How to Make a Bed Bug Trap

Pesticides, bug bombs, or sprays don’t get rid of bed bugs. These four easy steps to making a homemade bed bug trap are from a University of Florida entomology professor – and the good news is that this trap for bed bugs costs less than $1 to make.

The bad news is that if you have a three bedroom home, you need to make about 50 bed bug traps and put them all over the house! While I admire people who make bed bug traps at home, I wouldn’t have the patience to make 50 bed bug traps – unless I needed a project to do with my Little Sister or husband.

Me, I’d buy an  Insect Trap for Bed Bugs, Spiders, Cockroaches. One package contains 90 traps, and they’re small and unobtrusive. The homemade bed bug trap is a bit big and not too pretty – but if you turn this into a project with your kids, you could make the bed bug traps colorful and creative.

Bed bug traps are more effective than pesticides

According to the University of Florida entomology researchers, many people use incorrect methods to get rid of bed bugs. Don’t use flammable liquids, mothballs, pesticides for treating mattresses, or bed bug bombs. This trap might be your best bet for getting rid of bed bugs – especially if you don’t want to hire a pest control company to spray or fog your bedroom.

Some researchers and entomologists say bed bugs are becoming more resistant to pesticides, exacerbating what is also an expensive problem. Bed bug treatments can run $3,000 for a single-family home or $1,200 for a low-income apartment – something many people can’t afford.

The “Easy” Way to Trap Bed Bugs

Entomologists at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have devised a bed bug trap that can be built with household items.

Materials for a Bed Bug Trap

For a homemade bed bug trap, you need four things (which you probably already have at home):

  • Two disposable plastic containers
  • Masking tape
  • Glue

The bed bug trap collects the critters when they try to travel between people and the places where bedbugs hide. This concept of trapping bed bugs works for places where people sleep and need to be protected, without spraying toxic chemicals on your bedding and mattresses.

The traps rely on the bed bugs’ poor ability to climb on smooth surfaces. The traps have rough areas to let bed bugs enter easily, and a smooth-surfaced moat that keeps them from escaping.

4 Steps to Making a Trap for Bed Bugs

homemade bed bug trap

How to Make a Bed Bug Trap

1. Cut four pieces of rough-surfaced tape. Each piece should be at least as long as the wall of smaller container is tall.

2. Evenly space and firmly press the four pieces of tape vertically on the inside surface of the smaller container. The tape allows the bugs to escape the small container easily and fall into the space between the small and the large container wall, where they are trapped.

3. Wrap tape around the exterior of the larger container from the base to its upper edge so the bed bugs can enter the trap easily.

4. Glue the smaller container onto the center of the bottom of the larger container.

The bed bug trap works best if you apply talc, including baby powder, to the space between the small and large container walls to make it harder for the bugs to escape.

If the following four steps on how to make a bed bug trap don’t make sense to you (they don’t to me!), go to the University of Florida’s article on how to make a bed bug trap. They have an awesome step-by-step video.

How to determine how many bed bug traps you need

The number of traps needed for your house depends on the number of bedroom or places people sleep. These researchers estimate that you’d need about 50 traps for a typical three-bedroom home. You’d need one bed bug trap under each leg of furniture – including chairs, sofas and beds.

According to the bed bug researcher, this trap is foolproof and effective. You can’t mess it up to the point that you’d hurt anything. This homemade bed bug trap has even been called a stunningly easy solution for a vexing national problem.

Because more people tend to travel and relocate during the summer, it’s possible they unknowingly bring bed bugs home or discover them soon after moving, according to the National Pest Management Association. Nearly half of bed bug infestations occur in the summer. That’s why the researchers made this bed bug trap – to help people get rid of the summertime infestations.

If you aren’t sure if you have bed bugs, read 4 Signs of Bed Bugs. When you decide you have bed bugs, you might call a pest-control company or the property manager if you’re renting. They may have different tips on making bed bug traps – or perhaps they have pre-made ones that don’t cost much money.

What say you about making a bed bug trap?

The only reason I’m not big on homemade bed bug traps is because I don’t enjoy crafty things or home-based projects. Plus, I wouldn’t have enough plastic containers to make 50 or even 10 traps – I don’t save anything! But if I had lots of bed bugs and no money, I would make my own traps.

Source: The bed bug trap is the brainchild of Phil Koehler, an urban entomology professor; Benjamin Hottel, an entomology doctoral student; Rebecca Baldwin, assistant urban entomology professor; and Roberto Pereira, an associate research scientist in the UF entomology and nematology department. “A better bed bug trap: Made from household items for about $1″ on the University of Florida website.