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Bed Bug Traps: Which Color Should I Buy?

Study Shows that Bed Bugs have a Color Preference!

Bed bugs prefer to feed at night, so while you are sleeping they will be moving around. One way of catching them is to use the pitfall type of bed bug traps that go under your bed posts. You might need to catch one for proof to show to your landlord. In NYC, if the building has 3 or more units than it is the landlord’s responsibility to eradicate the bed bugs. You can read all about the laws in NYC regarding bed bugs here.

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Pitfall type of bed bug traps are the most common bed bug monitors and they are sold all over. People use them to monitor bed bug activity. These traps will not wipe out the bed bug population in your home but rather catch a few. This will allow you to know for sure whether or not you have them, especially if you are among those that have no reaction to their bites. Did you know that 20-30% of people don’t react to bed bugs? There was a comprehensive study done in 2009 that surveyed 474 individuals with known bed bug infestations. The study found that 30% of those surveyed did not have any skin reactions. The study also found that more people over the age of 65 reported -no bites.

So using a few different types of monitor type bed bug traps are important, for those people who don’t show a skin reaction. There will not be any itchy red marks to clue you into the possibility of bed bugs being present. Knowing that bed bugs have a colour preference can help you when choosing a bed bug trap or monitor.

Bed Bug Traps: Get the Darker Colored Ones!

The ClimbUp/pitfall traps resemble bowls with tall walls that the bed bugs fall into and can’t get out. The bed bug traps can be put under a bed or couch post. If you find a bed bug in the outer ring of the bed bug trap then you know it came from the room towards the bed. If you find one in the inner ring then it came from the bed towards the floor. 

Most people use the white interceptor traps designed as a pitfall type of bed bug trap. After reading this study you will definitely want to go with the black traps. ”Bed bugs may use a combination of vision, mechanoreception, and chemoreception to locate hosts and seek harborages.” Citation: Singh N, Wang C, Cooper R (2015) Role of Vision and Mechanoreception in Bed BugCimex lectularius L. Behavior. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0118855. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118855

This scientific study shows that bed bugs prefer the colours black and red over white and yellow. The study used the ClimbUp interceptor traps to create a few different harborage areas that were all coloured differently.

This scientific study shows that bed bugs prefer the colours black and red over white and yellow.

For this study, scientists collected bed bugs from infested apartments in NJ. The bed bugs did not feed for a week prior to the experiment. Underneath a stool, the bed bugs moved freely around. The stool had Co2 inside of cups on top, (to mimic a human). In all cases, the majority chose to moves towards the red and black hiding spots (made out of paper). Black and red were significantly more attractive than the other colours tested.

bed bug traps and a research study done in NJ

The experts say that the bed bugs prefer the red and dark coloured harborages because they mistake them for other bed bugs and they prefer to cluster together. Bed bugs are not social insects like ants or bees they don’t live in colonies and work together, but some do congregate in clusters.

If you are going to buy interceptor type of bed bug traps for your bed legs I would go with the black over the white ones. I don’t think they make red ones at this time. The white ones are easier to see the trapped bugs but the black ones will attract more. You can also buy bed bug traps that are black around the outside and have a white cup in the middle. If you already have white interceptor bed bug traps then just paint the outside rim black with a marker. Just make sure you have a bright flashlight and shine on the interceptor traps every other day to see if it caught any bed bugs!

best bed bug traps. Hand holding magnifying glass and showing a bed bug.

 

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