What’s the deal with bed bug monitors?

People are inventing lots of different devices for monitoring bed bugs. The goal is to find an infestation and be able to determine how bad it is. We use monitors because bed bugs are so good at hiding that they are often missed by our visual inspection. Monitoring is an invaluable part of IPM, but you want to use devices that work. Learn how to evaluate monitoring devices from the StopPests Blog.

There are two broad categories for monitors: active and passive.

  • Active monitors release an attractant that brings in the bugs. For bed bugs it's usually heat and CO2.
  • Passive monitors rely on proper placement to trap (or "intercept") bugs that walk over them.

Place passive monitors in each dwelling unit (following manufacturer's instructions) and commit staff or contractor time to checking them at least twice a year. Checking cockroach, bed bug, and other pest monitors could be part of a housekeeping inspection.