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The age old question "Does double-sided tape work" has been answered!

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  1. 2muchskillz

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Feb 17 2011 12:10:37
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    I know that double-sided tape has been a tool that has been discussed a lot on this forum, with some people claiming they've caught (what appear to be) nymphs, and some people claiming that they've caught nothing. I bought some today (brand: Robert's Double-Sided Carpet Seam Tape) at Home Depot with the opinion that it probably wouldn't work, but I was pleasantly surprised.

    As soon as I got home I started putting on the tape directly on the legs of my bed. My bed has 8 legs, and while I was wrapping up the tape on the 7th leg, I saw an adult bed bug crawling on the carpet towards me. We threw the couch and chair in the room out and have been treating for about 3 weeks, so I guess it had to resort to desperate measures (feeding during the middle of the day on an awake and active host) to live. It was headed straight towards me!

    I got a small piece of the wax paper that the tape is adhered to when it is packaged and decided to test the tape out. It took about 3 minutes to get this guy on the wax paper; he was trying run away! Once it was on, I put the wax paper next to the tape, however I think it knew the deal and wasn't trying to go anywhere. So I slightly touched the wax paper on to the tape and the bed bug was immediately stuck , head first, on the tape. It was still moving , legs flailing in the air. I wish I could explain it more vividly; there was no way it way it was getting off that tape. I was so confident abut that, that I finished taping up the 7th and 8th legs (about 5 minutes total), looked back, and it was still stuck.

    Since its legs were parallel to the tape surface (picture the scene like : " F " , where and underline is the tape, the bottom of the "F" is the head of the bed bug, and the two appendages of the "F" are the legs flailing wildly, except that it was on the leg of the bed so the whole "F" scene would have to be rotated 90 degrees), I decided to sort of bend the bed bug's body so that the legs would touch the tape, and see if it could free itself and return (at least somewhat) to the "F" position it was originally in (to mimick it getting it stuck via its legs, and trying to free itself). As soon as those legs hit that tape, it was pretty much a wrap: it was officially stuck. I tried getting it out in order to squash it and throw it away, but it was "one with the tape", so I ended up just squashing it there instead of throwing that whole piece of tape away just to re-tape it.

    I registered just to tell this story, because I know how it is reading "for" and "against" arguments for tools to fight these devil incarnates, and how easily one can feel discouraged from purchasing something based on them.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Feb 17 2011 12:23:44
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    You tested whether bed bugs can adhere to double-sided tape if they are picked up and manually pressed against the tape. I don't think anyone was doubting that.

    That does not prove that bed bugs will walk onto tape. I don't doubt some will, but it has been suggested that it does not work well.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. 2muchskillz

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Feb 18 2011 1:59:11
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    Nobugsonme - 13 hours ago  » 
    You tested whether bed bugs can adhere to double-sided tape if they are picked up and manually pressed against the tape. I don't think anyone was doubting that.
    That does not prove that bed bugs will walk onto tape. I don't doubt some will, but it has been suggested that it does not work well.

    I must admit, I was a bit upset about your reply, but in the end I'm glad I saw it.

    The reason for that is I ended up seeing a young adult on a bookcase as I was studying (it was pretty active). The roll of tape I had left was a few feet from me, so I decided to see if you were right. I cut a small strip off and waited until it committed to a direction, then put the tape about an inch ahead of where it currently was. It reached the tape, paused, and went in the other direction! I saw this and quickly cut another piece of the tape off and "blocked" its path, only for it to go back to the other piece of tape, then ultimately go to the side!

    These critters are smarter than I thought! So, for everyone viewing this topic, the bugs will avoid double-sided carpenter's tape. This makes it a great deterrent, but not so much a great trap.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Feb 18 2011 2:32:36
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    2muchskillz - 32 minutes ago  » 

    These critters are smarter than I thought! So, for everyone viewing this topic, the bugs will avoid double-sided carpenter's tape. This makes it a great deterrent, but not so much a great trap.

    Sorry you were initially upset, but your observation that bed bugs may avoid double sided tape is in line with what others have suggested.

    However, I would caution you to consider the implications of using it as a deterrent. When bed bugs are deterred from one area, they may spread to others. This can make them much harder to get rid of.

    Thanks for posting about your experience.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Feb 18 2011 4:08:07
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    2much,

    I made a change to my last post and wanted to make sure you saw it.

  6. landlord

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Feb 27 2011 5:16:56
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    I have done some experimenting with bed bugs in a teflon bake pan that contained a small amount of cardboard. Double sided sticky tape, when placed on the cardboard simply repelled all adults. First instars would walk on the tape and usually leave within a few seconds. A few stayed stuck for a day or so but they eventually also escaped.

    Double sided sticky tape applied to the teflon pan worked differently. The adult would approach the tape and then be stuck for about a minute or so. There would be a great struggle and eventually the adult escaped. The bug had no traction and had difficulty. The first instars, on the other hand, were slowly collected on the tape. They would walk around on the tape but could not get traction to get off the tape. In the end all 18 were caught. As far as I could tell none escaped.

    A few lessons to be learned here. double sided sticky tape does not catch bugs (unless you count only first instars on a teflon substrate). Secondly double sided sticky tape acts as a repellent but first instars easily walk across it in ordinary circumstances. That would make double sided sticky tape the worst of both worlds : repelling and scattering and simultaneously failing to repel.

  7. Rosae

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 9 2011 17:30:57
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    I once slept on a nylon sheet, spread over my bed like a tablecloth, with double sided tape (even two rows) along the edges. 14 m of tape! There was no way they could reach me except over the tape.

    And they bit me. So tape didn't repel them at all. If they are hungry, nothing repels them.

  8. Zilver

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 9 2011 18:28:03
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    I have also seen bedbugs being stuck on doublesided carpettape in my old apartment, without me putting it there in the first place!

    Think one problem when we discuss this is when we say something is a deterrent, we almost always (or at least way to often) think of it stuff as used in a sleepingarea, on the legs of the bed etc.

    But the doublesided tape can be effective for other purposes if it seems likely bedbugs both avoid this tape and get stuck on the tape as well.

    I.e.x people worry about personal stuff, like books etc, which means some doublesided tape on the legs og a newbought bookshelf means you should be able to put treated books there and it´s far more hopefull the books will be ok.
    Or like a halltable where u put maybe creditcards, keys etc having some tape on the legs means you don´t have to be as anxious about them having some small nymphs you bring with you.

    After all, if they don´t like the doublesided tape it must be likely the bedbugs looks for other places to hide when they meet an obstacle like the tape, especially since there are plenty of those in an apartment, or even a single room.

    Hope you get my point, and any feedback/thoughts is of course always welcome. Am I thinking about this somewhat the right way?

    Also Rosae//
    Bites are always hard to judge from. First of all bites can take a while for some to show. So Second, How did you know they for sure bit you in your bed?
    One more thing, could there be any other possible way, like the roof or so that the bugs could have reached the bed?

    Not that I doubt your experience. Just that we here some different opinions and experiences on this, and it´s always interesting to here different sides. Hho knows, maybe some of it has to do with the brands of tape we use. Some may be better than others?

  9. insecticidal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2011 19:22:36
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    When discussing things like tape, would people PLEASE list the brand and type of tape? Some posts in this thread mention simply "double sided stick tape" and I can't tell whether you're talking about carpet tape, hanging tape, or double-sided scotch tape.

    I think the only chance of a tape working is if it has a thick glue layer that's soft enough for a bug leg to sink into. Think glue boards or fly paper. That's why carpet tape seems promising, but I've not had good luck with it. Maybe a few young nymphs are trapped at the edge, but certainly none big enough to be clearly identifiable. I used Rhino Grip double-sided acrylic adhesive strip, also labeled as "heavy duty" and "indoor/outdoor". I have not actually seen adults walk across it, but it seems that they are.

    The problem with tape is that there seems to be more variables than just "strength". I'm no adhesives scientist, but I think the main two variables are what I call "tack", which is how readily the tape grabs something that touches it lightly, and "hold", which is how firmly it holds things that have been grabbed. A lot of supposedly strong tapes are good at holding, but the adhesive is hard and requires good contact for them to work. What we need is a tape with good tack and strong hold. Or just good tack and a deep, soft adhesive layer (think back to glue boards and fly paper).

    I'm about to try 3-day painters/masking tape. I have a thin roll of 3M high adhesion painter's tape #2020 that's very effective at picking up stuff off the floor, so I'm hopeful...

  10. peppy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2011 20:20:26
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    I think Zilver makes a good point. The other situation I think of is at a hotel. Even when I check the room I am still nervous there may be BBs. I store my stuff in the bathroom, but if I can put my bag on an (inspected) table or something similar (usually an overturned trash can) and then circle that in double-sided tape, it would be great to feel like the bugs won't get into my bag.

    The key, of course, is whether the bugs are repelled by the tape, and, if not, what happens when they touch the tape. When they unstick themselves, do they go back in the opposite direction, or do they continue in the same direction?

  11. SnugAsABug

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Sep 10 2013 11:52:19
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    This is an old post but I wanted to offer another use for double sided tape that I'm thinking of.

    I live in a small apartment building and the tenant across the hall from me has reported bed bugs. I have not seen any in my apartment yet but still am acting as if I have them as they are more than likely to come here eventually (still waiting on the landlord to get an exterminator). A fear of mine is that they may go in my sneakers and then leave my apartment with me. This would spread them to my job, friend's apartments, etc. So, I was thinking of making a little square area in my living room with double sided tape and putting my shoes "in" the square.

    If I start to see bed bugs, I may get the PackTite heater and put double sided tape on the floor surrounding the heater as well.

  12. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Sep 10 2013 14:51:19
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    Hi,

    One of the reasons why double sided take does not work as a "blunder trap" is that bedbugs rarely blunder about, instead they actually test the ground before they commit to walking upon it.

    Thus only the occasional "special bus" bedbug will become immobilised.

    However the greatest concern is that an immobilised bedbugs will produce an alarm pheromone to warn the others to avoid the area thus potentially making the matter worse rather than better.

    Hope that explains a bit more of the detail.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.

    "Astral Entomologist - because so many people say my ideas are out of this world"
  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Sep 10 2013 14:59:47
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    SnugAsABug - 3 hours ago  » 
    So, I was thinking of making a little square area in my living room with double sided tape and putting my shoes "in" the square.

    Except if you read this thread, you will see that even the original poster later admits that double-sided tape does not work well.

  14. needrest

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Sep 11 2013 9:01:49
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    David, I,m curious about this alarm pheromone they produce. Is that the odor that some people say they can smell when BB are present? Thanks.

  15. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Sep 11 2013 10:02:09
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    Hi needrest,

    Like many things connected with bedbugs its a little more complex than first appears but let me explain why.

    Many insects use pheromones or aromatic organic compounds to communicate, the best known and characterised of these are the mating pheromones which can attract moths from significant distances or which lure roaches onto sticky traps. Different chemicals will have different meanings and as such is more akin to how we communicate with sound.

    With bedbugs there are two major classes of pheromone, the aggregation pheromone which effectively says the home is safe and the alarm pheromone which is used to indicate distress.

    How here is where the real complexity comes in. Some of you may know or will have worked this out but I am a synesthete, in so much as my senses are often interpreted as shapes and colours as well as the usual way. In particular smells to me have always had a profile a bit like a graph with peaks and troughs, some things are sharp and spikey while other smells are rolling and smooth. Its not uncommon for this to be the case with people with certain forms of dyslexia and can be the root of a great deal of frustration at times because its hard to convey this perception to people who may not understand it. Specifically in my case the heightened sense are smell and sight, occasionally sound but that is more of a curse and sign that an migraine is coming on than a skill you can use in your work, although telling someone that their phone upstairs just had a text message while on silent is impressive because I could hear the noise of the vibration on the bedside table.

    The most common bedbug related smell is actually a smooth rolling smell often referred to as a raspberry or burnt almond smell. Although very weak at low level infestations it is in essence what they imprint dogs on for detection. I think I am still the only person who have documented a personal ability to detect a single bedbug in a room with no air flow for 12 hours although I am more than aware that the industry cant get their heads around that fact. I have had other team members who can do it as well but don't have client testimonials to prove it.

    Now the alarm pheromone is different, it has a sharper profile and appears spikey to me and is commonly referred to as a coriander type smell. You can induce it by stressing the bedbugs either through physical pressure or immobilising them on glue. We don't usually smell it unless we are working on the room and then the smell tends to rapidly build up which is why working quickly and yet efficiently is so essential.

    Most people who live amongst an infestation do not detect the smell because it builds up with time and thus they are acclimatised to it. Its only when a fresh nose comes into the room can it be detected.

    Hope that explains it, its certainly not BB 101 material and to be honest unless you are working with them everyday you just don't have the exposure needed to hone your skills and senses.

    Hope that explains it well enough.

    David

  16. Tryn2Cope

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 12 2013 0:43:14
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    Interesting to say the least. I'm learning more and more about these pesky little bugs than I want to know. But...I need and have to know, that's the sad part.

  17. needrest

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 12 2013 8:08:00
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    Thanks, I find info like this very interesting!


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