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Talcum Powder and BBs

(6 posts)
  1. NoIfsNoBugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Apr 18 2015 19:05:10
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    It has been suggested that I begin a new thread on the subject if it is true, as sources such as the following maintain, that talcum powder or even corn starch can suffocate bed bugs inside a vacuum cleaner bag:

    https://aging.ohio.gov/resources/publications/HWtoolkit_Bedbugs_Removal.pdf

    Vacuum mattresses, bed frames, furniture, floors and carpets, especially in
    cracks and open spaces. When finished, vacuum ¼ cup of cornstarch or talcum
    powder to suffocate any bugs in the vacuum, empty it into a plastic bag, seal it
    and dispose of it in the outdoor trash.

    Paul Bello responded to this question, originally asked in another thread, with the following:

    The recommendation is intended to provide a desiccant/abrasive type killing action, not suffocation.

    So it would act in a manner similar to DE? Which, if this is in fact the case, means that it could take a number of days for the talc, like DE, to finish off any BBs in the vacuum bag, giving them plenty of time to crawl back out if it was not emptied out/cleaned immediately.

    (I add the observation that in yet another thread where this matter of the use of talcum powder was raised, Lou referred to its slipperiness, making it hard for BBs to climb surfaces coated with such, but said nothing about any other effects of talc on the BB. Should this silence be taken to mean that, in his educated opinion, there are no other effects?)

    .
  2. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 19 2015 6:54:53
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    Hmmm . . .

    In my experience & observation I don't see that bed bugs survive in my vac but I'm using a commercial duty type vac.

    Rick Cooper however states that bed bugs can survive the vacuuming process so, there's that . . .

    As such, I always heat treat my vac when finished working on a just in case type basis.

    "Back in the day" we were trained to apply some insecticide to an area on the floor and suck it up with the vac to kill any "surviving" fleas that may be in there after finishing a flea job.

    You can always bag your vac as an added level of protection as well.

    Talc? Not so much.

    DE? Slow.

    pjb

  3. NoIfsNoBugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 19 2015 7:16:43
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    Just a few references found online to using talcum powder against BBs (many county health, .gov, and .edu sites mention talcum powder suffocating BBs):

    Vacuum carefully and often. When done, vacuum up ¼ to ½ cup of talcum powder to dry and kill any bugs in your vacuum cleaner.

    Talcum powder is slippery and harmless to humans but punctures the bugs' shells, dehydrating them

    Experts recommend using a vacuum with a removable
    bag and putting talcum powder or insecticidal dust in the
    bag according to the label instructions.

    Vacuum suitcases thoroughly, brushing seams with a stiff brush to remove any bed bug eggs. Immediately double-wrap vacuum bags in plastic and dispose of in outdoor trash. Run 1/2 cup talcum powder or corn starch through the hose and attachments to suffocate any stray bed bugs.

    So, it's slippery, and it punctures their shells, but can it really suffocate them, as so many sites claim?

  4. awditty

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 5 2015 19:13:38
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    Talcum powder is slippery and harmless to humans

    the "to humans" is superfluous - talc's slippery period; it used to be used as an industrial lubricant, like other dry slippery stuff such as graphite or teflon or molybdenum disulphide.

    look up talc on this page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_lubricant

    these 2 claims are inconsistent;

    Talcum powder is slippery and harmless to humans but punctures the bugs' shells, dehydrating them

    sounds like this writer's mixing/confusing talc's properties with some of DE's.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue May 5 2015 20:02:32
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    these 2 claims are inconsistent;

    Talcum powder is slippery and harmless to humans but punctures the bugs' shells, dehydrating them
    sounds like this writer's mixing/confusing talc's properties with some of DE's.

    That's correct. Writer is very much confused. DE really doesn't puncture though is abrasive and adsorbs lipids from insect exocuticle causing eventual dehydration. CimeXa dust actually works faster.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  6. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed May 6 2015 9:48:45
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    Vacuuming up non toxic desiccant dusts is not good for most vacuums. Vacuuming up toxic dusts in general is not good for people and other living things.


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