Bed Bug Barrier passive monitors

by nobugsonme on August 15, 2010 · 13 comments

in bed bug detection, bed bug monitors, bed bugs

Remember the Bed Bug Barrier?

This passive bed bug monitor designed by Australian inventor Tony Abrahams is now available in the US and Canada.

The Bed Bug Barrier is basically an inverted glue trap which comes in two designs: the screw-in style attaches at the top of bed legs, and the castor style attaches underneath the bed leg. Bed bugs trying to climb onto the bed legs should be stopped en route by the glue.

These are the two styles side by side (the screw-in version is on the left, the castor style on the right):

screw-in-b.jpgcastor-b.jpg

You can click the following link to purchase the Bed Bug Barrier Passive Monitor Glue Trap from US Bed Bugs, and either style is currently $6.99 per barrier (or under $28 if your bed has four feet).

Here’s Abrahams talking about his invention on Australia’s ABC TV. The  segment begins at approximately 0:43 seconds into the video.

We often recommend ClimbUp Interceptors, a different style of passive bedbug monitor, which sits underneath the feet of your bed, and which detects and traps bed bugs climbing onto or off of a bed.

I have not yet seen the Bed Bug Barrier up close, but it seems like it might be a bit more tricky to inspect this style of monitor for bed bugs, compared with the ClimbUps.  (I am assuming you’d have to turn the bed frame upside down?) I would also like to see independent testing data which confirms that the monitor works, and does not trigger bed bugs’ alarm pheromones.

On the other hand, they may provide an alternative to ClimbUps, if that design does not suit the type of bed legs you have, for example.

More bed bug monitors to come: we expect to have news on the (greater) North American availability of David Cain’s BBAlert Passive Bed Bug Monitors and the BBAlert Active Monitor soon.

Notes: (1) We have not yet seen independent testing data on this product.  (2) Monitors such as the Bed Bug Barrier (and other monitors mentioned in this article) are intended to detect infestations (or the continued presence of bed bugs), and are not themselves a control method. If you detect bed bugs, you need bed bug treatment, preferably done by an experienced and knowledgeable professional.

Please note: When you purchase through affiliate links on this site, it helps support the running of Bedbugger.com at no cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.

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1 Ken August 16, 2010 at 8:24 am

This innovation looks good. Bugs however, from their days in caves, have the instinct to fall on their prey, if they can get on a ceiling. But this is better than the chemical sprays that don’t work.
BTW, the front page of the Daily News is about bedbugs, now there are 800,000 people affected in Ner York and counting…
See my post at http://www.bugoutter.blogspot.com for more info on the article…

2 Tony August 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

Might be better in white, since bed bugs are dark, they would show up better on white.

3 Lou August 16, 2010 at 3:51 pm

They are not all dark, I think a pale color is best, but not white. This goes for sheets, too.

4 nobugsonme August 16, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Updated post above:

changed this:

I have not yet seen the Bed Bug Barrier up close, but it seems like it might be a bit more tricky to inspect this style of monitor for bed bugs, compared with the ClimbUps.

to

I have not yet seen the Bed Bug Barrier up close, but it seems like it might be a bit more tricky to inspect this style of monitor for bed bugs, compared with the ClimbUps. (I am assuming you’d have to turn the bed frame upside down?) I would also like to see independent testing data which confirms that the monitor works, and does not trigger bed bugs’ alarm pheromones.

5 diebbsdie August 17, 2010 at 12:55 am

ken–how do we keep them off our ceilings? is there a way?

do the climbup interceptors trigger their alarm pheremone as well? i would think it might….thank you.

6 Tony August 17, 2010 at 8:47 am

Lou said –
They are not all dark, I think a pale color is best, but not white. This goes for sheets, too.

Why is a pale color better than white? (for sheets also)
because nymphs would blend in with a white sheet, but not as much with a pale color?

7 Lou August 18, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Tony
Yes, when just hatched, bed bug nymphs are pale and pale doesn’t contrast well on white sheets. A pale colored sheet such as blue, green, gray, pink, contrasts against the pale color. Nymphs with blood inside or not also contrast against the colored background; blood droppings, eggs, adults all contrast against the pale colors.
I’ve been to infestations where first instar nymphs were present, the people never knew bugs were in the bed. It was difficult to use a light and shine obliquely to see the small nymphs crawling on white sheets. Direct lighting sometimes is too bright on white sheets.

diebbsdie
In order to keep bed bugs off the ceiling, you would have to trap them as they crawl up the wall or apply insecticide so they would crawl over it as they crawl up wall. If on ceiling because are there already or have crawled down from apartment above via cracks or through perforations such as heat risers that go between levels, then a vacuum cleaner will work. Insecticides will work, although some better as direct hit applications.
Alarm pheromone wouldn’t be triggered since bugs just crawl up and in and can’t get out. If a few were in the trap (or many), contact between them may trigger alarm pheromone if they keep bothering each other as they crawl over themselves.

8 jrbtnyc September 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Has anyone already tried the following experiment.

Recently I had a bed bug in a large jar. It was probably a fourth-stage nymph. I took a 3-1/2-inch-long cardboard cylinder from a depleted roll of toilet paper and wrapped a 1/2-inch strip of ordinary clear “scotch tape” all the way around the circumference of the outside of the cylinder about 1 inch from the end of the cylinder. I put the cylinder into the jar along with the bed bug. I placed the cylinder on its end such that the bottom of the cylinder was showing exposed cardboard, but then 1 inch from the bottom the tape was located, circling the cylinder completely. (Note: I also sealed off both round ends of the cylinder with masking tape so the bed bug could not crawl up the inside of the cylinder.)

The bed bug could easily begin to climb up the outside of the cardboard cylinder. But when it reached the clear smooth tape it could not continue. Over a period of about three weeks it tried many many times but could never climb vertically across the clear smooth tape. Frequently I opened the top of the jar and breathed down into it so the (hungrier and hungrier) bed bug could sense my CO2 and know food was close by, thus encouraging it to attempt to climb again. But it never succeeded in crossing the tape.

After about three weeks it stopped trying, and stopped moving completely. RIH.

Question therefore: can simple clear tape be an effective vertical barrier against bed bugs climbing? Maybe glue, traps, etc., aren’t necessary at all when the aim is merely to block them not catch them? Such as for keeping them off the ceiling over someone’s bed?

I have only tried this experiment on one single bed bug because I haven’t had access to more of the critters. If this experiment hasn’t been done before, could others such as Lou repeat it with large numbers of bed bugs and see if none, whether 1st-to-5th-stage instars or adults, can crawl vertically up the smooth clear tape.

(For adults maybe more than 1/2-inch-wide tape would be needed?)

If such further experimentation indicates this is indeed an effective barrier, could this be a cheap, simple new tool for everyone to use.

9 jrbtnyc September 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Clarification: the tape was not 2-sided tape. It was ordinary 1-sided tape with the sticky side adhering to the cardboard and the plain smooth side on the outside, across which the bed bug was unable to climb vertically.

10 LynWn October 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Brilliant. Thank you for the suggestion. Maybe can run tape across width of walls so they can’t climb to ceiling and can run around bed and furniture legs. Wonder if would work? Wow so simple? Thank you for sharing!

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