Environmental considerations play a role in the ability of climb up interceptors to catch bed bugs

It has been noted by others that black climb up interceptors catch more bed bugs than white ones in an experimental tank. I suspected that environmental conditions were responsible for those results so I decided to test this theory in my experimental tank.

I put four identical white interceptors in my experimental tank and covered two of them (in a diagonal pattern) with a black cover approximately 1/3rd of an inch larger than the interceptor. The black cover was placed on a wood block in the middle of the interceptor so that the bugs could not get onto the cover. Two experiments (with a swap of the cover locations between experiments) were run with 200ml of Co2 per minute piped into a location directly on top of the tank. The lights were turned out with only a 4 watt night light (simulating an average bedroom) in the room with no direct light on the tank.

The total results (adding both results together) were 5 bugs in the white interceptor and 2 underneath the white interceptor. The black cover had 12 in the interceptors and 12 under the interceptors. As you can see the black cover (the environment) played a critical role in attracting bed bugs to identical devices. The bugs were looking for the safest way to the lure.

In real life settings we note the same pattern. The corner bed leg always has the most bed bugs while the bed leg diagonal to the corner (leg closest to the centre of the room) always has the least. The dark environment appears to influence which device catches more bugs.

Therefore the marketing claims that black interceptors work better should be taken with a grain of salt. I recommend white ones as they probably work just as well in real life settings and are easier to inspect.

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