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Moving - Car Heat?

(3 posts)
  1. BBsMustDie

    Joined: May '11
    Posts: 13


    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Jun 2 2011 11:49:05

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    So I'm still stressing over moving and as much as all the information on here is so helpful I just cannot afford most of the products that would make me comfortable for when I have to move this summer - like a packtite, in particular, I would love. I am barely taking anything w/me as it is - a bagful of clothes and some electronics, books, movies - all of which will fit in a minivan, in rubbermaid boxes most likely (airtight ones if I can find them). Would it be possible to kill off any stragglers if the day I transport the boxes is hot enough that I can park the car and leave everything in the direct sunlight and heat to basically bake until the evening? I don't relish the idea of possibly ruining some of the items that they don't advise you to leave in heat but when it comes down to it I'd rather buy a new DVD player somewhere down the line then chance bringing BB's w/me in the move. The thing is I'm not even sure we definitely have BB's at the moment so I also hate the idea of possibly ruining anything w/no reason to have to but since I can't be certain I think this is the only thing I can do that's affordable for me right now...any thoughts? Or any inexpensive options that anyone has tried for this?

  2. buggyinsocal

    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431


    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Jun 2 2011 12:30:42

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    Would it be possible to kill off any stragglers if the day I transport the boxes is hot enough that I can park the car and leave everything in the direct sunlight and heat to basically bake until the evening?

    No, it's not. Not reliably.

    The problems with this method have been discussed extensively in these fora before.

    I'm loathe to link you to this thread, as there's an awful lot of trolling in it--by users who were later banned (it takes a lot of bad behavior to end up banned around here. In three years, I can think of many 5 people who've been banned total, so please read the responses by the people who were banned with that in mind.) However, it is the most thorough explanation of the limits of using a car parked in the hot sun I can find on the forum. So, with that warning in mind, you might find the conversations in this thread useful in understanding why treating items in the hot sun in a car is a bad idea.

    The basic version is this:

    In a car in the sun, you cannot control the rate at which the temperature climbs.

    In addition, while the interior of the car will reach well over 120 pretty quickly on a hot day, it likely won't get so much over 120 that all the items inside the bags in the car will reach 120 degrees.

    In the days before Packtite, I had a suitcase I needed to treat for a trip I was going on the day my apartment was treated with heat, so I tried the car method.

    I used an inexpensive and imprecise meat thermometer to measure that the inside of my car hit 145 degrees. Keep in mind that's about how warm thermal companies heat structures to during heat treatment, but they use special heaters and ducts to pipe the hot air into the whole house at a very specific rate. They then keep the temp at 140 degrees or so for many, many hours on end. My thermal crew showed up at about 7:30 am to set up. They had begun treatment by about 8 am, and they didn't have everything packed up until they left around 4 pm.

    It is a rare, rare climate indeed in which you can guarantee that your car's interior will hit 140 by 8 am and stay that way--with no clouds obscuring the source of that heat--non stop until 3 pm. Out in the desert here that might be possible in the summer, but that's because air temps in the desert here in the summer his 120 degrees pretty easily.

    I should add, I didn't rely on the method alone. I had the PCO help me inspect the suitcase after all that (plus two liberal sprayings with 91% isopropyl alcohol.)

    If I live in sunny, hot, dry southern California, and I don't recommend the car treatment, that might be a good sign that it's not a reliable method.

    Many people also take the, "Oh, well, it can't hurt" approach, but I don't believe that.

    It can hurt in the following ways:

    1. You can damage some items at those temps. For example, if your electronics aren't off, you are absolutely shortening their lifespan by putting them in those temps. I know. I had my apartment treated with thermal, and in the three years since then, every electronic item connected to any power source has died if it didn't die during treatment.

    2. If the items are not sealed so tightly that 100% of the bugs and eggs in the containers cannot possible escape, you could end up with an infestation in your car.

    Very, very few good (and no inexpensive *and* effective that I know of) options for treating cars exist.

    Knowing what I know now, I would definitely not run the risk of infesting my car in an attempt to treat items that could lead to an infestation in the car.

    While no one on the forum is really in a position to recommend using DDVP strips, some PCOs suggest using them for hard to treat items. (Full disclosure: I used them to be doubly sure the items not in my apartment during heat treatment were bug free 8 months after treatment.)

    I am not recommending their use. DDVP strips are an organophosphate pesticide; the strips off gas a fumigant that can be very dangerous is used off label. I've seen plenty of people treat these strips much more carelessly than I think is wise. If you do opt to use them, it is VITAL that you use them in close accordance with the label, which means that they CANNOT be used in occupied structures like homes or apartments. Or in a walled off area of a home or apartment. They really can only be used in unoccupied structures like outbuildings. And even then, don't overuse them.

    They also stink. We recently had a thread from a person who wanted to know how to get the stink out of the items that had been stored with them, and I'm pretty sure that no one had a great idea for that.

    Since cost is an issue, you might consider simply installing good passive monitors in the new place. It sounds more like what you're looking for is assurance that you don't have bugs in the new place, and passive monitors is the best way to do that. (Those also didn't exist when I was battling bed bugs.)

    I mean, it's not something we talk about much because it tends to stress people out more--and people with bed bug scares or actual bed bug infestations are already pretty stressed--but the fact of the matter is that if you're anxious about bed bugs, you're going to be anxious and extra-vigilant after a move no matter what.

    But you're also unlikely to know for sure whether you took any hitch hikers with you right away anyway. Bed bugs are just hard to detect.

    Since that's the case, I wouldn't risk infesting my car or giving myself or others organophosphate poisoning for methods that may not work. I would install effective passive monitors in the new place and check them in accordance with the directions for them for the first few months.

    I know it's not a 100% certain answer. Unfortunately, there are no 100% certain answers. Goodness knows I wish there were. And I certainly wish the more certain solutions were more affordable.

  3. buggyinsocal

    Joined: Jun '08
    Posts: 2,431


    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Jun 2 2011 13:38:09

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    Erm, that should read loath not loathe.

    Sorry about that. It's apparently too late to edit it. ::is embarrassed::

    I hate it when my fingers think they know more about the language than I do and start typing things I don't mean to type.

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