Tampa Company May Put Bugs Out Of Business

Bed bugs and other pests may want to change their MOs. Technology is creeping up on them.

Global PBS, a Tampa company that partners entrepreneurs with engineers and scientists, has just received a patent on a polymodal biological sensor (PBS) that can identify pests from a remote location based on the sounds and/or smells they produce.

"The system uses multiple methods to detect the target," explains Tom David, Global PBS' CEO. "For instance, if we're looking for bed bugs, we can use an e-nose to smell the pheromone from the bed bug versus all the other insects around. If they were traveling across a space, we can detect their movement through sound."

David says the company is focusing on the hospitality industry first, as bed bugs and diseases caused by pests are so prevalent. "Zoonosis — diseases transmitted from animals to humans — is a big deal for a lot of scientists right now," says David."This is early warning technology that can save industries and potentially lives."

Sensors can be placed anywhere pests may be a threat, such as a room at a hotel. If the sensor detects a pest such as a bed bug by its sound or smell, the data is sent to a global learning system located at a central location. The hotel can then be alerted to the presence of the bug and take steps to eliminate the problem.

David says the new technology can save time and money spent spraying for bugs that aren't necessarily there."Using this technology, they have proof that there is a problem before they spend time and money on spraying."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Tom David, Global PBS

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