Tips for Using Interceptors

Bed Bug Supplement - Bed Bug Supplement

Bed bug monitors are a good tool for a proactive control program.

June 15, 2022


Editor’s note: This article was written by Crystal Giberson, communications and marketing coordinator for TRNZ4m. TRNZ4m is parent company of SenSci, a bed bug interceptor manufacturer.


One of the many effective devices for bed bug monitoring and management are bed bug interceptors. As pest control providers, we know that all pests can provide difficulties when it comes to treatments, but bed bugs are often one of the trickiest pests to eliminate. Luckily, through research studies and product innovation over the past decade, there are now effective tools available that pest control providers should have in their bed bug toolbox.

There are several effective bed bug tools for treatments, and one of the most cost-effective are bed bug interception devices. The devices, which are also known as bed bug monitors, are typically a pitfall-style trap that allows the bed bug to crawl up the side of the device and fall into a well that they cannot escape from. Two styles are used as part of a bed bug protocol: free-standing and under-the-leg interceptors. Although they both have different styles and uses, they both offer the same benefits when it comes to using them as part of a bed bug protocol.

Here are five reasons PMPs should consider using interceptors as part of their bed bug treatment program.

INCREASED DETECTION RATES. Detection and inspection for bed bugs are crucial for moving forward with any type of bed bug treatment. Your clients may claim they are being bitten, but if you can’t locate the source, how can you provide the proper treatment?

For bed bugs, there are a variety of techniques to detect an infestation, including canine, visual inspection by a technician or by using bed bug monitors.

Bed bug interceptors, also known as monitors, are typically a pitfall-style trap that allows the bug to crawl up the side of the device and fall into a well that they cannot escape from.

Visual inspections are common, however, there can be some discrepancies if it is a low-level bed bug infestation (10 or fewer bugs).

According to Richard Cooper, owner/entomologist of R Cooper Consulting, “visual inspections can detect approximately 70 percent of all bed bug infestations and 50 percent of low-level infestations, whereas bed bug interceptors consistently detect 90 percent or more of existing infestations, including low-level ones, in as little as two weeks.”

These devices, when installed during an initial service, have the ability to capture and detect all stages of bed bugs as they travel throughout an environment that might otherwise be missed during a visual inspection. By doing so, the interceptors provide PMPs with key information to properly confirm an infestation. One Rutgers University study (Journal of Medical Entomology, May 2016) found “interceptors are much more effective than visual inspections and information obtained from interviews of building occupants.”

These devices offer greater peace of mind for confirming bed bug activity, especially when paired with a visual or canine inspection.

REDUCTION OF INFESTATION. Along with being a detection tool, reducing the number of bed bugs in an environment also can be a benefit of using interceptors as part of your bed bug treatment program.

Bed bugs can take several follow-ups to eliminate, but using interceptors from the initial treatment can help capture bed bugs in between service calls to reduce the infestation quicker. Jeff White, CEO of White Mantis Consulting, said, “Every bed bug caught in an interceptor is one less bed bug in that environment, making it easier for you to eliminate the problem.”

The devices are capable of helping to reduce the infestation in between service calls, which can reduce the number of pesticides needed to eradicate the infestation.

According to a research study published in PCT magazine in April 2009, “Because interceptors remove bed bugs, they also provide immediate relief to residents from bites and reduce the need for insecticide applications as they catch the bugs.”

ELIMINATION OF BITES. Bed bugs cause a lot of stress physically, financially and emotionally.

By implementing a well-rounded bed bug treatment program, you’re giving your clients peace of mind knowing there is a form of protection between them and the bugs.

Interception devices, which can be placed under the leg of furniture or next to the legs of furniture, capture bed bugs as they travel to and from sleeping or resting areas. These devices will catch bed bugs in between services and can reduce the number of bites a client may experience.

According to a study by Changlu Wang at Rutgers University that is referenced in a Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet, “Passive pitfall monitors are more likely to reduce the number of bed bug bites when placed under legs of beds and upholstered furniture by stopping the bed bug from reaching the resident.”

White Mantis Consultants’ White added that, “by placing interceptors down as part of your bed bug treatment program, you’re catching bugs between services and reducing the pressure on the client who is being bitten. For every one bug caught in the monitor, that’s one less bug that can bite the resident.”

ENHANCED TRACK AND TRACE.  Depending on the severity of the infestation, determining where the bed bugs are hiding is crucial to eliminating the problem. By placing under-the-leg interceptors out as well as installing free-standing interceptors around the perimeter of the room, you will be able to use the monitors as indicators to where the bugs are harboring.

For instance, if you place under-the-leg interceptors under the legs of a bed in a bedroom and find 20 bugs in the monitor closest to the head of the bed on the right side near the closet, but don’t have any bugs in the interceptor at the front of the bed on the right side, this is a good indication of where you need to focus your treatment efforts.

By using the information provided by the interceptors, you can provide a more effective, targeted treatment to areas where bed bugs are harboring that you may have otherwise missed.

REDUCE COSTS, INCREASE PROFITS. The final reason for using bed bug interceptors is a combination of all the reasons and the cost-benefit analysis that the product should provide.

“For the inexpensive cost of installing interceptors in a traditional room, you can detect bed bugs better, reduce the number of bites your resident is receiving, reduce the number of bed bugs in an environment and determine the directionality of the infestation so you can provide a more targeted, effective treatment. That outweighs the cost of the price,” White said. “The cost-benefit analysis is too great to not be utilizing them in your treatments.”

According to White, companies that are using interceptors in their treatment programs explain that even for the few dollars it costs to use them, the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.

“Some are even using the devices to help declare infestations eliminated, which could be an additional benefit of interceptors that we haven’t listed,” he said.

Even though there are several other benefits that bed bug interceptors offer, it is important to remember that an effective bed bug treatment protocol includes a variety of chemical and non-chemical tools to help eliminate infestations. With insecticide resistance growing among bed bugs, using non-chemical tools such as vacuums, steamers, interceptors, encasements and more, are essential to have in your bed bug toolbox.

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