Matt Camper, an urban entomologist at Colorado State University, has created a bed bug tattoo gun – made of a jar, some wire mesh and 1,000 hungry bed bugs. You simply invert the jar onto your skin, let the bed bugs bite, and later admire the pink, temporary tattoo they leave behind. He put the image of a bunny on the mesh for HIS temporary tattoo, but you could put a skull or a flower or the Chinese symbol for PEACE, whatever you’re into.
Wildlife expert Ellie Harrison says to wait a couple hours afterwards for the bites to really turn a fun color of red. “Two hours after the bed bugs have fed, the inflammatory response really kicks in and immune cells will flood into the tissues from the blood, producing redness and swelling and heat,” she says.
In case you’re wondering, the bed bug tattoos don’t really hurt so much. Biologist Carin Bodnar says that when the bed bugs bite, they release something called a stylet into the skin. “There’s two tubes here, and through one of these tubes they’re sending in their saliva. And the saliva has both an anticoagulant – a chemical that actually keeps the blood from clotting up – and also an anesthetic, so this is really good because whoever they’re biting can’t feel it.”