Florida researchers develop DIY bedbug trap

The DIY traps take advantage of bedbugs’ inability to climb on smooth surfaces.
By Brooks Hays  |  May 22, 2014 at 2:42 PM
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GAINESVILLE, Fla., May 22 (UPI) -- Surveys suggest bedbugs are everywhere, and they're becoming resistant to pesticide treatments -- treatments that cost upwards of several thousand dollars.

Luckily, for itchy victims of the bedbug epidemic, researchers at the University of Florida have developed a way to make effective bedbug traps using household items. Each trap can be assembled for less than $1.

If you have two disposable plastic containers, masking tape and glue lying around the house, you can make a make bedbug trap, easy. The traps can be used to collect the biting insects as they commute from their hiding spots to their dinner (sleeping people).

"This concept of trapping works for places where people sleep and need to be protected at those locations," said Phil Koehler, an urban entomology professor at Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The traps, Koehler explains, take advantage of bedbugs' inability to climb on smooth surfaces. Enticed by rough materials and lots of traction on their way to their midnight snack, the bedbugs enter easily before sliding into a smooth-surfaced moat. There they remain, trapped -- unable to regain their footing.

Here -- courtesy of a University of Florida press release -- are the instructions for a do-it-yourself bedbug trap:

1. Cut four pieces of rough-surfaced tape. Each piece should be at least as long as the wall of the 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 walls, where they are trapped.

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

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

The researchers say that most people will need several dozen traps to properly counter the average infestation -- at least 50 traps for a one-bedroom apartment.

Koehler developed the trap with assistance from doctoral student Benjamin Hottel, assistant urban entomology professor Rebecca Baldwin, and UF associate research scientist Roberto Pereira.

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