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Bedbugs in my car- so many questions! how to treat? what to do? DE?

(4 posts)
  1. brbugfighter

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Apr 11 2009 15:55:21
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    Dear all

    Yesterday I mustered up my courage and went into a deep inspection of my car. I was getting the feeling I was being bit after driving it. I removed most of the upholstered felt like pieces, mats, etc., vaccumed like crazy, used 100% rubbing alcohol everywhere steamed everything and sure enough, I found one dead bed bug and one nymph (I think it was one, it was tiny, white and alive). I didn't remove the leather upholstering for fear of completely screwing up my car. The most suspicious looking areas were the driver's and the passenger's seat. After the mad cleaning etc I went in with a bottle of K-Othrine and sprinkled it everywhere- cracks, crevices, mats, seats, hard to access spots, and let it sit through the night and opened the car only this morning for a few hours.

    My questions are:

    - Does this seem like a mild or severe infestation by the look of it?
    - What else can I do to kill the bandits? (I know leaving the car out on a hot sunny day can help, but we are moving into fall here in Brazil, not so many hot sunny days anymore)
    - Is K-Othrine effective against bed bugs? Can I use it everywhere? Like furniture and beds in between treatments when we detect any new fecal spots or new bites? I'm thinking of using it like a booster or reinforcement.
    - Are these measures sufficient to avoid transferring new bugs from the car into the home for a while? Should I avoid using the car?
    - One Brazilian PCO suggested pesticide Demand for the car. Is it any good?
    - In case I need to use food grade diatomaceous earth (something virtually unheard of in Brazil except for control of soy bugs/percevejo da soja), do I need to buy the kind they use in silos and grains or is it another kind? See for example http://www.keepdry.com.br/
    - Still on the topic of DE. My little one is allergic to dust and I already gave her a crisis by powdering up our beds with medicated foot powder. Isn't DE going to be harmful for her?

    I am going to inform my PCO about this new infestation and try to get them to work on my car but I know already that my PCO is very hesitant to apply pesticides in mattresses and upholstered furniture and can imagine he will be very wary to treat the car.

    Thank you all in advance for your advice!

    ME

  2. hoo2677

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Apr 11 2009 17:30:54
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    Yeah, having bb in your car sucks! Me too, however I recently had another NUVAN strip put in my car (first time for 1 week, not long enough...for my car) and I believe it to be free of BB. NUVAN is a ddtv strip and you are not to open your car until it's done cooking. This stuff is toxic bigtime when it's in (although the label says humans can inhabit a building for no more than 4 hours with a strip in it). I spoke with the manufacturer about them testing egg kill and he said it did in a controlled environment. I also spoke to a PCO who said they could VIKANE my car, but hopefully this will do the trick. I paid $125 for the first strip (they did the last for free to make nice with me for taking the first one out too soon.) Vikane was quoted at $150. Hope that helps.

    Sidenote: taking the bus has been great! Downtime where I can read, or zone out without being on guard, like in my house. And the extra walking around is Xtra great as I would be loathe to do that for voluntary exercise.

    Portland, OR

  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Apr 11 2009 21:16:32
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    Brbedbugfighter,

    Most people on the boards here know that I'm a big fan of thermal, since I used thermal treatment to successfully treat the bed bug infestation in my apartment in one treatment.

    And, as a resident of southern California, I have access to a lot of deserts where not only is the air temperature quite hot, but the intensity of the sun is also pretty, well, intense.

    Believe me, if putting a car out in the sun was a 100% guaranteed effective treatment, spideyjg or I (since we both live in sunny, arid so Cal) would be the first in line to suggest it.

    Unfortunately, the problem with any thermal treatment comes down to aspects of physics that, as an English major, I'm really not very good at explaining. The layperson's version is this:

    In order for thermal treatment to work, every single nook and cranny, including places tucked away beneath a lot of padding, which cab be a good insulator, need to be taken to the thermal death point and sustained there long enough to kill bed bugs. In addition, that heating needs to take place evenly so that the bugs can't just escape or hide out in cooler spots until the treatment is done.

    For that reason, it's nearly impossible to guarantee that even a black car placed directly in the sun on the longest day of the year in a 120 degree F desert could be conclusively cleared of bed bugs through that method.

    Now, that said, does that mean that you wouldn't kill the bugs? No. You might. You might kill some, and you might even kill all. The problem comes when you're relying on that treatment to kill 100% of the bugs and the eggs.

    I do not know if Vikane is available in Brazil, but I can tell you that the most reliable and safest way to get bed bugs out of your car is to have the car Vikaned by a professional. Vikane is the trademarked name Dow gave to a gas used to kill termites. The gas must be used at 3x the concentration for termites to kill bed bugs, and it is highly toxic, which is why you want a pro to do it. Professionals know how to monitor the concentrations, and they also know how to deal with the mechanics of the car so that no pocket of Vikane gets trapped somewhere only to be released later.

    I can't speak to the chemicals you ask about since I used chemicals only minimally in my apartment for treatment.

    For more information on DE, make sure that you read the FAQ on DE if you haven't done so, and as far as using the car, you might want to read the FAQ (if you haven't done so) on not spreading bugs once you know you've got them.

  4. brbugfighter

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Apr 13 2009 12:03:56
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    Hi guys

    Here's the update. Talked to my PCO and he said 'NO treatment in cars' in Brazil: neither thermal, nor chemical', so I am basically screwed. The best suggestion he had to offer was to get the car cleaned by a professional service, mostly used here for when your car gets flooded in a tropical rainstorm.

    I already talked to the car cleaning guy: it's a deep cleaning/washing/vaccuming process they are going to remove all seats and seat covers but not the carpeting, which is going to be only hygienized. Apparently my car (Citroen Picasso) has some complicated assembly which makes carpeting removal dangerous to the electronics in the dashboard, or so he says.

    I'm trying to get a friend of mine to send me some Hot Shot No Pest Strips by mail and will try to work . Other than that, just praying to God this nightmare will be soon over.

    Also parking my car on the street in the hope it will get stolen...<sigh>

    ME


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