Question about Carpet Shampooers(4 posts)
I may have to do it myself due to the possible cost of professional cleaners. I am wondering something. Do most Carpet Shampooers provide enough steam to kill Bed Bugs? I know I can't use a carpet shampooer on the Mattress (too wet), but was wondering about this for the carpets.
The carpet shampooers that are available to rent here rely on hot water from the tap but by the time that water hits the carpet from the tank I don't think it would be hot enough to kill bed bugs - maybe give them a nice warm bath. The detergents that they sell to use with the cleaners are fairly toxic but don't think they could reliably kill bugs.
The staff at a local PCO storefront store told me to use a pyrethroid laced DE product to sprinkle over the carpets. You have to leave for 4 hours like a chemical spray and then you go back in and vacuum it up. Sounds like a fairly messy business to me- I think that is too much DE floating around. You would have to use a vacuum with a hepa filter and a respirator mask and it might wreck the vacuum cleaner......DE is very hard on them and the carpets too.
Since no one else has responded to your post I thought I would mention that if you consult a PCO they may be able to treat your carpets by spraying with the appropriate insecticide. This is not a permitted use for all sprays but they will know what to use. If you can find anyone with a dry vapor steamer they sometimes have attachments for cleaning carpets & upholstery. Some dry vapor steamers get hot enough to kill bugs.You have to be careful though - I hired someone once that said they steam cleaned carpets but when they came they just used water (not even very hot) and a shampooer.
Bed bugs do not usually harbor in carpets. I'm not saying that it cannot happen; I'm saying that I wouldn't worry about the carpet.
The trick with eradicating bed bugs is that you have to understand their behavior to focus the eradication efforts on places that the bed bugs are likely to be hiding.
Think of them as very lazy couch potatoes who prefer to eat while watching television, rather than getting up and going out to eat.
The generally harbor close to the food source. Having to get out from under the carpet to scuttle along the wall and then climb up the bed? Is more work than harboring between a baseboard and the wall or in a rip in the box spring's covering.
Self-treatment is very, very hard work because you have to give yourself a crash college major in bed bug behavior and pest control before you can successfully eradicate them.
Costs of professional treatment vary widely based on where you live, how big the infestation is, and how big your living space is.
In some cities, if you rent, the landlord is responsible for pest control for all renters; in other cities it varies by situation.
Start by finding out who is responsible for paying for pest control in your city. If you rent, contact your local tenants' rights group to find that out.
If you own, your best bet really is to hire a professional if there is someone in the area who has experience with bed bugs.
I can't tell from your post whether you own or rent, and I also can't tell whether you're just reading posts here and assuming the cost will be too high for your budget or whether you're contacted local PCOs, but if you haven't actually contacted PCOs in your area--and you don't live in one of the cities that has a lot of posts about specific prices for specific square footage--I would start by investigating what the actual cost for your residence in your geographical location really would be.
I know some people are really in a bind in terms of affording pest control. And I certainly don't want people to feel pressured to announce the particulars of their financial situations here.
But it's also important that folks understand a few things.
1. Some people mean "I'm not giving up my three daily lattes and my weekly designer shoe fixes, or my two two-week international vacations a year to spend money on pest control because I can totally do this myself" when they say they can't afford treatment.
Other people are already deciding between buying food and medicine, and they really don't have the $20 in the bank for a passive monitor.
When we read these boards, we can't tell who is who, and AGAIN, I don't want anyone to feel pressured to disclose their personal financial situation.
As a result, I do encourage everyone to think about the actual costs and benefits of professional versus self-treatment because I can't know where on that continuum one poster falls.
2. If you're scientifically and or pragmatically inclined, you're probably much more likely to be able to get yourself up to speed on pest control. Again, I can't know where on the "Hardware store? What's a hardware store? You mean isopropyl alcohol is different from vodka?" to "I understand in detail the chemical mechanisms at work in pyrethroid-based pesticides, and I live for putting on PPE" continuum you fall. If you're closer to the chemical engineer end, you're a better candidate for self-treatment if you're willing to do a lot of research.
I'm an English major. When my faucet gets hinky, I call a neighbor with better grip strength to unscrew the part in question, and I take it to my local hardware store, try not to be sad that it's there that I see all the nice other lesbians who live in my city that I never see at libraries or concerts, feel like they're going to take my lesbian card away for my general hardware store ineptitude, and hand the nice person working there the part and as for help finding a replacement because I really have no natural mechanical or fix it abilities whatsoever.
I am quite aware I am a lousy candidate for self-treatment.
You may be more fix-it inclined, but we generally can't tell that from peoples' posts.
3. It's important to weigh all the costs and benefits of treatment. For some kinds of treatment, there isn't a lot of costly prep, even though the treatment cost is high.
For people who are able-bodied and who have a lot of time, they might be able to save some on costs by putting in the sweat equity of doing that work.
For people who have disabilities or time deficits, that may add to cost.
But if self-treatment fails, you may be looking at a longer and costlier treatment from a professional after it fails. Self-treatment done wrong can spread bugs to neighboring units. Or it can get the bugs more deeply entrenched.
I don't say that to scare you; that's not an inevitable outcome. I'm saying that because it's important to take the time to look carefully at all those factors and evaluate the entire situation.
That's really hard to do when you're scared and grossed out, and you're feeling like your home was invaded by evil vermin, and you hear lots and lots of horror stories on the internet about how you'll never be rid of them.
Bed bugs are a battle that can be won, but winning means taking the time to begin the battle right right from the start.
I hope some of that information is helpful and gives your some ideas about how to do that planning before you start. Hang in there. It really does get better even if it doesn't feel like it right now.
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