Bed Bugs -- You Better Take Preventative Measures Now

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by pustelniakr, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Rome

    Rome Holsum Honey Buns Subscriber

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    Great news, Rich & thanks for the insightful info'!
    Hope I never have them & stories of friends keep me away from hotels/motels right now! :)

    Rome
     

     

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  2. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  3. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    So sorry to read all this. If I may, a few questions about process. Brief answers are fine, not asking for a dissertation (unless you want to!).

    1. What is it about 'over the counter' or DIY that scatters them throughout the house?

    2. You said a lot of your 'stuff' may not come back. Can you stuff it into that sofa tent and treat a bunch of it at once? Or is there some other reason that won't work? Certain types of 'stuff'?

    3. I have heard CO2 atmosphere will kill them in a certain time period, i.e. dry ice allowed to evaporate in a bag. Of all the 'DIY' stuff I've seen, this one seemed fairly plausible. Is it a viable treatment?



    One final comment about insecticides (for everyone): As an env. chemist and haz waste specialist, I can tell you that the organophosphates (including Diazinon and Malathion and many others) are fairly dangerous as far as acute exposure. Acute means immediate poisoning as opposed to chronic effects such as cancer from long term low dose exposure. These are cholinesterase inhibitors, basically a nerve agent.

    I worked in a lab handling a lot of this stuff at one time and the only thing that ever made me ill in all my lab jobs - handling pharmaceuticals, metals, radionuclides, PCBs, every solvent known to man, and more - was an organophosphate. I was exposed due to improper handling, shouldn't have happened, but they are volatile (evaporate into the air) and are very toxic. Not saying not to use them, just don't screw around with this stuff. If it's not labeled for use inside the house, if it's supposed to be used by a pro, don't fuck with it.

    A few years back a couple died from a Vikane bed bug treatment when their mattress was not sufficiently aired out and they slept on it and died. Vikane is not an organophosphate but is obviously dangerous if instructions are not followed.

    Be careful out there.
     
  4. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    1. In low infestations (about 70% of infestations), the bugs tend to aggregate and harbor quite close to where they are getting their blood meals, but do not like movement. This makes them easy to find. Over the counter chems are generally contact only, but leave dangerous residues, which are detectable by the bugs. They will produce a "run" away pheromone if they do not die quickly, and the harborage will clear out, with the bugs going all over the place. Bug bombs are also contact killers only, and, considering that these guys tuck in tight unless feeding, you are not likely going to get enough right on them to kill them, and the chems go everywhere, leaving nasty residues. Many over the counter chems have bed bugs in the title, but not on the effectivity label (bad mojo). Essential oils have little effect on bed bugs, except for one, and it is likely the other chems in the can that facilitates them to work, and they stink pretty good, as well as if they work they do so only on direct contact leaving no effective residues. .The proper stuff is intended to be available only to licensed and trained pros. The good contact killers are not detectable by the bugs (so they don't cause scattering), and break down into inert chems when they dry, with all residual activity pretty much gone in just a couple of days. Correct IGRs (insect growth regulators) and residuals are designed to have effects only on the specific bugs, and they are only deposited in out of the way places, remaining effective for several weeks. Most folks have no idea what they are doing, and do not follow the labels, exposing themselves to hazards, and scattering harborages, increasing the cost of effective treatment and causing such treatment to be much more difficult, and take longer.

    2. There are a variety of ways to treat your belongings. First, it is expensive and a true pain getting them out and into supplemental storage. If you do not effectively treat them, you can re-infest yourself. Some things can be treated by hot clothes dryer treatment. Some things can be heat treated, but can't tolerate the tumbling, so portable heating pods are good. Some things can be carefully steamed. For items that can't tolerate heat, there is a vaporous organo-phosephate, diclorvos, that comes in strips and leaves no residues once properly aired out. Trapping items in a sealed container for a few weeks with a strip will kill eggs and all other stages. Commodity fumigation with vikane is expensive and not universally available. Considering the effort required to treat all my stuff, it might not all come back in, only to maybe having to go right back out.

    3. The only place I have seen referencing CO2, in my research, which has been extensive, but not targeted at CO2, there are no references to treatment with CO2. The reputable sources make no mention. I therefore will not trust it. Also, CO2 is a primary attractant for bed bugs. It is what enables them to find us, then also our warmth and body chemistry (lactic acid etc.)

    Vikane is an option, but a very expensive one. It is not universally available. We only have one company in Tucson that does it (BUGWISER EXTERMINATING). Considering how bad the infestation is, it might be more cost effective than traditional methods, and it is a much faster process. Whole home heat treatment is also possible, but many items can't tolerate it and will need to be removed and separately treated, as above. Neither, whole house nor vikane treatment have any residual effects, so re-infestation is an easy possibility.

    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  5. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    Thanks for all the great info. This sounds like the biggest PITA ever invented. We all appreciate the warning. I have a cleaning lady who sometimes dumps her vacuum cleaner canister in my trash. It's been kind of bugging me but I haven't said anything. I think I should.
     
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  6. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    If she uses that machine in other homes, you are seriously exposed.

    Rich P
     
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  7. ETLS

    ETLS metacarpophalangealcranium Subscriber

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    I think time-share resorts would also be one hell of a risk.
     
  8. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Quite possibly. There are ways to mitigate the risk and exposure...

    Rich P
     
  9. dondoucette

    dondoucette Too Many Projects Subscriber

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    I worked and lived in a seniors building, an infestation started on the 16th floor in 2004, we left in 2005. The building has spent 100’s of thousands of dollars trying to keep them at bay. The building is worse than ever today with no end in sight.
    Building will have to be vacant for a considerable amount of time with great effort to eradicate the infestation. The owners can not afford to vacate the building.
     
  10. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Here are some sources for good info.









    This one is particularly good



    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier Subscriber

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    My better half's friend had their house infested a few years ago. Her son and his girlfriend stayed with some friends of theirs down in Detroit (which is infested in many places), so you can imagine what they brought back with them. They got the treatment where a company brought in large heaters, and heated the inside of the house to the point where it killed them off. They likely did some other treatments of their personal belongings as well, but since then, no reinfestation.

    36th District Court downtown had such a bad infestation several months ago that they had to shut the entire court down for a day to deal with it. (My better half works in the legal field.)

    Nobody else we know has had them...knock on wood!
     

     

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  12. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Full occupancy heat treatment is an option, but the prep for it is particularly rough. The house will be brought to about 140 degF, and many belongings cannot tolerate such high heat, so must be removed and separately treated before bringing it back in. Such treatment is expensive and not universally available.

    Heat sensitivity is an Achilles heel for these bugs. 120 degF and 30 minutes is effective against any life stage (including eggs). The trick is to use their biology and behavior against them.

    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  13. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Update: Well, we are 7 weeks into our treatment, and it has been 3 weeks since any live evidence has been seen. In fact, we are not seeing evidence that there was ever an infestation. That does not mean that they are gone. They hide very well, and last a long time without a meal. We are still living as though we are infested: not visiting others, only a couple of our closest friends visit us (we remain in the kitchen, where we share good food), living out of ziplock bags of various sizes, super-heating our bedding and laundry, etc.

    I bought an active monitor (Nightwatch) that is supposed to draw bugs out in un-occupied rooms. It is supposed to exhale CO2 (from paintball tanks), emit human body odor (from scent lures), and generate body heat. However, it is defective and does not emit the primary attractant (CO2). Its replacement should arrive tomorrow.

    I saw this image today, and was reminded of the main reason I posted this thread here at AK. It was posted by @dfunghi

    [​IMG]

    My friend, you better do your very best to not bring home a reproducing bed bug problem. That record collection would be a veritable bed bug farm. So many bed bug harborage places (slots) that I shiver just looking at it. I would read this entire thread and begin taking preventative measures right away. The same for anyone with a significant music collection. Actually, anyone within eye-shot of this thread should take note and respond accordingly.

    My music collection is now in in a "You-Store-It" facility, in plastic bins with foam rubber seals and multiple latches around the lid. I am now treating that music collection, so I can safely bring it into a bug free home. Since the collection cannot tolerate heat treatment, and using contact or residue pesticide is not a good idea or likely to be effective, I am using a vapor type organo-phosphate (Nuvan Pro-strips). The active ingredient volatilizes over a 3-month period, killing all stages of bed bugs, including eggs, over a 2-3 week period, if the ambient temperature and PPM concentration is high enough. All you do, when you are done, is air out the items for a few hours, and there is no residue left behind. Considering the fact that it is cool in the storage unit, I'm going to leave the collection in the tubs for the next 6 weeks. We should know by then if we are free in the house. The tubs and strips will then be available to treat other belongings. Additionally, I have a couple of strips hanging in the storage unit, on the off chance that a bug or two got transported there. Six weeks or so in the locker (5x10,8) with the strips should take care of anything exposed to the air in the locker.

    Rich P
     
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  14. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr Omelette au Fromage Subscriber

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    So glad it seems to be working. Keeping fingers crossed for you guys. And again thanks for all the detailed info. Hope none of us ever need it.
     
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  15. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

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    Let lose a couple of geckos in your house and they will all of them.
     
  16. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Nice thought, but not effective.

    Rich P
     

     

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  17. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights " F-15 Eagle Keeper Subscriber

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    Me too..
     
  18. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

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    On all the sailboats I've owned I would put a Gecko on board at the start of the sailing season and it would eat all the spiders all summer and then freeze in the winter.
     
  19. ETLS

    ETLS metacarpophalangealcranium Subscriber

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  20. pustelniakr

    pustelniakr Silver Miner at Large Staff Member Super Mod Moderator Subscriber

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    Thanks. Nice catch.

    Use of the fungus, Beauvaria Bassania, against bed bugs is promising, but research is still going on. There is only one commercially available product, "Apprehend" from ConidioTec, that is registered by the EPA for indoor use against bed bugs in most states (except, of course, California). It is only available to professionals and only from the company that makes it, which is very small, and having a hard time producing to meet current demand. It is not a magic bullet, but does offer benefits and efficacy that other products do not provide. It appears that the product will be a good one to add to a comprehensive treatment program, along with other products currently being used. There does not seem to be widespread use by PCOs yet, maybe because of availability or price ($125 per 16 oz bottle, and $150 for the required spray kit).

    The way it is used is to apply 2" strips of sprayed product in areas where traveling bed bugs have to cross as they move from feeding back to their hiding places. You must use this oil-based product in undiluted form, and using only the sprayer available from the manufacturer of the product. The bugs pick up the deposited spores and the fungus kills them in about 5-7 days. They also share the spores with the others in their hiding places, which is a very good thing. This product does provoke the bugs to leave their hiding places, to be found in unusual places as they die (kitchens, non-sleeping areas, etc.), which can cause concern by folks that don't expect this behavior (visitors and uneducated members of the family, etc.). This product, applied according to the label, in a dry environment, remains effective for 3 months with a single application, as long as not disturbed by human activity (brushing/rubbing off, etc.).

    As a stand-alone product, it is not likely to eradicate an infestation, but will contribute to a comprehensive treatment program in quite positive ways. There are places you cannot apply this product (mattresses and furniture surfaces with direct contact with humans), deposition on carpet is not likely to be overly effective (due to lack of adequate point by point concentration of spores), there could be some human allergic sensitivity to the spores, and their could be some issues for folks with seriously compromised immune systems (chemotherapy, etc.).

    Here is the only place a professional can get this product currently, the manufacturer: http://www.aprehend.com/

    I have a feeler out to my primary teacher on the subject of bed bugs. I will also take up the subject with my PCO during this week's inspection and treatment. I participate in the inspections and have found what he missed on occasion. It just so happens that he is a general manager of the company he represents. I will return with whatever else I can learn about this product.

    There is another product using the same strain of fungus (BotaniGard), but it is a powder-based product not registered for indoor use, nor use on bed bugs. Hence there is no label usage content for bed bugs, and it is a felony in some states to use a product contrary to specific label instructions, even if the user is a private citizen in his own home. The product is a powder that is mixed with water (rather than oil) and sprayed outdoors to control foliage eating insects. Note that application of water to the spores causes them to germinate and die, within 1 day, unless in direct contact with the bug being targeted. That limits its use in bed bug applications where long term residual effects are desired.

    More info as it comes in...

    Enjoy,
    Rich P
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018

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