Need guidance about DDVP strips/hot shot strips(10 posts)
OK, so I just moved into a new apartment. I had a K9 inspection, and the dog alerted to two (and only two!) bags I brought with me. The contents of those bags were stacks of files that had been sitting near my computer desk (one of the areas the bugs apparently got to). I put them through the packtite, but I"m not completely surprised that they didn't heat all the way through. In any case, I'm using hot shot strips in those bags, perhaps heat treating one more time, and if nothing else, I'll stick them in the freezer for a month! LOL The dog handler suggested putting one file at a time in the microwave. Not sure if that's a bright idea or not.
But here's my real problem and real question: The dog, tired as it was, then came to my office. My office is pretty small -- about 8 feet wide and maybe 15 feet long, but it's full of books and files. The dog went through 4 times and did not alert, and just as the handler was telling me he thought my office was clear, the dog alerted to one box. We unpacked that box, and put the files into a ziploc bag I had handy. We inspecte along the way, and saw no signs of fecal matter, no eggs, no critters. The handler then carefully collapsed the box, which we put into another ziploc bag. We put the bag in one corner of the room, and the dog alerted once again to the box in the bag. And THEN the dog alerted yet again to another cardboard box in the office.
SO, here's my quandry: If I want to be thorough, I should bag those boxes, plus the others (about 3 more), and perhaps also bag all of my books on the book shelves -- easily 1,000 books. And then there is my chair, all the files in the file cabinets, etc. If I bagged and put hot shot strips (or 1/4 of a hot shot strip) and left them for 10-14 days, I'm told that should do the job. But then, there is still the carpet, the base boards, and all the other places where bugs might possibly be hiding.
Instead, if I closed up my office for 10-14 days, could i put one hot shot strip into the room and let it work that way? I could guarantee that nobody else would go into my office during the duration of the treatment. Would that have the same efficacy as sealing everything in bags and treating each bag?
I would not microwave papers or books, but you might use a Packtite to heat treat them. This is probably easier to monitor than a freezer and faster too.
DDVP is controversial and potentially dangerous -- especially for non-professionals. As you know, there have been previous discussions here. People who do recommend DDVP strips seem to suggest using them only in closed bags. I would strongly recommend you do not take just anyone's advice about whether it's safe to use them in an indoor office.
Entomologist Jeff White (JWhiteBBCTV on the forums) is a fan of DDVP strips and I would address any questions to him.
(You can PM JWhiteBBCTV or other users by going to Private Messages, clicking new message, and then using the drop down menu to choose a recipient for a PM -- it takes a bit of time to load.)
This is one of Jeff's BBCTV videos about using DDVP strips. It does not cover the usage you suggest, but again, I would suggest going to an expert on this one.
I need some feedback on "whether to DDVP or not to DDVP -- that is the question."
(Nerdy Hamlet reference...)
Anyway, it's about wooden furniture:
We have a dresser, desk, dining table, and wood chest we'd like to save and possibly bring with us to our new place in 3 weeks.
Should we A) Disassemble and WASH/soak these items in the tub with hot water and murphy's oil soap, and dry them there with the hair dryer, bag them there in giant bags, and remove them right away from the apartment to the truck, sealed? Is that enough?
or B) Should we bag them with DDVP? And if we do, in terms of circulation, should we bag up the drawers separately, for example, or can we just put the units back together?
Should we do both A & B?
We plan to start this in the next couple of days, so any advice would be invaluable.
Jim is a good source for information on the proper use of DDVP
He is likely to be reluctant to provide advice about off- label uses for obvious reasons.
Consider hiring a PCO that is experienced with using DDVP for decontaminating the items in question.
Consult the manufacturers of DDVP products labeled for bed bugs such as Amvac (Nuvon Pro-strips) for information on proper dosage and treatment intervals for the conditions that will be present during treatment.
Use the strips in a fashion that fits the label.
Depending on which brand that you are using... the label will list unoccupied areas like garages, storage rooms, closets, vacation (unoccupied) homes, attics, ect where the product can safely be used... a 10x10x12 or smaller storage room could be treated at label rates with a 65 gram strip.
The DDVP strip should be placed high... the vapors are heavier than air. It is a fumigant, but it does not penetrate taped boxes or areas where the air cannot circulate freely like Vikane gas... pack anything to be treated loosely in a manner that will allow air to circulate through the contents. Note restrictions on food, prep areas ect.
I'm a big fan of disassembly. Reason is whatever you can eliminate and not depend on the DDVP or other method of kill is best.
If you take apart the furniture 2 things are accomplished. First and foremost you may find nests, have a contact killer to deal with the bugs, then use heat or steam to deal with the eggs. This is war and no mercy is given. You annihilate what you can and let the fumigant bat clean up. I had a whole thread long ago about assembling furniture and making them BB resistant. So consider that but bear in mind dusts precautions.
The other thing you accomplish with disassembly and cleaning is removing those darn cast skins or dead bugs that may fall out months later and spook you.
i'm about as big a DDVP fan as they come -and yet i second jim's advice for disassembly and thorough inspection and cleaning. DDVP is the best option when you CAN'T take something apart (like a book or a shoe, or in my case, a sofa frame).
if you're going to bag bits that cannot be disassembled (like the drawers) then i would bag them separately with a strip in each bag (nuvan makes small strips for bag sized things). you must TIGHTLY airseal each bag. knotting is not enough. cable zipties are best for holding the quantities of air in that you need. you want lots of airspace around the item in the bag -this is why i did not bag my sofa frame but instead resorted to tarping off my whole living room.
if you're going to use it in your "treatment shed" (which i still think is genius, btw)-i would definitely pack the shed loosely, hang the strips *high* and put in one or two small battery powered fans in the shed for air circulation. when i tarped off my living room, that is exactly what i did. and i would disassemble the furniture as much as possible before storing in the shed (e.g., drawers removed from dressers, etc) again to make sure everything is exposed to the vapors. also, i would add an extra strip -remember calculate the cubic volume of the shed to get the strip size you need, be conservative, those sheds are not airtight after all. then add one extra strip. no one goes in the shed until you're ready to air it out in 3 weeks, and then i'd wear a pesticide respirator just to be safe, immediately put the used strips in a heavy duty ziplock bag, lock it, and throw them away outside.
good luck and keep us posted!
Thanks for all this info, spidey and chicago. I was a bit of the mark with some things, and it will make a big difference for sure (ie, I need those zip ties)
We haven't decided on the shed thing yet. We're in this apartment for 3 more weeks, so I think we could achieve the same thing here (with DDVP strips in bags, not open in the room - I am not as brave as you wchicago).
Will let you know which way we go!
Actually, Jeff White does not promote the use of Nuvon strips ... even by PCOs.
Tomy001 - 4 hours ago »
Actually, Jeff White does not promote the use of Nuvon strips ... even by PCOs.
Thanks for updating me. The thing about forum posts is that they become outdated.
At the time the posts above were written (2.5 years ago as you can see), I believe Jeff was quite positive about DDVp strips.
The two videos above have been removed from YouTube.
I would be interested in hearing more about his current thoughts.
Hmm. actually, the video below is still on YouTube and on the Bed Bug Central website.
Here's what seems to be the most recent video (5/4/2010):
I would assume Jeff would remove these posts if he had changed his views this product. So please tell us more about your source of information, thanks!
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