Table of Contents
To bed bugs, your bed is the perfect home. It’s where they eat, raise their young, and sleep while you’re away.
Traps and especially interceptors make it hard for them.
Traps are useful from the beginning to the end of an infestation, they help
- Keep tabs on bed bug populations throughout an infestation
- Help catch infestations early to prevent serious infestations
- Stop bites when used with proper encasements
Passive Bed Bug Traps
Passive traps are designed to take advantage of natural bed bug instincts.
If you’re worried about bed bugs, you take advantage of passive traps and encasements.
Passive Traps Comparison Chart
|Bait||You||You||You||You, Optional Lure|
|Trap||ABS Pitfall||Powdered Pitfall||Comfy Harborage||Pitfall|
|Lifespan||Forever||Forever||Forever or 1 Infestation||Forever|
|Rating||5.0 / 5||4.6 / 5||4.6 / 5||3.6 / 5|
|Price||$$||$||$$||$$ - $$$|
Bed Bug Interceptors
Interceptors offer the most straightforward way to trap bed bugs. They capitalize on the simple fact that bed bugs have to climb up your bed to feed.
Their design is simple but effective. Bed bugs easily crawl in but can’t climb up and out of an interceptor’s smooth interior. Some interceptors come with a thin coating of powdered pesticides, talcum powder, or oil.
No matter what, the result is the same. Interceptors trap bed bugs making it easy for you to check on what you’re dealing with if bites ever appear.
Using interceptors and encasements together makes your bed into a bed bug stopping fortress.
Interceptors come in different sizes and can be installed under the legs of all sorts of furniture like sofas, chairs, anything upholstered, night stands, and more.
LightsOut Bed Bug Detector Review
Also available on Amazon.
Trap: Pitfall, stays slick
Relative Price: $$
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
The LightsOut Detector was developed by Jeffery White of Bed Bug Central, a leading bed bug entomologist.
Unlike most interceptors and passive traps, LightsOut doesn’t use any oils or powders.
The LightsOut is made of a super-slick ABS plastic that’s smoother than glass. It works perfectly and is as low-maintenance as can be since it doesn’t have powders or oils that need to be checked and replaced.
ABS plastic is stronger and more break resistant than the regular plastic used in most traps.
Its black color actively attracts bed bugs and also makes it easy to see the smallest baby bed bug.
It being black also makes the LightsOut low-key. It draws almost no attention and is hard to notice unless you’re looking for it.
Catching a single bed bug in the LightsOut before an infestation explodes would easily make it worth the small investment.
For those looking for a product to use permanently, we recommend the LightsOut because it is maintenance free, rugged, and discreet.
ClimbUp Insect Interceptor Review
Trap: Pitfall and talcum
Relative Price: $
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
ClimbUp has been the leading manufacturer of bed bug interceptors for years.
You will have to reapply a light layer of talcum powder whenever your interceptors are emptied or washed, but the process is quick and easy.
While not as low-maintenance as the LightsOut, ClimbUp has been in the business for so many years because their interceptors work.
They are significantly cheaper than the LightsOut and are a downright steal considering the money they could save you by saving your furniture from infestations and by detecting infestations early.
DIY Bed Bug Interceptor
The University of Florida has a great video on making your own DIY bed bug interceptor with common household items.
Bed Bug Alert Passive Monitor Review
Trap: A “perfect” place to infest
Relative Price: $$
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
The BB Alert was developed by David Cain, a professional in the bed bug field who runs a pest control company of his own that deals exclusively with bed bugs.
This trap is the most discreet passive monitor around.
Once installed in a hotspot like behind headboards or beneath beds, it can catch bed bugs early on with no work or bait involved.
The Alert tricks bed bugs by offering them an irresistible hiding place full of small crevices. By placing the trap near their food source (your bed), the monitor lets bed bugs come to you.
After engorging themselves with blood, bed bugs must shed some of their excess weight and size in order to literally fit back into their tiny homes.
Checking the BB Alert passive is as simple as inspecting the trap’s white skirt for fecal spots where bed bugs excreted that extra weight.
There is even a monthly calendar on the alert that you can use to monitor an infestation’s progress. The calendar makes it easy to note how many spots are on the trap, which helps keep track of the infestation’s progress.
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 people living in multi-unit housing like apartments.
Checking the Alert once every couple of weeks makes detecting bed bugs early easy.
SenSci Volcano Bed Bug Detector Review
Also available on Amazon.
Bait: You, Optional Sweat Lures
Lasts: Forever! Lures last 2 – 3 months
Relative Price: $$ – $$$
Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
The Volcano is a passive trap with optional active bait.
The trap doesn’t actively lure bed bugs unless you use the baits. It is meant to be placed along paths that bed bugs naturally walk. It works the same as an interceptor by trapping bugs inside a pit.
You can set 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 by the legs of your bed should give the best results.
Unlike interceptors, the Volcano is meant to target any bed bug route, not just the bed. With the pack of 12, you can cover a lot of ground and potential paths.
See-through plastic bottoms make inspection and cleaning a breeze.
The SenSci takes advantage of the natural bed bug instinct to climb up any vertical surface they encounter on their way to 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 the optional lures come in.
You can make turn the Volcano into an active trap by using their proprietary lures developed at Rutgers University. The lures fit neatly into the trap and replicate the scent of human sweat which draws bed bugs in.
Here’s a link to the SenSci Activ Lure.
This gives the SenSci two live – one as a passive trap when preventing bed bugs, and another as an active trap if you ever begin to seriously suspect an infestation or want to monitor an active infestation.
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.
Active Bed Bug Traps
Active traps take advantage of the bed bug’s ability to sense our breath and heat. By simulating both, traps very effectively lure and trap them.
Lures that generate warmth or seep CO2 attract bed bugs into inescapable pits or sticky traps. Some even use pheromones as bait.
Active Bed Bug Traps 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 over passive ones because you don’t need to act as live bait with active traps.
The use of artificial baits make active traps more effective in areas that are not always occupied, where bed bugs would otherwise just go into hiding until people show up.
NightWatch Trap and Monitor Review
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
Electricity to generate heat
Relative Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
The NightWatch is simulates 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 and requires two kinds of refills…but it absolutely works and will prove to be a godsend for anyone battling bed bugs where a person cannot act as bait.
Bed bugs are notorious for their ability to survive over a year without having a meal. Applied residual sprays and powders will sit there for weeks untouched by most bed bugs as they hide out waiting for a person to bite.
With the NightWatch drawing bed bugs out of hiding, you don’t have to worry about residuals wearing off while bed bugs hibernate.
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.
People report that a their NightWatch single-handedly destroys bed bug populations. With a proper pest management plan in place, your results will be swift and noticeable.
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 owners and tenants adore the NightWatch and its undeniable results.
If you’re willing and able to shoulder the upfront costs and refills, you’ll get some incredible results.
Here’s a link to the optional NightWatch compatible CO2 bottle.
The pros swear by it, and so will you.
Bed Bug Alert Active Monitor Review
Trap: Sticky trap
Lure Refills: 24 hours per lure
Relative Price: $
Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
Manufactured by famous heater manufacturer Packtite, the idea behind the Alert Active is promising, but it leaves a lot to be desired.
Most reviews share that heat isn’t as reliable as other baits like pheromones or CO2. Moreover, sticky traps have been shown to sometimes even scare bed bugs away.
Bed bugs caught in sticky traps have been observed emitting distress hormones that keep other bugs away – not exactly helpful for our bug catching plans.
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 the usual signs.
A single night should catch a few bugs if there is a significant infestation. Since you’ll be leaving soon, catching a single bug is more than enough.
This is useful for those who do not react to bites.
If using the BB Alert at home, be sure to order at least 2 lures, although you’ll actually need at least 4 to check that you’re bed bug free (bed bugs feed every 3-4 days, these lures only last one night).
Bed Bug Beacon CO2 Monitor Review
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 bed bug lures.
CO2 works because bed bugs naturally detect and are attracted to the CO2 we exhale.
The Beacon takes advantage of that instinct by slowly seeping just enough CO2 for bed bugs to detect.
Bed bugs are then lured into its pitfall trap where you can keep tabs of populations during an infestation and confirm when an infestation has ended.
A single Bed Bug Beacon includes enough CO2 to run for a full 2 weeks.
As with the any active lure, the Beacon helps pull otherwise inactive bed bugs out of hiding and into the open. This is a important for those treating rooms or homes that are unoccupied.
Without an active lure present, bed bugs stay in hiding until a food source appears.
Something to consider is that after the initial cost of the complete unit, refills of CO2 cost about $1 per day.
That’s definitely the cheapest you’ll run an active trap for, especially from a reputable manufacturer.
Why Use Bed Bug Traps?
Traps can are great at helping properly identify bed bugs because they capture live samples, cast skins, or fecal stains.
Professionals always recommend securing your bed and first when dealing with an infestation. Installing encasements and interceptors is the first step to take once you think you might be dealing with bed bugs.
By having encasements and traps installed you make it as hard as possible for bed bugs to get a meal. By stopping their meals, you make it harder for them to mature and produce eggs, effectively stopping infestations in their tracks.
To help you get back to bite free nights, you can follow the 8-Step Debedbug guide to a protected bed.
If you don’t have a pest management plan set up, please take the time to do so – it will make the biggest difference in your battle against bed bugs!
8-Step Bed Bug Proof Bed Printable
We 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 steps that are just as important, if not more important, than installing traps.
To help you get it all in order, we’ve developed a supplemental bed proofing printable that you can download and print for free!
Give the Ebook a try for more quality printables covering everything from choosing a pest control operator to creating a plan.
We’ll email it to you immediately and don’t send followup emails unless there’s a great deal or new resource that would help you a lot.
Thanks for Reading!
Traps provide seriously cheap and easy results when dealing with any stage of bed bug infestation and even with prevention.
Whether you’re trying to catch one a live bug for identification, are preventing them from climbing onto your bed at night, or just want to keep tabs on an active population, bed bug traps work for you 24/7.
I would recommend a set of interceptors for your bed at the very least.