Bed bugs in laptops, CDs, TVs, and wood furniture?(9 posts)
I'm moving out of my infested apartment very soon and am concerned about some of the stuff I've read on here.
Can bed bugs really live in laptops and TVS? I would think they would get electrocuted. Can I really put my laptop in a packtite?? I can't afford to ruin my computer! I've also seen some posters saying that alcohol kills them - is this true? Can I just spray all of my electronics with alcohol?
Also, what about putting CDs and DVDs in a packtite? Won't they melt?
I'm also wondering what to do with my wood furniture, such as bookcases, desks, dining room table, etc. My choices seem to be a) get rid of it all and buy new stuff, which I'd really rather not do, b) have the stuff sprayed before I move it out, or c) have the stuff bombed in the truck. Has anybody tried any of those things?
For a little bit of background, I live in a three family in Boston. My landlord and his family live above and below me, and have completely ignored the problem. My place has been fully treated - they did the two treatments 2 weeks apart. I decided to move because the treatment seemed to be working and I wanted to get out of there and not deal with my landlord anymore. The bugs now seem to be back, 2 weeks after the second treatment, I'm still being bitten. Not too badly, but one or two every couple of nights. The first time they came, they said it was a light infestation and was probably in the building before I moved in. Though I still can't shake the feeling that perhaps I brought it with me from my travels or from my last apartment. Anyway, all my furniture was bought right as I moved in here, and I've only been here a few months. So I just really want to make sure I don't bring anything with me!
Yes, bed bugs can be in all of those things. The wood might need thermal heat treatments. I have heard of some people putting their laptop in a packtite and it came out alright but there is also airwashing which someone else mentioned on these boards. I am not sure about DVDs and CDs.
(i'm no expert, but,) I believe that moving does present challenges. People have discussed solutions on the board and there may be a "moving" FAQ. Besides piecemeal approaches, some are now resorting to "in transit fumigation" of their moving trucks.
> Can bed bugs really live in laptops and TVS?
Experts seem mixed about this. Some say that BB will usually not harbor in hard surfaces, others (like Austin Frishman) counsl hotels to toss their phones and clocks. Some suggest to bag them air-tight with mothballs or pest strips for X days (research this very carefully before attempting). Others believe that in a properly treated space, BB in electronics will cross poison whhen they inevitably come out to feed (unfortulately, your space does not sound like it's been treated successfully).
> I would think they would get electrocuted.
There's enough space to roam around safely.
> Can I really put my laptop in a packtite?? I can't afford to ruin my computer!
Maybe. Read up on the boards and/or contact the inventor, David James, who's active here.
> I've also seen some posters saying that alcohol kills them - is this true? Can I just spray all of my electronics with alcohol?
Alcohol (and many saps) will kill BB that they hit directly. They do not kill BB that walk over later and none kill eggs. Alcohol will also damage many surfaces. In any case, electronics have many nooks and crannies where BB (if there are any inside) are likely to actually be, where your applications will not reach. So, don'y bother spraying your electronics.
> Also, what about putting CDs and DVDs in a packtite? Won't they melt?
Maybe. You can take a "divide and conquer" approach. Packtite the inserts and cardboard. Wash the CDs themselves in warm water with dishwash liquid. (This is how I always clean CDs.) You should be able to inspecto for, pick off and destroy any BB material from the discs. Re the jewelboxes. You could dismantle/inspect/clean (with particular attention to the ridges along the edge), risk them in the packtite or just get new JCs.
For some of your items, if you can seal them securely and keep them that way for the medium term (research how long on other threads), that might help.
> I'm also wondering what to do with my wood furniture, such as bookcases, desks, dining room table, etc. My choices seem to be a) get rid of it all and buy new stuff, which I'd really rather not do, b) have the stuff sprayed before I move it out, or c) have the stuff bombed in the truck. Has anybody tried any of those things?
Ugh, The problem is that it sounds like your place was not treated successfully. An expert PCO might be able to help you. Some people are fumigating (with Vikane) or thermal treating trucks as part of a move. "Bombing" your truck (as far as I understand it) carries with it the same limitations of fogging your home. Foggers are reportedly not effective against all BB, they drive them deeper and they don't kill all the eggs. (Eggs are a major part of the BB treatment problem in general, as few if any of the chemicals kill them, and they hatch 1-2 weeks after being laid, when the chemicals have work off, hence the required follow-up treatments). If you're dealing with a lot of $s, perhaps check with a lawyer if you have any rights to recover your expenses/losses.
Also, I'd suggest research/posting a question as to what steps you should take to prevent carrying in any bugs that might already be in your moving truck.
Finally, remember to write up your place in graphic detail on bedbugregistry.com.
Best of luck.
As far as packtiting, I have packtited my laptop (twice), never on more than 140 degrees, many CDs and even VHS tapes, all without problems. I think that heat is really just not THAT high, relatively. Also, I packtite my vacuum cleaner on a regular basis, so that I don't have to throw out the expensive vacuum bag every time. I have done it dozens of times without damage to the vacuum. I put the temp probe inside the vacuum bag.
you can steam your wood furniture with a "dry" steamer, or hire someone to do it. You can buy a new cd holder --the kind with plastic sleeves and is like a book--and put all the cds in it, then packtite the jewel cases. Electronics are a real conundrum. I wish I knew how to just take all my electronics apart and inspect them. I'm sorry I have no new ideas on that front.
Arrgh, there are so many options, and none of them seem to really work. What if I had the furniture and electronics sprayed by the PCO right before I move? Has anybody tried that?
Also, I haven't really heard of companies around here (Boston) that do the dry steaming, they seem to just spray. Would I have to buy a steamer and then hire someone to do it, or does anybody have any ideas on how to find someone who will do it?
I have woken up in a panic every day for the last few days... I just want my new place to be bed bug free, and I'm trying to get out of old place (and study for a final).
Moving, Please see Scared's encouraging reponse re PT-ing stuff. Do not spray electronics. Bedbugcentral.com has good videos on steam (those $50 steamers are of limited value, AFAIK).
Ditto what Cilecto wrote regarding spraying electronics. I have no idea what you were planning to spray with but I totally ruined my husbands clock radio (both the finish on it as well as the electronics inside the thing) when I sprayed Raid on it many many years ago. Read on for a chuckle!
We had just gotten married and moved into a brand new "luxury" building and we were the first tenants. My husband brought his clock radio and tv from his old apartment. The first week we were in our new place and woke one morning to the clock radio ringing. Usually, I'd just hear a slight "bam" of my husband touching the bar on the clock that turned off the alarm, but that morning there was a loud BAM! Apparently a big roach crawled out of the radio as he went to turn off the alarm and he bammed the life out of it. I'm bug phobic, so I freaked out. As soon as he left for work, I took a can of Raid and sprayed the h3ll out of the radio under the assumption, "if there's one, there must be many". Then I attacked the tv under the assumption that "the tv was bigger than the radio, so there must be many many bugs!" Needless to say, I definitely destroyed the finish on both the radio and tv, and my husband claimed that after that spray, neither of them worked well. In my defense though, I have to say I never saw another bug come out of either of them!
I found a company who will do fumigation, but they use methyl bromide, not Vikane. They recommended me to a company who does the heating inside the truck technique, I plan to call them tomorrow.
It turns out that because I live in an apartment in a city, throwing away my furniture may be more trouble than getting it treated somehow! Ugh.
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