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Pheromone traps questions: Where (not) to put them? Reliability?

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  1. yesbugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 16 2013 13:50:47
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    Greetings fellow buggers,

    we received 10 pheromone traps from our PCO to distribute around the flat. Now I'm a bit worried that if we place the traps in uninfested spots, bed bugs might get attracted from other parts of the flat and infest the rooms/locations surrounding the traps. Does that make any sense?

    E.g. I wonder if I should put a trap under my desk (in my - mildly infested - room): I really don't want my laptop to get infested, so I don't want to lure bugs to that part of the room.

    On the other hand, in case they already are around my desk (I am frequently up late, and I found a single bed bug skin under a toeboard next to my desk), the trap might get them away from there…?

    So where would you recommend placing them?

    Some more background info:

    The trap: The PCO said that the trap attracts horny males. The trap consists of a cardboard folding with an adhesive tape at the bottom. (Which does not feel a lot more sticky than normal, quality double-sided adhesive tape, which I have tested to be ineffective in holding an alive bed bug catch of mine.) A pill containing the pheromone is to be placed in the middle of the tape. The pill's name is "SCHAB-LOCK" and it has a cockroach image on it. ("Schabe" means "cockroach" in German.) Googling that gave me little results, so I don't know what's the attractant and if it's actually suitable for bed bugs.

    Do you think these things will work?

    I myself am probably no suitable 'detector', since I don't appear to react to bites (yet…?). I will test that again though, with "Föni", one of my 2 alive catches. (I am not 100% sure she actually bit me the first time.) Or with her buddy "Peter", but I guess he's still full. (With the blood of my flat mate, who can act as a human detector, since she reacts within less than a day.)

    Our appartment and infestation: We have a 4-room flat share. 2 rooms are currently inhabited and mildly infested. A third room had been heavily infested, but has been heat-treated since someone last lived in there. (It has been heat-treated twice, because the infestation has returned after the first treatment. We suspect that it was also the heat-treatment, which drove the infestation into the 2 other rooms. In particular the first treatment, because by then holes hadn't been closed yet: in the ceiling, 1 meter above the infested bunk bed, leading to the attic; and in the wall, which has a lot of empty space behind its first layer.) The fourth room seems clear so far. (The old occupant and her boyfriend had no bites and I didn't find any skins or feces under the bed or toeboards next to it. We did find one small cluster of feces which looked, felt and smeared perfectly like bed bug feces, but we caught a bug of a different species hiding in close proximity to this cluster.)

    Thank you for your helpfulness!!
    Cheers, yesbugs

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 16 2013 15:41:37
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    Hi,

    What you have described sounds like a standard cockroach trap and is therefore unlikely to be effective for bedbugs because the pheromone attractants for roaches have been around for long enough that people have already tested them for bedbugs and ruled them out as a solution.

    They may for as random sticky blunder traps but that approach has also been out of favor for a while.

    I suspect you may need to find a pest controller with a little more knowledge and experience of bedbugs.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

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  3. yesbugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 16 2013 17:44:19
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    Hey David,

    thank you for your expert perspective and advice, complete with plausible line of reasoning! Also thank you so much for all your contributions in the community and the field in general!!

    If I get the chance, I want to ask the PCO why he thinks that these traps work for bed bugs.

    As to my main question whether the traps could attract infestation and where to put them, I take it I shouldn't worry too much, since my bed bugs will probably care little about these gadgets.

    I am hesitant to switch pest controllers (again), since this company offers a warranty; and they're the only one with that, of ~15 in our area I asked so far! The pricing seemed very competitive, too. (250€/treatment for the whole flat*; although then he treated a lot less than what was agreed on with his agency. And he was very fast, his whole visit took less than an hour and I didn't get to ask all my questions (but I can call him). But I trust him somewhat, mostly due to the warranty…) So let's hope I don't only "get what I paid for"…

    All the best,
    yesbugs

    * For comparison: The heat treatment was 540€ for one room. And even that seemed cheap for this technology - the other offers I had found were over 1000€.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 16 2013 17:59:42
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    Hi,

    Interestingly enough pest control in Germany is more regulated than the rest of the EU, I was told you need a pest control degree to call yourself a pest controller as its a regulated trade.

    That said bedbugs are back from the brink and in the EU the experience is in the major hub cities so not everyone is fully up to speed across the industry.

    The EU prices are also much lower than the US by virtue of the fact that professional insurance is cheaper and the certification process is not as restricted as it is in the US.

    Remember the time it takes to do the job depends on the extent of te infestation. I was once called I to a hotel to investigate and found the single adult male bedbug in under ten minutes, the treatment only took as long as I needed to bag it up.

    Hope that makes sense and yes no need to worry about placement as they are not that effective.

    David

  5. yesbugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 16 2013 20:06:36
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    Thank you for the info again, David! It does make sense.

    Interesting, that pest controllers have to be certified in Germany, good to know. Regulating the trade makes sense I guess, since it's 'serious business' of general public concern, what with these critter's toughness and contagiousness, leading to the recent year's epidemic… Luckily my city Darmstadt sports 145k inhabitants, so hopefully our professionals will have some experience.

    It's also enlightening to learn that apparently you don't follow up every find with a full-blown treatment. That gives us some relief, as we were worried about our pest controller being sloppy.

    Sleep tight!
    yesbugs


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