Just the thought of big brown bed bugs crawling on your bedsheets and body during the night is enough to give one the jitters. Bed bugs may be the peskiest parasites in existence. Unlike other ectoparasites like mosquitoes and leeches, bed bugs are far sneakier and usually only come out to feast on humans when they are asleep.
Although various methods that must be used in conjunction with each other to get rid of these pests, bed bug traps are a good way to monitor and control infestations in its early days. In this guide, we have reviewed the best bed bug traps and interceptors in the market for your convenience.
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How Different Types of Bed Bug Traps Work
Bed bug traps come in several different forms and work on different principles. However, in the end, all of these are effective for trapping these blood-sucking parasites.
Bed Bug Interceptors
Bed bug interceptors are the most common types of traps that are available in the market. They consist of concentric outer and inner chambers in a single cup and are usually placed beneath your bed legs. The outside wall has footholds for the bed bugs to crawl up, but the inner walls are slick so that once the bed bugs fell inside the trap, they can’t come out. You can make the inner walls slicker by adding some talcum powder to them.
Glue traps usually come with a special lure that either gives out the smell of carbon dioxide or pheromones, which are both bed bug attractants. Once the insect crawls onto the trap, the adhesive holds it tight, so it can’t escape.
This kind of trap gives out carbon dioxide gas which trick bed bugs into thinking the source is a sleeping human a.k.a a bloodmeal. When the bed bug approaches towards the trap, it gets caught in a sticky adhesive and become trapped there.
Electronic Heat Dome
Similar to the glue and CO2 traps, these traps lure in bed bugs to a sticky death. However, their lures consist of heat and light, and they work with electricity.
Encasement Mattress Cover
Encasements mattress work very well to trap bed bugs that are living inside your mattress. These covers are made of dense and tough fibers and a proper zipper that does not allow bed bugs to come out of the mattress. As a result, bed bugs eventually die of starvation after some time. However, since bed bugs can live without blood for over 400 days, it is best that you leave the cover on for at least that amount of time, to be effective.
7 Best Bed Bug Traps: Review
1. Harris Bed Bug Trap — Best Glue Trap
Harris bed bug trap is a very easy-to-use and affordable glue trap. The trap comes with four adhesive cardboards which can be placed under furniture where you suspect any bed bug activity. This bed bug trap prevents the insects inside your bed from spreading all over the place and stops other bed bugs from making their way into your bed. However, this should be used only for early infestations, and its effectiveness is limited at best. However it comes with natural ingredients, so using it doesn’t hurt.
- Pesticide-free and all-natural
- Very easy to use
- Very unnoticeable and can easily slide under furniture
- Can be used in residents as well as commercial paces
- 4 traps inside
- Limited effectiveness
- Contains no lure to attract bed bugs
- Need to be disposed of after adhesive tape becomes filled with bed bugs
2. Aspectek Favored-Trapest Sticky Dome For Bed Bugs — Best Electric Heat Trap
Aspectek trap consists of a normal sticky trap that comes with a heat and light lure. The dome-shaped trap consists of a heat-emitting lamp that attracts bed bugs as well as other insects like fleas, moths, etc. Once the insect crawls onto the trap, they get stuck on the powerful snare, unable to crawl away again. Although the device is non-toxic and safe, it runs on electricity and produces heat, so keep small children and pets away from it.
- Quite effective as it comes with a lure
- Broad-spectrum; can catch ticks, fleas, and mites as well
- Rated safe by UL, CE, and ROHS
- Consumes electricity
- Small children and pets may approach the heated lamp
- Slightly expensive
- Kills non-target insects like moths as well
3. Bed Bug Beacon Monitor for Bed Bugs — Best CO2 Monitor
Bed Bug Beacon Monitor is one of the best bed bug traps that comes with a powerful carbon dioxide lure. For the customer’s convenience, the Bedbug Beacon monitor packaging contains powdered carbon dioxide that can easily be mixed with water to form the gas. The powerful trap can attract bed bugs within a few minutes and lure them out so that you can kill them. One packet can last for over a week. Some customers claim it can go up to two weeks. After the initial price, every fill up of CO2 will only cost $1.
- Confirms bed bug presence in a few minutes
- One pack lasts for over a week, possibly two weeks
- After the initial price, CO2 packets are sold for just $1
- Does not have a sticky trap that can kill bed bugs
- Initial price is a bit expensive
- Need to use bed bug sprays or powders in conjunction with this trap
4. Bug Snarer Bed Bug Trap — Best Bed Bug Interceptor
Bug Snarer bed Bug Trap is an effective interceptor available in the market. The trap bowls are made of solid hard white shiny plastic with a 4-inch inner cup that comes with a guarantee of withstanding 800 pounds of weight. The outer wall is made of striated ridges that enable bed bugs to climb inside, but the slick inner wall prevents them from getting out. It comes in a brilliant white color which is aesthetically pleasing.
- Rated to withstand 800 lbs
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Cup size isn’t very big, so it may not fit very large beds
5. Ortho Bed Bug Trap — Best Pheromone Trap
This active bed bug trap uses pheromones that are irresistible to bed bugs. It is very light-weight so you can easily take it with you wherever you travel. The trap contains a glue card which you will need to attach to the bottom of the pheromone device. Once in place, you can click on the button to activate the pheromones, which can lure out bed bugs from their hiding places and trap them on the sticky card. Some customers complain the trap is not very effective and instead caught other bugs and mosquitoes.
- Comes with a pheromone lure and sticky card
- Will catch other parasites like mosquitoes and fleas
- Very light-weight and portable
- Some customers complain the trap isn’t very effective
6. SafeRest Premium Zippered Mattress Encasement
SafeRest encasement is made of durable and tough cotton fabric that has been certified as bed-bug proof. The cover surrounds the mattress on all sides and secures it with a tough micro-zipper, which prevent bed bugs in all stages from going out. SafeRest not just do not allow bed bugs to get out and bite you, it also protects your mattress from dust mites, bacteria, fluids, sweat, and urine. The mattress is hypoallergenic, cool and noiseless. This encasement means bed bugs stay trapped for life.
- Securely and effectively traps bed bugs in all stages of life inside
- Fluid, urine, and sweat-proof as well
- Breathable and cool fabric
- Mattress cover needs to be on for over a year, as bed bugs can last 400 days without feeding
- Is a bit pricey
7. Clearvue Bed Bug Traps — Best CO2 Trap
This carbon dioxide-based trap comes with CO2 tablets, activation capsule and a sponge that is placed in a box. Once the tablets and capsules are placed inside the box, the gas will be released mimicking human breath. When the bed bugs approach the trap, they will slip down the angled walls of the trap onto the stocky floor.
- Carbon dioxide lure
- Attracts for weeks
- Quite affordable
- Safe for children and pets
- Zipper bag for easy disposal
- Some customers complain activation liquid is prone to skill.
Criteria: What is the Best Bed Bug Trap to Buy
Bed bugs traps are the least expensive type of pest treatment and can be fairly effective for low-level infestations. Many traps lure out bed bugs in the open so that homeowners can kill them with sprays. Other traps come with sticky adhesives that kill pests as well.
When buying bed bug traps, there are a few things that you should consider:
Durable: Since many bed bug traps are interceptors and need to be placed under beds, they need to be very durable and not crack under the weight of the bed and its occupant.
Pre-Lined: There are some bed bug interceptors that come pre-lined with talcum powder and others that don’t. If you buy an interceptor that has not been treated by talcum powder, its walls won’t be as slick, and you will have to spend more money on talc. So it is best if you buy interceptors that are pre-lined with the powder.
Size: Interceptors come in various sizes. Get bed bug interceptors that are big enough to accommodate the legs of your bed. There are some interceptors that come in a single size only, so make sure they fit your bed before you buy them.
Ease of Use: Regardless of whether the trap you buy is an interceptor, an adhesive-based trap or comes with a CO2 or pheromone lure, it should be easy and convenient to use. It should not have complicated parts or things that are prone to break or spill.
Lure: Traps work much better with a lure. The most popular lure types are carbon dioxide, pheromones, and heat. According to the users, CO2 based traps are much more efficient than any other types of the lure.
Not only do bed bug traps reduce biting, but they also confirm whether you have an infestation in the first place. The best way to use these bed bugs is to use them as a part of a large control plan.
How to Use Bed Bug Traps
If you have chosen interceptors, the best place to put them is underneath the bedposts. Before doing that, you must move the bed away from the wall and other furniture so that bed bugs have no choice but to use the bedposts for their commute and get trapped in the interceptors.
In the case of receptors, carbon dioxide from a sleeping human is the lure that gets bed bugs out in the open. That means these interceptors won’t work if someone is not sleeping in the bed. Additionally, you will need as many interceptors as possible to detect signs on infestation. Other types of passive traps without lures need to be placed near the bed too, for them to work.
In case of active traps that come with lures, you have the option of placing them near your bed or slightly away from the bed. However, since many bed bugs do nest inside mattresses, it is a good idea to place these traps near the bed so that bed bugs can get trapped in them more easily.
If you choose a carbon dioxide-based trap, check to make sure how long the cylinder or the CO2-producing capsules last. Some receptacles can work for only 10 hours while others can work up to a week or even more. If your trap comes with a sticky adhesive surface as well, it is doubly effective in not just bringing bed bugs out in the open but not letting them escape either.
If you choose an electric heat based trap, make sure your children or pets don’t come close to it or mess with the wiring.
When dumping out the used traps, make sure you seal them up in a plastic bag and throw them in the trash can. This will prevent any live bed bugs from escaping and infecting other places.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do bed bug traps work?
A: Bed bugs traps are best used for early infestation and to confirm if an infestation exists in the first place. Bed bugs located humans from their exhaled carbon dioxide and will leave their cover to scale up the bedpost to feed on human blood. If you place interceptors beneath your bedposts, the critters will fall inside them and won’t be able to get out again. However, this is only true for bed bugs that do not reside in your mattress. The ones that do won’t be affected by the interceptors and won’t be attracted by other lures that are not as close as your body. Therefore, it is a good idea to use mattress encasements if you suspect an infestation.
Q: Can you make homemade bed bug traps?
A: You can easily make DIY bed bug traps at home by using yeast, which produces carbon dioxide and mimics human breath. This can help bring bed bugs out of hiding, and you can trap them with any type of sticky homemade adhesive. You can also create a simple homemade interceptor by using plastic containers and a glue gun.
Q: What is the best bed bug trap to buy?
A: There is no definite answer to this question. The kind of trap you should invest in depends on your unique bed bug infestation. Mattress encasements are perfect for infestation inside the mattress, while interceptors and lure-based traps are good for infestations outside the bed. For better results, you will need to use two or three different kinds of traps at the same time. Still, they won’t be enough to kill off the entire bed bug population on their own.
Q: Can bed bug traps get rid of infestations?
A: Unfortunately no. Mattress encasements are the best ways to stop bed bugs residing in your mattress from feeding on you. However, it can do nothing for bed bugs that live outside the mattress, inside the cracks in the wall and other furniture. For those, you will need to use interceptors. To permanently kill bed bugs, you will have to use more aggressive treatments like bed bug sprays and powder over a long period of time.