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Killing BB in a car--how hot outside to cook them?

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  1. bbsuck

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon May 2 2011 15:38:33
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    I posted that my parents are coming to visit and won't let me heat-dry their stuff (they'll be stopping in hotels along the way). I'm wondering, though...if I get lucky and it is a sunny day, how hot must the temperature be outside to cook the critters if their suitcase is in the car?

  2. Buggybumpers

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon May 2 2011 18:26:14
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    At least 120 degrees and you have to live somewhere your car can get that hot in the summer. Anyone who lives out West where I do knows that your uncovered car can get so hot you can barely touch the steering wheel--and I mean a lot hotter than it is outside. Test it with some
    kind of thermometer that isn't meant for humans.

    But listen, it seems that you are really freaking out in anticipation of your parents' visit. If it is going to be so traumatic, how can you enjoy it? Bite the bullet and ask them to stay away, tell them your nerves can't withstand any visitors right now. If they don't want to hear about how you feel and don't want to cooperate with your protocols for your piece of mind, then that's not very sensitive.

  3. djames1921

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon May 2 2011 20:02:15
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    The problem with cars is one of the hurdles we had to overcome when we made Packtite. There will be cool spots, areas that don't get to 120 F even when other areas far exceed that temp, and bed bugs will find those spots. One of our first prototypes was 120+ in many, many areas, but not in a few. When we put live bed bugs in the unit, they let us know we had a problem, because we would open up the suitcase and they would be alive hiding in these small cool zones. The car will have insulated areas that they will escape to as the heat is raised. Are they at least going to check their hotel rooms?

  4. bbsuck

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon May 2 2011 21:21:54
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    They only get to seethe grandkids twice a year, and that is really important to us (obviously). I can't tell them to not come, b/c I want my kids to see them (and vice versa). They will check the hotel rooms.

    However, I'm now freaking out because I found three little blood spots on our sheets and a crusty *something* that looked clear/yellowish. It sure didn't look like a carpet beetle casing, so I feel pretty sick to my stomach and I'm not sure what to do.

  5. djames1921

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue May 3 2011 13:48:50
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    Can you photo and post it so that we can take a look?

  6. bbsuck

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue May 3 2011 14:27:06
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    No crusty thing--it kind of crumbled.
    Here's the blood spots.
    http://tinypic.com/r/2i07sep/7
    The two orangey ones looked exactly the same after washing the sheets, and the top one completely disappeared. I thought I read they were supposed to turn black after washing?

    How can you tell the difference between pimples and bug bites? I can't tell if I have mounting evidence or just anxiety...

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue May 3 2011 14:36:18
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    To kill bedbugs in a car first retro fit the car with rocket boosters and an oxygen supply and set the SatNav for a few thousand miles from the surface of the sun and keep going until they die.

    OK serious head back on. Its just not technically possible to be sure that its hot enough outside of the car to transfer enough heat inside the car to ensure that all of the car gets to the critical death temperature.

    The second key issue is that this type of heating on the inside of the car is conduction rather than convection which according to Stephen Kells (a good entomologist and bedbug researcher) is the wrong kind of heat and causes them to run to the cold spots.

    Better to educate them on avoidance for the journey explaining that as its all on the news we all have to take sensible precautions and check and finally packtite their luggage on arrival if you don't think they will check.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    To avoid all possible doubt I would like to ensure that everyone understand the first paragraph is intended to be humorous and I in no way advocate retro fitting cars with rocket boosters, its always important to select the right tool for the job and I think NASA may have a few shuttles available.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.
  8. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue May 3 2011 16:57:41
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    Since the high temp predicted for my beach city today is supposed to be a blast-furnace level 90 degrees F, and since I live within driving distance of inland communities where air temps routinely each 120 degrees in the summer, if anyone could take advantage of baking bed bugs in cars, it would be me.

    Cheap, readily available instant treatments that didn't rely on pesticides would make me quite happy.

    However, as has been discussed extensively in previous threads on these boards, putting items in a car is not a reliable way to treat for bed bugs. In fact, putting bed bug infested items in a car to treat those items there increases the chances of infesting the car with bed bugs.

    I know, bbsuck, that your anxiety is running very high right now, and it is true that staying at hotels can be a risk factor. However, I have guests over all the time, and I don't heat their items before they come into my home. I stay at hotels for work anywhere between 3 and 6 times a year, and I do that despite having had a bed bug infestation. While I am cautious and always inspect my hotel rooms, I don't live in terror that an infestation is a given--or even especially statistically likely after any particular hotel stay--and that's despite having almost certainly gotten my infestation from a hotel stay in the first place.

    It's a pretty common response to a bed bug scare to go on high alert for any possible vector of introduction, and some people do make major lifestyle changes such as curtailing all travel after an infestation.

    Personally, I feel like changing something that I have to do for work and that often makes me happy (getting to see colleagues from around the world or country only at conferences, traveling to new places, seeing new museums, going to spring training baseball games) would be letting the bugs win. I have a Packtite to use if I get exposed. I monitor and inspect my home regularly, and I always inspect hotel rooms. Your mileage may vary.

  9. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu May 5 2011 7:35:10
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    This isn't going to help your situation, but i was thinking about the kiiling of bbs in a car.
    Do you think it's possible to kill bbs at a garage that paints cars? Don't they have to bake the cars after they paint it? wouldn't that enclosed room be hot enough to kill bbs?

  10. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu May 5 2011 10:45:14
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    Inspired by a long-ago call to the radio program Car Talk in which the caller had a car infested with baby black window spiders and had been advised by pest controllers that either extreme heat or cold would kill them all off, I wondered the same thing.

    They had the caller back on Stump the Chumps (a segment of the program where the guys call back a previous caller to see if their advice worked or not), and she'd decided on taking the car to an auto body place and running it through the heat chamber used to help set the paint jobs on repaired cars.

    It's a method that's never been tested as far as how well it works for bed bugs, so we don't know if it would work reliably.

    In addition, I suspect most auto body places that have heating chambers for cars would be hesitant to try it, since if they did it wrong, they could end up with a bed bug infestation, which would obviously be expensive for them to treat.

    Since bed bug infestations in cars are very, very rare--way rarer, frankly, than I ever expected, we've not had professionals try it out.

    In theory, it might be able to work, but (and it's an important but), like heat treatment done by professionals, using heat to heat a large volume of stuff--the Packtite or heat treating a structure, the work behind getting the system or process of raise the temp at the right speed and/or putting together a method to keep the bugs from escaping the heat if you're not raising temps at a very precise speed are both very tricky things to pull off. Good providers of heat treatment will tell you it's as much art as science.

    From my perspective, even if an auto body place were willing to try--or if a pest controller set up an auto-body system to use for bed bug remediation in cars, it would take awhile for the provider to get really skilled at it. Most heat treatment providers will tell you that there's a definite learning curve to the process, and that if they had failures, it was usually early in that process.

    Again, it's not that I dislike the idea; I asked about it almost three years ago, so I'm clearly a fan. But in that time I've come to understand a little bit of the challenges behind why it's not already been tested and turned into a business.

    Heating an object or a structure is trickier than it might appear. There are a lot of materials in a car that are good insulation. It's bad enough in a home with upholstered furniture; cars also have upholstery. But unlike the inside of a home, cars are insulated with weather stripping and such on the outside too. The auto body chambers are engineered to heat the outside of the car; there's no reliable, scientifically based data to tell us how hot the temps get inside the car--or how fast the chamber would raise the temps inside the car. Using heat to treat an infested structure--even one as small as a car means getting the temp inside every nook and cranny inside the car up to 120 degrees or so for long enough to reliably kill the bugs, but not having gotten to that temp at a rate that would cause the bed bugs to just walk out of the car to seek cooler spots elsewhere.

    I'm hesitant to recommend to anyone unlucky enough to get a verified bed bug infestation in a car that he or she be the first guinea pig to try it if that treatment then fails for that person--esp. given how rare car infestations are.


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