Bed Bug Traps
Buyers Guide and Reviews

overview:

Bed bug traps are simple devices that can either be made at home or purchased. Traps usually use something to attract bed bugs, such as heat, carbon dioxide or pheromones. 

Traps can also be as simple as a small bowl that are placed under bed legs such as a low cost Climbup interceptor. The Bed Bug Beacon is another low cost option that is popular for individuals and pest control operators wanting to know if bed bugs are present.

Several kinds of traps are described below, including two that you can made yourself.

No trap will catch 100% of bed bugs in a room.  At best, traps are good for catching a good number of bed bugs and for determining how large a problem exists in a room.  Bed bug traps are also helpful to determine if a bed bug infestation has been eliminated.

The best way to get rid of bed bugs is to call a bed bug exterminator such as a member of the Home Advisor Network  (1.877.233.1145). Members of the network are pre-screened and must be licensed and insured.

If you can't afford an exterminator, then the use of these traps in addition to some low cost methods described below should help kill bed bugs at home or in an apartment.

Picture of Climbup Bed Bug Trap on Bed Leg
Shown: Single Climbup

Bed  Bug Traps Video Review

Learn about the many kinds of bed bug traps and monitors available to protect your home or apartment. Get early warning of a bed bug infestation.

inexpensive bed bug traps

Climbup Interceptor Bowls

If you are using traps in a bedroom or around a couch, then the lowest cost method are small bowls that are placed under each bed leg. The bowls are called Climbup Interceptors, with a set of 4 costing under $20 (U.S.).

Examples of Climbup Interceptors
Shown: Assortment of Climbup Interceptors for under $20

While this approach is not a complete bed bug treatment solution, they can at minimum give you an indication of 1) is there an infestation and 2) how large is the infestation.  After treating a room, an empty bowl means no more bed bugs.

Leave the Climbup interceptors in place for 2 weeks, to catch any late hatching bed bugs.

Climbup Interceptor Review


Climbup insect interceptor traps are a great way trap bed bugs as they attempt to feed and gain access to the bed by way of the bed legs. They are an inexpensive necessity when dealing with a bed bug infestation. Coated lightly with talcum powder, the bed bugs fall into an interior pitfall and cannot escape. Interceptors should be applied to all bed legs in each occupied room.

Bed Bug Alert Monitor and Trap

bed bug pheromone trapBed Bug Alert Pheromone Monitor and Trap
Shown: Bed Bug Alert Pheromone Trap from

The Bed Bug Alert Monitor and Trap is a simple way to monitor for bed bugs for up to 6 months. It costs under $14 (U.S.) and uses pheromones to attract the bed bugs. Once they enter the monitor a glue keeps the insects in place. The monitors are an ideal way to check for bed bugs in mattresses or even when on vacation in a hotel room or cruise ship.

Sensci Volcano Bed Bug Detector Review

The Sensci bed bug monitor detects bed bugs in any room.  It is ideal for detecting bed bugs along room baseboards, bed legs or around furniture.  You can use these products alone or with other traps and lures.

The monitor is cost effective and can either be used to detect an infestation or to track the size of an infestation. On the outside the monitor features 4 wall, enabling bed bugs to climb up effortlessly.  The smooth inside prevents bed bugs from escaping.

Underneath there is a clear window. It is easy to assemble (only two pieces). The device works by using the human sleeping as the bait for the insects. When the bed bugs climb over the device the fall and get trapped inside. You can also insert a SenSci Activ Bed Bug Lure as an attractant.  The lure simulates human sweat.  The only limitation is that without the lure you are relying on bed bugs to cross over the trap as part of the natural path they would take when moving toward a human host.

If you find bed bugs in the monitor, dispose of them by dumping them and flushing down a drain.  You can periodically check the monitor to see if it attracted any bed bugs.

Scensci Bed Bug Monitor and Trap Review


The Scensi bed bug monitor and trap is a low cost way to monitor and trap bed bugs as a method of early detection or on-going room monitoring.

Bed Bug Beacon

The Bed Bug Beacon is the perfect monitor for any room of a house or apartment. It uses Co2 to attract the insects for up to 2 weeks. One advantage of the device is that it can draw out bed bugs in an empty room where there has been no activity, making it the perfect way to inspect an apartment before you move in.

The Beacon also traps bed bugs inside the device, providing an easy way to determine if an infestation is gone or has been reduced in size.


The is a low cost monitor and trap that can be used in any room of the house including closets and bed rooms.

premium traps

Nightwatch Bed Bug Trap and Monitor

The NightWatch bed bug trap and monitor is the most advanced device you can buy. The trap uses three systems for attracting bed bugs:

  1. carbon dioxide
  2. radiated heat
  3. kairomone scented lure

All three work to draw bed bugs out of hiding and into the monitor. To determine if you have bed bugs it should be set up and run for 3 to 4 nights.

Nightwatch Bed Bug Monitor Review


The Nightwatch Bed Bug Monitor and Trap is the most advanced available. It uses heat, CO2 and a lure to attract and trap bed bugs.

HomeMade bed bug traps

Bed Bug Trap using Carbon Dioxide

This trap was developed by Dr. Changlu Wang.  Dr. Wang is a research entomologist from Rutgers University.  It's best to use this trap when not sleeping in the infested room or bed.   The total cost for the bed bug home remedy trap, including all materials is approximately $16.

Bed Bug Dry Ice Trap


Try this bed bug home remedy for trapping bed bugs using dry ice and a dog bowl.The trap was developed by Rutgers University as a way to use a home made device to monitor bed bugs.

materials needed:

  • A plastic pet dish. Purchase a divided pet dish with flat bottom food bowls. (approx. $2.78.). Before starting project, remove any labels from the dish.
  • 1/3-gallon insulated cooler or insulated thermos with a spout on the top. ($6.99)
  • Talcum powder (baby powder). Scented or unscented. Must say talcum baby powder (not cornstarch) on the label ($1.73).
  • A small paint brush, make-up brush or cotton ball. An old make-up brush is fine
  • Fabric. Old clothes or shirt is fine.
  • Elmer's Glue or similar brand. Masking tape works instead of glue.
  • Dry ice cubes. You can find places that sell dry ice in the Yellow Pages.  Purchase before building the trap.  Bring the cooler or thermos with you to the store that sells the dry ice.  Store the ice in the cooler or thermos for transport home.  New ice will be needed for each day that the trap is used.

    CAUTION: Handle the dry ice with gloves, if it touches your skin it could burn!
home made bed bug trap materialsDo It Yourself Bed Bug Trap Materials

Instructions

The pet dish, turned upside down is the bed bug trap. After dark, bedbugs will crawl up the dish sides, and then get dropped into the deep canal.  The dry ice will be on the raised area, this is the substance that will attract the bed bugs.

The pet dish is too slippery for bedbugs to climb, so you'll have to take the fabric and glue it the sides as a bed bug ramp.  Use masking tape to cover the edges of the fabric, covering all sides so that bed bugs can't hide in any cracks you leave. Be sure all glue is dry before using (leave overnight).  Be sure not to leave any visible glue drops. 

Steps for Setting Up the Home Bed Bug Trap:

  1. Apply Talcum Powder to Pet Dish: Take a brush or cotton ball and the talcum powder.  Use the brush or cotton balls to put a thin layer of talcum powder inside the bottom of the groove on the bottom of the pet dish.  Talcum powder makes it impossible for bed bugs to escape the bed bug trap.

  2. Buy Dry Ice and Place in Thermos: Take the thermos to your dry ice store and fill it with dry ice cubes (wear gloves to avoid burns that come from touching the ice).  Close the dry ice container tightly, but leave a small opening in the spout to release any pressure that builds from melting ice.

  3.  Put Together the Bed Bug Trap: Take the upside down pet dish and place it near the area that is infested (e.g.;'; the bed or other furniture if in a room other than the bedroom). Place on the floor.

    Put the thermos on the flat area of the dish. It's important that the thermos should not touch the front or back of the dish. 

    At 9PM or 10PM open the thermos spout all of the way to allow the carbon dioxide to escape and atract the bed bugs.

  4. Kill Bed Bugs that are Caught: Remove the thermos and see if any bed bugs are in the well of the bowl.   To kill bedbugs, place the trap in your freezer for several hours.
Assembled Home Made Bed Bug TrapAssembled Home Bed Bug Trap

Interceptor bowl

An interceptor is a bowl that is placed under each bed leg.  Interceptor bowls can be home made or they can be inexpensively purchased.   When bed bugs approach a sleeping person, they will be trapped as they try and climb up the bed legs onto the bed.  Note that you can buy prefabricated bowls made specifically for this purpose called Climbup for under $20.

Materials needed

  • Buy two plastic bowls so that one bowl can fit into another.  Purchase 4 pairs of bowls.  There should be 1/2 inch to 1+ inch between the edge of one bowl and another.
  • Fabric, can be a rag or any other material with a rough surface
  • Glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Talcum Powder and/or Bed Bug Dust (diatomaceous earth).  Most garden stores sell diatomaceous earth or a product called insect dust. Some products contain an insecticide which provides added killing power.
Picture of a Climbup Interceptor Bowl (similar to make your own bowl)

Steps for Setting Up the Home Bed Bug Trap

  1. Glue fabric to the outside of each large bowl.  This will be a ramp for the bed bugs to climb up the side of the bowl.  Use masking tape along the top of the fabric to avoid having bed bugs hiding in the seam.
  2. Place the small bowls inside the large bowls.
  3. Put talcum powder into the well formed between the small bowl and the large bowl.  Mix in some of the diatomaceous earth.
  4. Put one bowl under each bed leg

For added protection, move the bed at least 6 inches from each wall and any surrounding furniture.  Also keep any blankets or shams away from the floor, as these can act as a convenient ramp for the bed bugs.

general Treatment information

It is very difficult to treat a bed bug infestation yourself.   We strongly suggest at minimum, getting a quote from a bed bug professional.  Here are three easy and free sources for bed bug experts in your neighborhood:

  1. Our Local Referral Service: Click Here to get our list of local bed bug experts.  The entire process can be completed in under a minute.  Each company will provide a free quote.
  2. Home Advisor:  This is a  network of bed bug control companies that pre-screens exterminators before they are allowed to join. Either search the Home Advisor Network Online or call 1.877.233.1145. They will provide up to 4 free quotes.

If you are more of a "do it yourself" type person, then you can save money by purchasing a bed bug kit.  These kits contain a mattress safe spray, crack and crevice spray and bed bug dust product.

brochures

Each of these free brochures provides additional information on how to identify bed bugs in your home or apartment.

Guide to bed bug biology, inspecting, treatment and control.
Available in a free Ebook (PDF Download)


references

Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Trap
Barb Ogg, Extension Educator
University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension

Stephen L. Doggett
Principal Editor
Department of Medical Entomology,
Institute for Clinical Pathology & Medical Research,
Westmead Hospital, WESTMEAD NSW 2145, Australia












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