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Best treatment for an early caught infestation?

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  1. MarriedinCA

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 4:44:17
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    Hello all! I did read through several other threads re: experiences with various treatments and comparisons, but it only made me more uncertain.

    We have an extremely light infestation. We used ISOTECH for a k9 inspection and the dog alerted to our couch and a mattress in a spare room. But the guy didn't really see anything definitive. No one is getting bitten, but I've caught a bed bug or two myself. I don't sleep at night so that apparently makes me the luckiest person in the world that I've actually seen them before an infestation got very bad. Still no bites, but now it seems likely that we're lucky/unlucky enough (depending on how you want to look at it) to not get any reactions from bites.

    So like I said the dog alerted, the guy didn't find any solid confirmation like hiding bugs or casts or blood spots. He saw things that may have been squished bugs or blood spots but they were a little odd he said. Never the less, the dog alerted, and it was confirmed that what I had caught was a bed bug nymph so we're going to go on ahead with a treatment. We will probably still use Isotech, because they're licensed to use more effective chemicals then the guy who works for our landlord (That guy said on top of the whole clearing everything off and out, which I know is typical, that he'd have to come back in a week to do it again. That's a lot of work, plus we have pets we'd also have relocate for time needed, and having to do it twice in so short of a time is not something I want to deal with, especially since there are better options.)

    My question is regarding both treatments that Isotech offers, the chemicals and thermal (I know thermal costs more). I did see several threads where for some people it failed and others it did the trick. I didn't see as many about failed chemical treatments. I'm sure they're both highly effective in general, and success probably depends on how thorough they are and their ability to reach all the affect areas and other factors like that. But does one actually have a higher success rate over the other? Would either of them be more or less successful considering how early this was caught? Would the fact that it was caught very early be any indication of how likely it is for the first treatment to be successful?

    Other info: I live in a 2 bedroom apartment, in an end unit. The mattress that the dog alerted to is in a bed room that shares no walls with anything (besides the floor, we live upstairs, only 2 stories) There is a little mystery about that, as until less then a week ago, that mattress was leaned up against a wall in our bedroom, but the dog had absolutely zero interest in our room and our bed. And the few I've seen have been for the past month and half or so. My landlord is wonderful and doesn't mind us using an outside pest control company, and also had the adjacent units checked just last week to make sure that we didn't catch a migrating infestation. We're still not sure how it started, probably a hitch hiker but not sure from where. My husband is in the Navy and we have friends that stay on the ship or live in the barracks and it's commonly known that bedbugs can run rampant in those places. (My husband told me once that a guy on the ship complained about bedbugs, and they had him move to a different rack (bed) and didn't actually do anything in regards to the bedbugs, paired with the fact that folks in the navy tend to see a lot more foreign ports then the average person, my husband hasn't been on a ship for most of the year though) we've let everyone know about this issue, and they've been keeping an eye out, but so far none of them have noticed anything. Guess it has to be chalked up as a fluke, and just hope that it doesn't happen again.

    Any info or advice is greatly appreciated!

  2. mrhelper28

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 7:21:42
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    Hey just in case you didn't get my PM
    Im Sincere, I professionally exterminat bedbugs.,
    I think my blog my be able to assist you better!

    http://killingbedbugssafely-sincity192.blogspot.com/

    great read that saves you 1000s.!

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 7:40:49
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    Hi,

    A light case with signs in both bedrooms and lounge often indicates that the source is something you come into contact with and bring home in daily life rather than a trip or source you come into contact with once.

    The reality with both treatment options is that they can both be effective but only work when people also identify the source and take steps to avoid contact with it.

    I would strongly advice that which ever direction you take you also look at:

    • Checking any daily commute routes
    • Checking vehicles
    • Checking offices / workplaces
    • Adjoining neighbours

    Now that is not to say get a professional to inspect all but more an advisory to inspect the personal space you occupy on a regular basis and look for potential sources.

    The good news is that light cases do not necessarily need the same nuclear strike attack program is correctly and professionally managed and that includes steps to avoid sources.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    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 bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  4. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 7:50:45
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    Dear m in ca,

    Regarding your question(s) above:

    Thermal (heat) treatment v. Chemical (pesticide) application treatment question:

    Competent professionals are getting good results with either method.

    Both methodologies have their advantages & disadvantages.

    While heat can be an overall, broad scale treatment, when conducted without any chemical supplementation, there is no residual treatment once the initial treatment is completed. The achilles heal of heat treatments are the "heat sinks" that may be present which may serve to impace the results.

    Chemical treatments must be comprehensive to deliver optimal results. That is, the pesticide must be delivered to where the bed bugs are hiding to be effective. "Since bed bugs can hide anywhere, we need to inspect and treat everywhere."

    In your case there reportedly are very few BBs present and, even though the dog alerted, no physical evidence was found. As such, you are correct in stating that you're at the early stages of an infestation. This is a good thing but can be exasperating since it leaves us wondering.

    We use a comprehensive treatment protocol that combines various methodologies rather than champion one method over the other. Our recommended protocol includes vacuuming, steaming, pesticide application, heat, encasement installation, climb up blockers, continued monitoring and follow up inspection services.

    At day's end you will enter into a business relationship with which ever service provider you choose.

    Ask questions to help you attain additional information so you can make an better informed choice.

    Be sure to review the terms of the services agreements and ask questions about items you don't understand or may have issue with.

    You are likely about to make a significant purchase, make sure you understand what is going to be done, what you can expect and what you're getting. In CA there are specific regulations that pertain to this industry which are rather consumer friendly.

    Choosing the method may not be, and in my experience is not, as important as choosing the service provider who you are most comfortable with, who you believe will do the best job and will stand behind their work.

    Good luck in your quest ! paul b.

  5. MarriedinCA

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 9:50:29
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    Thanks!

    @Mrhelper. I did get your PM, and your blog has some interesting info, I appreciate the assistance, but I think your post here in this thread may violate some rules.

    @bed-bugscouk, A theory is that the cats may have tracked them around? I have read a lot that bed bugs don't like all the fur, but that doesn't mean they won't feed on something furry if that's what's readily available. When the mattress was in our bedroom, it was leaned against a wall and the cats, of course, loved it because it became the highest perch around. They usually stay with me, and I am usually asleep during the day, and up all night on the couch. Highly unlikely scenario I'm sure, but probably only about as unlikely as the spare mattress being mere inches away from my bed for the past year and a half (but moved to a different room less than a week ago), and the dog alerted to the spare mattress (that was already in another room) and had zero interest on my bed (the inspector was very thorough, walked the dog around the bed like 10 times and had him on top of the bed and the dog just did not have even a hint of interest anywhere in my room, which seems very strange since the mattress had just been in there just some days ago) I know that it's possible that they hid in the other mattress and only came to ours to feed, but there are no blood stains or anything to indicate that the were ever on our bed at all (so said the Isotech guy (I'm horrible with names))

    We've done our best to figure out the source (it has been driving me nuts with paranoia that what's the point of getting a treatment if it's just going to happen again, not because treatment failed but because it's coming from somewhere else?) And there's nothing definitive, My husband currently works in an office, and shares space with several other people, they are all aware of our BB issues and have not found anything around the office or have their own problems. I'm sure that doesn't mean that this couldn't have been the source, but to me it seems unlikely that there's an actual infestation at his place of work. I do not work or go around much on my own. Our friends who live in their own homes have also been on the look out for the past month or so, and haven't seen anything. We also know people who, as I said, spend a lot of time on the ships or in barracks (In the 6 years that my husband has been in the Navy, we've never had a BB problem before, although its a common problem.) Since the first BB sighting we haven't really let anyone come over, for one to prevent any more from getting tracked in if that's the cause, and to reduce the risk of anything hitchhiking out to cause problems for other people. But after all this time and spreading the paranoia no one else has any signs or symptoms.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "daily commute routes?" Do you mean if one were walking or taking the bus etc or something else? I'm located in SoCal, and we've had some rather warm days, even a couple weird hot ones recently, and I had always heard that when a car gets hot on a hot day, it will kill any bedbugs because the temps inside a closed up car are quite hot and more then adequate to kill them? (seeing as how the temps can get hot enough to, tragically, cause the death of infants and children) So I had eliminated it at a possibility. Plus my husband, who spends the most time in the car, comes home and his uniform goes straight onto our bed or a pile of laundry (fairly often he'll just crash onto the bed himself and take a nap before even getting out of his uniform), seems like that would still make our bed the most likely location, and it was the one frequently used piece of furniture that was BB free. And our neighbors were cleared.

    Isotech is also going to give us some advice on things we can do to lessen the risk in the future of getting another infestation.

    I have given a lot of thought to what could have been the source, as we will most likely be moving in a few months (no choice) and I'm scheduled for a surgery in Jan, and the last thing I want to be dealing with is a recurrence! On a really bad day I thought that they may have even been coming from the newspapers my neighbors get or that someone was purposely infesting us to try to make us leave, lol, not that I seriously believe either of those things, but I was racking my brain for any cause as I slowly eliminated other more sensible sources and was nearing my wits end! I think the best we can do is hope for a successful treatment, and be cautious in the future and hope it doesn't happen again.

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 10:16:57
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    MarriedinCA - 15 minutes ago  » 

    I'm not sure what you mean by "daily commute routes?" Do you mean if one were walking or taking the bus etc or something else? I'm located in SoCal, and we've had some rather warm days, even a couple weird hot ones recently, and I had always heard that when a car gets hot on a hot day, it will kill any bedbugs because the temps inside a closed up car are quite hot and more then adequate to kill them? (seeing as how the temps can get hot enough to, tragically, cause the death of infants and children) So I had eliminated it at a possibility. Plus my husband, who spends the most time in the car, comes home and his uniform goes straight onto our bed or a pile of laundry (fairly often he'll just crash onto the bed himself and take a nap before even getting out of his uniform), seems like that would still make our bed the most likely location, and it was the one frequently used piece of furniture that was BB free. And our neighbors were cleared.

    Hi,

    By commute I mean daily activities or routine such as trip to work / school etc.

    Unfortunately the information you have on cars is not correct. Although it may get hot enough to kill people bedbugs can survive in the small cool spots and escape. A while back I tested a product that was supposed to heat bags and for most part it was about 127 F int he unit, however the small pockets of cool were enough that bedbugs could climb into those zones and survive. After a 10 hour cycle there were still live bedbugs.

    I doubt the cats are the source of the issue, its most likley to be something your husband comes into contact with. I would advise that you get him into the routine of removing the uniform and placing it for washing / in isolation until it is needed again.

    Try not to become anxious by thinking of the unlikely possibilities such as infestation with newspaper or deliberate from neighbours, the energy that you waste on such stresses is so much better invested in other ways.

    Hope that helps.

    David

  7. mrhelper28

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 13:04:41
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    I agree with bed-bugscouk,
    make sure you definitely know your source, or if unsure and you decide to take a DIY approach, get which ever sprays/powder you want and "trust me" get a steamer! which ever brand you choice make sure its hot enough. ex (would be a steamer that lets out steam at 180 degress.) This way as part of your regular cleaning routine where ever you go.,... (good ex) I use my steamer with a cloth around the head to steam clothing i might have came home in after being in a HOTEL all day!
    A Good preventative measure. I have tested this many times and so can you! (I have placed groups of bugs in a specific location, like in the middle of a comforter and burried them)(in a plastic zip lock so they cant escape) and putting the steam head onto the comforter making sure to put as much of the material over the bag as to cover it and just steam it for a few seconds(i useally count to 10 seconds) and then open up the comforter!!! all bed bugs dead.. and for further testing hold onto the bag zip locked for about a week to see If any new egg hatched.
    I always come out with positive reults! But using a combination of the 2 methods isn't a bad idea!
    Good Luck!
    note:
    Do you know what rules I violated?

  8. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 13:19:17
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    Hi mrhelper28,

    I think you will find the rule may be this one:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/warning-bed-bug-professionals-please-read-this

    I am sure you mean well by your advice and comments but the reality is that some bedbug issues can be quite simple and therefore easy to resolve. Other times they are more complex and take experience which is unfortunately hard to come by if you are encountering bedbugs for the first time.

    Most of the professionals who support this site with information and advice do so to assist rather than to be motivated through financial gain. As such if we are recommending something that we could be financially benefiting from we always declare any and all vested interests. Even that is as simple as the links on your page that help people buy the products that you recommend.

    I am however confident that you are well meaning and genuine and would therefore suggest that rather than rushing in to post a product based solution you work on getting your thoughts and help documents cohesive as you will see in the FAQ's here then people are more likely to support your site with traffic and maybe if you are lucky purchases.

    Even though the products may only earn you a few pennies it is always better the clear ground of clarity and disclosure.

    David

  9. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 13:39:08
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    MarriedinCA,

    I'm not sure what part of California you're in (and I'm definitely not asking you to disclose that here), but my sense is that Isotech is a pest company that has been around for a while. The more experienced the company, the more likely they are to be doing effective thermal treatment.

    I did not use Isotech. I'd be happy to send you a private message with the name of the company that I did use (Hydrex) and the specific local branch office of that company that treated me. (I am always a little cautious about posting specific location information in public fora online, but I'd be happy to give you the specific city in a private message if you want it.)

    My company did thermal with some chemical. I was unsure at the time about the order of events (thermal then chemical; chemical then thermal; chemical, thermal, then chemical . . .).

    David Cain is based in the UK (little linguistic give aways like the fact that he called the room with the sofa and television a lounge rather than a living room as someone from the US is more likely to do), but his information on cars is spot on. While it's kind of an old wives tale that parking cars in the sun--or putting items in black plastic bags and putting them in the sun--or in the car in the sun--is a good way of killing bed bugs, it's really not. Cars are seldom infested, but a lot of complex science that I am, frankly, no good at all at explaining means that the way cars heat up is not a reliable way to kill bed bugs. (It has to do with cool spots, insulation, heat transfer, etc.) I know you're not advocating using the car as a way to heat up infested items, but the same basic reasons that that's a bad plan explain why yes, even in sunny so Cal, we cannot rely on parking the car in the sun on a hot day to eliminate bed bugs from the car in the very rare instances when that's infested. (Yes, even in places like El Centro or Palm Springs. In the summer. Where air temps routinely reach 120 all on their own.)

    I do think we're slightly less likely than someone in Toronto to end up with an infested car, but it's not a 100% reliable method to kill bed bugs if you're unlucky enough to get them in the car.

    As for cats, that's unlikely to be the source, I suspect. I have a cat. I'm 98% sure I got bed bugs at one particular hotel stay in March of 2008. (The hotel had a seagull problem; I found what I thought was a tick in my bed there. I suspect that's where I was exposed, but I was in a hotel a few weeks before that, so I cannot be sure I didn't pick up a hitch hiker there and first see it at the second hotel. I travel a lot for work.)

    I didn't figure out I had bed bugs until mid June--partly because I thought it was fleas and/or mosquitos getting in through holes in the screen made by my cat. My cat slept on my bed and on the couch in the living room (aka lounge), and despite having the bed bugs that whole time, I never really found bugs in the living room or kitchen.

    In fact, I think my cat kind of helped contain the infestation in my case. Even though I was traveling a lot, I suspect the bugs fed on her while I was away. Since she slept on the bed while I was gone, the bugs didn't have to go looking for food elsewhere.

    I'm not sure I've said anything terribly new in there, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in dealing with this in California. Don't hesitate to PM me if you want the city of the office I used for treatment and I'll be happy to pass it along. Hang in there.

  10. MarriedinCA

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Dec 16 2011 23:21:34
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    I really appreciate all the info.

    @P Bello, sorry I didn't see your post before. The success of a treatment depending on the experience of the PCOs who preform it makes a lot of sense!

    @mrhelper28, what bed-bugcouk linked is indeed what I was referring to. I only mentioned it in case you chose to edit your post before it got moderated in some fashion. I was not in any way trying to imply that you had any other intentions besides being helpful!

    @bed-bugcouk, thank you for the information about vehicles! You can be sure that we will be checking that out immediately. Also, I'm not actually very upset about this in general, but I appreciate the reassurance. I really only had the one bad day where all I could think about were all the previously mentioned BB problems in Navy areas that I have always been aware of, and that it was going to suddenly become a never ending problem for our selves, but I got over it! I know that's not likely as long as we take certain precautions, and I listed those unrealistic possibilities just as an example of the extent to which I have considered every possible way they could have been brought in. An infestation in our car is the only thing that I have not checked out thoroughly, because I had been misinformed before you and buggyinsocal shared that info with me!

    @buggyinsocal, I'm in the SoCal area as well. So far I like dealing with Isotech. I hadn't ever even heard of that tv show they're involved with until after I'd found their website when looking for a PCO in my area that uses k9 detection, and I'm sure other companies like the one you mentioned are just as good, but I do like the idea that their business can stand up to the kind of scrutiny that comes along with being on a nationally televised program. If they had not been a very good company, they would have been eaten alive by the mobs that most likely would have made it their personal vendetta to expose them.

    As for the cats, it's not that I think that they caused the problem, just that they could have contributed to why they seem to be in the couch, that I'm the only one who sits on regularly (my husband tends to sit elsewhere) along with my cats who sometimes behave like we're attached at the hips, and then randomly on an unused (besides the cats) mattress, that we've had for years and just never got rid of. but not any other sign in our bedroom even though that mattress had been right next to the one that we sleep in (and my husband does sleep at night like a normal person) When we moved it was just because I was tired of one them (who is quite rude for a cat) that didn't seem to care if he jumped off the spare and landed squarely on my head or chest or whatnot. I honestly didn't think it had BB, or I wouldn't have moved it at all. It's probably not all that important to figure out how they weirdly spread around my apartment really though? Or is it?


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