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Will the coming winter and a year outside kill them?

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  1. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 15 2010 20:38:32
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    Okay, so I read about the wicker furniture but I gave my wicker chair one last test today and got bit. So I threw it outside, where it belongs. My question is..if I leave it out there for a year..thru the cold winter..will they be dead? The chair was treated twice with steam and the bite I got was from a baby (I can tell these things now...smaller, not that itchy) so given the fact that babies and eggs die within 4 months...it should be good next summer, yes? no?

    I am right that babies and eggs die within 4 months if they don't get a meal, right??

  2. flabergasted

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 16 2010 3:02:12
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    Wicker would be bad furniture to deal with. It has so many cracks for them to hide in. You say the chair was steamed twice but with what type of steamer (ie one like the pco's use) and does it have cushions? They could be infested and the point of habourage. Strip the filling outof the cushions launder or dryclean the covers and retreat the wicker before restuffing the pillows.

    The other issue you are looking at if this is not finished wicker ie varnished or polymer coated after sitting out for winter it is going to discolor and in likelyhood come back in with mold growing in the crevases.

    After the battle from hell with an infestation that brought into my couch and chair if the option had existed to pitchit outside for a few months it would have been as far as the fire pit in the back yard and I probably would have done a dance around it to Perses.

  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 16 2010 9:46:59
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    There are a few things in that message that I'd like to respond to.

    1. Cold is not nearly as reliable a killer of bed bugs as heat. The kinds of cold temperatures that you need to kill bed bugs are temperatures that we don't generally reach outside in the United States. Even in winter. Even in places colder than where I live.

    Our household freezers seldom reach those temps either. And even if they did, the freezer attached to the fridge in most homes gets opened several times per day. Every time it opens, the temperature inside it increases.

    In order for cold to kill bed bugs, the temp needs to get very cold and stay very cold for a long time.

    Using outside cold is very unlikely to do that specifically because we cannot control the weather. Some days will be warmer than others.

    2. Isolating a piece of furniture by putting it outside to starve the bugs is also unlikely to be effective.

    While bed bugs prefer to snack on humans, they'll snack on other mammals or avian life if that's all they can get to. If there are bugs on the furniture, there's nothing to stop them from leaving the furniture and walking back into the house. Or from snacking on a neighbor's dog in the backyard (and then going from that yard into that house). Or snacking on the birds in the nest in the eaves.

    3. I don't want to discount your own experience with the bites you're getting, but there's some solid science to suggest that nymph bites are no different in size and itch (at least in a good number of people) to adult bites. The best evidence I've seen is a bite test that was filmed where an entomologist puts an adult and a nymph onto a person's arm to see if the person will respond to bites. Time passes, and then two identical sized bites appear on that individual's arm. (The bugs are then wrangled back into their colony.)

    After I was treated, I started developing itchy spots behind my knees that were itchy but a lot smaller than the bites I'd gotten from bugs. I convinced myself that these were nymph bites.

    Turned out? It was stubble from shaving my legs. It was happening behind my knees because it was the summer and therefore warm, so I would sweat, and between the sweat and the stubble rubbing up against the skin there, that part itched first after the stubble began to grow back in.

    I never had any proof that I still had bed bugs--and I even ended up calling my PCO back out to inspect the apartment.

    Again, I'm not saying that you aren't still being bitten or reacting to something. and allergic reactions are tough to predict. It's possible that you're reacting differently to bites.

    But I wouldn't be convinced that the chair is infested if I weren't seeing the traditional signs of bugs: fecal matter, cast skins, bites that look like your previous bed bug bites.

    You might consider one of the newer passive monitors. If you're particularly concerned about the chair, put one on the chair itself. If it stays clean, that's a pretty good indication that something besides bed bugs is causing the bites.


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