Project Bedbug, sponsored by the Limited War Laboratory (LWL) in Maryland, only just failed to take off. This involved the tactical use of bedbugs (or “man-seeking anthropods,” as LWL called them) to warn infantryman of approaching VC guerrillas. William Beecher of the New York Times, who visited LWL, described the project as follows: Since bedbugs “let out a yowl of excitement when they sense the presence of food, specifically including human flesh, the lab created a bedbug carrier fitted with a sound amplification device…. when a bug-bearing patrol approached an enemy ambush, the members of the patrol would be forewarned by the happy cries of the animals upon sensing a meal up ahead.” The project collapsed when it was discovered that the bedbugs couldn’t control their excitement. They became so deliriously happy at just being carried about by GIs that they were too busy “swooning with delight” to warn their patrons of any approaching Communist ambush.
Mangold, Tom, and John Penycate. The Tunnels of Cu Chi. New York: Presidio Books, 2005.