How to Trap Bed Bugs With Tape

Updated November 21, 2016

Mature bedbugs are reddish-brown, oval insects with flattened bodies measuring between 1 and 7 millimetres. These parasitic insects prefer to feed on human blood, but will also take dogs, cats and other warm-blooded creatures as hosts. Although they do not transfer disease, their bites often cause swelling and itching. Since bedbugs are nocturnal, bites are most likely to occur at night. Bedbugs are generally found in seams of mattresses, box springs, headboards and bed frames. They may also hide in nightstands, underneath wallpaper or other items near a bed. Tape can be used on these items to trap bed bugs.

Inspect typical hiding places at night to find signs of bedbugs and their eggs or faeces. If possible, disassemble the bed frame to better check. Using a flashlight, carefully inspect the seams of the mattress and box spring. Search all crevices of the bed frame and headboard. Search nearby furniture because bedbugs may travel 10 to 12 feet away from the bed.

Once a bedbug has been found, compare it to a high-quality image to determine if it is actually a bedbug or another insect.

Use a powerful vacuum cleaner with a coarse brush to remove all bed bugs and their eggs. Vacuum all crevices and seems of the bed, mattress and nearby furniture. Thoroughly vacuum the carpet and any rugs.

Move all furniture so it does not touch any walls. Bedbugs can crawl up walls and onto beds and furniture. Make sure that bed sheets, blankets and comforters do not touch the floor.

Attach double-sided tape to all sides of each leg of the bed. If it is a platform bed, apply tape along the entire bottom edge to trap bedbugs as they attempt to climb up. Apply double-sided tape to all the legs or bottom of all nearby furniture. Remove old tape and apply new tape as needed.


If double-sided tape is not available, duct tape can be applied with the sticky side up using masking tape.


Tape may damage or leave residue on some furniture. Furniture legs can be wrapped in waxed paper to prevent this. Tape will trap some bedbugs, but not cure an infestation.

Things You'll Need

  • Flashlight
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Double-sided tape
  • Scissors
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author