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Packtite & Bagging

(12 posts)
  1. punaisedelit

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 30 2011 21:22:23
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    Today was my second treatment. I think I'll probably need at least a third (the PCO was surprised when I told him I kept seeing bugs although my mattress had been encased. I looked around my room more closely tonight and found some new fecal stains near baseboard where the head of my bed used to be - it's been two feet away from the wall for about three weeks).

    So my questions: my PCO had me launder and bag what I could, and bag what I could not take care of immediately (books, shoes, etc). I have about twenty sealed bags/boxes of untreated things that I'd like to treat and repack so I stop obsessing they might be contaminated. I also need to treat because I stupidly sealed my winter stuff, and it's getting cold, so I need a scarf, my winter boots, etc.

    I'm thinking about getting the PackTite closet, even though it's expensive, so that I can treat everything, including my bigger items (suitcases, as I travel pretty often).

    My questions about the process:
    I empty my bags directly onto the PackTite, heat the stuff, then re-bag? How do I make sure I do not contaminate when re-bagging? (I'm going to get BugZip for the clothes, and will probably put the books in ziploc bags inside plastic totes).

    Thank you for your help.

  2. bbgirl

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 30 2011 22:50:07
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    You can put some things directly into the Packtite inside of the bag as long as the bag is opened so that the air can penetrate. As with the dryer try to remove things while they are still hot to the touch and seal them up immediately. The bags themselves can be added to the load to make sure that they are bug free before reusing them. Just be careful and work as quickly as you can.

  3. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Nov 30 2011 23:11:52
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    Hi,

    I have a closet and someone else advised not to overload it (ie 50 books). If it's trash bag size, I would do one. The inventor, David James, may come on and give some insight.

    I like to stick things in there in bags, but you can't measure the temperatue with the bags closed. I tend to run mine for 2-4 hours, depending on the load and then open the closet and hang things to get better air flow. The nice thing about the closet is you can open it and not lose much temperature. I'm always afraid that I'll come in and shake something off me, so some people bag up in a garage and bring it in to the packtite bagged.

    It's been nice to put my coat in every day. I put everything I bring in with me each night (dirty clothes are bagged and left outside another bag to go to the laundry). I've been tending to go to a commercial laundry...it's just easier and then packtite the clean items when I get home (yes, I bag them at the laundramat). I've been traveling a lot and I just organize things in one Large (not extralarge) Ziploc by the day. So, a sweather, pants, underwear, socks, etc. in one bag.

    I've been interested to hear how others use their closet. A lot of my protocols are based on my sorta significant other's preferences. I'm trying to be supportive and do it consistently. I don't have an issue but he feels like he works in a high risk environment and wants us both to be careful. Either that, or as one person said, this is a new ploy for men to get women to strip down to their skivvies upon entering the apartment/house My guess is it's the OCD and there aren't any ulterior motives, but it just seems like they can fall off clothes before you get them in the packtite.

    They
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  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Dec 1 2011 1:13:46
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    This is very timely, since I spent most of the day experimenting with partially-filled ziplocs in the Packtite Closet.

    I had heard of people treating things in XL Ziplocs in a regular Packtite (FAQ), so I thought I would try this in the Packtite Closet.

    Let's just say I learned a few things the hard way.

    I actually placed three XL Ziplocs which were 1/3 to 1/2 full and open in the Packtite Closet. I put the temperature probe in the center of one of the fuller ones, in the center bag of the three. So not only was I putting items in Ziplocs, I was also putting too many of them in the machine at once.

    Ten hours later
    , the temperature had only hit 113, and it had hovered in that range for some time (taking an hour, for example, to go from 112.0 to 113.0). I realized as the temperatures grew at an increasingly slow rate that it wasn't working and I would not be able to go on further with that run. I even thought perhaps the machine or thermometer might be malfunctioning. That turned out not to be the issue.

    I called David James, who noted that treating items in Ziplocs in the Packtite Closet isn't ideal, and suggested I try another method. I took the bag which was 1/3 full, spread the contents along the bottom rack of the Packtite Closet, and voila! -- starting again from around 75 F, 120 F was reached in no time at all.

    The upshot here is that the Closet is super powerful, but in my experience, does not like bags 1/2 or 1/3 full of clothing. I would skip the bags next time, and be careful not to overpack.

    David suggested hanging items on hangers if possible, and his own videos here suggest this is ideal. Items which can't be hung can be placed loosely on the bottom rack.

    If you have items not already on hangers, in order to avoid spreading bed bugs, David suggests putting the item in the Packtite Closet and then placing it on the hanger. I will be experimenting with hanging clothing soon.

    I also treated a thick down parka which -- on its own in the Packtite Closet-- reached 120 in an astounding 20 minutes. (The probe was inside a pocket.) A pair of empty suitcases took an hour or so to heat to 120.

    All of this is by way of saying that the Packtite Closet works well and I am very impressed with it, but I would not recommend treating items in bags (or luggage) in it. Even if it seems like this will be more efficient than doing the same items on the rack or on hangers, trust me it isn't -- air flow is everything.

    You can take items out of a bag inside the Packtite Closet, then place them in a fresh bag and seal after treating.

    Thanks to David for all of his helpful input and his endless patience. Great customer service!


    Disclaimer: if you buy a Packtite via the affiliate ads on the Useful Stuff page or elsewhere on the site, it goes to help Bedbugger.com's running costs at no additional cost to you. Please see the Disclosure Statement for more.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 2 2011 12:01:34
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    Nobugs what about taking the things out of the ziploc-type bags and putting them in the PackTite or PackTite Closet but then putting the bags in there too, empty and open. Will that ensure the bags are clear and therefore can be reused thus saving significant bucks, instead of constantly having to throw away used bags and buy new ones.

    A trick might be to put the bags in for one-half of a regular run, then turn them inside-out for the second half of the run? That way, airflow would be sure to reach all parts of the bags.

    And conceivably save up bags for a few days/weeks inside an extra-large, clean bag, then process all the bags through the PackTite at once? This way, all the bags won't be a constant distraction as they might be if we do them piecemeal in one and twos in every run with other items.

    Or for that matter would ziploc-type bags run successfully through a dryer without melting?

    And is it possible to inspect ziploc-type bags quickly and effectively, under a strong light so even the hard-to-see eggs and first-stage nymphs are easy to spot and squish?

    Such possibilities are worth devoted consideration, to develop good reliable protocols to tell folks about so everyone doesn't have to keep re-inventing the wheel. Maybe David J. will even wish to incorporate such protocols in updated versions of the instructions he provides with the units.

  6. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 2 2011 13:29:23
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    jrb--

    With the original Packtite, I treated empty bags as I went with medium loads and reused them. (I'd put the thermometer in the stuff underneath to check on the temps.) I've not had a problem doing that. I hope that the empty bags can be treated without a problem in the new one.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 2 2011 13:36:42
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    I suspect empty bags would work fine in the new Packtite. I just wanted to discourage people thinking that 1/3 or 1/2 full bags will work.

    Remember the thermometer is your best friend when it comes to heat treatment.

  8. punaisedelit

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 3 2011 18:42:54
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    So I actually got the smaller Packtite (I'm alone and don't have a lot of stuff, so I figured out that'd do), and received it today. I'm running a first small load now (just my coat, gloves, and scarf + the ziploc); it's heating up pretty fast. I'm going to be using it a lot in the next few days, to try and treat as much clothes, shoes and accessories as I can. I may wait a bit longer for books and other things. Still a bit worried about not killing all of them, but I guess I'll have to learn to live with that.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Dec 3 2011 19:33:56
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    Hi punaisedelit,

    I would not worry about the Packtite not killing all of them if you're using it properly.

    Just make sure your temperature probe is in the middle of the items (as well "insulated" as possible) and then once the temp hits 120 F, you go for an hour. If it's hard to be sure your probe is in the middle, add an hour.

  10. punaisedelit

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Dec 4 2011 10:58:19
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    I am feeling extremely depressed, yesterday as I was folding freshly packtited stuff, I found a fecal stain on one of my shirts. How likely is it for bugs to survive hot wash + hot dryer + packtiting? I'm sorry, I'm freaking out so much

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Dec 4 2011 22:17:51
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    punaisedelit - 11 hours ago  » 
    I am feeling extremely depressed, yesterday as I was folding freshly packtited stuff, I found a fecal stain on one of my shirts. How likely is it for bugs to survive hot wash + hot dryer + packtiting? I'm sorry, I'm freaking out so much

    Hi punaisedelit,

    Heat, properly applied, kills bed bugs and eggs.

    It seems much more likely that the stain occurred before you treated the item.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Dec 4 2011 23:00:00
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    At least one old timer was concerned based on my comments above that I might have a recurrence of bed bugs.

    Thankfully, this isn't so. I was simply dealing with some luggage and contents. And, of course, experimenting with everyday items like coats, clothing and purses.


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