Many people with bed bugs in their rooms try to deal with the infestation the DIY way. Usually, it is either because they feel that the problem is not that severe or their tight budget is keeping them from contacting the pros.
Either way, there are many home remedies that they may count on, most of which involve the use of common household items. Some people arm themselves with a roll of tape to put an end to the bed bug infestation.
But does trapping bed bugs with tape work?
The goal of using tape is to make bed bugs stick to it, keeping them from running away and hiding elsewhere. While effective at trapping bed bugs, the use of tape alone won’t necessarily solve the problem. Taking the right steps after collecting them with tape can spell the difference between failure and success.
The tape is one of the most versatile school and office supplies. It can also serve as a trap for bed bugs at home.
What’s perfect for the job is the clear type for packing purposes. And to know how to pull off using tape to manage an infestation with your own hands, don’t stop reading now.
Below you will come across some important matters that you need to know, from making bed bugs go out of their hiding places to killing them after being trapped.
Pro-tip: Did you know that one of the easiest ways to get rid of bed bugs is to use special powders? Check here if you want to know the best bed bug killer powders (safe for humans and pets) on Amazon.com now.
How to Trap Bed Bugs With Tape
Examine The Tape Before Use
Before you begin to eliminate bed bugs from the face of the planet (well, at least those that are in your bedroom) using tape, it is important to make sure first that the roll of tape you are about to use is fit for the job.
Just like the majority of goods that money can buy, tape has an expiration date. Experts say that the product’s shelf life is about one year, provided that it is stored in a cool and dry place, as well as away from direct sunlight.
If the tape you have is already expired, then it may no longer be sticky enough to trap bed bugs.
To be sure, you may check out the packaging. Getting in touch with the manufacturer may be done, too.
Using tape to deal with a bed bug infestation may not be the smartest idea if you are living where it is very cold. That’s because its adhesive tends to freeze when exposed to low temperatures.
You may also fail to get the desired results if the roll of tape you have has been exposed to dust and dirt.
Checking that your tape is in excellent working condition is a must if you are planning to trap bed bugs with it. Otherwise, you should buy a new roll or switch to a different home remedy for a bed bug infestation.
If you are looking for a recommendation check Harris Bed Bug Barrier Tape on Amazon.
Identify All Places Where Insects Can Be
Bed bugs can also live in places where you least expect them, such as in a five-star hotel room. Despite what many think, a bed bug infestation can happen not only in sleazy hotels but also expensive ones.
This is why there are many online horror stories about people who experience a sudden bed bug infestation at home after returning from a trip.
If you’re not careful, some of the bed bugs lurking in your hotel room may cling to your clothes or hide in your suitcase, which may then be introduced into your home later.
Having a roll of tape in your luggage, therefore, is a great idea if offering your blood to bed bugs while you are sleeping is the least of your desires. Because you only have two hands, asking somebody to help you with trapping bed bugs with tape can speed up the process.
Worry not if you don’t want to waste time hunting down bed bugs during your grand vacation. Before your flight, check online if the hotel you booked has a bed bug history. Immediately cancel your reservation if so.
Lure Bed Bugs To Come Out of Hiding
In catching bed bugs with tape, there is one very important step that you need to take. And it’s none other than driving bed bugs out of their favorite hiding places.
Because your fingers are too big to fit in the cracks in the wall, spaces between the flooring planks and others, you should first encourage bed bugs to show up.
Fortunately, there are many ways to make those bloodsucking creatures make an appearance, allowing you to catch them with tape. Here are some of those that you may try:
- Swipe that credit card. No, it’s not through a payment terminal at your favorite retail store that you should swipe it, but through tight spaces where bed bugs could be hiding.
- Give the playing card trick a try. After beating your buddies with a royal flush at a game of poker, you may use a playing card to flush bed bugs out of their hard-to-reach hiding and mating areas.
- Pick a fight using a toothpick. A credit card or playing card may fail to work on holes as well as irregularly shaped cracks. This is when a toothpick can come to the rescue.
- Blow their minds with a blow dryer. Bed bugs don’t like heat, and that is why you may count on a blow dryer. Use a low airflow setting to keep them from getting blown off to other places.
You may be wondering why rubbing alcohol, essential oils and hot water are not included on the list above. Well, that’s because they can rob tape of its adhesive properties, keeping it from trapping bed bugs.
The takeaway: When relying on tape, refrain from using anything that can make it wet.
Terminate Trapped Bed Bugs
Before anything else: Tape can trap bed bugs, not kill them. To put the infestation to an end using tape as a DIY solution, it is important to take the necessary steps after trapping those bed bugs.
If you want to show those bed bugs some mercy, then slay them quickly.
What you may do is fold the tape in half, allowing their sticky sides to stick to each other. Place on a flat surface afterward.
Reach for a glass jar and roll it over the tape like a rolling pin. You may also use your fingernail to crush them, but it will take more time.
Nobody can blame you for wanting to give those pesky critters a slow and probably painful end. If you want to take this route, you may place the strips of tape you used in a garbage bag, spray it with bug spray, and seal.
Bed bugs don’t like high temperatures, so you may also place bed bugs trapped in tape in hot water. Use a stick to make those bloodsuckers come into contact with hot water.
If you don’t have the time to boil water, you may use room temperature water. However, make sure that the bed bugs stay there for at least a day.
Just Before You Reach for a Roll of Tape
Tape is cheap and easily accessible. Using it to deal with a bed bug infestation at home is definitely easier on the pocket compared to letting professional exterminators spring into action.
However, it may not be enough if the problem is severe and widespread. And even if the infestation is mild, you may fail to see results if you use tape the wrong way.
Make sure that you follow the tips mentioned above to put the bed bug infestation under control without the use of fancy and expensive equipment.
Will sealing cracks with caulk help control the infestation?
Caulking cracks in walls will trap bed bugs hiding in them. However, not all bed bug hiding places can be sealed with caulk.
Can I leave tape over hiding places to keep bed bugs from escaping?
Bed bugs can live up to 400 days without feeding. To make sure that they’re dead, you should leave the tape in place for more than a year.
Photo credit: ©canva.com/GuillemVerges
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