Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tools/ideas for fighting bed bugs

Bedbugs breathe oxygen, so why not individually vacuum seal items?

(20 posts)
  1. bklynbugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 10:34:27
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    This was inspired by the article linked about Dr. Kells. I'm new here, just a couple of weeks into my infestation.

    In the article linked above (http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2008/04/24/721) Dr. Kells is said to have said (the reporter didn't make it quote) that bed bugs cannot live much longer than 24 hours without oxygen. Would individually vacuum sealing books with a food vacuum sealer be an effective way to kill them? Most of the air would be pulled out of the seal, leaving them very little to sustain themselves. Has anyone experimented with oxygen deprivation? I would imagine that they don't need much, so a powerful vacuum seal would probably be needed.

    Thank you for reading my post.

  2. paulaw0919

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 10:40:44
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    I'm no expert, but I would think you make suck up bugs, eggs or whatever into the vacuum sealer.

  3. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 11:57:05
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    I always wondered about a different technique. A static charged wand that produces a static charge that when applied would zap bed bugs. No means a silver bullet but another tool in the arsenal.

  4. buggyinastoria

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 12:03:17
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    i was wondering the same thing--i bought some of those vacuum storage bags since ive taken all my winter stuff/blankets etc from under the bed where i stored them, and i dont have enough closet space to keep them in reg ziploc bags now.
    These vacuum bags are pretty good, but they are really expensive (i think it was 39.99 for 7 of various sizes, and then 9.99 for a garment bag that holds like 9 coats)

    but im wondering if this could decrease the time needed in storage (instead of 18 months)..assuming the problem is under control in the house of course.

    any ideas?

  5. bklynbugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 12:52:11
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    That's a good point. Perhaps if you put a nylon stocking in a strategic location, you could catch them before they got too far. Might have to quarantine the sealer when it's not in use. Another thing that I thought of is soaking whole electronics in mineral oil. People do this with computers sometimes to cool them. It might also work with the vacuum sealer, but it might not.

  6. bklynbugs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 12:53:52
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    (post above was a reply to paulaw0919)

  7. paulaw0919

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 14:19:41
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    I would never soak anything electronic. Too dangerous imo. If you are using a PCO I would ask them what to do with the item. In most cases, they state to leave them out during treatment as to let the bugs cross over chemical to get to you and them die. Maybe your PCO will treat around them, or recommend something to you. I wish I could state more on that. On TV's and such, when we were going through treatments I puffed a little DE under them, but I also let my PCO know whatever I did before doing so.

  8. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 16:25:24
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    Soaking electronics in anything is dangerous!

    I'm an electronics tech by day FWIW.

    Even if you had an electrically inert fluid the dirt, dust, and any other substance it may pick up off the item may have electrical properties, drop it someplace when drained and create a hazard.

    Years ago I saw on a show called Beyond 2000 they demonstrated a clear fluid that was electrically inert by tossing a running TV into it. Supposedly this was the cooling fluid the processors of supercomputers are soaking in to dissipate heat rapidly. Very strange to "see" a TV floating in what looked like water while running.

    Jim

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 0:48:33
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    Lou Sorkin could possibly be convinced to help people test some of these ideas. Maybe.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  10. death2allbbs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 30 2008 7:10:06
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    This is good to hear because I thought that I had read somewhere that bedbugs don't breathe air or oxgyen. Also, I recently saw a few dead bedbugs in the bottom of one of the washing machines in my apartment complex. Therefore, does this mean that they also can drown in water(even if the water isn't at least 120 degrees)?

  11. Bugologist

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 30 2008 8:59:55
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    Handling these one at a time.

    Oxygen deprivation is something that has been thought of by experts in the field and may work when dealing with small to moderate sized personal belongings. I don't think anyone has really pushed the issue because of the small area the treatment would impact. You can't vacuum seal a couch, mattress, chair, etc... and there are other tools for treating personal belongings (DDVP, container fumigation, heat, etc...). It is something that is being considered and we'll see where that goes.

    I'm not sure that static is going to carry enough of a charge to kill a bug and if it doesn't you're going to be shooting bugs all over. I don't really know anything about static electricity but if it is carrying enough of a charge to kill a bug on the spot, who knows what the non-target effects are (to a human, personal belonging, etc...). If you can see the bug to electrocute it, why not just vacuum it up, or steam it, or freeze it.

    Soaking electronics is bad not to mention the mess you're going to make with a TV dripping mineral oil.

    Bed bugs do "breathe" oxygen and yes they can drown in any temperature water.

  12. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Jul 30 2008 9:25:25
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    Hi,

    Just to also confirm that BB's will drown in almost any liquid but dipping things is a lot more complex than you would think. For a start you need to get all the air out of the gaps and cracks, the only way to do this would be with a sonicator to drive the air out, this in itself is out of the realms of a domestic setting.

    It is more likely to work on things like shoes and trainers but then you have the obvious material damage problems with leather and other materials.

    With regards oxygen deprivation you would need to get as much of the O2 out of the container as possible which would require a solution to scrub the oxygen from the sealed environment. Although there are products that will do this why are obviously highly dangerous and again not suitable for a domestic setting. I don't think oops honey sorry I left the lid of the bottle will be acceptable as an explanation why the cat is no longer with us.

    I think the best solutions we are going to see for a while will be based on commodity fumigation which means either heat or vikane type gases.

    I have been testing and developing things since we commissioned the decon facility in London and despite looking at many different options I am still stumped for a solution with electronics apart from dismantling them and hand inspection.

    I did however read up on confused raspberry ants the other day that specifically invade electronic appliances and eventually destroy them by shear numbers. I dare say the solution for BB's may come out of the need to do this type of work as well.

    David

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.
  13. death2allbbs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jul 31 2008 19:17:08
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    Am I missing something here? I've read repeatedly(and at this forum) that bbs are able to survive being sealed up(without air) for up to around 18 months. And our air is made up of nearly 21% oxygen:

    http://education.jlab.org/glossary/abund_atmos.html

    Therefore, how is it that it can be said that bbs are able to survive in airtight sealed packages and bags, etc., for up to 18 months, but now it's being said that bed bugs cannot live much longer than 24 hours without oxygen? Help me someone.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Aug 1 2008 15:46:55
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    death2allbbs,

    No one is saying bed bugs can live 18 months in a sealed bag. (We don't know how long they can live in a sealed bag. We hear they can live as long as 18 months outside of a sealed bag.)

    No one is saying they can live in the absence of oxygen for x number of months. But a sealed bag HAS oxygen in it. From a bed bug perspective, quite a lot of oxygen would be present in a sealed XL ziploc.

    Since we are not sure how long they can live in a sealed bag with some oxygen, people who suggest bagging things for 18 months are erring on the safe side.

    FWIW, as the FAQs indicate, I don't think this is a great way of dealing with bed bugs in non-washables.

  15. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Aug 1 2008 20:01:11
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    DeathToAllBBs

    The info that you are referring is that bed bugs can survive 18 months (484 days) without feeding at 50 degrees F rather than without an oxygen atmosphere.

    There is some published research documenting an attempt to kill bed bugs with carbon dioxide & nitrogen atmospheres. I have the reference on my other system, but my recollection is that the survival rate was about 20% - 30% with nitrogen proving less effective than CO2.

    I haven't seen any research on the use of vacuum or how oxygen deficient the atmosphere must be to be lethal for bed bugs.

  16. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 2 2008 0:10:12
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    Deathtoallbs,

    Read some if the info and links in this thread. Doug and Bugologist are the experts so heed their advice.

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/emtomolgy-questions

    The science came up with a longest life of a BB that had fed once then allowed to starve.

    There was supporting data that the warmer it is the shorter they survive the starvation. Since they are under starvation it stands to reason that the more they move the more of their stored energy is burned off hence shortening their life.

    Bottom line is certain conditions could expedite their deaths before 18 months but a sealed bag cannot be monitored so when you open it you either have little corpses or frantic starving bugs that will make a mad dash to bite you as soon as you bust it open.

    I'm letting mine sit the duration but keeping them warm as possible or having them gassed with Vikane.

    Jim

  17. death2allbbs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 2 2008 12:27:15
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    Thanks for the explanation, Nobugsonme. That helped out a lot.

    And DougSummersMS, the info that I was referring to was what bklynbugs said in the 1st post in this thread about how "Dr. Kells is said to have said (the reporter didn't make it quote) that bed bugs cannot live much longer than 24 hours without oxygen."

    And thanks for the link to that thread, spideyjg. It's good to know that bbs have other vulnerabilities and that green kryptonite isn't the only thing that can kill these little super bastards.

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Aug 2 2008 13:49:39
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    kryptonite, hmm, has anybody TRIED that yet?

  19. death2allbbs

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Aug 5 2008 2:00:28
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    garlic, crosses and wooden stakes would have probably been better metaphors for things that can stop these nightmarish little bloodsuckers. Additionally, I also recently read somewhere that bbs don't like sunlight. ....Now *that* deserves a second: Hmmm.

  20. ck

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jun 15 2010 10:06:57
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    i wonder if you could put dry ice in the bag with the bugs...? dry ice would deplete the oxygen in the bag. you'd have to have a way to relieve the pressure on the bag but i would imagine you could wrangle it so the bugs couldn't get out. oxygen wouldn't get in because of the outgoing pressure from the gas. i wonder if this would work on larger items that cannot be laundered (chairs) and things like electronics....just a thought.


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