How do you treat area rugs?(6 posts)
I have them in every room as required in my building. Some have 1/4 foam padding underneath them. My exterminator said they need to be steamed cleaned, but I worry about sending them out and the cleaners keeping them isolated (fear of spreading as well as bring new in). Would a steamer like the McCullouch work? I am thinking of putting plastic down first?
I would like to kill any live bugs as well as eggs if possible.
in Queens, NY
you can usually rent a steam cleaner that is designed for carpets, perhaps this would be your best bet. i wouldn't send a rug outside of the home to be treated. depending on the size of the rug they are often difficult to move, and you would risk scattering the bugs by transporting them from one place to another.
if you want to kill eggs and bugs in one go, steam is probably the best way to go. check the FAQs on steam, lots of good advice there:
Get a steamer that is dry steam or dry vapor steam (not sure about the terminology check it out in the FAQ on this site) don't want to misinform you so check out the FAQ. It explains how to use steam to kill bbs) Also the steamer has to get hot enough to kill the bedbugs which is something to look into when buying / renting a steamer.
Also if you are planning on renting one I wouldn't go with the rug doctor available at pathmark for 20 bucks for renting. Just because I've used it before to steam clean my carpet and I had to fill the tank with hot water from the tap. I didn't boil the water because at the time I didn't have BBs. The rug doctor doesn't heat up the water I believe, so it wouldn't get the water hot enough unless you boiled it and even then it would get cool after a while and not be hot enough to kill bbs. In addition to that if bb can get sucked in or on the machine itself which could spread them. Also it will leave behind a few gallons of water. For instance I used 5 gallons of water to steam and the steamer drew in 2 or 3 gallons the rest was left in the carpet.
This site also has some steamers. Click on the useful stuff link on top and from there you can navigate and see the steamers. They are a bit on the expensive side. You might be able to get a cheap one just make sure it gets hot enough to kill bbs and that its dry steam or dry vapor steam (check FAQ for the type of steamer you would need) to reduce the risk of developing mold. You might want to get a mask too.
I can't afford the low-moisture steamers right now. I just got a PackTite and that with my other BB expenses, I am now over $1K out-of-pocket.
Dear rug person,
Some comments/suggestions for your consideration:
> If you suspect live bed bugs or eggs are present, do not move the rug. This will avoid risk of inadvertant transfer (i.e. moving the bed bugs).
> Understand that when you say "treat the rug" that to me this means eliminate the presence/chance of bed bugs and bed bug eggs.
> You will need an adequately sized and well lighted area in which to work. This is so you can work well and see any crawling/escaping bed bugs should this occur. You may need to work where the rungs are in place. If so, you may possibly move furniture and other items to make room for you to work.
> Careful and thorough vacuuming may be sufficient by itself but we cannot be certain of this 100%. As such, we need to build in redundancies (i.e. extra steps to assure that all are eliminated).
> Vacuum both sides of the rug carefully and thoroughly. The padding should be vacuumed as well but this may be difficult to do depending upon the padding type. As such, you may need to use an alternative methodology for the padding which I will list later.
> Follow up the vacuuming with a steam treatment. Depending upon the steamer you're using, you will need to be methodical in your steam application such that your rate of surface area coverage well matches the steam output of your steamer.
> Padding: You may be able to steam the padding successfully. Snce there is usually no direct human or pet contact expected with padding under normal use, you may consider an insecticde application to the padding as well.
BED BUG RISK: we should also consider the risk of bed bugs actually being on or beneath these rugs in question. Normally we would not suspect the rugs to be primary harborage areas for bed bugs however, just last week ther was a canine alert at least six feet in from the edge of wall to wall carpeting. And, lifting the carpeting did reveal a live adult bed bug present in this unusual area. Go figure?
In my view the steps suggested above implemented correctly should deliver zero bugs for these rugs.
Hope this helps ! paul b.
The FAQ on steaming referred to above is here:
You must log in to post.