Introduction: Easiest Bed Bug Trap

Picture of Easiest Bed Bug Trap

To start mix your sugar/yeast solution to bait the trap. Bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide, and yeast produce it as they feed on sugar.

Mix 2 cups of pure cain granulated sugar to 2 liters warm water. Use bottle or filtered water so to not have chlorine. Add a little yeast. If you buy a packet then use about 25% of it. Otherwise use about 1/2 a teaspoon.

Set that aside. You'll need it at the last step. It should be frothy by then. If not then it won't take long.

Step 1: Start

Picture of Start

Bed bugs have become a major issue around our country (USA). I think it's because of our bad economy. People are picking things up from beside the road and carrying it into their houses. Before you do this you should be very careful because those things might hide bed bugs. Once you have them it's very hard to get rid of them. Traps are unlikely to solve your bed bug problem, but if you can't afford to pay expensive exterminators then traps may help.

This is the easiest bed bug trap.

    2 or 3 liter bottle
    Roll of Paper Towels
    Scissors with a sharp point or include a knife or razor

Step 2: Prepare the Bottle

Picture of Prepare the Bottle

Cut the top off along the top edge of the label.

Step 3: Make Footholds

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The bed bugs can't climb the smooth plastic bottle, so you have to give them something to grab as they climb. Wrap the bottle with paper towel and tape it on. Make it even at the bottom. Cut off the excess at the top, but leave a little overhang.

Step 4: Grand Finally

Picture of Grand Finally

Fold the top over into the bottle, then invert the bottle top and insert it into the bottle. It should be even at the top with no plastic sticking up. 

You are done. You can add a little talc powder inside to make it more slippery, but I haven't found that necessary.

Put about 1/4 cup of sugar into the bottle and then about 3 inches of the sugar/yeast solution.

Put excess solution into the fridge. The yeast will go dormant in the cold, but become active again when warmed up.

Place it in a place where you want it to catch bed bugs and it won't get knocked over. You might find bed bugs in it in the morning. If you don't, that doesn't mean there are no bed bugs. They will only come if they are hungry. 


fscerri (author)2017-11-19

Also, traps aren't supposed to alleviate the bed bug problem, their only purpose is to find out whether you have bed bugs or not

fscerri (author)2017-11-19

I've used ordinary tap water, I think I may have boiled it to remove some of poisons that our government thinks we need and it worked.

PamelaD62 (author)2017-01-23

I have tried to make this a few times now. And i cant get it frothy. I have used boiled tap water and tried with bottled water and i can not get it to work. Any tips?

noahspurrier (author)PamelaD622017-01-23

Yes, use molasses instead of sugar, or add 1 slice of wheat bread and put through a blender. The recipe given in the article lacks nutrients required for healthy yeast growth. Yeast survive about as well as you would if fed nothing but sugar syrup.

rpotts2 (author)noahspurrier2017-10-31

You're just using another form of carbohydrate to feed the yeast. Molasses may be easier to dissolve, but it's also more expensive. Also, its your choice to drink bedbug water. Perhaps if it weren't a funnel trap, but in this form? Nope...

I think the most important thing is to use non-chlorinated water. To that end, if all you have its tap water, pour it in a pitcher, and let it sit for a day. The chlorine will outgas.

LovelyJen (author)2016-07-17

I'm Going to do this today. I've been sleeping outside on an air mattress in my gazebo for months now. They should be starving by now.

I got infested from a sofa i bought at a thrift store. Never again. We pulled the beds apart and sprayed and used DE. Still got bitten.

I've started boxing everything up and ripping out old carpets and under pads; the old wallpaper is next and the paneling. House is old ( built ca. 1947) and absolutely FULL of cracks. I keep praying State Farm covers bed bug infestation disaster clean up, but they won't. Ugh.

I wonder if i can use small bottles of it to put in the boxes of stuff. The boxes are plastic and probably slippery for them to climb out of ... I've had these bugs for going on a year now ... At my wits end


Phoenix_Dwyn (author)LovelyJen2016-11-01

I can completely relate to your situation. My family have been battering this nightmare for over a year as well. I have tried everything except an exterminator, which I should have done right away because I've spent so much money on traps, sprays, DE, steamer, etc. As soon as I think we have won the battle, it starts all over again. You never know exactly where those little eggs are! We have gotten to the point of carefully washing and spraying everything, packing it up, buying new bedroom furniture and moving. As vicious as these things are, I hope that I haven't missed that "one little egg" that could possibly come with us.

JoeG124 (author)Phoenix_Dwyn2016-12-03

See my post above. Take a 1 week vacation and kill them off with prolonged high heat or extreme cold.

Drolkra (author)JoeG1242017-10-28

Bedbugs can survive cold environment. bedbugs survived lower temperatures, with eggs surviving in short-term exposures … to temperatures as low as -25° C,” the researchers write. But the bugs are not freeze tolerant, the scientists found, and they can be killed — no matter their stage of life or feeding status. All it takes is 80 hours in temperatures of -16° C.

JoeG124 (author)LovelyJen2016-12-03

They cannot survive prolonged heat or extreme cold. So, depending on where you live, it's climate and season, you can either kill them off with heat or cold. Do some research. If you do use extreme cold, make sure you drain your water pipes, water meter, if you have one, thoroughly or they will burst.

BehinjaminD (author)LovelyJen2016-11-20

It should be noted that the adult bed bug can hibernate without feeding for up to three years so starving them out in four months isn't possible.

The traps will be useful for those hibernating in your storage, however, as they mimic live breath.

JaxxF (author)LovelyJen2016-07-19

Hit up tractor supply and buy a couple huge bags of Diatomaceous earth (they have it cheap). cover..well, everything in the house with it. Fighting the damn things myself right now and while it isn't instant-kill they definitely don't like going through it. And it's not a chemical, it's a mechanical assault so they have no immunity. Isopropyl alcohol is good at killing the bugs and the eggs on contact but frankly i just have them in a 10x10 foot room and i've gone through almost a gallon in the past week. Heat works too, if you bring your items to 140 degrees for 20 minutes or so it's lights out. It also doesn't hurt to experiment and see what's actually effective chemical-wise since different bugs are resistant to different things. The Hot Shot stuff seems to just make mine hungrier. I've also got some sprays and such from Harris (they make a kit) and it seems to be working (came with the diatomaceous earth), using the 3 part kit in conjunction with alcohol and ecologic bed bug killer (that appears to just be diluted lemongrass oil but damn that stuff seems to work).

I'm thinking about building one of these traps and surrounding with the DE

Ladyofdsc123 (author)JaxxF2016-09-03

I know this is off the wall I do thank you for this information and I will try it all. I am a single mother with 2 kids and full time job. My baby sitter over the summer advised me she had bed bugs. Well she gave us a gift I noticed bites on myself always feeling like my skin was crawling. Was not my skin! Zig zag bites in the morning I've been kicked out my room for months now.

bobbarn (author)2017-10-19

I'm from Flint Michigan. Can I use water with Lead in it ?

manicmonday (author)bobbarn2017-10-21

Try it and let us know.

noahspurrier (author)2017-01-23

There is a flaw in this recipe. It completely lacks nutrients to support healthy yeast growth. Yes, it will work, but it's the equivalent of trying to raise your kids on nothing but popsicles (yes, I've tested this on my kids. The first child was raised on popsicles, the second on microwave hot pockets, and the third was left to forage for itself as a control. Results were compared on measurements of height, weight, and GPA...).

You can easily generate much more CO2 for a longer period of time (7 to 10 days). All you need are yeast vitamins. The easiest thing to do is to simply substitute molasses for sugar. My recipe calls for 250 grams of molasses mixed in 1 Liter of water and baker's yeast. A alternative method is to use 1 Liter of water, 250 grams of sugar, baker's yeast, and 1 slice of whole wheat bread. Simply take a slice of bread and add it to the sugar water solution. Put the mix through a blender until smooth. Add yeast. The solution may be poured into a common 2 Liter soft drink bottle to ferment. This gives the solution adequate headroom to bubble, froth, and expand without spilling out of the bottle. If you put a full 2 Liters of fluid into a 2 Liter bottle then the fluid may spill out as it begins to generate CO2 and foam.

At the end of 10 days or when it stops bubbling you may choose to drink the solution as it will have turned into a sort of beer or wine. It actually tastes quite good. It will contain about 5 to 10% alcohol by volume.

MaryR218 (author)noahspurrier2017-09-10

Oh my gawd! I'm in tears. People are looking at me like I've lost it. Thank you for making me laugh. I really needed that.

manicmonday (author)MaryR2182017-09-11

Used in the trap it will have bed bugs in it, so I for one would not care to drink it.

LazloL (author)noahspurrier2017-05-02

What you are describing is likely the precursor to rum!

ashleys1979 (author)noahspurrier2017-04-26

How much yeast do you use in your recipe? the same as the original recipe - 1/2 tsp?

Jsoa (author)2017-09-10

Hi there,

I think I have some sort of tiny insect or bedbugs in my bedding. this one

morning I wake up I have red papules on my legs which itch a lot. The
doctor says that these are insect bites. I have washed my bedsheets and
everything but they keep coming.

My OH does not have any problem, maybe my skin is more sensitive.

I wanted to ask is there any cheap and safe pesticide available which I can use to get rid of them.

As I remember I had the same problem last year in this season.

Any help would be much appreciated


TiffanyB106 (author)2017-06-15

So how long can we leave this mixture out before it no longer works?

LizzyG4 (author)2017-04-22

Can the same thing be done to a 16 oz bottle of water .?

manicmonday (author)LizzyG42017-04-23

Maybe. Give it a try and let us know.

Trapabug (author)2017-04-05

Can I use active dry yeast?

manicmonday (author)Trapabug2017-04-06


LauraD57 (author)2015-11-28

What if you use tap water? I know you said bottle or filtered but what if that's not an option?

noahspurrier (author)LauraD572017-01-23

Any water that you can drink and survive will be fine for the yeast.

qunique9 (author)noahspurrier2017-02-07

Our tap water contains chlorine so we must use distilled, bottled or boiled water.

noahspurrier (author)qunique92017-02-07

No, yeast will do just fine in any water that you can drink. Unless your municipal water is chlorinated to the level of a swimming pool it's not a problem. Consider that you can make bread using tap water and yeast. I've been making rum and whisky for years with tap water. Granted each water district will be different but there are maximum levels allowed. I doubt there are many places where the chlorine is so strong that you can't make bread.

daddyed (author)LauraD572016-02-22

If you are heating the water there is no problem with using tap water that has chlorine in it. The chlorine boils off while the water is heating. I have known this from years of wine and beer making, so it is not a problem to start with chlorinated tap water. I also do this to prepare tap water to drink when my regular bottled drinking water is not available.

JoeG124 (author)daddyed2016-12-03

Agreed but most yeast is hardy enough to withstand the level of Chlorine/Chloramine that is in typical water supplies.I make a lot of wine also and have never dechlorinated the water through heat or any other means. It is very easy to kill your yeast with excess temperature and that can include water that just feels a little warm. Measure the temperature. You'd be surprised at how hot "a little warm" actually is.

manicmonday (author)LauraD572015-11-28

You can do whatever you want, but the yeast are living creatures, and if the chlorine kills them the trap will not work. But hey maybe it won't. Try it and let us know.

teledat (author)manicmonday2016-01-28

I do not think it will kill the yeast. I make a lot of bread and I use regular tap water. It is the temp that will kill it...or salt. Salt is evil to yeast lol. I don't know if we have these bugs but one person is getting bites from something. Everyone keeps saying that's what it is but I have yet to find any. I am hoping we don't catch any from what I have been reading about them!

gothkayla (author)2017-01-19

Can you have this in the same room you are sleeping in??

manicmonday (author)gothkayla2017-01-20

Yes. This makes less CO2 than a person sleeping next to you. However it will be less effective because the bugs will be more attracted to you than by the trap.

gothkayla (author)manicmonday2017-01-21

Is it supposed to make my whole room smell? After a few hours my whole room smells from this stuff. I put this in my room and my moms room for over 12 hours undisturbed and caught nothing. I had only found one bedbug crawling on my bed awhile back so I made this trap to see if there were others. The bedbug I found was a male though that could have traveled on me from work.

Natnjosh16 (author)gothkayla2017-01-20

Yes. We made it and haven't had any new bites since putting it next to the bed caught a few of them so far

EvanP19 (author)2016-03-27

Ok i cant get it to froth up. Im using bottled water(nestle pure life) and warming up the water with sugar then adding yeast(fleischmann's rapid rise instant yeast fast acting). I have it in a metal pot warmed up on the stove just till its warm to the touch but not hot. I tried even stiring it all up till its all disolved but no froth.... So what am i doing wrong?

JoeG124 (author)EvanP192016-12-03

You should NOT warm it up at all, unless you live in Antartica. If it feels warm to touch, it is probably too hot. Just leave it alone at ambient temperature. It should feel neutral in temperature.You can also buy some Turbo Yeast from a wine and beer making store that works best. You are making alcohol and at some point the alcohol will kill the yeast off. Turbo won't die off until about 20 %. The frothiness takes about an hour to really get going.

manicmonday (author)EvanP192016-03-27

Don't use fancy yeast, just use the plain old ordinary bread yeast. Also try using less sugar. Too much sugar can kill the yeast.

SonnyG4 (author)2016-04-18

Thought I was about through with my bug problem but this trap proved otherwise by catching the smallest of the little guys.Remember to use TRADITIONAL or ACTIVE DRY YEAST not INSTANT as I made this mistake on my first try.

JoeG124 (author)SonnyG42016-12-03

Thanks you are the first person to clearly comment that you made this and it works.

skidaddleable. (author)2016-10-28

There is another method that worked for me.

I was advised to take the mattress and base out into the sunlight which I did

I could not beleive after 5 mins how many bugs which are normally slow movers where jumping off the mattress.

I am not talking about opening windows or blinds. That never worked . I mean outside in ultraviolet light unfiltred by glass

skidaddleable. (author)2016-10-28

I had them for months before finally eradicating them .

I used a steam cleaner on the mattress around the seams then applied a powder around the bed legs which was silica crystals .

The crystals are not immediate poison but they contain spikes that penetrate the armour of bed bugs fleas and cockroaches. The silica absorbs the moisture from the bug which then dehydrates them. This is not a poison, It takes maybe 2 weeks but they will go. Don't be fooled by a lapse of 2 weeks or more because they hibernate for several weeks or more and the best thing to do is to buy feromones captures that attract them (preferably away from your bed) because they can be hiding in your curtains or skirting boards or cracks in your wall.

KatherineB39 (author)2016-07-31

awesome. i am going to do this . I just finished killing bed bugs with a heater i read about on and i want a trap around incase I didnt get them all. thanks so much

displacerkitten (author)2016-07-14

1) You can kill bugs on mattresses and surfaces by spraying rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol on them. Bed bug poison is 99.9% rubbing alcohol, anyways, and we found that it was equally effective and 1/100th of the cost. It only kills the bugs that it directly comes into contact with, though. Also, it will strip paint, damage some plastics, and ruin hard-wood. Surface test it first. Great for mattresses! If you are using a lot, consider going outside and using good ventilation. (Alcohol is also very flammable, so use common sense while you're spraying.) This is my recommended method for most non-linen items. Also, it is cheap (99 cents), and you can just pop a hole in the top of a bottle and spray furniture you pick up off the curb to kill bedbugs or fleas, and you can spray your luggage when you get home and leave it on the porch to dry as a preventative measure.

2) You can also put your things in garbage bags and lock them in a hot car in the sunlight all day (but check online for the temperature it has to reach). This is the best method for (most) plastics and paper. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD FOR PHOTOGRAPHS. It can also damage the binding of books.

3) Toss cloth things in the clothes dryer and run for a full cycle. This is the best method to use for linens, clothes, pillows, and stuffed animals!

4) For really heat sensitive stuff, you can put it in a bag in a cooler full of dry ice, but be careful because the condensation can get it wet and ruin it. You have to leave this for more than 3 hours - the bug we tested with lasted 2 hours at least in the cold and was still alive. I really don't recommend this method.

5) For everything else (ex: photographs, which melt in the heat, and are damaged by water), put it in a ziplock bag and leave it sealed for 6 months. I suggest writing "Do not open until XXXX date" on the bags. (I found baby bugs in a suitcase stored in a hot attic for 1 month. Hotter conditions speed up their metabolisms and their growth rates.) This is the best method for photographs and books!

I highly suggest capturing a few bugs and putting them in ziplock baggies and experimenting with what kills them. You will learn some surprising things about what does and doesn't work, and how much time it takes to work.

JustinG27 (author)2015-11-17

trying this..any suggestions on how to kill the bugs and re-use the trap?

manicmonday (author)JustinG272015-11-18

Diatomaceous earth is also effective against them. Buy food grade and cover everything. Try not to breath it!!! The first night of treatment you should even cover yourself with it if you are going to be sleeping in there. It is not a poison, but instead works to kill them in a mechanical way. Not to us, but to insects it's like broken glass. It cuts them up and causes them to bleed and they die within a couple of days. For people/pets it's very safe even to eat, just not so good to breath it. It's even considered healthy to eat as it cleans up internal parasites.

I hope that helps. Good luck.

JunnyB (author)manicmonday2016-06-20

DE is a carcinogen, as in, causes cancer. DO NOT cover yourself with it! I don't know about what is sold at grocery stores, but I used this stuff for years in pool filters. You have to use breathing masks to avoid inhaling it. It gets into your lungs, creates scar tissue, and causes cancer. Please be better informed.

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