The Truth About DIY Bed Bug Traps

The truth about DIY bed bug traps


There has been a lot of Internet buzz about the latest DIY bed bug trap. I say “latest” because we’ve been down this road before, with things like borax and double-sided tape – all with mixed results. The claim is that this new trap beats out all of the other DIY methods, and can be as effective as some commercial devices. But does it live up to the hype?

Photo credit: Gawker Media

The trap in question, partially pictured here, involves mixing sugar, yeast, and water into a solution which is then propped up on an upside-down dog bowl. The idea is that the mixture emits carbon dioxide, which will lure bed bugs to climb up the side of the bowl and fall inside. Incidentally, similar mixtures can be used to make moonshine or ethanol fuel.

So does it attract bed bugs? Yes. Does it trap them? Sometimes – you have to make sure that the outside of the bowl is textured enough for them to grip, while the inside is slick enough to keep them in. Should you make one? We really don’t think so, and will explain why:

It won’t eliminate bed bugs.

For some reason, a common mentality is that this DIY bed bug trap is an affordable way to treat a bed bug problem. This doesn’t really make any sense, though – traps are used to detect an infestation, to monitor for bed bugs, and (in the case of the ClimbUp Interceptors) to stop them from reaching you. While this trap might help you determine if you have bed bugs, or if they’re active in a particular room, it’s not an all-in-one treatment solution by any stretch of the imagination.

Bed bugs breed very quickly, and even a small infestation grows in population very, very quickly. Even if you caught bed bugs with the trap every night, you’re not going to catch all of them. And if you want to get rid of the bugs, you will need to make sure that every last one is killed: it only takes one pregnant female to begin an infestation all over again, since she can lay up to 500 eggs in her short lifetime.

It’s not as effective in an occupied room.

The trap works by emitting carbon dioxide through a chemical reaction as the sugar is broken down. Since bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, this can work fairly well to attract them. However, there is a larger and more effective carbon dioxide-based lure in your home already: you.

Not only do you breath out more than enough CO2 while you sleep to get bed bugs excited, but you also radiate tasty body heat, which is something almost no bed bug trap does (one exception being the popular Nightwatch monitor). While the DIY trap can be effective in a laboratory environment or some other unoccupied space, it might not work as well when sharing a room with a sleeping person, as some or all of the bed bugs might choose to go to the person instead.

It won’t stop bed bugs from biting you.

Arguably the most common reason people want to buy anything to address bed bugs is because they’re waking up to bed bug bites. That’s often the first warning sign that there are bed bugs in the area. Naturally, if you are suffering from bed bug bites, you probably want to stop the biting as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, this trap will likely do nothing to stop bed bugs from finding and feeding on you. It can’t fit under the legs of your bed, and it isn’t strong enough to guarantee that bed bugs will ignore you in favor of its lure (though, in this trap’s defense, no trap in existence is strong enough to guarantee that). If you want to stop bed bugs from reaching you in your bed, you’ll need to take steps to treat your bed, and then you’ll need to place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of your bed frame.

It only works for about 8 hours.

Even if the trap did work as well as claimed, and even if it could stop the biting, or even take steps to eliminate an infestation, we still wouldn’t recommend it. Why? Because once the trap is set up, it will only lure bed bugs for up to about 8 hours. The following night, you’ll either need to refill the trap or dispose of it.

Meanwhile, there are many active and passive monitors that work for much longer: the subtle Verifi detector supports dual lures, one that works for 24 hours, and another that can attract bugs for up to 90 days, and the Nightwatch can typically run for 3-5 days on a single bottle of CO2 (while emitting substantially more CO2). If you’re trying to trap and monitor bed bugs in a room that someone is sleeping in, ClimbUp Interceptors work indefinitely.

What to do instead:

I’d hate to be a downer for 800 words without offering a better solution. I just hate to see people try such an ineffective approach when there are far better options available. If you are considering a bed bug trap, you’re looking to do one of two things: determine if a room has bed bugs active in it, or trap bed bugs that are known to be active in a room. If you want to monitor bed bug activity in an unoccupied room, there are more effective active monitors available, such as the previously mentioned Verifi and Nightwatch active monitors. These traps were specifically designed for bed bugs and studied by entomologist’s to ensure they actually work.

Your best alternative in an occupied room would be a dual-purpose trap, the ClimbUp Interceptor. By placing these interceptors under the legs of your bed, you’ll be using yourself as a very powerful (and obviously proven) lure. A human lure is the preferred choice of bed bugs and is exponentially more enticing than any yeast and sugar trap. This is why we suggest such method for rooms that are occupied. Best of all, with the interceptors installed, you won’t have to worry about being bitten, as bed bugs will be collected in the perimeter pitfall of the trap before they can ever reach you. This way, not only are you monitoring bed bug activity, but you’re stopping the biting and stopping their breeding cycle.

A recurring theme in this blog is that there are no shortcuts when dealing with bed bugs. There is no single product that will cure the problem for good. Bed bug infestations are tough to deal with, involve a combination of products and treatment methods, and cost more to treat than some sugar and yeast in a dog bowl. It’s a bummer of a truth, but a truth nonetheless. No one ever said that bed bugs were pleasant.

The Best Bed Bug Traps

While bed bugs can often be hard to spot, there are ways to fight back. Learn which bed bug traps work best and what to do once you’ve trapped them.

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that, if they enter your home, pose a definite threat to you and your family’s well-being. Worse, bed bugs are often extremely difficult—and expensive—to eliminate. However, while bed bugs are resistant to many commercial, over-the-counter pesticides, some can be contained (though not eradicated) using bed bug traps.

These DIY tips for trapping bed bugs can help you take immediate steps to intercept some of these insects and save you and your family some discomfort until a professional arrives.

Use interceptor cups on furniture that may be infested with bed bugs.

Unless they are feeding, bed bugs like to remain hidden from view. Unfortunately, bed bugs are attracted by the carbon dioxide you exhale while sleeping.

Interceptor cups are designed to trap bed bugs while they’re moving from their hiding places to their food source. The cups work on the principle that bed bugs can effectively move over rough or textured surfaces but are helpless to climb smooth surfaces. The cups consist of a smaller inner container and a larger outer container. Bed bugs are able to enter these traps (either from the infested bed or from their hiding places in walls, floors and other areas of the home) but are unable to escape them. By placing a trap under each bedpost (or each leg of an infested piece of furniture), you can effectively trap bed bugs while you and your family sleep.


You can find commercially manufactured traps at certain online retailers, but most have not been proven effective by reliable testing methods. You can also make your own interceptor trap using such common household materials as plastic food containers, masking tape and talcum powder (or car polish). The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) posted an instructional video on how to construct these traps here.

These interceptors are great tools for monitoring furniture you suspect may be infested and confirming if you have a bed bug problem that requires professional treatment. They will not catch bed bugs that are already present on the same side of the trap as the host, and the most common places to find bed bugs are on the headboard and mattresses.

Use a mattress encasement system.

A mattress encasement system is a vinyl or polyurethane-lined fabric cover for your mattress and box spring. The system is designed to trap any bed bugs that may already be living inside the bed and to effectively starve them. The encasement also creates an impermeable barrier against any bed bugs attempting to infest the bed. These systems are also used as monitoring tools, and you can more easily identify any bed bugs on the surface of the cover, which eliminates the seams and crevices that bed bugs like to hide in between feedings.

You can find mattress encasements at many major retailers, and some pest control services also sell their own systems. These systems can cost as little as $20 to $40 and as much as $500 to $600. Regardless of which system you choose, you should evaluate the following features of the cover itself to make sure that it will be effective.

The cover should be breathable, waterproof and comfortable to sleep on. Make sure that the cover is advertised as «bite-proof» and that the salesperson or product information can back up this claim with specific information about the materials used in the manufacture of the cover. Finally, make sure the cover’s zippers do not offer opportunities for bed bugs to enter or escape the encasement. Zippers that do not close fully (e.g., has a gap between the actual zipper and its «stop») or tightly (e.g., because the zipper «teeth» are too large) are definite warning signs. Look for zippers that can be locked in place once closed for extra protection.

If you have bed bugs in your home, you should call a professional. Bed bugs are difficult to control and are not a DIY pest. Consult with a professional pest management professional such as Terminix if you suspect bed bugs in your home.

Easiest Bed Bug Trap

Introduction: Easiest Bed Bug Trap

To start mix your sugar/yeast solution to bait the trap. Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, and yeast produce it as they feed on sugar.

Mix 2 cups of pure cain granulated sugar to 2 liters warm water. Use bottle or filtered water so to not have chlorine. Add a little yeast. If you buy a packet then use about 25% of it. Otherwise use about 1/2 a teaspoon.

Set that aside. You’ll need it at the last step. It should be frothy by then. If not then it won’t take long.

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Step 1: Start

Bed bugs have become a major issue around our country (USA). I think it’s because of our bad economy. People are picking things up from beside the road and carrying it into their houses. Before you do this you should be very careful because those things might hide bed bugs. Once you have them it’s very hard to get rid of them. Traps are unlikely to solve your bed bug problem, but if you can’t afford to pay expensive exterminators then traps may help.

This is the easiest bed bug trap.

2 or 3 liter bottle
Roll of Paper Towels
Scissors with a sharp point or include a knife or razor

Step 2: Prepare the Bottle

Cut the top off along the top edge of the label.

Step 3: Make Footholds

The bed bugs can’t climb the smooth plastic bottle, so you have to give them something to grab as they climb. Wrap the bottle with paper towel and tape it on. Make it even at the bottom. Cut off the excess at the top, but leave a little overhang.

Step 4: Grand Finally

Fold the top over into the bottle, then invert the bottle top and insert it into the bottle. It should be even at the top with no plastic sticking up.

You are done. You can add a little talc powder inside to make it more slippery, but I haven’t found that necessary.

Put about 1/4 cup of sugar into the bottle and then about 3 inches of the sugar/yeast solution.

Put excess solution into the fridge. The yeast will go dormant in the cold, but become active again when warmed up.

Place it in a place where you want it to catch bed bugs and it won’t get knocked over. You might find bed bugs in it in the morning. If you don’t, that doesn’t mean there are no bed bugs. They will only come if they are hungry.

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177 Discussions

I saw my first ever bedbug on my couch about 5 days ago. Couldn’t believe it. Where the heck did the «little darling» come from? So far I’ve only seen 1 or 2 per day but it still makes me itchy all the time. 🙂 I spread the diatomaceous earth under my couch cushions, on the entire floor area under the couch, and also behind the couch. Haven’t seen them any where else.
Yesterday I saw none at all (I was excited) but today at about 3:30 pm I saw ONE on the backrest area of my couch. Quickly sent him to bedbug hea. Hell. Will be making the trap tomorrow. Need to buy yeast and bottled water today.

One website said you should use only «spring» water — true or false? Oh and..add 3 inches of the yeast mixture. really? How much is that when I won’t be able to see into the paper towel covered bottle? Do you think molasses is better than sugar?

Reply 4 months ago

You can boil tap water. Its asking for filtered water because of the chemicals added. All you are wanting is water yeast and sugar and maybe a slice of bread to feed the yeast. The yeast creates carbon dioxide as it eats. And chemicals in tap water might kill off the yeast. You want the carbon dioxide to attract the bugs.

5 months ago on Step 4

Here is a very effective weapon in the bedbug arsenal! Fill a spray bottle up with regular rubbing alcohol . Add some eucalyptus oil(Amazon) . Take your bedding off and spray the box spring and mattress. If you see any spray the heck out of ’em. They will die instantly because the their shell is very thin and has no protection against the alcohol. they also hate the smell of eucalyptus. Lavender oil may work as well if you like that scent better. Spray the bedrails as well. Check under the mattress and bed spring as they love these spots. This will penetrate and kill eggs as well. Then buy you some mattress and boxpring bedbug protectors-about $25 a piece on Amazon. They have pillow protectors too about 4 for $10. Do this until you don’t see any movement or signs(spots) . Be vigilant for several weeks. Then check every month.

Reply 4 months ago

70% alcohol 1.50 at walmart. Didnt know about eucalyptus. Will try it. One tenant has been fighting and that is after shelling out 1200 for extermination

Question 4 months ago on Step 4

Is there any information about the distance around which this is effective? Various units in my apartment building have had to be treated more than once in the last few years, so I don’t want to risk attracting critters from other units!

There is a flaw in this recipe. It completely lacks nutrients to support healthy yeast growth. Yes, it will work, but it’s the equivalent of trying to raise your kids on nothing but popsicles (yes, I’ve tested this on my kids. The first child was raised on popsicles, the second on microwave hot pockets, and the third was left to forage for itself as a control. Results were compared on measurements of height, weight, and GPA. ).

You can easily generate much more CO2 for a longer period of time (7 to 10 days). All you need are yeast vitamins. The easiest thing to do is to simply substitute molasses for sugar. My recipe calls for 250 grams of molasses mixed in 1 Liter of water and baker’s yeast. A alternative method is to use 1 Liter of water, 250 grams of sugar, baker’s yeast, and 1 slice of whole wheat bread. Simply take a slice of bread and add it to the sugar water solution. Put the mix through a blender until smooth. Add yeast. The solution may be poured into a common 2 Liter soft drink bottle to ferment. This gives the solution adequate headroom to bubble, froth, and expand without spilling out of the bottle. If you put a full 2 Liters of fluid into a 2 Liter bottle then the fluid may spill out as it begins to generate CO2 and foam.

See also:  Scabies in Dogs - Symptoms and Treatment

At the end of 10 days or when it stops bubbling you may choose to drink the solution as it will have turned into a sort of beer or wine. It actually tastes quite good. It will contain about 5 to 10% alcohol by volume.

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

Type Peculiarities Effectiveness
Homemade Attracts with carbon dioxide. Early detection only.
Glue A special lure. Early detection only.
Electronic Heat Dome Attracts with heat. If more attractive prey, such as humans, is around, the dome may not be effective.
Interceptor A best seller. Additional talc improves the trap’s effectiveness.
Mattress Cover The 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 2020-04-24 / 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 2020-04-24 / 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.

By Superette Co

Last update on 2020-04-24 / 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 2020-04-24 / 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 2020-04-24 / 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 frame during 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.

By Utopia Deals

Last update on 2020-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bed Bug Traps Comparison Chart

Product Type Peculiarities

Glue trap The cheapest control product. Aspectek

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

Interceptor monitor The 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 trap The biggest and most reliable bug prison. Do not take it off the mattress for 12 months. Ortho bed bug trap

Feromones and glue trap That trap uses feromones and glue to attract and trap bed bugs Raid Bed Bug Detector & Trap

Detector & Trap Trap 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 the Climbup insect interceptor available 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 ice will 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.

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