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Bedbug eggs in a mile-high environment

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  1. blakts_naidu

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 17:33:23
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    I'm finding that the physics and chemistry of our location make a difference to the persistence of bedbug eggs.

    I live in one of those "mile high" cities that run all through the Rocky Mountains in the U.S. The term "mile high" has to be approximate, of course, because the terrain is so up and down, even within each municipality. A mile is 5,280 feet, and our house is at about 5,700 feet, so we are that much higher than even "a mile high."

    At sea level, water boils at 212 F (100 C). At 5,000 feet above sea level, water boils at 203 F (95 C). Because of this, for example, we have trouble making good coffee; some day we'll get a steam-type coffee maker. The humidity of the air here varies greatly. But it is not at all uncommon for the humidity to get to around 10% or 15%.

    Even at sea level, of course, temperature and humidity can vary. I know someone who has 2 place on the California coast. One is a small art gallery in Santa Barbara, less than half a mile from the ocean. The other is in the desert-like inland area east of Santa Maria. The owner believes that it's "really dry" at the place inland. And so it is, relative to being right next to the ocean. But when that owner came to visit, it took only a few days for her to discover how really, really dry it is *here* a lot of the time.

    Now about bedbug eggs.

    They are very sticky. At our altitude and in our climate, I have found that putting things in the dryer, even for a very long time, does not kill the eggs. I have spent a lot of time and effort and thought, and have verified and checked my assumptions.

    However, I do find that the steam iron does kill them. It seems to be the direct application of steam, plus perhaps the iron can get hotter than the dryer gets. We have one of those automated units, so it keeps 'sensing' the combination and temperature of the clothing -- and turning down the heat, in increments. And that probably is part of the reason it isn't working for me.

    The eggs seem to have some kind of stickiness (perhaps not unlike the tiny strong tentacles of barnacles?) which becomes enhanced in this drier environment. They are VERY hard to wash off of skin or clothing, even with scrubbing. Enhanced cling. Velro effect.

    All of this means that even though putting things in the dryer for a long time works for lots of other people, it will never work here.

  2. KillerQueen

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 17:50:14
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    I'm a bit lost here. My question is; You have eggs (confirmed viable eggs) and have been doing dryer tests, mixed in with cloths, to see if the hottest setting are killing them?

  3. so unsettling

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 17:52:20
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    Do you routinely find eggs in your clothing? I had not heard of this being so common.

    I find fabric knots sort of "stuck" in my clothing, but they are clearly not eggs.

    Do you have any pictures of these eggs?

  4. so unsettling

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 18:15:56
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    Another question--how is an egg identified as a "killed egg?" Discolored, scorched in the case of heat, decomposed? Eggs strike me as the hardest to find, as it seems they would be near a nest and not strewn around here and there. Very few here have ever mentioned eggs as discovered evidence of an infestation.

  5. KillerQueen

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 18:25:57
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    so unsettling - 5 minutes ago  » 
    Another question--how is an egg identified as a "killed egg?" Discolored, scorched in the case of heat, decomposed? Eggs strike me as the hardest to find, as it seems they would be near a nest and not strewn around here and there. Very few here have ever mentioned eggs as discovered evidence of an infestation.

    I don't feel the eggs are as difficult to find as much as you hear about.

    I parked in a no parking zone last week, ran into an apartment because the tenant said they found a stain on the sheets and the husband has been bit over the course of 2 weeks. I figured it would be a quick and simple ID to confirm without getting a ticket for the 5 minutes I thought I would be there. Well, I looked at the stain ( yes fecal ) and also found 8 eggs in under 3 minutes.

    Good news, I didn't get a ticket! Bad news .... they hired somebody else for the treatment. ... go figure =)

  6. so unsettling

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 18:30:17
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    Well, cripe, I hope you made them pay you something for your services. They don't know what they will be missing now, with someone else doing the job:)

  7. KillerQueen

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 18:55:44
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    nope .. it was a free-bee because I was already in the city (just a pop in). The funny thing is, I treated a family member a year ago with great success and I continue therapy emails and phone calls a year out.

    I also had another family member call for help with advise after a K9 inspection without visual inspection was done in thier home (the people with the problem visited the home of the second person before they knew they had a problem) I then had a third family member call looking for advise on "how not to get bed bugs" .... At this point I directed them to the web to read the available info. All in a days work ..... Free inspections are never free =)

  8. nycyn

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 20:12:09
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    Interesting about altitude issues. I lived in Taos once upon a time. I'm going to forward this to a couple of people into the math of this.

  9. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 20:19:12
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    Bed bug eggs are normally stuck firmly to the surfaces where they've been laid. Have you clearly identified bed bug eggs that:
    - you ran through a dryer at a confirmed temperature of > 120F?
    - confirmed with an instant read thermometer?
    - for at least 30 minutes after the fabric was dry?
    - isolate the fabric sample to rule out cross-contaminated?
    - that hatched a nymph Cimex Lectularius?

  10. nycyn

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Dec 13 2010 20:27:08
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    KillerQueen - 2 hours ago  » 

    so unsettling - 5 minutes ago  » 
    Another question--how is an egg identified as a "killed egg?" Discolored, scorched in the case of heat, decomposed? Eggs strike me as the hardest to find, as it seems they would be near a nest and not strewn around here and there. Very few here have ever mentioned eggs as discovered evidence of an infestation.

    I don't feel the eggs are as difficult to find as much as you hear about.
    I parked in a no parking zone last week, ran into an apartment because the tenant said they found a stain on the sheets and the husband has been bit over the course of 2 weeks. I figured it would be a quick and simple ID to confirm without getting a ticket for the 5 minutes I thought I would be there. Well, I looked at the stain ( yes fecal ) and also found 8 eggs in under 3 minutes.
    Good news, I didn't get a ticket! Bad news .... they hired somebody else for the treatment. ... go figure =)

    That sucks. Sorry. Price of business. Sigh.

    To OP: You sound way too sophisticated to recommend a high-altitude cookbook.

  11. blakts_naidu

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 4:22:05
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    nycyn,

    I can't recommend any cookbook specifically. But the biggest problem seems to be with baked goods.

    If you were able to find recipes from any of these restaurants or bakeries, probably they would work well. If you know someone who has a lot of back issues of various food magazines, maybe you can find some.

    * Jennifer James - Albuquerque, New Mexico

    * Lucile's - Boulder, Colorado (not been to Lucile's Cajun in Ft Collins, but maybe it's good too)

    * Rancho de Chimayo - Chimayo, New Mexico

    * Gateaux pastries - Denver, Colorado

    * Pasquale's - Santa Fe, New Mexico
    * Chocolate Maven (bakery) - Santa Fe, New Mexico

    * Joseph's Table - Taos, New Mexico (now closed but maybe he'll find another location, everyone hopes)

    If you want to get a cookbook as a gift for a friend, I would suggest the earlier version(s) of the cookbook from Pasquale's or perhaps the Santa Fe Cookbook.

  12. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 8:05:47
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    Fort Collins/Laporte, Colorado have an elevation of 5000+ feet. They are also home base for PackTite.


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