How can I supplement professional treatment (esp. large wooden bed)?(8 posts)
Hi all. I’m looking for advice on how best to supplement a professional treatment that just finished. I hired a reputable company and I believe the work done was competent, but I am retired so I have the time to dedicate myself to going the extra mile to maximize my chances of success.
Here’s the background/timeline of situation:
Day 1: I bought a used, large, solid-wood, platform-style bed with drawers on either side which was the source of the infestation.
Day 4: First bites appear (less than 72 hours after bringing bed home).
Day 6: Professional confirmed bed as source of infestation, found one live sample and various examples of spotting and several casts. I then found three more live samples same day.
Day 7: First professional treatment, a combination of PCP24175 (Permethrin 0.5%, “Dragnet”) and PCP15330 (Pyrethrins 1%, “110 ULV”).
Day 7 to Day 19: no bites
Day 20: Coincidentally, I woke up on the day of the scheduled second treatment with several bites, after nothing for two weeks. Professional said this was a good sign because it showed a “break in the life cycle” following first treatment. He repeated first treatment: PCP24175 (Permethrin 0.5%, “Dragnet”) and PCP15330 (Pyrethrins 1%, “110 ULV”). He said I should be in the clear after three days.
The biggest issue is how to deal with the bed, which is a quality piece of furniture that I’m not yet willing to throw out. The problem is it has many nooks and crannies so I’d like to take further steps to (if possible) achieve 100% mortality. I have mostly disassembled the bed, but there are still some large pieces, namely two drawer shells that measure 22” x 14” x 82”, and the headboard that’s 60” x 70”...so the size of these pieces is a challenge. Based on my reading, it seems further options for the bed would include:
1. Mobile heat treatment. I’d prefer a solution that’s less expensive and more discrete.
2. NuVan ProStrips. The problem here is size, assuming people agree this would be viable in theory. I would need to figure out how to seal the large pieces in an air-tight chamber. I haven’t been able to find any 3-mil plastic bags that are large enough (7 to 8 feet long). I’m wondering if I could buy a roll of 3-mil poly, and wrap the pieces in the poly, then seal things up with something like Tuck Tape.
3. Cimexa. My hesitation with Cimexa is the risk of inhaling the dust. Based on what I’ve read, it appears that it’s best if the bed and myself remain in my bedroom, to stop further spread. That means I would need to sleep in the same room with a bed that’s been dusted with Cimexa, and that does make me uneasy.
More generally, I’m wondering about what further steps I could take to treat my space. For example, using Cimexa for general use around the apartment (every 7 to 10 days for a several weeks? ) as well as a mattress encasement and traps for the feet of the bed...currently I continue to sleep on the mattress which is directly on the floor (I pitched the box spring on Day 1).
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Following. I have the same bed type and am concerned about all the hiding spots as well.
For those types of wood bed frames, you can make a low cost contact killer by mixing 5 ounces of 50% rubbing alcohol with 5 ounces of Murphy's oil soap mixed with 10 ounces of water.PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
jim danca - 3 hours ago »
For those types of wood bed frames, you can make a low cost contact killer by mixing 5 ounces of 50% rubbing alcohol with 5 ounces of Murphy's oil soap mixed with 10 ounces of water.
Jim, Thanks for the suggestion. Would this solution also kill eggs?
We also have a wood bed frame. Would this kill eggs? How do you apply the solution? Do you spray it?
Mix the alcohol with the soap. Stir it up and then add the water. Use a standard spray bottle.
I would think you could fashion a simple "kill chamber" with DDVP strips using three mil plastic and some simple lumber for support. Staple the plastic to the frame and then seal with duct tape. Paul Bello is the DDVP expert here, so maybe he will chime in or you could send him a PM. Combing that with Cimexa sounds reasonable but I again I defer to Paul or one of the other pros on this.
I wanted to provide a quick update on my thinking, in the event anyone faces a similar situation, or wants to provide feedback.
I have spent hours reading about this option. Under the right circumstances, it can be a very effective method when supplemented with treatment options. I seriously considered a "whole-room" approach by turning my bedroom (containing the infested bedframe) into a giant treatment chamber / kill room. This is technically feasible as each of the larger Nuvan strips treats up to 900 sq ft.
BTW, Nuvan product details can be found here: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/nuvan-prostrips-large-size-65-gram-pack-p-2480.html
However, I am leaning against a whole-room approach given the potential health risks. I have a young family living in the space below mine and even though the risk appears negligible if properly deployed, that's a major downside. I strongly recommend reviewing Tracy's post below, who is an expert DIY-er (Masters in Chemical Engineering) who successfully pulled off a whole-room DDVP treatment.
So, I am now debating between two options: piece-by-piece DDVP treatment, or building a heat chamber based on the U of F prototype.
1. Piece-by-Piece DDVP Treatment
This would be a relatively cheap and easy thing to achieve, though it would take weeks. I expect it would be a bit of a PITA to wrap the furniture pieces with 3 mil poly in such a way to achieve a perfect seal, but it could be done. What concerns me is the lack of active circulation within each of the mini-chambers; in order to ensure thorough distribution of the DDVP throughout the chamber, it would be much better to have fans blowing the agent around. However, that doesn't seem feasible, since I would want to leave the pieces sealed for 2 to 4 weeks, and I'm guessing small, cheap, battery-powered fans would only last a day or two before the batteries died. I suppose there might be a way to insert small, plug-powered fans in to the chambers but you'd have to make sure the plug insertion point into the chamber is fully sealed off.
Cost: $38.00 for 12, 16-gram strips, each of which can treat 100 to 200 cubic feet of space for up to 4 months (1 to 2 weeks should achieve 100% mortality assuming adequate vapor exposure though I would probably treat for 4 weeks given lack of active air circulation). I haven't crunched the numbers on the cost of the poly and tape but I'm assuming this whole treatment could be achieved for $100 to $150.
2. DIY Heat Chamber
This has two major advantages over DDVP treatments: 1. no health concerns related to chemical exposure; 2. the ability to achieve 100% mortality in hours (<24 hours) rather than weeks. But the cost of supplies would be higher, and the box construction would be a more complicated affair requiring some level of construction ability. The health risk with this option would be fire/electrical but following the U of F model, those risks seem entirely reasonable, if you're not overloading electrical circuits and constantly monitoring temperatures.
The key to success with this option is to accurate monitor temperatures with multiple temp sensors, to make sure you get the box hot enough for long enough with the use of fans to create convection currents -- basically, following thermal death time curves; see these articles for details:
Cost: $350-ish, including renting a van to transport 4x8 rigid insulation panels. However, you might be able to lower the cost by buying second-hand fans and oil-filled heaters.
You must log in to post.