Pest Traps: Does Trapping Bugs Really Work?

November 5, 2014


The use of traps to control bugs and other pests has become increasingly popular as more consumers become concerned about using toxic chemicals in and around the home. A quick Internet search indicates that there might be more types of pest traps available than there are pests. Consequently, determining which traps are right for you may be a bit confusing.


Types of Pest Traps

“Attractive”-type traps lure pests in using food, color, light, shape or smell. Various pests are attracted to specific stimuli. For example, moth traps work by luring them in with mating hormones. Stink bugs are attracted to vertical, cylindrical traps resembling tree trunks that are dark in color. Passive traps—normally placed around the edge of rooms to trap spiders or mice—don’t lure pests specifically, but intercept them as they move about normally.


Are Pest Traps Right for You?

Pest traps are a critical component of integrated pest management (IPM) programs, also known as integrated pest control (IPC). These programs are important because they help cut down on chemical use and provide a more cost effective means of controlling pests in a specific environment. You could potentially save money and help the environment by using traps as a part of your own IPM program. It is important to note that using traps effectively may be time consuming and will require you to learn about various effective trapping strategies for pests in your area. If you are willing to make this commitment, pest traps can be invaluable around your home.


A Word About Electric Insect Traps

Electric bug traps originally were hailed as a much safer alternative to harmful chemicals, and less annoying and more hygienic than bug zappers. Research, however, shows us that these traps do more harm than good. Marketed specifically for combatting mosquitoes and other flying and biting insects, they instead trap a large percentage of beneficial insects and bugs that act as natural predators to the unwanted varieties. In many areas, mosquito populations increased when electric traps were used. Avoid electric traps at all costs.


Overall, pest traps are a safer, more natural way of controlling insects. If they aren’t used correctly however, insect traps can potentially cause more harm than good. Consider contacting your local pest control expert for advice on using pest traps. Most professionals use traps as a part of their arsenal and can show you the safest, most effective ways to use them.