East Coast urbanites — especially those in New York City — are all too familiar with seeing warning labels on curbed furniture and wrapped mattresses to know that the scourge of bed bugs is never to be underestimated.
Helping fight the good fight against these tiny, blood-sucking parasites are three researchers from the Rutgers University Department of Entomology who say they’ve designed a new pitfall trap that catches more bed begs than other traps currently available on the market.
Narinderpal Singh, Changlu Wang, and Richard Cooper published their findings in s new article in the Journal of Economic Entomology and found that their trap caught more than two-fold the amount of bed bugs than the Climbup insect interceptor trap, which the authors cite as the best monitor on the market. The researchers baited their pitfall trap with spearmint oil and Egyptian coriander oil, as opposed to talc, which the Climbup insect interceptor uses as bait. Additionally, carbon dioxide — known to attract bed bugs — was employed, using CO2 cylinders and sugar and yeast, which is cheap to produce.
The new pitfall trap consists of a plastic dog bowl that’s been inverted, with the outer wall covered with a layer of dyed-black surgical tape. The researchers contend that higher walls make their trap more effective than the interceptor trap because it’s harder for bugs to escape.
While these traps don’t necessarily kill bed bugs — thus they’re frequently referred to as “monitors” — they are intended to serve as pro-active, early detection devices. If bed begs start showing up in the traps, it’s time to call in the big guns: pest control exterminators. Speaking of which, if you’re wondering what the war against bed bugs is like, here’s a dispatch from the front lines, courtesy of the Gothamist.