Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tools/ideas for fighting bed bugs

dry ice?

(14 posts)
  1. bugobsessed

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Nov 15 2007 23:17:50
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    I read something on a site about using dry ice to kill BB's. The gist was that if you 'tent' them inside something with dry ice, the concentrated CO2 will kill them (not eggs, though). Does anyone know anything about this?

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Nov 16 2007 0:45:52
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    I have read about efforts to use CO2 to kill bed bugs, but they were using a chamber with CO2 tanks. I am not sure you would get the same results with dry ice in a tent. I don't know if the method relies on high levels of CO2 as much as the lack of oxygen to kill the bed bugs. The approach I read about purged the room air out of the chamber.

    I have also seen an ad from a group that claims that extremely high levels of ozone will kill bed bugs.

  3. cilecto

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 19 2010 8:47:53
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    Bugobsessed:
    CO2 is used in several ways:
    - some PCOs will apply a supercold CO2 "snow" to surfaces to kill bugs and eggs. Word on the forum is that this technique is of some use as part of a bigger program, but is not always sufficient on it s own, due to the snow's inability to penetrate deeply and lack of insect killing residual.
    - detection: bed bugs find their food source by following the trail of exhaled CO2. Various traps have been developed that seep CO2 - from a canister, from a chemical reaction or from evaporating dry ice - to attract bugs. These traps can help you to detect bugs, especially in a vacant room. They are not intended for control or eradication. The dry ice trap made headlines because a Rutgers professor demonstrated a low tech and cheap (if you can source dry ice) alternative to $500 traps. Since his work, an entrepreneur created a similar and more practical trap that generates CO2 using a chemical reaction. Here's a link to a video that explains the dry ice trap.

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Video Player

    Tucker: What group or industry association is behind the "official" site you link to?

    Enjoy.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  4. cilecto

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 19 2010 9:00:37
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    Tucker - 11 hours ago  » 
    bugobsessed,
    Dry ice can definitely be used to kill any oxygen consuming "thing". The issue with bed bugs is that you would need an air tight tent to accomplish this. As dry ice sublimates, it turns in to CO2 gas. This would in effect kill anything. The issue would be that the area would have to be concealed. This is opposite one of the safety precautions that the official dry ice website talks about. Plus, you would probably need a lot of dry ice, depending on the size of the tent.

    What group or association is behind this "official" site?

  5. LovesMtns

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 5:05:25
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    Dry Ice Good for Luggage
    One of the worst problems of returning home from a trip where you run into bedbugs is, what to do with the luggage. After stripping in the garage and throwing the clothes into the washing machine, where the heat of the dryer will kill all bedbugs, then what do you do with the luggage. Some people just throw it out, and buy new luggage. That works.

    But an easy solution is to just bag your luggage, and kill the bedbugs with dry ice. Dry ice will sublimate to pure CO2, which kills bedbugs in a few minutes. In our part of the country, every Safeway grocery store sells 2lb blocks of dry ice for about $3.00. Here is the process I followed:

    • Double bag the luggage with large plastic garbage bags.
    • Put in a fist sized piece of dry ice. This will kill all bedbugs in a few minutes.
    • Let the bag sit tightly tied for two weeks, so eggs can hatch. That can take up to two weeks. The CO2 will kill all bugs, but will NOT kill eggs! So the eggs have to hatch, then they can be killed.
    • Then put in another fist sized piece of dry ice. This is to kill all the bedbugs that have hatched from eggs (which takes no more than two weeks). There WILL be eggs! So don't skip this step!
    • Let the bag sit another week.
    • Voila!, all bed bugs and EGGS guaranteed to be dead. Luggage saved and safe.

    I did quite a bit of research on the Internet. Dry ice is a non-toxic way to kill bugs. They use it to kill bugs in wheat, for example. It is approved by the government for food items. I think one could use dry ice to fumigate a mattress too. Just wrap it in polyethylene and seal it with duct tape, and then put in a pound or so of dry ice.

    Safety precautions. Be careful with dry ice. If it touches your skin, it will immediately freeze it. If a speck gets in your eye, it may cause eye damage. So be sure to wear gloves and eye protection whenever handling it. It does produce CO2 gas, which will kill any living thing simply by depriving it of oxygen. CO2 gas is heavier than air and always sinks to the floor. Bottom line, use it outside or in a ventilated garage, whenever possible, or with a ton of ventilation. With these precautions in mind, very safe product to use. Saved our luggage after a bad trip :):)

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 9:22:58
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    Hi,

    I am not 100% convinced this is a good idea nor that you can get it to work reproducibly or reliably.

    Killing insects by oxygen replacement is not a new science but it is usually done with the assistance of CO2 measuring equipment to ensure that the gaseous CO2 builds up to a suitable concentration to kill both live insects and eggs. It is done with gases not dry ice for many reasons.

    Now before anyone jumps in I did say eggs as well. The fact is that eggs must breath in order to develop and although its small quantities gaseous exchange must occur int he egg in order for it to develop, all living animals require oxygen and that includes developing eggs.

    The reality is that systems like the PackTite offer a more reliable method of doing this. I would always caution people against doing something once of twice and declaring it a success, you cant afford even 1 error in 100 where bedbugs are concerned.

    Dry ice is also not as easy to get in some parts of the US or in fact the world.

    I am also always rather suspicious when someone revives an old thread as their first post to the forum.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    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 bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.

    "Astral Entomologist - because so many people say my ideas are out of this world"
  7. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 9:48:14
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    A few questions, mounted lover:
    - Does the co2 kill the bugs initially, or the cold?
    - What about the remaining air in the bag (assuming the bag doesn't burst from the expanding gas)? Can't the bugs survive on that? Same question for your proposed mattress treatment.
    - Why the two trips? Why not wait for all eggs to hatch, then treat once?
    - IIRC, an impregnated female can lay eggs for up to 21 days after feeding. If an egg can take up to 10 days to hatch, shouldn't the quarantine be 31 days?
    - IIRC, a fistful of dry ice doesn't produce enough CO2 to cause suffocation indoors. Why the warnings to do this outside or with lots of ventilation?
    - If this technique is effective and kills BB within minutes (and dry ice dissipates within hours), why does the luggage need to sit for a week as the final step.
    - Would you mind sharing some links to the sources for this technique?

  8. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 9:50:53
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    Could you post a link to the website that you mentioned?

    Have you actually tried this approach with live bed bugs?

    I read a study where high concentrations of CO2 and N2 were used in a chamber in an attempt to kill bed bugs... It had some effect, but there were unacceptable survival rates under both conditions... I seriously doubt that you will obtain much success with CO2 fumigation using dry ice... The concentration of CO2 in a garbage bag chamber will not be sufficient to produce the desired effect.

    CO2 has been tested as a fumigant in a chamber, but it was not effective... Do you think that fumigation experts would purchase Vikane from Dow, if a $3 block of dry ice would produce the same results?

    Please do not call CO2 non-toxic... then tell us that it will kill bugs guaranteed.

    Please show us the evidence to back up these claims.

    I think you have good intentions, but recommending an unproven approach that one finds on the internet can create confusion for members.

    I will search for a link to the study about use of N2 and CO2 as fumigants.

  9. djames1921

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 10:06:53
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    The first prototype packtite was the dry ice model mentioned, using co2 in a bag to kill any bed bugs. We tried with both dry ice and canisters. The reason to do this in well ventilated areas or outside is when we opened the bag, if our head was too close, breathing in highly conc co2 was punch in the face painful. That alone made us turn to heat, along with the research that had shown bed bugs can survive co2 fumigation.

  10. djames1921

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 10:19:37
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    As we have seen in recent trade shows and online, new products, ideas, etc are beginning to come from all corners as the bed bug problem keeps increasing, this is a good thing, as more useful tools are needed. But it is important as a consumer to make sure these ideas have been thoroughly tested and hopefully independently evaluated.

  11. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 10:33:02
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    Googling "kill bed bugs with co2" brings up a "how to" site that leads off with "kill", but pivots to "detect". It even embeds Jeff White's video on the dry ice trap. I supect that sites like this are designed to attract viewers to either click through on affiliate ads or to generate eyeballs for some compensated ad scheme…with little real value to the viewer.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jan 31 2011 16:38:39
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    LovesMtns - 11 hours ago  » 
    Dry Ice Good for Luggage

    I did quite a bit of research on the Internet. Dry ice is a non-toxic way to kill bugs.

    However, experts who have posted below you above have done a lot more research than you have, and are saying this is probably not a good method for killing bed bugs and eggs.

    If you're going to claim the internet as the source of your information, LovesMtns, then you need to show us the relevant links.

    Dry ice is used to create a bed bug monitor. (Monitors trap bed bugs, but are not designed to eliminate your bed bug problem.) And at least one person here did the math and found it would cost a lot more to run than a commercially-available active monitor like the Bed Bug Beacon.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. ddt

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 5:58:29
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    It's just a single drop-sample case, but when I read about the dry ice approach, I got did an experiment.

    I purchased two large blocks of it, one for each of my bedrooms, and then I put each block in a styrofoam cooler and poured in hot water, and sealed off the room.

    Here's what I found:

    A typical block of dry ice is so cold it'll freeze the hot water. I used 4 full hot kettle's worth. Froze solid. This is bad, because it means not enough evaporates fast enough. CO2 is heavy. It falls through the cracks in your floor- really fast. I tested this by bringing a candle to a crack in my door, to see how low I could put it before it went out. It consistently went out only about a foot off the floor.

    Am thinking next time I'll try using a hair drier on the cold setting. What I want to do is try to get more coming off more quickly, and to leverage the fact that it's damn cold and that bed bugs aren't fond of cold. Seems like hot water partially defeats that.

    Knowing that CO2 settles, as part of my test, I tried putting some in a drinking glass where I've stored a couple of live bed bugs for experiments. They didn't die from it. Perhaps the concentration needs to be higher, but if so, that means it's probably not a fab technique for bombing my room.

    The other thing is that I am guessing that all that CO2 going through the floorboards probably attracted bed bugs. Maybe that's good. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

    By the way, I love keeping bed bugs as pets to experiment on. You can leave them in a sealed glass and don't have to feed them but once a year.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 16:05:55
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    ddt,

    I am not sure what you're trying to accomplish. Please read the post I wrote above yours: dry ice is used to create a bed bug monitor, not for killing bed bugs.

    Are you getting bed bug treatment in order to eliminate your problem?

    You mention "bombing your room" -- in case you're serious about bombs in general, please note, bug bombs and foggers are not a good treatment method for bed bugs.


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