Best practices for treating non-fabric "stuff"? - A Brainstorm(4 posts)
What are peoples' thoughts on best options for treating general "stuff"?
I should state first off that I am undergoing treatments by a PCO (though I don't think the PCO hired is really all that knowledgable, but more on that in another post, perhaps). In the FAQ on how to treat "stuff", it's advised to follow the PCO's advice, but this PCO isn't really giving comprehensive advice, they're just coming in and spraying. However, the questionable quality of our PCO, while an issue we're dealing with, isn't the subject of this topic.
So, how best to treat "stuff" other than clothing? Here are the possibilities I can think of:
1. LEAVE IT UNSEALED in open bins during and after treatments so the bugs that may be in will crawl out across the poison and growth regulator and die. Possible downsides: can they get out of the clutter that I hurriedly stacked in plastic bins to get it out of the way for the PCO?
2. VISUALLY INSPECT each paper/book/tchotchke and then seal it in a bag until the treatments are over and we hit 55 days w/o signs of bugs. Possible downsides: Can I really be sure each item is clean even if I am meticulous with my visual inspection? After all, I'm not a professional...but the "professional" PCO said to just look over everything carefully for visible adult bugs, as eggs are unlikely to be laid in my bins of books, etc.
Here's where we really get creative/dramatic:
3. THREE WEEK FREEZE - Bag everything in giant zipper bags, rent a chest freezer, and freeze for three weeks (this is not a bad option, as I am leaving town for three weeks soon, and would be able to leave it untouched for that long). Possible downsides: Does freezing in a chest freezer really work, even if it's three weeks without being opened?
4. FOG/FUMIGATE - Pack everything, unsealed, into a very large sealed container of some kind and throw a fogger in, or hire someone to fumigate within the container. I know foggers are bad for treating houses, causing the bugs to hide in the walls, but what about for just my stuff, sealed in an airtight container? Possible downsides: Could I really get whatever container I chose totally sealed? Would the fog successfully permeate all my papers/books/tchotchkes, etc.? Would the fog be bad for my papers/books/tchotchkes, etc.?
5. FIVE MIN. IN OVEN- Put things in the oven at 180 degrees for five minutes each, as per this article:
(which of course, cites use of a dryer and not an oven, but I'm drawing the temp. and the time of exposure from it) and then seal them until the treatment is over and the bugs are not sighted for 55 days (not sure where I got that number---somewhere in the forums). Possible downsides: as long as I'm careful not to set anything on fire, I can't think of any.
I would welcome any input on this subject. I've gotten a lot of info from the FAQs, especially the ones on extreme temps, but I'm very interested to hear what others think of these ideas/whether others have tried any of these things/others' ideas on the subject.
BTW, a big thank you to everyone posting on this blog---while I just started posting recently, I've been a reader for awhile, and it has been my go-to source for info throughout this process.
Hi, V Bugged. I like the freezing part the most. Alot of people here will disagree with the freezing to kill bedbugs, but that was the best thing that I could think of when I needed to keep my stuff free from bugs. I would store all my belongings in my garage in the cold, Nebraska winter. I did wash and dry and bag all the clothing but the movies and shoes and toys ect, were just stored out there. I would also on occasion, put an authentic Mexican blanket in my chest freezer cuz I didn't want to ruin it in the washer. Also, any sleeping bags that were too big for the community washer at our apartment complex were put in the freezer. I would leave them for a couple of days to a couple of weeks and then take outside and shake. I did then start bagging the stuff and putting out in the garage when it was inevitable that we were going to have to move. Now for the fogger, THAT WOULD BE A VERY BAD IDEA!!!!! I feel that with the fact that it is enclosed, would cause a very bad explosion hazard. I only am speaking my opinion but I think I remember reading that somewhere. To set off in an enclosed place could cause the propellant to explode. It is tooo bad that you are a part of our little group but it is nice to have here. I relied heavily on the freezing cold as part of our treatment and so far it is 60 days and still counting in our new apartment!! GOod luck!
also just a note, 5 minutes at 180 degrees F in the oven would likely damage many things... and from what i have read will melt the bindings on your books.
when i had to move, i baked all my books at 120 degrees F for three hours (with a pan of water in the bottom of the oven for humidity, and i watched it carefully to be sure there was no fire!). any longer than three hours and the bindings may melt, but i was careful and none of my books (an entire floor to ceiling wall of them) were damaged. *note: this is time consuming, but if you need to be sure that your books are free of bugs, worth it.
I would suggest that if you have additions to the recommendations on this topic which is covered in the FAQS, you leave your comments THERE as suggestions or disagreement. They will be found more easily by others and can be used to improve those FAQs.
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