Do CO2 Traps work for Bed Bugs?

CO2 traps to get rid of bed bugs

In this article we will answer the question: Do CO2 Traps work for Bed Bugs?
A bed bug trap is not a treatment that will get rid of them. But it has a big advantage: it allows you to detect their presence. Knowing that your home is infested with bedbugs is essential to eradicating them. Many people complain of repeated bites and pimples on a daily basis, without thinking that they could be bedbugs. These little beasts are very discreet! By setting up a bed bug trap, you will quickly notice if these pests are present in your home.


What is CO2?

Carbon dioxide, better known by its molecular formula CO₂, is made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.

CO₂ is a gas present in the atmosphere. It plays a key role in the carbon cycle on the planet: living beings transform oxygen into CO₂ while plants transform Carbon dioxide into oxygen.

It is found naturally in the atmosphere and is essential for life. In fact, carbon dioxide actively participates in the respiration of living beings and in the photosynthesis of plants.

Human metabolism produces CO2, which we release during expiration. Exhaled air contains approximately 4% Carbon dioxide. Colorless and odorless, carbon dioxide forms in body tissues and is eliminated through the lungs.


Are Bed bugs attracted to Carbon Dioxide?

Like other blood sucking insects, they are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by your body during respiration. The second signal that will attract them is the body heat that we emit. The small vibrations of the box spring and mattress as well as the quietness of the night also contribute to the majority of bed bug bites happening mostly at night.

When we exhale, we release carbon dioxide into the air, and they can detect the gas at a distance of around 6 feet. (Around 2 meters) When these parasites detect CO2, they will move towards its source to feed a blood meal.


Can Bed Bugs detect Carbon Dioxide?

Carbon dioxide is indeed the principal way bed bugs use to localize humans. When we breathe, we exhale carbon dioxide in the air. They use their antennae to detect CO2.

They use specialized organs called “Hallers’ organs” located on their antennae to detect carbon dioxide in the air.


Do CO2 traps work for Bed Bugs?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) traps can be an effective tool for detecting the presence of bed bugs. CO2 attracts them, this gas comes from humans and other warm-blooded animals during respiration. By using a Carbon dioxide trap, you can mimic the presence of a human or animal and lure them into the trap.

Bait traps such as CO2 Traps could be useful to reduce the number of bugs looking for a host. In all tests carried out in vacant apartments, CO2 traps were more effective than others to attract and capture them, whether the setup includes heat bait or chemicals (for example propionic acid, butanoic acid, pentatonic acid, octenol or lactic acid). These types of traps could be useful for spotting an infestation even before the tenants notice or report them.

Carbon dioxide is also used as an active means of capturing these critters. It comes in the form of dry ice or dry ice. This device simulates human warmth, attracting fleas, which are then trapped.

Yes, CO2 traps work for Bed Bugs. However, it’s important to note that CO2 traps are not effective as a standalone treatment method for eliminating an infestation. They can be useful for detecting the presence of these pests in a specific area or reduce the population of bugs but it will not be enough to end an infestation on its own.


Do Bed bugs use other signs than CO2 to detect Humans?

Yes, bed bugs use other signals as well, such as heat from the body, smell of sweat and human skin. However, carbon dioxide is the main cue in bed bug attraction, and it explains why they are usually located in bedrooms, where people sleep and exhale CO2 at night.


How do you make a CO2 trap for Bed Bugs?

Here is a simple tutorial for preparing a DIY CO2 trap for bed bugs:

1) In a bowl, mix 1 cup of warm water, 1 teaspoon of yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

2) Then place this preparation on a large deep plate on which we have first sprinkled talc.

3) Bedbugs, attracted by the Carbon dioxide released by the preparation, will come to the plate but will remain completely unable to climb into the bowl or leave the plate because the talc will trap them.

Indeed, this very fine powder makes any movement impossible and traps the bugs when they try to escape.


How to make a Carbon Dioxide Bed Bug Trap with a Water Bottle?

Here’s how to make a simple carbon dioxide bed bug trap using water bottles:

  •   Materials:
  •   Two empty 2-liter plastic bottles
  •   Scissors or knife
  •   Black construction paper
  •   Duct tape
  •   Yeast
  •   Warm water
  •   Sugar



Take the two empty 2-liter plastic bottles and remove the labels.

Using scissors or a knife, cut off the top of one bottle just below where the curve begins.

Wrap the outside of this bottle with black construction paper, leaving the cut edge exposed.

Take the second bottle and cut off the bottom, just above where it starts to curve.

In the top of the second bottle, make several small holes using a nail or a small drill bit.

In a small bowl, mix together warm water and sugar until you dissolve the sugar. Add in some yeast and stir.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bottom of the second bottle, filling it about one third of the way.

Take the top part of the first bottle and invert it, placing it inside the bottom of the second bottle. The black construction paper should be facing down.

Seal the two bottles together using duct tape, making sure there are no gaps where air can escape.

Place the trap in an area where you think bed bugs pass by, and wait for the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast to lure them into the trap.


How long does the Yeast Bed Bug Trap work?

The effectiveness of a yeast bed bug trap can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the trap, the amount of yeast used, and the presence of other attractants in the environment.

In general, a yeast bed bug trap can remain effective for several days to a week before you should replace it. During this time, the yeast will continue to produce carbon dioxide, which can attract them to the trap.


Are Bed Bugs attracted to Yeast?

Yeast does not attract Bed bugs per se. But the CO2 emitted by yeast during fermentation does.

Yeast is a type of single-celled fungi that produces carbon dioxide as a byproduct during fermentation. (By breaking down sugars into simpler molecules if we want to get technical). Because it is a gas, the carbon dioxide produced by yeast is released in the air.

The fact that yeast produce Carbon dioxide is the reason why yeast is an ingredient in DIY CO2 traps for bed bugs.


How far can Bed Bugs detect Carbon Dioxide?

Those bloodsuckers can detect CO2 from a distance of up to 6 feet from them. (Which is equal to a bit less than 2 meters) When they detect carbon dioxide, they will move towards the source of it in order to have a meal.


Why do Bed Bugs like CO2?

Carbon dioxide attracts Bed bugs because it is their main way of locating humans and animals. It indeed indicates the presence of a breathing host nearby. Those critters need a blood meal to survive and reproduce, and they feed solely on the blood of warm-blooded and CO2 exhaling animals, such as humans or pets. This is why they will get closer as any source of Carbon dioxide to get blood.


What does CO2 do to Bed Bugs?

Carbon dioxide itself does not directly harm them; it is just a tool for those bloodsuckers to locate their hosts. As a result, bed bug traps releasing CO2 only attract them using carbon dioxide to later trap them. These traps are effective at capturing a small number of bugs and to detect the presence of these critters in your home.

In general, you should use a multi-faceted method to end an infestation once and for all. usually. It may include a combination of insecticide treatments, heat treatments, vacuuming, encasing and other methods such as steaming.


Can CO2 kill Bed Bugs?

You should employ CO2 as part of a larger fumigation process to get rid of pests. In this context, you should use Carbon dioxide alongside other methods, such as modified atmospheres or other fumigants, to create an environment that is lethal to pests.

However, Carbonic acid gas will be inefficient to specifically kill these blood-suckers because they can tolerate high levels of carbon dioxide.


CO2 Traps vs Pheromone traps, which one is better against Bed Bugs?

Pheromone traps and CO2 traps have different strengths and weaknesses.

Pheromone traps work by using synthetic chemicals that mimic the pheromones produced by bed bugs to lure them into a trap. They can be effective in capturing bed bugs and monitoring their presence in an area. However, they may not be as effective at preventing them from reaching a bed or furniture since they are typically placed away from the bed. If you want to know more details about this type of trap you can have a look at our dedicated article on Pheromone Traps for Bed bugs.

CO2 traps can be effective at capturing them. However, they can be more expensive than other types of traps and may not work as well in areas with high levels of ambient Carbonic acid gas.

In terms of which one is better, it depends on the specific situation and the goals of the control strategy. If the goal is to monitor the presence of bed bugs in an area or to capture them for removal, pheromone traps may be the better choice. If the goal is to capture a large number of bugs, Carbon dioxide traps may be the better choice. To find the best traps for bed bugs available currently in the market. You can check our complete Bed Bugs Traps Buying Guide.



In this article we answered the question: Do CO2 traps work for bed bugs? And the answer is Yes it can be efficient to detect bed bugs presence and reduce bug population. However, you should not rely solely on CO2 traps to end an infestation. We recommend you to use a multi-faceted approach, including heat treatments, Vacuuming, washing your bedding in high temperature mode and encasing your bed. You can learn about all those specific methods throughout our website.