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A Somewhat Treatment Plan - Help?

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  1. Dreamless

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Apr 19 2016 0:18:36
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    Hi everyone, me again. This bed bug issue is driving me quite insane. It's so hard because this is such a big house with so many people (well, five) and so much furniture and so many rooms (entryway, living room, dining room (with furniture in it), three bedrooms and a laundry room upstairs). And of course all of the rooms upstairs are carpeted.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble. I've posted here before explaining how my family and I have bed bugs and can't currently afford treatment, unfortunately. The house is just too big and it would be too much for us to afford, at least right now. I'd have to start saving up for months to afford just one treatment. This is all speculation if it'd be in the $1k range, which I imagine it would be.

    So, I'm posting to share a somewhat treatment plan and see what you experts have to say about it. I'll take any advice.

    Things We're Thinking of Doing
    1. Purchasing mattress encasements for the remaining mattresses, As well as bed interceptors.

    2. Steaming the floorboards, baseboards and corners of the house. Could I use a steamer on the furniture? It's all wood so I was thinking it would be a really bad idea to use steam. What could we do to treat all of the furniture? There's several dressers, tables, lamps, couches and a couple recliners. I'm really worried about the recliners as they've had bed bugs as well. What do we do about the closets and built in shelves?

    Is there anything that shouldn't be done after this steaming is done? Should the house be unoccupied while it's done?

    3. Vacuuming while the steaming is going on one floor.

    4. Keeping all books sealed up for 18 months, unless I purchase a packtite. Could I just put all the books in a rubbermade tub with a DDVP strip/Nuvan or should I just leave them in the tub for 18 months? Would the tub be airtight enough to keep any bugs in/out?

    This brings me to another question, what other things can be used in the packtite? I know clothes and luggage can, but what else? We have picture frames, pictures, etc. What do we do with all the little things around here like vases, clocks, porcelain dolls, ornaments, computer mouse, decorative plates, decorative jars, and other knick knacks. Do we treat it all with DDVP? What are things that CAN'T or shouldn't be treated with DDVP?

    What else can/shouldn't be done? What contact killer should I use after/before steam? Should I use a contact killer? What should I follow up with? Any advice is highly appreciated.

  2. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Apr 19 2016 6:46:39
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    If you haven't set any bombs off, you probably don't have to worry about closets, shelves, and smaller items. Recliners can be tricky. A low budget contact killer can be made by mixing 5 ounces of 50% rubbing alcohol with 5 ounces of Murphy's oil soap mixed with 10 ounces of water. Steam is just a contact killer, so vacuuming is a good alternative.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Apr 19 2016 16:28:18
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    I just want to make sure you aren't renting as someone else may be responsible for treatment in that case.

    Steam can be very effective. We have a FAQ on killing bed bugs with steam. It's a contact killer, but a great one, and though it is labor-intensive and multiple treatments may be needed, people have eliminated bed bugs this way. A dry vapor steamer is an investment, if you don't have one (they start at about $299 USD), but the "dry vapor" steam is less likely to damage furniture or home, and less likely to introduce a mold problem, which would not be a good trade off for bed bugs.

    Dusts like diatomaceous earth may be used in cracks and crevices (should not be where you will walk or touch it or kick it up to be breathed in). Most people over or misapply DE-- here's our FAQ on DE and Cimexa. Cimexa is a newer dust and many experts here report they now use it rather than DE, and I would personally try that if I was going to self treat with a dust..

    You can use Nuvan Prostrips (DDVP) in a sealed (airtight) container to treat belongings. More on DDVP in our Useful Tools page. There is zero reason to keep them sealed for 18 months, however. Follow all label instructions.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. Dreamless

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Apr 20 2016 17:54:50
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    jim danca - 1 day ago  » 
    If you haven't set any bombs off, you probably don't have to worry about closets, shelves, and smaller items. Recliners can be tricky. A low budget contact killer can be made by mixing 5 ounces of 50% rubbing alcohol with 5 ounces of Murphy's oil soap mixed with 10 ounces of water. Steam is just a contact killer, so vacuuming is a good alternative.

    Unfortunately, our issue may be even harder as there were several little bombs set off, I believe two in every room. Much to my dismay, disapproval and constant saying of "They only make things worse". Parents though...

    Okay, I know that alcohol is flammable, how long would the items be in a flammable risk?

  5. Dreamless

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Apr 20 2016 18:13:02
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    Nobugsonme - 1 day ago  » 
    I just want to make sure you aren't renting as someone else may be responsible for treatment in that case.
    Steam can be very effective. We have a FAQ on killing bed bugs with steam. It's a contact killer, but a great one, and though it is labor-intensive and multiple treatments may be needed, people have eliminated bed bugs this way. A dry vapor steamer is an investment, if you don't have one (they start at about $299 USD), but the "dry vapor" steam is less likely to damage furniture or home, and less likely to introduce a mold problem, which would not be a good trade off for bed bugs.
    Dusts like diatomaceous earth may be used in cracks and crevices (should not be where you will walk or touch it or kick it up to be breathed in). Most people over or misapply DE-- here's our FAQ on DE and Cimexa. Cimexa is a newer dust and many experts here report they now use it rather than DE, and I would personally try that if I was going to self treat with a dust..
    You can use Nuvan Prostrips (DDVP) in a sealed (airtight) container to treat belongings. More on DDVP in our Useful Tools page. There is zero reason to keep them sealed for 18 months, however. Follow all label instructions.

    We are renting, but we also brought the problem ourselves due to letting a cousin of mine stay here for several months. Worst mistake ever. I think it'd be easier to go to the landlords about this, if they weren't my mother's friend's parents who already struggle with money and such.

    Steam sounds great. I figured I'd have to spend at least $300 on a steamer, but I'll gladly do that if it will work so well. I had thought about DE too, so I'll definitely think more about that, it would be great for all the cracks in the baseboards.

    Side question, there are a lot of cracks in the walls and floor in general, would I use DE for this too? Or should I look for something else to use with the walls.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Apr 21 2016 0:10:22
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    I am not an expert so I would leave that question for them to comment on. However, the DE FAQ would probably be helpful-- again, many experts are recommending Cimexa instead of DE.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Apr 22 2016 23:38:15
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    And please do not let anyone bomb again. This really does not solve the problem and can make it worse. We have a FAQ explaining why bombs are not a good idea in case your relatives don't understand.

    If you are going to steam, I would not bother with the contact killer concoction Jim suggests. Alcohol is flammable. (And Murphy's oil soap on its own is a contact killer anyway.)


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