Found bed bug in laptop (photo inside), leaving town tomorrow. What do I do?(7 posts)
I live in an apartment in Brooklyn, NYC, and as I was getting ready for bed, I picked up my laptop and noticed a small bug running across it. I made sure not to kill it, put it in a ziplock bag and took a (albeit low quality, sorry, it was my phone) photo.
From what I can tell, it seems to definitely be a juvenile bed bug (perhaps attracted by the heat of the laptop).
I immediately checked my mattress corners, on the floor, and any other reasonable area to no avail. I've never had any bites show up on my body and I haven't seen any blood stains anywhere.
My biggest issue though is that I leave tomorrow (Friday) for home in the afternoon.
My plan so far is to wake up early tomorrow, dry anything clean I have for 2 hours on the hottest setting, and wash and dry anything dirty. I'm also going to try to call an exterminator first thing.
Any other suggestions?
Yes it is a nymphal bedbug, it has not fed in a few days so may be a hitchhiker, you need to ask yourself how it got there as much as what to do next.
If you don't need the laptop you can seal it in a ziplock bag or saran wrap until it can be dealt with.
Check the rest of the room for signs:
- Live samples
- Cast skins
- Faecal traces
Follow the advice int he FAQ's on decon of clothes so you don't take the issue with you when you travel.
If it is isolated to the laptop you may want to either buy or find someone with a PackTite closet, we have run laptops through it before and had no issues with them after but I don't think it is a supported technique by the manufacturer for liability issues.
Hope that helps.
Bed Bugs Limited
While some laptops may actually come out of being treated in a Packtite okay, it is important to remember that there are reasons that the manufacturer of the Packtite does not suggest putting electronic items through. (In particular, if your laptop's battery cannot be removed, heating it up is not the best idea. I mention this because as a Mac user, I'm very aware that the newer unibody MacBook Pro laptops have batteries that cannot be removed.)
If it were an older laptop that I would be okay with replacing in a year or so even assuming that it came through unscathed, I might Packtite it.
If it were a two month old MacBook Pro with a battery you can't remove, I absolutely wouldn't based on my own experiences with electronics in the wake of structural heat treatment.
There are concerns with some electronics and we need to be mindful of them as well as careful in the actions we take.
Sealing the laptop in a suitable plastic container, bag or wrap is a good idea to prevent potential BB escape and further entry.
How to best render the laptop BB free is the question:
> If possible, maintaning the laptop at the threshold lethal temperature for the full recommended exposure duration is a viable idea. While I'm not an electronics, battery or laptop expert, the threshold temperature should be sufficiently low such that no harm occurs to the electronics. However, the exposure time has an inverse relationship to the temperature applied.
> Remember that convection heat is required to do a great job.
> You may also consider the use of pest strips. However, like convection heat, to be most efficacious the BB killing vapors that are emitted from these strips need the assistance of moving air to help them enter into al the "nooks & crannies" (yes, this is highly technical terminology, I know). If this method is used, the laptop would need to be sealed into a suitable bag or container along with the pest strip. Suitable airflow may be attained by opening the laptop and running it such that the colling fan in the laptop provides airflow. Please note that the product label calls for seven days exposure to kill 100% eggs and crawiling bed bugs. However, this was the result of trials conuduicted under "ambient conditions" including room temperature and no air movement provided. For further information search Nuvan Prostrips and also search the product FAQ.
Disclosure: Please understand that AMVAC, the manufacturer of Nuvan Prostrip, is a client of mine for whom I provide technical consultative assistance.
In any case, we all wish you success in dealing with your current BB situation !
I'm less worried about the laptop and more concerned about all the other clothing I have that I want to bring with me on my trip.
As far as where it came from, I can't be sure—I've been staying at my girlfriend's place which has had no detection of bed bugs for the past two nights, but my laptop has stayed in my room for the past month. The only places I've been in the interim are my office and a bar or two, which sure, could have a chance of having bugs, but no hotels or anything since I was in South Africa three weeks ago.
I called an exterminator who's going to come by later today for an inspection, but until then, I'm going to be drying all of my clean clothes and washing and drying all of my dirty ones.
He gave me directions on how to pack, so I'm going to follow those, but I'm just going to hope that this was a very lucky single BB that's too young to lay eggs. I suppose the inspection will answer that.
Thanks for your help. I'll update when the inspection is complete.
Generally speaking, the clothing is easier t take care of because you can run it through the dryer as a heat treatment.
> Run the clothes you intend to pack in the dryer at least 30 mins or so. You're trying to assure that all areas of the clothing get 122 degrees F for at least one minute. This may take some time depending upon the dryer being used.
> Once the clothes have been sufficiently heat treated in the dryer, seal them in plastic bags to prevent subsequent BB entry.
With the instructions you're going to get from your service provider and all the additional information available on this site you should be in good shape now.
Good luck ! paul b.
seeing the pic of your nymph reminds me that when i requested my housing association send out pco to inspect my new apt as i was becoming aware that the bugs had transferred from previous infested apt i gave him a dead bug exactly like this ( i knew fine well what it was). He took it away for lab inspection and said he would let my housing association know once it had been id, No one ever got back to me about it and i am abit angry that my evidence was removed and i now have no record of it existing. I feel this was a deliberate ploy. I can only hope that it was a dead nymph stray following a previous self financed course of treatment. Wonder if any of the professionals know if there is any ownership on bugs removed for inspection and should i demand to see a report of what the outcome was. it was a good 7 months ago so quite a time has lapsed. It was rentokil who were employed by housing association and i have basically become so disenchanted with my housing associations methods of dealing (or not dealing) with my complaints on this subject that i have been attempting to self manage. Also i am confused about the bug being in the computer as i know there is evidence that the can inhabit electronics, i would have thought that this would need to be in a situation where there are many of them and they have migrated away from more obvious harborages. I suppose if laptop being used on bed etc it could easily get access to laptop. Maby it was trying to send a post!! Sorry for this though, not a nice scenario to deal with. JDUK
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