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2 weeks after Heat Treatment - just found a bug!

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  1. sadaboutbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 13 2010 21:18:34
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    This forum has been a lifesaver as my boyfriend and I have been dealing with a "light" infestation for the past couple of months now in our apartment. We have no idea where the bugs came from ( maybe the movie theater? ), but the infestation seemed to have been centered in our living room futon, so we got rid of that. Finally the landlord was convinced of the necessity of dealing with it, and very nicely arranged for us to have the problem areas of the apartment heat treated (bedroom, kitchen, living room) The company didn't find any bugs while treating, but we hadn't see many during the month or so before that ( just got tons of bites, with an occasional bug captured).

    The night after the heat treatment I got 2 bites, but the paper the company left with us said "you may see some bugs still alive after the treatment, but these bugs should not be able to feed or reproduce." So, we tried not to worry toooo much, and be hopeful that all the bugs were dead/dying, even though one was obviously alive enough to feed. Then, 2 days ago, we both get bites that seem like they might be bedbugs, but its hard to tell ( they dont seem to itch as much as bedbug bites usually do). And then tonight, a tiny one comes crawling down my book as I'm reading in bed.
    So, this is the point where we should call and bother the landlord again, right? How successful are heat treatments normally? Anyone with any stories or statistics about heat treatment that we can use when talking to the landlord, since we've had trouble convincing him that we didn't just acquire bed bugs to make his life more difficult....sigh

  2. Richard56

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 13 2010 21:33:26
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    Unless chemical were used in conjunction with the heat, the fact you saw a live bug suggests the treatment was not successful. That said, you should really capture a bug as evidence. Also, and with no disrespect meant, you might want to post the picture here as well to make sure it's really a bed bug. We've had a lot of people here convinced they saw a bed bug only to later find out it was something else. I include myself in this group.

    -- Richard

  3. nervousaboutbedbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 13 2010 21:34:15
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    Definitely time to call the landlord, and recommend he use another PCO.

    Heat treatment kills the bugs and the eggs DURING the treatment - if there are any bugs left after they are done heating your place, it failed! The sheet they left you is just wrong.

    I had heat treatment myself and am not a big proponent of them, but there are others on this site that have had success with them. The concept is sound, but if the technician doesn't get all parts of the area up to temp, the bugs can crawl away from the heat and survive.

    Sorry, and good luck!

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Oct 13 2010 22:14:39
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    sadaboutbugs - 53 minutes ago  » 
    The night after the heat treatment I got 2 bites, but the paper the company left with us said "you may see some bugs still alive after the treatment, but these bugs should not be able to feed or reproduce."

    Wow. I have never heard of a heat treatment provider making a claim like that before.

    We're told the whole point of heat is that it kills all bed bugs and eggs in the structure.


    I have now heard from one major manufacturer of heat treatment equipment that this is indeed possible, though there should not be bites after treatment. I have asked permission to copy their email and am waiting to hear back.

    It is possible (theoretically) that you have bed bugs after treatment because they're being reintroduced. I am not suggesting that's the case here.

    Did they give any kind of guarantee?
    Do you know what methods they were using? (I would love to know which firm if you want to PM me privately.)

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. sadaboutbugs

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 14 2010 12:50:29
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    Thanks for all of the feedback!
    I'm pretty 100% positive the bug I found last night, and the others we found over the past few months, have been bedbugs. I'll try to get a picture of it and post it for more confirmation. Most of the time when we've found the bugs, they've been full of blood, and under the microscope looked like the images on this website. We left bug samples for the PCO, and they went ahead and treated the place, so I'm assuming/hoping they agree too.
    What was strange about the treatment was that they didn't heat treat all of the rooms, even though its a small 1.5 bedroom apartment, just most of them, so a bunch of stuff was left untreated. They sprayed some chemicals around the edges of the untreated rooms before they left, but couldn't tell me what chemical they used and seemed surprised when I asked. The questionable untreated stuff ( some extra bedding, clothes, etc.) we put into sealed plastic containers until the
    backordered Packtite arrives.
    The claim that the leftover bugs will not be able to feed or reproduce was stated because "they have been heat damaged and will die quickly".
    For the methods that they used - not sure if I know enough about it to talk specifics - It was Thermal Remediation, they used electric heaters and fans, and were at our apartment from 10am till 7 pm. The heaters had digital temp readouts on them, and I could see that they were somewhere around 140 degrees when I went back to the place around mid day.
    Since the landlord hired them, hopefully he got a guarantee, since he's probably going to be pretty angry when we talk to him about this. I'll go ahead and PM you the name of the company, Nobugs, maybe you've heard if they're any good?
    thanks again everyone!

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Oct 14 2010 13:04:07
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    sadaboutbugs,

    I am not familiar with this firm, but that does not mean anything.

    I would be interested if the manufacturer of this technology thinks there should be live bed bugs after treatment.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 9 2010 1:10:25
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    After reading sadaboutbugs's post, I enquired of the folks at Temp-Air (Thermal Remediation is their trademark), who had this to say about bed bugs surviving treatment:

    In a perfect, controlled environment, science has proven that temperatures above 122 F will kill the entire life cycle of the bed bug (U of M study). However once you add in a lot of variables like furniture, possessions/clutter, the type of structure, the layout of the rooms, the level of infestation, neighboring infestations, experience of the treatment provider, cooperation of the customer, each treatment becomes a unique challenge. Although it’s not common to see live bed bugs after a Thermal Remediation treatment, considering the variables, if any bugs remain insulated from the heat they could be damaged but not killed. In most cases they have been critically wounded and die shortly thereafter.

    In the specific case mentioned, there are several possibilities as to what happened. First the entire apartment was not heat-treated. (Was a dog used to identify areas of infestation, and that’s why they limited the treatment area?) Second, were the adjoining units inspected or treated? Without knowing the exact details it’s hard to say if the bug survived the heat treatment or if it came from an adjoining apartment, the unheated area, or was reintroduced in some other way.

    No treatment method is guaranteed to be 100% effective in every setting due to the number of variables. Whether it provides a 100% kill or drastically devastates the population, heat remains a highly effective tool in the battle against bed bugs.

    Feel free to post any or all of this if you see fit.

    Thanks!

    Jessica Anderson
    Marketing Manager, Temp-Air

    [Emphasis added.]

    I do not know whether this is true of other heat treatment providers, but I don't think it's something we've heard a lot about from the industry.

    I apologize for the delay in posting this, but I thought this might be useful information for others.


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