Saturday, February 11, 2012

Do Bed Bug Traps Work?

Bed Bug Traps Review
Good question.  “Do bed bug traps work?”  As monitoring devices, it is well established that bed bug traps are very effective.  (See the publication from the Illinois Department of Public Health.)  Ideally, traps should be used either to detect/combat low-level infestations before they become severe or, as a way to monitor for bed bugs after a pest management professional (PMP) has conducted an extermination campaign.  Typically, a PMP would use either heat or chemical eradication; however, it is difficult if not impossible to kill every single bug or bed bug egg.  Perfect 100% eradication is probably never achieved and that is why traps are so useful.  In other words, do bed bug traps work – depends your expectation.  At the very least, bed bug traps provide peace of mind by keeping the insects out of your bed. 
Note:  Occasionally, there are reports of bed bugs going up a bedroom wall, across the ceiling, and then dropping down on the people sleeping below.  This scenario is unlikely for the simple reason that bed bugs are incapable of thinking.  A bed bug is governed by instinct and its instinct dictates that it move towards a source of heat and carbon dioxide.  Travelling up a wall would take the insect farther away from the heat/carbon dioxide source.  The only way a bed bug would drop on someone is if the room above had bed bugs and the insects were trying to move down, for example through a light fixture in the ceiling.   
Do Bed Bug Traps Work – Eradication
Using bed bug traps for eradication purposes becomes a question of time.  Bed bugs can survive a year without a blood meal so it is unlikely that all the bed bugs in a home will venture out and be trapped in a short time frame.  Moreover, in the case of a severe infestation, retaining the services of a PMP is essential to reduce the bed bug population to a manageable level.  Thereafter, bed bug traps can be used to measure the effectiveness of the eradication effort and to guard against any survivors.  Long-term monitoring is a good practice, especially considering the fact that bed bug traps are not expensive and are easy to use. 
Unfortunately, the do bed bug traps work question is confounded by the marketing of ineffective traps, including traps that are actually designed for other insects such as ants or cockroaches.  Do not attempt to use these “general purpose” traps.  Bed bug traps are especially designed for bed bugs.  The two most highly-recommended traps are ClimbUp traps and BuggyBeds.  ClimbUp traps are great for trapping insects that are attempting to climb up (hence, the name) into your bed.  BuggyBeds have the advantage of convenience and portability.  BuggyBeds traps are normally placed between the mattress and box springs, but they can also be placed on the floor or next to an area that might harbor bed bugs.  BuggyBeds can also be used where ClimbUp traps are not practical, such as furniture with over-sized legs.  Travelers appreciate BuggyBeds because they can be used to determine if a hotel room is infested and as a way to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you in your luggage or clothing. 
Integrated pest management (IPM) is the best way to combat the plague of bed bugs that is afflicting the country.  Bed bug traps, used either as a preventive or as a monitor can be an important part of IPM.  For more information on bed bug traps, see Bed Bug Traps Review.  



 

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