Hair dryer to kill bugs and eggs on leather couch??(5 posts)
I'm still not sure if we have bed bugs. Over Memorial Day weekend I had a bunch of unexplained bites on my back that looked and felt like bed bugs (i got them once in Italy 4 years ago but didn't bring any home, thankfully). My husband also got a lot of bites that showed up a few days later. Since then we seem to have gotten a few single bites here and there. We've done lots of precautionary things with our bed and couches but have found no hard evidence of bugs...including the climbup interceptors and bedbug beacon monitor (which uses yeast and sugar to produce the CO2, in case anyone is interested in a cheaper way of refilling it). This morning I saw what looked like a small piece of dust walking across a white pillowcase. I tried to use my kid's bionic eye (microscope like item that plugs into tv) to look more closely but i must have crushed the bug.
-- i am wondering if anyone has used a hair dryer to kill bed bugs in their couch (and, it's leather - will the heat ruin the leather?)
-- and, are bites from nymphs less "bad" than bites from adults? the later bites that we have gotten have been smaller and not as bad as the first set.
thank you, thank you thank you to anyone who will respond to me! i am so overwhelmed with the possibility of the hugeness of the problem. it makes me want to get rid of all of our stuff and live in a sterile enclosure for the rest of my life.
Well ... the thing with nymph bites is that the babies are feeding and they need to feed in order to grow I saw a nymph once, it looks like a lite pink small thing.
Are you a homeowner or do you rent? Reason I ask is that I know it can be more costly for you to do an inspection of the place as oppose to having your landlord do it.
I'm not to sure about the hairdrying because the direct hit to the bed bugs or their eggs needs to be 120 degrees from what I read. Also, just my opinion, the hairdryer may seem to move them around more than anything. I purchased a steamer online for 45 bucks (I paid more for overnight delivery just because I was desperate). I bought it here bedbugsupply.com/Bed-Bug-Steamer-40-PSI_p_34.html.
I wouldn't go crazy, but I think that maybe staying up between the hours of 2am and 5am to see if they come out is the best thing. Bad side of that you might mess up your sleep pattern as I have. I used to stay up to see if any would come out. I didn't start sleeping until recently when I finally saw that we weren't seeing any 2 days in a row. You really have to keep a sharp eye on them. My friend used to ask me, "How can you see them?" You really can see them with the naked eye. I would walk over to my kids room at 2am (where we found original infestation) and look in that area and sure enough there they were walking on the friggin' walls looking for my boys to bite on!
I heard that you shouldn't change where you are currently sleeping because then they may spread to another part of the house. I made sure that during this whole time of treatment and battle that my beds are not against the walls. I did encase both my bed and boxspring which I bought brand new.
There's a lot we don't know about bed bugs because for decades almost no research was being done on them. (In the decades that bed bugs were believed to have been eradicated, only a handful of researchers, including Lou Sorkin, bothered to keep colonies or study them at all, so we're a bit behind.)
The best info I've seen at present suggests that there is no difference in the reaction to a bite from an adult and a bite from a nymph. I know that doesn't seem terribly logical. It would seem to make sense that an adult is bigger and pumps more whatever we're allergic to into us than a smaller bug, but the data we have right now suggests that that's not how that works.
I don't think a hairdryer is, unfortunately, a reliable way to kill bed bugs. While it might reach 120 degree temps, it's not going to center that heat on one spot and assure that the bug stays still in that spot to get cooked to death. Bed bugs don't die instantly at 120 degrees. You have to sustain that temp for a period of time. Thermal methods--putting items in a dryer, running them through cycle on the Packtite, using heat to treat a whole structure--generally work by getting the temps up to higher than 120 (140 is the goal in many heat treatments) and keeping it there long enough to kill buts and their eggs.
With a hair dryer, not only is it maybe unlikely to reach 140, it's definitely not going to raise the temp somewhere else to 140 and keep it there for long. It also affects such a small area that it's going to give the bed bugs the incentive to just move from the warm spot where the hair dryer is focused to somewhere cooler--a mere few inches away.
Furthermore, it might blow the bugs from their hiding places, but that might just diffuse the problem into more hiding spots.
If you're considering steam instead, check out the FAQ on that.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. I now know that we definitely have bedbugs. Aargh. I'm so thankful for you and this site. It's already helped a lot.
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