It is important to note that bed bug traps might not completely eradicate major bed bug infestations, but can certainly prevent re-infestation of disinfected zones in your home. Thus, when used along with bed bug repellents like diatomaceous earth based bed bug powders or organic bed bug sprays, the bed bug traps do go a long way in getting rid of these annoying pests.
Bed bug infestations are increasing rapidly on a global scale. In the United States, all of the 50 states are infested with bed bugs and some of the top infestations are seen in major cities and metros. Contrary to popular belief; the urban areas are thrice as likely to get bed bugs as compared to the rural areas.
A single bed bug, in its lifetime, creates a great deal of havoc. It is estimated that, when left unchecked, one bed bug can multiply to up to 37,000 bed bugs in a span of 9 months! The offspring of the bugs are known to require nearly a pint of blood each week to develop into fully grown adults. Bed bugs are also capable of feeding on their hosts for nearly 10 minutes at a time!
Possible signs and indications of bed bugs
- Red or rust colored stains on your bedding and clothes
- Cast out bed bug exoskeletons
- Almond or raspberry like smell
- Presence of red bumps and welts on the skin where bed bugs have bitten
It is very important to lay effective bed bug traps to not only determine if you have a bed bug problem but to also curb the menace.
Types of bed bug traps
Active bed bug traps are typically made using dry ice as a source of carbon dioxide. Bed bugs get attracted to their hosts mainly due to the emitted heat and carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaled out during sleeping. The dry ice traps emit CO2 and lure the bugs towards them. Once they fall inside these traps, they die of starvation. Store bought active traps consist of CO2 cylinders, heat lures and a few other chemicals. These can effectively catch bed bugs that have escaped visual inspections. Dry ice based bed bug traps can also be made at home using Styrofoam container having dry ice placed on a plate that has been dusted lightly with bed bug powder or diatomaceous earth. The bed bugs get attracted to the CO2 emitting dry ice and get killed off by the bed bug powder.
Certain precautions must be taken when using dry ice at home for DIY bed bug traps.
- Dry ice must be kept away from children and pets. It emits CO2 which can cause asphyxia.
- Dry ice is also very cold and must be handled with gloves.
- Dry ice must always be placed in a well ventilated room and not stored in closets or walk-in freezers.
Passive bed bug traps can also be made at home or purchased from stores. Unlike active traps, passive bed bug traps immobilize the bugs while they are on their way to their hosts for a blood meal. Sticky glue boards, specialized double-sided sticky tapes or bed bug trapping dual bowls are a few examples of passive traps. These can be placed around furniture legs where bed bug activity is likely. The dual bowl based bed bug traps catch hold of the bugs; the outer sticky bowl catches them, while the inner bowl prevents them from escaping.
As stated before, both, the active and passive bed bug traps are suitable for smaller infestations and are mainly useful in determining if bed bugs are present. One must note that, while effective, bed bug traps must not be used as the sole method of bug control but must be used with other effective bed bug repellents like sprays, powders and steamers.