Need Some Advice on my situation and what I should do- involves freezing(15 posts)
I'm moving at the end of October and have been living with bed bugs for over a year now. I'm moving into my parents house and I do not want to bring these things with me so I've got a plan.
I'm sealing everything in my apartment in plastic tubs and trash bags (using packing tape to seal everything) except for my clothes, which I will be washing and immediately putting in suitcases and then sealing with trash bags and packing tape. The majority of my stuff will be put in a non-heated storage facility and I think my parents are expecting the seasonal temperature to kill these the bugs. The average winter temperature in that place is 20 F. From what I've been reading that doesn't seem to be low enough to kill them, but they will be in storage for at least three months...probably closer to five, though. Once I get home, I'll be washing my clothes in hot and drying them again once they are unsealed which should take care of it.
Does anyone know if that will even make a dent in my problem? What should I do after I pull everything out of storage?
This is another problem: I'm having a hard time getting my parents to understand how hard getting rid of these little jerks is. They seem to think that throwing out my mattress will fix the problem and are just putting my stuff in storage to humor me, really, no matter what I tell them. I'm worried that once my stuff is brought out of storage they are going to get bed bugs and then I'm going to feel horrible because they'll need to get their entire house treated. I've been trying to make them understand for MONTHS and they just won't listen to me, they don't understand what living with bed bugs is like and that you get rid of them just like cockroaches or other common insects.
Is there anything I can do in the interim of putting my stuff in storage and taking it out that will help reduce the problem when it eventually resurfaces (I have a horrible feeling it will)? Like buying DE? Or spraying with a certain pesticide in my room? I've heard that spraying pesticides is a waste of time because you have to spray them directly onto the bed bugs. Should I spray my futon and other pieces of furniture when I put it in storage so I'm hitting them with cold temperatures and pesticides at the same time? I'd like to hear your thoughts specifically on that approach and if you think it will work. Do you have any pesticide recommendations (I have a cat and a dog in case that's important), keep in mind if I spray it directly on my bed bug infested futon, it will not be brought into my house for 3-5 months and might have time to dissipate?
I could really use your help!
(I bolded the things I felt were the most important since my post was kind of long, sorry if it came off as rude)
Just thought I'd post an update on my plan.
After talking to my dad, we're going to put my stuff in storage to try freezing the bugs for four months. I'm also looking into DE and a pesticide that we can apply while it's in storage.
Does anyone have any suggestions on the best pesticide to use? I'm looking for one that can be sprayed directly onto furniture, specifically, couch cushions and futons. Does anyone know any suggestions or where I can go to get this information? I've been searching online for hours and I'm coming up empty.
Also what is the best way to apply DE to furniture?
Will freezing temperatures kill bed bug eggs? I'm finding a lot of stuff online that says bed bugs will die if they are exposed to freezing temperatures for long periods of time, but none of the sources mention the eggs.
Health Canada recommends keeping articles outdoors in freezing temepratures for 4 days. A PCO I spoke to said no way. This is the information I got from a professor at a university
"This is a common question, and I don't know why the exterminators persist in their belief that cold is not effective in killing bed bugs. Robert Usinger demonstrated many years ago that bed bugs have no cold-resistant stage, but his experiments have been redone and expanded. For example, J.B. Benoit and colleagues published a paper in 2009 (Medical and Veterinary Entomology 23: 418-425), in which the state, "Thus, this species (they are referring to the bed bug) cannot tolerate freezing temperatures...Neither cold acclimation ... nor dehydration enhanced cold tolerance." They found that all bugs were killed after one hour at -16C. I think Health Canada is correct in their recommendations. "
Here's another response from Steve Kells
"I do not trust the variability of outdoor (cold or hot temperatures). There are a number of reasons for this. Research in Australia shows that items wrapped in black plastic and placed in the sun do not control bed bugs."
Outdoor freeze treatments may not be the answer because one can't control temperatures because of weather variations or the impact of the sun-think of ice melting on a roof while the ambient air temperature is below freezing. Still, wher I live we do get some pretty nasty and consistent temperatures of -25-30 C, even during the day and far less at night. Seems that should kill them.
An upright freezer might be the answer for smaller items. .
hum, i would think freezing would do it. what about the drier? i've been putting in my already dry clothes for 30 minutes and then putting them in bags or storage bins until either i want to use them or the bugs are gone. good idea??? doesn't work? that's the advice i've been given....
Since you're going to put your stuff in storage for a few months....why not also put the stuff in bags and put in some nuvan strips?
The inquiry was in respect of a futon and furniture so the dryer is not going to be helpful for those large items.
Take a look at this study by Richard Naylor that deals with dryers and home freezers.
Again, this is not helpful for large items.
I also got this reply from Dr Wang at Rutgers University:
"Placing items in household freezer for 4 days can kill all stages of bed bugs in our studies. I am not sure whether outdoor freezing temperatures will do the same because the sun irradiation. You can also use dryers (low to high settings) to kill non-washable items."
There are large portable heated containers designed for killing bed bugs in my area in which one can one can cook furniture but I have no idea what the cost is. The source is Poulins .
It is an interesting subject and I said to nobugsonme I would flag a few posts with updated info on freezing. That was because the FAQ seems to mainly be from 2007 and maybe could use some updating with all this new research and new info. I started a thread with about the same questions, so I put some of the links I´ve found here.
Remember ; I am NOT an expert or educated on this subject at all. This is just different info, advice and research I´ve found on the web ! But at least it´s info from people that I hope knows what they are talking about
But I leave it to the wise and experienced people and moderators on ths forum to judge if it´s worth enough and credible enough to make it worth updating the FAQ on freezing.
First in the FAQ M Potter say 1-2 weeks freezing" is generally believed to bee needed to reliably kill bed bugs in all life stages". Some uncertainty here it seems.
Well, anyhow in this article, http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ef636.pdf
, that is revised 2008 (look at the end of the PDF ) he talks aboud days
Bed bugs also will succumb to cold temperatures below 32°F, but the freezing temperatures must be maintained for several days. Consequently, throughout much of the country, heating tends to be a faster, more reliable option than chilling
This site also references to the research done by Naylor and Boase on heat and freezing. Also it har some very interesting stuff on different subjects abdout bugs and overall an intersting site with links and aricles on some interesting information.[/url]
Also this code of practice from australia gives a lot of usefull info. I guess should be updated and worth checking out since thos code of practice is from 2010 ?
The amount of time in the freezer would be
dependent on the size of the item; the larger the item, the longer in the freezer.
If the freezer is operating at or around -20oC, then two hours at this
temperature will kill all stages. However, for the average household freezer,
studies indicate that 10 hours will be required (Naylor & Boase, 2010). Dense
items may take several days for the centre to cool sufficiently to kill the bugs
and the longer an item is kept frozen, the more likely the bugs will be destroyed.
Naylor and Boase suggest around 8 hours of freezing is required per 2.5kg of dry
weight of laundry.
As I understand Australia has some major bedbugproblems as well, so after all they hardly wanna have a code of practice that would cheat people in doing treatments that isn´t helpfull
Still I would also wanna point out Lou Sorkins experiment where it took up do 5 days in a freezer to kill bugs. I just need to find it, but I will post that and a few more links only as soon as I find them
I think Sorkin found that at temperatures of either -26 F or -29 F for a couple of hours some survived.
One must remember, too, that even if the freezer is recording temperatures of, -17 F let's say, it doesn't mean that the item (s) reach -17 C immediately. Like the dryer or PackTite it takes time for the items to cool to that temperature. Then they must be held for a time.
One thing that isn't typically addressed is acclimation to temperature. As I understand it, there is a big difference between hitting something with high heat and cold and gradually heating and freezing.
This is an issue I addresssed with Dr. Wang. What follows is my inquiry and the response. The bottom line is that I must keep my luggage brought home in October in the garage for several months-likely until February. Had I brought it home in February, the bbs might not have acclimated.
Slow freeze may slow down death, but it will not save the bugs if left for a few months in freezing temperatures. Similarly, once critical high temperature is reached, bugs will be killed regardless of acclimation.
Thank you very much for your message.
I currently have items in a large upright freezer that is recording temperatures of between -20 to -25 C depending where I place the thermometer. I’m going to keep them in for 2 weeks just to be safe.
Another issue that I am concerned about is acclimation.
When I place items in the dryer or in the freezer any bed bugs are exposed to the extreme temperatures fairly quickly. Naylor found that it took 8 hours for a 2. 5 kg bag of clothing to reach -17C and that after 2 hours all stages were killed. It takes about 15 minutes for my dryer to reach 120 F as recorded on a thermometer with a probe and digital remote read out.
Assuming I can monitor freezing temperatures outdoors will there be a difference if I place items outside in already freezing temperatures or let them slow freeze? For example, I have luggage in my detached garage in quarantine and plan to keep it there until February when temperatures reach extreme freezing temperature of at least -20 C. That will take some time. Can the bed bugs acclimate to the slow freeze?
Thanks again for your kind attention.
I hope this helps.
Bug Wary - Good initiative ! Anyhow , Benoit seems to have done research on this. I think this might adress a littel of what you wonder about, right ?
This study of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius, examines tolerance of adult females to extremes in temperature and loss of body water. Although the supercooling point (SCP) of the bed bugs was approximately −20°C, all were killed by a direct 1 h exposure to −16°C. Thus, this species cannot tolerate freezing and is killed at temperatures well above its SCP. Neither cold acclimation at 4°C for 2 weeks nor dehydration (15% loss of water content) enhanced cold tolerance. However, bed bugs have the capacity for rapid cold hardening, i.e. a 1-h exposure to 0°C improved their subsequent tolerance of −14 and −16°C. In response to heat stress, fewer than 20% of the bugs survived a 1-h exposure to 46°C, and nearly all were killed at 48°C. Dehydration, heat acclimation at 30°C for 2 weeks and rapid heat hardening at 37°C for 1 h all failed to improve heat tolerance.
Also I found the topic where Lou Sorkin had replied about his test where all were killed after 5 days in a freezer. It may be good to observe that the freezer was keeping a lkittle more than -30dC inSorkin . Not sure, but this may be hard to achiveve in every homefreezer ? Not sure...
Well check it out...
Still I talked with the support for the company that delivered a freezer we got from the landlord for this freezer. I have put a termometer in it to check and it keeps a steady temp on around -28 to 33dC, only at -25dC for short times, half an hour when recharging maybe.He said that going steady on the MAX-setting should keep it steady on these temperature then, and this is a normal, not so expensive, floor box-freezer.
A freezer should then have the possibility to be a good, decently cheap, help for many then I guess. That makes it an interesting subject as it may be of help to many in that case
This is what frustrates me a little with the advice on freezing. The headline on htis article actually is:
Your home freezer is no way to kill bedbugs
Why ? All that actually say is that freezing as a method may be a little difficult as you have to fullfill a lot of demands, and that you may need a better freezer than a normal householdfreezer.
Freezing to kill bedbugs in a household freezer is simply unreliable. The freezer must get at least below -10 Fahrenheit, which is below normal household freezer temperatures. Also the items should not be bunched up at all when placing them in the freezer as this may allow for the bedbugs to cuddle up in warm corners. Finally, when attempting to kill bedbugs in the freezer the items must stay in the freezer for at least 72 hours to a week without opening the freezer.
I recommend skipping the freezer as a method to kill bedbugs
SO, if you can get a chest/box-freezer it, and use it only for this purpose, then on the other hands these recommendations given here ain´t THAT impossible to fullfill.
So why so negative headline ?After all with chemicals, heat and every other treatment on bedbug it is also a lot of different numbers, and adapting to the situation, and still people don´t avoid using it, right ?
So if I had a big house with a lot of stuff, I should surely consider a freezer as a helpfull method among others.
All I want now is more research on freezing instead and give us better data on temperatures needed, days needed and that kind of stuff. Not negative headlines without thought.
Then LET PEOPLE CHOOSE if a freezer is worth using considering, time, work and money.
I agree. I think we need as many options available to us in our arsenal.
Other than placing my make-up in a bag for 18 months or discarding it, what option do I have but to freeze it?
Right now I have an assortment of books, makeup and shoes in my upright freezer just in case I brought anything home with me from my holiday that I don't want. .
To wade in a little outside anything is never going to work whether its to heat up or to cool down. This is because such systems works because of the energy that is continually pumped in or out of the system. If you think of heating as adding energy freezing is simply removing it.
I would not be so certain on the 2 - 3 days time line (it may be another case of the temporal distortion of time around the Rutgers lab). Prof Potter is a lot more accurate on this one but that does seem to be a pattern.
There is however the major variable that some freezers work and some don't. Therefore to get accurate and reproducible results you need temperature probes and loggers to make certain before you open the bags. The cost of this is much greater than other solutions such as PackTite, hot washing or tumble drying for extended times.
If you are willing to invest time and money (it cost me a few thousands of dollars) you can get it to work. The reality however is that we are ourselves switching across to more reliable and faster methods which come at a lower cost.
Hope that clarifies.
Bed Bugs Limited
David Cain wrote
"To wade in a little outside anything is never going to work whether its to heat up or to cool down. This is because such systems works because of the energy that is continually pumped in or out of the system. If you think of heating as adding energy freezing is simply removing it."
Sorry Davd you've lost me on this. If one has consistent daytime temperatures of -25 C and lower at night and keeps items in a garage so there is no sun , why would it not work? I'm Canadian. NO PackTItes allowed! Hot water for washing machines is based on the hot water tank for most domestic machines (only newer and expensive ones have heating elemets) and the hotest is 120F unles you do an overide. . I note that you record temperatures of 170F on clothing after the dryer. My Canadian dryer has a shut off and will only get up to 140F.
In any event, none of these solutions will work for lipstick, gels, creams, etc. Those are not options.
David, thanx for your reply
Just a thing I didn´t get with it. The probes and all that stuff. I can see your point if you cool down or heat up a larger area. For my homefreezer still, I can buy a decenttly cheap termometer (about 15 dollars, so it´s not the cheapes lowquality) meant for inside/outside use. The unit inside measure insidetemp (surprise ) and then a sensor on a thin cable measures outside temp, putting it outside a window i.ex.
Just put that thing instead hanging down so it´s in the middle of my freezer, sort of. It has a logger I can reset, and shows lowest, highest temp since last reset, and temp at the moment. It´s never "warmer" then -25dC. Almost all the time around -30dC. Since it changes in decimals, as soon as the freezer works..-28,3 , -28,7 etc I have no resosn to doubt the numbers.
I see your point in that you may wanna have a probe checking temp inside stuff, like a pile of clothes or something. One way of making up for it maybe should be keeping the stuff the needed days for killing the bugs, and add a few extra days for"down-freezing" time.
Also, I checked with a technichian, which may be recommended, on the company making my brand of freezers. Helped me to get some likely numbers on how long it i.ex would tanke to get different stuff frozen to "the bone".
Thing is I, as BugWary and many others, can´t get a hold of a PackTite. I see this is a mainly an american forum and I am glad for all the help u van find here. Still...You know, the world is a little bigger than the few coutries PT is sold in , and Sweden is a long way from the USA
Maybe it will be sold in more coutries soon.
Still I must agree David, it´s a solution with it´s limit so one can´t say it´s a perfect solution. Takes some time, you should get some kind of temp.check/logg and so on. Most of all. I can´t say anything about cost since I have no clue on how expensive a freezer is in example in USA, England or Canada
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