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Making your own active trap with heat and CO2

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  1. Mr Arcane

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 10:10:13
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    Well, I defeated these little scoundrels 4 years ago (launder everything, delta dust, and various residuals) . Then I let an ex-gf launder something at her place about 6 months ago, and they're back!

    Well, my plan of attack is going to involve steaming and laundry, but I wanted a trap. Those professional traps cost big bucks! So I set about building my own.

    WARNING: Build this at your own risk, it involves heat and electricity. My tests show it gets to only about 104-110 degrees which is not dangerous, but you have been warned!

    DISCLAIMER: I just built this today, I dont know if it works. According to what I read, it should.

    What you'll need:

    Tools: Drill, bits, scissors.

    Turbo CO2 Bio-System System $29.99 available from online Fish stores (it's for aquatic plants)
    ZooMed Under Tank Mini Heater $16.99 available from online pet stores (it's for reptiles)
    One electric kit box, I chose Hammond 1591ESBK ABS Project Box Black $7.46 off amazon
    Glue traps. You can get 60 for $17 bucks bulk online, or just pick up some at Home Depot.

    You're looking at about $80 once you include shipping. While this is more than the very basic CO2 traps that are sold, and certainly more than a hand-warmer/dry ice trap scientists use, it's built for long-term use.

    Ok, first drill a hole in your box for the CO tube. I used a 3/16 bit and came in through one 'end' of it. Just make sure its not too close to the bottom of your box or you will run into trouble.

    Now using a smaller bit, (I used 1/8th) for our little friends, drill a row of holes close to the bottom of the box, along the two long sides. I did about 10. Be sure you don't go through the boxes screw supports, and keep them a few milimeters off the floor.

    Take the CO2 device, cut off the pump attachment valve. You do not need the pump for this. Push the tube into your hole, this can take a bit of doing (use a pencil to push it in.). I made mine extend about an inch or so INTO the box.

    Take the Repti-Pad, attach it to the bottom of the box. Follow the directions, and peel off the adhesive. Place the 4 little 'legs on the bottom of the box to keep it elevated off the floor (otherwise it may get too hot and harm a wood floor/carpet).

    Cut a glue trap down to size to fit in the bottom of your box. Box cutters work, don't use a nice blade or you'll ruin it with the glue. Place the glue trap in the bottom of the box, being careful not to catch your hose.

    Activate the CO2 unit following the instructions, attach it to the hose. According to book, it takes 24 hours to work.

    Place the top back on the box. I didnt bother screwing it in, you might or you could build a hinge.

    You will need to replace the CO2 mixture once a month. Refills are $6.99.

    So I'm going to give it some time and see how it works! Again, my tests showed it was about 106, ABS plastic melts at 212. I'm not sure what the CO2 tube is made of, if it's silicone it should have a high melting point, if its PVC it would have a fairly low melting point. Needless to say I'm going to be trying this while I'm at home to monitor!

    I'm a little worried the glue trap might not be able to actually catch a bed bug, I've read that pit-falls are better, but this design made it pretty easy.

    I'll let you know what happens. I have pics of the device but no where to put them.

    Improvements you could make:
    Add a chemical lure, but they seem expensive and only last a week ($30 for a pack?).
    Buy a digital thermometer with a probe, (I think about $10 at a pet store) to keep an eye on the temp.
    Buy a cheap rheo-stat to lower the power supplied to the heat mat to be closer to body temp ($20)
    A hinge of some sort. You can probably buy a kit box with one.

  2. IThinkIHaveBugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 17:23:51
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    One option I am thinking about using for the CO2 part of a homemade trap is yeast and sugar-water. Seems like it should work.

  3. Mr Arcane

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 18:50:39
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    IThinkIHaveBugs - 1 hour ago  » 
    One option I am thinking about using for the CO2 part of a homemade trap is yeast and sugar-water. Seems like it should work.

    I wouldnt be surprised if thats what the refills are, it looked like sugar and some sort of yeast now that you mention it. You add warm water. Hmm, maybe one could combine home brewing and bed-bug killing!


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