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Gas myself (via Nuvan strips) OR ???

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  1. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2016 13:53:22
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    In two hours the PCO is coming back to re-spray again. I haven't seen any since first spray. However the PCO offered to put Nuvan strips in about 5 big bags of luggage, books, purses, and shoes.... In a 400 sq studio-apartment, won't that kill me? I just read the label, and especially since my apartment is only 1 square-shaped space.. I'd be living right next to the bags for all hours of the day.

    I cannot afford a Packtite though or a pricey steamer.. and have tons of books, DVDs, two purses, a Timbuk2 (cannot go in the dryer).. what would you do? POSSIBLY make yourself ill due to the bags of strips or not use them and run the risk of re-infestation? --HELP--I need your opinion!!

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2016 15:56:57
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    You should not be using the strips to treat your occupied home. However, experts here (such as P Bello) have recommended using DDVP strips in SEALED BAGS (which are sealed in an airtight manner).

    There is a big difference there since you should not be breathing the fumigant if the bags are sealed in an airtight manner.

    If that makes you nervous, or you live with young humans or other creatures who may open or tear the bags, then you might want to avoid this method.

    Note also that you may not need this service. If you were moving and needed to be sure no bed bugs were moved, this is an option. If you're staying in your home and treatment is ongoing, and there's no reason to think the items in question are infested, then it may not be necessary.

    If you have had a small bed bug problem, and are getting treated with residual chemical pesticides and dusts, then the odd bed bug or egg in the items noted, if left alone, should theoretically, come out, cross poison and die.

    Remember, if there are items in sealed bags already, and they remain sealed, and they are not treated, then any bed bugs can't come out, cross poison and die.

    Some PCOs have people bag everything, and in a small apartment, where everything is crammed into a small space, that might make sense. However, leaving items bagged without treatment can lead to problems without a good plan, as explained in this FAQ on bagging and prep.

    Some questions:

    Are the items already in bags?

    How many bed bugs were originally found and when?

    What treatments were done?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2016 19:33:09
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    Thank you so much for your reply--I would really appreciate your help. My POC had me bag up everything in the apartment for the spray-treatments, but to me that doesn't make much sense because one would think you'd want them to crawl out of your items and encounter the spray. Right?!

    Besides my bed, I never saw bed-bugs anywhere--except maybe one in my work bag (fake croc/leather or something like that--it cannot go in the dryer, it also had books, library books, and notebooks inside.. I'm currently in grad-school and working full-time). Although I did suspect maybe they were in my shoes because most of my bites were on my feet (that could be also in bed/socks though).

    My POC is currently in the apartment doing the second spray. When I return should I take the purses, shoes, and possibly books and open them in their bags so that way they encounter the spray? I don't know what to do because I was told to keep the bags sealed, but it makes more sense for those items to be exposed to the spray, no?

  4. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2016 20:54:58
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    Open the windows to allow for air circulation in environment exterior of the bags.

  5. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2016 22:28:04
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    Winston, my apartment has a sliding glass door but no windows. Due to the label/CDC-reports, I opted NO to the Nuvan strips. I would just like to know if I should open the bags with the potentially contaminated items.. shoes, bags, maybe books to be exposed to the residual spray by the PCO or not. I was told to bag up all items, but to me, it makes little sense to go through all of these weeks of spraying and NOT expose any possible bugs in my work-bag or shoes to that spray. ^^ See my response/question to Nobugsonme above.

  6. GeekOnTheHill

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2016 23:41:49
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    bitemelady - 57 minutes ago  » 
    Winston, my apartment has a sliding glass door but no windows. Due to the label/CDC-reports, I opted NO to the Nuvan strips. I would just like to know if I should open the bags with the potentially contaminated items.. shoes, bags, maybe books to be exposed to the residual spray by the PCO or not. I was told to bag up all items, but to me, it makes little sense to go through all of these weeks of spraying and NOT expose any possible bugs in my work-bag or shoes to that spray. ^^ See my response/question to Nobugsonme above.

    In my opinion, treating the bagged items would make a lot more sense than opening them up and hoping the bed bugs contact the residual. That's like potentially re-infesting the area for no good reason.

    I'm not a huge fan of dichlorvos, either. It's an old-school OP that's been teetering on the edge of being outlawed for decades. But if I were in your position, I'd use it anyway on the non-clothes items (books, bags, etc.). I'd probably use it on the shoes, as well, just because they're hard to treat any other way. (I'd air them out for a day or two afterward, though.)

    The clothing I'd just wash / heat dry. It's easy enough to do and it works.

    Richard

  7. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2016 2:09:07
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    GeekontheHill, thank you for your opinion, but he was already here .. earlier today, and as detailed above, I opted not to do the strips (especially given how many errors this company made on their first visit, they had to re-do visit #1 today because I called the owner about their errors.. then today I came back and the encasement was unclicked... I just don't trust them to seal bags with Nuvan strips appropriately; in fact I semi-wonder if they stuck an exposed Nuvan strip somewhere in the apartment to get back at me for calling about the errors made on their first visit, because my property gets to pick the company/method and these people have already messed up so many times, I just don't trust them).
    I believe tomorrow I am going to order a steamer and steam the items the best that I can. .. I really don't know what other option I have. In the CDC report, 77% of people between 20-64 reported illnesses following the use of the strips within their residential-living areas.. I only have one area in my apartment; there's nowhere to hide or section-off my bags. Even if the steamer is $160, that's still more affordable than getting ill.

  8. Montrealer2

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2016 3:27:18
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    Hello, BML, and sorry to hear about all the f-ups with your PCO. I, for one, don't imagine that anyone with the company left a stray Nuvan strip as revenge (I suspect you were half-kidding), as they would be responsible if anything happened to you and they are presumably experienced enough to know that something COULD happen to you.
    In any case, instead of waiting for a steamer to arrive and then steaming each item by hand, possibly freeing a wayward BB or two in the process, I suggest what GeekOTH suggested re: Nuvan strips in the bags. I am not an expert, but I consulted way too extensively with Nuvan and Overall Expert Paul Bello last summer during my BB bout, and I can tell you what I did with the bags I had sealed before the PCO spraying (I was also told to bag everything, with no follow-up protocol for unbagging):
    I hung an appropriately-sized Nuvan strip (based on the area of the bag to be treated) at the top of each bag, then zip-tied it shut to create an airtight seal (to be clear, sing those plastic zip-ties available at hardware stores, the ones campers and other outdoorsy folk apparently know all about but an urban newbie such as myself was delighted to discover as "new").
    Of course, I also vacated my place while these sealed bags sat on the floor. Unseal the bags after 7-10 days, and then leave them in a place with open windows for at least a day - this airing-out timeline is more than recommended, but I felt physically ill after just a few minutes of breathing incidental Nuvan fumes and had to vacate for 24+ hour while the fumes dissipated.
    Do you have a balcony or sealed garage you could place these bags in to ensure that you and other living creatures (BBs excluded) don't have more than a few hours total/day of shared-air contact? If so, this is my non-expert suggestion.
    You can buy these strips at garden centres and such - I got mine here in Montreal at Canadian Tire, and I think they were also available at Reno- and Home Depot.
    Good luck!

  9. GeekOnTheHill

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2016 8:26:02
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    bitemelady - 5 hours ago  » 
    GeekontheHill, thank you for your opinion, but he was already here .. earlier today, and as detailed above, I opted not to do the strips (especially given how many errors this company made on their first visit, they had to re-do visit #1 today because I called the owner about their errors.. then today I came back and the encasement was unclicked... I just don't trust them to seal bags with Nuvan strips appropriately; in fact I semi-wonder if they stuck an exposed Nuvan strip somewhere in the apartment to get back at me for calling about the errors made on their first visit, because my property gets to pick the company/method and these people have already messed up so many times, I just don't trust them).
    I believe tomorrow I am going to order a steamer and steam the items the best that I can. .. I really don't know what other option I have. In the CDC report, 77% of people between 20-64 reported illnesses following the use of the strips within their residential-living areas.. I only have one area in my apartment; there's nowhere to hide or section-off my bags. Even if the steamer is $160, that's still more affordable than getting ill.

    Bravo on your willingness to buy a steamer and use it.

    As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a big fan of dichlorvos. If you're able and willing to buy a good steamer and do it that way, more power to you. I always prefer non-chemical treatment methods when possible. I spent the first 15 years or so of my former career treating mainly places like food and pharma plants where pesticides were avoided whenever possible, so I'm with you on that.

    None of the CDC reports of which I am aware, however, refer to using the strips inside sealed bags for fumigation. If you are aware of one that does, I'd appreciate a link. I've never really liked the stuff -- and mind you, I hail from the days when it was legal to mix it with Dursban and spray it on baseboards -- so I'm always interested in new information.

    The reason I say this is that although I don't like DDVP, I don't condemn its use altogether. I do urge people who choose that option to treat dichlorvos with great respect and caution; but sometimes it's the most practical solution available for some folks. I personally think the risk of exposure and illness from using the slow-release resin strips in sealed bags as prescribed by the label is minimal. But my opinion could easily be changed by evidence to the contrary from a reputable source. Thanks.

    As for the PCO hiding a strip somewhere in your home, I think that's highly unlikely. He'd be risking civil and possibly criminal liability (in addition to quite likely losing his license and/or certification). Even if the landlord specifies the treatment method, the PCO still has to maintain true and accurate records of the products applied. Deliberately falsifying those records would be a crime on several different levels.

    Richard

  10. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2016 11:45:28
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    The tech that was called in to replace the first tech (who messed up big time) already told me that after many years in the business, he is leaving the company/field altogether after my job is done.. and/or mid-August. I really hope he didn't do anything not so great (like leave an exposed strip behind or spray my silverware, but who knows--he says he has 12 years of experience unlike the first tech, who was reportedly trained a month ago, but then he still left the encasement unclaspsed.. and on the door hanger where they are supposed to write notes--about what they sprayed, the next appointment, and their findings.. he left no notes whatsoever!).

    In response to other questions, I don't have a detached garage to put the bags. And even if I had the strips properly sealed by this (less than competent) company then I cannot afford to go live elsewhere for the week or two weeks while they are here.

    BOOKS:
    The only book that I ever found them inside of, I threw away. I did however--when I was bagging things up--put a notebook in that same bag.. and the notebook had been in my bed, under the covers, and one had been found in the notebook (weeks ago before I knew the type of bug). So probably by bagging those all up together then I contaminated them all. When the steamer comes, I am not sure how to even properly steam books because it seems that steam might destroy the book altogether. Any suggestions?

    PURSES:
    I found a bug in my workbag, which used to sit on the floor by my desk, but that was weeks before I found the ones on my mattress.. so looking back I am also not sure if it was even a BB. Unfortunately like the bugged-notebook, when I was bagging things up I put it in with my Timbuk2 pack and two leather purses. Would it work to steam these things?

    SHOES:
    I never saw any in there, but it's really hard to see them in there. I put two pairs in the dryer, but I'm not doing that to the rest. It would work to steam shoes, right?

    ... If it's not going to work to steam these things, then maybe I won't order it.

    TIMING:
    Also if/when the steamer arrives, then I'm not sure when to break open the bags and steam them. The PCO is supposed to come back and spray in two weeks (so far I think technically they've only done one spray, although maybe twice because they assumed the baby-tech did not do enough in 18 minutes) ... should I be opening bags and spraying shoes, books, and purses, before or after this? If before, I am assuming I should re-bag all items before he returns?
    The only thing that the company said about dealing with these items was: 1) BB don't usually go in shoes, purses, books, and 2) after four weeks or so the BB will suffocate in the bags ... which there is no evidence/research online to back that up--hence, I am turning to the steamer and your advice because this company is only giving me faulty info and error-ridden visits.

  11. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2016 0:11:33
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    ^^^ Anyone have suggestions on timing?!
    I keep searching these threads and everyone seems to have used the Packtite or strips on these items. Isn't there anyone out there that is also a broke grad-student, who put all of her money into renting a 'nice' apartment... and then even in a nice apartment these b[ugs] found her? How does everyone have money for a Packtite?!

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2016 0:20:58
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    bitemelady - 1 day ago  » 
    Thank you so much for your reply--I would really appreciate your help. My POC had me bag up everything in the apartment for the spray-treatments, but to me that doesn't make much sense because one would think you'd want them to crawl out of your items and encounter the spray. Right?!

    Yes-- that's what the FAQ on bagging that I linked to in my post above is all about.

    There are times when they want you to bag things to get them out of the way, but in such cases, it's my non-professional opinion that you either need to unpack them (and let bed bugs come out and die) or treat the contents.


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