The most effective attractant has six chemical components. Five are volatile and effective at a distance. The sixth, histadine, has low volatility and does not attract bed bugs from a significant distance. Histamine functions as arrestant that encourages bed bugs to remain in a shelter once it is entered.
The five volatile chemicals that attract bed bugs from a distance are: dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, (E)-2-hexenal, (E)-2-octenal, 2-hexanone. The five component blend is more attractive to bed bugs than any of the chemicals singly or in other combinations. The volatile components could attract bed bugs from longer distance, but the histamine was essential to getting the bed bugs to stay in the trap. The scientists found all immature stages and both male and female bed bugs in their traps. The traps with attractants caught more bed bugs than commonly used sticky traps. A sticky coating on the trap may deter bed bugs from entering and contacting the histamine arrestant.
Solving our problems with bed bugs will not be easy, however, we are making progress.
*Regine Gries, Prof. Robert Britton, Michael Holmes, Huimin Zhai, Jason Draper & Prof. Gerhard Gries. 2015. Bed Bug Aggregation Pheromone Finally Identified. Angewandte Chemie. Volume 127: 1151–1154.