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Heat Treatment Downsides?

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  1. friendhasbb

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Oct 19 2010 19:34:30
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    2 years ago it was my friend who had BBs. Now I think it's me. My husband and I are empty nesters in a single family home. I have bites and our 30-something son who visited a few weeks ago (and slept on the LR sofa bed) just called to say he has bites too and has confirmed he has bedbugs via an inspector.

    We are both senior citizens with bad backs and don't think we can do all the lifting we think is required to prep for a chemical treatment (moving furniture away from walls, emptying bookcases etc), so heat sounds simpler though maybe more expensive. I called several PCO's today; one is coming this Friday with a certified dog to inspect.

    Question: I'm wondering what can get harmed during a heat treatment? The receptionist at the company said things that melt like candles and makeup and things that explode like spray cans are the problems. She said DVDs and CDs should be fine during a heat treatment. She sounded vague about photos and framed pictures. Does anyone know? Also, I assume any financial receipts printed on thermal paper might turn black?

    She also said the dog could determine if some rooms are without bedbugs and then we wouldn't need to treat those rooms. But will the bedbugs spread during the heat treatment to the unused but cooler rooms? What about the attic and the basement?

    Would the issue of bed bugs spreading to untreated areas be any different with a chemical treatment?

    Thank you!

  2. friendhasbb

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 15:12:16
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    After reading various posts on this forum and elsewhere, although heat treatment sounds ideal (no toxic chemicals, all gone in one shot, upholstered furniture gets treated too), I have concerns.

    Some people have reported damage to wood furniture - to the joints or the finish. Some have said the temperatures got too high. And especially because we live in a 90 year old single-family house where much of the wiring is old. It would be a very expensive repair if the old wiring is damaged. Receptionist at the PCO sounded glib "we've been doing these treatments every day for a year and we've had no problems." They do not insure against damage and would not warranty the service in our case because we have "too much stuff". They said the air circulation wouldn't be good enough.

    I think the PCO we've contacted (and who came out with a dog a few days ago) uses "temp-air" thermalremediation thermal treatment.

    We also have a call in to a local PCO that uses "thermapure" thermapure

  3. friendhasbb

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Oct 25 2010 15:17:24
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    Not sure if my post went through. Maybe this is a duplicate, but info on this forum and elsewhere gives me concerns re heat treatment, especially if it could damage old wiring in our 90 yr old single-family house. PCO we spoke to has been using "temp-air" technology for a year and says they haven't had problems. When asked, they said they don't insure against damage (and claim there's no need to).

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Oct 26 2010 13:39:25
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    friendhasbb - 22 hours ago  » 
    Not sure if my post went through. Maybe this is a duplicate...

    Sorry, friendhasbb, your posts went into the spam filter. Please read this message. If it happens again, please do not repost.

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

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Oct 26 2010 16:24:44
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    If you're willing to go for the cost of Heat treatment, why not just go for the cost of Vikane fumigation? It's my understanding that both seem to cost roughly the same and the Vikane seems like it might be easier for your situation, plus it doesn't damage electronics and stuff like the heat treatment can.

  6. friendhasbb

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 27 2010 10:25:19
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    If you're willing to go for the cost of Heat treatment, why not just go for the cost of Vikane fumigation? It's my understanding that both seem to cost roughly the same and the Vikane seems like it might be easier for your situation, plus it doesn't damage electronics and stuff like the heat treatment can.

    I haven't gotten quotes on Vikane. PCO first said Heat treatment would cost us $1500, but then doubled it when he saw the open plan of our first floor. But I've anecdotally heard figures like $16,000 to Vikane a house. I'll check it out.

    BUT main issue seems to be that the 2nd PCO who inspected found no evidence and will not spray without evidence (I wonder if I vacuumed, laundered and encased too much before he came?). First PCO came with a dog who alerted in 3 places but PCO did no physical examination.

    So our treatment plans are probably on hold for now.

  7. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 27 2010 11:21:59
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    If done properly, heat should not damage the home or the items in it in the way you describe.

    Of course, the important phrase there is "if done properly."

    DEFINITELY remove all thermal paper receipts.

    As for photos and DVDs and such, I removed all of them from my home. (My provider uses Thermapure.)

    They are often the kinds of items that if you must live without them for 18 months, you can. If you're worried about them, you could seal them up in bags inside of bins and just leave them that way for a year and a half.

    I don't know where you are, so I can't tell you what the general going rate for thermal or Vikane would be. (This is not a fishing attempt to find out where you are, so much as a way of saying that the cost of both varies widely by region. I live in southern California where Vikane is a common method of dealing with drywood termites. Partially because it's so frequently used here, I don't think it's as expensive here as in parts of the country where it's only recently begun being used for bed bugs. Bed bug treatment also requires three times as much Vikane as termite treatment; I have no idea how much the cost of the gas adds to the treatment cost overall.

    You're right, heat does run some risks. I have two antique dressers in the room that I suspect got the hottest (the bedroom where the infestation was centered), and they came through the treatment just fine.

    The only furniture damage I had was cheap IKEA stuff. I was fine with that stuff being damaged since I view it as practical but not something I plan to have forever.

    Hope some of that info helps you make your decision.

  8. IcantbeleiveIhavethesethings

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 27 2010 14:38:04
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    I think the issue with heat is being sure it is done properly and that all parts of the rooms reach the heat temperature needed and beleive me that does not always happen. Heat failed us 3 times.

    We have moved on to chemicals.

    If I were you I'd suggest bringing in another dog team (perhaps an independant team not associated with an extermination company).


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