How Do Raid Bed Bug Traps Work

Bed Bug Traps

Do Bed Bug Traps Work?

As bed bugs remain one of the most feared household pests, more and more bed bug traps and deterrents are hitting the market. For homeowners suddenly stricken with an infestation, these products offer hope of a fast, easy, and cheap solution. Unfortunately, virtually all DIY bed bug trapping methods are no match for the insidious pests.

Chemical Deterrents

Commercially available bed bug traps typically take the form of small pods designed to lure the pests inside and expose them to chemicals. However, bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to anything but the most regulated chemical treatments. Other broad spectrum or over-the-counter products, such as foggers and sprays, are generally also ineffective.

Common Ineffective Traps

Among the more peculiar and ineffective solutions for trapping bed bugs are ultrasonic pest repellers, which plug into an electrical outlet and are intended to use sound pulses to drive away bed bugs. Common homemade solutions include cutting up two-liter bottles to protect the legs of beds and furniture from pest exposure.

The Best Bed Bug Trap

The most effective bed bug trap will always be a pest professional armed with knowledge, experience, and the best products and equipment. The experts at Orkin can assess each infestation and strategically respond with an individualized plan to trap and neutralize the blood-sucking pests.

Bed Bug Traps [UPDATED 2020] Buyer’s Guide | Homemade vs Ready Traps | Comparative Review

Bed bugs have become the USA’s national catastrophe. This is quite an unpleasant phenomenon although it seems untypical of developed countries, and has affected hundreds of thousands of American citizens. The scientists keep on experimenting and inventing new ways of trapping these bloodsuckers. Today, we’ll describe all the known bed bug traps. How effective are homemade methods? Is an interceptor or a sticky trap better? Does life imprisonment for the bed bugs that have already infested your bed exist?

What you’ll learn from this Guide:

How Bed Bug Traps Work & Their Effectiveness

TypePeculiaritiesEffectiveness
HomemadeAttracts with carbon dioxide.Early detection only.
GlueA special lure.Early detection only.
Electronic Heat DomeAttracts with heat.If more attractive prey, such as humans, is around, the dome may not be effective.
InterceptorA best seller.Additional talc improves the trap’s effectiveness.
Mattress CoverThe cover is made of a special dense fabric, it must have a designated zipper.All of the insects are forever imprisoned inside the cover.

Types: Passive & Active Traps

Professional bed bug traps, or monitors, as they are often called in a scientific setting, are relatively new inventions, and are recommended as the first line of defense in bed bug management and prevention.

As of now, there are three types of bed bug traps available on the market and it’s important to discern the difference between them. Here, we’ll talk about passive and active traps, and we’ll cover the basic differences between those two traps and interceptors.

Active

An active trap uses a certain chemical lure, whether it’s the heat, carbon dioxide, or a feromone, to attract bed bugs to the trap. These need to be used continuously for several days to detect the size of the infestation and take other necessary steps to control the bed bug population. Also, many active traps would require the use of electricity, which can become a limiting factor and is certainly a disadvantage. Another detracting aspect is the sometimes exorbitant prices of these, which can go way up to 600 dollars.

Passive

A passive one, on the contrary, does not use any type of bait, or lure, to bring bed bugs towards it. They usually come with a glue or pitfall design. The passive traps certainly are much better than visual inspections, which can be pretty inefficient; require less skill and money to purchase and use them; reduces the amount of immediate bed bug bites that would have happened if not for the trap. However, they are quite inefficient if you have a large bug infestation.

The Difference between a Bed Bug Trap and a Bed Bug Interceptor

Basically, interceptors are two cups, one inside the other, that can be easily placed underneath a bedpost. They will not work by themselves but require the presence of the human body on top of the bed that would work as an attractant to bed bugs (giving off the necessary body heat, feromones, and carbon dioxide, in short, everything the bed bugs love). And since bed bugs are pretty bad at climbing slippery surfaces, they would not tackle this climbing quest and would get trapped inside the interceptor. Interceptors are also considered passive traps because they do not contain any chemicals, look like pitfalls, and can be used as a part of DIY bed bag management.

Top-5 Best Bed Bug Traps

Several types are available today: sticky, interceptors attached under bed legs and electronic ones which attract their victims with the heat of a lamp.

Glue Trap |Harris

This is a simple and cheap glue trap. A pack contains four sticky cardboards to be placed under furniture, bed and anywhere else. Leave them under your bed’s legs so that the bed bugs stick to it if they approach your bed. The product’s rating is not very high. Many customers have given negative feedback. Don’t expect Harris to deal with your issue on its own as it should be used for monitoring purposes only. The trap is accessible and safe, so why not give it a chance?

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Electronic trap | Aspectek

Aspectek has improved a regular sticky trap and added a heat-exuding lamp to it. This increases the attraction rate of bed bugs, fleas and other blood-suckers. They are trapped in a sticky snare once they crawl or fly under the lamp.

The product is rated highly. The trap is used not only against bed bugs, but also flies, mosquitoes and any other insects which prefer heat or light. The device is safe, but any cat owners must bear in mind the fact that their pets might take a fancy to this heated toy and warm up near it. Read over 1200 customer reviews to learn more about Aspectek use.

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sticky + light trap:Check the current price

Climbup insect interceptor

Here is the most popular and best-selling bed bug trap. At the moment, it is not only a hit but a method to trap blood suckers that has been approved by the majority of entomologists. Almost all of them recommend using these traps. The University of California specialists, for instance, confirm the effectiveness of these devices:Interceptor monitors are a hybrid between active and passive (pitfall) monitors in that they rely on the presence of a host (a sleeping human) to attract hungry bugs and then trap the parasites on route to their meal. These small double-cupped monitors are easily installed under the legs of beds and other furniture items. Research has demonstrated that such interceptors trapped six times more bed bugs than were found from human visual searches alone.

Let us add that putting in some talc will complicate the insects’ attempts to escape. Use ClimbUp until all your domestic parasites have been completely eradicated. If they have managed to breed in multiple rooms, opt for a 12-pack set.

BySuperette Co

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ortho bed bug trap

This is a classic active bed bug trap that uses feromones and glue to attract and trap bed bugs. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around, in case you want to take it with you while you travel. To start using the trap, you’ll need to remove the paper from a glue card, attach it to the bottom of the trap, click on a button to activate a feromone, and place it near the bed. It’s pretty cheap, but you’ll need a lot of these since everytime the thing catches the bugs, you’ll need to throw it in a trash, as they are not reusable. Unfortunately, the customers’ response was somewhat discouraging, with many saying that it didn’t catch bed bugs but rather mosquitos and other little insects.

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ortho bed bug trap:Check the current price

Raid Bed Bug Detector & Trap

The Raid trap falls into the same price range but for the price, you’re actually getting 4 of them, which is a pretty good deal. To start using them, break the traps apart, so you end up with separate small traps, place them under the bed spots of your bed and near the top of the mattress between the head of the mattress and the wall (as recommended by the manufacturer). The customers had more success with these detectors than with the previously described Ortho, but many testers still complained that it was hard to see the trapped bed bugs through dark trap exterior, even with a flashlight.

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Raid Bed Bug Detector & Trap:Check the current price

Cons of bedbug traps

The main drawback of all these traps is that they provide monitoring only. When using them, make sure there are no bugs in your bed. If they have already infested your sleeping area, it is pointless for them to get off the bed. So, what should you do if it is already infected?

How to Trap Bed Bugs That Have Already Settled In Your Bed?

There is a product that can be unequivocally called bed bugs’ life imprisonment. There is no escape from it and no blood-sucker will be ever set free from there. We are talking about a special mattress cover.

According to the entomologists,70% of the bed bugs in the house settle in the mattress, box spring and bed frameduring a typical infestation. That is one of the priority tasks is to treat the infected bed and mattress and to protect the new one by using protective encasements

It is basically the bigger version of a trap. All parasites living in your mattress will be forever trapped and will starve to death given that you’ve bought a decent mattress made of dense fabric with a proper zipper that won’t ever let any parasite out. Another condition is that you shouldn’t remove the cover for 12 months as this is the time it takes these tenacious creatures to die of depletion

There are many mattress cover manufacturers, the most popular brands are SafeRest, LinenSpa®, and Utopia Bedding. Their ratings are more or less the same, and the covers themselves practically do not differ from each other. The main requirement concerning this product is a “Bed Bug Proof” label. Most of them are waterproof and will protect you from dust mites.

You can also move to the living room and sleep on the sofa hoping that the starving blood-suckers will be forced to finally crawl down the bed legs in search of food… But we believe buying a mattress cover and having a sound sleep in your own comfy bed is simpler and faster.

ByUtopia Deals

Last update on 2020-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bed Bug Traps Comparison Chart

ProductTypePeculiarities
Harris

Glue trapThe cheapest control product.Aspectek

Electric glue trap with a bulbAttracts bloodsuckers by imitating body heat.Climbup insect interceptor

Interceptor monitorThe most effective control product, will catch 6x more parasites than you will be able to on your own.Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement

Mattress cover – a lifelong trapThe biggest and most reliable bug prison. Do not take it off the mattress for 12 months.Ortho bed bug trap

Feromones and glue trapThat trap uses feromones and glue to attract and trap bed bugsRaid Bed Bug Detector & Trap

Detector & TrapTrap is designed for early detection bed bugs in both your home and while traveling.

Will Traps Help You Get Rid of the Bed Bugs Once and For All?

Unfortunately, they won’t. The only 100% effective control product is a mattress cover which will only rid you of the parasites that have settled inside it. You will have to deal with other insects hiding in the wall cracks, behind the skirting boards and wallpapers and even on the ceiling for a long period of time. Refer to our guide “How to get rid of bed bugs” to learn about all the methods, mistakes and proper treatment.

How to use bed bug trap & where to place them

If you’ve chosen to use interceptors, then place them under the bedposts. It’s important to move your bed away from the wall, so the bed bugs would be left with no choice but climb into an interceptor.

Remember that if you’re not currently sleeping on the bed, then interceptors wouldn’t work, because they require the presence of a sleeping human body. Also, you’d need as many interceptors as possible to successfully detect and trap the active portion of the bed bug population. Researchers from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension advise using at least 12 interceptors per each bedroom that you believe is infested.

Any other passive trap should be just as well placed under the bed, or any other furniture that serves as a living habitat for bed bugs.

Active traps, again, should be placed anywhere near the infested furniture. If an active trap of your choice uses carbon dioxide as an active attractant, then you should be aware that each CO2 cylinder would operate for about 10 hours and you’ll need a new cylinder for each night of operation. More sophisticated options would include a larger receptacle for CO2 that would last up to five nights.

Precautions When Using Traps

One of the main concerns when using bed bug traps is what to do when the bugs have been trapped or collected. One of the popular methods is exposing the bugs to a very cold temperature, but it might just as well prove inefficient. Scientists from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recommend to dump the caught bugs into a plastic tub with vertical sides, fill it with soapy water, place the content of the closed tub into a plastic bag and throw it in a trash outside your house. Another method (which is obviously preferable) is to spray the bugs with a contact spray so they would die immediately. And only then trash them outside.

Another precaution is not to use bed bug traps alone. They might be okay to detect early or small infestations but won’t work for larger populations. Also, the bugs cannot necessarily travel to the host but can reside as close to the body as possible, in the nooks of the bed frame or mattress, rendering your traps useless.

How effective are bed bug traps in comparison with other methods

According to Dr. Wang, an Extension Specialist in Urban Entomology, using active traps proved to be “at least as effective as a thorough visual inspection, but not as effective as a seven-day deployment of insect interceptors.” Also, the results of his research indicated that the “homemade dry ice trap was the most effective monitor both in apartments with heavy and light bed bug infestations.” It’s important to note here that we are talking about detection and initial steps in the management of bed bug population. The interceptors or active traps alone won’t eliminate the bed bugs but would serve as a great starting point in bed bug control.

Homemade Bed Bug Traps

A few years ago, a National Geographic article devoted to a sugar, water, and yeast-based $1 trap invented in the Rutgers University, New Jersey was discussed actively on the internet. This yeast homemade bed bug trap recipe was contentedly promoted by bloggers.

The scientists suggest that you pour ten tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of yeast and one and a half liters of room temperature water in a cup, then place said cup on top of a flipped over dog bowl and leave for the night.

How does it work?

The idea is that it is carbon dioxide exuded by humans which is the main focus of all blood-suckers. All mosquito carbon dioxide traps act in this way. However, we have not encountered any commercially successful bed bug traps like this yet. Let’s figure if they are indeed free, convenient and effective?

As the University of Rutgers, New Jersey expert Narinderpal Singh states,“the yeast ferments the sugar to release carbon dioxide—the gas that bedbugs use to track down sleeping human hosts. This irresistible vapor lures insects toward the trap from long distances, and in experiments, more than doubled the number that were captured.

The blood-sucking insects focus on the secreted carbon dioxide. As the scientists plan, any bed bugs in the house are supposed to gather near the sources of carbon dioxide fermented by yeast. The result will let you decide whether domestic pest control is a necessity or an expensive luxury.

The magazine article claims that this handmade trap attracts three times as many bed bugs as others and is therefore more effective than theClimbup insect interceptoravailable in stores.

A cup full of yeast, on the other hand, doesn’t guarantee that it will attract bed bugs better than a human sleeping in the same room, as humans also exude both heat and carbon dioxide. In addition, when half asleep, you can forget about the slurry trap left in the darkness and step straight into it. Its action also lasts for only eight hours, so you will have to refill the yeast mixture daily.

Dry ice trap

The second homemade recipe has been invented in Rutgers University as well. This time,dry icewill serve as a source of carbon dioxide. The experimenters suggest placing the ice in an open 1/3 of a gallon (1.5 liters) thermos on top of a flipped over cat bowl. The outer walls of the bowl should be taped and covered in a thin layer of talc. Once trapped, the bed bugs won’t be able to detach from this talc and the dry ice will continue releasing gas for up to twelve hours.

A pound of dry ice is not sold without restrictions. You will have to place an order with special suppliers. Remember that dry ice will also slowly turn into gas even when kept in a freezer. Don’t store it in the freezer for over four days. Dry ice being a free trap is a contingent term as the transactional costs will involve you having to spend much time ordering ice whenever necessary.

Such measures are for preventive purposes only. They protect your bed from bed bugs crawling up from the floor. Carbon dioxide secreted by various objects won’t make them leave your warm beds. But are commercial devices better than homemade ones?

Active Traps: Experiments with Catching On Bait

The development of carbon dioxide-based methods of bed bug treatment is explained by the fact that they consume blood only. A new type of trap using the insects’ own odor is now being tested.

A team of Canadian scientists has radically decided to identify the substance that is responsible for grouping the bed bugs together. Back in the 1970s, the scientists learned that feces and chitinous covers left behind serve as attracting markers for these insects, as Wired cites Gerhard Gries and other researchers from the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.

Wired also specifies that the last component is sensed by bed bugs only upon contact. Histamine, the same chemical produced by our white blood cells as part of the human immune response, acts as an ‘arrestant’ in combination with the other chemical blend. It makes the bed bugs stop walking and nestle in.

The scientists have demonstrated great courage by letting the insects feed on their blood. However, the bitten researchers have given the world hope for creating a new bed bug attractant that is more effective than any source of carbon dioxide. The future will show whether this ambition will be realized.

Buggybed and Expel Bed Bug Trap Review

Melody enjoys sharing her personal experiences with others. This is an unendorsed product review by a customer.

Comparing Bed Bug Trap Brands

The best bed bug trap brands are the Expel Glue Trap BuggyBed glue traps. The following reviews highlight how Expel and BedBuggies are specially designed for this blood-sucking, parasitic insect. They are best used for detection, treatment, and prevention.

The CDC and Orkin both report that bed bug cases double each year. Bed bug traps give peace of mind to home and business owners. If you already have bed bugs, think about it this way: every bug in the glue is one less bug on you!

Note: I recommend using traps designed to catch bed bugs, not regular mice glue traps. I will tell you about my personal horror story with mice glue traps later in this article. Traps will not cure an infestation, but they are a piece of the puzzle that does.

Best Glue Trap Review

Expel Vs Buggybed

In my experience, other types of glue traps are either flimsy or cost more than they should. Bed bug infestations are expensive enough as it is.

I scrutinized many brands while volunteering with a bed bug community outreach program. My position allowed me to purchase each type of trap and monitor how well they worked. I wanted to know who made the best product.

When I found these two brands, I even began using my favorites in my own home for prevention. My hands-on experience with the traps helped me understand how to use them. It also made me advocate product ingredient awareness. Always check what glue is used in the bed bug trap.

Glue Trap Example

Expel and BuggyBeds Comparison

Expel Bed Bug Glue Traps

I ordered Expel bed bug glue traps from Predator Guard on Amazon. It was one of the few places that sold them. I wanted to know how safe they were, and if they were effective against bed bugs.

This product might not look like much, but I knew I would give it a positive review quickly. You don’t have to worry about what’s in the glue because this bed bug trap uses eco-friendly ingredients.

I ordered through Amazon Prime. Standard shipping was fast; the product arrived in two days. The United States Postal Service delivered them in a white, unmarked envelope.

My major complaint is that there is very little company info about the manufactures of Expel. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s because of a newer type of bed bug glue trap.

Product information and facts:

  • The paper package contained 4 traps.
  • They are eco-friendly.
  • The product is mostly cardboard with eco-friendly glue.
  • They don’t look impressive, but they do serve their purpose.
  • The glue remains sticky for an acceptable amount of time.
  • Expel traps are not discrete; they are difficult to hide.

BuggyBed Review

Company info:American-based and woman-owned, VCM products.

Location: Freehold New Jersey

This company maintains a professional website that puts a cartoonish spin on bed bugs. Overall, I am very impressed with the company and their customer service.

I like to say that the product is a bed bug trapping system. The bad news and biggest con are that these are more expensive than other types of traps. The units themselves attract bugs into channels that draw them into four glue patches.

Bed bugs find us by following the trail of CO2 that we exhale. CO2-emulating glue attracts bugs towards the adhesive and away from you. They are reminiscent of roach traps. The bottom is plastic, and to the top is clear plastic.

No other bed bug trapping product is as discrete or well-designed as these. You can place them anywhere in your home. Hide them behind bed posts, under mattresses, around headboards, beneath couch cushions, and even in bathrooms.

Pros and Cons

  • The glue is non-toxic.
  • Small enough not to be felt under a pillow or couch cushion.
  • Perfect for homes with pets and small children.
  • Effective for six months.
  • Best for early detection.
  • Dead bugs are concealed by plastic.
  • Under my mix-and-match method, one box covers two beds, or a bed and a couch.

A Side-by-Side Comparison

  • BuggyBeds is easier to conceal than Expel bed bug glue traps, but is more expensive.
  • Mix-and-Match: In my personal experience, the best way to trap these hair-raising bugs is to use a mix-and-match method. Buy both types of traps, then use the less discrete ones where guests are not likely to go. Use the Buggybeds traps for common areas.
  • If BuggyBed seems too expensive, then use the cheaper Exel traps with unseen bed, couch, and chair posts. Purchase BuggyBeds for other areas where discreteness and protection are paramount.
  • Dust, dirt, spiders, fleas, and bed bugs all wind up in these traps. I found a few gnats stuck to one, too. That was a mystifying revelation; I didn’t know that gnats hung out on the floor.
  • While other bugs might get trapped in these glue traps, bed bugs is the only one this product is made for.

Homemade Bed Bug Traps

DIY Options

Homemade traps are another option. If you want to make your own, then you need medium-sized bowls and water. Homemade traps are not as effective as commercial traps but it is cheaper to make them.

  1. Place stainless steel bowls near the bed.
  2. Add water. (Leave the bowl empty if you want to use them under the bedpost.)
  3. Check the trap regularly to ensure that bugs cannot climb up the sides.
  4. Experiment with bowls made of different materials until you find one the bugs cannot escape.

Attaching cloth to the outside of the bowl makes the trap more effective. Insects crawl up the outside of the bowl more easily. Some people place bed posts in bowls of water. I don’t recommend this because it could damage the bed.

Never use rodent glue traps for bed bugs. They are sticky enough to trap bed bugs but are not as safe as the alternatives. Glue traps can be dangerous to use around children and pets. Even adults get stuck to them from time to time.

Attention: If you get stuck in a rodent glue trap, poison control recommends using vegetable oil to remove it. I know this because I was stuck to one, and those are the instructions they gave me.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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Comments

me

don’t waster your money on buggybeds their trash

Tasha miller

I lived in an apartment complex and got an infestation and was givin these traps they didnt even work. They caught zero. I had to physically stay awake and catch and kill them myself.

Melody Collins

3 years ago from United States

Trevor, thank you for your kind words. I hope the product will help you. I encourage you to come back after you have tried it, and let us know how it works for you.

Trevor Spears

3 years ago from Mount Warren Park

Thanks for the great article. I will be trying the Buggy Bed Glue Traps and see how it goes.

Melody Collins

5 years ago from United States

The safest is buggy beds. None of the glue is exposed.

jacob

omg buggybeds! these got me a free hotel stay in atlantic city because i caught bugs in the trap while staying down there (not going to say the casino because it was my only bad experience!)

na

These are not traps, nor is the one on Shark tank a trap. These devices are for the intention of just letting you know if you have them.

H C Palting

7 years ago from East Coast

This is a very interesting hub. A lot of people come into contact with people and places that have bed bugs. Some people don’t know that you can get bed bugs in seemingly innocent places such as movie theaters, dressing rooms in stores, and offices. Voted up and useful.

Melody Collins

7 years ago from United States

Thanks for stopping by. The safest bed bug glue trap is Buggy Beds Glue trap; the glue is fully sealed in the plastic except for small openings for bud begs to crawl in.

Nithya Venkat

7 years ago from Dubai

Glue trap sounds dangerous, wondering which bug trap is the safest one and looking forward to more hubs of yours.

Copyright © 2020 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages ® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

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Bed Bug Traps

Traps are the best way to keep bed bugs off of your bed. They are useful from the beginning to the end of an infestation.

When used with a set of encasements, they can completely stop bites.

Table of Contents

Why Use Traps?

  • Traps protect your bed by stopping bed bugs from climbing up
  • Traps detect infestations early to prevent serious infestations from developing
  • Traps keep tabs on bed bug populations during infestations without any work on your part
  • Traps stop bites when used with encasements

They’re the first thing we recommend people pick up when trying to prevent or treat an infestation.

We’ll help you choose the trap that’s right for you.

Passive Bed Bug Traps

Passive traps are perfect for people trying to prevent bed bugs. They are also the easiest way to keep an eye on active infestations during treatment.

Types of Passive Traps

  • Interceptorstrap and starve bed bugs. You can count the number of bugs they’ve caught every few days to see how your infestation is progressing. They stop bites by isolating your bed legs.
  • Passive monitorswork by taking advantage of bed bug instincts. They make it effortless to see if your infestation is growing or shrinking. They do not stop bites.

Passive Traps Comparison Chart

Click any product name or picture to go to the corresponding review on this page:

LightsOutClimbUpBB AlertSenSci
BaitYouYouYouYou, Optional Lure
TrapABS PitfallPowdered PitfallComfy HarboragePitfall
LifespanForeverForeverForever or 1 InfestationForever
Rating100 / 10092 / 10092 / 10074 / 100
Relative Cost$$$$$$$ – $$$
Current PriceViewViewViewView

Bed Bug Interceptors

Interceptors are the most straightforward way to trap bed bugs. They capitalize on the fact that bed bugs have to climb up your bed legs to feed.

Interceptors are able to do their job because bed bugs cannot jump or fly.

Interceptor designs are simple but effective. Bed bugs can easily crawl in but can’t get out thanks to a polished smooth interior. Some interceptors include a thin coating of pesticide powders, talcum powder, or oil.

No matter what, the result is the same. Interceptors trap bed bugs making it easy for you to check what you’re dealing with if bites ever appear.

Interceptors and encasements work together to make your bed a fortress.

Use them to prevent infestations in sofas, chairs, upholstered furniture, nightstands, and more.

LightsOut Bed Bug Detector Review

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Price

Bait:You
Trap:Pitfall, stays slick
Lasts:Forever!

The LightsOut Detector was developed by Jeffery White of Bed Bug Central, a big name in the bed bug field.

Made of a super-slick ABS plastic, the LightsOut is smoother than glass.

ABS plastic is stronger and more break-resistant than the plastics used in most traps.

Why Use Black Plastic?

  • Black actively attracts bed bugs
  • It makes it easy to see the smallest baby bed bug
  • It is camouflaged when under furniture so guests aren’t drawn to them
  • Catching a single bed bug in the LightsOut before an infestation explodes would easily make it worth the small investment.

Looking for a permanent interceptor for bed bug prevention? We recommend the LightsOut. It’s maintenance-free, rugged, and discreet.

It’ll last as long as your furniture does without any upkeep.

ClimbUp Insect Interceptor Review

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Price

Bait:You
Trap:Pitfall and talcum
Lasts:Forever!

It makes use of a thin layer of talcum powder to trap bed bugs. You will need to apply more after washing it.

Reapplication is easy. Be sure to do it when the trap is bone dry and you won’t have any issues.

ClimbUp has been a favorite thanks to their full range of sizes. Small, large, and even XL interceptors are available for chunkier furniture legs.

ClimbUp products are some of the more affordable interceptors out there. They’re a steal if you consider the money they can save you by protecting your furniture.

SenSci Volcano Bed Bug Detector Review

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Bait:You, Optional Sweat-Scent Lures
Trap:Pitfall
Lasts:Forever! Lures last 2 – 3 months

The Volcano is a passive trap with optional active bait.

While most interceptors are installed on bed legs, the Volcano is placed on bed bug travel routes.

You can set and forget them once you’ve figured out the route that bed bugs are likely to take on their way to your bed.

To use the trap actively, you can buy their proprietary baits. The Volcano also works by trapping bugs inside a pit.

Unlike interceptors, the Volcano is meant to targetanybed bug route, not just the legs of your bed. With the pack of 12, you can cover a lot of ground and potential paths.

See-through plastic bottoms make inspections easy.

SenSci takes advantage of the bed bug instinct to climb up vertical surfaces on their way to your bed.

This works as long as you place them in areas that bed bugs like to travel frequently. The SenSci is less likely to work if you’re dealing with an infestation in its early stages.

That’s where the optional lures come in.

You can use the Volcano as an active trap with their proprietary lures.

The Volcano catches more bugs as an active trap than it does as a passive trap as you might expect. The 3-month lifespan of the lures makes them mostly passive.

Passive Bed Bug Monitors

Bed Bug Alert Passive Monitor Review

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Bait:You
Trap:A “perfect” place to infest
Lasts:Forever!

Developed by David Cain, the BB Alert is an infestation tracking tool. David runs a pest control company that only deals with bed bugs.

The BB Alert’s purpose is to catch bed bugs early to save you from a full-blown infestation.

Once placed in a hotspot, like behind a headboard or under the bed, it lures bed bugs in with an irresistible hiding place.

After feeding, bed bugs must shed some of their excess weight to fit into their hiding places.

Inspecting the Alert is as easy as checking the trap’s white skirt for rusty brown or reddish spots.

The alert includes a calendar that you can use to track an infestation’s progress. The calendar makes it easy to note how many spots are on the trap after each inspection. This makes it easy to keep track of the infestation’s progress.

This is especially true for people living in multi-unit housing like apartments or condos.

With the Alert, detecting bed bugs early is as easy as checking your trap once every couple of weeks.

Active Bed Bug Traps

Active traps take advantage of the bed bug’s ability to sense our breath and heat. By simulating both, traps effectively lure and trap them.

Active Bed Bug Traps Comparison Chart

Click any product name or picture to go to the corresponding review on this page:

NightWatchBB AlertBB BeaconSenSci
BaitHeat, CO2, PheromonesHeatCO2You, Pheromones
Trap2 PitfallsSticky SheetPitfallPitfall
Refill1 WeekDaily2 Weeks3 Months
Rating97 / 10052 / 10088 / 10074 / 100
Relative Cost$$$$$$$$$ – $$$
Current PriceViewViewViewView

Artificial baits make active traps effective in areas that are not always occupied. Without baits, bed bugs would otherwise go into hiding and wait for people to show up.

NightWatch Trap and Monitor Review

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Bait:Heat, CO2, and pheromones
Trap:2 pitfall traps, large
Lure Refills:One pheromone lure lasts 7 nights – pack of 4 included.
Refillable CO2 refilled every 7 days
Electricity to generate heat

The NightWatch uses several baits to simulate a person.

The Nightwatch is expensive and uses two baits that need to be periodically refilled.

It also works amazingly well. It is a blessing for anyone battling bed bugs somewhere that a person cannot act as bait.

Bed bugs are notorious for their ability to survive over a year without having a meal. Residual sprays and powders will sit there untouched as bed bugs hide and wait for a meal to come.

The NightWatch draws bed bugs out of hiding so that your powders and sprays can do their job.

With a pest management plan, results will come fast once you start using it.

Need to treat a vacant guest room, bathroom, closet, or living room? The NightWatch will has it covered.

If you can afford the upfront costs and refills, you’ll get some incredible results from this trap.

The pros swear by it, and so will you.

Bed Bug Alert Active Monitor Review

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Bait:Heat
Trap:Sticky trap
Lure Refills:24 hours per lure

The idea behind the Alert Active is promising. Manufactured by the famous bed bug heater company Packtite, the alert misses the mark.

Most reviews share that the heat bait it uses isn’t as reliable as other baits like pheromones or CO2. Moreover, sticky traps sometimes even scare bed bugs away.

This trap makes sense in travel situations.

Concerned about bed bugs in your hotel, motel, or Airbnb? Drop a BB Alert near the bed after checking for the usual signs.

A single night should catch a few bugs if there is a significant infestation. Catching a single bug is more than enough.

Finding one bug tips you off so you know to take extra steps to stop them from getting in your home.

For more reliable results, consider a different active trap.

Bed Bug Traps

Bed bugs have been making a big comeback over the past thirty years. Common throughout the world until the 1940s, they were nearly eradicated in developed countries with the introduction of effective pesticides. But with worldwide travel becoming increasingly common, a dramatic resurgence of bugs has occurred in even the most developed countries.

Over the years, these bugs have adapted to survive in almost every climate on earth. The most common species, however, is Cimex lectularius and is usually found in the world’s more moderate temperatures where it has become well adapted to human environments.

Five Stages of Development

Throughout its life, this bug will undergo five stages of development. At the conclusion of each stage, it will shed its exoskeleton and replace it with a new one. A recently hatched nymph, or baby, is a translucent, light brown color while adult coloration varies from brown to reddish-brown.

Adults are oval-shaped and exhibit a banded appearance across their abdomen. They can grow to approximately one quarter inch in length, often resembling an apple seed, and are frequently mistaken for carpet beetles and large lice.

How They Feed

They feed on warm-blooded animals, such as pets and humans, although they typically only feed on humans when other prey is unavailable. Even though they can live for up to five months without feeding (or one year in colder climates where their metabolism slows down), they normally try to eat once every five to ten days.

These nocturnal feeders begin by injecting their victims with a mixture of saliva that is capable of both anesthetizing the site and thinning the blood at the same time. The bug then inserts another small tube into the victim which it uses to draw blood. It will typically feed for three to five minutes before retreating to its hiding place where it will remain between feedings.

Have Bed Bug Problems?

Because they feed at night and use a mild local anesthetic to avoid disturbing their victim, the signs of an infestation frequently do not occur until it is too late and the victim has begun to exhibit visible symptoms.

While they are not known to transmit diseases, their bites can result in severe skin rashes, allergic reactions, and even cause anemia in children with prolonged exposure to an infestation.

Signs of Infestation

In addition to the visible symptoms on their victims, common indications of an infestation include blood smears and small fecal spots that the bugs have left behind on bedding.

Less noticeable signs include the remains of the small exoskeletons shed by the bugs and translucent, sticky eggs that are often laid between the seams of sheets and blankets. Another commonly reported indication of an infestation is a distinct smell that has often been compared to almonds, cilantro, or raspberries.

The Advantages of Using Live Traps

Due to the fact that these bugs are often mistaken for other insects, one of the first steps in treating an infestation is accurately identifying it. Capturing a bug can not only assist a doctor in diagnosing a reaction to the bites, but it may also prove useful when stating your case to a landlord, dormitory official, hotel representative, etc.

The use of bug traps is a quick and cost-effective technique that takes only minutes to set up and will hold the insect in place rather than allowing it to retreat back to its hiding place to die.

What Attracts These Pests

These bugs are attracted primarily to warmth and carbon dioxide, such as what our lungs emit when we exhale. This makes our beds, where we spend long hours breathing under warm blankets, the perfect hunting grounds for this bloodsucking parasite.

Once an ideal location is discovered, the bug emits pheromones to communicate to others that it has found a suitable feeding, nesting, and reproduction site. In other words, where there is one, there are usually many, many more.

Passive Traps

With this in mind, there are two types of traps. The first is referred to as a passive trap. Because they prefer to live near their hosts but not on them, passive traps attempt to catch them as they commute from their hiding places to the host where they will feed.

Since they can neither fly nor must jump great distances, bugs crawl to their intended victim, sometimes by climbing up a bed leg or bed post. Thus, catching them can be as simple as covering your bed’s legs in petroleum jelly, double-sided tape, or any such substance to which they will stick as they travel toward their victim.

Store-bought passive traps can be purchased as well for about $25 per set of four. These traps resemble two tiny bowls, one inside the other, into which an individual places the four legs of the bed. The idea is that bugs traveling to the bed will become trapped in the sticky outer bowl, while bugs that have already fed and are attempting to leave the bed will become trapped in the inner bowl.

Active Traps

While passive traps attempt to catch the bugs during their natural commute to and from their host, active traps attempt to lure their prey by emitting their own tiny amounts of carbon dioxide and heat. The bugs, attracted to the trap, crawl up a shallow, inclined surface.

Once inside the trap, the bugs fall into a deep pit with smooth sides that they are incapable of climbing to get out.

Although considerably more expensive than passive traps, these traps (ranging anywhere from $40 to $400) are considered to be more effective because they lure the insects as opposed to simply waiting for one to cross its path.

The Disadvantages of Using Live Traps

One of the primary disadvantages of using traps is that they may only prove truly effective in the case of relatively mild infestations. Even then, it may still be a matter of days before a substantial number of these bloodsucking bugs have been collected and there is no guarantee that they have been completely eliminated from the home.

Additionally, with passive traps it is important to consider that these insects might not necessarily travel from the floor to the host. In fact, they may choose to live much closer to the victim, residing instead in the nooks and crannies of the bedframe, mattress, box spring, or headboard.

In such a situation, it may be days before a bug travels over a passive trap and even if several are caught, there is still no guarantee that others do not inhabit the bed itself.

Disposing of Trapped Bugs

What also makes catching live bugs so problematic, regardless of what method is used, is killing them after they have been trapped. Freezing them is one popular method, but its effectiveness varies.

According to the University of Indiana’s Office of Environmental, Health, and Safety Management, in order for the freezing method to be effective, the bug must be exposed very quickly to extremely cold temperatures for a period of up to a month.

If the temperature is not cold enough, or if the insect is not exposed to it quickly and for a long enough duration, it will simply adapt, surviving for up to a year on its internal food reserves.

Don’t Rely on Traps Alone

Traps prove only truly effective in cases of mild infestations, when time is not a concern, or if the goal is to simply catch one or two for identification purposes.

It is often recommended, therefore, that traps be used in combination with other techniques. This will help to ensure complete elimination of both the parasite and its offspring.

Health and Safety Precautions When Using Live Traps

As with every elimination method, when using traps it is important to keep in mind some key health and safety precautions.

Whether you are employing homemade traps or store-bought traps, be sure to keep a close eye on curious pets and children. Ingestion of the sticky substance used to trap the bugs may be harmful, and when placed on the ground it is easily within reach.

Because the bugs will be alive when they are caught, be careful to dispose of them properly, making sure not to let pets or children play with any live specimens.

Alternatives to Live Traps

Vacuuming

Another simple and cheap method of catching live bugs is simply vacuuming them up. While this is an inexpensive and easy solution, it is not necessarily an effective means of eradicating them.

Because bugs typically only venture from their hiding places at night while the victim is sleeping, it is often difficult to catch one, let alone several, with a vacuum cleaner. Even if you are able to catch them, you now have to deal with a vacuum cleaner full of these bugs.

Furthermore, should the bugs escape the vacuum’s containment system, or if it is not properly disposed of, the infestation could easily occur again, possibly even spreading to different locations of the home.

Although setting traps and vacuuming up the bugs are relatively cost-effective, do-it-yourself methods of dealing with an infestation, complete eradication often requires the use of other methods as well.

Pesticides

One of the most common techniques employs the use of pesticides and insecticides. Unfortunately, however, it has been discovered that these bugs have actually begun developing a resistance to many of the ingredients used in pesticides and insecticides, sometimes rendering them ineffective.

Regardless, children should always be kept at a safe distance and a professional exterminator should be consulted prior to application.

Steam Treatment

Steam treatment is another popular method used to kill these offending bugs. Effective against even the eggs, steam can be used on almost any surface, including mattresses and other pieces of furniture. A simple steam cleaning machine usually produces enough warm steam to be effective.

However, this method only works if the steam actually comes into contact with the bug or its eggs. Therefore, it is recommended that when using this method, the steamer is moved slowly over the surface to which it is being applied to ensure contact with even the hard to reach bugs.

Preventing Future Infestations

Once they have been eliminated, it is important to take the steps necessary to prevent a future infestation. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, creating an environment that is not conducive to habitation is a good first step. Begin by eliminating clutter and reducing the number of places where they might hide.

Since these bugs prefer to nest near their food source, dismantle beds, inspecting any cracks, slots, and screw holes for remaining offenders. Seal all holes and cracks around outlets, pipes, and moldings and thoroughly clean the house using a strong vacuum and stiff brush remove any stragglers.

Additional Steps for Prevention

It isn’t necessary to dispose of your mattress or bedding, but ensure that they are well cleaned. Seal any holes in your mattress or box spring with duct tape to eliminate potential hiding places.

If you do choose to dispose of your mattress, wrap it in heavy plastic and seal it shut to ensure that any remaining bugs do not spread to passersby or anyone who may handle the mattress.

If you suspect that the bugs may have been introduced into your home by a pet, be sure to wash the animal thoroughly in an outdoor space, inspecting both yourself and your furry friend before reentering your home.

Likewise, if you believe that the bugs may have “hitchhiked” into your home on clothing or luggage, inspect and wash these items as well.

Check with the Neighbors

Also remember to notify your immediate neighbors of the infestation, especially if you live in a condo or apartment. Not only will this allow them to keep a lookout in their own home, but if that is where they originated in the first place it will help treat the root of the problem and prevent future infestation.

This will also help to ensure that any bugs that may have temporarily retreated to your neighbor or dealt with before they are able to return to your own home.

Finally, even if you believe that your infestation problem has been treated, consider placing some passive traps around the bed and inspect them regularly to see if any stubborn stragglers have remained and if further treatment is necessary.

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