Below we will discuss the benefits of using bed bug traps, explore how effective they are for all levels of infestations and recommend our best bed bug interceptor buys.
How do bed bug interceptors work?
Bed bug interceptors take advantage of the fact that bed bugs are not good at climbing slippery, vertical surfaces.
Instead of jumping or flying, these creepy little critters are equipped with six legs with small hooks on their feet. This allows them to move around by crawling. Able to make short work of textured surfaces they can climb to great heights by attaching themselves to rough cracks and crevices, however, when faced with a smooth surface they simply slip right off.
Bed bugs hate environments that require a lot of effort and movement on their behalf. This is why a bed bug trap is so deadly as the outside surface is often rugged, providing them with plenty of grip to hold on to.
Inside, interceptors consist of a plastic dish that has an inner well – just big enough to place under a bedpost or leg of a chair. The sides of the well are vertical, slick and shiny, causing the bed bugs to slide straight off as soon as they start their ascent. The outside of the well serves as a moat device, scooping up and capturing the bed bugs as they fall.
Do bed bug traps really work?
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of, once they have made themselves at home. Able to crawl through walls, under doors and up bed legs it is important that you identify them as soon as possible.
Bed bug interceptors, otherwise known as traps or pitfalls, are great for identifying an initial infestation, as they can catch sufficient numbers of these pests and provide you with visual evidence that you have a problem.
Bed bug traps should be considered a preventative method only as they are good if you are looking to protect yourself against further bites and control the current population of bed bugs within your home. They offer a great alternative to abrasive chemical traps and baits and allow you to detect the onset of a bed bug infestation. What they will not do, however, is eradicate a current infestation for good.
How effective are bed bug traps?
Although bed bug interceptors can repel bed bugs to a point, they are will not be adequate against a chronic invasion. And, although they create a barrier to your bed for any new bed bugs hoping to get in, what they won’t do, is prevent the current bed bugs already snug in your mattress and springs from continuing to feed off you at night. Therefore, you should look to purchase a bed bug mattress encasement if you are prone to bed bug infestations.
After a time, just like most pests, once the bed bugs have figured out that the interceptors are a threat, they will start to find new ways to move around them, often pushing them to other locations within your home. They can even learn how to tip toe around the edge of certain traps or climb up walls in order to access your bed.
Things to consider when buying a bed bug trap
There are hundreds of bed bug interceptor type products on the market, so it important to find the right one to suit your situation. And, although they are not expensive to purchase, we would recommend that you do some research to ensure that:
Bed bug interceptors are generally sturdy enough to withstand the weight of your bed. Some bed bug traps, however, are made from cheap materials and will be prone to cracking under sustained pressure, putting all your hard work to waste in setting the bed bugs free. Look out for bed bug interceptors that are made from crack resistant materials such as polypropylene as they are able to take a substantial amount of weight.
In our experience, the most effective bed bug traps are those that come pre-lined with baby powder as they add another protective barrier in the fight against these pests and it reduces the hassle of ongoing maintenance. Alternatively, you could use Diatomaceous Earth in the interceptor tray to help kill off bed bugs.
Not all beds are the same, so check the manufacturers dimensions before you purchase your bed bug interceptors, to ensure that they will fit around the legs of your furniture.
What are the best bed bug traps?
If you are in the market for a cost-effective way to banish bed bugs, then these bed bug traps come highly recommended and can be easily purchased from Amazon. See our informative reviews below.
ClimbUp Inteceptor – our top pick!
The ClimbUp interceptor is the most popular household choice for bed bug traps and it is easy to see why. These inexpensive pesticide-free traps can fit almost any furniture post or bed leg with a maximum of 3.75 inches in diameter.
The trap itself has a simple yet effective design and its newly improved slippery, polished surface removes the need for added protection such as talcum powder. And, if you’re worried about cracking, the ClimbUp trap is made of crack-resistant polypro plastic.
Bug Snarer Bed Bug Trap
The Bug Snarer bed bug trap is not radically different from all the other bed bug interceptors on the market; however, its rectangular shaped design does mean that it is extra wide and therefore fits nearly all bed posts. It is also aesthetically pleasing but there is more to Bed Snarer than meets the eye.
This trap is made from a hard bright white plastic material and in addition to the usual features of being chemical and pesticide free, it is incredibly durable too – claiming to withstand up to 800lbs of weight.
EcoPest Bed Bug Interceptors
As like the other traps featured above, the EcoPest bed bug interceptor is long-lasting and will fit most household furniture, making it a great alternative to using pesticides and chemicals in the fight against bed bugs. These interceptors also have the added benefit of coming in a pack of 8, so you can target more than one room at a time.
Make sure when purchasing this product that you buy one of the light-colored packs as the darker colors make it more difficult to identify any bed bugs that might be inside.
Critter Patrol Bed Bug Traps
We would particularly recommend Critter Patrol bed bug traps for those who need to use it on wooden on laminate flooring, as it comes with non-slip base pads for added grip.
Pesticide and chemical free, this pack of 8 interceptors are manufactured to fit most bed posts and are highly durable – able to withhold up to 800lbs in weight.
Best places for bed bug traps
Before installing the interceptors on your bed, make sure that you move the bed away from the wall and other points of contact, so that the bed bugs have no other choice but to use the bedposts as their entry point to you.
You should also tuck in or remove any hanging duvets and blankets and remove anything stored under the bed as you want the bed to be the only thing touching the floor.
To fit an interceptor, simply lift the leg of the bed up and slide the trap into place, before lowering the leg back down into the center well.
Make sure that you have an interceptor for each bed leg and if there are multiple occupants within your house, then make sure their beds are protected too. Bed bugs detect carbon dioxide from sleeping people and if they are prevented from getting to one host, then they will look for a way of getting to another.
You should check your bed bug traps regularly before cleaning and emptying them out. Remember that interceptors do not kill bed bugs, therefore you will need to dispose of them yourself. In order to do this, we recommend using pesticides, extreme heat or alternatively emptying them into a well-sealed plastic bag.
Do glue traps work for bed bugs?
Glue traps usually come with a special lure that either gives off a carbon dioxide or pheromones smell – both of which are attractive to bed bugs.
You can place glue traps at the foot of your bed, in mattresses, cracks, crevices and bed springs, so that the bed bug has to crawl over them in order to get to you.
Once the bed bug steps onto the trap, the adhesive holds it tight so that it can’t escape. It is important to note, however, that a glue trap will not kill a bed bug immediately. At first, they will struggle to escape until they are starved to death, and depending on when their last feed was, this can take a while. Also, if you have a big bed bug infestation, it is likely that you will need multiple glue traps as they will get covered quickly.
If you have pets or children in the house, then we would recommend that you steer clear of glue traps as they are incredibly sticky and removing any type of hair from them can be painful.
Do pheromone traps work for bed bugs?
As mentioned above, the effectiveness of an interceptor trap for bed bugs can be enhanced if a carbon dioxide or pheromone attractant is added. These are known as active lures and can easily be bought online.
Just be mindful of using carbon dioxide bed bug traps as they can be toxic and should never be used around kids or animals.
How to make bed bug traps
Bed bug interceptors are fairly simple devices made up of plastic. Therefore, if you are creative or into DIY, then you could always try making a bed bug trap yourself using a small plastic tub, cup or even better, an upside down pet food bowl. You just need to ensure that the outside is textured so that bed bugs are able to climb in, whilst the inside is shiny and sleek, making it impossible for them to climb out.
As the weight of a bed, plus person, can be heavy, you need to make sure that you place a hardwearing layer such as a tile, underneath so that your home-made bed bug interceptor does not shatter.
Alternatively, you could make your own glue trap using double sided sticky tape which you can wind around the bottom of your bed legs.
Bed bug interceptors are a must for any properties that have a high turnover of visitors or in enabling you to determine whether you have unwanted night-time pests.
Bed bug traps are great for identifying infestations and can assist in ensuring that you don’t become the next new host. However, a bed bug trap is not an all-in-one solution for eradicating these pests.
You will need to consider other forms of treatment such as bed bug sprays, bed bug powders, steaming, vacuuming and exposure to excessive heat in order to get rid of bed bugs for good.