Passive Monitors for early detection of bed bugs

Contained in this section of the website you will find all the information you need to know about the product, such as answers to the following questions:

How do Bedbug Passive Monitors work?

Passive Monitors at first appear to be very simple devices when in fact they are quite complex in how they cause bedbugs to behave.  Once installed they provide the perfect home for bedbugs already in the room causing them to investigate and ultimately move into this perfect home that you have provided for them, in much the same way that birds will occupy a bird box in the garden.

Because of the patented design features and principles, when bedbugs use this harbourage they behave in the following unique ways: 

These behavioural patterns are part of the basic rules of bedbugs and are not something they can avoid doing or that they will become resistant or “wise to.”  Thereby the monitors have the added feature that they effectively use the bedbugs’ own behaviour against themselves.  In particular:

This technology has been the basis of our commercial service for the last five years and has been shown to detect bedbugs within 12 - 72 hours from introduction and has resolved countless infestations in both domestic and commercial settings.  These behavioural patterns are part of the basic rules of bedbugs and are not something they can avoid doing or that they will become resistant or “wise to”. Our technology was developed after years of field observation and understanding of how bedbugs colonise locations.

The image below illustrates faecal traces left on the detection skirt of a Passive Monitor after only a few days of being installed in a domestic property.

How often should you check them?

In a normal domestic setting you only need to check the Passive Monitor once a month as any infestation caught within the first 60 days of colonisation is much easier to deal with.  If you feel that you are in a high risk situation either due to a previous infestation, residing in a bedbug “hot spot” or by virtue of the amount of travelling you do, then weekly inspections are advisable.

There is no benefit in checking the Passive Monitor more frequently than weekly as any eggs deposited will always take at least 10 days to hatch and, therefore, checking weekly will ensure you identify the problem before it starts to multiply and long before it is able to get “out of control.”

You do not need to remove the Passive Monitor to inspect it, just check the white detection skirt that runs around the outside of the device for the telltale faecal deposits and cast off skins.  Faecal traces can also be confirmed using the Bed Bug Blue faecal trace test kit which is the most accurate way to confirm if a mark is bedbug related.  

If you do have signs on your Passive Monitor, you should gently remove it and seal it in a zip lock bag so that it can be confirmed by your pest controller or used as evidence to illustrate the problem.

We try to encourage people not to over inspect for bedbugs as daily inspections often result in people becoming unnecessarily anxious over every small piece of dust, lint or dirt, which can be counter productive and a huge emotional drain.

How do you install them?

Passive Monitors are supplied with an adhesive backing protected with a waxy covering.  To install, simply remove the protective covering and firmly place the monitor onto the install surface.  Care should be taken to ensure that the install location will not become damaged if the monitor needs to be removed.  Particular precaution should be taken when applying to paper surfaces, painted surfaces, fabrics that may become damaged or brittle varnishes.  

The installation process only takes 30 seconds once the install location is decided. 

Where should they be installed?

Passive Monitors should be installed on beds and seating that are routinely occupied.  They are placed close to where people sleep or sit so that any bedbugs in the area seeking food also find a new home in the monitor and leave confirming signs. 

Although we have had success in detecting bedbugs in unoccupied areas such as cleaners’ cupboards and luggage storage areas in hotels, we prefer to focus on areas that are routinely occupied and, therefore, most attractive to bedbugs.  The reality is that any bedbug that ends up in such locations will quite quickly move on to a more occupied location in search of food.  If you are worried about bedbugs in your gym locker or out buildings, you can use Passive Monitors there.  However, in most cases we would expect them to remain clear of activity.

The images dbelow indicate where on different bed and seat types the monitors should be installed.

Beds

Passive Monitors are ideally installed at the head end of the bed on the base or box spring section so that they provide bedbugs with the perfect harbourage close to a source of food.  This way bedbugs are most likely to explore the Passive Monitors either on the way to seeking food or on their way back.  The images below show the classic installation locations for a variety of bed types.  If you have a different design and want specific advice on installation, please contact us and include as many clear images as possible such as the examples.

Seats and chairs

The installation location for seats and chairs is based on the most occupied position, which will be the most attractive location for bedbugs.  On sofas and soft furnishings this is most commonly on the underside, as illustrated in the images below.  For office chairs, it is the underside of the seat near the back of the legs.  If you have a different design and want specific advice on installation, please contact us and include as many clear images as possible such as the examples below.

Vehicles

Increasingly people are concerned about vehicles becoming infested with bedbugs, although this is less common than people worry about its often best to be ProActive and avoid a huge infestation by catching the issue quickly.

The install sites for vehicles are shown in the images below, the priority is to monitors the drivers seat as that is the most commonly occupied.

If I have had a chemical treatment can I still use Passive Monitors?

We have noticed that some chemicals have a repelling action on bedbugs and, as such, may interfere with the attraction that bedbugs have to the Passive Monitor.  If you have had a chemical treatment, then we would always advise that you remove any chemicals from 6 to 12 inches from where the monitor is installed to negate any repellency issues.  We know for certain that formulations that only contain Diatomaceous Earth (DE)  have no repellency to bedbugs so long as they are not applied too heavily.

We regret that for logistical reasons we are not able to test all the insecticides available in all the different global markets in order to create a definitive list.  Therefore, where possible, you should discuss the use of Passive Monitors with your pest controller in advance of treatment.

When are Passive Monitors most effective and are there times other tools are better suited?

Passive Monitors are designed to work in occupied areas because they utilise the bedbugs’ natural harbourage seeking behaviour post feeding.  Although we have examples of them working in unoccupied areas such as cleaners’ cupboards and luggage storage areas in Hotels as part of an integrated solution, we feel that active monitoring is a more appropriate strategy for locations that are less frequently occupied.  Active monitors provide an alternative stimuli to bedbugs and attract them when they are seeking food.  The most potent attractant to bedbugs is Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which should be capable of being delivered for between five and seven consecutive days.

Additional lures to bedbugs are body heat and certain aromatic chemicals (most notably pheromones) although the field data to support the use of more complete monitoring systems is somewhat lacking.  Some monitoring systems encompass a glue or sticky element, but these are best avoided as they can induce the release of alarm pheromones from any immobilised bedbug which encourages others to scatter and disperse.

Through extensive testing and system development, we have found that the most effective of the Active Monitors currently on the market is the Bed Bug Beacon from PackTite which utilises a CO2 reaction to produce sufficient gas to attract bedbugs for up to seven days and, in fact, gives the best results from day three of deployment onwards.

bed bug beacon active monitor

Bed Bug Beacon Active Monitoring system

Application notes for Passive Monitors and trial data

As the inventors of Passive Bedbug Monitors we have more field knowledge of their use than any other company in the world.  Although we are slightly flattered by some of the clones and those who have “borrowed” our ideas and terminology, most have sadly not based their work on field observations and developments.  We provide the documents below to illustrate their efficiency and to help people to use them as part of their bedbug detection and eradication strategy.

Passive Monitor installation instructions - This is the most current document we have on installation of Passive Monitors


 

Initial field trial results and data - Report illustrating the field trial results of passive bedbug monitors conducted by an independent pest control firm.


 

Treatment by passive monitor replacement - In some situations treatment is possible through the replacement and targeted cleaning of areas with light bedbug infestations.  This development protocol outlines the necessary steps


 

2011 field trial update on passive monitors - As part of our ongoing commitment to developing the passive monitor technology we have conducted a number of tests.  This document indicates where the technology can be utilised in a practical way to assist with early detection and control of bedbugs.


 

2011 Optimising furniture to reduce the impact of an infestation of bedbugs - Tips and principles for optimising furniture in advance of an infestation of bedbugs to aid early detection and reduce the spread.


 

Where can I buy Passive Monitors?

USA and Canada Passive Monitors are available branded as the PackTite™ Passive Monitor available  from USBedbugs.com

Canada (local supply) BedBug Mutts

UK, EU and ROW supply via our Online Shop.

Or Via Amazon UK where it is available for Prime delivery

Customer reviews

Here are some of the comments and reviews posted about this product online:

Religiously check for those black spots.  Don't take any chances.

Check these monitors for black spots as often as you can. The exterminator says they're all gone but I can't take any chances.

5 of 5 Stars! (5/5) Reviewed by: Jillkillbugs from PA on 9/5/2011 www.UsBedbugs.com

Purchased BB Alert Passive Bed Bugs Monitor and I am happy with the product.

5 of 5 Stars! (5/5)    Review by   JR F.  (Posted on Friday 15 April, 2011) www.pestmall.com

Recommended to avoid the manual inspection of bed bug activity

5 of 5 Stars! (5/5)    Review by   Henry H.  (Posted on Saturday 02 April, 2011) www.pestmall.com

‍‍‍Bedbug Passive Monitors are simple to use detectors for bedbugs which enable you to easily identify the confirming signs of a bedbug infestation, namely:

Live samples

Cast skins

Faecal traces

They are induced to leave faecal traces on the detection skirt - an easy way to confirm if they are present

The perfect harbourage provides a place for female bedbugs to lay their eggs - where they can be easily removed

If they need to shed their skin, they leave it in plain view on the detection skirt - another easy sign to confirm

Bedbug faecal trace is known to signal other bedbugs that this is a safe location - the monitor increases in efficiency with each occupant

Bedbugs return to the same harbourage throughout development as long as they remain happy there - nymphs are not dispersed as with glue based systems

Installation advice for encased beds to use the Passive Monitor for early bed bug detection.
Installation location on office chairs for Passive MOnitors to enable early detection of bed bugs
Installation location for Passive Monitor on slatted bed for the early detection of bed bugs
Installation location on board based bed for Passive Monitor to enable early detection of bed bugs
Installation location on recliners for Passive Monitors for the early detection of bed bugs

Catching an infestation early limits its spread where it is easier and less costly to resolve

Treatment may be as simple as replacing the monitor and deep cleaning - see Treatment by Passive Monitor replacement report

No glue or chemicals to alert the bedbugs and cause them to scatter

No on-going maintenance such as applying talc

Works with the bedbugs’ biology and behaviour thus making it impossible for them to become resistant to this method

They provide the perfect quality assurance for thermal, fumigation and green treatments

Chemical free and thus an environmentally sustainable approach to dealing with infestations

No need for costly replacement lures or quarterly service visits (our system is about results not revenue)

Installation location for Passive Monitors on sofas to enable early detection of bed bugs
keep calm and monitor for bed bugs

Remember

Bed Bugs Limited information on Passive bedbug Monitors for early detection - monitor install location for sofa
Bed Bugs Limited information on Passive bedbug Monitors for early detection - monitor install location for sofa

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Author: David Cain © Bed Bugs Limited 2016

They provide the perfect harbourage site for bedbugs and then induce them to leave telltale signs to show you they are present.

In trials the monitors have enabled detection within 12 - 72 hours of bedbugs being introduced to a location, thereby making the problem much easier to resolve and less likely to spread.

The key benefits of this approach are:

Link to The Federation of Small BusinessesLink to Link to The Bed Bug Foundation

Passive Monitors

Bed Bugs Limited

Eradicating bed bugs from homes and businesses since 2005

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Bed bug Passive Monitor with faecal traces
Passive Monitor on divan bed

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