My miniature thermal chamber(9 posts)
Okay so many of you know I'm planning on moving due to my terrible landlord and manager (whole other can of worms there but let's not open it right now) -- I have been bite-free for a month now which makes me cautiously optimistic. I realize I'm still not in the clear . . . but I devised a plan for what to do with my belongings and came up with a makeshift "thermal treatment."
I am an art teacher at an elementary school, so you know what I have in my classroom? A KILN! It is in its own separate closet which is fire-proof and well-ventilated. I am slowly bagging up belongings and bringing them carefully into my kiln room. I'm setting things out and firing my kiln at the lowest possible setting (which is like 1200 degrees!) for a few hours. This has the benefit of heating up my kiln room -- turning it into a miniature thermal chamber. I can control the vent to set the temperature, so I have been setting it to only vent when the temperature in the room reaches over 120 degrees.
Anyway, starting small for now . . . my larger furniture is problematic because there is simply no easy way for me to transport it in my car, and some cannot be disassembled. But for now I'm pleased with the miniature thermal chamber in my classroom.
Good for you!
That will work well, as long as you are distributing your possesions in such a fashion that the INTERNAL temperatures are reaching 120F for three hours. For example if you have a suitcase full of clothes, the INTERNAL temperature of the clothes (which are great insulators so it isn't as easy as you would think)needs to reach the thermal death point.
Good Luck! And be careful.
I like this idea. Very creative. I also thought of bringing possessions into a sauna. If I designed a new home and bedbugs were a huge issue, I think I'd have a sauna like an air-lock at the entrance and anything coming into the house would have to be baked in the sauna first.
Stamps, you have the best wishes of all of us for a successful move to your new bedbug-free residence. From the information on this website, you know how to make a bedbug-free move.
Here's a suggestion for the heat treatment. Place a wireless outside-thermometer in the middle of the things in the suitcase. This will allow the temperature in the middle of the suitcase to be seen on an indicator outside the suitcase.
If you want to do this, when you buy the wireless outside-thermometer, make sure it has two parts. One will be placed inside the suitcase; the other part will be a digital indicator for outside the suitcase. (Normally, these go inside and outside a home.)
You need wireless, not wire-connected parts.
I don't think the heat will weaken the battery on the part inside the suitcase. It gets close to 120 degrees on a hot summer day, and I think it will be designed for that. If you look up TE109L on Google.com, the characteristics of one type will be given. It is good up to 158 degrees F.
'Outside thermometer' on ebay will show what is available there. Be sure to buy only new stuff from ebay. Even then, the packing or box might have bedbugs, so it would be best to open the box outdoors and leave the box and packing outdoors to dispose of later.
You can use the same suitcase over and over again. It will be debugged on the first run.
Women become attached to their furniture -- it is part of their home. But my advice on your furniture is scrap it all (in a bedbug-responsible manner, of course). You know the procedure - smash and deface everything, cut open all upholstry panels, saw off wooden parts that are accessible. Use bolt cutters to cut the main outer wire frame of the mattress in several places, top and bottom. And label it all 'bedbugs'
Just buy low-cost furniture for your new place, including flat-pack furniture. And it wouldn't do any harm to dust some DE around in your new place, just in case one of the bastards manages to sneak through in spite of your precautions. And fill in the gaps between pieces of assembled flat-pack furniture with silicon sealant or caulking.
Again, best wishes on the move.
As stated the core temperature of your items must be over 120 for at least twenty minutes
or longer. You might consider a hand held infrared thermometer $50 - 70 to be sure your methods are successful.
"Women become attached to their furniture -- it is part of their home. But my advice on your furniture is scrap it all (in a bedbug-responsible manner, of course). You know the procedure - smash and deface everything, cut open all upholstry panels, saw off wooden parts that are accessible. Use bolt cutters to cut the main outer wire frame of the mattress in several places, top and bottom. And label it all 'bedbugs'"
Actually, bugless, experts on bed bugs do not recommend scrapping your furniture. It is often not necessary. Certainly not for mattresses. Wooden furniture can be sprayed and treated, and other items are often cleanable.
I'm not sure how "women" figure into it. Bed bugs are expensive and we do not need to discard things for the sake of it.
Duly noted about the temperature needing to reach 120 in the core of things. I think the things I am currently treating should be okay . . . a lot of it is books and artwork (paintings on large masonite panels). I read some of these posts at work today and realized my temperature control doesn't allow my kiln room to get above 120 degrees (I think the only reason it even goes up that high is to allow the clay to transition more quickly from wet clay to greenware before firing). So I'm puttering around in the kiln room and realize I can take the box off of the vent control, looked inside to see how it operates, and I can probably override it if need be although I am definitely nervous about that.
My problem is that the kiln is quite old -- not sure how many people on here have ceramics experience -- so it doesn't have digital stops or anything terribly precise. It's also a beast, a big chunk of iron with firebrick inside, so it retains heat for a long long time. I'd feel much more comfortable overriding the vent switch with a digital kiln that has safeguards built in. I really don't want to risk burning down the school. Hmmmm. Will continue with this plan for small things that don't have a lot of insulation & will rethink ideas for bulkier pieces.
My understanding is also that the change in temps from normal to 120 has to happen fairly quickly.
good point . . . I think it would be a good idea to set the kiln and let it heat up, run home and get things that are already bagged up, drive back to school and set them in the preheated room.
Irritating how something so small can make every aspect of my life have 10x more steps than it needs to . . .
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