Traps take the ease out of the equation. By either misleading bed bugs or creating uncrossable barriers, traps and monitors help control bed bugs early and monitor populations.
Table of Contents
- 1 Active Bed Bug Traps
- 2 Active Bed Bug Trap Comparison Chart
- 3 NightWatch Trap and Monitor Review
- 4 Bed Bug Alert Active Monitor Review
- 5 Bed Bug Beacon CO2 Monitor Review
- 6 Passive Bed Bug Traps
- 7 Bed Bug Alert Passive Monitor Review
- 8 SenSci Volcano Bed Bug Detector Review
- 9 Bed Bug Interceptors
- 10 LightsOut Bed Bug Detector Review
- 11 ClimbUp Insect Interceptor Review
- 12 Why Buy Traps?
- 13 Thanks for Reading!
Active Bed Bug Traps
Active traps take advantage of the bed bug’s ability to sense our breath and heat to lure them.
Lures that generate warmth or seep CO2 attract bed bugs into inescapable pits or sticky traps. Some even use pheromones.
Active Bed Bug Trap Comparison Chart
|NightWatch||BB Alert||BB Beacon||SenSci|
|Bait||Heat, CO2, Pheromones||Heat||CO2||You, Pheromones|
|Trap||2 Pitfalls||Sticky Sheet||Pitfall||Pitfall|
|Refill||1 Week||Daily||2 Weeks||3 Months|
|Rating||5.0 / 5||2.0 / 5||4.4 / 5||4.0 / 5|
|Price||$$$$||$||$$||$$ - $$$|
Many people prefer active traps because they make it unnecessary for you to act as live bait.
Multi-functional, effective, and affordable – there is no reason not to have passive traps as part of your Integrated Pest Management – especially if you are hoping to prevent bed bugs.
The use of artificial bait makes active traps more effective in environments that are not often inhabited where bed bugs would otherwise go into hiding.
NightWatch Trap and Monitor Review
Currently On Sale Click To Shop
Bait: Heat, CO2, and pheromones
Trap: 2 pitfall traps, large
Lure Refills: One pheromone lure lasts 7 nights – pack of 4 included.
Refillable CO2 refilled every 7 days
Heat only needs electricity to generate
Relative Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
The NightWatch is the closest thing you’ll get to an actual person lying between two pitfall traps.
It makes use of every bait on the market to increase its chances of catching bed bugs without you having to be there.
It is expensive upfront, requires two kinds of refills, and does not include a CO2 canister out-of-the-box…but it absolutely works and will prove to be integral for anyone battling bed bugs where a person cannot act as bait.
Here’s a link to a NightWatch compatible CO2 bottle.
Bed bugs notoriously know when to go dormant in the absence of a food source. Applied residual sprays and powders will sit there for weeks untouched by most bed bugs as they wait for a reason to be active.
With the NightWatch, you don’t have to worry about residuals wearing off and missing their marks.
Bed bugs will act exactly as if someone was sleeping in the room and will be out and about getting trapped in the NightWatch and, more importantly, coating themselves in CimeXa and Temprid as a by-product.
Need to treat a vacant guest room, bathroom, closet, or living room? The NightWatch will have your back.
Hotels, vacant apartments, and any other unit-style property owner or tenant will adore the NightWatch and its undeniable results and efficacy.
People report that a their NightWatch single-handedly destroys bed bug populations. With a proper IPM in place, your results will be swift and sweeping.
If you’re willing and able to shoulder the upfront costs and relatively inexpensive refills, you’ll get some incredible results.
The pros swear by it and so will you.
Bed Bug Alert Active Monitor ReviewClick To Shop
Trap: Sticky trap
Lure Refills: 24 hours per lure
Relative Price: $
Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
Manufactured by Packtite, the idea behind the Alert is promising, but it performs poorly in practice.
Reviews and research has shown that heat isn’t as reliable as other baits like pheromones or CO2. Moreover, sticky traps have been shown to sometimes even drive bed bugs away.
Bed bugs caught in sticky traps have been observed emitting distress hormones that keep other bugs away – not exactly conducive to our bug catching cause.
Where this trap does well is in travel situations. Concerned about bed bugs in your hotel, motel, or Airbnb? Drop a BB Alert near the bed after checking for al the telltale signs.
A single night of lured use should yield trapped bugs if there is a significant infestation.
If using the BB Alert at home, be sure to order at least 2 lures, although you’ll actually need at least 4 to ensure that you’re bed bug free (bed bugs feed every 3-4 days, lures last one night).
Bed Bug Beacon CO2 Monitor ReviewClick To Shop
Bait: CO2 in powdered form – just add water.
Trap: Dish pitfall with oil.
Lure Refills: Every 2 weeks, refill kits available – cheap once you have base unit
Relative Price: $$
Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
Current studies show that CO2 is one of the most effective lures.
It works because bed bugs naturally hone in on the air we exhale.
The Beacon takes advantage of that instinct by slowly seeping enough CO2 for bed bugs to hone in on. They’re then lured into its pitfall trap where you can keep tabs of populations during an infestation and confirm when an infestation is eradicated.
A single Bed Bug Beacon includes enough CO2 to run for a full 2 weeks – more than enough time to guarantee that an infestation has ended.
As with the any active lure, the Beacon helps pull otherwise inactive bed bugs out of hiding and into the open. This is a crucial ability for those treating rooms or homes that are unoccupied.
Without an active lure present, bed bugs remain dormant until a food source appears.
Something important to consider is that after the initial cost of the complete unit, refills of CO2 come to about $1 per day. That’s for a product produced by the same people that make the industry-leading Packtite.
That’s definitely the cheapest you’ll run an active trap for, especially from a reputable manufacturer.
Passive Bed Bug Traps
Passive traps are cleverly designed to take advantage of bed bug harboring instincts and entice them to set up shop where we can easily keep tabs on them.
By providing bed bugs with perfect homes, passive traps make the job of monitoring the progression of populations effortless and without any maintenance or bait required.
All you have to do is set them strategically and check periodically.
This makes them invaluable in attempts to prevent bed bugs!
Passive and Interceptor Comparison Chart
|Bait||You||You, Optional Lure||You||You|
|Trap||Comfy Harborage||Pitfall||ABS Pitfall||Powdered Pitfall|
|Lifespan||Forever or 1 Infestation||Forever||Forever||Forever|
|Rating||4.6 / 5||3.4 / 5||5.0 / 5||4.0 / 5|
|Price||$$||$$ - $$$||$$||$|
Bed Bug Alert Passive Monitor Review
Bait: You and dark narrow spaces
Trap: The perfect spot to harborage
Relative Price: $$
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
Bed Bug Alert produces the most discreet passive monitor made today.
Once installed in a hotspot like behind headboards, in cars, or beneath beds, it can catch bed bugs early on with no work or bait involved.
By offering an irresistible hiding place full of small crevices near their food source, the monitor makes bed bugs do all the work.
After engorging themselves with blood, bed bugs must shed some of their excess weight and size in order to literally fit back into their claustrophobic homes.
Checking the BB Alert passive is as simple as inspecting the exterior white skirt for fecal spots where bed bugs excreted that extra weight.
There is a monthly calendar on the alert that you can use to monitor your progress, however I don’t believe it needs to be used at all. You can start marking once you’ve found an infestation or signs of bed bugs in the monitor.
Until then, there’s no need to run the calendar and potentially waste the unit.
For those living in high-risk areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, or Philadelphia, this passive monitor is a great idea. Especially for those living in unit-style housing like an apartment.
Early detection has the potential to save you thousands. If caught early, bed bugs are many times easier and cheaper to deal with.
In spite of this, early detection of bed bugs is notoriously difficult. Many that find themselves significantly infested had no idea it was happening until it was in full-swing.
SenSci Volcano Bed Bug Detector Review
Bait: You, Optional Sweat Lures
Lasts: Forever! Lures last 2 – 3 months
Relative Price: $$ – $$$
Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
The Volcano acts as a passive detector by default.
This means they don’t actively lure bed bugs, but capture them on their way to you while you sleep.
You can set them and forget them once you’ve determined the route that bed bugs are likely to take on their way to your bed. Placing Volcanos along the walls, in corners, and the legs of your bed is a good way to make use of your traps.
Unlike interceptors, the Volcano is meant to target any bed bug pathway, not just the bed. With the default pack of 12 you can cover a lot of ground and potential paths.
Clear plastic bottoms make inspection and cleaning a breeze.
The SenSci works because studies have shown that bed bugs instinctively climb up any vertical faces they encounter on their way up to you on your bed.
This works well as long as you place them strategically in places we know bed bugs like to travel frequently. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee bugs falling for the pitfall, especially if you have an early infestation on your hands.
That’s where to optional lures come in.
You can make the Volcano active by using their proprietary lure developed at Rutgers University, which fits neatly into the trap. These traps work by replicating the scent of human sweat which draws bugs in.
Here’s a link to the SenSci Activ Lure.
This gives the SenSci two live – as a passive trap when preventing bed bugs, and as an active trap if you ever begin to seriously suspect an infestation or wish to monitor a waning population.
The long 3 month lifespan of the lures make it somewhat passive even when while they’re active.
From what I’ve read, the SenSci Volcano performs better as an active trap than as a passive trap – hence it’s differing rating in the chart.
Bed Bug Interceptors
Interceptors offer the most straightforward and simple approach to capturing bed bugs. They capitalize on the habits and necessary paths that bed bugs must take in order to feed, rather than waiting in places they’re likely to harbor.
Once installed at each post, interceptors transform your bed into a fortress with tiny moats at its old points of weakness.
You can also install these traps on any furniture that has legs. They will effectively protect sofas, chairs, upholstery, and whatever else fits.
Although interceptors come in different shapes and sizes, they currently all work on the same simple principles.
A literal pitfall trap with slick internal walls allows bed bugs to easily get in while a smooth surface or thin coating of powdered pesticides, talcum, or oil make for inescapable holding chambers to be examined at your leisure
LightsOut Bed Bug Detector Review
Trap: Pitfall, stays slick
Relative Price: $$
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
The LightsOut Detector was developed by Jeffery White of Bed Bug Central, a leading bed bug entomologist.
Unlike most interceptors and passive traps, no additive oils or powders are used or need.
The LightsOut is made with a super-slick ABS plastic that’s smoother than glass, which makes it inescapable and maintenance-free!
ABS plastic is stronger and more break resistant than what most traps are made of.
Its black color is actually attractive to bed bugs and also makes it easy to see the smallest of nymphal bed bugs. It also makes the LightsOut a discreet product if you’re looking to get something that doesn’t draw questions or attention.
More so than other passive monitors, the use of bedpost interceptors gives you a great chance at detecting bed bugs early.
Catching a single bed bug in the LightsOut before an infestation explodes would easily make it worth the small investment.
As someone looking for a product to use permanently beneath my bed legs, I chose the LightsOut because of its complete lack of necessary maintenance, ruggedness, and discreetness.
ClimbUp Insect Interceptor ReviewClick To Shop
Trap: Pitfall and talcum
Relative Price: $
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
ClimbUp is one of the leading manufacturer of interceptor traps.
Simply install under bed posts, furniture legs, nightstands, and whatever else before checking periodically.
Bed bugs can’t escape as long as you leave them undisturbed and reapply a light talcum layer whenever your ClimbUp is emptied or washed.
They come in all sizes, from small to XL for thick furniture legs.
The ClimbUp works for the most part – some have had mixed results amongst reviewers while others have claimed flawless prevention.
It’s a great product for the price that will help you potentially detect bed bugs early, although the LightsOut does outperform in consistency and longevity.
I personally install ClimbUps on the legs of low-priority furniture like sofas, and LightsOuts wherever I’d like irrefutable protection, like on bedposts.
Why Buy Traps?
Traps can yield useful markers to help you properly identify bed bugs by capturing live samples, cast skins, and fecal stains.
I always first recommend securing the bed and making it a sanctuary. Encasements are the most important thing to install once you start treating for bed bugs.
Once you have encasements and traps installed, you will effectively eliminate ALL biting, so long as you keep the bed away from walls, bedding off the ground, and ensure that you’re clean and wearing protected clothes before getting in bed.
In the pursuit of bite free nights, you can follow the 8-Step Debedbugged guide to a protected bed.
If you don’t have an IPM set up, please take the time to do so – it will be the difference between staying bugged and getting debedbugged!
8-Step Bed Bug Proof Bed Printable
I mentioned at the beginning of this page that traps are the second step to take when creating a bed bug sanctuary for yourself.
Properly installing encasements and taking the right measures to keep bed bugs off your bed are the as important, if not more important, than installing traps.
To help you get it all in order, I’ve developed a supplemental bed proofing printable that you can download and print for free!
Interested in more quality printables covering everything from choosing a PCO to creating an IPM? Give the Ebook a try and I’ll send you all of them immediately with no strings attached.
I hope the printable helps you in your quest to getting and staying debedbugged!
Thanks for Reading!
A thorough integrated pest management plan should involve both passive and active methods of monitoring. Traps provide seriously cheap and effortless results when dealing with any stage of bed bug infestation.
Whether you’re trying to catch one for identification, preventing them from climbing onto your bed at night, or keeping tabs on a waning population, bed bug traps work for you 24/7 without upkeep.
I would recommend a set of interceptors for your bed at the very least – mine immediately saved me a lot of grief!
For more information of preventing bed bugs or treating them, check out the pages on those exact subjects.
Thanks for reading and best of luck getting Debedbugged!