Should we treat the entire apartment?(11 posts)
The PCO came by today and agreed to treat the bedroom, even though his inspection of the mattress and bed frame revealed nothing. (I found one in the closet later on. I taped it and now it's in a bag, taped, and stuck to the fridge.) Given how thoroughly we are being bitten, though, he said he'd come back in less than 48 hours to use Bedlam and Cease(?).
I'm worried that because his inspection was not very thorough, he might have missed stuff. We have a small apartment, but one of the other rooms has two area rugs, a futon, and two desk chairs. As far as I can tell, we're being bitten almost exclusively in bed. My GF ran duct tape down the chairs and didn't find anything stuck to them, but then again, nymphs...
Should I move the chairs into the bedroom? Should I ask him to deal with the entire apartment, which is much more of a task?
Most spot treatments for bed bugs don't work.... what is not there today .. could be tomorrow. What if an inseminated female walks off the suspected harborage area as I type this? Maybe she works her way into the sofa and sits there for 3 months, then what? I would start looking for a new PCO asap ... he does not sound like your best choice to me.
This is the one chosen for me by my LL. I don't have much of a choice in the matter, but I will lobby hard for the whole apartment to be treated.
Which means...what the hell do I do in the meantime with all my stuff, other than just throw it out? I can't seal all my books away for 18 months since I teach. I can't do the same thing to my computer, either. The instructions are very vague at best on the site. Sort of "well, maybe seal it or maybe leave it open...". This isn't always possible. Clothing is one thing but an entire scientific library is something else.
Sorry to sound so frustrated, but I have less than 24 hours to break down my apartment, I've had 2 hours of sleep in the last 36, and deadlines that need my attention as much as the damn bedbugs.
I can walk you thro some helpful ideas now if you like. Can you call me now?
I can. Where do I find your phone number? Sorry, brain is a little fried and in 15 minutes I have to start bagging everything.
Thank you for all your suggestions. I have orders in for the encasements and will lean on the PCO to address the closets and other areas. Need to see about the Packtite, though. Might be above our budget. :/
One option for the books might be sealing them into garbage bags with DDVP strips. I would personally choose Packtiting books over treating them with DDVP (only because I remain more paranoid than average about coming into contact with chemical pesticides, I don't understand exactly how DDVP works and what kind of residue it leaves, and I know how often I handle my books--esp. those that I'm using to teach or study), but if they're books you don't often use or you're less paranoid than I am, or you need to treat some now until you can afford a Packtite after another pay check or two, that's a possibility.
If you use DDVP strips, make sure you read the label carefully, the posts on them here, and follow the directions. DDVP strips allow their chemical to turn into a gas. (I'm so not a science person so I'm explaining that badly, but hopefully you'll get the general idea). The big thing with DDVP is to be sure that when you open any containers (bags, bins, what have you) that have been sealed up with DDVP inside them, you open those containers in a VERY well ventilated area. (I opened my sealed bins outside my house). The strips' labeling have very detailed directions about where they can and can't be used, and you are concentrating the gas a lot more than that by putting them in smaller containers. To be safe, you want to open them up in places where the gas concentrations from smaller containers won't get to levels that are too high. So opening those containers up outside is very important.
Hope that helps.
DDVP doesn't leave residues at all... it's really strong, but hasn't residual action...
Thanks for clarifying that. My last chemistry class was in 1986-7, so it's safe to say that pretty much anything having to do with chemistry is well outside my comfort zone when it comes to knowledge.
if your pco is using a residual (and does end up doing the whole apartment) then hopefully you won't have to treat your books at all. in that case any bugs that might be in your books should come out of them at some point, cross the residual in order to get a bloodmeal, and thus be exposed to the poison.
however if you do end up having to treat your books and can't afford a packtite, you might be able to treat them in your oven. not everyone is comfortable doing this, and i recommend caution, but in a pinch it does work.
check to see if your oven goes as low as 120 F. place a small pan of water in the oven and a few stacks of books. (the water helps retain moisture so the books don't dry out). leave at 120 F for three hours. no longer (and no hotter) or the books may singe and the bindings may melt. i used a timer for mine, and i would suggest being nearby so that you can keep an eye on it.
i did an entire wall of books this way (gah) when i had to move from one apartment to another. it took a considerable amount of time but none of my books are any worse for the wear. i also did stacks of paper (journal artices etc) the same way. just be careful if you decide to go this route!
hope this helps,
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