The Definitive Bed Bug Trap Guide: Top Picks & How They Work

Updated 3/21/2024

Dealing with a bed bug infestation can be challenging, stressful, and, quite frankly, a goddamn nightmare. These pesky insects have a knack for hiding in the most inconspicuous places and can wreak havoc on your sleep and well-being.

The good news is, there are several bed bug traps available that can help you take control of the situation and stop these pests in their tracks.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the different types of bed bug traps, DIY recipes, and tips on maximizing their effectiveness.

So, let’s dive right in and learn how to tackle your bed bug problem head-on!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links based on our recommendations & personal experiences. If any purchases are made through our links, we receive a small commission, at no cost to you.

Honorable Mentions In This Article

Trapper Max Glue Traps 12 Glue Boards Trap Mouse Bugs Insects Bed Bugs Spiders Cockroaches Non-Toxic
Dr Infrared Heater Upgraded Version 2-Tier 18 Cubic feet Portable Bedbug Heater with Thermometer and Timer, Black, Big (DR-122)
Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (White) | Insect Trap, Monitor, and Detector for Bed Legs
Trapper Max Glue Traps 12 Glue Boards Trap Mouse Bugs Insects Bed Bugs Spiders Cockroaches Non-Toxic
Dr Infrared Heater Upgraded Version 2-Tier 18 Cubic feet Portable Bedbug Heater with Thermometer and Timer, Black, Big (DR-122)
Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (White) | Insect Trap, Monitor, and Detector for Bed Legs
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Trapper Max Glue Traps 12 Glue Boards Trap Mouse Bugs Insects Bed Bugs Spiders Cockroaches Non-Toxic
Trapper Max Glue Traps 12 Glue Boards Trap Mouse Bugs Insects Bed Bugs Spiders Cockroaches Non-Toxic
Amazon Prime
Dr Infrared Heater Upgraded Version 2-Tier 18 Cubic feet Portable Bedbug Heater with Thermometer and Timer, Black, Big (DR-122)
Dr Infrared Heater Upgraded Version 2-Tier 18 Cubic feet Portable Bedbug Heater with Thermometer and Timer, Black, Big (DR-122)
Amazon Prime
Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (White) | Insect Trap, Monitor, and Detector for Bed Legs
Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack | Bed Bug Blocker (Pro) Interceptor Traps (White) | Insect Trap, Monitor, and Detector for Bed Legs
Amazon Prime

Choosing the Right Bed Bug Trap for Your Needs

When selecting a bed bug trap, several factors must be considered to ensure you choose the right one.

Some of these factors include:

  • The level of infestation
  • The target areas
  • Budget considerations
  • Long-term effectiveness

Evaluating your specific needs and choosing a trap that will effectively capture bed bugs and fit within your budget is essential.

Active Bed Bug Traps

Active bed bug traps are specialized devices designed specifically to capture bed bugs in infested areas. These traps take advantage of bed bugs’ natural behaviors and preferences.

Active bed bug traps typically use one or more of the following mechanisms:

  1. Heat: Bed bugs are attracted to heat sources as they associate them with potential hosts (humans). Active bed bug traps often incorporate a heating element, such as a small heating pad or a heat-emitting device, to create a warm environment that mimics the presence of a human body.
  2. CO2 (Carbon Dioxide): Bed bugs are also attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by human breath, as it indicates the presence of a potential blood meal. Active bed bug traps may include a CO2 generator or cartridges that release a controlled amount of carbon dioxide, simulating the breath of a sleeping person.
  3. Trapping mechanism: The traps are designed with an outer casing or housing that bed bugs can easily climb on. Inside the trap, a pitfall or sticky surface prevents the bed bugs from escaping once they climb in. Some traps use a combination of a rough-textured exterior and an adhesive surface to capture the bugs effectively.
  4. Visual cues: Some active bed bug traps may also incorporate visual cues or colors attractive to bed bugs. This can include patterns that mimic the appearance of a human host, further enhancing the trap’s attractiveness.

The combination of heat, CO2, and a trapping mechanism in active bed bug traps aims to lure bed bugs into the device, where they become trapped and unable to escape.

These traps are typically used for monitoring purposes, allowing individuals or pest control professionals to assess the presence and activity of bed bugs in a particular area.

Passive Bed Bug Traps

Passive bed bug traps, also known as interception devices or monitor traps, are designed to passively capture bed bugs without using attractants or lures. These traps take advantage of the natural movement and behavior of bed bugs to capture them.

Here’s how passive bed bug traps typically work:

  1. Physical barriers: Passive traps usually consist of a shallow tray or container with smooth walls that bed bugs have difficulty climbing. The inner surface of the trap is often coated with a slippery or talcum powder-like substance, making it challenging for the bed bugs to crawl out once they enter.
  2. Placement: Passive traps are strategically placed where bed bugs are likely to travel, such as around the legs of beds or furniture. Bed bugs must climb up and down these objects to reach their hosts, and the traps intercept their movement.
  3. Bed bug movement: Bed bugs tend to crawl along surfaces rather than fly or jump. When they encounter the trap, they climb up the legs or other accessible routes and inadvertently fall into the trap. Once inside, the smooth walls and slippery surfaces prevent them from escaping.
  4. Monitoring and detection: Passive traps are primarily used for monitoring bed bug activity. By regularly inspecting the traps, one can check for bed bugs or monitor the effectiveness of treatments. Traps may have a clear window or a removable tray, making inspecting and identifying captured bed bugs easy.

Passive bed bug traps do not rely on attractants or bait to lure bed bugs.

Instead, they rely on the bed bugs’ natural movement patterns and inability to escape the smooth-walled, slippery containers.

These traps are useful for early detection and monitoring of bed bug infestations, allowing homeowners or pest control professionals to take appropriate measures on time.

Types of Bed Bug Traps

This section will explore the common types of traps for bedbugs available today. We’ve also included a few of our favorite products based on a recent bedbug experience!

Climb-Up Interceptors

Climb-up interceptors (also known as pitfall-style traps) are simple yet effective bed bug traps designed to catch these pests as they search for a blood meal. 

These traps are placed under the legs of your bed, making it difficult for bed bugs to climb up and reach you.

When the bugs try to climb up the bed legs, they fall into the outer ring of the interceptor, where they become trapped and unable to escape.

The UpsidesThe Downsides
Spotting the SneaksNot a One-Stop Shop
Great at catching bed bugs early so you can jump into action ASAP.They’re handy but won’t wipe out an infestation by themselves. More like a piece of the puzzle.
Keeping TabsClever Critters
Lets you keep an eye on how many bed bugs are around and if what you’re doing to fight them is working.Bed bugs might just find another way to get to you, like taking the wall or ceiling express.
Blockade RunnerFussy Fit
Puts up a no-entry sign under beds and furniture, keeping those biters at bay.Some furniture just won’t work with these traps. Too big, too weird, no luck.
Clean and GreenExtra Costs and Chores
All safe and sound without chemicals, making them a green choice.You’ll need to buy enough for all your furniture and keep them clean, which adds to the to-do list and the budget.

Product Spotlight: EcoPest Bed Bug Interceptors

ECOPEST Bed Bug Interceptors – 8 Pack
24/7 bed bug monitoring and protection. Heavy-duty and versatile, fits most beds and furniture. Suitable for homes, hotels, hostels, and healthcare facilities. Traps ensure bed bugs can enter but not escape. Includes 8 traps for two beds or furniture items.

How to Install Climb-Up Interceptors

  1. Remove all bedding and thoroughly vacuum your mattress, box spring, and bed frame.
  2. Inspect the bed legs for cracks or crevices where bed bugs may be hiding and seal them if necessary.
  3. Place the climb-up interceptors under each leg of the bed, ensuring they are centered and stable.
  4. Ensure your bed is not touching any walls, furniture, or other objects that bed bugs can use as a bridge.
  5. Regularly check the interceptors for trapped bed bugs and clean them out.

Heat-Based Traps

Heat-based bed bug traps attract and capture these pests, as bed bugs are naturally drawn to warmth. 

These traps typically contain a heat source, such as a heating pad or an infrared light, which lures the bugs into the trap. 

Once inside, the bed bugs become trapped and unable to escape.

The UpsidesThe Downsides
Zaps Bed Bugs DeadNeed the Pros
Cranks up the heat to wipe out bed bugs at every stage, from eggs to grown-ups.You’ll need someone with the know-how and the right gear to do a heat treatment right. Going DIY could end badly.
No Nasty ChemicalsCan Get Pricey
A clean way to deal with bed bugs, without any pesticides. Great for those worried about chemicals at home.Getting a professional heat treatment can hit your wallet harder than other methods, especially for big jobs.
Gets EverywhereWatch Your Stuff
The heat spreads out to treat big spaces and sneaks into cracks and hidey-holes where bed bugs hang out.Some of your things might not play well with the heat and could get damaged. You’ll need to keep an eye on heat-sensitive items.
Finds the Sneaky OnesNot a Forever Fix
Heat can find and fry bed bugs hiding in tough spots like inside walls or deep in your couch.While it’s great at clearing out current critters, heat treatment doesn’t stop new ones from moving in later. You’ll need to stay on guard.

Product Spotlight: DR-122 Bedbug Heater

Dr Infrared Heater Upgraded Version 2-Tier 18 Cubic feet Portable Bedbug Heater with Thermometer and Timer, Black, Big (DR-122)
  • Upgraded and reliable heating system that quickly reaches 120-155F in minutes and effectively treats bed bugs at all life stages
  • Huge treatment area of 38x38x26 inch
  • 2-tire steel rack system that easily fits a variety of items for heat treatment
  • Portable, rugged and collapsible tent allows easy storage after each use
  • Includes Thermometer/timer with alarm

For Best Results…

  • Place heat-based bed bug traps near sleeping areas and other locations where bed bugs will likely congregate.
  • Ensure the heat source is properly maintained and functioning, which is crucial to the trap’s effectiveness.
  • Regularly inspect and clean the traps, removing any trapped bed bugs and debris.

Bed Bug Glue Traps

Glue or sticky traps are designed to attract and trap bed bugs using a sticky adhesive surface. When bed bugs come into contact with the trap, they get stuck and cannot escape. 

The UpsidesThe Downsides
Easy to UseLimited Effectiveness for Widespread Infestations
Simple setup with pre-packaged adhesive surfaces that trap bed bugs on contact.May not be as effective in heavily infested or large-scale areas, best for monitoring rather than eradication.
Non-ToxicNon-Discriminatory Capture
Safe for households as they don’t use chemicals or pesticides, ideal for environments with children, pets, or chemical sensitivities.Can trap a variety of small insects, not just bed bugs, leading to potential false alarms or confusion.
VersatilityReplacement and Maintenance
Can be placed in various locations for monitoring, offering flexibility in detecting bed bug presence and infestation severity.Requires regular check-ups and replacements to maintain effectiveness, which can be maintenance-intensive.
Visual ConfirmationPlacement Challenges
Allows for direct observation of captured bed bugs, aiding in assessing infestation levels and treatment efficacy.Effective placement is crucial; improper positioning can lead to suboptimal capture rates.

Product Spotlight: Trapper Max Bed Bug Glue Trap

Trapper Max Bed Bug Glue Trap (12 Boards)
  • Great non-toxic way of catching rodents and insects.
  • The glue covered surface measures 4.5″X 6.5″ (The whole trap is 5.25″X 7.75″)
  • Can be used as flat or folded and placed where rodent or other target pests activities have been observed.
  • Includes 12 peanut butter scented glue boards
  • Boards are scented

How to Set Up Glue Traps for Bed Bugs

  1. Look for glue traps specifically designed for bed bugs. These traps should have a large surface area and a strong adhesive to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  2. Determine where bed bugs are most likely present, such as near beds, furniture, or along baseboards. Common hiding spots include the seams of mattresses, box springs, and cracks in furniture.
  3. Carefully position the traps where bed bugs are likely to travel or hide. Consider placing traps near bed legs, furniture legs, baseboards, or known pathways of bed bug activity. Ensure the traps are flush against the surface to prevent bed bugs from crawling underneath.
  4. Regularly check the traps for any signs of bed bug activity. Look for live bed bugs, shed skins, fecal stains, or other evidence of their presence. Note the number of bed bugs caught and their location on the trap. This information can help determine the severity of the infestation and guide further control measures.

Bed Bug Traps That Mimic the Human Body

Bed bugs can be quite the pesky invaders, but did you know there are traps designed to outsmart them?

Some innovative bed bug traps are engineered to imitate the allure of a sleeping human.

How? By generating carbon dioxide and heat, these traps mimic our breathing and body warmth, drawing bed bugs into their grasp.

Other CO2-enabled bed bug traps release puffs of CO2 gas combined with specific chemical compounds, further simulating the breathing of a resting person.

It’s a clever way to lure these critters into captivity, wouldn’t you say?

The UpsidesThe Downsides
Really WorksNot the Whole Fix
They’re great at attracting and catching bed bugs because they mimic the warmth and CO2 we give off.They’re good, but won’t get rid of all the bed bugs by themselves. You’ll need to do more to totally clear them out.
Safe and SoundMight Need More Than One
Totally safe for you and your pets, no nasty chemicals.For big spaces, you might need a bunch of these traps to cover everywhere.
Catch ‘Em EarlyBit of Upkeep
Helps you spot a bed bug problem early on, so you can jump on it quick.Some traps need a bit of cleaning or you might have to swap parts out now and then.
Won’t Break the BankCould Add Up Over Time
Way cheaper than calling in the pros to deal with bed bugs.Starting off cheap, but if you keep buying them, the cost can creep up on you.
No Sweat to UseDon’t Get Too Comfy
Super easy to set up and they just do their thing without much fuss.Just because you’re catching some doesn’t mean you’ve solved the problem. Don’t let it make you too chill about it.

If you’re battling a bed bug infestation or just want to stay one step ahead, these human-mimicking traps might be the ingenious solution you’ve been searching for!

DIY Bed Bug Trap Recipes

DIY bed bug traps offer a practical and cost-effective approach to complement professional treatments or as a standalone method for managing these pesky insects. 

This section will explore homemade bed bug trap recipes you can easily create using everyday household items!

Bottle Traps

Bottle traps are simple and practical DIY bed bug traps you can make with everyday household items. 

The UpsidesThe Downsides
Simple and DIY-FriendlyLimited Capture Area
Easy to construct with household items like a disposable water bottle and a lubricated inner surface, appealing to DIY enthusiasts.The design may only cover a small area, potentially making it less effective in capturing bed bugs in high-activity zones.
Cost-EffectiveLack of Attractants
Utilizes inexpensive and commonly available water bottles, offering an affordable solution for bed bug control.Without specific lures like CO2 or heat, these traps might not be as effective in attracting bed bugs compared to other types.
Non-ToxicFragility and Safety Concerns
Free from chemicals and pesticides, offering a safer alternative for environments concerned with chemical exposure.Glass bottles can break easily, presenting safety risks, especially in households with children or pets.
Visual ConfirmationInconvenience and Maintenance
Allows for the direct observation of captured bed bugs, aiding in the assessment of infestation levels and treatment effectiveness.Requires regular checks, cleaning, and possibly replacing to stay effective, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

How to Make Bottle Bed Bug Traps

To make a bottle bed bug trap, you will need the following materials:

  • An empty disposable water bottle
  • Talcum powder or petroleum jelly
  • Bed bug bait (optional)
YouTube User: Jason Sterling
  1. Fill the bottom of the bottle with a thin layer of talcum powder or petroleum jelly.
  2. If desired, add bed bug bait to the bottle, such as a piece of bread or a cotton ball soaked in sugar water.
  3. Place the lid on the bottle and poke several small holes to allow bed bugs to enter.
  4. Place the trap near areas where bed bugs are likely found, such as near beds or couches.
  5. Check the trap regularly, cleaning and replenishing the talcum powder or petroleum jelly as needed.

For Best Results…

  • Place several traps around your home to increase their effectiveness.
  • Consider adding bed bug bait to the trap to lure the bugs in.
  • Use a larger bottle to capture as many bed bugs as possible.

Sugar and Yeast Traps

Sugar and yeast traps for bedbugs use a simple mixture to lure bedbugs by emitting carbon dioxide (CO2), which mimics human breath, a key attractant for these pests.

When sugar ferments with yeast, it produces CO2, attracting bedbugs into the trap, where they can’t escape.

These traps are a DIY, non-toxic option for early detection or minor infestations, offering an affordable and chemical-free method to monitor bedbug presence.

The UpsidesThe Downsides
Cost-EffectiveLimited Effectiveness
Made with inexpensive, readily available ingredients, offering an affordable solution for bed bug control.The fermentation process can create a mess and may attract other pests, potentially worsening sanitation issues.
Easy to MakeMessy and Unsanitary
Simple DIY preparation using household items, accessible to anyone interested in homemade traps.Fermentation can create a mess and attract other pests, potentially worsening sanitation issues.
Non-ToxicShort-Term Effects
Free from chemicals or pesticides, providing a safe option for homes with children, pets, or those preferring chemical-free solutions.Effectiveness diminishes over time due to the natural decline of the fermentation process, necessitating frequent trap replacement.
Attractive to Bed BugsNot a Standalone Solution
The CO2 and scent produced by sugar and yeast mimic human presence, drawing bed bugs toward the trap.Best used as part of a broader bed bug control strategy, alongside other treatments like professional pest control and cleaning measures.
YouTube User: Bed Bug TV

To make a sugar and yeast trap, you will need the following materials:

  • 2-liter plastic bottle
  • Warm water
  • Sugar
  • Yeast

How to Make a Sugar and Yeast Trap

  1. Cut off the top of the plastic bottle and discard it.
  2. In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/4 cup of sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add one packet of yeast to the sugar-water mixture and stir.
  4. Pour the mixture into the bottom half of the plastic bottle.
  5. Invert the top half of the bottle and place it inside the bottom half, creating a funnel shape.
  6. Wrap the outside of the bottle with tape to secure the two halves together.
  7. Place the trap near areas where bed bugs are likely found, such as near beds or couches.
  8. Check the trap regularly, cleaning and replenishing the sugar and yeast mixture as needed.

For Best Results…

  • Keep the trap out of reach of pets and small children, as the solution can be harmful if ingested.
  • Add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture to increase effectiveness.
  • Experiment with different types of bait, such as fruit juice or honey, to see what works best for your situation.

Essential Oil Traps

Lean into nature’s solutions by creating essential oil traps, a straightforward and safe way to ward off bedbugs.

Using the repellent qualities of oils like lavender or tea tree, you can craft a protective barrier that’s both pet-friendly and family-safe. These DIY traps make for an effective line of defense and add a refreshing scent to your living space.

Keep in mind, though, they’re best used as an early warning system and should complement a broader pest management plan for full efficacy.

Some of the most effective essential oils for bed bug control include:

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Tea tree
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citronella
The UpsidesThe Downsides
Non-ToxicShort-Term Effects
Utilizes natural, plant-derived essential oils, making them safe and non-toxic for humans and pets.The scent of essential oils can fade quickly, requiring regular reapplication or refreshing of the traps.
Pleasant AromaVariation in Effectiveness
Offers a more pleasant fragrance compared to other traps, improving the ambiance in affected areas.Effectiveness can vary based on the essential oil type, concentration, and bed bug behavior, leading to inconsistent results.
Easy to MakeNot a Standalone Solution
Can be created with simple ingredients and DIY methods, making them accessible and cost-effective.Should be used as part of a broader bed bug control strategy, alongside professional treatments and other preventive measures.
Potential Repellent Effect
Certain essential oils, like lavender or tea tree, may have repellent properties that deter bed bugs.
YouTube User: Everything Homemade

To make an essential oil bed bug trap, you will need the following materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Essential oils of your choice

How to Make an Essential Oil Bed Bug Trap

  1. Fill a spray bottle with water.
  2. Add 10-15 drops of essential oil to the spray bottle.
  3. Shake the bottle to mix the oil and water.
  4. Spray the solution in areas where bed bugs are likely to be found.
  5. To create a trap, spray the solution on a sticky surface, such as double-sided tape or a glue trap.
  6. Check the trap regularly, cleaning and replenishing the solution as needed.

For Best Results…

  • Always dilute essential oils before use, as they can be harmful if undiluted.
  • Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on larger surfaces.
  • Keep essential oils out of reach of pets and small children, as they can be harmful if ingested.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the top 3 hiding spots for bed bugs?

Bed bugs hide in mattresses, box springs, furniture cracks, upholstery, walls, floors, and electrical outlets. They prefer areas close to humans for easy feeding.

What is a good bait for bed bugs?

Bed bugs are lured into traps by scents and chemicals. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an effective bait as it signals a potential blood meal. CO2-emitting devices increase trap effectiveness. Other chemicals and pheromones are being studied for their attraction and trapping capabilities.

How do you find a bed bug nest?

There are some strategies you can employ to increase your chances of locating a bed bug nest:
Visual Inspection: Carefully inspect areas where bed bugs are known to hide, such as mattresses, box springs, bed frames, furniture, and cracks in walls or floors. Look for signs of bed bug activity, including live bugs, shed skins, fecal stains (dark spots), or small bloodstains.
Follow the Trail: Bed bugs leave behind trails of dark fecal stains and blood spots as they move between their hiding spots and feeding areas. By carefully examining these trails, you may be able to track them back to their nest.
Use a Flashlight: Bed bugs are nocturnal and prefer dark hiding places. Use a bright flashlight to illuminate potential hiding spots, such as crevices, seams, and corners, making spotting any signs of bed bug activity easier.
Canine Detection: Trained bed bug detection dogs can be used to locate bed bug nests. These dogs are highly skilled at sniffing out bed bug odors and can accurately pinpoint the areas of infestation.
Thermal Imaging: Thermal imaging cameras can detect temperature variations caused by bed bug activity. By scanning the area with a thermal camera, you may be able to identify warmer spots that could indicate the presence of a bed bug nest.

What season are bed bugs most active?

Bed bug activity seems to increase during the spring and summer months. Warmer weather can create more favorable conditions for bed bugs to reproduce and feed. Additionally, increased travel and movement during summer vacations can contribute to the spread of bed bugs, as they can stow away in your luggage or other personal belongings.

Do bed bugs stay in rooms that no one sleeps in?

Bed bugs are primarily attracted to areas where humans sleep or spend much time. However, they can still infest and survive in rooms that are not regularly occupied. Bed bugs are opportunistic pests that can adapt to their surroundings and find alternative hiding spots. Bed bugs can establish a presence if a room remains undisturbed and offers suitable hiding places, such as furniture, cracks, or crevices.

How do I make sure bed bugs don’t come back?

To prevent bed bugs from returning, take a comprehensive approach: inspect for signs, wash infested items, vacuum regularly, seal cracks, use encasements, avoid clutter, continue using interceptors, and seek professional help if needed.

Wrapping it Up

Bed bug traps are crucial to a comprehensive bed bug control strategy. Whether you purchase a commercial trap or make your DIY trap, these devices can help you take control of your bed bug problem and get a better night’s sleep.

By understanding the different types of bed bug traps, DIY recipes, and tips for maximizing their effectiveness, you can choose the right trap for your needs and effectively eliminate these pests from your home.

Now go get ’em!



DIY Spotlight