Although the resurgence of the bedbug problem has been relatively recent technology is starting to become available that can assist in the detection and identification of the issue. To date there is no single all encompassing product that works on the many aspects of bed bugs but this is not surprising given the complexity of the issue.
To try and help people understand what products can help you we classify them under the headings below:
Devices designed to shows the signs of bedbugs present in the environment which do not capture, trap or isolate live samples.
Devices designed to illustrate the prescience of bedbugs through the isolation or immobilisation of live bed bugs which may or may not use an active or passive attraction.
Devices designed to show the prescience of bedbugs through the detection of a by product of bedbugs such as scent or “off” gases. This technically includes bedbug scent detection K9’s.
Simple glue boards (see barrier tapes)
Smart Hound bedbug dector still in development and thus unproven concept
Pro active monitoring of potentially infected areas to detect the earliest possible signs of an infestation.
Isolation of sleeping area during treatment to reduce bite activity
Capture and isolation of live samples, of most value in areas which are not occupied at time of treatment.
Due to the fact that if bedbugs become trapped or isolated on sticky / barrier tapes they usually produce an alarm pheromone or signal that can cause others to scatter further into the property we do not advocate their use. Although isolating your bed with such barriers seems perfectly logical it can actually extend the duration of an infestation by a few weeks which is obviously not ideal. If your professional pest controller suggests the use of barrier tapes we would respectfully suggest that they may be a pest controller but they lack vital knowledge of bed bugs and may be following protocols suggested by suppliers to increase profit rather than to resolve infestations.
If you are undergoing treatment you should always consult your pest controller before utilising any monitors, traps or detectors to ensure that they work in conjunction with the work they are conducting.
If you do not have bed bugs and want a cost effective proactive monitoring and early detection solution the product we would recommend first and fore mostly is the passive monitoring as field trials have shown detection within 12 - 72 hours and they are to date the most cost effective monitoring product available.
There has been a lot of talk over the years about the use of mattress encasements and their role in resolving or preventing bedbug infestations. As a physical barrier their only advantage is that they will stop your mattress becoming stained by faecal material, as such a simple and more cost effective zip on dust mite encasement will suffice. Some of the most experienced pest controllers in the world with over 25,000 cases cleared between them do not use mattress encasements and have been known to make rather public statements to the effect that they are not necessary and are often sold to either increase the profits of pest controllers or with false claims that they have a role in prevention which they do not. As an exposure pest when you come into contact with a source of bedbugs they clearly do not know or care if you mattress at home is encased or not, avoidance is the key not encasement.
Box spring and bed base encasements are however a good idea in situations where you pest controller is not experienced at processing these types of beds or if you are looking for a rapid reduction in biting activity. Again it is not clear if the increased costs of special enclosures warrants any added value over dust mite grade enclosures with added tape over the zipper.
In recent years the resurgence of bedbugs has not go un missed by some unscrupulous marketers and a number of hand held detection devices have been touted on the market. To date we have tested all the ones that are available and have illustrated to the manufacturers why they don’t work and yet they still sell them. This is one of the main reasons why we will always support measures to regulate and control the pest management industry, in short because expecting it to be done through professionalism alone is failing.
We welcome anyone with a product that actually works to send it to us for testing and we will be the first to change this section of the web site to reflect that something actually works.. For the same reason we do not advocate the use of PCR analysis for bedbug detection.
Although not strictly a monitor or detector Bed Bug Blue™ is a faecal trace confirmation kit. In essence it enables you to confirm a suspect signs as being bedbugs or not using a reagent and special colour change indicator paper. Although only launched in 2012 it has already been given the seal of approval from some of the best specialists in the world and is likely to form an essential part of good codes of best practice worldwide. The domestic and professional versions of the product are available from all good and ethical online retailers of bedbug products.
As an emerging area we are aware of new products being developed. We are happy to list them on this site but will always check to make sure they are not an infringement of other peoples intellectual property. If you feel your product should be listed please contact us.