Preparing for exterminator(8 posts)
So we had an exterminator come out and confirmed what we already knew. They will be out next week to do their thing. In the mean time we are working to toss what we can and prepare everything else in the apartment for treatment. I have some questions I would seriously appreciate your advice on please.
(01) Our beds are on platform wooden structures that my husband built. The exterminator said although it will be more work that he believes he can treat them successfully and we would be able to keep our beds how they are. He actually gasped when he saw our beds. Not from inspecting them because we had like 5 bugs on tape already so he didn't look around, but just from what they are. We have since decided that we will get rid of our daughters platform beds and opt for a metal frame Ikea bunk bed with new mattresses. So question is, when we take this platform apart we suspect that bugs may start running around and coming out of it (i'm dying just writing this) so is there any kind of spray we can use to kill them on contact to avoid them escaping???? This is a photo of their bed structure so you can have an idea: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/41/babiesroom.jpg/ and this is ours: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/507/ourroom.jpg/ We are also debating destroying ours also...I don't know. Thoughts??
(02) I'm a crafter and have a whole bookshelf filled with yarn. When the exterminator saw this he again gasped and freaked and said it would be a bedbugs dream hiding place. So...I'm going to be throwing away a lot of the yarn but about half of it I want to be able to keep. It's not stuff that can be thrown in a washer or dryer because it will be destroyed so the only solution I can think of is bagging them until it's safe to take them out again. So, my question, if I ziplock bag them how long do they need to be sealed before it's 100% safe to open? I've seen 18 months somewhere but is that really enough time? I love LOVE my yarn but I also do not want to ever go through this again so I want to take no chances. I also don't want to let paranoia drive me to throw away EVERYTHING I own. Is there anything I can throw in the zip lock bags also to help aid in their assured destruction?
(03) I love yarn and my husband loves records. So we are thinking of ziplock bagging his records also to try to save them. Does anyone have any suggestions with records???
Thank you so much to all of you for your support and advice. This is seriously overwhelming and we have spent a lot of time crying and trying to get our heads around this situation.
Have you already ruled out a Packtite for some reason? If not, consider that it would save ALL your yarn. It could be used for most other items also (except vinyl records or electronics), and once you don't have bed bugs anymore, is useful when preventing them (for example, treating stuff you brought home like suitcases and their contents).
Bed bugs were previously known to be able to live as long as 18 months. That information is apparently outdated (current populations are different). Here's some more recent information.
It's possible to treat vinyl in a sealed bag with DDVP strips-- be cautious and follow all label instructions. (Some people would also advise this for yarn and other items-- I personally would not want those bags around kids or pets who might tamper with them. But it may help with items which can't be heated.)
An expert can advise on the beds.
Keep in mind most things don't need to be thrown out, and doing so can mean your neighbors bring bed bugs right back in anyway.
Thanks NBOM. That's such a beautiful thing to read about it not taking 18 months. Almost felt like opening a birthday present. Sigh.
I would sooooo love to get a Packtite but right now we just don't have the money, even for the smaller 300$ unit. We just moved to NYC and that ate up almost all of our $. My husband is working but I'm still unemployed until my daughters start Kindergarten this coming Sept. If I had the $ I'd buy that thing in a heartbeat.
We live in a 1BR apartment. Our daughters in the bedroom, and us in the living room which we converted to a bedroom with that bed structure we built. It's a pretty small place, being NYC and all...reading the threads about DDVP, I wonder if that's doable here. The only place I could think of leaving the bags while being treated is in our tiny closet. I wonder if that would be considered safe.
As for the other question, do you (or anyone) know if we could use a bug spray or some other concoction on the bugs that try to escape when we take apart the bed structure in their room??? We want to remove it from their room before the exterminator does the first treatment.
Also I make 100% sure to label everything we are throwing out with BED BUGS on the bags as I would not wish this on an enemy.
I saw in your first post above that the PMP believes he can eliminate the bed bugs from the bed structures and that you can keep them as they are. Are you still planning to do this? It sounds like a good plan.
If so, did he tell you to disassemble them for treatment? If not, I would ask. PCOs should give a detailed list of prep instructions. If they don't, ask them. There are different protocols and approaches so if they don't require a certain type of prep, I would not do it!
You can actually spread bed bugs around when you start doing this and it's worth letting him work with it as is or help you disassemble if needed, assuming he has not told you to do it in advance.
If you must do it yourself, there are a lot of contact kill sprays being marketed. Steri-fab is a contact killer with a mild residual and not expensive. You can get it online or from many PCOs who sell products in their offices. 91% rubbing alcohol is a contact killer but is flammable so please be careful if ou use it! People have started a lot of fires.
Unfortunately, labeling items you toss out as infested with bed bugs is not enough to deter a lot of people. Besides the cost of replacing items, the very real anger that a neighbor will adopt your stuff is a good reason to treat rather than toss.
We decided that we would rather our daughters have the bunk bed style beds, also since they're growing older to move them to twin size beds instead of the crib mattresses that they have now. (We have 4 year old twins) So we are figuring that if we're going to do it, that now would be the time to start fresh, and that it would make sense to do it before the PCO comes to treat the apartment. Do you (or anyone else) think this is a bad idea? We just figured why have him treat the bed if we are just going to end up taking it apart anyways?? I'd really love your opinion on this. Thank you so much.
I am not an expert and I would ask the PCO himself first. The thing is, even if you're tossing things out, they may be able to help you by treating them, and helping you wrap them, so they can be disposed of safely. I have heard of PCOs doing this, but it's worth asking in advance.
Hmmm; I don't see a problem with getting rid of bed bugs on these beds in the photos.
There are a number of spray products that will adequately kill bed bugs for you if you simply must. However, you can eliminate a lot of bed bugs with a vacuum very effectively and not have to worry about the odor or presence of pesticides on your bed frames.
And, if you're going to be taking these items apart anyway, you will have total access for removal via vacuum and insecticide treatment as well.
Hope this helps ! paul b.
Thanks for the input Paul, I really appreciate it.
Right now I feel so confused as to what to do. The time for us to be able to tear it down and get the new metal frame/beds is this weekend because my husband is off from work...but we thought about it AFTER the PCO came so now I can't call him to see what he thinks. I don't believe they are open on the weekends.
I don't want to make this situation worse by "spreading out the bugs" how NBOM suggested could happen...
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