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Best Bed Bug Detection Methods

Picture of bed bugs.

Detecting incredibly small bed bugs can be difficult, and most individuals do not have the opportunity or ability to detect any bed bugs until the infestation becomes serious. Most of the time, people wake up with itchy bites and lose sleep before they realize they have a bed bug infestation.

However, in other circumstances, this could be too late, and drastic and costly procedures must be implemented in order to get rid of them. So, is it possible to identify a bed bug infestation before it becomes severe, and if so, what are the best methods for doing so?

We have the answers you're looking for, and with extra tips and tricks from professionals, you can be confident that your bed bug infestation is a thing of the past.

Bed bug interceptor trap.

How to Identify an Infestation Before It Is Too Late?

The key to successful pest management and control is identifying any pest infestation and ensuring that you are dealing with bed bugs, not any other bug that may mimic them.

So, before you run out and buy the best bed bug traps or apply harsh pesticides, consider advice from specialists who suggest there are less expensive and easier ways to deal with a bed bug infestation, especially if it is not severe.

Use Bed Bug Interceptor Traps


Leading bed bug expert, Dr. Richard Cooper, conducted research at Rutgers University as part of his doctoral thesis. His research showed that low-level bed bug infestations do not require the use of pesticides, can be controlled and potentially eliminated solely with the use of interception devices. The full report can be found here.


Other leading experts agree with Dr. Cooper’s findings. “There’s been work done in the past that shows how unstable low-level infestations are,” Jeff White, entomologist and bed bug expert at BedBug Central, said. “But Rick’s data shows just how one specific tool can help address low-level infestations.”


Dr. Dini Miller, Professor of Urban Pest Management in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech said, “What I found most impressive about Rick’s research is how they could eliminate so many of the bed bug populations with just the use of interceptors.” 

Indeed, interceptors might be one of the most reliable and easiest ways to detect bed bugs in your home, reduce the number of bites you get each night, and even monitor the infestation as you use other methods to get rid of the pests.

Interceptors are designed from durable and high-quality plastic that you can place under each bed leg and literally intercept the pathway bed bugs use to get to you. Interceptors might look too simple to be effective, but it’s based on proven premises that bed bugs are poor climbers and as such, they can’t get out of the interceptor’s smooth inner walls. 

Interceptor trap for bed bugs under the bed leg.

“They are certainly the most effective detection tool on the market, but the industry just hasn’t embraced them yet. Only about 50 percent of the industry uses them and they need to recognize just how effective and powerful they are as a control tool,” Cooper said. “They’re just as important as chemicals, if not more important. By recognizing the role that interceptor traps play in the control of bed bugs, we can effectively reduce the amount of pesticides applied for the control of bed bugs.”

In addition to being very durable and eco-friendly, considering you can use them over and over again, the interceptors don’t contain any harsh chemicals, lures, or pesticides that might jeopardize the health of you and your family.

So, interceptor traps are clearly a proven solution and work wonders with early detection, monitoring, and elimination of pests. Simply place a bed bug interceptor under each bed leg and ensure that the bed is not touching the wall or that there are no other ways for bed bugs to climb, and you are good to go!

Dr. Cooper explains: “It is clearly evident the devices have a significant impact on reducing population growth, which in many cases results in the elimination of infestations.”

Set up Sticky Bed Bug Traps

In addition to the aforementioned bed bug interceptors, there are a few more methods to consider that are also efficient and safe. Bed bug glue traps are one of the solutions for the bed bugs that might be living in your bed frame, mattress, or in your bed.

Interceptors will capture all the bed bugs that need to climb into your bed to feast, but what about the bed bugs that are already there?

For those sneaky and small pests, you can use multiple sticky traps to capture them, confirm the infestation and reduce the number of bites you get each night. The best way to use glue traps is to add them under your bed, between the bed frame and the mattress, near the headboard, and in any location that’s convenient for you.

Sticky bed bug traps are easy to use and don’t contain any harsh chemicals and pesticides, and as such, they are the perfect solution for families with children and pets.

Bed bug glue trap.

Use Bed Bugs Sniffing Dogs

It might surprise you that some exterminator companies and professionals use trained bed bug sniffing dogs to discover or confirm the bed bug infestation before it becomes severe. 

Dog breeds such as Labradors, Beagles, German Shepherds, and others have a powerful snout with an amazing sense of smell that is much stronger than humans. Considering bed bugs produce a musky odor that is only smelly to us when the infestation is severe, it’s a good idea to use a dog’s sensitive nose for the job.

Dogs are trained with positive reinforcement to smell all around your home, and especially focus on areas that are harder to reach, to detect and mark spots that have bed bugs. 

It’s one of the eco-friendliest ways to confirm a bed bug infestation and allow you to detail it before it’s too late.

Call Exterminating Professionals

Dealing with bed bugs is not easy, but it’s even harder when the infestation is severe and a lot of time has gone by. So, detecting an issue and confirming bed bug infestation when it starts is the key to success.

Using our suggestions and expert advice, you now have the knowledge and the tools to detect bed bugs even when there are just a few of them. So, no matter what method you choose, make sure to implement it right away.

But, if you suspect that the infestation is severe and you need additional help to get rid of pests contact the professionals in your area. Pest control exterminators have the right tools, and the extensive experience needed to deal with persistent bed bugs.


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