Solving a sticky problem

Howard | 24 February 2015


One of our clients is a high class hotel that does not want their customer's experience spoiled by bites. To help them we have been working on a monitoring system to give an early warning should one of the guests bring some “fellow travellers” such as bed bugs with them. We then ran into a few problems with the devices currently available.

First we tried the best traps around which are made of cardboard and have the best attractant in. Unfortunately several of these were crushed while beds were either being moved or in some way tested to the limits by guests ??



Pic 1. The usually ideal and reliable bed bug detector





Next we tried cutting off the top section of the trap so that it sat flush on the floor and hidden in the one inch gap below the bed. 







Pic 2. the "naked works" with an attractant glue surrounded by almost frictionless strip


Guests then decided to move the beds, pick up the traps and stick them to any handy surface. (No I don't know why either !)


The obvious solution was to put the monitors inside a suitable plastic insect monitor box but none of the ones on the market were a good fit. We could have cut down the sticky pads to fit but this would remove some of the edges and these parts are actually technologically advanced with a special coating that prevents bed bugs pulling themselves free.


Fortunately Suterra Ltd released a brand new monitor box in January which met all the criteria we needed. Though designed for a different type of insect monitor we could place the whole base of our chosen pads inside, close off any large entrance holes and best of all lock the box shut to prevent guests or their children reaching inside to investigate and damage the system.








Pic 3 The closed and locked box. Small slots at the side give access to insects




Naturally this system is entirely non-toxic and appears fail-safe.....but I never underestimate the ingenuity of people who are bored and expect something to happen that simply cannot be predicted.




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