Can An Oven Be a Useful Treatment Tool(10 posts)
I was recently thinking that an Oven can be a useful tool in combating bed bugs. I believe that most residential ovens have a low temp of 200 degrees and as we all know they maintain the temperature. I was thinking that it could possibly be effective in killing bugs and eggs on clothing or other items that should be safe at these temperatures. I'm actually not sure if they are safe at these temperatures but I'm assuming that you could get away with it if you keep an eye on how long they are inside. Has anyone had any experience with this?
No, this is not advisable due to fire risks and other obvious ones like chemicals and food.
Any form of thermal treatment is a lot more complex than people give credit for and should always be left to professionals unless you have a PackTite at home which is the ideal domestic solution to decontaminating possessions and clothes.
Hope that helps.
Bed Bugs Limited
It depends what you put in there. It's an experiment I suppose though it gets hotter than a dryer. Keep in mind that while the oven may be 200, the core temperature may be lower and the bugs could somehow freakishly survive. Somehow, they possess powers which make them superhuman. Who needs to add or subtract or know how to think? They are the smallest army ever threatening to tumble this civilization.
In the days before Packtites were available, some people did use a protocol that librarians used to rid books of insect pests (like book lice) for items like books and documents.
However, even as a devoted bibliophile, that seemed like a lot of work and a lot of stress. Many ovens won't stay at low temps like that reliably.
I certainly wouldn't use ovens for shoes or clothes or electronic items.
Now that Packtite is available (and I say that as someone who doesn't yet own one), I would get a Packtite and use it rather than the oven. It seems far safer and more reliable, and it's been engineered to prevent escaping bugs and maintain the correct speed of heating needed for thermal treatments to be effective.
I had my apartment treated with thermal remediation. I'm a big fan of baking bugs to death. On the other hand, not doing so in a professional way can not only be ineffective but can be dangerous.
The reason that I didn't buy a Packtite right away is that my whole apartment was, essentially, Packtited with treatment. When money is (hopefully) in less short supply come the fall, I plan to buy one so that I can have the peace of mind that comes with being able to treat my luggage when I return from any trip. Yes, it's a chunk of money up front, but having it around to treat luggage upon return from trips, to me, makes it a wise investment. Given that it's been extensively tested and found to work, I'd feel far safer using it than an oven, as much because I don't worry about accidentally setting paper items on fire as because I know that bugs could all too easily escape from my oven while Packtite was designed specifically to avoid that problem.
Hi. I've been using my oven to heat up my purses, shoes, and books. I know this is not considered a conventionally safe method but I've ruined shoes in the dryer even after putting double layers of socks on them - the heat and the tumbling will damage the shoes, particularly the areas around the heels. So anyhow, I'm not recommending this to anyone, but desperation led me to do this for certain types of items that I felt could withstand the heat and could not fit into or withstand the tumbling in a dryer. I set the oven to 200 degrees and checked periodically the inside of the books or the inside of bags just by touch to see whether they were reaching the right temps. Items made of thinner materials, like purses took about 15 minutes, whereas thicker things like laptop bags, books and shoes took closer to 30 minutes. I did not put electronics or DVD's in - I bagged those items instead.
Bumping this up to question it again. My packtite is on backorder and will be lucky to see it by Thanksgiving. In the meanwhile, there has been no way to deal with shoes except via the oven. I can't use the dryer, since it would drive the people who live in nearby apartments crazy, and also because shoes always knock the dryer door open. They bang against it and the door latch eventually gives way, frustrating any effort to dry shoes.
Ever since I came here, I have noticed that the going concensus is that these bugs and eggs live potentially in every nook and crany--in our clothers, shoes, eyeglass frames, everywhere. Every day is another day to possibly bring these to work, unless I religiously follow the methods described here.
When it comes to things like shoes, I do not find good answers here. Eventually the packtite will be an answer for ME, but many people here can't get one, because of where they live or their finances. I have bought about 6 pairs of cheap shoes over the past 3 weeks. There is some safety in numbers, or at least it helps, but all you have to do is wear them ONCE and they become "dirty shoes." As such, they have to be dealt with before they can be worn again. I have tried the whole ordeal of bringing 2 pairs with me, etc. That doesn't work and causes great confusion and redundancy, and for all I know, these bugs could be at my jobsite anyway.
I have read about "freezing" shoes, and my reading of it led me to conclude that the freezer method is useless. At this point, there is nothing but the conventional oven for me, which I watch and never leave my home while it is on. I am certainly not going to get busy with something else and forget they are in there, as I am busy with nothing but this mess and its solution.
So if anyone has some better way to handle this without using the oven, please let me know. Oh, and yes I know all about Murphy's oil and rubbing alcohol--those are already in the protocol, I just forgot to mention that additional chore on the agenda.
You can purchase a small shelf that is designed to hang on the back wall of your clothes dryer that you can place shoes on and eliminate the knocking sound.
Why thank you Doug. That is a great solution. I will look into it.
So Unsettling -- I sent you a private message.
About the shoes: I'm not wearing any shoes I care about anymore--I heat-treat (e.g. packtite) and store those, for that hypothetical future when this is not an issue anymore. Before the packtite, I just bagged them until I could treat them.
For the ones I wear, this works every time, all the time, as to living bed bugs (not eggs): I have a XXXL Hefty zipper bag near the door of my apt. I put a paper towel in the bottom of the bag and pour rubbing alcohol on it so that there is a little fluid in the bottom of the bag. I take my spray bottle and spray 1st the inside and then the outside of each shoe, while holding it inside the open bag, and then drop it in the bag before zipping shut for the night. If you open the bag the next day and take a whiff you'll realize that the bag is a little gas chamber for your shoes, with reduced risk of scattering. This is not for every shoe, and I'm down to about 4 pairs I wear for different purposes--just one for work/city trips. General leather holds up pretty well to repeated alcohol sprayings, as does rubber, as long as you don't care what the rubber looks like. I have coordinated my entire wardrobe now around black leather boots and leggings or tights. I'm sure I'll have to replace shoes more frequently now--but the same is of course true of everything we treat for bbs.
This topic has been closed to new replies.