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My field trial of Beauveria bassiana fungus use

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  1. Dave3624

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2013 23:39:32
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    This is a new thread to document my use of the B bassiana fungus to treat my extremely pyrethoid resistant infestation. The other thread has gotten too clogged up with arguments.

    I have done my due diligence on the B bassiana fungus safety profile and am personally completely satisfied with it. In fact its a hell of a lot safer than all the insecticides that my house and furniture have been saturated with.
    In fact I researched the hell out of it for about a month prior to my initial post. I had so much insecticides in this house I was starting to get nosebleeds - and it barely made a dent in the BB population. And yes, a PCO has been and gone twice without resolution.

    Please restrain your comments to factual data and comment.

    The B bassiana treatment has begun and hysterical warnings I'm going to die, mutate and/or melt will be ignored.

    At any rate today (Jan 1st) was day 1. The delay was due to holiday travel.

    I used Botaniguard WP – the WP means wetable powder. According to the directions one pound will make 50 gallons of treatment liquid as proscribed for “other pests” however the spores will not survive in the water beyond 1 day so the liquid can’t be stored.

    After crunching the numbers a 1/4 cup of powder makes 2 gallons. It makes a brown solution that looks identical to when you dissolve a packet of yeast in a cup of water. The solution is odorless.

    Using a hand pump sprayer I sprayed the bed frame, slats, bed skirts, mattress edges, and along all baseboards and bedroom furniture. All surfaces were covered fairly thickly and cracks and gaps were saturated. There is a light tan film left on white painted furniture which wipes off easily.

    In addition I sprayed inside the couch and in all the gaps between cushions and inside the back gap. It’s a leather couch so access to the insides is difficult.

    No adverse reactions beyond my wife starting to sing Pet Shop Boys tunes a capella.

    According to the research the bed bugs die 5 days after application, I’ll let you know in a week how its going.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 0:30:23
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    Dear dave3624, (Is this moniker anything like "ladiesman 217"? Where's the all-spark?)

    Unfortunately, it appears that you're in the process of building anecdotal data or an interesting story. However, maybe it's not too late to help you out here with your intended efforts.

    Some comments for your consideration:

    > Are there visible live bed bugs in your place?

    > If so, how many would you guess you could collect in, say, 30 mins? 60 mins?

    > Do you see bed bugs in your place like: everyday? every other day? etc ?

    > If so, how often and how many?

    > How long has this been going on/how long have you had bed bugs?

    The best way to demonstrate a product actually works is to conduct a reasonably controlled trial which is significantly different than what you're doing thus far. While you're not a lab test facility you might try injecting some "control conditions" into your efforts. Consider the following:

    > Get say ten equivalent sized jars (mason type jars would do)

    > Treat the interior surface of all but one jar

    > Allow the treated jars to dry

    > Place a small piece of folded card stock (say like 1 inch by two inches folded lengthwise) in each jar

    > Label all the treated jars and the untreated jar so you know which is which (the untreated jar is your control)

    > Place say ten bed bugs in each jar (Note that these bed bugs should not have been subject to any exposure to any previous treatment with any insecticide products.)

    > Date each jar and the number of bed bugs in each jar

    > Observe and record observations in each jar each day

    > If the product does work in five days as suggested, we'd expect that you'd observe 100% mortality in each jar after five days and 100% viability in your control jar. If not, well then . . .

    Now, spraying around your place and then reporting results will only make for "an interesting story" which is not a sufficient substitute for suitable trial data.

    Good luck and hope this helps ! paul b.

    Ps. Any credible data generated needs to be consistently replicable as well.

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 9:38:35
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    Dave3624 - 9 hours ago  » 
    The other thread has gotten too clogged up with arguments.

    I think you mean the other thread has become too full of sound reasons why what you are attempting
    to do is not a good idea and yet you still go ahead and try to encourage others.

    I think this thread needs to be locked as I would recommend in any situation where you are going "off label" and in particular the clear warning is there for good reasons:

    It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its
    labeling.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    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.

    I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for comments I make about products which are all offered because of their technical merits.
  4. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 10:01:23
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    BTW, please note that I made my comments above without reviewing the label of the product in question and assuming that indoor application was or may have been included on this product label.

    Howwever, as our friend and colleague DC pointed out elsewhere, there seems to be verbiage that states: " . . . not intended for indoor use (application) . . .". And, my assumption is that this is so because I know that DC knows how to read a label.

    Some additional points/comments:

    > If we're going to test a "new bed bug product" then the test design must be legitimate. We don't need another "elephant test" !

    > As I've stated previously, there are literally thousands of scientists working full time for the major global manufacturers wo are screening hundreds of thousands of potential pesticide compounds each year and this work is also conducted robotically every day at the cellular/tissue sample level. What's amazing to me, and to be subtle please note that this is sarcasm, these folks seemed to have miss such wonderful bed bug "magic/silver bullets" as" soy bean oil, plant extracts, other plant oils, silicates, ozone, etc. and yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Of course the chances of some new and amazingly effective compound being discovered and developed by our own ladiesman217 or anyone else mixing something up in their tub are very, very, very, very, (did I mention very?) slim and that may be an overstatement.

    ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS !

    Have a nice day ! pjb

  5. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 10:16:27
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    Dave
    As others have already noted, the off label use of this product is a violation of federal law.

    I have you have a good Plan B in place... if a member of your household develops a hypersensitivity reaction.

    The remediation costs will be extremely expensive and I doubt that you have any insurance coverage available to cover it.

    Good Luck
    Doug

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 10:19:40
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    Hi Doug,

    I am not worried about the actions of the already doing it. I am officially concerned only for those who may fallow down the path before data is available.

    I am currently all up for shopping their IP's to the fed's so they can deal with it.

    David

  7. Dave3624

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 14:17:10
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    Day 2 morning
    No reactions, adverse or otherwise. Still have my morning collection of bites (20 to 30)- why they like hands and feet so much I dont know. I'm going to go back to putting tyvek painter booties on over socks and then in turn covering them with another pair of socks just to keep the bites off my feet so I can walk without limping during the day.

    BTW, off lable use by a professional is a offense, off label use by an individual is ignored.

  8. rs1971

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 14:45:56
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    I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I'm wondering if you've thought about self treating with steam. If I were in your position I would look into dropping the dollars to import the system that EffeCi uses. It's not cheap, but he says that he treats 100% of his cases with steam only and it gets you around the issue of insecticide resistance. Obviously EffeCi's expertise matters (mostly I think because he knows where to look for the bugs) but I would think that a layman could get the same results if he were willing to spend the extra time. That doesn't seem to be an issue for you and I would think that steam would be a lot better option than spreading a bunch of mold around everywhere. Plus, you'd have a nifty steamer / disinfector for whatever.

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 14:57:17
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    Hi,

    I have spoken with the technical team at the suppliers of these fungal spores and I can assure you that they are not happy with this application and are concern over the "off label use".

    So lets recap for a second:

    • Professionals and old timers say its not a good idea
    • Label says its not a good idea
    • Manufacturer says its not a good idea

    Do you want me to get input from the EPA and CDC on this one?

    Given that the side effects could take weeks, months, years or even generations to unfold PLEASE SO NOT GO OFF THE LABEL.

    David

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 14:59:27
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    Hi rs1971,

    A sensible idea apart from the fact the voltage differences would not allow it and the E product caries the CE mark but not UL which is needed for the US and Canada.

    I am working on a stop gap solution but will not be able to test it until I am next in the US.

    David

  11. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 16:21:40
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    Wait a minute; or more appropriately, W T F !

    Are you telling us you're getting 20 to 30 bed bug bites each night?

    Really? 20 to 30 each night?

    If so, it sounds like you're living in a location that is "video worthy".

    Do you have any photos to post?

    Have you conducted a thorough inspection to find bed bugs on your bed frame, in furniture, outlets, etc. ?

    Hmmm . . .

    pjb

  12. rs1971

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 16:49:22
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    bed-bugscouk - 1 hour ago  » 
    Hi rs1971,
    A sensible idea apart from the fact the voltage differences would not allow it and the E product caries the CE mark but not UL which is needed for the US and Canada.
    I am working on a stop gap solution but will not be able to test it until I am next in the US.
    David

    Working around the voltage / plug issue would be pretty simple assuming that he were able to get his hands on the device. I have no idea of course how difficult that would be but I wouldn't think that it would be too hard to get a niche item like this shipped to the US.

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 16:57:37
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    Dave3624 - 17 hours ago  » 
    This is a new thread to document my use of the B bassiana fungus to treat my extremely pyrethoid resistant infestation. The other thread has gotten too clogged up with arguments.

    I have to concur with David that it appears you just did not like having people criticize your plan as was the case in the other thread as here.

    Since several wise folks have already responded to this thread also with appropriate warnings, I will allow this thread to remain open but please do not (a) repost material on multiple threads (as you did in this case) and (b) start a new thread. Please stick to this one or the original one for future posts on this topic.

    I have done my due diligence on the B bassiana fungus safety profile and am personally completely satisfied with it. In fact its a hell of a lot safer than all the insecticides that my house and furniture have been saturated with.

    Fact: you have no basis for determining the safety or effectiveness of a treatment which has never been trialed for treating bed bugs in a home.

    The B bassiana treatment has begun and hysterical warnings I'm going to die, mutate and/or melt will be ignored.

    Fair enough but please note that when people respond to your posts, we're not just talking to you, and rest assured we're not engaged in a pointless exercise of trying to change your mind. We're talking to all the other people who are also reading the thread.

    This isn't up for discussion: if you post here, as long as people are civil, we are allowed to criticize your plans and ideas.

    To make it clear, what Dave is doing is not an approved use of this pesticide, and it has never been studied in an indoor setting for treating bed bugs. We don't know if it will work and we really don't know if it will have negative consequences for your health.

    I would strongly discourage anyone else from attempting to use this method until it is formally tested by researchers who have determined appropriate application methods and have confirmed its effectiveness and safety (when used in the home) for humans and pets.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  14. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2013 17:00:47
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    Hi rs1971,

    Its easy to get them into the country, the trick is getting them into the country that is legal for them to be sold / distributed and that includes a private buyer from the US or Ca placing an order internationally.

    The US, Ca and EU all have strict electrical standards, part of which is that it is illegal to sell an electrical item in the EU unless it is CE marked, the fine is £5,000 GBP per unit and there are similar rules in place for the US and Ca.

    As I said you will have to wait till I am next int he US to know if the solution we have worked out does in fact work but I will let you know if it does.

    The simpler solution would be for the Italian to wake up from siesta and "sort it out". To which end you could all track down Polti USA and ask them politely to get a move on (I was promised a US ready version for Oct 2012). Call it a little consumer pressure.

    David

  15. Dave3624

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 12:16:55
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    Day 2 (got busy yesterday and didnt have time to post)
    No allergic reactions. 10-15 bites, because they didnt have access to my feet they bit the back of my legs, back and hands. Reduction in number of bites is within the normal daily variation.

    Day 3
    8 bites, and they're small nymph bites. Must be a new batch hatching. The reduction of bites is encouraging but still within the daily variation of bites I've seen. From what I understand bed bugs "in the wild" go searching for a blood meal every 3 to 5 days.

    Humidity throughout has been low enough that I've been getting zapped touching doorknobs and the like.

    According to what I read, because this is actually a (common) soil fungus the spores dont survive well outside of dirt. An average of the various charts I've read shows that by day 20 only 10% of the spores are still alive with a fairly linear half-life. I'm planning on doing a light reapplication on day 10.

    What I should have done prior to initial application is knock down their numbers with another saturation spray of isopropyl alcohol.
    Because isopropyl alcohol is extremely effective at killing fungal spores I can't spray now, I'll have to wait it out.

    B bassiana is used in farmyard pest control and sprayed directly on horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, etc. A few sources show that it can provide pest control for up to 6 weeks in that application but I surmise thats because of the skin humidity and humidity trapping of the hair/feathers of the animals.

    I wonder how persistant it's going to be in the humid microclimate of the bed bug harborage.

    The spore powder is doing a good job of staying on vertical surfaces, probably because Botanigard WP has a sticking agent added to it. However I've noticed the areas where I overapplied and it beaded up and ran down the film is very thin or nonexistant. It was applied with a "misting" head on a standard hand pump sprayer and was very easy to over-apply.

    I started this series of posts with day 1, really I should have done "day 0 application, day 1, day 2, day 3, etc. So this is actually only day 3 after application. Unfortunately I cant seem to edit my old posts.

    @Nobugsonme; fair enough - I'll stick to just this thread and I apprecate you keeping it open. I was hoping to generate a discussion on potential effectiveness, application techniques, if the bed bugs would track the spores back to the harborage, and the different formulations available. Unfortunately it seems thats not going to happen. I can at least document my efforts and potentially help a current or future researcher.

    I do realize this is rather unusual but I've been being eaten alive for a year and NOTHING is helping, there is a large element of "grasping at straws" in my motivation. It was either this, home-made sulfur candles, or setting the house on fire to kill all the little bastards.

  16. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2013 13:41:46
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    Dave3624
    Did you perform any visual inspections or utilize any kind ofobjective measure other than bite marks to establish a baseline of the bed bug population prior to treatment?... With that reported rate of bite activity... It should be easy to find a lot of bed bugs in your residence both live and dead.

    Don't be too tunnel visioned on spore viability... Non-viable spores will continue to float around and remain in the environment until they are cleaned up.

    Non viable spores can also trigger an immune system reaction for sensitized individuals.

  17. Dave3624

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    Fri Jan 4 2013 17:17:05
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    DougSummersMS - 3 hours ago  » 
    Dave3624
    Did you perform any visual inspections or utilize any kind ofobjective measure other than bite marks to establish a baseline of the bed bug population prior to treatment?... With that reported rate of bite activity... It should be easy to find a lot of bed bugs in your residence both live and dead.
    Don't be too tunnel visioned on spore viability... Non-viable spores will continue to float around and remain in the environment until they are cleaned up.
    Non viable spores can also trigger an immune system reaction for sensitized individuals.

    Early on when I realized it wasnt some kind of weird contact allergy I found and destroyed two harborages with propoxur (man that stuff stinks) in the bed itself, its a "euro style" bed that doesnt have a boxspring just a bunch of curved slats and has a million little nooks and crannies and seams, its also impossible to isolate the bed because of the headboard section which is basically a big wooden box. I see them from time to time if I suddenly lift the bed sheets and blankets - little biters are pretty fast too.

    I've had them for about a year now, I've been able to knock their numbers down by repeated applications of alcohol but they would always come back quickly. I actually buried one seam that I knew they were in with Tempo 1% and observed the tracks and gaps they made in the dust with their coming and goings. They didnt seem to care much.

    I havent seen too many deaders, and the deaders I've seen have been mainly nymphs.

    BTW, prior to spore application I vacuumed up all the DE and Tempo dust and used a duster to get out the remnants.

  18. betty482

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    Fri Jan 4 2013 21:20:15
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    According to what I read, because this is actually a (common) soil fungus the spores dont survive well outside of dirt. An average of the various charts I've read shows that by day 20 only 10% of the spores are still alive with a fairly linear half-life. I'm planning on doing a light reapplication on day 10.

    Given the above info, why not create an environment that is hospitably to the fungus and spores it produces. A thought.....apply it to plants near your bed and allow the spores to naturally spread. Is this a crazy idea???

  19. Dave3624

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    Sat Jan 5 2013 1:19:03
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    BTW, something I forgot to mention is my total use of solution was almost exactly 1 gallon - which corresponds to 1/8th of a cup of powder. I poured the rest of the solution down the drain into my septic system.

    @ Betty, I'm sorry but I dont think that'd work - for the spores to survive and still be of use I'd need to spread a layer of dirt on/in the bed. "In the wild" the fungus only grows and reproduces inside insects and they infect their targets by bugs having close contact with the fruiting body. So while the spores would still be alive they wouldnt be spreading, unless I had a bunch of bugs in along with the potted plants, not something I'm eager to do

    B bassiana is really a fascinating organism, they've been using it for decades around the world and the more I read about it the more interesting it gets. Too bad I've got the wrong sort of schooling to study it.

  20. Nobugsonme

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    Sat Jan 5 2013 2:04:19
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    Dave,

    You said,

    Day 3
    8 bites, and they're small nymph bites. Must be a new batch hatching.

    Note that those who've tested their bite reactions have not been able to distinguish between bites from various stages of nymphs and adults.

    Also, the number of days between bites varies depending at least partly on temperature.

    I forget if you said but are you in an attached dwelling, with possibly infested neighboring units, or some other method of continued local source exposure? If not, it would be very unusual that the problem could not be successfully treated within a reasonable time-frame using a combination of currently approved methods. Knowledge and skill are the key factors.

    Also, I'm sure you are aware but isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable and "saturating" your home may not be the best treatment method. It's also just a contact killer.

    If you are in an attached dwelling, then you should take some time trying to determine if neighbors are sending bed bugs over so this can be dealt with.

  21. Dave3624

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Jan 5 2013 11:48:46
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    Day 4
    7 bites, three of them are big deep welts.

    I'm in a detached house in a semi-rural area, the nearest house is 150 feet away.

    I've always correlated the big deep welts (size and height of a nickel) with adult bites and the small ones (pencil eraser, 2mm height) with nymph bites. I've always thought it had to do with the depth of the bite.
    I suppose it could also have to do with how long a BB has been feeding on one particular location.

    I've always had a horrible reaction to a BB bite, especially on my feet after I've been walking on them they turn to bruises and are painful as hell.

  22. bed-bugscouk

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    Sat Jan 5 2013 12:23:32
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    Hi Dave,

    It's one thing to go against manufacturers advice to do this put please don't start you own analysis of bite responses in terms of size versus age because that debate is already closed and there is no link.

    David

  23. Dave3624

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 1:00:16
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    bed-bugscouk - 12 hours ago  » 
    Hi Dave,
    It's one thing to go against manufacturers advice to do this put please don't start you own analysis of bite responses in terms of size versus age because that debate is already closed and there is no link.
    David

    ???
    I wasnt aware there was a big debate, its just what I always supposed must be the cause of the different sized welts I get. I've always gotten two types; the small pencil erasor end (more or less) sized that itch somewhat but fade after a day and the big nasty very itchy throbbing welts that last for several days before they fade. The smaller ones have always outnumbered the big welts 5 to 1 (ish).
    I'll go search the old posts to find what causes the different sized welts then.
    Thanks for the info - I had no idea welt size was independant of the BB size/age

  24. buggyinsocal

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 1:51:36
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    I don't know if this is the post to which Dave was referring, but it is one example of a thread here that talks about the debunking of the idea that nymph bites are smaller than bites from adults:

    previous thread about whether nymph bites are smaller or less intensely itchy than bites from adult bed bugs.

    Also, this discussion reminds me a little bit of a story I heard on NPR driving home from work one night about a family that bought a home and moved in only to later discover that the house was being used as a meth lab, which, as one might expect, caused pretty substantial problems for the family.

    Now, I don't mean to compare Dave3624's activities with meth production or even to say that they are somewhat analogous. And I'm sure that part of the reason that Dave3624 feels safe doing this experiment (unwisely so, if you want my opinion) is that it's a single-family detached home so it's easy for a person to convince him or herself that any experiment will only harm the experimenter.

    However, my concern about readers coming across this post is that they'll make the same assumption: that experimenting with a fungus like this in a stand alone, single-family home won't hurt anyone but them.

    I'm not a scientist; my last science class was ::counts:: over 20 years ago. (Yikes.) And I don't have any idea about how long a fungus like B bassiana can survive in an indoor environment. Maybe it won't thrive there at all; but if it does, once it gets into the structure, if it can thrive and survive, it becomes a threat to more than just the people who currently live in and/or visit a particular residence.

    It's important to remember after all that molds and fungi can cause allergic responses for a lot of people. (I happen to be one of those people. Trust me, my nose is a pretty infallible indicator of mildew and mold in any environment. I walk into a structure, and if there's a mildewy towel sitting around, I'll start sneezing. It is the most bulletproof of all my allergy triggers. Short of certain pollens in states east of the Mississippi river (oh, wax privet, how I hate you so), nothing will set me off faster than molds and mildews. The only thing that comes close here in southern California is the Santa Anas. I start sneezing every single time they kick in. But I digress.)

    Even if an off-label treatment like this doesn't do direct harm to the person attempting it, we have no idea what kind of harm something like B bassiana will do to the next family who ends up buying the home 20 or 30 or 40 years down the road if this particular fungus can survive that long. I don't know that it can; but I don't know that it can't. And if it hasn't been used indoors before, I'm not sure we have any good data about its long term effects.

    The connection to the NPR story (lest everyone think I'm making wacky analogies) is that I cannot imagine that there's any way a potential home buyer would ever in a million years know that B bassiana is something that a home needs to be tested for. If there's an established track record of banks and such failing to test for meth residue (which is a problem that banks and such know about and for which tests exist), which the above link suggests there is, I can't imagine we're going to have a great track record of making sure an obscure fungus is tested for too.

    Again, I'm not trying to talk the OP out of his plan; I am pointing out yet another reason that many of the people who contribute to threads here often err on the side of caution because we're taking a very long view and/or thinking about the many ways that sleep deprived, panicked, and generally desperate people might misread--willfully or overly optimistically--something that seems like a quicker fix but that might be dangerous in ways that might not be apparent at first to others.

    As always, since I'm not a scientist, if I've mucked up the science (if you professionals are sitting there saying to yourselves that B bassiana cannot possibly get into a structure and hang out for that long even in ideal environments)--if, for example, fungi don't cause allergic responses like molds do--feel free to correct me.

  25. BBF

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Jan 6 2013 1:54:16
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    My personal approach to distinguishing nymph bites from adult bites is by how close they are in the chain. Adults crawl greater distances (up to an inch) before each successive bite; nymphs as little as 1/8th of an inch. But, I've only had about 12 observed bite chains total, so my statistics is not sufficiently reliable.

  26. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 2:03:45
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    BBF - 8 minutes ago  » 
    My personal approach to distinguishing nymph bites from adult bites is by how close they are in the chain. Adults crawl greater distances (up to an inch) before each successive bite; nymphs as little as 1/8th of an inch. But, I've only had about 12 observed bite chains total, so my statistics is not sufficiently reliable.

    The problem is not the size of your data set, but the assumption you're making. Unless you see yourself being bitten (as others have) how do you know which marks were from which life stage biting you?

  27. BBF

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 3:34:20
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    The problem is not the size of your data set, but the assumption you're making. Unless you see yourself being bitten (as others have) how do you know which marks were from which life stage biting you?

    Creation of a theory involves making reasonable assumptions. Later, theories may be proven or disproven by facts that confirm or counter the theory. Bad theory is better than no theory at all. I would explain what facts I have but they would take a dozen paragraphs to lay out, and I'm lazy. If you want to disprove my theory, run an experiment.

  28. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 3:54:58
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    BBF,

    How many bites do you get in a "chain"?

  29. BBF

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    The ones on my legs were between three (the shortest) and seven (the longest). The one on my... rear parts... that I can't easily see without the risk of breaking my neck seems to be pretty long, maybe three inches and what looks like a dozen bites (aw! I can't reliably count at that angle!) It also does not help that these trails are over a week old now, and thanks god I'm not getting any new ones.

    UPD: got a mirror. The rear one seems to be actually two separate tracks, of five'ish each.

  30. bed-bugscouk

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 6:27:21
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    Hi BBF,

    Long tracks of bites like that are usually flea related although you can't diagnose anything based in bite morphology alone.

    David

  31. Dave3624

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    Sun Jan 6 2013 15:39:30
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    Day 5
    No bites welts (!!!!) there may be 1 bite welt but its very small and I think its one of yesterdays bites that's faded.

    Three days in a row of low numbers of bite welts is highly unusual but not unprecedented, however a night with zero bite welts has only happened a couple of times, and only after a saturation campaign of isopropyl alcohol.

    Even if the adults are dead or dying there are still eggs that can/will hatch. I can't call it until a month has gone by. Still, I'm very encouraged. If the zero bites continues for a couple of days I'll uncover my feet when I sleep and see what happens. The damn things seem to love my feet.

  32. Nobugsonme

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    BBF,
    Though you can't diagnose bed bugs from skin reactions, it would be interesting to see a photo. Though perhaps not of your rear end, no offense!

  33. BBF

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 1:12:33
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    Nobugsonme - 3 hours ago  » 
    BBF,
    Though you can't diagnose bed bugs from skin reactions, it would be interesting to see a photo. Though perhaps not of your rear end, no offense!

    Too late, I'm afraid. The tracks on my legs were perfect (if you can say that about a bedbug bite) 2 weeks ago, but by now they healed, got scratched off (the damn things are itchy!) and healed again multiple times so they look nothing like they were and pictures will bring more confusion than data. If I get any fresh ones (god forbid), I will post.

    P.S. Too bad you don't want to see the rear ones, they are moderately fresher I suspect the buggers are also in my computer chair, but it has been wrapped in plastic since then, so no new bites in that area.

  34. DougSummersMS

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 7:12:11
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    BBF - 1 day ago  » 

    Nobugsonme -  » 
    The problem is not the size of your data set, but the assumption you're making. Unless you see yourself being bitten (as others have) how do you know which marks were from which life stage biting you

    BBF - 1 day ago

    Creation of a theory involves making reasonable assumptions. Later, theories may be proven or disproven by facts that confirm or counter the theory. Bad theory is better than no theory at all. I would explain what facts I have but they would take a dozen paragraphs to lay out, and I'm lazy. If you want to disprove my theory, run an experiment.

    BBF
    If you go back a few years in the archives... You will find that your nymph bite = small bite mark theory has already been dis-proven multiple times.

    It is not the life stage of the bug that determines the size of the bite mark... It is your immune system reaction that determines the skin reaction.

    Bad theory is better than no theory at all.

    That is an interesting attitude for someone that is experimenting with an unapproved bio-pesticide!... I believe that no theory is preferable to skewing your perceptions with false information... You might want to re-think your approach and perform some actual research before you continue to spread myths that are based on assumptions that are known to be false.

  35. NorthEast

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 9:05:46
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    Dave3624,

    I've been following this thread and find it very intresting. Looking through the post I don't see anywhere that it says you have seen a bed bug. So I just want to clarify- Have you seen a bed bug? or are you saying you have bed bugs because you have bites?

    thanks,

  36. Dave3624

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    Day 6

    3 bites in classic "breakfast, lunch and dinner" pattern. Not terribly itchy at least

    Crap, I was really hoping they were gone.

    NE: I've seen BBs, early on I killed two harborages with a crack and crevise spray with propoxur and flushed several dead adult BBs and varied instars out of the nest. Since then I've occasionally seen them when I lift the sheets suddenly around 4 in the morning - usually because the itching has woken me up.

  37. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 12:45:21
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    Hi,

    3 bites in a row is a classic myth.

    Please to learn about the facts rather than spreading myths as you will only extend the suffering of others with these false claims.

    I personally am questioning why I waste my time when you don't listen or take on board advice.

    David

  38. buggyinsocal

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 13:05:26
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    Despite having had bed bugs without realizing it for at least a month, I never once had any bites in the so-called breakfast, lunch, dinner pattern.

    My personal allergic response to the bites was such that they itched much longer than any other insect bite I'd had. Prior to bed bugs, my benchmark for most awful insect bites was bites from yellow flies (deer flies?) which made welts much bigger and itchier than mosquitoes. (I am one of those people who is a magnet for mosquitoes. One of the many reasons I live someplace with a very low mosquito population is that when I go places with that pest, if I'm outside at dusk, I'll come into a house with 10 bites on my ankles from just 15 minutes outside.)

    Having grown up someplace with a lot of mosquitoes and having also done a lot of camping in rural areas with spectacularly large yellow fly populations, I thought I'd seen it all when it came to insect bites, until I encountered bed bugs. Whenever I get an insect bite and wonder whether it's bed bugs (because anxiety about them is long-lasting for me, even if it's tapered down to really manageable levels), I remind myself that with both mosquito and deer fly bites, the intense itching would last for maybe a day or two. With bed bug bites, the intense phase of the itching would last for me for 3 or 4 days.

    Everyone's allergic response is going to be slightly different; that's the nature of allergic responses. But my experience was that bed bug bites were easy to distinguish from other insect bites for me not based on where they occurred but based on how they itched. Other peoples' mileage may vary, but I want readers to know that you can have bed bugs without having the breakfast-lunch-dinner pattern that so many people talk about as being classic. I had a classic bed bug infestation but never had that bite pattern. I've also have three bites in a row from other insects that weren't bed bugs if, for example, a long enough stripe of my arm was exposed when being outside at dusk in a mosquito-rich environment.

  39. Dave3624

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 15:25:11
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    bed-bugscouk - 2 hours ago  » 
    Hi,
    3 bites in a row is a classic myth.
    Please to learn about the facts rather than spreading myths as you will only extend the suffering of others with these false claims.
    I personally am questioning why I waste my time when you don't listen or take on board advice.
    David

    Well, myth or not thats the pattern of the bites on my leg; 3 bites spaced about 3/4 of an inch apart in a (somewhat) staggered row.
    Of course I know that they're not the ONLY bite pattern there is, hell I've had bites in every pattern there is or no pattern at all.
    However there must be a nugget of truth to the stereotype because an awful lot of people report three bites in a row.

  40. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 15:43:20
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    Dave,

    Love your logic. Needed to extrapolate it a little but given:

    must be a nugget of truth to the stereotype

    We often notice that people who have a problem for a very long time and try approaches that are not recommended and who get bites but never see bedbugs usually turn out to not have bedbugs.

    By your own logic we can declare you don't have bedbugs.

    Now lets recap again:

    You are doing something against the manufacturers recommendations repeatedly.

    You want to continue to spread incorrect information.

    You ignore the advice of those that are here to help.

    Do I really need to say it again:

    IF YOU ARE READING THIS AND THINK THAT WHAT IS BEING DONE MIGHT BE WORTH TRYING IN YOUR OWN HOME DON'T, JUST DON'T

    The repeated unwillingness to listen to advice and experienced help remind me of the people to edit inaccurate information into wikipedia because they think its clever.

    Sadly the reality is that you are actually doing harm by taking the stance you are for two main reasons: 1 You are wasting the time of those on the forum who have to read and correct your mistakes; 2 You will be misleading anyone who reads you advice and thinks its accurate.

    David

  41. BBF

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 18:54:15
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    DougSummersMS - 11 hours ago  » 
    BBF
    If you go back a few years in the archives... You will find that your nymph bite = small bite mark theory has already been dis-proven multiple times.
    It is not the life stage of the bug that determines the size of the bite mark... It is your immune system reaction that determines the skin reaction.

    DougSummersMS,
    If you go a few years back to school, maybe you will be able to refresh your somewhat rusty skills of READING and COMPREHENDING English language,

    This is what I said:

    My personal approach to distinguishing nymph bites from adult bites is by how close they are in the chain. Adults crawl greater distances (up to an inch) before each successive bite; nymphs as little as 1/8th of an inch.

    DISTANCE BETWEEN bite marks =/= SIZE OF bite mark

    Don't you dare to attribute to me the words that I have not said.

  42. betty482

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 19:23:27
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    BBF, please do not stop posting your progress. Aside from clashes of ego, the info is very interesting and I applaud you for the courage to blaze a trail albeit a possibly dangerous one. I, for one, believe you know whether you're dealing with bed bugs or not. Please keep us posted.

  43. bed-bugscouk

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    OK folks see you next week.

    Sorry betty482 but when people ask why I am not about to do ID's or answer questions I am sure someone will point them towards your sagely words of wisdom.

    I will not be part of something so ridiculous as people encouraging such dangerous approaches, it quickly ends up with people making up their own cures with odd things like DMSO.

    David

  44. rs1971

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    bed-bugscouk - 25 minutes ago  » 
    OK folks see you next week.
    Sorry betty482 but when people ask why I am not about to do ID's or answer questions I am sure someone will point them towards your sagely words of wisdom.
    I will not be part of something so ridiculous as people encouraging such dangerous approaches, it quickly ends up with people making up their own cures with odd things like DMSO.
    David

    I mostly stay out of the pissing matches but sometimes a guy feels like punching some keys. You are a great resource to this site David, but frankly your participation in these threads has been kind of bizarre. It's perfectly reasonable to offer your professional advice against using these products in an off label fashion, but to take such personal umbrage at the fact that a couple of strangers on the other side of the globe aren't doing what you tell them to, demonstrates a level of controlling personality that's probably not very healthy.

    Why not just go on record with your advice in the threads and then just leave them alone? Threatening to report them to the FBI and taking your ball and going home doesn't reflect particularly well upon yourself, the latter especially, given that no one with any official connection to this site has offered any encouragement to the experimentation.

    That's my two cents in any event.

  45. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Mon Jan 7 2013 21:39:44
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    David Cain, please see the PM I sent you!

  46. critterbug

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    Dave3624- I know the politically correct thing to do would be to chastise you, but to be honest, I'm the type that would do this myself as well. Thankfully, it's not me who has an infestation to experiment on. I'm an apartment manager and we seem to always have a few apartments infested at any given time. I think the beauveria bassiana is harmless, from what I've read, but like everything on this planet, there is guaranteed to be some people who will sneeze from it and sue you. So, until it gets approved for bed bugs, and it will, I'll have to follow your thread and see what happens. From reading a couple of these threads, it seems that beauveria bassiana needs a humid climate in order to be effective, have you thought about using a humidifier to help things along?

    To those that think Dave is going to die, this stuff has been used for decades...it's not an unknown compound that no one knows anything about. I think it's been labeled for outdoor use all those years because that's where insects live. Spiders, roaches, ants...there have been plenty of effective treatments against these indoor pests without the need to qualify yet another, that takes 7-10 days to see results. I've read that beauveria bassiana is safe to humans and animals. I've also read that there was a 100% mortality rate for exposed bed bugs and 95% mortality rate for bed bugs exposed secondhand in harborage by an infected bed bug...so to bed-bugscouk and anyone else who seems vested in not seeing this go to market, it's just a matter of time and I can't wait.

  47. P Bello

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 1:34:06
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    Dear dave 3624,

    While you've stated:

    > you have bites

    > you've counted the bites

    > you've characterized the bites . . .

    What seems to be missing here is the verified observance of an actual bed bug. Above I aksed you if you could post a photo(s) of the bugs that were biting you.

    Despite the numerous bites you've reported, we have no assurance that you actually have bed bugs or any verifiable physical evidence there of.

    With the number of bed bug buites you're reporting, there would be physical evidence as well as live bed bugs to be found.

    As such, no wonder many of us remain skeptical . . .

    It is what it is ! paul b.

  48. BBF

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 2:35:36
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    Re: betty482
    Thank you for your support. I am posting my experiences here PRECISELY because I am WILLINGLY subjecting myself to "potentially dangerous" situation and posting my results SO OTHERS DO NOT HAVE TO in case they want to know how it works.

    Re: agricultural vs. indoor use of b.bassiana
    I am 99.995% sure that the only reason why it is forbidden for indoor use is because: a) there exists a small number of people allergic to any kind of spores (hell, my friend next door is allergic to mold spores); b) Americans are ridiculously lawsuit happy (the proverbial guy who slipped on a sidewalk and sued the city... in my home country, he'd be laughed out of the courthouse, "you should have watched your step, you retard!") and c) manufacturers did not / do not want to go through lengthy approval process for a tiny fraction of customers, and added that warning label just to protect themselves against the people who are both a) and b).

    Re: indoor use not recommended by professionals
    I do not have a solid proof of that, but I have a strong suspicion that I know why they are so universally opposing it: Because if endangers their livelihood. Who needs PCOs when all you need is to sprinkle a bit of spores around, and all your bedbugs are gone? As I read somewhere here on the forum, "the real bloodsuckers walk on two legs, not on six".

    And yeah. B. bassiana is going to kill us all. Just like every single innovation that "killed music industry". (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110513/03043214263/many-killers-music-industry-analog-era.shtml , http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110516/19214314291/many-killers-music-industry-digital-era.shtml )

    (P.S. Have you ever heard of a bacterial treatment that displaces the harmful bacteria on your teeth that causes cavities? The new bacteria is just like the old one, except it does not produce the enamel destroying acid. Don't worry, your dentist will never tell you about it because he doesn't want to lose business either. But I don't care about his business, so I can give you a hint: search for EvoraPlus; if you want more scientific details, look at this patent: http://www.google.com/patents/EP0832186B1 )

    Re: determining instar by trail of bedbug bites.
    OK, since I typed this much already, I can type a few more paragraphs now. Most often throughout insect world, the actions of insects are relative to their own size. I.e. a spider generally creates the web proportional to its size as it grows: a 1/8" hatchling creates a 2" diameter net; a 1" grownup creates 16" diameter net. That's because they measure distances by timing their actions; so if they need to measure out a unit of distance, they simply run for a fixed length of time -- and that length is preprogrammed with them and does not change over lifetime. That way, it automatically ends up being just about right: the larger the spider, the larger is the net, the larger prey it can catch.

    So the same logic applies to bedbugs: the bedbug bites, crawls for, say, 1 second, stops, bites again, etc. Naturally, the larger the bedbug is, the greater distance it covers in a fixed period of time. Hence, the further apart the bites in the trail are, the larger the bedbug was.

    You are welcome to disprove my theory. Please provide any other reasonable explanation, or proof of your own experiments with a smaller bedbug alongside with a larger one where the distance between their bites is not proportionally (within tolerance) relative to their size.

  49. DougSummersMS

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 2:45:43
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    BBF
    Perhaps you can post some links to the published empirical research that backs up your assertion that the life stage of a bed bug can be determined by the "distance between bite marks"... I would love to read it.

    You are promoting a myth that has been repeatedly shown to be false... If you can find ANY objective academic evidence that supports your assertions... Please post the links and I will provide a sincere public apology.

    I try to stay current on bed bug bite research and I must have missed the studies that you are relying on to support your life stage / bite appearance hypothesis.

    The statement that you made in your earlier comment "Bad theory is better than no theory at all" suggests to me that your understanding of the scientific method is rather flawed.

    The first step in formulating a proper scientific hypothesis (theory) is to perform a review of the available research literature.

    If you have made an independent discovery that the rest of the entomological research community has somehow missed... You should write it up and present it at the ESA conference in December as a poster session.

  50. Nobugsonme

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    Folks,

    This thread has sadly degenerated into sniping. It's a shame, since this is technically Dave's thread, which he started to describe his experiences, and unless I missed something above, Dave has been quite pleasant to everyone.

    Some others, not so much.

    Yes, Dave is doing something which is not recommended by experts and may not be safe or effective. (That's just a fact!)

    The warnings having been given, and I said I would keep this thread open so he could discuss it.

    I hear experts (and others) above correcting errors in bed bug facts. Like, "breakfast, lunch and dinner can happen, but isn't a rule or typical as is often thought." And "bed bug age can't be determined from bite size."

    Information Dave may not have thought of (like potential liability and insurance issues) has been mentioned.

    I hear people asking if definitive visual evidence of bed bugs has been found.

    These corrections and questions are coming from a good place.

    Accepting expert information where given would seem to be sensible.

    Both sides have to accept that they're not going to agree. Experts and oldtimers, we have to understand we are not going to talk Dave out of his plan. At the same time, fungus users, like Dave and BBF, have to understand experts probably aren't going to stop pointing out this is a bad idea. And they probably shouldn't stop.

    That's not the same as saying it won't ever be proven to work, or won't ever be approved and labeled for this use, but at this time and with the knowledge we have and labeling we have, this is not a good treatment plan for others reading this to adopt.

    It seems like we should be able to have this discussion without people getting pissy or nasty. So please try and err on the side of giving people some slack.

    My recommendation is this:

    I do not want Dave to start a THIRD thread to discuss his experiences. (This is the second, after all.) Doing so would mean we start all over again with the necessary warnings about this plan. Please allow him to give his updates here so we don't recreate this entire experience again in a new thread.

    Meanwhile, fungus users and their supporters should civilly accept corrections of factual errors and other comments from experts and others.

    That's it really, if everyone could just be civil and kind.

    If someone isn't being civil or kind, please do not snipe back but instead click the FLAG POST FOR MODERATION link in red next to the offending post, so I will be alerted and I can deal with it.

    If you cooperate, the thread will be kept open.

    If it gets nasty again, it will lead to more posts being deleted or other action on the part of admin.

    Finally, I want to thank the experts for participating here for participating on the forums. The site benefits endlessly from their doing so. The same goes for so many oldtimers and other experienced site users. Anyone who thinks the expert crew are uniform in their ideas or opinions has not been paying attention.

    I'd urge you not to assume, either, that they are against the use of a particular treatment method because it threatens their livelihood (as BBF implied). I have seen many instances where they have welcomed new technologies and methods and spoken of adapting new techniques in their work. Having a wait and see attitude to a technology not yet proven successful in the field and not proven safe in the field is just sensible.

    Everyone, in a nutshell: please be civil. Don't assume anyone's out to get you. Let others have their say but stop trying to win some kind of battle.

    Thank you!

    ==

    critterbug,

    I don't see anyone suggesting Dave is "going to die" here. That's a bit of hyperbole. I do see people advising that using a product which is not approved, and perhaps more importantly, hasn't been field tested in homes for treating bed bugs is not a great idea.

    That's not the same as saying the product will never pass researchers' field tests, or will never be found to be safe and effective.

    ==

    BBF,

    It's pretty obvious Doug got you confused with Dave above. Dave did in fact make a connection between bite size and bed bug age, which we corrected. In Doug's defense, I think it is a pretty easy mistake confusing the only two people in the thread who are experimenting with off-label fungus use. There's no need to fly off the handle for a simple mistake.

    Your next to last post was deleted. It was not very civil and we have a policy about that (everyone might just want to read the Forum Rules).

    Blackheart,

    Your post was deleted. See my PM.

  51. theyareoutthere

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 8:12:13
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    There are excellent points made by the experts. I'm not s scientist either but buggyinsocal brought up liability issues..in law..what would a reasonable man do? Although you have the right to experiment in your home, it might not release you from liability from a guest, from a future sale to a savvy buyer who requires you to complete an inspection and environmental questionnaire (which may lead to further testing
    ), etc. I'm not asking you to argue it...just to let other readers reread buggyinsocal's better written than my post. Although I may never plan to sell, is rather not leave my family an issue if I'm hit by a truck.

    I was probably one of the people on the other post worried about your long term health since long term exposure at home/sleeping is not known. I do wish you the best, and hope that other people tempted to try this may have different results and reactions. Similar to the apt manager, I wouldn't try it...in my case...until it was proven to be safe and effective for a long time.

    Finally, nobugs...thanks for all the time and thought that went into the above post.

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  52. P Bello

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 11:09:41
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    "JUST SAYIN":

    Ya know, folks use phrases such as "with all due respect" and "just sayin" as some sort of, like, WD-40 or duct tape catch all thing that allows them some sort of teflon permission to state anything without fear of offending others, being incorrect, etc.

    Not that this totally applies here but;

    > This entire thread has deteriorated into a battle of minutia, which in some ways directs my thoughts to "who cares" mode.

    > There's certainly "fungus amongus" here. Sorry, had to use that one, we had certain professors that would say that during classes or labs and they thought is was hilarious but, I digress.

    > Is Dave, BBF or anyone else likely to suffer irrepable harm due to his "trial work" using this fungal product? Not likely but, wo cares? No really, all of you who care raise your hands ! OK, both of you, good.

    > Is any manufacturer of any product going to tell the world/the public/whom ever that "it's OK" to use a product in a fashion not described or recommended by package instructions or overall intended use? No, they're not. In fact, my professional role has found me telling folks "no, don't do that" type communications many times over the years. And, believe it or not, as an example: "No, do not put pest strips under your arms or in your bed with you while you sleep!" (to stop bed bugs from biting you) OR, "No, do not put pest strips in your long johns to prevent chiggers or ticks when your hunting !" (You just can't make this stuff up folks !)

    > Now, here we have a person who is trying to use "a product" to control/kill an otherwise unconfirmed/unsubstantiated bed bug situation yet, this person has successfully diverted the attentions of a number of peiople who's time would otherwise be better spent actually helping those with genuine need of assistance. As such:

    * I would pose this question and, yes, it's sarcasm: If I bait a trap with a picture of cheese, would I catch a photo of a mouse?

    * For the past 30 days I've gone to the end of my driveway to retrieve the newspaper. When I arrive at the end of the driveway I perform no less than twenty five jumping jax with just one eye open. Using this technique, there has been zero bed bug complaint calls received from any home in my subdivision/neighborhood of nearly eight hundred homes. As such, this technique has resulted in 100% control of bed bugs here without the use of any nasty dangerous fungal products, the laborious use of vacs or steamers nor the application of dangerous chemicals.

    > For me; "I'm DONE:
    Please note that until such time that there has been a level of satisfactory substantiation that these folks actually have bed bugs, which is likely best confirmed via posted photos, then I'm done commenting on this thread.

    As I see it, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, those of us who can legitimately help others who really need our help are waisting our time on this subject matter.

    At the end of the day: really, who cares ?

    JUST SAYIN !

    (Note to others: If you have an actual bed bug problem that you seek assistance with, please know that I will ALWAYS help you !)

    Have a nice day ! paul b.

  53. critterbug

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    I don't see anyone suggesting Dave is "going to die" here. That's a bit of hyperbole.

    I was paraphrasing Dave from his first post in this thread, although you have to admit that a few of these responses make it sound like he's trying to cure a headache with a handgun, when in reality, what could be the worst possible outcome? A rash? I honestly don't see why it's such a huge deal that they try the spores. Like I said, if I personally had an infestation, I'd most definitely try it. When I did have bed bugs, I would have bathed in DDT to get rid of them. I'm an arachniphobe, and I can honestly say I'd rather have a spider infestation than bed bugs. At least you can kill spiders easily enough.

    With the widespread epidemic of bed bugs, why is anyone doubting that Dave has them? He's said a few times that he identified and eliminated two harborages already. What else looks like bed bugs that would be harboring in his mattress and biting him every night for over a year? Sheesh.

    Anyway, my personal interest in this thread is the hope I have that this will work and be on the market so that I don't have to continually worry about re-infesting my apartment either by working in an infested apartment or by them moving in through plumbing an electrical conduits in the walls. I have managed to keep my apt bug free for a few years now through a regimen of constant chemical treatment, but it's expensive, a hassle, and unlike the spores, more than likely unhealthy. I really long for the good old days when bed bugs were just an old wives tale.

  54. P Bello

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 16:23:05
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    BBF,

    Wow, really, that's what you're going with?

    None of us pro's receive any compensation for participating here.

    No one said YOU do not know what a bed bug looks like or not.

    My comments were directed at the person conducting the "trial" as per above.

    Sorry you had to deal with bed bugs, it's a serious matter.

    However, it's fair to state that you've misintepretted and misrepresented my role as an industry steward.

    The odds that some half baked methodology based upon a product that the global basics ahve already looked at and passed on because of poor results are limited at best. Now, should we be supporting this effort such that others might think it's OK? No, we shouldn't.

    There are already a number of viable methodologies, techniques and products out there that, when used correctly, deliver great success in bed bug control.

    I suppose I should have added "at no cost to you" such that you'd understand that my time spent participating here is, in fact, at no cost to anyone other than myself.

    So, thaks so much for your clever photo-post which was, uh, how can this be stated;

    100% inaccurate !

    pjb

  55. buggyinsyracuse

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 16:30:30
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    This thread makes me sad

  56. critterbug

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 16:43:38
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    The odds that some half baked methodology based upon a product that the global basics ahve already looked at and passed on because of poor results are limited at best

    You're referring to beauveria bassiana? If so, can you provide a link that it's been considered and abandoned? The link to the study I read was just published this past April, somewhat recent considering your claim. According to the paper-
    "Overall, this study represents an important first step in developing
    B. bassiana as a biopesticide for use against bed bugs within novel
    strategies of integrated pest management. Further research is
    now required to develop appropriate formulations and delivery
    systems to investigate population level impact under more realistic
    ‘semi-field’ and ‘field’ settings."

    http://www.thethomaslab.net/uploads/Barbarin2012.pdf

  57. BBF

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 17:00:48
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    P Bello - 29 minutes ago  » 
    I suppose I should have added "at no cost to you" such that you'd understand that my time spent participating here is, in fact, at no cost to anyone other than myself.

    I apologize, I thought when you said

    (Note to others: If you have an actual bed bug problem that you seek assistance with, please know that I will ALWAYS help you !)

    you meant your professional services, not your forum participation.

    (On a side note: while my main occupation is NOT bed bug hunting, I operate my computer repair operations on "you pay for results, not for effort" premise. The customer lets me assess the problem, and I give him a ballpark estimate of how much it will cost (lowest, median and highest values). Then I get to work. If I do not solve the customer's problem, he does not pay anything. If I underestimated the problem, my fault; the customer never pays more than the highest estimate originally given. Yes, because of this approach I sometimes lose money because I screwed up with my estimate, but that a) gives me an incentive to become better at estimates; and b) it's good for business as I'm recommended left and right, and as a result I have to turn some customers down because there's just too many of them).

  58. P Bello

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 17:20:16
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    bbf,

    Well, in the words of a famous wizard; "you've cut me to the quick !" as I didn't expect an apology so, thanks for that, accepted !

    Your business practice is not unlike my own and I agree with those concepts.

    Thanks again ! paul b.

  59. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 17:54:08
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    BBF and Paul and everyone,

    Please read my message above again.

    Perhaps the word "recommendation" was not direct enough.

    So I'll be more direct: please be civil. Period. It's an official forum rule. Cut the nasty tone, sniping and other BS.

    Recognize also that Dave started this thread for his own purpose which others have trampled all over (including the pro-fungus camp).

    Critterbug,

    Unfortunately, and at least partly due to the sniping above which has been occurring and which takes up my time in ways which can't be seen here, I don't have the time to respond in more detail right now but others above have laid out possible consequences above either to health or property (or neighbors) which can't be assessed without proper field trials.

    Of course, I understand the interest in the topic. I hope I've made it perfectly clear I am not against the technology should it be proven safe and effective and approved for this use. But it hasn't been and people trying it at home on their own isn't going to satisfy those needs.

  60. arianacassie

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 18:11:40
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    i personally come on here everyday to read about how Dave is doing. i really hate having to scan through this stuff. Is it possible to delete the arguing? I am very interested in you day to day findings, can we get back to that??? please ....... dont care whether he should or shouldnt do it, its done .

  61. Blackheart

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 18:59:43
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    Sorry BBF, Mr. Bello has always been supportive and very kind to people with BB problems on here, he also never judges anyone, so I disagree entirely. He does seem to have a genuine interest in helping and has a great sense of humor too.

    I'm sure most would agree to this.

    Sam

  62. EffeCi

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 19:16:49
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    Overall, this study represents an important first step in developing
    B. bassiana as a biopesticide for use against bed bugs within novel
    strategies of integrated pest management.

    That's a classic sentence to close every study.
    The study simply demonstrates that, if you put in contact host and parasite in the best possible condition (high concentration of spores in oil, long forced exposition to them, stabulation and reinfection in an environment -petri dish- that mantains humidity), then parasite kills the host and does its cycle.
    Not that unexpected: bed bugs are not soil insects (that are generally Beauveria immune), so they are sensible, and Beauveria kills them under proper conditions.
    So, ok, it's theorically possible to use Beauveria bassiana as a biopesticide to kill BBs.

    Further research is
    now required to develop appropriate formulations and delivery
    systems to investigate population level impact under more realistic
    ‘semi-field’ and ‘field’ settings."

    Translated:

    Actually we don't have any idea about ways and methods to deliver spores in contact with BBs, and if/how this will be effective in the real world.

    Between first and second sentence, there is an ocean.

    In my experience, a lot of things have great results against BBs in lab, but less than 5% of them do really its job in field. Unfortunately, field is not a Petri dish with filter paper harbourages.

    I can't call myself a big fungi expert, but I got a PhD in Agricultural Sciences and my degree thesis was about "a forecasting model for preventing grapevine late blight". Late blight (Plasmopara viticola) is a grapevine fungus parasite. I worked on that for three years, so I think that at least I know something about parasite fungi.
    After those three years of field/lab tests I was able, just basing on meteorological data, to forecast a new infection by late blight a few days before its starting.
    Wasn't that great?
    Theorically yes, but there's obviously a trick...

    The forecast model works only locally, and you need at least 30 years of meteorological data history and three years of adjustments to "customize" it. If you go just three miles far, you'll need local meteorological data of last 30 years and, again, a few years of "customizing". Not that practical.

    I ended my discussion saying that results of my work were the first step in developing a forecasting model to prevent grapewine late blight, but that a lot of study was still necessary to etc. etc.

    Results of my study were extremely interesting, innovative, intriguing and fashioning (I got the highest grade for that) however they were not really that useful or relevant to prevent late blight.
    I got the PhD more than 20 years ago, but I'm still in contact with my mentor, and I know she's still working on that forecasting model (and it's still not "ready").
    Again, field is not just meteorological data and an algorythm that simulates fungus development.

  63. critterbug

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    I see what you're saying, EffeCi, and your point would be taken if this fungus were not already a proven, effective biopesticide. What I took from the study is that they took a known biopesticide and wanted to see if it would also be effective against bed bugs. It was. B. bassiana doesn't work on all arthropods, but now they know it works on bed bugs. In it's current use, the spores are used outside of it's natural environment (soil) effectively. I don't think it sounds terribly daunting to adapt the delivery of the spore for indoor use. I think where "further research" comes in is determining the most effective strain, delivery method and under which environmental conditions the indoor habitat would need to be adapted in order to achieve maximum effectiveness (light, temp, humidity, etc)

  64. Nobugsonme

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    arianacassie - 1 hour ago  » 
    i personally come on here everyday to read about how Dave is doing. i really hate having to scan through this stuff. Is it possible to delete the arguing? I am very interested in you day to day findings, can we get back to that??? please ....... dont care whether he should or shouldnt do it, its done .

    I agree very much that Dave should be allowed to post his updates and people should not hijack the thread, as I noted above.

    However, while I have deleted several sniping posts from various folks, it would be hard to delete the arguments entirely-- some posts discouraging fungus use mention safety and liability issues and should be retained here for the benefit of others who read this.

    Moreover, I'm not going to delete the warnings about such concerns and leave up the posts which encourage Dave. For this reason I have maintained as much as I could.

    However, people should think carefully about posting and whether they are trying to prolong an argument about fungus use, or whether they are letting Dave post his updates.

  65. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 20:17:19
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    BBF,

    Your post to Paul was quite uncivil and I did not delete it because you both seem to move on from it has now been deleted. However , I do wish to note you are violating forum rules. Please stop, I don't want to have to ban you.

    Note also that asking someone if they have bed bugs and if they'd post a photo for confirmation is not "badmouthing" someone. It's not an insult. Even PMPs can't always ID close relatives like bat bugs or bird bugs and for this reason alone, it never hurts to get a confirmation.

    If you think someone is being uncivil to you, and this goes for everyone, please click FLAG THIS POST FOR MODERATION, type in a quick note explaining what's happening, and let me deal with it. I am the admin and I try to be quite fair.

    However, do not attack others. People who violate the forum rules repeatedly do get banned.

    [post edited 10:42 PM EST]

  66. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Jan 8 2013 23:43:30
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    My post right before this one has been edited. BBF's post attacking Paul has been taken down.

  67. Dave3624

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    Wed Jan 9 2013 1:21:55
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    Good grief... I'm not here to advocate anything or give advice for anything. Nor am I asking for advice on anything other than perhaps comments and critiques on practical application techniques, potential effectiveness, and method of lethality. Anything else is either beating a dead horse or irrelevant to what I'm trying to accomplish here.

    If I could have I would have restricted posting only to myself and the site owner - after all its his sandbox. This is exactly why I abandoned my first thread. I simply dont care if anybody else thinks its a good idea or not. I evaluated the data, made a decision, and proceeded.
    However I do care that there is excessive amounts of verbage that is outside the scope of my intent and would greatly appreciate people restricting their comments to the subject at hand. Please, I'm asking nicely here, no more arguments.

    I'm simply recounting my personal experience with B Bassiana use and getting it out on a forum for public viewing as I'm the first person I know of to use it a home setting (other than spaying on houseplants). Because I'm the first person I thought it may be of value to the BB community at large.

    In hindsight I should have done my experiment, gathered my observations and then posted them all at once. However I have started and intend to finish as I began.

    At any rate,

    Day 7. Two bites, light reapplication of bassiana solution yesterday. I've learned that my sprayer applies far too heavy of a mist - but its what I have on hand.

    Several days of low bite numbers tells me that I am supressing them - which is new. I've never had such a long string of low bite numbers, frankly its a huge relief.
    I have established to my own satisfaction that B bassiana is at least partly effective in a home environment in controlling their numbers. Nor have there been any reactions to close contact with B bassiana spores.
    Its not total elimination but so far its encouraging. The original study did say that it took up to 10 days to eliminate that portion of the harborage that was not directly exposed to the spores and that was in a lab setting. In this (much much larger and complicated) environment it doesnt surprise me that it may take longer or not work at all except as part of a regimen that uses pesticides as well.

    Something else I've noticed, I'm not getting bit sitting on the couch any more either

  68. endless_nightmare

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    Wed Jan 9 2013 3:05:24
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    Blackheart - 7 hours ago  » 
    Sorry BBF, Mr. Bello has always been supportive and very kind to people with BB problems on here, he also never judges anyone, so I disagree entirely. He does seem to have a genuine interest in helping and has a great sense of humor too.
    I'm sure most would agree to this.
    Sam

    I totally agree, his posts also often make me laugh while educating/helping me at the same time.

    I don't think we should forget David Cain also, just go back (way back) in the forum and see how many IDs he has given, how many answers he has given, he has brought piece of mind to a lot of worried folks
    And I must say that stating he would have "a level of controlling personality that's probably not very healthy" is kind of somewhat mean and useless, and from my perception totally innacurate.

    Like Nobugsonme keeps stating, lets be civil. Let's not drive off the experts.

    I must admit that probably like a lot of people I'm also curious about the experiment and I keep reading this soap opera thread, albeit from a distance.

    Andrea
    not a PCO
    Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy/Volunteer
  69. Dave3624

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    Wed Jan 9 2013 23:26:52
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    Day 8

    One bite, small one on my lower leg. I noticed a deader in my sock when I uncased my feet this morning. Heh, that was new too.

    It looks like a 1st or 2nd instar nymph but its so small its hard to tell, and its kind of squished. I'm trying to take a picture but the best that shows up is a dot. We've got some microscopes at work used for looking at extremely fine circuit traces, I dont think they have picture taking capabilities but I'll check.

  70. betty482

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    Wed Jan 9 2013 23:31:59
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    Houston, I think we may be seeing some progress here.

  71. BBF

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 0:07:25
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    buggyinsocal - 3 days ago  » 
    And I don't have any idea about how long a fungus like B bassiana can survive in an indoor environment.

    Not more than 13 days: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/36/6/1082.full.pdf

  72. bedbugsuptown

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 0:21:03
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    its a "euro style" bed that doesnt have a boxspring just a bunch of curved slats and has a million little nooks and crannies and seams, its also impossible to isolate the bed because of the headboard section which is basically a big wooden box. I see them from time to time if I suddenly lift the bed sheets and blankets - little biters are pretty fast too.

    I can't believe I read the whole thread!

    I'm not a scientist Dave3624, and I suck at math. Just wonder why you wouldn't think about getting that 'come n' harbor here' euro-bed wrapped and gone.

    Also, as a bugger that experienced a fairly mild infestation, I (and likely others) would love you to share some pictures of this year old infestation since you still have the bed.

    Please, show us the bugs.

  73. P Bello

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 1:08:56
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    So Dave, I read your more recent post and thought: OK, fair enough.

    As such, I'm listing some comments for your and everyone else's ( is that even a word?) review & consideration:

    > OK, let's assume that for Dave's stated purpose it's OK to conduct this "study"using this formulation.

    > When conducting a study, we design our protocols such that variables and subjectivity are eliminated and we utilize metrics. The fundamental flaw herein is that your study is subject to and includes these very factors that create flawed and non-replicable data.

    > An example of metrics would be to do a pre-treatment count followed by a post treatment count of live or dead bed bugs in certain population/aggregation foci.

    > Reporting results based upon the number of perceived bites alone is significantly flawed for a number of reasons. We don't know if the bites are actual bites. We don't know if the bites are repeat inflamations of previous bites. We don't know if your double counting the bites. We don't know if you missed counting any of the bites that may be present.

    > Note that incorporation of these fundamentals would at least help you to report more reliable and replicable data.

    > I'm not going to comment on the "safety factor" as others have already pretty much beat that subject into the ground however, there is one item of topicality that needs to be mentioned. Do we really know what the result of long term exposure to this formulation is and biological organism actually is ? Ya know, even though you may not see or perceive actual short term mal-effects, this does not necessarily mean that there could be something brewing say, just for fun, within your lung tissue or elsewhere. Just sayin !

    Note to ALL:
    As a long term pest management Industry professional and consultant I do NOT condone nor recommend the use of pesticide products in manners inconsistent with the product label language ! ! !

    Good luck ! paul b.

  74. DougSummersMS

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 2:05:16
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    Let me point out one reason why we will not see approval for bed bugs on the EPA label for Beauveria bassiana fungus anytime soon.

    In order to perform an experiment at any major university or research center in the world,,, ANY use of live subjects (humans and most animals) are subject to extensive reviews by committees that debate the ethical considerations, and safeguards that are necessary to prevent any possibility of harm to a live subject... These committees are sometimes referred to as institutional review boards or IRB's .. It can be an extremely consuming process

    The first publication of an experiment evaluating the efficacy of this material for bed bugs in laboratory was just submitted for publication a few months ago... These university live subject review boards will require substantial evidence that releasing Beauveria bassiana fungus into an indoor environment is safe for the live subjects (Safety of live subjects is a paramount concern of this committee....As it should be).... They will likely comply with EPA protocols which mandate a long course of expensive research that may take years to complete before any human or animal testing is allowed.

    I attended an EPA conference in DC a while back when they were discussing a fast track for labeling "public health pesticides" that would take only five years to complete instead of the usual 7-10 years.

    A product that is already labeled for a different use would be faster, but my point is this ... It may be years before any major universities or research centers will allow the use of human or animal subjects subjects for long term field testing.

    I am not qualified to predict a specific time line here, but I just wanted everyone to appreciate that the responsible institutions will be very conservative and require extensive additional research before any human subject would be utilized in a long term field study.

    IRB approval is usually a really... really long process due to the fact that there are numerous safeguards built into the protocol to prevent harm.

    Support public funding for university programs supporting applied research that is focused on bed bug eradication... If you want to see these type of institutional studies properly funded!!!

    Not looking to be contentious... Just pointing out a few facts about the EPA approval timeline for a label modification on a pesticide product.

  75. theyareoutthere

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 2:14:52
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    I'm also commenting on this fungus and the timeframe for "approval". I know Dave would prefer to limit this to his comments only (and I guess if I'm told to by Nobugs, I won't post here), but to me a forum is about discussion...polite discussion..but discussion none the less..

    Agreed about supporting funding...there are flaws in the current system and bedbugs in the field may behave differently from the lab..but the bottom line is that with medicine or pest control, there are timeframes. We have been focusing on health, but part of it is pocketbook...we want product efficacy..that it works and that it is documented to work under certain conditions. How is efficacy measured? Are all the human variables measured and factored (diet, stress level, health, age, skin type, medical history, etc)? Is efficacy measured by dead bugs? By bite perception (since unless you are like Loubugs and others who record bites..it may look like a bite but not be a bite)? I'll leave that to you science types.

    But health should be the first consideration and then pocketbook. For example, some people have pointed out that it is more expensive and less safe to buy dry ice for a do-it-yourself trap vs. buying a commercial trap on US Bedbugs or some other site. So, there have been studies on the dry ice trap, but there may be pocketbook/wallet reasons not to use it. DIY -even if studied under certain lab conditions-is not always better, cheaper, etc.

    Dave, BBF and others are stating their opinions on this thread. It will be years before the studies are completed. Thanks for the info, Doug!

    Note: I read an interesting article, probably on this site, about 4 subjects that offered to take invectin (did I get that right) for a "first" study on its effectiveness on BBs. It looked at the health risks, time needed to be effective (ok it kills one harborage within 10 days, but will you need to use it 4 or more times to get all harborages), cost vs. other methods available, etc. The article noted that four people is just a first step and not a real study since among other things, you can't determine the impact of other variables with only 4 test subjects.

  76. P Bello

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 9:20:25
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    And just to underscore a previously mentioned point; the "big companies" screen hundreds of thousands of potential products each year for pesticidal activity. Such screening is conducted robotically in a time efficient and verifiable manner. Does this mean that a lone individual cannot come up with a viable control agent before those folks do? No, but it sure does stack the odds against that happening.

    When I was in college studying entomology and pest management the reported development cost to bring a compound from discovery to a packaged formulation ready to market was about $7 MM (that's seven million dollars folks). Today, the current cost is estimated at from about $150 to $200 MM, depending upon who you ask.

    The challenges and barriers that product development entities face each day are significant and burdensome for sure.

    And, just for fun, here's a bonus question:

    Name one current effective insecticide product that was discovered, developed and brought to market by an individual and not a significant company/entity.

    It is what it is.

    Have a nice day ! paul b.

  77. EffeCi

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 12:01:42
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    Today, the current cost is estimated at from about $150 to $200 MM, depending upon who you ask.

    And it takes at least 5 years to be done.
    Bedbugs often need less time to became resistant...

  78. betty482

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 14:19:36
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    Interesting how an attempt to be positive brings out the negative.

  79. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Jan 10 2013 15:01:40
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    Dear betty,

    Yes, I can see how you and others might view this as "an attempt to bring out the positive" however, we, as professionals, who by the way have legitimate first hand experience in many facets of the issue at hand, are only making comments and asking questions that need to be considered when such trial work is being contemplated, planned and conducted.

    Here, the basic fundamentals are missing.

    Will this product & "trial" deliver actual valid data as presented? No. It cannot due to the flaws in design underscored above.

    My intention is NOT to throw the proverbial "wet blanket" or rain on anyone's parade here.

    However, even if at the conclusion of this "trial" our friend dave reports "zero bites", please consider and ask yourself this question: " what has actually been proven? "

    Valid and replicable studies conducted in this arena are subject to the "scientific method" which takes into account many aspects of the planning & testing process. Simply stated, there are too many missing factors and variables for the resulting data to be viewed as anything more than "an interesting story" by folks who are known as scientists.

    I'm sorry if this hurts anyone's feelings or somehow takes the bloom off the rose here but, it is what it is.

    Conversely, I hope dave is 100% successful such that he can then look at this with a more scientific perspective because, even if he is 100% successful, the "next page" of his journey with this "product" presents a significant challenge.

    Additionally, the online bed bug retail is "chok full" of "sensational products" with miraculous perfomance claims and recently the ftc folks are removing these products one by one from the market because, despite their successful testing data, they simply don't work as advertised.

    If you have bed bugs, folks such as myself and others are happy to provide you assistance through this Forum at no cost to you, however, I'd hate to see you or anyone else get their hopes up regarding this "product" as represented here for numerous pertinent reasons that my education and experience indicate to me as a responsible professional and industry steward.

    And, if this makes me a "bad person" in your eyes, I'm sorry for as long as I tell the truth I'll never have to remember what I've said and it is with bed bug victims in mind that I make these comments and assertions opposite this thread and the subject matter therein.

    Have a nice day ! paul b.

  80. EffeCi

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 15:51:35
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    Exactly my thoughts about that...

  81. P Bello

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 16:06:52
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    Wow, effeci, now I know you're in fact a genious for sure my friend ! ! !

    Just sayin . . . pjb

  82. buggyinsocal

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    I don't have graduate level training in science, but I'm not so sure it's super convincing to people to generalize about the lifespan of the fungus from a study on how long it survived in a greenhouse to how long it can survive in a residence. I know that the only graduate level methodology I ever got close to was in the social sciences, but it feels to me like a greenhouse is (and a greenhouse with UV blocking materials) is going to be a very, very different environment than someone's home--which will have some spots that are much darker than a greenhouse and others with a lot more UV exposure.

    (To be fair, I only skimmed the article. I only skimmed it because there's a reason I fled to the humanities despite having worked in public health research--and a lot of that reason was not enjoying reading hard and social sciences peer reviewed research most of the time.)

    Re: IRBs. In the time I've been dealing with IRBs on some level (starting in 1993 to present), my sense is that IRBs in the United States have really only gotten more conservative when it comes to what they want to review and how long it takes to get things approved. When I started grad school, plenty of humanities and social science PhD students were doing surveys of "human subjects" and didn't have to go through IRB approval. Now many university campuses require undergrads doing surveys as part of classwork to undergo a process (a process that is designed to work with quantitative hard science research much more efficiently than with, say, anthropological or sociological research, but that's another gripe for another day).

  83. bedbugsuptown

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 20:08:34
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    Jeeze Louise she's smart.

  84. Louise

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 20:46:46
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    bedbugsuptown - 39 minutes ago  » 
    Jeeze Louise she's smart.

    Yes, bbuptown, I quite agree.

    Brilliant, really, our buggyinsocal is.

    Louise

    (I realize you weren't specifically addressing me above, but I thought I'd respond anyway...)

  85. theyareoutthere

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    Thu Jan 10 2013 20:54:16
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    I could reread Buggyinsocal's posts and learn something new with each read. Some folks try to be smart (me) and some folks are the real deal (Buggy) and some folks are the class clown with high emotional intelligence (Paul Bello) and some folks have high IQs, formal learning, and emotional intelligence/empathy (Buggyinsocal again).

    She can never leave this forum again!

    Even with the length of time with IRBs, I'll wait for a few studies to be complete...thank you very much...

  86. BBF

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    Fri Jan 11 2013 10:49:52
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    buggyinsocal - 16 hours ago  » 
    I don't have graduate level training in science, but I'm not so sure it's super convincing to people to generalize about the lifespan of the fungus from a study on how long it survived in a greenhouse to how long it can survive in a residence.

    In my humble opinion, it should not require a lot of training in science to come to a conclusion that the lifespan of spores under less-than-perfect conditions (low humidity, no soil, etc.) in the residence can not reasonably be any greater than the lifespan under optimal conditions (13 days in the greenhouse).

  87. P Bello

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    Fri Jan 11 2013 13:45:45
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    The pertinent point regarding this one aspect of the situation is that the local conditions are very different and may effect the outcome.

    This is why basic fundamental protocol design seeks to eliminate as many variables as possible.

    And, while this entire "ladies man 217 thing" (you may need to trace way back to that transformers movie reference above) may be fun to "kick around" there are so many inherent flaws that what ever results are attained cannot be viewed as reliable for various aforementioned (that means they were stated previously, shh, I'm splaining for those readers from bama) reasons.

    Have a nice day ! paul b.

  88. Dave3624

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    Fri Jan 11 2013 19:51:35
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    Day 9 and 10 (got busy yesterday)

    Nothing to report, no bites (!!). The microscope at work doesnt take pictures - in fact it hadnt been turned on in so long I had to fix it just to turn it on. Also discovered that bugs dont travel well in a ziplock bag in a coat pocket.

    I've stayed in the bed because I dont want them to wander and scatter.

    And no, I'm not a scientist - I'm an engineer. And this is not a double-blind controlled study. However it is a data point.

  89. Dave3624

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    Sun Jan 13 2013 17:40:05
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    Day 11 and 12
    No bites, I think. One small red dot this morning that wasnt very itchy on my side, about 5mm across. Could be anything.

    Discovered the hard way to make sure you empty out the sprayer after use. Not only do the spores die after 24 hours in the water they turn putrid after a week. Oh boy did that stink - like old urine.

    Lessons learned: after spraying dont forget to empty out and rinse sprayer.

    To further expound on my use of numbers of bites as my metric - I think its perfectly valid. In a home environment there is no other metric that can be used.

    In the end the goal is "Am I getting chewed on; Yes or No?" and "Will they come back; Yes or No"

    There hasnt been enough time to really call it, but it's looking pretty good.

  90. Blackheart

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    Sun Jan 13 2013 18:02:15
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    Wishing you well Dave, DEATH to Bed bugs, damn them every single one!

  91. Dave3624

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    Tue Jan 15 2013 23:43:02
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    Day 13 and 14

    No bites, 2 nights ago I washed all the bedding and this time did NOT reapply anything to the the fitted sheet on the side of the mattress.

    I also quit covering my feet with tyvek booties at night since that seems to be their favored target.

    Not a damn thing happened. Its the first time I've slept without a "ring of death" around me. The lack of harsh insecticides around me is a welcome relief - and I havent had a nosebleed since I started with B bassiana.

    Its a hell of an improvement. I'm almost giddy.

  92. po2

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    Sun Jan 27 2013 22:45:47
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    Hi Dave - Any updates?

  93. Dave3624

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 11:50:23
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    Okay, its been a full month.

    B bassiana is an unqualified success. All rooms and all furniture have been cleared, I'm not getting bitten at all anywhere in the house.

    Nobody in the house, including my wife who is a kidney transplant patient has had any reaction to the fungus spores.
    This is in stark contrast to the difficulties we had with the insecticides; bloody noses (me), skin rashes (son), and headaches (me) the chemicals were giving us. And this spore solution is odorless unlike some of the stinks from the insecticides we've been living with.

    I even once got a face full of solution mist when, after applying the second time, I unscrewed the handle/pump and the release of residual pressure sprayed a fine mist of solution over my upper chest and face. I was wearing a mask at the time so I didnt breath any of it but other than that my skin had a fine coating of solution from my hairline on down.

    Even though I'd been using greater and greater levels of various insecticides we had been tortured by bites for almost a year.
    1 application of spores and 1 followup 8 days later killed them all, and they havent come back.

    This is an important point: NOTHING was working for almost a YEAR until I tried this.

    Lessons learned:
    - A little bit goes a long way, use a very fine mist when applying, its very easy to over-apply using a garden sprayer.
    - Empty out the sprayer within a day after use, the spores die when suspended in water after 24 hours and they make an ungodly stink when they do.

  94. Koebner

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 12:47:59
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    Just because many people don't read entire threads, I'd like to point out, once again, that this is not a competently-designed experiment with verifiable results that could be applied to other people's bed bug issues.

    The OP has never posted any photos of the insects he believes to be troubling him so we, as forum users can have no way of knowing if he does have bed bugs, or, if like thousands before him, he's at war with the wrong problem. At the very least it's important to rule out bat bugs & swift bugs when a problem persits for so long.

    He has access to propoxur but his problem persisted after treatment - this makes me wonder if he may have some gaps in his understanding of bed bug behaviour & biology. The problem could simply be one of re-introduction. Understanding BBs properly really is the fast track to erdication.

    It also troubles me when amateurs self-treat with carcinogenic neurotoxins such as propoxur - for obvious reasons.

    Safety legislation around pesticides (of all kinds) is strict with very good reason & just because something is naturally occuring that doesn't make it safe for domestic environments - honey badgers are naturally occurring but I sure as hell don't want one in my bedroom.

    We simply don't know what the longterm effects of introducing beauvaria bassiana into a dwelling may be. In vivo is not the first best place to find out. Just think of the legions of mould & fungal hazards we do know of, like rhizopus oryzae, that will live in your drywall & never trouble a healthy individual, but should an occupant of an affected property find themselves imunocompromised due to illness or medication, those previously untroublesome spores will set about feasting on that person's bones. It tends to eat facial bones first as inhalation is its route into the body.

    Messing about with beauvaria is not just a risky plan for the OP but could have unforeseen negative consequences for others. The precautionary principle is especially important when working with things that have the ability to live, thrive & mutiply long after application.

  95. Dave3624

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 14:02:53
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    The safety concerns have been stated and re-stated. Fair enough - it has not been approved for use indoors for other than houseplants and I can understand the concern.

    However I did a month long extensive research prior to my use and I'd like to counter with:

    Beauveria bassiana has been use for decades in close contact with humans as an agricultural insect control product and its safety has been studied extensively and passed with flying colors.

    B bassiana is routinely sprayed directly on livestock (chickens, horses, sheep, etc) with no ill effects, again safety studies have passed it with flying colors.

    Almost all humans on the planet have already been exposed to B bassiana, it is in soils worldwide. If you've ever gotten muddy you've already been exposed to it. In fact I'd be willing to bet you already have trace amounts of b bassiana in your home that has been tracked in on footwear. The exception being deep desert dwellers.

    Its true that anything can trigger an allergic reaction, I submit that people are more likely to have an allergic reaction to insecticides - or for that matter the wood in their furniture. The published data supports this.

    B bassiana only infects insects, as far as its concerned humans might as well as be made of plastic.

    This is not a mold, it's a fungus; molds are actively growing fungus biofilms with active fruiting bodies that are releasing airborne spores. B bassiana is a dormant spore that only triggers when in contact with chitin (bug exoskeloton) that then bores a hole in the bug using enzymes and then grows inside the insect thus killing it. In high humidity conditions (like in a bed bug harborage) it can then grown back out through the bug chitin and produce spore bodies.
    To restate; B bassiana will not produce large amounts of floating spores, it must have insects to grow and reproduce otherwise it dies within 5-6 weeks. Also, Botanigard WP has a sticking agent added to it which prevents your mechanically applied spray from becoming airborne after it dries.

    B bassiana is self-limiting; no bugs - no spores, and even if spores are released they are in very limited amounts in very specific locations.

    The already published safety data is so overwhelming that safety arguments are specious at best. If you dont believe me go look it up. The only reason its not approved for indoor use is because it hasnt had a indoor application yet.

    Furthermore, I am absolutely confident that I had bed bugs. You can believe me or not as you wish.
    However it doesnt even matter what ever kind of bug I had, it could have been green martian alien soul-sucking bugs, the point is that we had a infestation producing big itchy welts for almost a year and b bassiana killed it in two weeks when nothing else, including a PCO, worked.

    The one thing that B bassiana does that NOTHING else does is go back to the harborage and kill bed bugs that never had direct contact with the applied spray.

    FWIW in my opinion this is a game-changer and the regulatory environment will soon catch up.

    The only valid argument is "will this work" to which I can only reply "well, it worked for me."

  96. Koebner

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 14:12:16
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    My comments were not directed to you but to other, non-invested readers.

    It is important that other potential readers of this thread be sufficiently warned that your activities are risky & lamentably ill-advised. That you are unable to accept this says a great deal about the perils of confirmation bias. http://www.skepdic.com/confirmbias.html

  97. bed-bugscouk

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 14:39:50
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    Hi,

    To have bedbugs for so long there would have to be a significant amount of faecal material. I will happily send you a Bed Bug Blue kit to confirm any of them with photographic evidence which I would happily use to confirm you had bedbugs.

    Without proof positive all you can actually say is that to date you have had an issue which appears to have included a reaction to chemicals used in your home and have found that spraying something else has halted it.

    Without proof this scenario is also possible with carpet beetle hairs or numerous other non insect causes.

    Set all other issues aside and make sure you got step 1 right and confirm the target species.

    David

  98. theyareoutthere

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 14:40:39
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    Nov 2012 science daily says researchers are two steps away from field trials. Off label use is not recommended, and the researchers haven't even tried field testing...where it is measured by more than self reported issues that could be something other than bedbugs.

    A month is too early to know if its working and you did an offlabel use in home.

  99. rs1971

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    Sat Feb 2 2013 16:47:33
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    I don't share many of the others outrage over the fact that an adult might have the temerity to (gasp!) make his own informed decisions about the treatment method he pursues and have followed your updates with interest. I do agree with your critics though that after a year long infestation, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding evidence, even if all of the past pesticide application had served to at least keep the population in check.

    They are small but not invisible and at a very minimum you should be able to find fecal which you could test with bed bug blue. You wouldn't believe the number of posters who show up on this board convinced that they have bed bugs, only to find out that they don't. I would be interested in seeing some kind of photo documentation of your evidence / bed bug blue test results. Given all of the time that you've already invested in this project, this would be a pretty small addition.

  100. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Feb 3 2013 4:35:49
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    rs1971 said,

    I don't share many of the others outrage over the fact that an adult might have the temerity to (gasp!) make his own informed decisions about the treatment method he pursues and have followed your updates with interest.

    As long as a treatment is known to be safe and effective if used properly, I have no issues with what kinds of treatments people choose. But I'm not sure it's possible to make an informed decision about a product which has not been field tested indoors for killing bed bugs. I guess it depends on how you define "informed decision."

    I should frame this by saying I was amenable to Dave sharing his experience as long as he did not encourage others to do so or try to give them instructions. The "lessons learned" portion of Dave's post above kind of steps into the realm of "giving instructions".

    I understand and respect the ideal of the internet as a place where people can share any kind of idea and others can make reasonable decisions about whether to follow someone else's model.

    I also understand the desire to share any kind of information about something which hasn't been fully tested formally yet in a field setting. People are desperate for an easy solution to a problem which can cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to solve. I totally get that.

    However, as others have noted in these discussions, I also understand that bed bugs (and even just thinking you have bed bugs, even there's no visual evidence) can make people desperate. We frequently hear of people doing things which may not be safe and which may not be effective or can even be known to be ineffective.

    We also hear regularly of people implementing all kind of plans extremely quickly after deciding they have bed bugs, often in the absence of much if any research, often in the absence of visual confirmation they even have a bed bug issue.

    The reason warnings have been repeated over and over is because we know people don't always do extensive research. We know this because we hear from people who toss out their beds and belongings the day they break out in a rash of unknown origin.

    And we're worried about those folks. People who are sleep deprived and desperate and looking for any promise of an easy solution. That's where many of us are coming from with this discussion (and I'm referring here to not just this thread but others on B. Bassiana). And that's why people aren't willing to just say, "hey, let people make up their own minds."

    Speaking for myself, it's not at all "outrage" (as rs1971 put it) against Dave's choice. Dave's doing what Dave's doing, having heard our concerns.

    The response, to me, is more about a concern that this choice may have as-yet-unforeseen consequences, and Dave's description of his experience may be assumed by readers to prove more than it can actually prove (given that we can't really be sure there were bed bugs killed in this procedure, and given that he can't know whether there will be any long-term consequences).

    And Dave, I stress that saying this is not an accusation that you're not telling the truth about having had bed bugs. It's about what we (those of us out here in the internets) can and can't know, from where we are. We can't know how this decision will affect you long-term.

    Once the method has been field tested, I think it will be easier for readers to make an informed decision.

    None of this is to prolong any kind of argument, but I do want to express where I am and am not coming from.

    Again, I strongly urge people reading this not to experiment with this treatment until it has been field tested and proven to be safe and effective for indoor use in treating bed bugs.

  101. P Bello

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    Sun Feb 3 2013 9:07:12
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    OR, we can do this.

    If this Bb stuff really, really works as reported above; I say, "Let's really test it!"

    In fact, I'm 100% in favor in working with you on this verification/confirmation project ! ! !

    Below is a hint of how we might conduct this confirmation/verification test. Note that I'll provide a usual GLP type written protocol within the shipment.

    Please provide your ship to address.

    I'll ship you 100 live bed bugs of various ages, mixed gender plus 50 viable eggs.

    Disperse the bed bugs within your home such that approximately 75% to 80% are located in the bedrooms and 20% to 25% are located in the den/livingroom.

    Record the date, time, quantity and location of all dispersal points.

    Then, over the next few weeks keep us updated with your observations and data.

    Be sure to record:

    > Number of bed bugs found each day in various locations, say, your bed, bed frame, box spring, couch, EZ chair, etc.

    > Strategically place some monitor traps and record counts therein.

    > Record bites, if any.

    > Record numbers of eggs found, if viable, if hatched, etc.

    > Record gender and approximate age of all bed bugs captured.

    > And, since we want to know for sure if this Bb stuff works on an International scale, we'll recruit our International Colleagues as well to provide an equivalent shipment. As such, we can Effeci send live bed bugs & eggs from Italy, Sean to send some from Canadia and DC to send some from the UK.

    The way I figure it, there is sooooooo much Bb applied and established within this location that these bed bugs don't stand a chance.

    Right?

    It's really great to know that there's folks out there who will sacrifice their time and excellent efforts in the development process to discover and inform fellow bed bug sufferes of the key answers they seek and the new bed bug silver bullet !

    Well done, I'll alert the media !

    Just sayin . . .

    (Note to sane people: Yes, the above post is a sarcastic comment/statement. In fact, it's rediculous. And, it's even more rediculous to think that this Bb material is going to be any way nearly as effective as any of the currently labeled efficacious bed bug products. However, please note that there is no currently available bed bug silver bullet product ! )

    Have a nice day ! pjb

  102. rs1971

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    Sun Feb 3 2013 12:36:04
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    P Bello - 3 hours ago  » 
    Yes, the above post is a sarcastic comment/statement.

    In addition to being sarcastic it was also quite pointless and arbitrary since Dave has never claimed to have done any of this under any kind of scientifically rigorous conditions. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he's admitted just the opposite.

    P Bello - 3 hours ago  » 
    In fact, it's rediculous. And, it's even more rediculous to think that this Bb material is going to be any way nearly as effective as any of the currently labeled efficacious bed bug products.

    Why is it ridiculous to think that Beauveria bassiana is going to be in any way nearly as effective as any of the currently labeled efficacious bed bug products?