Bed bug trap on its way, finally

by Winston O. Buggy on July 30, 2008 · 49 comments

in bed bug monitors

You may be interested in our more recent FAQ on Bed Bug Monitors, which offers a comparison of various models of active and passive bed bug monitors.

While most claims of an effective bed bug trap have to date been much ado about nothing, a new product which seems to be the real deal is only a month or two away.

The trap I am talking about is the NightWatch by Biosensory, Inc.

In the past, this innovative company has produced an effective mosquito product and some other units which use inhibitors or attractants or both. This new unit attracts bed bugs via CO2 heat and a 7-part kairomone lure. The results have been studied for over a year by independent housing authorities and respected individuals and now the bed bug trap is scheduled for distribution early October.

The price for a unit which covers a 16×16 room will be around $400 [editor’s note: they are going for $450 on Amazon as of 3/2010]. Overnight, the trapped bed bugs will be contained in a pit which you empty each morning. The idea of a bed bug trap sounds like a great step forward but remember the manufacturers themselves state that the unit is for detection, monitoring and as part of an Integrated Pest Management program. In addition the manufacturers state, “If the premises have not been treated with additional EPA-registered insecticide(s) and/or steam heat, this protocol should be considered.”

Having been involved in trying to develop a prototype bed bug trap not associated with this one, as well as having dealt with bed bugs from an educational and control standpoint, I think this will be a great tool in the war against bedbugs. Sleep tight.

Editor’s note: Thanks, Winston!

Winston O. Buggy is the pseudonym of a bed bug professional. Read more about the science behind NightWatch here.

Update 10/5/2008:

Editor’s note: Sean of the Bed Bug Resource [The Bed Bug Resource no longer active; link removed 2015]
points us to a Canadian distributor offering pre-orders. (I don’t know anything about the store, personally.) For $100 CA or $95 US down (out of the total cost $400 CA / $380 US), they say your Nightwatch trap will ship when released (11/15 is the expected date). They will be sold to anyone, apparently.
[The shop we were referred to since closed.]  The protocol on the Nightwatch website does appear to be something laypeople could do.

Note: They haven’t been released yet so we can’t really say much about them (but I do know someone with bed bugs, if Nightwatch wants to send me one to review (hint, hint!)

The data looks promising, but read all the info. on the Biosensory site, and caveat emptor.

Update: 5/2009: the Nightwatch has been available for several weeks and has now been voluntarily recalled, so the manufacturer can fix a potentially defective switch.

Update: 3/2010: As of July 2009, the recall had ended and the new Nightwatch was good to go.

1 nobugsonme July 30, 2008 at 11:22 am

This seems like very good news, Winston.

I know we Bedbuggers are all hoping for something on a much smaller (and less expensive scale) that individuals could buy and use themselves — for example, in the early stages of an infestation, when detection is difficult. This isn’t that kind of product.

Nevertheless, this has the potential to help in many ways. Hotels, obviously, might use it to detect infestations (we can only hope). And shelters and other institutions.

PCOs, landlords, and management companies might deploy one in a unit being treated.

Hmmm, I really wish we could hire an independent testing body to run one overnight in a unit and verify there are no bed bugs before you move in to a new home.

2 parakeets July 30, 2008 at 3:13 pm

I appreciate this post, and the link was fascinating. In trials, they say this machine captured 1000 bedbugs in one night! Obviously an incredibly infested complex, but what a boon to people who can’t catch ONE bedbug and can’t get approved for treatment because there is no “proof” they have bedbugs. Now here’s something that can capture a live sample for sufferers.

This machine expensive but I wonder how expensive it would be compared, say, to repeatedly hiring a bedbug dog as a detection device? If it costs a couple of hundred dollars for a dog visit, and that’s one time, this machine might be cost effective (though I’d love to see someone do studies comparing its effectiveness with dogs for detection). I tend to vote for dogs because they could also tell you where the bedbugs had their harborages. But this machine could be used over and over, and you could move it from room to room. It might reassure those who live in fear of bedbugs returning and have no way of monitoring the bedbug population. What price would we pay for a bit of peace of mind?

Actually, I really want one. I’d rather have this than 100 gallons of gas, for sure. Is it safe for a layperson to buy and use? How expensive is it to refill with the CO2 and the other attractants?

I wish the local rental center could carry them (though I’d be afraid I’d GET bedbugs from the darn thing if it had been used in an infested house). I’d love to rent it for one night.

3 NotsoLucky July 30, 2008 at 5:50 pm

I’m with parakeets. I want one now, I dont want to have to wait till Sept. Anything that can help with our detection issues is worth all of that and more for us. I’ve lost far more than $400 worth of sleep trying to get to the root of our bites.

4 James Buggles July 30, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The company is clearly marketing this device to the lodging industry. I think they might be in for a surprise when individuals start contacting them. In the long run, we need more technologies to which pests cannot become resistant — at least not quickly.

5 Doug Summers MS July 30, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Glad to see that a monitoring trap is finally going to become available on the market.

I would love to know more about the conditions under which it was tested. The information that is on the companies website is rather incomplete.

Catching nearly 850 bed bugs in one night as shown on the graph would require an enormous infestation.

I would love to participate in research comparing my Bed Bug Dog against the trap in rooms that have a light infestation.

I believe that an effective trap will be a good follow-up tactic to confirm unverified K9 alerts in light infestation situations.

I seriously doubt that monitoring traps will replace K9 inspections anytime soon.

K9s will continue to provide the best real time detection (2-3 minutes a room) & instant location information for treatment, while the traps will more useful for continuous long term monitoring and clearance confirmation.

The website states that the bait will need to be replaced every seven days & the CO2 supply will last for 14 days @ 8 hours a night.

The cost to acquire & maintain a trap for each room will still be much higher than quarterly K9 inspections for a large hotel.

6 bedbugvictimperthaustralia July 30, 2008 at 8:32 pm

$400 is nothing for peace of mind, just to know an infestation is really gone.

7 tp123 July 30, 2008 at 10:51 pm

if you click site map and click night watch you can get more info. I says it can not only monitor but help to eradicate. I would think if the lure is stronger then you they go there.

8 nobugsonme July 31, 2008 at 12:59 am

Hi everyone,

Yes– Parakeets’ voice will likely be echoed by many. The product may not be marketed to individuals, but many who’ve passed through our forums will likely consider buying it — if they have a long-term infestation, their infestation is being mismanaged, or if they have to keep bringing a k9 in (as ‘Keets points out) and the cost adds up.

Most people with bed bugs probably would not consider such a large investment, but if it is effective, it may be cheaper than some of the options people have.

Doug makes a good point about the data — I’d like to see more detailed information. The Nightwatch website says 1,000 bed bugs were caught in one room in one night. But how many bed bugs were present?!?

The best thing about this is the opportunity it offers to those who can’t get their problem diagnosed properly. I’d like to know how effective it is in small infestations.

If someone is getting bites–say one every other night or so, and so has a few bed bugs present, how many nights will it take to nab a culprit?

If the answer to that question is that in a week, one of those few bed bugs will be nabbed, then I will be very pleased.

Finally — rentals are an excellent idea! An entrepreneur who offered such a service would likely have many customers. (I assume that even if bed bugs are in the unit from a previous renter, they can’t escape…)

9 bedbugvictimperthaustralia July 31, 2008 at 1:51 am

I sent them an email asking for notification when they first become available in Australia. I want one for peace of mind.

10 tp123 July 31, 2008 at 3:39 am

If these bugs are looking for the closet food source with the strongest attraction, and you have your bed in bed bug shape, shouldn’t they all head for this machine? Therefore you feel safe. In the meantime you can concentrate on the ones hiding

11 Winston O. Buggy July 31, 2008 at 8:36 am

Point of Information, I was in error in regard to the price of the unit which has yet to be set
but unfortunately will be pricey.

12 paulaw0919 July 31, 2008 at 8:42 am

This devise will also obviously catch other biting insects that are attracted to heat and CO2. I’m sure entomologists will be happy to receive samples of actual bugs in bags then lint from paranoid people. There will be many previous bed bug suffers that thought they had bed bugs still, find that they have other insects that are biting them instead.(midges etc)
It will also be surprising to see how many people actually have an infestation that they never knew was there. This device will be great to ensure you don’t get re infested from a visiting relative. After one goes through an infestation, it would be nice to be able to use this at those who were at or stayed at your home before you knew you had bed bugs to ensure that same person won’t be bringing them back to your home on the next visit.

I know that this particular devise isn’t aimed toward the homeowner but with the huge take this product is going to bring, there will be something out soon after I would think.

Doug, I do agree with you on the K9 detection point as well. Larger buildings such as hotels, nursing homes etc.. will still be interested in K9 detection. I think this new monitor will be used by larger building owners as well as the homeowner though. People who live in a condo or single family home may use a devise as such to ensure all is clear after an infestation. I would think in the hotel industry, they would also use this devise, and then use a K9 to pinpoint an infestation in order to make treatment faster, easier, and less costly? Possibly bring a whole new perspective to IPM. Just a thought.

Personally, going through a bad infestation last year, having not traveled in over 5-6yrs..most likely getting the bugs from someone personal bringing them into the home unknowingly…this devise is very exciting news. It brings courage to have “family get togethers” in the home once again w/o the fear of your home getting fully infested before knowing bed bugs were introduced. So many people on so many scales, get to have their life back and feel safe.

Great early detection tool, finally here. It’s only going to get better from here I think. May take more time than we would like, but soon, getting rid of bed bugs may be as easy as ridding a head lice infestation, if not easier, do to early detection. (YAY!!)

13 Patricia Wood August 1, 2008 at 3:51 pm

I, too, had a bb infestation of my apartment and had to move – went to extraordinary measures when I did so. Now, a few months later, I feel like I am crawling with bugs – sometimes feel something cold sliding over my skin and sometimes something “wispy” brushing against me, especially my legs. This happens at work and at home. I have gotten single, non-itchy, visible “bites” at home and short-term itchiness where I’ve received a sharp “bite” at work or at home (but no sign of anything). I also wake up with bruising at home even though I haven’t bumped into anything and the bruising isn’t sore. I can’t see any bugs on my skin when I feel the crawling – could this possibly be newly-hatched nymphs too small to even see but I can feel them? I also feel like they’re in my hair and ears. I haven’t found any sign of bb’s at home or work – no blood, eggs, bugs, feces, casings – and I only ever found two in my old apartment, although I was being bitten/”bitten” every night, sometimes by adults, sometimes by nymphs(?) I only ever got small red bites, not large welts.

I’ve been told by the pest company that it’s probably just my imagination and they won’t do anything but a general spraying unless I find “evidence”.

Is anyone else experiencing that cold feeling and bruising and should I be able to see newly-hatched nymphs if they are crawling on my skin?

“Going Buggy”

14 nobugsonme August 1, 2008 at 4:14 pm


Please repost your query in the forums as it is off-topic here.

Go here:

15 bite this! September 11, 2008 at 1:00 am

When is this thing gonna be on the market already? I tried to email them and it wouldn’t go through……arrrgggghhh!!!!

16 nobugsonme September 11, 2008 at 4:50 am

bite this (I feel rude saying your name!):

Our source said October.

Someone else said November.

Someone said they would not be selling them to consumers, just to pest control professionals. Not sure if that will hold true.

17 bite this! September 19, 2008 at 1:35 am

I can’t take this anymore! My landlord has already had a pest control guy come twice. All our beds are isolated, I can’t even stand in the same spot to shave for two long without my feet getting raped. This thing was my holy grail!!! I guess I’ll have to go to home depot and make one myself with the hotshots and glue board. I don’t know what else to do. I refuse to move on account of these things! (they would probably follow us or be at the new location with my luck anyway)…….Thanks for the informative website and advice!

18 nobugsonme September 19, 2008 at 11:43 pm

bite this!

Has your landlord’s PCO been treating adjacent units?

19 nobugsonme September 24, 2008 at 10:07 am

Biosensory will be taking pre-orders for the Nightwatch in early October, for shipment in mid- to late November.

20 paulaw0919 September 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

this is good news.

21 thebedbugresource September 25, 2008 at 9:37 pm

I can assure everyone that Entologic is reputable.

I will post more info on the pre-order and shipping dates as they become available.

I will likely have some pricing info from them soon as well.

22 nobugsonme September 29, 2008 at 11:39 pm

Dueling bed bug traps?

Apparently, entomologist Philipp Kirsch and the team at APTIV, Inc. are preparing to launch their own bed bug monitor at Pestworld next month.

23 laorulez September 30, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Any more news on this? I may be interested in getting it, even if it costs a few hundred… I think I may have bed bugs, but if I do, it is only 1.5 weeks into the infestation, as that is how long since I got back from vacation in New England…

24 nobugsonme October 5, 2008 at 2:45 am


Read the update in the post (just added). You can now put down a deposit and expect one to ship when released (which is expected to be 11/15).

Of course, I hope your problem is gone before then– many infestations can be cleared up within 6 weeks.

25 lil_bit October 6, 2008 at 1:57 pm

there is another possible marketing niche beyond just people who currently have (large) bedbug infestations. a group to consider: people who have PREVIOUSLY had a bedbug infestation, and never want one again. i would consider buying one for just such a use. living in a university town that has a rising bedbug problem, i have anxiety over ever getting them again. especially when i walk down the street and see heat treatment units set up outside of people’s homes/apartments only a few blocks away!

the one factor that would deter someone in this once-but-never-again marketing niche would be the price. someone in the midst of an infestation, out of desperation, lack of sleep and anxiety, might be willing to spend approximately 400 dollars. a person who does not currently have an infestation would be much less likely to do so.

i would like to see data on how the trap works in a low level infestation (say, five bugs). could it prevent an infestation from ever starting with the introduction and removal of just a few bugs (say, from a visiting friend’s purse)? i would also like to see data on how long the product lasts. how many months/years before the lure become uneffective, or loses considerable effectiveness?

26 nobugsonme October 6, 2008 at 3:44 pm


I believe the lures last a week, and the box comes with four. You have to buy more after this. Similarly, the CO2 tank must be provided by user and replaced in time.

Running one every night of your life might be quite expensive, but (assuming it does work well) running one one week every month (at first) and then every few months or so (for monitoring) might be an option, especially for those in multi-unit buildings.

I think there would be few bed bug survivors who wouldn’t want one, just to use periodically for peace of mind.

I agree with you that data on smaller infestations would be really useful. The Purdue data on the Nightwatch page on “science” does give some indication, showing how many bed bugs were caught each night. Presumably it would continue attracting bed bugs even if there were few.

I read the table as follows:

Day / Bugs caught
1 850
2 169
3 275
4 17
5 ?
6 ?
7 ?
8 48
9 0
10 2
11 0
12 0
13 0
14 4
15 6

Interestingly, the protocol says to “Repeat until trap count is zero for at least three consecutive days.” And yet day 11-13 were 0 count, and day 14 brought more bed bugs. So perhaps you need to go on for much longer. I’d like to see ongoing data for this test.

27 thebedbugresource October 6, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Hello All,

Nobugs, thanks for updating the info in the regular post. There are units still available at The Bed Bug Shop (at last count 48).

These traps will only work on bed bugs that require a meal. If a bed bug has recently fed it is unlikely to be lured out by the unit.

The Nightwatch protocol is slightly flawed (as you have pointed out). The unit does not work on eggs. This means that the unit must run for at least 2-3 weeks solid to have an effect on the population. Remember eggs take 10-14 days to hatch.

It is also important to note that this is not meant as a control device. It is a monitor. With that in mind it could be run every 3-5 days for one night to see if there is any new captures. If there is, you may wish to run it for a longer period until the capture rate drops to zero and then repeat the process.

I think the real benefit to this unit is that it can act as bait rather than you. You could have your room treated and then sleep elsewhere. Any bugs in the room ought to be lured across the pesticide and then to the trap.

Entomologist/Pest Professional

28 thebedbugresource October 11, 2008 at 3:20 am

I have spoken with the supplier (Biosensory) and apparently they are on track for a mid November launch. However, they have stated that they will have a limited run based on pre-orders from pest control companies and distributors.

If my reading between the lines is accurate I would suggest that there will be very few units available to the general public; That these will be utilized mainly by pest control companies & technicians (and not be for sale) for the initial launch.

The Bed Bug Shop (www.bedbugshop) is taking pre-orders (as Nobugs posted in the update). Their site shows 40 pre-orders left.

To my knowledge this is the only place doing this. If the general public is looking to own one of these units at launch this would be the way to go.

Entomologist/Pest Professional

29 thebedbugresource October 11, 2008 at 10:59 am

I am sorry, I noticed in my post above I forgot the extension for The Bed Bug Shop. It is


30 thebedbugresource October 12, 2008 at 11:12 am

Nobugs has asked me to clarify a few things for the readership here at Bedbugger regarding The Bed Bug Shop.

The Bed Bug Shop is not my shop; however, I do personally know the owner. The shop is a new venture designed to be a one stop shop for bed bug related merchandise. It was sparked by the availability of the Nightwatch unit to its owner. While it is still in its early stages there are plans to carry a much wider range of bed bug related products in the very near future.

I made my posts here (above) because I know many of you are looking to get one of these units and this is the only place that I know of where the general public can secure a unit.

I can vouch for the fact that the shop is legitimate and trustworthy.

I cannot answer questions on behalf of the store but you can email them to


Entomologist/Pest Professional

31 nobugsonme October 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Thanks, Sean, for clarifying that.

32 Belle72 October 25, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Sean, do you know if these units would work in a room with fans running, I mean with the CO2 tank? We run a ceiling fan and smaller fan also. THank you for any info.

33 Steve January 20, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Any news yet on how this monitor works in practice?

34 nobugs January 20, 2009 at 3:30 pm


There’s some commentary on this from thebedbugresource in this thread.

I am sure there will be more when the products are available to the public, which they are not yet.

35 Steve January 21, 2009 at 12:30 am

Thanks. My 3 year old son has lots of mysterious bites. He sleeps in the same room as his sister (1 year old) who has a few on her left hip.

We have not found definitive evidence of an infestation. Neither the bugs themselves nor solid evidence of droppings or molted skins. We first noticed our son’s bites while staying in a house some of our friends frequently lend out to visitors. They went away, but *many* more showed up about a week after we arrived back home. Now he gets a few every day. I’m sure more appeared during the day today—ones he didn’t have when he woke up. Same with his sister.

The mystery is starting to drive me crazy. Neither my wife nor I have any visible symptoms. We’ve dismantled his bed and his sisters’ crib looking for signs. Our apartment is quite spare, so there won’t be a lot of hiding places for them in our furniture, but I guess if it’s bedbugs they could be anywhere.

We had a PCO come today but I was not impressed. He left glue traps and said he’d check back every day for a week. I’m not sure what the chances are the glue traps will catch any. Surely they go straight for the meal without wandering around much. I don’t think there are that many, or we’d have seen some other signs.

I’m considering waking myself up in the middle of the night to go in with a flashlight and check to see if I can find any. That is the only idea I’m left with.

Any other suggestions?

36 Steve January 21, 2009 at 1:06 am

I have one other idea, which I’m not quite sure how to implement.

My son’s bed is a simple wooden four-poster toddler bed (smaller than a twin). It’s got slats instead of a box spring and his mattress is free of bugs (we checked it extremely carefully today). We also dismantled his bed and checked it, piece by piece.

So if it’s bedbugs, it seems very likely they have to go up the legs of his bed to get to him. What about encircling each leg of his bed with double-sided packing tape? Or something else that’s sticky enough that they’ll get stuck walking over it?

I’ll be extremely grateful for any advice.

37 nobugsonme January 21, 2009 at 1:14 am

People do use the packing tape, Steve, but I don’t think it’s terribly effective. Neither are glue boards. Unless they are in the path the bed bug uses, they won’t be caught.

I would assume that your son may not be the only one getting bitten (even if he’s the only one who reacts to bites).

I am not sure how long you have been home from this vacation, but it sounds like a good number of bed bugs now. (They only bite once a week– may make several bite marks in one go, in one place). You might consider calling in either a very careful PCO who takes 1.5 hours or more to search a home. Or a reputable bed bug sniffing dog, which can have a much higher success rate than the average human inspector.

Please come to the forums if you want to discuss this, get local recommendations or further advice:

38 Steve January 21, 2009 at 8:43 am

My point was that there were really only four approaches for bedbugs to get to him at night (if it is bedbugs, of which, given the lack of physical evidence, I’m not convinced). The legs of his bed are the only way in, and they’re quite small. Since we dismantled his bed (again, a *very* simple wooden four poster with slats and no box spring) looking for signs of them and found none, I’m comfortable they are not living in the bed with him (especially if, as you say, it is a large infestation).

It seems to me the only question is whether we can get something sticky enough onto the legs of his bed.

39 nobugsonme January 22, 2009 at 1:40 am

Does the mattress have seams? Does his pillow? Does he have a comforter? All of these can harbor bed bugs, which can slip in and out of seams. This is why we recommend encasements — ones which are designed and tested to keep bed bugs in or out.

Similarly, did you remove the slats? Because bed bugs are extremely thin and designed to be comfortable slipping into the tiniest crack. They’ve been found living in the space between wood and a laminate coating. They’ve been found living in the heads of screws. Even if you searched carefully, if you did not fully dismantle and inspect every surface of the bed, and inside every part, you may have missed them.

There is a FAQ on “isolating the bed.” If you have fully inspected and de-bugged (if necessary) all of the bed frame and bedding, then you could isolate the bed to keep him from being bitten IN bed.

However, you need to understand that they can live in any room. They may be biting him somewhere else. Upholstered furniture is a common problem (sofas, chairs, playpens). They can live in the cracks of walls. In dressers. In cars. Do not assume they are biting in bed or even just biting your son.

Day cares and homes of caretakers should be ruled out if applicable.

I encourage you to continue this discussion on the forums if you like. You’ll get more respondents there!

40 Charles Ripley March 11, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Has the Nightwatch been released? And, if so, has anyone tried it out? I’m in the middle of an infestation. We’ve tried two treatments so far, which seemed to solve the problem, but they’re back. Now, we’re having a dog come in. It would be great to have a device like Nightwatch running for a couple of weeks, to catch any stragglers. But, I don’t know if it works.

41 nobugsonme March 11, 2009 at 8:47 pm

HI Charles,

The Nightwatch does not appear to be available yet.

The CDC 3000 has been released and has shipped in limited quantities, as far as I understand.

42 dmopc May 9, 2009 at 3:43 am

The NightWatch bed bug monitor trap is now available at

43 nobugsonme May 31, 2009 at 2:04 am

Update: 5/2009: the Nightwatch has been available for several weeks and has now been voluntarily recalled, so the manufacturer can fix a potentially defective switch.

44 David James July 18, 2009 at 6:52 am

And now the NightWatch is back. I received the 1st units with the new pressure sensor July 14th. We sell to the pest control industry and we began shipping the replacements the same day.

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