Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Reader questions (do not fit into other categories)

A few questions. Professional opinion would be appreciated.

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  1. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Sun Apr 22 2018 23:09:11
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    I'm sorry for the long rant, but I want to be sure you know our exact situation before asking any questions. We brought home BBs on Jan. 11. (we saw them in the hospital, but hubby had already brought our bags home so despite drying our clothing in a panic...we now have them) 2 weeks after getting home I began getting bites. I was sleeping on the couch every night. (stitches made this way easier than my bed) The vacant flooded unit below us had a ton of gnats (tiny biting flies) at this time, and they were coming up. Of course, I stupidly blamed the gnats for all of my bites, they WERE biting too. 65 days after the hospital (yep I counted) I saw the first one on my couch at 4am. I panicked and we dragged the couch outside. Luckily it sat right next to the door so we didn't drag it through our apartment. The next night we found 1 newly hatched fed bug on our bed. (killed it, I had the bite) we bagged all of the clothes and bedding that night, and have not been bit in that room since. We have checked every inch of the mattress and boxspring (inside box spring too) every night for the past month and have not seen any signs. (bugs or spots) 2 days after moving the couch out, we found 2 medium sized bugs in a baby swing that sat beside the couch. Killed those, washed the liner, steamed the rest. (baby had been sleeping in this the whole 2 months due to reflux) That day my hubby put down mass amounts of DE. (every single inch of the floor and baseboards, the window sills, door frames, outlets, the dust settled on every piece of furniture. It's half an inch thick around the baseboards) I'm aware that this is not done right by any means and isn't healthy, but try telling him that. Nobody was bit at all for 2 weeks, Then my 6 year old woke up with a bite. (his room is next to the living room) we completely emptied his room. (all toys that could be washed in hot water and lysol were washed and put into ziplock bags inside tote bins) Toys with batteries were thrown out. His bed was torn apart. Bedding washed, frame and mattress steamed and dusted with DE. No bugs were found, but no bites since. (it's been 2 weeks since then nobody has had any bites) there is still DE everywhere and hubby refuses to remove it. I'll admit, I prefer it over bites. Here's the thing... we are moving in 1 month and do not have a choice. Our landlord shut off his phones 6 months ago, nobody has been able to contact him in that amount of time including police and lawyers. (another tenant is trying to sue for other reasons) He is not going to be of any help. We don't want to take ANY chances bringing these things with us. Every single item has been soaked in lysol and hot (156) water, put into a ziplock bag, and the bags into tote bins. The bins will be steamed inside and out on moving day. We've ordered new furniture to the new house. No furniture will be coming with us. (we had planned to replace furniture before the bugs) I've now washed and bagged nearly every item in the apartment. I've not seen another bug dead or alive anywhere. We are up until 2-4am every night. We look, we've seen nothing ...now the questions.

    1) My son had a lot of stuffed animals on his bed. If I put these through a hot wash and dry like the laundry, is that sufficient to kill ALL bugs and eggs on or in them guaranteed? (don't care if some are damaged in the process, that would be better than throwing them all out) I'm unsure if the inside would ever get hot enough though.

    2) My son has a captains bed with drawers built in. These were full of hard cover books. Currently they are double bagged in a corner. Is there any way to treat these or are they headed for the trash? I REFUSE to keep them unless treated somehow. Packtite is sadly not available where I live.

    3) In our living room there are 2 very expensive computers, and a wall mounted TV. These are all less than 5 feet from the couch that was infested. How the heck do I deal with these? I have not been able to find nuvan strips in Canada. (Canadians, any help here?) If I can't find any, what do you recommend? What are the odds that anything is in these? They run quite hot and are never turned off...but I want to take ZERO chances. Throwing them out would be a loss of several thousand dollars, but we've spent much more than that on new furniture and keeping them if they could possibly have anything in them isn't worth it. If they can't be treated and a professional suggests tossing them out, I am prepared to do that.

    4) Last one I promise! In the event that our slumlord is actually alive, Can we be in any sort of legal trouble for not fully dealing with these bugs before moving? At this point I can't afford professional help, and even if I somehow managed to get the money, nobody will touch the place without the owner's consent. There is one other tenant in the building but she is also planning to move. We have tried calling, going to the hotel he owns, we tried asking the other tenant that has had police and lawyers after him...he can't be reached. I can't possibly inform him of the bugs, or even the fact that we're moving out. The basement units have been vacant for over 6 months, here's hoping the whole building stays that way for another year.

  2. thirdusername

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Mon Apr 23 2018 0:19:11
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    I haven't heard of nuvan strips in Canada.
    Cimexa is not available either.
    I don't know how to treat your computers and tv.
    If you do take them with you, it probably depends on a lot if the landlord will just treat or say you brought them in.
    If it's a big building, the landlord might be used to doing it.

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Mon Apr 23 2018 21:39:10
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    The Packtite Closet is available in Canada.

    I believe DDVP strips are also.

    I would dry stuffed animals on hot. No need to wash them first.

    Soaking things in Lysol and hot water and bagging— not sure how that works. Do you hang it up to dry before bagging?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Mon Apr 23 2018 21:41:24
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    The Packtite Closet is available in Canada.

    I believe DDVP strips are also. Someone in this thread got them at a Canadian Home Depot: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/where-can-i-buy-nuvan-hot-shot-ddvp-strip

    I would dry stuffed animals on hot. No need to wash them first. Dry items don’t need to be dried as long. The hot dryer alone will kill bed bugs.

    Soaking things in Lysol and hot water and bagging— not sure how that works. Do you hang it up to dry before bagging?

    I don’t know if anyone can give legal advice on the laws regarding tenants in your location, even if they knew where you were. However, you should be able to determine if the landlord is responsible for treatment. (Google a tenants’ organization in your city or province). The local laws may affect whether you need to pay for treatment. If not, you’re probably obliged to tell the landlord promptly.

    And in many places, tenants are told to send a letter by certified mail so you have proof of any notification you send a landlord. I am not a lawyer— email might be okay too. Leaving messages probably not so much. So maybe it’s worth a written notification.

    I hope this helps a bit!

  5. rca

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 9:12:42
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    On the computers (I am a tech) although the CPU's and hard drives run hotter than 120 Fahrenheit, there are fans inside to cool things. If it is a laptop, you could try putting it in a large zip lock bag and put it in the sun or directly in front of a heater. If it is a tower box, you can remove the screws that allow you access into it and vacuum inside with a crevice tool. Do a gentle cleaning, several days in a row. Then get a large space bag and keep it safely bagged. Don't put DE in either style computer. Don't spray any liquids into them either. Those products could cause overheating from gunk build up.

  6. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 17:11:21
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    Thank you both for your advice.

    I dried the toys that I could with a clean towel and bagged them right away...unfortunately doing the wooden blocks that way was a mistake. They ended up molding...now in the garbage. Lesson learned lol.

    As for the towers...there doesn't seem to be any bugs in them (or on any other objects throughout my apartment for that matter) I don't think we are in a situation where they are everywhere. I'm only slightly paranoid that the towers could have eggs inside, not live bugs. Only because they're so darn close to the couch area. Hubby is somewhat tech savvy and took them apart enough to see there are no live bugs inside. (and now refuses to part with the towers) A vacuum wouldn't do much, if anything, for eggs right? ...would they even consider laying eggs somewhere so hot? I'm on a mad hunt for those pest strips, because otherwise I'll be so damn paranoid. I ordered some online, but god knows if they'll make it here. I know dusts and sprays will not. I'll check home depot. (thanks Nobugsonme for that idea!)

    we've hunted and searched during the day and at night for bugs, and washed/bagged every item in the apartment, I found a total of 4 bugs in a month and a half. One was on the couch that I tossed out (this is where the nest was I'm sure of that) I found 2 on a swing that was touching the couch, and 1 new hatchling on our bed. We had brought a dirty sweater into our room that was on the couch for a couple days, I suspect the one bug we found in there came from that. (did this just hours before seeing the first bug and bagged all clothing right after) I feel like our situation should be so much worse after 2 months of having no idea and doing nothing. Is it actually possible that they never tried to leave the couch? The ones we found were either on the couch, or on objects that were touching it. (assuming that one baby one in our room did come from my sweater) My son sleeps only about 10 feet from the couch, and he never got a single bite until the couch was thrown out. (then got 2 a week apart, but has had no more in weeks) the couch was right beside the door, but it's definitely possible we knocked one bug off moving it, and my sons room would have been the closest food source.

  7. thirdusername

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 17:44:00
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    Your vacuum may or may not pick up eggs, depends how strong the vacuum is.

    Newly hatched bugs need to feed after they hatch.
    They won't survive long without feeding.
    If you want, you could bag your computers for a month.
    I think that is overkill if they were thoroughly inspected.

  8. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 18:08:20
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    hmm I never considered bagging them without strips. I suppose that would be better than nothing if I can't find any. I'm sure the hubby will be annoyed with me, but at least I didn't throw it out, right? lol.
    It's so damn hard resisting the urge to just throw everything out. I think if it weren't for this site I'd have left with only the clothes on our backs...and even those would have been thrown out before stepping into the new place. Thank god we had already been saving for new furniture or I'd be a nervous wreck.

  9. rca

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 18:34:09
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    Have you considered going into your new home, while it is empty, and spraying with a residual product? I know that some will consider it 'overkill', but it may give you some peace of mind.

  10. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 19:10:31
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    we won't be using poison in the new home because we have a little one that will be crawling soon, but I intend to do all of the baseboards in the new home with DE. (partly as an overkill thing, partly as a preventative measure) This time I intend to hide the stuff from my completely insane hubby and use the stuff properly. lmao.

  11. rca

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Tue Apr 24 2018 19:40:12
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    Hang in there. Hoping everything goes well on the move and you and the little one enjoy your new home (and hubby too - :D)

  12. loubugs

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 5:08:12
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    Bugsareicky - 9 hours ago  » 
    we won't be using poison in the new home because we have a little one that will be crawling soon, but I intend to do all of the baseboards in the new home with DE. (partly as an overkill thing, partly as a preventative measure) This time I intend to hide the stuff from my completely insane hubby and use the stuff properly. lmao.

    The insecticide spray that is used and dries is less of a problem than DE dust. I wouldn't use if you have a child who will be crawling around. Diatomaceous Earth contains some crystalline silica.

    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.
  13. loubugs

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 5:10:20
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    thirdusername - 11 hours ago  » 
    Your vacuum may or may not pick up eggs, depends how strong the vacuum is.
    Newly hatched bugs need to feed after they hatch.
    They won't survive long without feeding.
    If you want, you could bag your computers for a month.
    I think that is overkill if they were thoroughly inspected.

    Yes, they do need to feed. Newly hatched bed bug first instar nymphs can live (depending on room temp) for weeks and in some studies up to 3 months without a first blood meal.

  14. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 12:32:41
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    ugh 3 months is too long to bag the computers. (I'd need to buy new ones for work if it were that long) Hopefully I can get those darn pest strips.

    As for the DE, the baby is not crawling yet (thank god for that!) In the new home the DE will be used very sparingly. (A very small amount on the baseboards and under the couch and beds, not enough to kick up any dust) we're using food grade, and from what I understand it's the pool one you need to be really worried about. We also bought BB proof mattress and box spring encasements for the new beds and crib mattress, metal bed frames, and some climb ups for the beds and crib. I'm double and triple washing everything and praying we bring none with us, but if one happens to slip through hopefully it will find itself in DE or a climb up before being able to feed. I spend a week every year sleeping outside on the ground in a sleeping bag (camping) and yet a fking little bug has me this paranoid. You ever sit back and just laugh at yourself? lol

  15. loubugs

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 16:40:06
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    Bugsareicky - 4 hours ago  » 
    ugh 3 months is too long to bag the computers. (I'd need to buy new ones for work if it were that long) Hopefully I can get those darn pest strips.
    As for the DE, the baby is not crawling yet (thank god for that!) In the new home the DE will be used very sparingly. (A very small amount on the baseboards and under the couch and beds, not enough to kick up any dust) we're using food grade, and from what I understand it's the pool one you need to be really worried about. We also bought BB proof mattress and box spring encasements for the new beds and crib mattress, metal bed frames, and some climb ups for the beds and crib. I'm double and triple washing everything and praying we bring none with us, but if one happens to slip through hopefully it will find itself in DE or a climb up before being able to feed. I spend a week every year sleeping outside on the ground in a sleeping bag (camping) and yet a fking little bug has me this paranoid. You ever sit back and just laugh at yourself? lol

    You have to use food grade DE; the other is pool grade and doesn't work for pest control and is highly crystalline. Food grade DE is eaten and is OK; food grade DE inhaled is really not OK, especially for a young child with a small lung volume and "new lungs". And your child is short and crawling, so would be closest to DE compared to you who would be walking. When you apply it, you are supposed to wear a dust mask. I've seen people use protective equipment to apply it (too heavily) and then live there (obviously without wearing any dust mask). They say it is food grade so it must be safe. Does that make sense? I've consulted with some doctors at ERs where they have had patients come in due to breathing issues and DE. This is silicosis.

  16. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 21:00:06
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    My hubby put down a ridiculous amount of DE while I was out, and I full out panicked when I got home. I did quite a bit of research that night trying to convince him to remove it (no such luck) lol. The pool stuff is super dangerous, I wouldn't want to mess with that even if it did work. The food grade is much safer, but breathing in a lot would still be bad. (like when you're dusting the room) every article I could find mentions "repeated exposure". I think the real risk for silicosis is for people that apply this stuff for a living every day for 20 years. very tiny amounts of scarring slowly add up. A barely visible amount on the baseboards is pretty unlikely to kick up any dust, let alone enough to cause harm. In our current apartment there is WAY too much of the stuff, it's literally just piled up against the baseboards, but it doesn't seem to end up in the air. I washed a couple pieces of dark furniture to test this theory...after 3 days there is no dust on them at all. (when he first put it down ALL of my furniture was covered in it) I think it settles pretty well unless you're blowing it around or kicking it up. In truth, there may be a small risk applying it at the new place, but nowhere near what we've already been exposed to, and it scares me much less than the warning label on the poisons.

  17. rca

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 21:55:23
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    I am using Cimexa, but from the advice of my pest supply place, I am using a duster and puffing it into wall cavities & crevices only.

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 22:20:15
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    The suggestions to bag computers for a month or put them outside in a hot place or near a heater aren’t really reliable methods of killing bed bugs.

  19. loubugs

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    Posted 12 months ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 11:52:02
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    Bugsareicky - 14 hours ago  » 
    My hubby put down a ridiculous amount of DE while I was out, and I full out panicked when I got home. I did quite a bit of research that night trying to convince him to remove it (no such luck) lol. The pool stuff is super dangerous, I wouldn't want to mess with that even if it did work. The food grade is much safer, but breathing in a lot would still be bad. (like when you're dusting the room) every article I could find mentions "repeated exposure". I think the real risk for silicosis is for people that apply this stuff for a living every day for 20 years. very tiny amounts of scarring slowly add up. A barely visible amount on the baseboards is pretty unlikely to kick up any dust, let alone enough to cause harm. In our current apartment there is WAY too much of the stuff, it's literally just piled up against the baseboards, but it doesn't seem to end up in the air. I washed a couple pieces of dark furniture to test this theory...after 3 days there is no dust on them at all. (when he first put it down ALL of my furniture was covered in it) I think it settles pretty well unless you're blowing it around or kicking it up. In truth, there may be a small risk applying it at the new place, but nowhere near what we've already been exposed to, and it scares me much less than the warning label on the poisons.

    "I think the real risk for silicosis is for people that apply this stuff for a living every day for 20 years. very tiny amounts of scarring slowly add up. A barely visible amount on the baseboards is pretty unlikely to kick up any dust, let alone enough to cause harm. In our current apartment there is WAY too much of the stuff, it's literally just piled up against the baseboards, but it doesn't seem to end up in the air."
    ---- No, not really. The people who have gone to the ER were those who just applied it too heavily and didn't realize that they were inhaling it. Don't use a vacuum cleaner to remove it -- it just goes out the exhaust and back into the room via the air that you breathe. I mentioned a child who crawls around will be closer to the powder and could inhale it and also will put their hands and feet in it (because they don't know any better). The action could cause it to be more airborne.


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