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DE questions

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  1. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2007 17:17:44
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    Someone here posted that bed bugs are not evil geniuses but I really wonder sometimes...
    which also leads me to some questions....

    I really don't have the money to get a PCO to treat our rental townhome. (The rental company won't help either). We are self treating with DE. We did the baseboards. treated the couches, mattresses, and put barriers around our beds, etc. But does anyone know if bedbugs will avoid large amounts or clumps of it? (We don't want to disperse them to the neighbors).

    Also, the other problem I have is that we recently starting moving in about September and yes, unfortunately for me, still have boxes of stuff sitting out everywhere. I don't even know where to start when it comes to cleaning or washing all the stuff. Also, I'm afraid that if I seal things up and the bugs/eggs weren't killed adequately enough they will just re-infest the place. Does it work to leave things as they are and use ourselves as bait to draw the bugs out and cross the DE? Not to mention that we have SO many clothes (that we do all wear) I don't think I could afford to wash everything along with the bags it would take to hold it all.

    Anyone else self-treated with DE and had success?

  2. (deleted)

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2007 19:32:53
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    We are told that bedbugs do not avoid clumps. However, the preferred technique is to spread DE very lightly. There is a DE FAQ here: What is diatomaceous earth (DE)? Should I use it?

    There have been a ton of DE discussions in the forums. Click on the DE tag to find them. And the question of whether it can work was discussed here: Has anyone successfully self-treated using DE?

    I know you are overwhelmed, but delay is not an option. Read the FAQs and come up with a plan that is methodical and thorough.

  3. Bugologist

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Nov 13 2007 22:36:45
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    I've watched them in experiments sit directly next to dried residues of dessicants (which is what DE is) so I know they can avoid large clumps, whether they do or not on a regular basis I'm not sure.

    DE is a good product but we know that they need a healthy exposure to it to die and it being applied by an untrained homeowner isn't always a good idea. I know everyone talks about how it's an "all-natural" product but lets remember that it's still registered as a pesticide by the EPA. Also, PCO's know where to apply it to be as effective as possible.

    That being said I know about money difficulties being an ex-broke student so I'm not sure what the answer is.....just my thoughts (for what they are worth, if anything).

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2007 3:34:08
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    current, are you sure your landlord is not liable to pay for treatment, as per the FAQ on landlords and tenants? Like Bugologist, I do think good PCOs can get rid of bed bugs more quickly than most folks, and I also think a nice cocktail, expertly applied, will get rid of them more quickly than one substance.

    Bad PCOs, well, they're another story.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2007 12:12:36
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    Well, I gotta tell you this story because it is actually kind of funny. I live in Utah and I've never even heard of anyone living here having a BB problem. So I called up the rental company and talked to our manager. (They're the go between the actual owner of the place and us). I say, "Apparently we have bed bugs"....silence blink, blink. I'm wondering if she knows what one is. She replies, "Oh...well they come from mattresses".
    OK...apparently she doesn't! I had to explain to her that they are a terrible pest and that they don't come from mattresses but can come from anywhere...like birds and bats."
    "Oh really? Well, the owner is not under any contractual obligation to get rid of these pests. Everyone gets rid of their own. We have tenants get exterminators to spray for everything....ants, spiders. That's what you'll have to do as well"
    Arggh! So I just wanted to slap her and tell her to tell the owner of the situation. If they had a brain on their head they might want the problem taken care of.

    But anyway, just this morning my dad offered to pay for the exterminator. But I wonder who to go with. Are the big names...Orkin, Terminix, etc, probably going to be my best bet? I don't want to waste anyone's money....or time.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2007 15:24:52
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    You should look into local housing laws. The landlord may be lying.

    Orkin and Terminex vary from location to location, but the advantage in a place where bed bugs may be newer situation is that they can call their other affiliates to ask questions. If they do not help you, you can be pushy about that. (A member of the NPMA would probably have some options too, though, so other PCOs may be good as well.)

    Even though bed bugs may not be commonplace there, they are everywhere now. You might call 3 PCOs, ask them the questions in the FAQ about choosing one, and decide then. Also, even where bed bugs are newer, people have probably encountered bed bugs and bird bugs which are basically the same species who come in via a different mode of transportation. (I do NOT mean bird mites, but bird bugs.)

  7. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2007 18:19:22
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll look into the housing stuff and see what we can do. I really just think our manager has no clue to how terrible bed bugs are. My husband says that we could just threaten not to treat them and that because of that they wouldn't be able to rent it out again. (Ok...not seriously).

    And thanks for the advice on the PCO's. I've called quite a few and I finally decided to go with a local person rather than a large company because I think the service will be better (aka I can get them to come back to spray in 2 or 3 weeks for the follow up instead of the 6 weeks that the other companies state). In ways in concerns me that his price is almost $200 less (for a year contract)than the large company (cause you get what you pay for) but he also agreed that he would treat our cars (which the large company wouldn't do). I'm not too sure about the fogging because I hear that it tends to disperse them, but since he'll also be spraying and spraying in the subsequent visits I think it should be ok? He also was realistic about how long it would probably take (3-4 treatments) instead of 1 that another company stated.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Nov 14 2007 20:46:37
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    current, it depends. If he is setting off a bomb, we understand this is bad. If he is using a specific kind of fogger to "flush bugs out," then it may be okay, under certain circumstances. The FAQ on bombs and foggers details this with information from PCOs (read all the comments).

    You don't necessarily get what you pay for -- prices can vary and not necessarily to where paying more gets better service. But do look into the fogger FAQ and try and establish what you're getting there before you hire them.


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