A team of inventors at the University of Florida (UF) have developed a useful trap. Costing about one dollar, the better bedbug trap uses items that are commonly found around the house. Whether the pests’ presence is suspected or known, this effective trap is easy to make but requires that it be protected wherever it is placed.
Bedbugs are bloodsucking parasites that tend to live in mattresses and other types of porous fabrics. Oftentimes, people do not know that they have an infestation because the bites are mistaken for other type of bug bites or even rashes.
An urban entomology professor at UF, Phil Koehler, says that all the materials needed are throw-away plastic containers of differing sizes (2), glue, masking tape and baby powder. The containers should be a small deli container and a larger sandwich sized one. A carefully placed and protected trap will capture and collect the tiny parasites as they move between their hiding spots and the people off of whom they feed.
The traps can be made in five steps. Even though step 5 is optional, the trap will work better if the step is done. For step 1, four pieces of the masking tape are cut. Their size should be as long as the height of the smaller container.
Step 2 involves evenly spacing those pieces of tape vertically on the inside of the smaller container. The bedbugs are able to climb the porous masking tape, but then they will fall into the space created in step 4. In step 3, the larger container is wrapped from bottom to top in masking tape. Again, the bedbugs are able to climb the surface of the masking tape, thereby making their entrance into the trap easy.
Step 4 requires the small container to be glued into the bottom of the larger container. Try to put it in the center. Step 5, as has been said, is optional. However, pouring baby powder, or talc, into the space between the container walls adds difficulty to the bedbugs escape from the trap. Koehler recommends making about 50 traps for a three-bedroom house. A trap should be placed under every leg of every bed, couch and chair in the house. Once full, put the large lid on the trap. The bedbugs will starve to death.
Koehler said that a lot of people utilize the wrong methods in treating a bedbug infestation. He advises against the use of bug bombs, pesticides, flammable liquids and mothballs. Sometimes these types of methods have led to even bigger problems than bedbugs.
Koehler stands by his effective and foolproof version that is not only cost effective, but free of pesticides. This is important because many entomologists warn that bedbugs are becoming pesticide-resistant. In addition, those treatments with pesticides can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000.
Nationwide, bedbugs are a pesky problem. In a survey done by the National Pest Management Association in April 2013, 99.6 percent of pest management professionals had dealt with at least one bedbug infestation in the prior 12 months. Infestations tend to occur during the summer months. According to the pest management group, this is partially due to the amount of traveling and relocating that people do in the summertime.
Koehler’s $1 better bedbug trap seems like an all-too simple solution to such a huge problem. When dealing with bedbugs, however, simplicity works. Plus, anyone can make these traps successfully without any harm done. He said, “It’s really hard to mess this up to the point that you’d hurt anything.”
by Stacy Lamy