Vikane in single apartment unit?(5 posts)
I'm on my 3rd spray and it doesn't seem that the PCO can completely eradicate these pests. While the population drops dramatically, there are always a few nymphs biting me a week later.
This is being paid for by my building management so I'm not too concerned about repeated attempts but I want my life back and I'm beginning to prepare alternatives to present to my landlord if this 3rd attempt fails after 2 weeks.
I've read how effective Vikane is but haven't figured out if it's possible to do it in a single apartment in a building complex. My walls from neighbour to neighbour are thick concrete and plaster and none of my neighbours have turned up to have bedbugs after I've had them for nearly 2 months so I'm fairly certain that there isn't path for the bugs to escape to adjacent units.
If this is the case, can my apartment be sealed (windows, front door and vents) and have Vikane applied? Does this gas subside on its own after several hours or does it need to be let out into the atmosphere? Is it expensive?
I'd propose the heat treatment to my LL but I know that it is by far the most expensive method and I'm concerned for my electronic equipment (mostly photography) which I use to make a living.
Thanks in advance for your answers.
A small bedroom apartment [code]using heat will run between 1500-2500 dollars. Probably cheaper than continued failed chemical treatments. Vikane passes through the walls due to particle size and would be illegal(not to mention deadly) to do in an apartment building. Have the units surrounding yours been checked? That may account for the ongoing treatment failure.
Thanks for the info Jeff. I did a little more research and found that Vikane would only be an option if the entire structure were evacuated and treated -- not going to happen.
Heat treatment is what I'll suggest to my LL after I demand that they get a new PCO, one that doesn't just spray and pray. I want them to find the damn harbours and target treat them. Right now they're just spraying the whole place hoping that they get them or that the residual works long enough to kill them all.
Can anybody recommend a PCO in Toronto, ON who has had proven results and knows their bed bugs?
Also, just FYI for others who read this thread:
Vikane is not, to my knowledge, available in Canada.
I'm not sure what governmental body up that way approves pesticides, but whatever body it is, my understanding is that it hasn't approved Vikane.
(This makes a certain amount of sense. Vikane is probably most widely used for residential customers in the United States to treat drywood termites. Drywood termites are common in warm, dry climates--like the southern United States, and I'm guessing that since no part of Canada is that consistently that warm through that much of the year, drywood termites are probably not the epidemic up there that they are here. As a result, it makes since that the Canadian government wouldn't allow a chemical for use on a pest you don't have. Using it for bed bugs seems to be a much more recent phenomenon, and if the length of time it took to get the Packtite approved is any indication, even if it's in process to be approved, it'll be a while before it gets there.)
Vikane was originally developed for termites in 1961, but was also labeled for bed bugs that same year. Because of the lack of bed bug problem in the US since DDT, Bed bugs have only accounted for 1-2% of the total vikane use in the USA. That contributes to the lack of knowledge, understanding and experience using Vikane against BBs in both the public and pest professional worlds.
While heat treatments have been proven effective in treating infested items, there are documented concerns about using heat in a structural treatment (single apt in nulti-unit building) because BBS tend to scatter once they sense anything over 95 degrees F, which is no where near their thermal death range of 133 degrees F. If the heating source doesn't increase fast enough to render the BBs immobile they can scatted throughout the building and return later. There are some positive research about how to prevent this coming out, but nothing substantial yet.
As to treating a single unit in a multi-unit building, it is NOT possible given the properties of Vikane to penetrate through a range of materials (excluding glass, metal or plastic most of which aren't used for walls/building materials on large scale), so anything/anyone located in neighboring units would be exposed and put at risk. There are solutions that allow for on-site Vikane treatment in conjunction with in-unit treatments such as vacuuming, steam, pesticides, caulk-n-seal, etc. (disclosure, my company invented/sells the Fume Cube).
@Buggyinsocal is correct in that the Canadian Gov't has NOT approved Vikane for use INSIDE the country, but they do REQUIRE that 100% of incoming mattresses be treated with Vikane PRIOR to entering the country or they are held in customs indefinitely. They do NOT accept heat treatment as an alternative for this requirement, which says something about their belief in its effectiveness. (although you think they'd let us in already...) If you are indeed in CA, then you need to research what treatment options are locally available and make an informed decision based on that information.
Good luck and Sleep Tight!
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