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Idea: vacuum bag + C02 = dead bedbugs?

(3 posts)
  1. SilverClaerity

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 19:07:04
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    ABOUT ME: Just moved out of a shared house that conveniently had a bedbug infestation. I've bagged my stuff, cleaned my clothes, etc. The only problme I have now is my books.

    I can't afford to replace $400+ worth of study materials. I put my booksa in the garage for over a month, I am hoping this means that any eggs/nymphs are dead and I only have adult BBs to worry about. Short of going over EVERY page looking/feeling for bugs and eggs that may or may not be there, I dont know what to do...

    A friend of mine just came up with an idea. Everything (well, except bacteria) needs oxygen to live, right? So, take away the oxygen for a few days and they die.

    THE IDEA:
    -Put your small, non-washable items in a vacuum sealed bag.
    -Suck out all the oxygen
    -Take a bottle with a narrow mouth, and put baking soda & vinegar in it. This should create CO2
    -Put the mouth of the bottle into the bag, theoretically it should fill with CO2
    -Seal the bag (try to let as little oxygen in as possible while doing so)

    Shouldn't this, within a few days, kill any bedbugs/eggs that may be there? You're not just sucking out oxygen, you're replacing it with CO2.

    Has anyone tried this?
    I have no vacuum seal-style bags, so I may try this with a garbage bag and see...

    Thanks for your responses~

    (Searched for this topic before and didn't find anything, sorry it it's a repeat ^^')

  2. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 20:15:21
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    i sure wish you had a few hundred dollars to buy a PackTite. That would solve your book problem and you would have the machine for repeat use on many other things. Take a look at the PackTite. It may be the best way to be sure you have killed eggs, larvae and adults....AND any other little creatures that you have find are visiting you from time to time.

    There is someone here who is selling a PackTite that i understand has been very lightly used. Take a peek at that Post and see if might work for you.

  3. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 21:50:17
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    Welcome SilverClaerity:

    Interesting concept, but it's probably beyond most forum members' expertise as to how much CO2 you need to make this work and for how long. (People often confuse the role of CO2 in BB-land. BB find their meals - you and me - via the CO2 we exhale from our bodies. Some CO2-emitting traps try to simulate this in an effort to attract bugs. These traps are intended for detection, rather than eradication. Also, some technicians will treat some items with super-cold frozen CO2 "snow".)

    It's nerve wracking when you can't know for sure if your books (& other things like that) are infested or not. Was your old place treated successfully? Did you go 60+ days with no bites/signs of bugs? Most people in the forum (AFAIK) would consider that "clear". If not, then it's a challenge, but not insurmountable.

    Bear in mind that scientific opinion varies on the max life of an unfed BB, about 6 months to about 18. That's unfed, ie, they had no access to human, animal, bird or rodent hosts. Putting books in your garage unbagged is probably not the best, as it gives bugs potential access to the above and also, the opportunity to settle in your garage. Yes, any eggs you came in with would have hatched, but there's potential for fresh eggs (a female can lay eggs up to 21 days after feeding/mating, IIRC). I'm assuming that you're in a "temperate" climate. If you are in extreme cold or hot, the climate might work to your advantage.

    As Deedle noted, a PackTite is a good solution for things like this. They seem to be a bit hard to come by and are only for sale in the USA right now. Other options are bagging securely, in your garage with DDVP strips, with proper precautions, for about 3 weeks. Finally, you could probably divide your workload between "easy to inspect" and "difficult". I'm not an expert, but I think a paperback (the ones without the "hollow" space at the spine) can be easily inspected (the edge) and then pressed by weights to smash anything between the pages. Hardcovers, with their spines, are likely trickier, thanks to their construction (though many hardcovers today are constructed like paperbacks).

    Finally, as a student, I urge you to try and act through your campus governments/student life/etc. These organizations are best positioned to invest in anti-BB resources that students can share, be it a pool of PackTites, a JDL2000 (that's a mega-size PackTite) or even a "Bed Bug Sauna" (like an agency in Vancouver built).

    We have a great FAQ and resource section and I encourage you to check them out. And hit us with your questions and ideas. You'll find support, expertise and camaraderie here.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)

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