Detect Deter Destroy Bed Bugs

Detect, Deter Destroy Bed Bugs

detect deter destroy info graphicThis article is an informational article to help you detect, deter and ultimately destroy Bed Bugs.

By the time you are done reading this article, you should be armed with all the information you need to accomplish your bed bug problem.

We’ve taken the time and did our homework to provide you with up to date information and accurate information on everything that is out there on the internet and in stores.

People have become increasingly concerned about bed bugs these days.  Bed bugs not only are hard to find , it is also very costly to control!  This article will offer several ways to help you through the process.

Detecting Bed Bugs

Identifying bed bugs isn’t hard. They are very small 3/16″ or less with the nymphs as small as pin heads. This is about the size of an apple seed.

They are reddish brown in color with nymphs being clear to yellowish (except after feeding in which case both adults and nymphs will have a reddish glow). They are very flat and look like a small pear shaped beetle or roach.

 Detecting Bed Bugs Video

Different Ways to Detect Bed Bugs:

Bed Bug Monitors –

Currently there are three bed bug type of monitors currently available for detecting bed bugs and another monitor was recently created by Rutgers University.  These bed bug montiros are:

  1. the Climbup™ Insect Interceptor (Susan McKnight Inc, Memphis, TN),
  2. CDC3000 (Cimex Science LLC, Portland, OR),
  3. NightWatch (BioSensory Inc., Putnam, CT).
  4.  Rutgers University invented a DYI dry ice pack to detect bed bugs.

1-  The Climbup interceptors are probably the most effective and is the most cost effective.  They are easy to use; all you do is place the Climbup Interceptors under the legs of beds and upholstered  furniture to intercept bed bugs that are dispersing from the furniture or trying to reach the furniture for a blood meal.

The bed bugs can’t get out of the interceptors and if left there, they die.  Because the Climbup Interceptors don’t use any attractants, they are considered passive.  Studies have shown that these Climbup interceptors are much more effective than visual detection.

2 & 3-The CDC3000 and NightWatch  bed bug monitor use carbon dioxide (CO2), a chemical to lure thee bed bugs and heat.  These are active bed bug monitors and are usually placed in the room where bed bugs are suspected.

The CDC3000 model lasts about ten hours; CO2 cylinders need to be replaced as they run out.  The NightWatch model is a much larger model and has refillable CO2 cylinders that actually can last up to about 5 nights.   When these models are used properly, they are equally as effective.

4- Rutgers University designed a dry ice trap for monitoring bed bugs;  this study and designed only employed dry ice (source of CO2) to attract bed bugs.  Tests proved that this dry ice trap was just as effective as the other bed bug monitors listed above; and this is perfect for someone who does not have the funds to hire a professional pest management service.

DYI Dry Ice Bed Bug Trap

Rutgers, New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station –, Retrieved 10/13/12

Making a Dry Ice Trap
1. Start by buying a 64 ounce capacity double bowl cat feeder (35.5 × 17.5 × 7 cm, Figure 1), a 1/3 gallon insulated container (jug) (Figure 2), and a bottle of talc powder from a local retail store. A 64 ounce round single bowl cat feeder works equally well. Talc is available as baby powder products in retail stores. The jug is used to hold dry ice. Dry ice is the solid phase of carbon dioxide (CO2). At room temperature, dry ice changes (a process called sublimation) into CO2 gas, which attracts bed bugs. Once filled, a 1/3 gallon container (jug) can release CO2 for 10-12 hours. In an air-conditioned room, the CO2 release rate from a 1/3 jug is about the same as that from two people.

2. Attach a piece of white cloth to the exterior surface of the cat feeder with masking tape (Figure 3).

The upper edge of the fabric needs to be tightly attached to the cat feeder to prevent bed bugs from hiding under the fabric. Alternatively, you may roughen the exterior surface of the cat feeder with sand paper. The goal is to allow bed bugs to climb up the cat feeder easily. Apply a very thin layer of talc with a cotton ball to the interior surfaces of the inverted cat feeder. The powder prevents trapped bed bugs from escaping. You are now ready to use your own bed bug monitor to detect bed bugs.

Using Dry Ice Traps
1. Find a local dry ice vendor from the following web site: Dry ice costs around $1.00 per pound. Bring a foam cooler with you when buying dry ice. Dry ice pellets are easier to handle than large chunks of dry ice. You can temporarily store dry ice along with the foam cooler in a freezer for several days. Ten pounds of dry ice lasts for 3-4 days when stored in a freezer.

2. Fill up the insulated container (jug) with dry ice (a 1/3 gallon jug holds about 2.5 lb dry ice). Leave the opening of the jug slightly open and place on top of the inverted cat feeder (Figure 4). Make sure the jug does not touch the edge of the cat feeder. You may add a little water (barely covering the bottom of the feeder) to kill the bed bugs that are trapped. Place a warning sign or tape on the monitor to prevent children from tampering with the trap to avoid accidental injury or ingestion of dry ice. If necessary, use tape to secure the top of the jug. Now the dry ice trap is ready to attract and catch bed bugs.

3. Place the trap beside the bed or sofa where most of the bed bugs usually hide. Set up the trap in late afternoon to maximize the catches because bed bugs are most active during the night. Leaving the room unoccupied during the trapping period is not necessary, but is helpful. Place one trap in each room if multiple rooms are suspected having bed bugs. Only one trap should be used per room. Avoid using a fan near the trap.

Use Caution when handling dry ice!
Dry ice is VERY COLD (-109.3°F) and can freeze on contact causing skin injury!

Dry ice releases Carbon Dioxide, which could cause asphyxia!
• Always wear hand protection.
• Keep out of reach of children.
• Transport in well ventilated conditions.
• Do not store in a confined space, such as a closet, or walk-in freezer.
• If storing in a freezer, the freezer should be located in a well ventilated area.
• Deploy the trap in a ventilated area.

© 2010 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.

4. Check both the outside and inside of the cat feeder the next day. A trap can catch a few bugs to hundreds or even more than a thousand bed bugs per night depending on infestation levels (Figure 5). Occasionally bed bugs may stay on the fabric covering the exterior surface of the cat feeder. Since young bed bug stages are very small, using a magnifier will help identify them. After examining the trap, discard the trapped bed bugs into a toilet and flush them into the drain.

5. If no bed bugs are caught after one night, you can set up the trap again for several more days to increase the likelihood of identifying the presence of bed bugs. This is necessary because not all bed bugs are attracted to the trap in one day and bed bug eggs may be present in the room. You need to replenish the dry ice every day. Before reusing the cat feeder, make sure the talc is present. While this method is very effective at detecting bed bugs, a zero trap catch should never be viewed as a confirmation that no bugs are present.

6. If you do not capture any bed bugs but are still being bitten or suspect having bed bugs, you should hire a skilled professional to inspect and provide recommendations.

7. Bed bugs may lay eggs on the cat feeder. Store the used cat feeder in a freezer for several days or in a sealed plastic bag after use.

Due to safety concerns associated with dry ice, it is recommended that commercial pest management providers use commercially manufactured bed bug detection devices to monitor bed bugs.

People should not rely on bed bug monitors for controlling bed bugs. Monitors are only intended to detect bed bugs and monitor control efforts. Once bed bugs are found, proper treatments should be taken to eliminate the infestation promptly.


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Detering Bed Bugs

Treat your furniture with insecticides to get rid of any possible bed bugs. Basic insecticide spray will get rid of any on the furniture, but insecticide dust will get them where they hide.

Cover your mattress in plastic. This will prevent any bed bugs from getting in or out.

Consider getting rid of any old furniture if you can. If there is the chance any bed bugs remain, this will help prevent them from multiplying in your home again.

Deter Bed Bug Video

Other Resources on Deterring Bed Bugs


Destroying Bed Bugs

Destroying bed bugs can be performed through the following: vacuum your living space relentlessly, including furniture, changing the bag outside (hatchlings can wiggle through a stitch hole). Wash or dry clean everything moveable (clothes, bedspreads, throw rugs) in hottest water.

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Rutgers, New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station –, Retrieved 10/13/12