Bed Bug Detection, Monitors, Traps, Attractants, etc.


Crawley, S.E. and J.H. Borden, JH. 2021.  Detection and monitoring of bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae): review of the underlying science, existing products and future prospects. Pest Management Science 77 (12), 5334-5346. DOI 10.1002/ps.6574

Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L. and C. hemipterus (F.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) are hematophagous ectoparasites of humans. Since the resurgence of bed bugs in the late 1990s there has been a corresponding emphasis on development and implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) programs to manage infestations. One critical requirement of IPM is the ability to detect and monitor the target pest. We outline and describe the majority of all known existing devices and technologies developed for bed bug detection and monitoring as well as much of the underlying science. Almost 40 detection and monitoring products have flooded the marketplace, but for various reasons, including price, size, complexity and lack of independent scientific evaluation, they have not been widely adopted for IPM in structures. One product, the ClimbUp® Insect Interceptor, has nine competitors that utilize a similar design. This review also discloses many other technologies and products that are either too expensive or too impractical for use as either consumer or industrial products. We conclude that there is a critical need for inexpensive and effective detection and monitoring traps and lures suitable for widespread adoption by the urban pest control industry.


Cannon, C., S. Stejskal and K.A. Perrault. 2020. The volatile organic compound profile from Cimex lectularius in relation to bed bug detection canines. Forensic Chemistry, 18:1-6.  doi: 10.1016/J.FORC.2020.100214

Cimex lectularius are parasitic insects that feed on blood from a human host and are found in homes, hotels, libraries, and airports. Their behavior makes them difficult to prevent, detect, and/or treat. As well as traps and monitors, bed bug detection canines are routinely used to locate C. lectularius infestations. The role of the bed bug detector canines team has recently expanded as a potential forensic tool due to the ability to isolate human DNA from bed bugs up to three days after taking a blood meal. The effectiveness of the detector canine is in part dependent on access to target odor and for handlers understanding how to maximize target odor exposure. Little is known about the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by C. lectularius. In this study, different stages of C. lectularius were analyzed, including eggs, live adults, eggs and live adults combined, dead adults, and shed casings. VOC sampling using headspace solid-phase microextraction arrow (SPME Arrow) was performed and samples were analyzed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The samples each had varying VOC profiles. Live and dead adult samples gave diverging profiles, providing a foundation for the success of bed bug detection canines in live targets. All samples containing eggs had the most dissimilar VOC profile. A slight increase in total VOCs was observed with increased insects present, but only after removal of volatile pheromone components. The identification of VOCs emitted by C. lectularius may help as scientific foundation to guide the development of detection canine training and certification.

Ko, A. and D.H. Choe. 2020. Development of a lateral flow test for bed bug detection. Scientific Reports. 10: 13376. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-70200-0

Lateral flow strip tests are a cost-effective method for detecting specific proteins in biological samples, which can be performed in the field without specialized expertise. While most recognizable in the pregnancy tests, there are many other applications for lateral flow strip technology. The pest control industry has increasingly emphasized the importance of pest monitoring to reduce unnecessary applications, focus interventions into locations with active pest infestations, and to develop records of pest infestation. Due to their cryptic behavior, the detection of bed bugs often necessitates labor-intensive, time-consuming and invasive visual inspections. A lateral flow strip test for the detection of bed bugs would represent a novel use for a well-established technology, which can enable pest control operators to rapidly confirm the presence or absence of bed bugs in a room. In the current report, we present an effort to develop and calibrate the lateral flow test devices for the detection of a bed bug specific protein. A variety of bed bug residue samples were prepared by varying several parameters: bed bug infestation level (1 bed bug/3 bed bugs), surface type (wood/fabric), feeding status (fed/unfed), and bed bug time-on-surface (1 d/7 d). Using a prototype sensor and test strip, we examined how these variables influenced the detection of the bed bug specific proteins in the sample and to what degree. We discuss how this lateral flow test device can be an effective tool to determine the presence or absence of bed bug proteins on a surface, providing highly credible evidence on bed bug infestations.


Anderson, J. F., F. J. Ferrandino, M. P. Vasil, R. H. Bedoukian, M. Maher, and K. Mckenzie2017. Relatively small quantities of CO2, ammonium bicarbonate, and a blend of (E)-2-hexenal plus (E)-2-octenal attract bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology. 54(2): 362–367. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjw189

“Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L., feed on humans, have increased exponentially in the past two decades in many major cities throughout the world, have caused intense infestations, and have become a significant health concern. Improved traps are needed to detect early infestations, to assess control programs, and for control of bed bugs. Carbon dioxide released alone or simultaneously with other attractants into three types of traps at the relatively low rate of 1 ml/min caught significantly more bed bugs than untreated controls in a 183- by 183-cm arena. This finding may enable CO2 to be used more economically in traps. Three percent ammonium bicarbonate released at a rate of ≤0.03 ml/h also caught significantly more bed bugs than untreated controls. A blend of (E)-2-hexenal and (E)-2-octenal at concentrations of 0.025% or 0.1% each and released at 0.02 ml/h attracted significantly more bed bugs than untreated controls. These findings ought to improve detection of bed bugs.”

Masini, P., S. Zampetti, I. Moretta, L. Bianchi, G. Miñón Llera, F. Biancolini, and L. Stingeni2017. Bed bug dermatitis: detection dog as a useful survey tool for environmental research of Cimex lectularius. International Journal of Dermatology. 44(9): 1078-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.02.013

Letter to the Editor. “…[C]anine olfactory inspection allows accurate detection of bed bug infestation suggesting appropriate disinfestation measures and thus providing the dermatologic community with a reliable method to solve the skin lesions.”

Vail, K. M., and J. G. Chandler2017. Bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) detection in low-income, high-rise apartments using four or fewer passive monitors. Journal of Economic Entomology. 110(3): 1187–1194. doi: 10.1093/jee/tox053

“Bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., management in low-income, high-rise housing for the elderly and disabled can be difficult. Early detection is key to slowing their spread, and reducing management cost and time needed for control. To determine the minimum number of passive monitors needed to detect low-level bed bug infestations in this environment, we evaluated three monitors placed one, two, or four per apartment in a 3 by 3 experimental design. One sticky monitor, The Bedbug Detection System, and the two pitfall monitors, ClimbUp Insect Interceptors BG and BlackOut BedBug Detectors, were evaluated. Bed bugs were trapped by the ClimbUp Insect Interceptors BG and the BlackOut BedBug Detector in 88% and 79% of apartments, respectively, but only in 39% of the apartments monitored with The Bedbug Detection System. The Bedbug Detection System required significantly longer time to detect bed bugs than either the ClimbUp Insect Interceptor BG or the BlackOut BedBug Detector. With the less effective Bedbug Detection System data removed from analyses, detection rates ranged from 80 to 90%, with no significant differences among one, two, or four monitors per apartment. Results indicate it is especially important to include a bed placement when only placing a few monitors. Future work should compare the combination of cursory visual inspections with various monitor numbers and placements per apartment to determine the most efficient, cost-effective system that will be accepted and implemented in low-income housing.”


Cooper, R., C. Wang, and N. Singh2016. Effects of various interventions, including mass trapping with passive pitfall traps, on low-level bed bug populations in apartments. Journal of Economic Entomology. 109(2): 762–769. doi: 10.1093/jee/tov337

“Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of various interventions on low-level bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., populations in occupied apartments. The first experiment was conducted in occupied apartments under three intervention conditions: never treated (Group I), recently treated with no further treatment (Group II), and recently treated with continued treatment (Group III). Each apartment was monitored with pitfall-style traps (interceptors) installed at beds and upholstered furniture (sleeping and resting areas) along with ∼18 additional interceptors throughout the apartment. The traps were inspected every 2 wk. After 22 wk, bed bugs had been eliminated (zero trap catch for eight consecutive weeks and none detected in visual inspections) in 96, 87, and 100% of the apartments in Groups I, II, and III, respectively. The second experiment investigated the impact of interceptors as a control measure in apartments with low-level infestations. In the treatment group, interceptors were continuously installed at and away from sleeping and resting areas and were inspected every 2 wk for 16 wk. In the control group, interceptors were placed in a similar fashion as the treatment group but were only placed during 6–8 and 14–16 wk to obtain bed bug counts. Bed bug counts were significantly lower at 8 wk in the treatment group than in the control group. At 16 wk, bed bugs were eliminated in 50% of the apartments in the treatment group. The implications of our results in the development of bed bug management strategies and monitoring protocols are discussed.”

Gordon, N., L. O’Shaughnessy,D. Fitzpatrick, S. Doyle, and B. Mitchell. 2016. A two pronged approach to the detection of Cimex lectularius (common bed bug) using novel bed bug proteins. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 137(2). doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2015.12.105

“The exponential increase of Cimex lectularius (common bed bug) infestations in households, schools and businesses has resulted in major problems for home owners and the hospitality industry. The development of immunoassays to identify the presence and extent of the infestation has been made possible by the production of monoclonal antibodies to two major proteins.”

Sheele, J. M., N. Mallipeddi, K. Coppolino, M. Chetverikova, S. Mothkur, and C. Caiola2016. FMC Verifi traps are not effective for quantifying the burden of bed bugs in an emergency department. American Journal of Infection Control. 44(9): 1078–1080. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.02.013

Letter to the Editor. “Bed bugs are a growing problem in EDs, and there is currently no way to identify patients with bed bugs before entering an ED treatment room. FMC Verifi traps placed outside patient rooms do not appear to be an effective strategy to monitor the number of bed bugs in the ED.”


BeRenger, J.-M., L. Almeras, H. Leulmi, and P. Parola2015. A high-performance vacuum cleaner for bed bug sampling: a useful tool for medical entomology. Journal of Medical Entomology. 52: 513–515. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv019

“Arthropods can be captured by two modes: a passive mode using traps or an active mode mainly based on the use of mouth or powered aspirators. These apparatuses are useful tools for collecting large numbers of crawling, flying, resting, or jumping arthropod specimens, particularly small specimens, such as mosquitoes or sandflies, for laboratory experiments or breeding. Different aspirator models are used to collect various arthropod specimens. However, to our knowledge, no specific system is currently available for the reliable sampling of live bed bugs in the field. Thus, we described a new system based on a classic autonomous house aspirator that requires few modifications for the collecting bed bugs. The low weight and size of this apparatus is advantageous, and it provides for rapid and secure bed bug sampling for medical entomology purposes.”

Singh, N., C. Wang, and R. Cooper. 2015. Effectiveness of a sugar-yeast monitor and a chemical lure for detecting bed bugs. Journal of Economic Entomology. 108(3):1298-1303. doi: 10.1093/jee/tov061.

“Effective bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) monitors have been actively sought in the past few years to help detect bed bugs and measure the effectiveness of treatments. Most of the available active monitors are either expensive or ineffective. We designed a simple and affordable active bed bug monitor that uses sugar-yeast fermentation and an experimental chemical lure to detect bed bugs. The sugar-yeast mixture released carbon dioxide at a similar rate (average 405.1 ml/min) as dry ice (average 397.0 ml/min) during the first 8 h after activation. In naturally infested apartments, the sugar-yeast monitor containing an experimental chemical lure (nonanal, L-lactic acid, 1-octen-3-ol, and spearmint oil) was equally effective as the dry ice monitor containing the same lure in trapping bed bugs. Placing one sugar-yeast monitor per apartment for 1-d was equally effective as 11-d placement of 6-18 Climbup insect interceptors (a commonly used bed bug monitor) under furniture legs for trapping bed bugs. When carbon dioxide was present, pair-wise comparisons showed the experimental lure increased trap catch by 7.2 times. This sugar-yeast monitor with a chemical lure is an affordable and effective tool for monitoring bed bugs. This monitor is especially useful for monitoring bed bugs where a human host is not present.”


Cooper, R., C. Wang, and N. Singh. 2014. Accuracy of trained canines for detecting bed bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(6): 2171-2181. doi: 10.1603/EC14195

“Detection of low-level bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), infestations is essential for early intervention, confirming eradication of infestations, and reducing the spread of bed bugs. Despite the importance of detection, few effective tools and methods exist for detecting low numbers of bed bugs. Scent dogs were developed as a tool for detecting bed bugs in recent years. However, there are no data demonstrating the reliability of trained canines under natural field conditions. We evaluated the accuracy of 11 canine detection teams in naturally infested apartments. All handlers believed their dogs could detect infestations at a very high rate (≥95%). In three separate experiments, the mean (min, max) detection rate was 44 (10-100)% and mean false-positive rate was 15 (0-57)%. The false-positive rate was positively correlated with the detection rate. The probability of a bed bug infestation being detected by trained canines was not associated with the level of bed bug infestations. Four canine detection teams evaluated on multiple days were inconsistent in their ability to detect bed bugs and exhibited significant variance in accuracy of detection between inspections on different days. There was no significant relationship between the team’s experience or certification status of teams and the detection rates. These data suggest that more research is needed to understand factors affecting the accuracy of canine teams for bed bug detection in naturally infested apartments.”


Singh, N., C. Wang, and R. Cooper. 2013. Effect of trap design, chemical lure, carbon dioxide release rate, and source of carbon dioxide on efficacy of bed bug monitors. Journal of Economic Entomology. 106(4):1802-1811. doi: 10.1603/EC13075

“Bed bugs, (Cimex lectularius L.), are difficult to find because of their nocturnal and secretive behavior. In recent years, a number of monitors containing carbon dioxide (CO2), chemical lures, heat, or both, to attract bed bugs have been developed for detecting bed bugs. Ineffective trap design, lack of attraction of chemical lures, high cost of the CO2 delivery system, or insufficient CO release rates are some factors that limited the wide adoption of these monitors. To develop an affordable and effective monitor, we conducted a series of laboratory and field tests. Specifically, we tested a new pitfall trap design, a chemical lure mixture, different CO2 release rates, and a sugar and yeast mixture as CO2 source. Results show the new pitfall trap design was significantly more effective than Climbup insect interceptor, the most effective passive monitor available in the market for bed bugs. The experimental chemical lure mixture increased Climbup insect interceptor catch by 2.2 times. Results exhibit a distinct positive relationship between the CO2 release rates and bed bug trap catches. There were no significant differences between CO2 derived from cylinders and CO2 generated from sugar and yeast mixture in their attractiveness to bed bugs. The findings suggest an effective and affordable monitor can be made incorporating the new pitfall trap design, a sugar and yeast mixture, and a chemical lure.”

Vaidyanathan, R., M. F.  Feldlaufer. 2013. Bed bug detection: current technologies and future directions. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 88(4):619-625. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0493.

“Technologies to detect bed bugs have not kept pace with their global resurgence. Early detection is critical to prevent infestations from spreading. Detection based exclusively on bites is inadequate, because reactions to insect bites are non-specific and often misdiagnosed. Visual inspections are commonly used and depend on identifying live bugs, exuviae (shed skins), or fecal droplets. Visual inspections are inexpensive, but they are time-consuming and unreliable when only a few bugs are present. Use of a dog to detect bed bugs is gaining in popularity, but it can be expensive, may unintentionally advertise a bed bug problem, and is not foolproof. Passive monitors mimic natural harborages; they are discreet and typically use an adhesive to trap bugs. Active monitors generate carbon dioxide, heat, a pheromone, or a combination to attract bed bugs to a trap. New technologies using DNA analysis, mass spectrometry, and electronic noses are innovative but impractical and expensive for widespread use.”


Dean, I., and M. T. Siva-Jothy2012. Human fine body hair enhances ectoparasite detection. Biology Letters. 8: 358–361. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0987.

“Human fine body hair may have a defensive function against bed bugs and other external parasites.  It takes the insect longer to find a good feeding site and thereby provides additional time for humans to locate the bed bug.”

Eom, I.-Y., S. Risticevic, and J. Pawliszyn2012. Simultaneous sampling and analysis of indoor air infested with Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) by solid phase microextraction, thin film microextraction and needle trap device. Analytica Chimica Acta. 716: 2–10. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2011.06.010

“Air in a room infested by Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) was sampled simultaneously by three different sampling devices including solid phase microextraction (SPME) fiber coatings, thin film microextraction (TFME) devices, and needle trap devices (NTDs) and then analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The main focus of this study was to fully characterize indoor air by identifying compounds extracted by three different microextraction formats and, therefore, perform both the device comparison and more complete characterization of C. lectularius pheromone. The NTD technique was capable of extracting both (E)-2-hexenal and (E)-2-octenal, which were previously identified as alarm pheromones of bedbugs, and superior NTD recoveries for these two components allowed reliable identification based on mass spectral library searching and linear temperature programmed retention index (LTPRI) technique. While the use of DVB/CAR/PDMS SPME fiber coatings provided complementary sample fingerprinting and profiling results, TFME sampling devices provided discriminative extraction coverage toward highly volatile analytes. In addition to two alarm pheromones, relative abundances of all other analytes were recorded for all three devices and aligned across all examined samples, namely, highly infested area, less infested area, and control samples which were characterized by different bedbug populations. The results presented in the current study illustrate comprehensive characterization of infested indoor air samples through the use of three different non-invasive SPME formats and identification of novel components comprising C. lectularius pheromone, therefore, promising future alternatives for use of potential synthetic pheromones for detection of infestations.”

Singh, N., C. Wang, R. Cooper, and C. Liu2012. Interactions among carbon dioxide, heat, and chemical lures in attracting the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae). Psyche: A Journal of Entomology. doi: 10.1155/2012/273613

“Commercial bed bug (Cimex lectularius L.) monitors incorporating carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, and chemical lures are being used for detecting bed bugs; however, there are few reported studies on the effectiveness of chemical lures in bed bug monitors and the interactions among chemical lure, CO2, and heat. We screened 12 chemicals for their attraction to bed bugs and evaluated interactions among chemical lures, CO2, and heat. The chemical lure mixture consisting of nonanal, 1-octen-3-ol, spearmint oil, and coriander Egyptian oil was found to be most attractive to bed bugs and significantly increased the trap catches in laboratory bioassays. Adding this chemical lure mixture when CO2 was present increased the trap catches compared with traps baited with CO2 alone, whereas adding heat did not significantly increase trap catches when CO2 was present. Results suggest a combination of chemical lure and CO2 is essential for designing effective bed bug monitors.”


Wang, C., W.T. Tsai, R. Cooper, and J. White2011. Effectiveness of bed bug monitors for detecting and trapping bed bugs in apartments. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104(1): 274–278. doi: 10.1603/EC10141

“Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius L., are now considered a serious urban pest in the United States. Because they are small and difficult to find, there has been strong interest in developing and using monitoring tools to detect bed bugs and evaluate the results of bed bug control efforts. Several bed bug monitoring devices were developed recently, but their effectiveness is unknown. We comparatively evaluated three active monitors that contain attractants: CDC3000, NightWatch, and a home-made dry ice trap. The Climbup Insect Interceptor, a passive monitor (without attractants), was used for estimating the bed bug numbers before and after placing active monitors. The results of the Interceptors also were compared with the results of the active monitors. In occupied apartments, the relative effectiveness of the active monitors was: dry ice trap>CDC3000>NightWatch. In lightly infested apartments, the Interceptor (operated for 7 d) trapped similar number of bed bugs as the dry ice trap (operated for 1 d) and trapped more bed bugs than CDC3000 and NightWatch (operated for 1 d).The Interceptor was also more effective than visual inspections in detecting the presence of small numbers of bed bugs. CDC3000 and the dry ice trap operated for 1 d were equally as effective as the visual inspections for detecting very low level of infestations, whereas 1-d deployment of NightWatch detected significantly lower number of infestations compared with visual inspections. NightWatch was designed to be able to operate for several consecutive nights. When operated for four nights, NightWatch trapped similar number of bed bugs as the Interceptors operated for10 d after deployment of NightWatch. We conclude these monitors are effective tools in detecting early bed bug infestations and evaluating the results of bed bug control programs.”

Weeks, E. N., M. A. Birkett, M. M. Cameron, J. A. Pickett, and J. G. Logan2011. Semiochemicals of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), and their potential for use in monitoring and control. Pest Management Science. 67(1): 10–20. doi: 10.1002/ps.2024

“The recent resurgence of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., has driven an increase in research into the biology and behaviour of this pest. Current control is reliant on the application of insecticides, but, owing to the development of insecticide resistance, there is a need for new tools and techniques. Semiochemicals (behaviour- and physiology-modifying chemicals) could be exploited for management of bed bugs. The aim of this review was to evaluate studies undertaken in bed bug chemical ecology to date, with particular reference to how the research could be exploited for monitoring and control. Bed bugs, like many other insects, have a complex olfactory system. Recent studies have characterised the olfactory sensilla, located on the terminal segment of the antennae, to functional classes by electrophysiological screening. Behavioural studies have revealed the presence of an alarm pheromone and potential airborne aggregation semiochemicals, but it is not yet understood if bed bugs use a sex pheromone during mating. Host location cues have been investigated, and carbon dioxide has been found to be highly attractive both in laboratory and in field studies. Recent field trials have tested blends of other potential kairomones, which have been shown to have an additive effect when used in a heated bed bug trap with carbon dioxide. The trap, which combines heat and kairomones, is the only trap currently available with proven efficacy in the field. In order for semiochemicals to be useful for bed bug management, an increased knowledge and understanding of the biology, behaviour and chemical ecology of this insect is essential.”


Mankin, R. W., R. D. Hodges, C. Schal, R. M. Pereira, and P. G. Koehler2010. Acoustic indicators for targeted detection of stored product and urban insect pests by inexpensive infrared, acoustic, and vibrational detection of movement. Journal of Economic Entomology. 103(5): 1636–1646. doi: 10.1603/EC10126

“Crawling and scraping activity of three stored-product pests, Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), and Stegobium paniceum (L.) (Coleoptera: Anobiidae), and two urban pests, Blattella germanica (L.) (Blattodea: Blattellidae) and Cimex lectularius L. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), were monitored individually by infrared sensors, microphones, and a piezoelectric sensor in a small arena to evaluate effects of insect locomotory behavior and size on the ability of an inexpensively constructed instrument to detect insects and distinguish among different species. Adults of all species could be detected when crawling or scraping. The smallest insects in the study, first-fourth-instar C. lectularius nymphs, could not be detected easily when crawling, but could be detected when scraping. Sound and vibration sensors detected brief, 3-10-ms impulses from all tested species, often grouped in distinctive trains (bursts), typical of impulses in previous acoustic detection experiments. To consider the potential for targeting or focusing detection on particular species of interest, indicators were developed to assess the likelihood of detection of C. lectularius. Statistically significant differences were found between C. lectularius and other species in distributions of three measured variables: infrared signal durations, sound impulse-burst durations, and sound pressure levels (energy) of impulses that best matched an averaged spectrum (profile) of scraping behavior. Thus, there is potential that signals collected by an inexpensive, polymodal-sensor instrument could be used in automated trapping systems to detect a targeted species, 0.1 mg or larger, in environments where servicing of traps is difficult or when timeliness of trapping information is important.”


Wang, C., T. Gibb, G. W. Bennett, and S. McKnight2009. Bed bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae) attraction to pitfall traps baited with carbon dioxide, heat, and chemical lure. Journal of Economic Entomology. 102: 1580–1585. doi: 10.1603/029.102.0423

“Carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, and chemical lure (1-octen-3-ol and L-lactic acid) were tested as attractants for bed bugs, Cimex lectulariusL. (Heteroptera: Cimicidae), by using pitfall traps. Both CO2 and heat were attractive to bed bugs. CO2 was significantly more attractive to bed bugs than heat. Traps baited with chemical lure attracted more bed bugs but at a statistically nonsignificant level. In small arena studies (56 by 44 cm), pitfall traps baited with CO2 or heat trapped 79.8 ± 6.7 and 51.6 ± 0.9% (mean ± SEM) of the bed bugs after 6 h, respectively. Traps baited with CO2 + heat, CO2 + chemical lure, or CO2 + heat + chemical lure captured ≥ 86.7% of the bed bugs after 6 h, indicating baited pitfall traps were highly effective in attracting and capturing bed bugs from a short distance. In 3.1- by 1.8-m environmental chambers, a pitfall trap baited with CO2 + heat + chemical lure trapped 57.3 ± 6.4% of the bed bugs overnight. The pitfall trap was further tested in four bed bug-infested apartments to determine its efficacy in detecting light bed bug infestations. Visual inspections found an average of 12.0 ± 5.4 bed bugs per apartment. The bed bugs that were found by visual inspections were hand-removed during inspections. A pitfall trap baited with CO2 and chemical lure was subsequently placed in each apartment with an average of 15.0 ± 6.4 bed bugs collected per trap by the next morning. We conclude that baited pitfall traps are potentially effective tools for evaluating bed bug control programs and detecting early bed bug infestations.”


Pfiester, M., P. G. Koehler, and R. M. Pereira. 2008. Ability of bed bug-detecting canines to locate live bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs. Journal of Economic Entomology. 101(4): 1389-1396.

“The bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., like other bed bug species, is difficult to visually locate because it is cryptic. Detector dogs are useful for locating bed bugs because they use olfaction rather than vision. Dogs were trained to detect the bed bug (as few as one adult male or female) and viable bed bug eggs (five, collected 5–6 d after feeding) by using a modified food and verbal reward system. Their efficacy was tested with bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs placed in vented polyvinyl chloride containers. Dogs were able to discriminate bed bugs from Camponotus floridanus Buckley, Blattella germanica (L.), and Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), with a 97.5% positive indication rate (correct indication of bed bugs when present) and 0% false positives (incorrect indication of bed bugs when not present). Dogs also were able to discriminate live bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs from dead bed bugs, cast skins, and feces, with a 95% positive indication rate and a 3% false positive rate on bed bug feces. In a controlled experiment in hotel rooms, dogs were 98% accurate in locating live bed bugs. A pseudoscent prepared from pentane extraction of bed bugs was recognized by trained dogs as bed bug scent (100% indication). The pseudoscent could be used to facilitate detector dog training and quality assurance programs. If trained properly, dogs can be used effectively to locate live bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs.”