Not long after bed bugs reemerged within residential and urban areas of the US, advertisements for bed bug monitoring products began to appear in magazines and on television. Unsurprisingly, these products were received with skepticism among the public when they first appeared, and rightly so, as bed bug monitors had not yet been researched in order to determine their effectiveness at preventing infestations. Considering how difficult it can be to eradicate bed bug infestations, many people today remain unconvinced that bed bug monitors can prevent infestations. While certain bed bug monitoring products do not hurt to have within a home, these products certainly have their limitations, and they will not help to eradicate existing infestations.

Everyone agrees that taking measures to prevent bed bugs from infesting a home is wise, but since bed bugs only wind up in homes as a result of human activity, bed bug infestations are best prevented by being mindful of one’s own behavior in public places where bed bugs may attach themselves to clothing. It is also important to thoroughly inspect used furniture items before bringing them into a home. Other precautions of this sort will prevent bed bug infestations more effectively than bed bug monitors, and obviously it costs nothing to be mindful of bed bugs within the environments a person visits.

Some bed bug monitoring products locate the insects by emitting chemicals that mimic bed bug aggregation pheromones. Since bed bugs are attracted to the odor of human breath, some monitoring products emit carbon dioxide and synthetic mimics of odorous compounds exhaled by humans and other host animals. Of course, these monitors only located bed bugs that are already indoors, and considering that bed bugs are able to travel from room to room through electrical sockets and other tight access points, bed bug monitors cannot accurately assess how many bed bugs exist within a home. By the time a monitor alerts a homeowner or tenant of a bed bug presence, an indoor pest issue requiring professional treatment already exists.

Have you ever used a bed bug monitoring device?