Bed bug traps are primarily monitoring devices, not control devices. They are useful for detecting the presence of bed bugs, especially for detecting them before they multiply and spread. |
The ability to detect bed bugs during the early stages of an infestation when only a few bugs are present is absolutely critical, however until recently early detection tools and methods have been severely limited.
It is important to note that while monitoring tools and methods have certainly improved; no tool or method exists that is completely reliable in detecting bed bugs. For this reason, regardless of what method or device implemented, the failure to identify bugs cannot be used as an indicator that no bugs are present. Low level infestations can still escape detection regardless of the detection methods implemented.
Unfortunately standard insect monitors ("sticky traps") are not very good at trapping bed bugs. To date, the best bed bug trap as measured by cost, ease of use, and effectiveness, is the "Climbup Insect Interceptor"
This trap resembles a plastic dish and is placed beneath the legs of beds and other furniture on which persons might relax and serve as "bait" for bed bugs. Bed bugs that climb into the dish are unable to climb its slippery inner surface (which is coated with talcum powder). Studies have shown that even inspections performed by trained and experienced pest management professionals often miss some bed bugs, especially in heavier infestations, and that bed leg traps can catch many of those missed bed bugs.
Whether you use traps or not, beds and bedclothes should not touch walls or furniture, and bed clothes should not contact the floor. In this way the bed is isolated, forcing bed bugs that attempt to access a sleeping person, to enter the traps, be captured and expire. Wrapping double-sided carpet tape or duct tape around bed legs also can trap bed bugs attempting to enter beds.
Other types of bed bug traps include those that do not rely on humans as bait, but instead use CO2 and/or other attractants. CO2 is thus far the most powerful lure for bed bugs, as it is the primary cue they follow to locate hosts. Traps that issue CO2 for a period of time are more expensive than dish traps, but can effectively trap bed bugs when no host is present, such as in common areas, vacant homes or units, offices, schools, and theaters. Thus they can help confirm infestation and eradication.
Versions of bed leg traps and CO2 traps can be "homemade" and also effective. Constructing a CO2 trap can be much less expensive than buying one that is commercially available, but care must be taken to avoid burning skin by handling dry ice, and the ice will probably need to be resupplied nightly.
When symptoms of bed bugs are the only evidence they're there, a bedbug trap can help.
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