Bed Bug Traps: Homemade and Commercial Traps Comparative Review

Best Bed Bug Traps

Bed bugs have become the USA’s national catastrophe. This is quite an unpleasant phenomenon although it seems untypical of developed countries, and has affected hundreds of thousands of American citizens. The scientists keep on experimenting and inventing new ways of trapping these bloodsuckers. Today, we’ll describe all the known bed bug traps to date to you. How effective are homemade methods? Is an interceptor or a sticky trap better? Does life imprisonment for the bed bugs that have already infested your bed exist?

A few years ago, a National Geographic article devoted to a sugar, water, and yeast-based $1 trap invented in the Rutgers University, New Jersey was discussed actively on the internet. This yeast homemade bed bug trap recipe was contentedly promoted by bloggers.

The idea is that it is carbon dioxide exuded by humans which is the main focus of all blood-suckers. All best-selling mosquito carbon dioxide traps act in this way. However, we have not encountered any commercially successful bed bug traps like this yet. Let’s figure if they are indeed free, convenient and effective?

Two Homemade Bed Bug Trap Recipes

The scientists suggest that you pour ten tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of yeast and one and a half liters of room temperature water in a cup, then place said cup on top of a flipped over dog bowl and leave for the night.

As the University of Rutgers, New Jersey expert Narinderpal Singh states, "the yeast ferments the sugar to release carbon dioxide—the gas that bedbugs use to track down sleeping human hosts. This irresistible vapor lures insects toward the trap from long distances, and in experiments, more than doubled the number that were captured."

how to get rif of bed bugs

The blood-sucking insects focus on the secreted carbon dioxide. As the scientists plan, any bed bugs in the house are supposed to gather near the sources of carbon dioxide fermented by yeast. The result will let you decide whether domestic pest control is a necessity or an expensive luxury.

The magazine article claims that this handmade trap attracts three times as many bed bugs as others and is therefore more effective than the Climbup insect interceptor available in stores. Nevertheless, it sells well even for ~$21, and its page is full of positive feedback.

A cup full of yeast, on the other hand, doesn’t guarantee that it will attract bed bugs better than a human sleeping in the same room, as humans also exude both heat and carbon dioxide. In addition, when half asleep, you can forget about the slurry trap left in the darkness and step straight into it. Its action also lasts for only eight hours, so you will have to refill the yeast mixture daily.

The second homemade recipe has been invented in Rutgers University as well. This time, dry ice will serve as a source of carbon dioxide. The experimenters suggest placing the ice in an open 1/3 of a gallon (1.5 liters) thermos on top of a flipped over cat bowl. The outer walls of the bowl should be taped and covered in a thin layer of talc. Once trapped, the bed bugs won’t be able to detach from this talc and the dry ice will continue releasing gas for up to twelve hours.

A pound of dry ice costs $1 (you will need ten pounds) and is not sold without restrictions. You will have to place an order with special suppliers. Remember that dry ice will also slowly turn into gas even when kept in a freezer. Don’t store it in the freezer for over four days. Dry ice being a free trap is a contingent term as the transactional costs will involve you having to spend much time ordering ice whenever necessary.

Such measures are for preventive purposes only as they protect your bed from bed bugs crawling up from the floor. Carbon dioxide secreted by various objects won’t make them leave your warm beds. Are commercial devices then any different from homemade ones?

How Bed Bug Traps Work

Type Peculiarities Effectiveness
Homemade Attracts with carbon dioxide. Early detection only.
Glue A special lure. Early detection only.
Electronic Heat Dome Attracts with heat. If more attractive prey, such as humans, is around, the dome may not be effective.
Interceptor A best seller. Additional talc improves the trap's effectiveness.
Mattress Cover The cover is made of a special dense fabric, it must have a designated zipper. 100% effectual. All of the insects are forever imprisoned inside the cover.

Top-3 Best Bed Bug Traps

Several trap types are available today: sticky ones, interceptors attached under bed legs and electronic ones which attract their victims with the heat of a lamp.


Harris Bed Bug Traps

This is a simple and cheap glue trap. A ~$4.35 pack contains four sticky cardboards to be placed under furniture, bed and anywhere else. Leave them under your bed’s legs so that the bed bugs stick to it if they approach your bed. The product’s rating is not very high. Many customers have given negative feedback. Don’t expect Harris to deal with your issue on its own as it should be used for monitoring purposes only. The trap is accessible (one units costs ~$1) and safe, so why not give it a chance?

Price: ~$4.35 Check the current price


Aspectek has improved a regular sticky trap and added a heat-exuding lamp to it. This increases the attraction rate of bed bugs, fleas and other blood-suckers. They are trapped in a sticky snare once they crawl or fly under the lamp. The device is quoted at ~$11.95, and two additional incandescent lamps or six sticky surfaces can be obtained for an extra $6.99.

Aspectek - Bed Bug Trap

The product is rated highly on The trap is used not only against bed bugs, but also flies, mosquitoes and any other insects which prefer heat or light. The device is safe, but any cat owners must bear in mind the fact that their pets might take a fancy to this heated toy and warm up near it. Read over 1200 customer reviews to learn more about Aspectek use.

Price: ~$11.95 Check the current price

Climbup insect interceptor, 4-pack

Here is the most popular and best-selling bed bug trap. At the moment, it is not only a ~$21 hit but a method to trap blood suckers that has been approved by the majority of entomologists. Almost all of them recommend using these traps. The University of California specialists, for instance, confirm the effectiveness of these devices. Interceptor monitors are a hybrid between active and passive (pitfall) monitors in that they rely on the presence of a host (a sleeping human) to attract hungry bugs and then trap the parasites on route to their meal. These small double-cupped monitors are easily installed under the legs of beds and other furniture items. Research has demonstrated that such interceptors trapped six times more bed bugs than were found from human visual searches alone.

Climbup insect interceptor

Let us add that putting in some talc will complicate the insects’ attempts to escape. Use ClimbUp until all your domestic parasites have been completely eradicated. If they have managed to breed in multiple rooms, opt for a 12-pack set for ~$33.73.

Price: from ~$21 (4-pack) Check the current price

The main drawback of all these traps is that they provide monitoring only. When using them, make sure there are no bugs in your bed. If they have already infested your sleeping area, it is pointless for them to get off the bed. So, what should you do if it is already infected?

How to Trap Bed Bugs That Have Already Settled In Your Bed?

There is a product that can be unequivocally called bed bugs’ life imprisonment. There is no escape from it and no blood-sucker will be ever set free from there. We are talking about a special mattress cover.

bed bug mattress protector

According to the entomologists, 70% of the bed bugs in the house settle in the mattress, box spring and bed frame during a typical infestation. That is one of the priority tasks is to treat the infected bed and mattress and to protect the new one by using protective encasements

It is basically the bigger version of the same trap. All parasites living in your mattress will be forever trapped and will starve to death given that you've bought a decent mattress made of dense fabric with a proper zipper that won't ever let any parasite out. Another condition is that you shouldn't remove the cover for 12 months as this is the time it takes these tenacious creatures to die of depletion

There are many mattress cover manufacturers, the most popular brands are SafeRest, LinenSpa®, and Utopia Bedding. Their ratings are more or less the same, and the covers themselves practically do not differ from each other. The main requirement concerning this product is a “Bed Bug Proof” label. Most of them are waterproof and will protect you from dust mites. The prices start at $14.99.

bed bug proof mattress covers

You can also move to the living room and sleep on the sofa hoping that the starving blood-suckers will be forced to finally crawl down the bed legs in search of food… But we believe buying a mattress cover and having a sound sleep in your own comfy bed is simpler and faster.

Bed Bug Traps Comparison Chart

Product Type Peculiarities Price


Harris Bed Bug Traps

Glue trap The cheapest control product.

~$4.35 (4-pack)


Aspectek - Bed Bug Trap

Electric glue trap with a bulb Attracts bloodsuckers by imitating body heat.


Climbup insect interceptor

Climbup insect interceptor

Interceptor monitor The most effective control product, will catch 6x more parasites than you will be able to on your own.

from ~$21 (4-pack)

Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement

Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement

Mattress cover - a lifelong trap The biggest and most reliable bug prison. Do not take it off the mattress for 12 months.


Will Traps Help You Get Rid of the Bed Bugs Once and For All?

Unfortunately, they won’t. The only 100% effective control product is a mattress cover which will only rid you of the parasites that have settled inside it. You will have to deal with other insects hiding in the wall cracks, behind the skirting boards and wallpapers and even on the ceiling for a long period of time. Refer to our guide “How to get rid of bed bugs” to learn about all the methods, mistakes and proper treatment.

Futuristic Experiments with Catching On Bait

The development of carbon dioxide-based methods of bed bug treatment is explained by the fact that they consume blood only. A new type of trap using the insects’ own odor is now being tested.

A team of Canadian scientists has radically decided to identify the substance that is responsible for grouping the bed bugs together. Back in the 1970s, the scientists learned that feces and chitinous covers left behind serve as attracting markers for these insects, as Wired cites Gerhard Gries and other researchers from the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.

Wired also specifies that the last component is sensed by bed bugs only upon contact. Histamine, the same chemical produced by our white blood cells as part of the human immune response, acts as an ‘arrestant’ in combination with the other chemical blend. It makes the bed bugs stop walking and nestle in.

The scientists have demonstrated great courage by letting the insects feed on their blood. However, the bitten researchers have given the world hope for creating a new bed bug attractant that is more effective than any source of carbon dioxide. The future will show whether this ambition will be realized.

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Jenny Fosters  •  Wednesday, 21 February 2018 15:53

My husband designed homemade bed bug interceptors. I have no idea how he did it, but it works fantastically! We used in our second house where we don’t live. Everything is dusty there, and bed bugs appeared out of nowhere there. After these interceptors showed their effectiveness, we won’t buy any traps or other products.

Moqaaaa  •  Sunday, 18 February 2018 21:44

I think that traps are a great bed bug interceptor. We used Harris traps, and they proved to be the best. After two weeks of use we stopped finding any signs of bloodsuckers’ presence. It is a very effective product!

BillBonatSdillt  •  Friday, 09 February 2018 14:21

What attracts bed bugs in these traps? Which substances are used? We are thinking of using a homemade trap, but we don’t know where to start.

Jonettto28971  •  Wednesday, 17 January 2018 11:55

We used a homemade bed bug trap after hiring an infected college student as a loader. The guy suffered from these bloodsuckers’ bites. We didn’t find a single bed bug and it gives us certain hope.

KeyChaine  •  Thursday, 04 January 2018 18:21

We set these bed bug traps near the sofa to protect from bed bug infestation. They trapped a spider, lots of moths and no bed bugs, which is good as it proves that last time we managed to get rid of them.

Konan  •  Thursday, 23 November 2017 15:45

It all started on one night when I first felt bites, then itching. I didn’t feel well so I went to sleep in another room and bought bedbug traps. Despite negative feedback I thought I’d give them a try and not spend thousands of dollars on disinfection. I set them on my bed’s corners. After a few days I found one freshly captured bed bug and two dead ones. The traps are definitely worth it if you are patient.