How To Set Up Bed Bug Glue Trap

Best Bed Bug Traps 2020

In this article, we have put together some of the best bed bug traps and interceptors to add along your array of tools in battling bed bugs.

While bed bug sticky traps that are designed to trap bed bugs for killing, bed bug interceptors are designed to help monitor as well as detect where bed bugs are present (or if they are still around after a treatment). Most importantly, it also provides a barrier between the floor and the bed, as bed bugs can’t jump or fly.

1Trapper Bed Bug Insect TrapCheck Price
2Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug TrapCheck Price
3Trapper Max Glue Boards TrapCheck Price
4Ortho Home Defense Bed Bug TrapCheck Price
5LightsOut Chemical-free Reusable Bedbug Detector TrapCheck Price

Why Bed Bug Traps?

Bed bugs are often hard to spot and move around only when humans are in their inactive state (i.e sleeping). Bed bugs are not able to fly or jump long distances and usually only crawls around. Hence bed bug traps are an effective and economical method to intercept them.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using bed bug traps:

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

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.


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.


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


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.

Top 5 Best Bed Bug Traps 2019 Review

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​Are you looking for bed bug traps? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:

  • What you need to know about bed bugs and traps
  • The different types of bed bug traps (sticky and slippery)
  • The top bed bug traps we reviewed for this guide

Ready to learn? Let’s jump in!

Top 5 Best Bed Bug Traps

​Short on time or just want a quick answer?

Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about bed bug traps.

  1. ​Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Trap
  2. ​Trapper Insect Trap
  3. ​Trapper Max Glue Traps
  4. ​Expel Bed Bug Glue Trap
  5. ​Bed Bug Interceptors

What You Need To Know About Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Traps

​For the purposes of trapping bed bugs, we only need to know a few things about them and their behavior. First off, they are parasites. They feed on the blood of a host, typically humans.

Second, it takes about three to ten minutes for them to feed, which means they need to do their feeding when people are asleep and won’t brush them off or squash them.

During the day bed bugs like to hide near where they feed, usually in cracks and crevices around headboards, baseboards, floorboards, box springs, drawers, and so on.

This means they’ll be traveling back and forth from their “feeding ground” to their hiding place. It is during the traveling phase that traps come into play.

Put the traps around or under the feet of the bed. Also, place them near those areas where you suspect they might be harboring during the day.

Based on which traps have bed bugs in them, you’ll be able to make a
determination of where that harborage area actually is. This makes it much easier to effectively contain, control, and ultimately, eliminate them.

​What Are The Two Types of Bed Bug Traps?

​There are two main types of bed bug traps; slippery or sticky. These are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but in either case, the idea is to get the bed bugs into an area they can’t get out of.

Slippery Bed Bug Traps

​Slippery traps rely on the ultra-smooth surface(s) of modern plastics to capture bed bugs.

The outside of the trap is a normal, slightly rough surface the bed bugs can climb up and down with ease. The inside, by contrast, is so smooth the bed bugs can’t get any traction on it. For them, it’s like walking on ice.

​The trap will have a series of vertical surfaces, going up and down to trap the bed bugs. They can crawl up the side of the trap, but as soon as they start down the inside of it they lose traction and slide to the
bottom. Once inside, they can’t crawl back out again.

These type of traps typically have two inner wells in them, separated by a smooth ridge of unclimbable plastic. The inner area, usually between 2-4 inches in diameter, is where the feet of a piece of furniture
is set.

One trap is needed for each foot of the furniture. Whether bugs are crawling on the bed or off it, they’ll be captured.

Sticky Bed Bug Traps

​Sticky traps, or glue traps, are fairly obvious in both their design and their use. Place them around the feet of the furniture and along the baseboard cracks and crevices and other areas where they hide during
the day.

​Top 5 Best Bed Bug Traps Reviewed

​As a quick recap, here are the bed bug traps we looked at. Our #1 pick goes to the Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Trap. Be sure to take a look at the Trapper Insect Trap because they’re so inexpensive and easy to use.

  1. Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Trap
  2. ​Trapper Insect Trap
  3. ​Trapper Max Glue Traps
  4. ​Expel Bed Bug Glue Trap
  5. ​Bed Bug Interceptors

​Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Trap

  • ​Pesticide free
  • ​Dual-well design
  • ​Fits all types of furniture with posts

This is a 4 count box of interceptors, used under the feet of beds, tables, chairs, etc., to monitor bed bug activity and numbers. They work on the simplest principal imaginable – slick slippery surfaces that bed bugs can’t climb.

The hard plastic is tough but not unbreakable. Set the furniture feet into the traps, don’t drop them in or you’ll break the trap.

The trap has room for furniture feet that are up to 3.75 inches in diameter. There is an inner well where the furniture feet go, and thinner, outer well.

If bed bugs crawl down the feet of the furniture into the inner well, the surface of the specially designed plastic trap is so smooth they can’t get any traction on it and are stuck. Therefore, if you see bed bugs in the inner well, you know that piece of furniture has bed bugs.

On the other hand, if bed bugs crawl into the outer well from somewhere else in the room, they won’t be able to climb out again, either to escape or crawl up on the furniture. Therefore, if you see bed bugs in the outer well, you know they came from somewhere else.

In either case, it provides a clear indication which direction the bed bugs are coming from, and the white surface makes the trapped bed bugs easy to see from a distance.

Talcum powder can be added if desired to increase the slipperiness, but isn’t required nor is it included in the package.

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


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.


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.

How To Make Bed Bug Traps To Catch Bed Bugs

At, we get tons of emails asking us how to attract bed bugs and lure them out of their hiding places. Many people want to know this information to ascertain that they are indeed being bitten by bedbugs and not something else. The solution to catch bed bugs in the act is to make an effective bed bug trap. You can always buy ready-made bed bug traps but if you want to save some money, or are feeling extra creative, then use these steps given below.

1. Simple bed bug trap with tape

Things you need:

  • 2 plastic bowls of varying sizes which fit inside each other. You will need 2 bowls each for each bed bug trap that you plan to use for each leg of your bed or couch. We recommend keeping 2 traps. So you will need 4 bowls. Each bowl must be at least 1 ½ inches high.
  • Talcum powder- baby powder works best. Use powder containing talc and not cornstarch.
  • Masking tape or sticky sports tape
  • Soapy water (simply use any detergent or liquid soap to make it)


  • Pour the soapy water in each of the large bowls. This is for drowning the bed bugs.
  • Add talcum powder in the small bowls. The powder will prevent the trapped bugs to escape from the small bowl
  • Apply the masking tape outside the large bowl along the circumference.
  • Place the small bowl inside the large bowl. Keep each leg of the bed in the small bowl.
  • To make the trap effective, make sure that no part of the bed is touching the walls or other furniture. This way, the only way for the bed bugs to get on and off the bed is from the bed’s legs.
  • Check the traps from time to time.

2. DIY homemade trap to attract bed bugs

This is an easy trap to draw out bed bugs and it takes less than an hour to make it.

Things you will need:

  • Thermos with spout
  • Dry ice
  • Glass bowl that is wide enough to stand the thermos.
  • Plastic cat litter box
  • Baby powder (again, avoid powders with cornstarch)
  • Glue
  • White paint
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Old towel
  • Pliers and work gloves to handle dry ice.


  • Paint the bottom of the plastic litter box white. This step is optional but it will help you identify the caught bugs. You can use a fast drying paint of speed up the process by placing the box under a fan or a dryer.
  • Using strong scissors cut off the top of the box. Make sure the edges of the box are straight.
  • Measure the length, width and height of the box and cut out those dimensions in the old towel.
  • Using super glue, paste the towel on the outer edges of the box. Make sure that the cloth covers all surfaces of the box on the outside. Do not leave any gap between the cloth and the sides of the bed bug trap.
  • Now dust the inside of the box with baby powder.
  • Keep the small glass bowl in the center of the litter box upside down. This will act as a base for the dry ice thermos. Liberally sprinkle powder on the glass bowl as well.
  • Now place the dry ice inside the thermos. Add a little water and close the thermos lid. Keep the spout half open to allow the CO2 to escape. The Co2 should ideally come out of the spout downwards into the trap so the bed bugs are attracted to it.
  • Put the thermos on the glass bowl and place the trap near the bed.

Check the trap from time to time. You can set the trap in the room at least twice a week to catch bed bugs.


  • The dry ice lets out Co2 which will cause the pressure to build up. So make sure the thermos has a spout for releasing it if you wish to avoid a mini explosion.
  • Co2 can cause asphyxia. Therefore, you must leave a little ventilation in the room when using this trap.
  • Use the Co2 trap for an average sized room meant for two people.
  • Avoid using the trap in kids’ rooms or near pets’ sleeping areas.
  • Take care when handling dry ice. Do not touch it directly as it could cause serious burns. Always use gloves or pliers to touch the ice.)

Trap didn’t work?

They may not be bed bugs. Visit this link to see bed bug pictures and bed bug bite pictures on humans.

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