Using traps is one of the available ways to control bed bugs naturally at home. They simply work by catching the bugs once they get inside.
Here are details on how they work, how to make- DIY homemade with CO2 (carbon dioxide) yeast, and reviews on the best commercial traps.
Table of Contents
How do Bed Bug Traps Work?
There are a number of traps that are day in day out hitting the market to be used in dealing with the menace. They are designed and sold in different forms.
Most of these devices are installed under the beds and all the furniture that are infested or have the potential for infestation.
These traps work in two modes;
Active traps use some means (heat and carbon dioxide) to attract the bugs to a piece of equipment that eventually traps them. The equipment consists of shallow slanting surface which the bugs will crawl and get into the trap.
The sides of the trap are even meaning that as soon as the bugs have fallen inside, they will not be able to crawl up and escape.
These types of traps are not active as the name suggests. They have nothing to entice the bugs. They are set up in places where bed bugs are likely to crawl through to the host for a meal. Once they have been set up, they will remain there waiting for the insects to pass by.
Passive traps are based on the idea that bed bugs do not reside on the hosts but rather near them.
At the same they neither fly nor jump. These traps are therefore designed to corner the bugs as they crawl from their hideout to victim/host where they will suck some blood. These traps include tape, climb up interceptors among others.
Compared to active traps these are cheaper and less effective (nothing to lure the bugs). Both of the traps can be bought at the stores but passive ones can be largely made at home.
How effective/good are the traps?
It is good for mild infestations, when there is little or no urgency, or if the aim is to capture one or two for identification purposes.
For better results, you are advised to use the traps in combination with other bed bug control techniques. This will help to ensure complete eradication of not only the parasite but also their young ones and eggs.
The active method can be effective in the laboratory setting. However, the same effectiveness cannot be guaranteed when you put the trap in a room that is occupied by human beings.
This is because the bugs might be attracted more to the gas that is emitted by human beings and ignore the one by the trap.
The other reason its effectiveness is not something to look forward to is because its effects are likely to fade away after about 8 hours. In the subsequent times or nights, you will be expected to make a refill of the trap.
Pros & Cons
What are the advantages of using traps?
The advantages and importance of the traps are unique to the particular type that you use. However, some advantages include:
- They are relatively inexpensive when compared to other commercial remedies
- They are safe for humans as they do not involve the emission of any toxins
- They are easy to use as they do not require any special training
- They are readily available on the market
- The main disadvantage is that the traps completely eliminate the bugs especially when it is a severe infestation.
- Another con is that you will still need to kill and dispose after trapping.
- Some these traps are expensive
Getting rid of Trapped Bugs
Killing bed bugs after capturing them is one tedious task that is usually overlooked. You may choose to freeze them to death but the effectiveness of the technique will vary depending on the temperature and period of exposure.
If you will not expose them fast to a temperature cold enough then there are chances that the bugs will survive and adopt.
The University of Indiana’s Office of Environmental, Health, and Safety Management, recommends that the bugs must be exposed very quickly to extremely cold temperatures for a period of up to a month.
Yeast/Sugar- Co2 Traps for Bed Bugs
This is the easiest and most straight forward method to deal with the bed bugs.
According to the Journal of Economic Entomology in 2013, it is an easy method that relies on the fermentation process to produce carbon dioxide. Further, it proposes that you use the following ingredients:
- About two tablespoons of baker’s yeast
- Some tablespoons of table sugar
- Warm water
- Get a plastic bottle and then cut at the top along the top edge of the label.
- Having done that, wrap the bottle with some tissue towel. This is because the bed bugs are unable to climb up a smooth surface and therefore a towel or tissue acts as footholds. Get rid of the excess of the tissue and leave a little of it to hang.
- The last step is to grind. Fold the top into the bottle and then invert after which you insert it into the bottle. You could add some talc to the bottle so as to make it slippery.
- Pour about ¼ of sugar into the bottle as you add yeast solution. Leave the excess of the yeast solution in the fridge.
- Your preparation is ready to capture the bed bugs. Locate it at a place where you want to catch the bed bugs. It should be somewhere it will not be knocked down.
- The mixture can produce about 1.5 times more the amount that is released by human beings when they are asleep.
- Always ensure that your ingredients are in interception apparatus like the textured dog bowls.
- Monitor the ingredients of the trap take effect for a night and then dispose them in the morning
- Check the devices to make sure that they don’t have any bed bugs remaining
- The yeast in the mixture acts to convert the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol in the absence of oxygen. The water plays an important role of ensuring the sugar dissolves. The yeast cells can only take up the sugar when in solution form.
Other DIY Homemade Bed Bug Traps
How to make a Bed-sized bed bug trap at home
Take some sugar and mix with yeast to form a solution to bait the trap. The yeast when mixed with sugar produces carbon dioxide. This trap works in a similar manner as the CO2 bed bug trap but the only difference is that it is bed sized as compared to the dish sized traps.
- Add two liters of water to the mixture
- Filter the water so as not to have chlorine
- Apply the mixture around your furniture
- This trap works in a similar manner of blocking bed bugs just the same way bathtubs do. It kills bed bugs immediately and stops the bite.
Ho to make Bed climb up bug traps for bed legs
This trap only works if your bed has legs. This trap has three main roles:
- Detecting the infestation of bed bugs
- Reducing the spread of the bed bugs that are already in your furniture
- Limiting or preventing bed bugs from getting into the furniture that is protected
It is always good to manage the situation before it gets out of hand because it could be expensive and hard to manage.
In this case, the following procedure is critical:
- The first thing is to have the apparatus assembled. The apparatus to be assembled are plastic containers and a roll of duct tape.
- Tape the large container. Use the duct tape to wrap the entire large container. This is necessary for the bed bugs to climb up the container.
- Add a smaller container. Put the smaller container inside the larger one and ensure the surfaces of the containers do not touch.
- Add the powder after that. Put this powder between the spaces of the container, either diatomaceous earth or baby powder.
- Finally place the furniture from which you want to rid the bed bugs inside the trap. This should be adequate enough to trap the bed bugs for you.
Dry ice bed bug traps
According to Dr. Changlu Wang who is a head of the Urban Entomology department at Rutgers University, this is a very amazing and exciting discovery. This was after combination with several other ingredients.
How to trap bed bugs with dry ice
This technique is uniquely designed to trap bed bugs that are hungry. The following are some of the ingredients that you should have:
- A cooler
- A cotton ball
- A painter’s tape
- Talc powder
- A dog bowl
- This test is done at night because the bed bugs prefer the dark
- Use the dog bowl that is taped all round. Tape the bowl by applying the fabric on the sides to make the sides rough for easier climbing of the bed bugs.
- Turn the bowl over and this creates a moat so as the bed bugs can fall over into the bowl
- Rub the talc powder on the sides so that the bed bugs do not escape
- Turn the bottle upside down and put the large beverage cup that is insulated
- Use gloves and then fill the container with dry ice and leave the top open. Do not close it because the ice could lead to pressure build up
- Turn the off the lights and let the container be in the room for about an hour
- The carbon dioxide that sublimes from the ice attracts the bed bugs and they will crawl on the sides of the bowl and thus be trapped in the moat
Sticky Bed Bug Traps Using Glue & Tape
Bed Bug Glue Traps
There are quite a number of traps that are in this category. This trap enables you to detect bed bugs before they increase.
These traps are normally nontoxic and free of any pesticides. You can place them anywhere in your house.
When you put them below your mattress gives you all day protection against the bugs.
How to trap bed bugs with tape
Tapes are good in the sense that they get hold of the bed bugs or prevent them from accessing your bed. The research for this was done by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
According to Prof Phil Koehler, UF/IFAS an urban entomologist you only need disposable plastic containers and a masking tape. Follow the steps below for effectiveness of the entire process.
- Locate where the bed bugs are. They may hide not only in beds but also in the walls, drapes, baseboards and clusters of eggs. By the help of a magnifying lens, they should be visible.
- Put the tape strips with the sticky side facing up round your located area. Cover the edges of the floor using the tape to make sure that the tape does not slide on the floor. This makes an effective trap for the bed bugs if they try crossing it.
- Put the tape on other surfaces you suspect or think it is infested with bed bugs
- Grab a strip and use it to trap the bed bugs on the spot. Place the sticky part on the bed bugs. It is a sanitary way of eliminating the bed bugs although it might not entirely eliminate the bed bugs.
Traps with alka seltzer
This is an effervescent antacid that is used to relieve pain. It was marketed first by the Dr. Miles Medicine Company of Elkhart, Indiana, United States. It has three ingredients that is aspirin, sodium bicarbonate and citric acid.
When placed in water, it creates carbon dioxide and this information enough to inform the bed bugs that there is food on the table. What you will need is
- A plastic litter box ,
- A wet sponge,
- Some disposable hand warmers,
- A plate and 4 alka seltzer tablets
- Activate the hand warmer and put it at the center of the plate.
- Place the wet sponge on the hand warmer and then the tablets put on the sponge evenly
- Take everything that is on the plate and then put it inside the box. The moisture on the sponge will make the Alka Seltzer reaction to be active and release carbon dioxide continuously.
- This should be enough to have the bed bugs attracted to the hiding place.
- Be cautious not to put the tablet in a room with water because it will lead to faster release of Carbon dioxide and this will not last long enough as expected.
Bed Bug traps pheromone
According to the Entomology Today journal, the pheromones are perfect traps for bed bugs. They have done research using blood meals for about one thousand bed bugs. They further say that this compound helps landlords, pest control professionals and tenant to curb bed bugs.
How is pheromone used to trap bed bugs?
There are a number of pheromones that can be used to lure the bed bugs and then catch them. This makes it very easy to deal with the infestation. Pest control agencies argue that pheromones can be a cheap and yet very effective alternative to deal with bed bugs.
According to Rob Britton, from Simon Fraser University, Canada, bed bugs are attracted to a volatile component although the bed bugs are attracted to histamine. In their research, they synthesized pheromones mixture and then put it on the cardboards and laid traps. At the end of the procedure, bed bugs were found gathered around the pheromone stain.
The pheromone mixture if used in the residential areas may cost as little as 10 cents for every trap. This is because the chemicals can easily be obtained and easily be synthesized.
Best Commercial Traps, Reviews and where to buy
Where to buy Bed Bug Traps
- Home depot
Some of the best include;
- BEAP Bed Bug Coaster Trap
- Lights Out Bed Bug Trap
- Aspectek Dual-Well Bed Bug Trap
Information posted on the Amazon website, The Aspectek Dual Well Insect Interceptor Trap eliminates the bed bugs from the pathways to access any furniture.
The grooved walls of this device enables the bugs to crawl into the trap. When trapped, the bugs are found in the outer ring.
The Lights Out product is an innovation for bed bug detection. It was developed by Jeffery White from the Bed bug Central. Studies found that the device had effective and aesthetically pleasing results when compared to other products.
Pack Bed Bug Detector Coaster is the only product on the market that is made to know where the bed bugs are coming from.
The detector also stops the bed bugs from climbing the furniture and they save energy by identifying the source of the bed bugs. They are made in a way that they prevent the bed bugs before they get to your furniture.
Bed Bug Climb up Interceptors is a new and unique monitoring system that can be used to detect bed bugs early before they get worse.
They are specially designed and they are pesticide-free. They are also too slick for the bed bugs to crawl out.
You can get this product from Walmart and Amazon. They provide free shipping and delivery services. The costs vary depending from store to another.
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