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Bed bugs are often an unwelcome souvenir from vacation, causing severe itching bites. Depending on the extent of the infestation, they can be combated with different bed bug traps and sprays that can be combined.

In a nutshell

  • Bed bugs are suspected of transmitting various diseases and pose a health risk
  • Combinations of active and passive bed bug traps bring good results with a weak infestation
  • Chemical-based spray is quickly effective in heavy infestations

symptoms in humans

Many holidaymakers come into contact with bed bugs in hotels. Often, however, the bed bug is not recognized as the cause and the blame for the itchy bites is shifted to other insects. Again and again it is assumed that an infestation is favored by poor hygiene. However, this is not wrong, because with normal hygiene, bed bugs can survive without any problems.
With the clothes in their luggage, the insects then come into their own house. Especially if you put your suitcase back on the bed and don't wash your clothes right away. If such female specimens get into the house, they can lay up to 200 eggs within their lifetime. The larvae, which are already sucking blood, hatch after just seven days.
In humans, an infestation usually shows up as severely itchy skin areas. Other symptoms of stings:

  • inflammation
  • Transmission of dangerous diseases (e.g. hepatitis)
  • visual disturbances
  • dermatitis

Commercial bed bug traps

A common remedy for a bed bug infestation is traps. There are different types of traps on the market, some of which are also equipped with attractants.
A popular way to get the mattress free from bugs yourself is to cover it with a tight protective cover. As a result, the bugs are trapped in the mattress and gradually die off because they can no longer get any food. The disadvantage, however, is that bugs in other areas cannot be caught with it.

Tip: Such protective covers can also be used to protect luggage, which means that bed bugs cannot infest it. Alternatively, if you suspect an infestation, you can use such a cover to prevent further spread and specifically combat the insects.

Efficient are bed bug traps, which represent a mechanical barrier. You place the feet of the bed in these traps and by different elevations the insects are caught in them when they are already in the bed. On the other hand, insects that have holed up in other areas, such as wall cracks, cannot climb the trap and get into the bed. It is important that you regularly remove the insects from the traps and dispose of them in such a way that they cannot come back into the house.
An effective alternative to purely mechanical traps are bed bug traps with chemical attractants. The traps are often provided with an adhesive strip on which the insects stick.

Homemade traps

In order to catch a bed bug, you do not necessarily have to buy traps from specialist retailers. You can build a trap yourself with simple home remedies.

Tip: It makes sense to combine several traps with each other, which means that you can achieve a higher level of effectiveness in combating them.

Sticky traps in particular are easy to make yourself. All you need is a wide strip of double-sided tape that you wrap around the feet of the bed. The bait in this case is yourself, because that way you can catch those insects that climb up and down the bed.
It is a bit more difficult to make barrier traps in which to put your feet. The barrier in this case presents a very smooth surface that is so rarely found on household objects. Conventional bowls or plastic containers are usually not effective and do not provide a barrier for the insects.
A method of building a trap that is completely harmless to human health in particular is to use bean leaves. This is a traditional but very effective trap that originally comes from the Balkans. The leaves of the beans have fine hairs that snag on the ones of the bed bug.
Instructions for using bean leaves:

  • pluck fresh leaves
  • Spread sheets on the floor around the bed in the evening
  • make sure the leaves are flat on the ground
  • Collect leaves and insects the next morning
  • Dispose of leaves safely (preferably burn)
  • Repeat until there are no more bugs

Notice: This mechanism is currently the subject of research. Scientists want to develop traps that use the same mechanism and catch insects by holding them.

chemical sprays

In the case of a severe infestation, however, only the use of a spray usually helps. This often contains the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or a substance with a comparable effect. The advantage of the spray is that you can not only treat the mattress with it, but also hard-to-reach corners or areas under the bed.
However, bed bugs have developed partial resistance to some agents. If a spray does not have the same effect, you should use another means. The following active ingredients are also commercially available:

  • lambda cyhalothrin
  • bifenthrine
  • carbaryl

frequently asked Questions

Are Sprays Dangerous to Health?

When used correctly, there is no danger to the residents, as the agents usually evaporate without leaving any residue. However, it is important that you ventilate the room sufficiently after use.

How often does a spray need to be used?

As a rule, if used correctly, a large proportion of the insects will be killed. Depending on the agent, you may have to carry out another application.

How often should sticky traps be changed?

They should be changed every two to three days, since dust in particular reduces the adhesive strength.

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