Will sealing everything in bags at least kill newborn bedbugs and eggs?(8 posts)
So I'm about 3 weeks into fighting bedbugs in my tiny bedroom, and my landlord has still not responded (We have a complaint with the city and sent a certified letter to his place in hopes of getting a response).
In the meantime, I have been battling them on my own, with some progress, and while I wait until I can get a PCO in here, I have sealed everything I own in plastic bags. I know that adult bed bugs can live for over a year without a meal, but if I kept these bags sealed for two months, wouldn't that at least kill off any newly hatched nymphs?
My thinking is that the eggs would be much harder to find, and this would make sure that any new nymphs that hatch would not be able to get a meal and would die off within the two months. I do plan to still treat everything in a Packtite once I open them up.
Does this seem like at least it could at least have a partial effect on the problem? To me the eggs and the nymphs seem like the hardest part.
I can't find the posts right now, but what you're really looking for is the numbers of exactly how long a first stage nymph can live without a blood meal.
If the egg hatches, the first stage nymph needs a blood meal to grow into a second stage nymph.
Sealing the eggs up will not kill them. You can't deprive them of air, for example.
If the bags remain sealed for longer than the stages of the bugs you have in there can live, then, yes, that might cut down on the numbers.
The problem is that you cannot be sure whether the nymphs in there have had a blood meal or not. So you'd need to keep those bags entirely sealed for as long as the maximum number of days that a nymph of that stage that had had a blood meal could survive. For some stages of nymphs, that's a pretty long time.
Yes, I was thinking of the same post, which said that a newly hatched nymph could only survive for like 10-14 days without a blood meal. My thinking was then only in terms of eliminating either eggs that might hatch, or still-unfed nymphs.
I have caught a few nymphs that seemed to have just had their first meal (feasting on me, of course), and once they have some blood in them, they are much easier to see. I have also caught an unfed nymph or two and they are nearly impossible to see!
So, if the eggs and the unfed nymphs are the hardest to see, and eggs take 6-17 days to hatch, and once hatched the nymphs will die in 10-14 days if they don't feed, then the hardest part of treating my stuff will be eliminated in 31 days, right? Seems like it can't hurt to try.
You could be adding them back into the infestation in your apartment.
Is there any reason you couldn't seal things for much longer or buy a packtite?
Here's the problem with your idea: while unfed nymphs may die in 2 weeks, that doesn't stop any adults that may be in those bags from laying new eggs, well into your 2 weeks, at which point when you open the bags, you may still have unhatched eggs and/or newly born nymphs.
I would treat everything with either the packtite or at least run all your clothing through the dryer. I put every last stitch of clothing through the dryer and put them in bags in an isolated table in my apartment.
I would be careful about assuming that such plans for treatment couldn't hurt. Whether or not they hurt really depends on what you hope to get from them.
Certainly as far as your health, there's no danger from trying this.
However, assuming that any items in those bags are definitely bug free can be harmful since you cannot rely on this method to kill all bugs in the bags for the reasons pointed out above.
Again, I don't say that to discourage you. But you should be fully informed about all the risks as well as the benefits of any method you're going to try.
I have done or will do all of the above mentioned things - I washed and dried all laundry on high heat, and will be getting a Packtite ASAP. I guess I was hoping the sealing things away for a few months would help as an added bonus, not necessarily as a primary treatment method.
Since my landlord has abandoned us and I am currently fighting this on my own, my hope is to eliminate the bugs in my room first, and then patiently and thoroughly treat my possessions one bag at a time, resealing them up as I go along.
I should update that I just read that a newborn nymph can live 6 weeks without a meal!
You must log in to post.