Catching bed bugs

Published On: Jun 02 2014 11:51:20 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

A recent survey of pest management companies revealed that 99% of them reported calls related to bedbug infestations.  Of those, half said infestations occur mostly during the summer.

Entomologists from the University of Florida say bedbugs are becoming more resistant to pesticides. exacerbating what is also an expensive problem.

Bedbug treatments can run $3,000 for a single- family home.

It's the reason a group of researchers at the University of Florida designed a bedbug trap.  Often times, they are hard to spot or find in a bed. 

How do you get bedbugs:

"The way you usually get them is being at a place where bed bugs are present, said associate research scientist in the U.F. entomology department Roberto Pereira.

"Hotels are examples of places where you can pick them up especially now during the summer where people are traveling around they may stay at a hotel that has bedbugs, therefore, they would bring those bedbugs home with them, "Pereira added.

He also said, "there are some very expensive and very exclusive hotels that end up having those problems simply because they are brought here with guests from outside of the country."

How to make a homemade trap:

Cut 4 pieces of rough- surfaced tape, like masking tape.  Each piece should be at least as long as the wall of a smaller container is tall.

Evenly space and firmly press the 4 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.

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

The traps work best if you apply talc, including baby powder, to the space between the small and large container walls to make it farder for the bugs to escape. 

Incorrect methods to catch bedbugs:

Phil Koehler, a University of Florida entomology professor advises against using flammable liquids, mothballs, treating mattresses with pesticides and using bug bombs.

The bedbug trap:

Once you have built the trap put it under the leg of a bed frame where you suspect bedbugs have infested.  Koehler and his colleagues created their trap from about %1 worth of household items.  The number of traps needed for any given dwelling depends on the number of places people sleep.  Researchers estimate one would need about 50 traps fora  typical three- bedroom home, enough to place one under each leg of furniture, including chairs, sofas and beds.

The bedbug trap is the brain child of Koehler, Benjamin Hottell, an entomology doctoral student, Rebecca Baldwin, assistant urban entomology professor and Pereira.

For video of the bedbug trap click here.

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