Bedbug traps can be very useful for early detection, monitoring and control. They can highlight their presence by capturing bugs visible to the naked eye, so that a more global strategy to eradicate them can be implemented. Here are the different bedbug traps, their effectiveness and how to use them.
Commercial adhesive traps
Inexpensive and easy to use, this type of natural trap consists of a food substance as bait and a glued box (glue or tape). The scent generated by the food product will attract the bedbug, and the sticky surface will trap the insect. This device helps prevent bedbug infestations, so you can detect their presence and trap a few. Adhesive traps should be placed under the bed (near the feet), in the dressing room and under the sofa. Their main advantage: they provide a non-toxic solution and are therefore safe for occupants (people and animals). They can be used as monitoring tools, even if they don’t eliminate the source of the problem. Note also that these traps are disposable and therefore need to be renewed regularly.
Bedbug repellent pads are easy-to-use, affordable devices. They play both a curative and preventive role. Bedbug repellent pads contain an insecticide (natural or chemical). They are generally placed between the mattress and bed base for targeted action on the bedding. However, if you wish to use them in your bedding, it’s best to choose pads with plant-based active ingredients, to avoid any health risks. Finally, in the event of massive infestation, the pads must be supplemented by other, more radical measures. They won’t be enough to eliminate the entire bedbug population.
CO2, pheromone or heat traps against bedbugs
Whether it’s a pheromone trap, a CO2 trap or a heat trap, the operation of these attractive traps is based on simulating human presence. In fact, bedbugs are guided to their prey by the heat they generate, but above all by the CO2 they emit.
Pheromone traps work by emitting chemical signals. Synthetic pheromones attract bedbugs into a sticky trap, where they are captured. These attractive traps should be placed in strategic locations to maximise their performance, such as under the bed. Some pheromone traps work better than others, depending on the products used.
Heat traps emit heat, as the name suggests, to simulate the presence of a human host. They primarily attract bedbugs, but do not treat the infestation in depth. What’s more, these traps are quite expensive, both in terms of purchase price and energy consumption for their operation.
CO2 traps also use the principle of attracting bedbugs with carbon dioxide. In fact, bedbugs are attracted by the CO2 we emit when we breathe. These traps therefore produce CO2, and the bugs are captured by the adhesive surface that accompanies the trap. They are very effective and useful for detecting the presence of these insects, but can also be used to measure the extent of the phenomenon when an infestation occurs.
In this category of traps, it’s best to use the CO2 traps, which seem to be the most effective for controlling bedbugs.
Leg bedbug trap: interceptor traps
Interceptor traps work mechanically. They block moving bedbugs. Interceptor traps are placed under the legs of beds and furniture. An interceptor trap takes the form of a double-walled plastic cup containing talcum powder. Thanks to its properties, talc keeps the inner surface of the cup slippery. In this way, bedbugs that want to climb onto the bed are forced to pass through the cups and find themselves trapped inside. These traps are economical, infinitely reusable and safe. However, they won’t be effective enough to destroy a bedbug population, and the cups need to be emptied of pests regularly to remain functional.
Ultrasonic traps: to be avoided!
Ultrasonic bedbug traps are sold with the idea of repelling bedbugs. They therefore have a repulsive power that displaces the problem without treating it. On the other hand, it seems that ultrasound has no effect on bedbugs…
How to make your own bedbug trap
Here are two easy homemade traps: the double-sided tape trap and the bait trap.
For the double-sided Scotch trap, simply apply double-sided Scotch tape to a bedbug breeding ground (for example, apply a rectangle of adhesive tape around the bed) to capture the insects. In practice, this trap is not always very reliable. In fact, bedbugs may be repelled by the scent of the tape, and the tape may not be sufficiently adhesive to trap these insects. Adhesive can also lose its effectiveness due to the dust that settles on it over time, and to the fact that it is trampled underfoot in order to reach the bed.
Bait traps or attractant trapscapture bedbugs by attracting them with a scent they are particularly fond of: CO2. As a reminder, the CO2 emitted by breathing attracts bedbugs, which then bite their prey. For this trap, take a plate and a bowl. Put a layer of talcum powder on the plate and place a bowl in the centre of the plate. In this bowl, mix 150g of sugar with 30g of brewer’s yeast for 1.5L of water. This mixture produces CO2 by chemical reaction. Bedbugs will be attracted by the scent and remain trapped in the talcum powder.
When should you install bedbug traps in your home?
Installing anti-bedbug traps is a good idea to detect the presence of these pests as early as possible. There are certain signs that bedbugs may have invaded your home:
- Small black spots (excrement) on walls or mattresses
- Traces of blood in the sheets
- Visible bedbugs, larvae, shed skin or eggs
- Bedbug bites on exposed body parts
Read our article on how to recognise bedbug bites.
Traps are also an excellent way of checking the status of infestation, particularly with interceptor or adhesive traps. You’ll quickly get an indication of whether bedbugs are increasing or decreasing in concentration, and whether the measures you’ve taken are working. You can therefore use traps before, during and after treatments. Once the problem has been eradicated, we recommend keeping traps for a few months to check that there is no resurgence, and using alongside preventive products to prevent their return.
Effectiveness of bedbug traps
Generally speaking, traps are effective in capturing some bedbugs, but they are not a complete treatment for getting rid of them. Traps are mainly used to check for the presence of bedbugs in the home, and are useful tools for observing the effectiveness of all measures taken to deal with the problem.
To get rid of bedbugs, use a variety of measures:
- Natural or chemical insecticide treatment in all dark corners of the infested room (skirting boards, bedding, behind furniture, bedside tables, behind pictures, etc.).
- Disinfect clothing and household linen (sheets, curtains, carpets, pillows, etc.) by washing at 60°C and ideally tumble-drying for 30 minutes to kill the most stubborn specimens.
- Thoroughly vacuum every day, and remember to empty the dustbin into an airtight bag or dispose of the tightly-closed vacuum bag to avoid contaminating your dustbins and your neighbourhood.
- Use a steam cleaner to kill insects directly (adult bedbugs, larvae and eggs).
- Use a preventive treatment for optimum protection.
Effective Sereni-d solution
If you are using bedbug traps and they have revealed the presence of bedbugs in your home, act quickly to eradicate these pests before a more massive infestation occurs. At Sereni-d, we have developed the SOS bedbug treatment, a curative spray with active ingredients of plant origin.
Its formulation, based on plant-based pyrethrum flower extract combined with a mixture of essential oils, ensures total elimination of bedbugs (eggs, larvae, adults). Its effectiveness is immediate and long-lasting.
Quick and easy to apply!