Detecting bed bugs is a difficult task to master. Even professionals must put in countless hours before they can accurately determine whether or not the pests are present in a home. However, homeowners have numerous methods at their disposal to stay vigilant about bed bugs on their own. One trendy device is the do-it-yourself (DIY) bed bug detector, about which National Geographic recently wrote a feature article.
Several researches at New Jersey’s Rutgers University devised a device to trap (but not kill) bed bugs last year. Narinderpal Singh, Changlu Wang, and Richard Cooper concocted a device which may alert homeowners of bed bug presence in the early stages of an infestation. Early detection is critical, as extermination is both easier and less expensive before the bed bug presence has multiplied out of control.
The device is made of common household ingredients. The researchers filled a coffee cup with ten tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of yeast, and one and a half quarts of water. They then placed the cup in the middle of an upturned dog food bowl.
As bed bug presence has increased steadily worldwide, the market for solutions to infestations has grown. Scientists have developed a wide variety of potential treatment methods, including a bizarre form of synthetic bean leaves which may impale the bugs’ feet! But the Rutgers researchers’ methods seem to hold up well as a detection aid.
Professional exterminators aside, humans are relatively slow to detect bed bugs’ arrival in their homes. “By the time people see the bugs, they’re already in their thousands,” Singh explained. Singh’s version of the dog food bowl trap is covered in surgical tape dyed black. Bed bugs are known to be drawn toward black hues, and like climbing vertical surfaces. Thus the bowl lined with black tape is a natural measure to exploit these bed bug tendencies.
There are further ways to soup up DIY bed bug detectors. Scent is a missing component of the original recipe—adding pungent odors can help attract bed bugs into the traps. National Geographic recommends baiting them with a mix of spearmint oil, coriander Egyptian oil, nonanal, and 1-octen-3-ol. For various reasons, researchers have found that these particular ingredients are effective at attracting bed bugs into traps. For those with limited access to these ingredients, sugar, yeast, and water will do nicely.
Of course, detection is less than half of the battle. You must exterminate these pests and prevent them from getting back in. Bed Bug Solutions has a team of humans, canines, and equipment ready to tame any bed bug uprising!