "extermination".
Started getting bites in my new digs, but had read about DE, and bought some; didn't know about 'food grade' so bought and used the garden/outdoor variety, based on ocean diatoms instead of freshwater ones, but it worked fine.
Now if only I could get rid of the phantom bugs my brain insists it feels on me from time to time at night! (I know they're phantom because there are no bites, and you can't feel the little sneaks on your skin anyhow.)
I am also very familiar with the BBD-100. This bed bug detector is amazing and is lab tested unlike the unit by Chris Goggin. I am a distributor for the BBD-100 and have come to find out that Chris Goggin has is marketing a unit with no patent at all and it has not been lab tested. You can find the real bed bug detector by looking up 'findbedbugsnow' on the internet. The BBD-100 is legit and virtually 100 % accurate when used correctly. If you decide you want to risk your hard earned money with Chris Goggin's so called invention ask him first what his pantent number is on the unit and I guarantee he will not have one. Also, ask him what kind of lab testing his unit has undergone and I guarantee he will not have an answer. Bed bugs are infesting the U.S. so trust your hard earned dollar with the BBD-100, the real BED BUG detector!
I would have to say that I am not aware of any lawsuits, complaints, problems of any kind against myself or my product/technology not sure where that is coming from?
If that were true I would imagine this person would identify themself or fear they might be held liable, otherwise a cowardly comment in my book.
Some companies sell industrial CO2 leak detectors labeled as termite detectors. Recently some claim it can also detect Bed Bugs at close range. I do not see any test data available for bedbuggs for CO2 detectors.
CO2 is a heavier than air gas and it typically slnks to the floor and may stay in confined spaces making that sensing method by itself somewhat limited to very close range. Methane (density 1.2 kg/m3, 1.2 g/L)and airborne pheromones (with attached alcohol molecules) however are lighter than air and disperse making those types easier to detect at longer distances,in a similar manner to dogs.
That way the hunt for bedbugs can be accomplished in a timely and sensible manner.
Anyone can request test data by e-mailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes jealousy can be a compliment ;)
Very nice try Mr. Goggin but your rhetoric is the truest form of a compliment in itself. For one thing, you still have yet to list your patent information, thus meaning you have no patent on this product because this is not your invention and also the so called methane you detect. Not true, because the methane coming from just one bed bug is minuscle, in fact so minuscle that it disperses into the air so much that only the most advanced methane detectors in the world can detect this. The density of methane is not able to keep the actual methane emitted from one bed bug in the air for your unit to detect, it's impossible. Also, the pheromones that originate from bed bugs is not wind born thus debuncting your device. The pheromones coming from a bed bug are actual chemical trails that are left on the surface from a bed bug. You must of done your research sir as I have many years ago. Now try to explain your device again how it works and let's stick to the facts this time. The truest compliment is when the ignorant defend one's lies. Thank you!
Thank you all for you're compliments and orders for our product.
Our product is patented and proprietary, US Patent 7,106,188 covers one aspect of the electronic portion and we have several patents pending and proprietary processes for our chemo-receptor.
My attornies had looked into a patent for a termite detector and that patent covers termites in closed areas using a CO2 gas detector which. That patent was found to be invalid and that person has tried to claim it as a bed bug detector as well. This is all public record, anyone can go into the USPTO web site and look up the Moyer patent. It may not even be valid as a termite detector, we strongly believe the USPTO should be informed about that.
Frankly "Entemologyman" who ever you are if you are valid and a real person that can back up what you say you need to identify yourself.
Here I am completly out in the open, even with my picture and you are in hiding? Tell us all who you are what are you afraid of?
There are two (2) types of pheromones contact and airborne, Bed Bugs are amazing creatures and like most insects communicate with these pheromones (all kinds too! Alarm, Safety, Mating),otherwise the dog would need to actually touch them.
How often do you see a Bed Bug Detection dogs "touching" bedbugs? Or bed bug trails? A dog can't touch and sense a pheromone they have to smell them in the air. And they are limited in their feed back and mood.
Now some insects do both touch and "smell" in a way through their antenna, gentals, and mouth through a protein exchange. It's all very interesting stuff, all things aside I am amazed by these creatures so small and packed with capability.
Bed Bug detection dogs can "smell" them at a distance and then home in. The airborne pheromones are volatile and contain alcohol molecules which make them airborne. Otherwise they would not have any distance capability.
The whole idea and benefit to all is innovation and new ideas, the profit can come later, job one is to provide the market place with something better, effective, and low cost.
I suspect that who ever you are is worried that you're pot of gold is at risk, sorry but myself and others are are always looking at the next better idea, we never stop!
Why don't you spend time coming up with you're own better idea and help out some folks rather than wasting yours and everyone eleses time with you're own selfish agenda?
I bought a BB-100 and a Bed Bug Detective after testing both on actual calls the Bed Bug Detective worked perfectly! Search only took 4 minutes and I did not even have to touch anything; the BB-100 from Termite Detection Systems did not work at all what a piece of junk!
Kudos to Chris Goggin, thanks for creating this wonderfull product.Congrats!
I am a licensed engineer in New York and I bought one of these BBD-100 units, took it apart and sure enough all it is a CO2 gas detector.
In my opinion that's fraud for sure those people at TDS are misrepresenting their product as a bed bug detector when all it really is a CO2 gas detector with a phony label on it.
It should not be represented as a bed bug detector, rather what it actually is a CO2 detector that might be used to find alot of things from leaky pipes, open Coca Cola bottles or whatever and maybe bed bugs.
I looked all over and this company does not tell you what their sensors are which is again a misrepresenation of a product.
So this engineer filed a complaint with the North Carolina Sate Attorney Generals office against TDS. They have some explaining to do.
Now I took a look at Mr. Goggin's unit and it is what he says, it actually has three sensors, a CO2, CH4 and his own design chemical compound sensor for pheromones. Pheromones are chemical compounds where CO2 and CH4 (methane) are colorless oderless gases.
To me that seems right, he has designed and built a unit that has hardware elements sufficient to detect these compounds and software that directs these sensors to register the compounds emitted by bed bugs. It even has a color display that gives you indications of these different compounds and even pictures of the bugs themselves on the screen for those who might not know what a bed bug really looks like. The picture shows up when a bed bug is found, nice job and good code.
Of course the professional will know what they look like, more for the casual user.
So it seems to me that Mr. Goggin has a usefull tool whereas these others that popped up are trying to take advantage of people.
For those that might not know what a professional engineer is or does we basically look out for you're public safety whether it be in the bridges or tunnels you drive through, the buildings you work in, and health department matters of all kinds we are there protecting you. State licensed Engineers do not usually comment on products but when we see a wrong being done we are obliglated morally to do what we can to protect people and keep them informed.
Mr. Goggin keep up the good work.
I am employed by the British Pest Control Association (www.bpca.org.uk), the UK body for pest control. We would be very interested to discuss this issue further with Mr Coggin, and in particular to carry out trials with a view to getting some independent research on the efficacy of the product compared to bed bug dogs, pest control technicians, and other products.
I just wanted to comment on the bed bug detective since I recently acquired one to test against the K-9 that I usually use to detect bed bugs. I have a pest control company in the mid west and I have 9 stores serving over 3 counties. I was very curious about the bed bug detective and it’s claim so I put it to the test in several infested areas that I was called to investigate with my K-9. I have to say the bed bug detective has a nice look to it as far as it’s construction but it’s performance was sub par. My K-9 picked up 95 % of the bed bugs that were hidden within about 20 different confined areas but the bed bug detective only picked up the hiding spaces of the bed bugs about 45% of the time. I admit the bed bug detective looks nice but you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover. I actually tried to return the unit but the owner, Mr. Goggin, refused the return so I am stuck with this $200 paper weight. I would be very wary of buying this unit. I have filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office here in my state of Texas and have come to find out that there are many complaints filed against this man, Mr. Goggin. This is my two cents worth and I do believe he should have had this unit tested and patented before releasing it to the public.
We will try to get to everyones requests for the Bed Bug Detective as quickly as we can, When I can I endeavor to speak to as many of you as possible, it has been the most gratifying experience for me to speak to those I have so far.
At the moment I cannot comment in detail regarding opportunities selling and distributing our product but do send all you're requests to BEDBUGDETECTIVE@yahoo.com our team will respond asap with all you're requests,information, etc and I will chat personally with as many of you as I can.
As far as the hecklers are concerned comment as you wish, it's a free country. I recommend though that you refrain from crossing the line into personal slander or libel. That is a criminal offence. We have identifed the hecklers, you left tracks all too easy.
And no, we did not sell any units in Texas, LOL.
It seems that Mr.Goggin has upset many people. Mr. Goggin, you will be held accountable for more than slander and libel. You will be held accountable for your criminal actions in due time. Slander and libel are the least of your worries. One word for you......Karma!
See my “bed bug dog Lillie” finding bed bugs on YouTube
Here's my only problem: I have called and emailed trying to get more information, because I am SERIOUSLY interested in obtaining one of these - all to no avail. No returned calls or emails. PLEASE, I would like someone to contact me.
Check for our new web page in a few days, we have been swamped with orders, requests ofa ll kinds.
We will contact each and every request.
Chris Goggin PE
Found the website to order it if anyone was wondering where it was at. www.theelectronicdognose.com
Mr. Chris Goggin, if you could please figure out a way to allow your device to sniff out brown recluses I would be most grateful. About two years ago I got bit, on my leg, by one of the many fiddle backs that roam Northwest Arkansas, could not walk for a month and was in danger of losing my leg. Luckily the leg loss did not occur, but I lived in a house that was under constant threat from this vicious vermin and a one and a half year old that I feared would not be as lucky as I. I soon moved from that house, but quickly discovered that the problem is isolated to that one house. Please forgive my grammar cause said child is bouncing on my lap. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated.
P.S. I became a member of PopSci just to comment on this. Kudos to your great achievements.
khog28 we will look into that one. -Chris
Chris Goggin PE
Just wanted to checkin and let everyone know why Chris Goggin has not responded to anyone's inquiries about his bed bug detective. To put it quite simply it is because he has still not patented his so called invention and he has lawsuits pending against him for patent infringement. Also, beware of ever doing business with Chris Goggin because eventually his business will be shut down and he will not be available to help people with the malfuncions that his knockoff products will display. Popular Science does not do any background check on people who claim to be inventors and will award anyone who proclaims to have invented something. For anyone who would like to try the real deal bed bug detector than visit findbedbugsnow dot com and you will learn all you need to know about the one and only real device that can detect just one bed bug in hiding. The unit that Chris Goggin is trying to take credit for is a knock-off with no patents whatsoever. The BBD-100 has been trial tested by prominent entomologists and large corporations around the world and is virtually 100% effective when used correctly. If you want to receive free shipping on your order just leave your email here in a comment and I will contact you personally!
I feel sorry for you Bill; Just admit that we beat the pants off you with a product that actually works.
No point in knocking Popular Science either Bill; all articles are vetted. Same for CNN, National Public radio, etc.
Have two dozen patents, how many do you have?
Chris Goggin PE
I was an engineer with NASA for 22 years and an engineer with GE for 18 and I recently bought the BED BUG DETECTIVE that Chris Goggin is promoting in this POP SCI article. I was asked to investigate how this product functions for CONSUMER REPORTS and if it really does what the inventor proclaims. I took the Bed Bug Detective apart and was immediately surprised by the simplicity of this device. Surprisingly there is no such sensor that indicates pheromones. In fact since this device is supposedly able to detect pheromones of different insects such as roaches, ants and others there is not a single sensory detection system for these pests. The only thing this device is capable of doing is picking up traces of CO2 and methane. Apparently, the pheromone capability is proclaimed to dupe customers into believing this device does more than what is already on the market. I have contributed my findings to Consumer Reports and to the copyright infringement lawyers who are investigating Chris Goggin. Also, a complaint has been filed against Mr. Goggin with the North Carolina State Attorney General's office for fraud. If you have any questions please contact me at 858-539-7227 and I can provide all of the tests done on this product.
I am enjoying you're phony posts, fact is we never shipped a unit to that person.
I am flattered at you're persistance and obvious worry.
Chris Goggin PE
A Chiropractic office, Bill that's too funny!
Least you could do is at least make it a viable number.
Chris Goggin PE