Last week, we talked about how to treat a vacant room for bed bugs with the use of active monitors. This article brought up some calls with questions about active monitors, and what sets them apart from other bed bug traps that are on the market. So today, I thought I would expand further on the two main types of bed bug traps: active and active monitors.
What are Active Monitors?
Bed bugs spend most of their day hiding in tight, dark spaces throughout a bedroom. They have slow digestive systems, so they’re usually either processing their last meal or sleeping. When it’s time to feed, they are drawn out by the carbon dioxide and body heat that is emitted by their host, most often a person sleeping in a bed.
Bed bugs are not likely to come out of their hiding places unless they detect these signs of a warm body nearby. This makes it difficult to kill bed bugs in certain situations, such as when an infestation spreads to a guest room or a hotel room.
Active monitors seek to solve this problem by coming equipped with their own lure method. Most products, like the Verifi or Bed Bug Beacon, release a steady supply of CO2 over time to draw out any bed bugs nearby. The NightWatch kicks things up a notch by combining a carbon dioxide release with warm air as well.
Okay, but What About Passive Monitors?
Unlike active monitor systems, passive traps do not have their own lure – at least not one that will sufficiently attract bed bugs on their own. Instead, passive traps are most effective when used in combination with an external bait. ClimbUp Interceptors are one common example: they are placed under each leg of a bed to trap bed bugs that were attracted by a sleeping person in that bed.
So Which One Should I Use?
Deciding which type of trap to purchase and use will depend on the situation. If you’re going to be monitoring for bed bugs in a vacant or sparingly occupied space, such as a hotel room or a guest bedroom, an active monitor will be your best bet. Active monitors can bait bed bugs for up to 90 days (depending on the product and lure used), though you should see results in the first few nights. Be sure to stock up on enough refills to get the job done.
If you want to monitor a regularly occupied room, like a bedroom with a permanent resident, passive monitors make more sense. They will be just as effective as an active monitor in this situation, and will usually cost less. They also tend to involve less maintenance over time; there usually isn’t a cartridge or bottle to swap out, and ClimbUp Interceptors only need some talcum powder every now and then.