How Well Do Bed Bug Interceptors Work
Insects in the City
The best in science-based, pest management solutions from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
What is a bed bug interceptor?
The ClimbUp® interceptor includes a light dusting of talc that must be replenished every time the trap is cleaned. The outside of the the cup is covered with fabric tape to help bed bugs climb to enter the trap.
One of the most useful devices that has been invented for bed bug monitoring and management is the bed bug interceptor. These are simple devices based on the principle that bed bugs are not very good at climbing slippery, vertical surfaces. Interceptor cups usually consist of a plastic dish large enough to contain a bed post, with an outer “moat” designed to catch and retain bed bugs. Sometimes these traps are referred to as pitfall traps for bed bugs.
The moat on an interceptor cup will have vertical, or near vertical, sides. Sometimes a light coating of talcum powder is added to the inside of the cup to make it more difficult for the bed bug to escape the moat (Note that talc itself is not toxic for bed bugs, and only a very fine film is needed–too much will make it difficult to see bed bugs in the trap).
Uses for interceptor cups include:
- Protecting bed occupants from bed bugs not already on the bed.
- To see whether bed bugs are present, and in what numbers.
- To assess the effectiveness of bed bug treatments.
- As an early detection system for bed bugs in hotels, apartments, homes.
- As part of a do-it-yourself bed bug management effort.
How to Use
The Blackout™ Bed Bug Detector does not require talc. Roughened plastic on the outside facilitates bed bug entry.
Interceptor cups should be placed under the posts of beds needing protection from bed bugs. To maximize protection it is important that beds not touch walls or any nearby furniture. Dust ruffles or any bedding that touches the floor will also keep the interceptors from serving as protection from bed bugs. Formonitoringpurposes, interceptors can be placed under bed posts, or anywhere under the bed. Interceptor cups will be most effective when used on bed where someone is sleeping, with the person serving as an attraction for the bugs. Interceptors can also be placed under sofas or upholstered or wicker furniture where bed bugs may hide. Recent research shows that bed bugs are highly mobile and may be found throughout homes, even in areas where you might not expect to find them. Interceptors may be placed in bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, or anywhere desired.
A ClimbUp® trap from a heavily infested apartment contains many bed bugs of all life stages.
To fully monitor a typical two bedroom apartment, a minimum of 12 interceptors is best (assuming four cups per bed, and two cups per sofa and recliner chair). If protection of the beds is less important than early detection or monitoring, two cups per bed is OK. Dust and debris will accumulate in traps and must be cleaned periodically, usually at least once a month. When checking interceptor cups, it may be easiest to dump them in a smooth-sided plastic tub to help you inspect the contents of the trap. By using a tub with vertical sides, you can minimize the chance of bed bugs escaping before they can be dispensed with. Dump live bugs into soapy water or place in a plastic bag and dispose in an outdoor trash receptacle.
A thermos or even styrofoam cup filled with dry ice and placed in the center of an interceptor can enhance the effectiveness of the trap for detecting bed bugs.
The effectiveness of an interceptor trap for bed bugs can be enhanced if coupled with a carbon dioxide source or pheromone attractant. This can be especially useful for pest management companies or building managers who wish to determine whether bed bugs might be present in empty apartments, empty school classrooms, work places or other locations where bed bugs may be difficult to detect. It is best to use CO2 traps over weekends or holidays in school or work sites. Take caution when using dry ice in areas where children might be present. In small rooms, CO2 can be toxic; and dry ice may cause burns if handled without gloves. In occupied rooms, or locations children might encounter the traps with dry ice, traps should be used with lure only, or without additional attractant. Traps without a lure can still serve as effective bed bug detectors.
Where to Purchase Interceptors
Bed bug interceptors or monitors are not generally available in stores, but can be purchased online. Two popular manufacturers include ClimbUp ® and Blackout™ bed bug interceptors. You may also want to search online for terms “bed bug monitors” or “bed bug interceptors”. There is also now a newer trap design that is smaller and designed to place in discreet locations around the home. Called the Volcano™ bed bug detector, it is designed to hold a lure to enhance trap effectiveness. Because of its small size, the Volcano™ will not provide bed protection, but is designed purely as a monitor. All of these traps can be found online via a search engine.
If you can’t afford commercial traps or need to get interceptors installed immediately, you can also make your own bed bug interceptor traps with a few simple household items. For a video on how to do this from the University of Florida, please click here.
Top 7 Best Bed Bug Traps and Interceptors (2019)
Just the thought of big brown bed bugs crawling on your bedsheets and body during the night is enough to give one the jitters. Bed bugs may be the peskiest parasites in existence. Unlike other ectoparasites like mosquitoes and leeches, bed bugs are far sneakier and usually only come out to feast on humans when they are asleep.
Although various methods that must be used in conjunction with each other to get rid of these pests, bed bug traps are a good way to monitor and control infestations in its early days. In this guide, we have reviewed the best bed bug traps and interceptors in the market for your convenience.
Table of Contents
How Different Types of Bed Bug Traps Work
Bed bug traps come in several different forms and work on different principles. However, in the end, all of these are effective for trapping these blood-sucking parasites.
Bed Bug Interceptors
Bed bug interceptors are the most common types of traps that are available in the market. They consist of concentric outer and inner chambers in a single cup and are usually placed beneath your bed legs. The outside wall has footholds for the bed bugs to crawl up, but the inner walls are slick so that once the bed bugs fell inside the trap, they can’t come out. You can make the inner walls slicker by adding some talcum powder to them.
Glue traps usually come with a special lure that either gives out the smell of carbon dioxide or pheromones, which are both bed bug attractants. Once the insect crawls onto the trap, the adhesive holds it tight, so it can’t escape.
This kind of trap gives out carbon dioxide gas which trick bed bugs into thinking the source is a sleeping human a.k.a a bloodmeal. When the bed bug approaches towards the trap, it gets caught in a sticky adhesive and become trapped there.
Electronic Heat Dome
Similar to the glue and CO2 traps, these traps lure in bed bugs to a sticky death. However, their lures consist of heat and light, and they work with electricity.
Encasement Mattress Cover
Encasements mattress work very well to trap bed bugs that are living inside your mattress. These covers are made of dense and tough fibers and a proper zipper that does not allow bed bugs to come out of the mattress. As a result, bed bugs eventually die of starvation after some time. However, since bed bugs can live without blood for over 400 days, it is best that you leave the cover on for at least that amount of time, to be effective.
7 Best Bed Bug Traps: Review
|Harris Bed Bug Trap (4/Pack) *|