Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bed Bug Traps Review

Bed Bug
Why are bed bug traps important?  The Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency have issued a Joint Statement addressing the growing number of bed bug infestations in the United States.  A key recommendation was for an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that would not rely too heavily on chemical sprays and fumigants.  Although not stated as such, it is obvious that bed bug traps should be an integral part of this approach.  The bed bug traps approach also has the advantage of providing a monitoring capability.  For example, in the case of a severe infestation that necessitates the use of pesticides, it is likely that a small number of bed bugs will survive and will eventually reproduce. According to the Joint Statement, some populations of bed bugs are resistant to insecticides – even to DDT!  Nonetheless, if bed bug traps are implemented as a follow-up to chemical application, then any surviving insects can not only be monitored, but trapped.  Thus, the use of bed bug traps will not only reassure the homeowner, but in the end will be the final solution.  The purpose of this bed bug traps review is to give the homeowner clear, up-to-date information concerning bed bug traps.
Note:  Many homeowners prefer to use organic insecticides that are offered as a safer alternative to synthetic bed bug killers.  These commercial products are usually a mixture of natural compounds such as eucalyptus or cedar oil among other things.  However, these compounds are more accurately described as repellants rather than insecticides.  More than one homeowner has reported finding a live bed bug and spraying it directly with a very expensive and smelly organic insecticide, only to watch the bug continue merrily on.  Nonetheless, organic insecticides, if used frequently and at a fairly high dosage will drive bed bugs away or at least into a deep crevice or corner.
Bed Bug Traps Review 
The homeowner has essentially two choices for bed bug traps:  Homemade devices and commercial traps.  Homemade bed bug traps in many cases are very effective.  In fact, commercial traps sometimes use the same methodology as commercial traps.  For example, homemade traps often utilize a source of carbon dioxide or heat or sometimes both.  Bed bugs are drawn into the trap, just as if it was a human that was producing the carbon dioxide and heat.  Once inside, the bed bugs are captured, immobilized, or killed.  Capture typically occurs by allowing the insect to fall into a well that has a slick surface that prevents them from escaping.  Immobilization usually involves a sticky surface that truly immobilizes the insect.  Killing is often done by the use of diatomaceous earth which penetrates the exoskeleton of the insect and kills it.  The problem with homemade traps is not efficacy – they actually work - it is more a question of convenience and cost.  If one uses dry ice as a carbon dioxide source or a heating pad as a heat source, then the cost of a homemade trap can easily exceed the cost of a several commercial traps.  From the “bed bug traps review” standpoint, we advise the homemade approach only if you simply prefer to build things for yourself.

Order ClimbUp Traps
In a previous post, we discussed a new method for trapping bed bugs, specifically the use of scents that mimic the smell of bed bug feces.  Unfortunately, a commercial product based on the British research is not yet available.  There are, however, two products that have been proven effective.  Like the homemade traps described above, both products work on the principle of a lure combined with a trap. 
The first product, ClimbUp, as the name suggests, traps bed bugs as they climb up to the lure, which is guess what?  You!  The traps are set under each bed post and the bed bugs fall into the trap as they attempt to reach the source of the carbon dioxide and heat.  As scary as that sounds, the ClimbUp traps are very effective.  It is impossible for the bed bugs to reach you although care must be taken to keep bed covers from touching the floor and the headboard must be placed away from the wall.  The only complaint is that the plastic cups will crack if you have carpeting.  However, users report that by placing a thin board (some use metal electrical plating) under each bed post, the plastic cups do not have to bear the entire weight of the bed and the problem of cracking is solved.  ClimbUp XL Bed Bug Traps are available for beds with large feet.  Users are ecstatic when they awake in the morning with no bed bug bites and a quick inspection reveals either no bed bugs in the traps or they find an individual bug or two, desperately trying to escape.  One of the main purposes of bed bug traps is to provide peace of mind and the ClimbUp traps do exactly that.

Order BuggyBeds

Bed bug traps review also recommends BuggyBeds.  Buggy Beds are glue traps that contain a substance that supposedly mimics human hormones.  The actual ingredient is not disclosed, but users rave about their experience with BuggyBeds.  These traps are perfect for traveling.  Small and easy to install, you simply place them between the mattress and the box springs of the bed.  As you may know, many bed bug infestations actually originate in a hotel.  Stay in an infested hotel (even upscale hotels have bed bugs) and not only do you get bitten, but there is a good chance that you will bring bed bugs home with you.  A good tip for travelers: Never put your suitcase or clothing on a hotel bed – you could easily get stowaway bed bugs.  Many travelers will install BuggyBeds immediately after they check into their hotel room and then leave for a while.  (Turn the lights off before your leave.)  When you return to your room, immediately check the BuggyBeds and if there are any bugs, take your BuggyBeds to the hotel desk and insist on a new room.  Management is usually embarrassed and very accommodating, especially when you present them with the evidence!
Advisory note:  BuggyBeds and ClimbUps have received positive reviews by users.  Be aware that if there is a severe infestation, even the best product may not trap every bed bug.  In future posts, we will discuss the experiences of users of these products as well as some other products.  Good luck!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Bed Bug Control – CDC and EPA Announcement

Scanning Electron Micrograph of Bed Bug
The subject of Bed Bug Control has been addressed in a joint statement by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Here is a direct quote - “the United States is one of many countries now experiencing an alarming resurgence in the population of bed bugs.”   In this article, the CDC and the EPA state that many city and county health care agencies are being overwhelmed with complaints about bed bugs.  Apparently, local agencies have neither the funding nor the expertise to handle insect outbreaks. Furthermore, because the biology of bed bugs is so unique, private pest control companies are also having difficulty.
Bed bugs are expert hitch hikers that often hide in luggage and clothing and are then spread from one infested hotel to another or to individual homes.  A bed bug can go without a blood meal for months.  They are very secretive and typically do not venture out of hiding except at night.  Although visible to the human eye, they can easily be overlooked or miss-identified as some other insect.  Most of the time, the first sign of a bed bug infestation is a telltale pattern of bites.  Generally, bed bug bites are in a line; however, this is not always the case and sometimes bed bug bites are mistaken for flea or mosquito bites.  Bed bugs can hide in crevices or between walls and partitions thus making the application of insecticides very difficult.  Moreover, some populations of bed bugs are resistant to many of the chemicals that private pesticide applicators use. 
One of the concerns of the EPA is that homeowners might try to use higher rates of application in order to control an infestation.  Another possibility is that a homeowner might be tempted to use pesticides that are not registered for in-home use.  The Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency are advocating an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach that does not rely strictly on pesticides.  When you consider the poor effectiveness and potential toxicity of pesticides, it is obvious that bed bug traps will be a major part of the effort to get rid of bed bugs.
It is particularly noteworthy that “bed bug control” is described as a national problem that must be addressed by a coordinated effort on the part of federal, state, tribal, and local agencies.  The CDC is working with experts in various fields of biological research including medicine and entomology.  The EPA will concentrate on the proper use of pesticides.  Other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are also involved in the bed bug control effort.  (Visit http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/publications/bed_bugs_cdc-epa_statement.htm for more information.)
Bed Bug Control – An International Effort
In our previous post, we reported that researchers in Britain are working on a new method of bed bugs control and have had some promising results.  Hopefully, the British bed bug trap will arrive on the market soon.  For now, we can use ClimbUp Bed Bug Control along with bed bug glue traps, specifically BuggyBeds.  We would advise everyone to pay close attention to the customer reviews when purchasing bed bug control products.  There are a lot of products out there and some work better than others.  See bed bug traps review for details.  


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A New Method of Bed Bugs Control

Bed Bug Traps Review
Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Rothamsted Research have developed an entirely new method of bed bugs control.  In short, James Logan, Emma Weeks and their colleagues have used the natural instinct of the insect against itself.  (See article.)  Their invention utilizes the insect’s natural desire to return to its hiding place when it has finished a meal.  Bed bugs are well known for leaving feces as a telltale sign of their whereabouts.  Most importantly, bed bug feces contain compounds that the bed bug uses as a directional beacon to guide it back to its hideout.  The researchers have successfully identified the specific compounds that a bed bug smells and have used those compounds to develop a sticky trap that is reportedly about the size of a common mousetrap.  The new bed bug trap is not yet commercially available, but it is anticipated that it could be used for both detection and control.  In other words, this new method of bed bugs control could be used to determine if bed bugs are present and, if so, could then be used to reduce or eliminate the insect population.  Details of the invention are not publicly available, but it is assumed that it will eventually become a commercial product.  See Bed Bug Traps Review for more information.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Introduction to Bed Bug Traps

Bed bug traps!  We live in an age of modern technology where millions upon millions of dollars are spent annually to protect and enhance our daily health and yet this very old pest has once again become a serious problem.  The ancient Greeks knew about bed bugs and this miniature creature has been a problem throughout history.  For a brief period beginning around WWII, bed bugs were nothing more than a cute childhood rhyme.  “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”  But the bugs are back and bed bug traps are being sold in many places.   See bed bug photos here.

Climbup Insect Interceptor XL Bed Bug Trap
Why are bed bugs back?  A couple of theories have been suggested.  First, the common use of DDT and other insecticides in the mid-20th century no doubt had an effect on the populations of household insects.  In the process of eliminating cockroaches and ants, we probably eliminated bed bugs as well.  Nowadays of course, DDT is banned and other insecticides are probably used less as well, at least in the home.  Another possibility is increased international travel.  Bed bugs are superb hitch hikers and can easily attach themselves to luggage and clothing, not to mention people.  And a single female may carry many dozens of fertilized eggs, all waiting to be hatched in the comfy confines of your bedroom. Find more bed bug information here. 
Climbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Trap

Bed Bug Detector and Monitor for Home

And what do you do once you have bed bugs?  Three approaches can be followed:  First, fumigation and/or spraying with all the hazards inherent in that approach.  Fumigants and sprays are usually not 100% effective so there is always a danger that the bugs will re-populate.   The second option is to use “bed bug traps.”  And a third approach, especially when infestations are severe, is to fumigate/spray and then use traps to catch the bugs that escape the fumigant or insecticide.  The advantage of traps is that you can maintain constant protection.  You also have the advantage of monitoring.  No need to worry if the critters are coming back – just check your traps and if there are no bugs then all is well.  And even if there are a few then it is likely that over time, you will see fewer and fewer insects as the remaining stragglers fall victim to your bed bug traps. 
Our bed bug traps review covers both new and old remedies.  Some measures are homemade and some can be purchased.  None are expensive, but some are easier and more effective than others.  Probably the most popular and effective are interceptor traps such as the ClimbUp.  Learn more.  Another promising development is the use of pheromones and other chemical attractants to bring the insects to the traps.  We will be monitoring those developments and will post all the latest advances as we learn about them.  (Note:  We have just posted information on a new advance in bed bugs control.)