Releasing yourself from plastic bags, when and how, advice(9 posts)
I saw on another posting Killer Queen mentioned freeing people from plastic bags. I know the PCO said that I was personally told after first spraying all items could be returned, that they are only bagged and cleaned to keep the poison off them, etc.
I asked several local PCO in my area (disclaimer: I live in an area where bedbug knowledge is very low, I called like a dozen to bring out several to interview. I only had two mention bagging, the others jsut wanted the room emptied of clothes and no thoughts as to how to treat clothes)
I really would like if any PCO or experts would weigh in on the why's of keeping clothes in bags. I can certainly see the pros of it, but sometimes I worry about the cons of it (like maybe a bug inadvertently crawling in a bag as your removing clothes and then he is protected from poison)
I'm genuinely interested in how the bagging process has evolved. Is it standard in multi unit to leave them longer than in single residence? Do all countries do bagging or does the difference in chemicals available mean that those in England versus US might not have to bag.
Surely I'm not the only one who has wondered about the whole bagging issue (but then again, maybe I am). Comments???
This is a huge area of curiousity/concern for me too, bitten. It may dictate what I do to protect myself. Anyone?
This FAQ goes into the variations on the bagging idea.
In descending order of hassle:
Some PCOs want you to bag everything for 18 months (so you do seal bed bugs in and they die, but you are separated from your stuff for 18 months). I personally think this is a bad idea and would never sign on for it since there are other alternatives.
Some PCOs want you to wash and dry clothes and bag them. And to separately bag "other stuff" which will be released at some point during treatment (often after the first treatment and before subsequent treatments). This can work, but I am not sure it is necessary. I don't think a PCO has come on and explained this method and the rationale "behind the bagging non-washed stuff" part. I get the "releasing" part: they're freeing any bed bugs from the bags. But why bag them for the first treatment?
Some PCOs only want you to wash and dry and bag linens and clothing. Keeping cleaned, dried clothing in resealable bags does not seem like a bad idea, and makes lots of people more comfortable. It is less trouble than the two preceding alternatives, and is working on the assumption that bedding and clothing may contain bed bugs or eggs.
Some PCOs want you to bag nothing.
We have heard from people using all of the above methodologies who got rid of bed bugs.
I don't have anything to say except that I am most worried about people told to bag everything and release it "later," but who are not told when "later" is. This is very bad. And you are bound to have bed bugs in those bags.
If washed clothing is sealed in ziplocs, I think most of us can keep those bags bed bug free. But I am open to the idea that even bagging clean washed clothing might not be necessary.
Because bed bug treatments require multiple visits, in my opinion, items that have been "debugged" should remain sealed up until the treatments are complete and no new signs of infestation have been found. I usually have my customers launder and/or use the unit I sell to heat treat all items in the infected area and then bag them up. My general attitude when treating an area is that I cannot rely on any residual activity. This mindset helps because then I concentrate on finding and applying chemical to every possible bed bug and harborage site in the area, instead of just putting down chemical barriers that may or may not actually kill the bed bugs. Personal items and clothing that can be heat treated and sealed up help tremendously because I do not have to worry about "missing" any bed bugs hidden away in those items. Anything in the area that has not been heat treated and sealed up should be thought of as infested and dealt with accordingly. In my opinion, this includes furniture and other items in the room that have been treated with pesticides. These items can be deemed uninfested once a track record of no new activity/sightings in the area has been established. I can't count the number of times I have treated a piece of furniture or an area once and on the next visit had bed bugs emerge from the same spot.
I feel like one potential reasoning, at least, one that I've come up with, is that if you seal bugs up in the bags, you're preventing them from (a) coming out to bite you, (b) reinfesting disinfected furniture, and (c) finding others of their kind to mate with. It's true that if you seal up something that you can't treat, the bugs won't die for possibly 18 months. But I guess part of it is, it's a war of attrition. If there are lots of bugs, they find it easy to multiply even more. If there are fewer bugs, it becomes easier to kill them faster than they breed. So maybe the thought behind unbagging after the first treatment is... the first treatment kills all, or most of, the bugs in things you can't bag, such as furniture. The second treatment will get the ones that were bagged and have then been released. And meanwhile you're isolating the problem -- if you have five bugs in your house, and they are free to mate and lay eggs and such, you will very soon have a lot more than five. If you have five bugs each sealed up in a separate bag, that's all you have, five. Divide and conquer, basically.
I threw bags away after my 2nd treatment. My reasoning was I wanted bugs to come in contact with poison and die, not be safe and protected in bags. 1 week after 3rd treatment and no bites or sightings. We shall see. . .
I have views on the subject for sure. But you must keep in mind that my ideas fit my treatment techniques. Others may not be doing or getting the results I do so the bagging is an ongoing thing for many. I don't do bagging. I don't have a prep list. I don't want anything moved. All I do ask is that you try to reduce clutter & launder cloths. Reducing clutter means get rid of the things you have been meaning to toss for years... But never did. I'm firm when I say a professional should eradicate the bugs and not hide them in bags. If the treatment is done right the first time the bugs will leave their harborage within 5-10 days and cross product and die. When you get called to a home to treat for any other insect... you kill them … You don’t hide them in the mail box. No matter how hard they say the pest is to get rid of, you take the time needed to solve the problem. This is not being done with bed bug treatments today.
If I sent you a ticket, paid all your expenses, salary and named my first child Reina de Asesino (Killer Queen), would you come to Bolivia?!?!?! Seriously, though, after having everything in bags since March, just in the past two weeks, knowing the little critters are still around, I have unpacked, as I just couldn't do it for month number nine. I am getting the treatment I can here (they spray every two weeks with delta metherin) and I do all the other protocols I can (including when I leave the house etc...), but they are still here. Had a new bite this morning... I live in a single family house. Anyway, I know it is just wishful thinking, but I had to give it a go!
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed here, its helped me to understand the basis of the debate. De-cluttering is what I've been doing the last few days, lots of it. My treatment was postponed until next week because of the Remembrance Day holiday. I keep imagining the exponential population growth allowed because of this... shudder!
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