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A little bit of despair about the recent experiences with thermal treatments

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  1. eatingmealive

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jan 2 2009 22:11:31
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    I was looking at the forum and reading about the most recent thermal treatments for members, and it would appear that the last three, including my own, have failed. I find myself wondering why the high failure rate. I am also finding it disappointing and disheartening at this point. I wonder if i will ever rid myself of this pest. Just some venting on my part here, no question really.

  2. fearless fighter

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jan 2 2009 22:15:33
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    I was thinking about trying thermal, but with what I've read on the forum....I wonder if it'll even work for me.I feel your pain.

  3. aballen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jan 2 2009 22:35:03
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    I am sleeping in my bed for the first time tonight after my second thermal treatment because the termal destroyed my seep number beed along with lots of other stuff, I am sure you saw my post. Time will tell if the second one works.

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jan 3 2009 3:18:30
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    For what it's worth, I had great results with a single thermal treatment, and I'm now 6 months plus bed bug free. I had some damage, most of which I think could have been avoided with better info from the PCO. None of it was damage to furniture (except IKEA, which AFAIC doesn't count); all of it was damage to electronics, two of which were old or already showing problems. The third item, i suspect, could have been avoided if the PCOs had told me to unplug the item.

    As a result, I'm betting that anyone who came through these fora would think to unplug similar items if they opted for thermal.

    Since I'm not a pro, I can't tell you for sure whether it's a matter of experience on the part of the PCO or what.

    I mention that only because my treatment was so long ago it might not come up in recent threads.

    (and now, I'm going to sleep since I just finished my grades after a serious stretch of 12 hours of grading. blerg. apologies if i'm less coherent than usual.)

  5. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jan 3 2009 3:30:45
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    fearless fighter,

    We are running close to 97% one treatment success currently. We haven't caused damage to anything unexpected in months. Don't base your decision totally on what you read here. Do good research with a local provider, ensure they have a guarantee and enquire about their experience.

    Treat them just any other contractor. Due diligence. The technology works very, very well when applied properly.

    I'm sure you could find similar experiences during the early days of any process including Vikane.

    Best of luck and feel free to PM me with any questions. I'll be honest.
    Tony Canevaro

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jan 3 2009 17:55:41
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    eatingmealive,

    I am not sure who treated your home, but reepicheep and aballen used the same provider as one another. To me, this does not suggest thermal is hopeless.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. aballen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jan 3 2009 22:47:06
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    Eatingmealive, we used Xtreme Resolution in Ohio, West Chester. What state are you in? Thye are the only ones in the state for us.

  8. eatingmealive

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jan 4 2009 20:48:24
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    We're in MA. We were just so hopeful about this technology and the roller coaster ride that this has been, takes its toll on us day after day. I had a really low weekend and am starting to get more positive again. The budget is starting to get tight for us, which is really starting to scare me right now.

    We have had fewer bite and impact than before the the treatment which has been a good thing. The bites on my legs are starting to heal which another positive thing. We keep hoping and praying and getting ready for a 2nd go. It is a new year and I have to think that 2009 will be better than 2008!

    If anyone has any thoughts on things that may have gone wrong my ears are open.

  9. Bugologist

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jan 5 2009 8:25:10
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    I'm going to reiterate what Tony said in that you shouldn't base your decisions solely off of what you read here. There are a few things you should be aware of:

    1. Remember, you get a very small snippet of bed bug sufferers that post on this site. If you based your opinion on the resurgence of bed bugs solely off this site you may expect to find 10 million in your bed tomorrow morning. NOT TO SAY THAT IT ISN'T A WORLDWIDE SERIOUS PROBLEM AND THAT IT ISN'T TAKING OVER CERTAIN AREAS! A lot of people who post on here are in areas of a city or wherever that bed bugs really do feel like they are taking over. It actuality, we do 100's of jobs every year and many other experts on this site will atest to this, have 100's of easy, no complaints, why is this such a big deal type success stories. The people who typically come on here do so to complain and find information, you don't get a large portion of people who had success that come on to say I had them and my company got rid of them in 2 services and don't know what the big deal is. So, you may get more complaints about heat then success. That being said....

    2. Although the 97% that Tony gave is high compared to what we're seeing (which could be because we're working with a different system), we are getting a lot of good success in manageable situations. Meaning when we treat apartments that aren't over-cluttered and the bugs aren't completely out of control we are typically getting rid of them in one shot. Whether the 3 of 4 failures on this site are from bad heat technicians, out of control problems, it's a function of the site, etc... I couldn't tell you but heat can, and does, work if its done properly in the right setting.

    3. In these other problems where heat may not work (clutter, bad problems, etc...) it shouldn't be sold as a one-and-done type treatment. It should still drastically improve the problem but getting rid of every bug may be impossible.

    4. Remember heat is a new technology that not only the public is just learning about but the people providing the heat are still learning about. It's a learning curve for everyone.

  10. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jan 5 2009 10:58:28
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    Bugologist hit the nail on the head.

    The only minor quibble I have is his comment #3: re clutter and bad infestations.
    We consistently have one treatment successes in those situations. They ARE the most difficult to achieve that result in however.

    Due diligence is your key phrase in all of these situations.

    Best of luck!
    Tony Canevaro

  11. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jan 5 2009 11:57:01
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    ::points up thread::

    What they said.

    It's like I tell my students about ratemyprofessor.com. There's a sample selection problem at work here. If you don't know anything about statistics, I'll translate statistics talk into everyday English. When social scientists do research, they have to be very careful and purposeful in selecting a sample that doesn't have particular biases. As a result, pollsters, for example,in this past election (and ones before) have to use specific protocols to select certain phone numbers to call. (Usually that means selecting numbers from a list of numbers by a prescribed method--like every 25th phone number,or something.) Because if you don't follow a spcific methodology--for example, if you only poll your friends at the local gay bar or your church's congregation, the very place that you used is going to yield a biased sample.

    (Take California's Prop 8. The stats tell us that people who attend church regularly overwhelmingly voted for Prop 8. Gay folks voted overwhelmingly against it. If you hang in one of those two communities, and you "poll" your friends, you end up with a much greater chance at a biased sample because you yourself have made subtle decisions in who you are friends with. This got talked about a lot in those who follow polls because, for example, the protocol for polls looks only at landlines. Increasingly, esp. among young and metro area populations, some people don't have landlines, which means the subgroups of people who only have cell phones are underrepresented in polls, which is one reason that polls may be inaccurate.)

    That's called sample selection bias. when the group that you survey isn't really mathematically random, you can over or undersample certain groups.

    When you're talking about a voluntary board, like this one, where people come of their own volition and ask questions or talk about their experiences, you're leaving out, by definition, all the people who didn't feel strongly about bed bugs.

    So a lot of people might have chemical or thermal treatment that is effective in one, two, or three treatments, and they don't think it's a big deal. Which means that they may never take the step of looking for info online or posting to the forums. So you don't get their voices represented here.

    (Ratemyprofessor.com has the same problem. Students who hate or love a prof will take the time or effort to post, but the vast, undifferentiated middle won't bother, which means that you're not getting a representative sample. And students who dislike a prof are way more likely to post than those who do like one. I'm sure there's also a slice of students, who like me, don't think that how hot a prof is or how easy a class is are good criteria for evaluating courses and so won't post there either. In short, you're starting with a biased sample.)

    Most of the people here are people in the throes of a bad bed bug infestation. That means that you're going to get a disproportionate sampling of horror stories.

    That doesn't mean that those horror stories are invalid in anyway. They're not. They're really awful horror stories. It doesn't mean that they've been exaggerated or that they are wrong. The stories are true and happening and legitimate, and people who need help with them come here for that help.

    And there are exceptions. Nobugs doesn't have a horror story right now. The pros who come here are a really valuable asset because they have a much greater variety of experiences, to say nothing of their expertise, to draw on, and some people on the boards are members who are past infestation do stick around because we feel an obligation to pass on information to other people.

    But numerically, there are fewer of us posting less often than there are newbites or people with intrenched problems trying to figure out how to solve the problem.

    And keeping that fact in mind while reading the boards was really important to me when I was sorting through all the information here as I tried to figure out what to expect and how to treat. Because there is a lot of information and it sometimes contradicts itself.

    I want to stress that I don't doubt that aballen and others had horrible damage from thermal, and I really feel for them. Bed bugs are enough of an invasion into your life that made me feel like my home was no longer a safe place. And even though my damage was minimal, every time I looked at proof of that damage, for a while after my thermal treatment, I was reminded of those emotions. Since my damage was minimal, it didn't take long to fix.

    The idea of having that much damage just breaks my heart. I would feel so not at home in my house all over again. I would have felt really betrayed coming home to that after expecting that after one or two treatments I would be bed bug free, and now I was furniture free too.

    Reading the threads on this topic, however, has reminded me how important it is to keep that sample selection issue in mind when sorting through the info. I'm not sure it's possible to describe to someone who hasn't been through a bed bug infestation how very gobsmacked a lot of us feel and how very lost and adrift we feel because there is so very much about bed bugs in particular that we just don't know. For some people, it's hard to find the bugs in the first place or proof of them in order to get treated, it's hard to see nymphs and eggs which means it's hard to tell when you're clear, and it's hard to be convinced after they are gone that they are really gone. Add on to all of that the fact that there isn't a clear, effective protocol that it universally agreed upon for treating them, and people get really frustrated.

  12. aballen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jan 5 2009 15:43:38
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    PM me and I can give you some advice on better preparation, as one poster suggested, it would have virtually eliminated most of my furniture damage. We have had no bites since the second treatment, but the house was way overheated. If the bugs are gone, and better prep advice to others will help relieve some damage, overall, worth it in my opinion. Actually, I am going to make a post on better thermal prep, but it probably won't be today. I love the technology, just not the damage. If I had Vikane, I would have done that.

  13. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jan 5 2009 21:00:25
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    Aballen - I had vikane fumigation (done in a truck) so it was much less effective than structural fumigation (like what Paula had)

    The treatment failed miserably - and it was DEFINITELY NOT the silver bullet that people make it out to be - I don't believe that stuff in a truck can be treated effectively

    Vikane in a vault chamber that is airtight wwould work better

    my point is that you have no way of knowing if you had Vikaned your home that it would have worked any better

    but you would not have the damage you have now

    your story broke my heart also

  14. eatingmealive

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jan 5 2009 21:02:53
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    Thanks to everyone who posted here in response. In my opinion this is a valuable post with some good information. Being in the midst of an infestation, exhausted by that, and everything else this time of year, it is very easy to lose perspective.

    I truly appreciate the experts we have here and the older members who can share their experiences. Thank you.

  15. almostdying

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 6 2009 0:36:06
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    I too, am afraid that heat treatment is not the way to go. However, I'm having my heat treatment done now. I'm still hoping it will succeed...and will post about the results in a couple of weeks.

  16. Bugologist

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 6 2009 8:03:59
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    Another thing people say that everybody needs to be aware of. Adele, I appreciate that you went through the vikane fumigation that you did and it didn't work. That's unfortunate and I feel for you. But, and this but goes for a lot of people.....

    Just because your experience didn't work out doesn't mean that vikane fumigation isn't the silver bullet that "people make it out to be." Vikane, if done correctly and barring any major complications, is 100% effective. If you had a moving truck fumigated and it "failed miserably", it was done wrong or something in the prep list wasn't done properly or a prep list wasn't communicated to you. It wasn't the vikane. It was either the provider or the prep.

    With homes, you can sometimes run into unforseen complications but even still, most GOOD fumigators will tell you they can overcome and predict most before they happen. Also, most will tell you moving truck/container fumigations are as easy as they come. Literally, you inspect the back of the truck for any major breaks in the structure, if they exist you can seal those breaks or tarp the truck. If they don't, poly tape the door close to prevent fumigant leak and then infect the fumigant. It's really, for the most part, that easy. If you can calculate the proper amount of fumigant for the proper time, don't overlook a problem with the truck, properly seal it and make sure the preps were followed, it's simple.

    What I'm trying to get at is people saying that something doesn't work or isn't what people claim it is from one experience, especially when you aren't the provider of that service. When someone is scientifically analyzing something and it fails miserably, we still try to give something a second shot to make sure there wasn't something we overlooked. Unfortunately, and this is unfortunate, there are a lot of providers of pest control who don't know how to use their tools properly and that's what causes failure. It's not the technology.

  17. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 6 2009 8:37:25
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    Adele I'm sorry your vikane did not go well. I have to post that I had 100% success with my vikane though. For me vikane was the "silver bullet". I have been bb free since may 29th 2008. I agree with Bugologist a lot (actually all) depends on the provider of the treatment.

  18. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 6 2009 14:45:29
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    Bugologist

    With the greatest respect, I need to point out that I actually had MULTIPLE fumigations from the same provider (largely becasue they knew the fumigation failed and were willing to redo it)

    the failure was not the Vikane as you pointed out - it was the providers error amd the way in which they do the treatment in the back of a moving truck - that is what I had issues with

    I am aware that lots of people have success with this process but I did not - multiple times!!

    In my case they told me that the truck could be packed but room left at the top for the vikane. Well I was obsessive about how I packed the boxes - there were holes in the boxes and the boxes were loosely packed with no plastic anywhere - to the letter of their prep instructions

    The truck was tightly packed but 1 foot of room left at the tope - again to the letter of the instructions

    So my point is that if I followed the prep to the letter - and we know that Vikane can work - then where did the error occur? It was either the process itself (ie fumigating in the back of a non-arit tight moving truck) or it was provider error.

    In either case it caused me months of heartache despite the enormous amount of money I spent

    As I mentioned I had nultiple fumigations - the moving truck as well as my car - it was amazing to me - in one instance (I had my care fumigated twice) I had my car vikaned and I was driving it off the lot at night and a bedbug fell from the wheel well onto my leg and bit me!!

    My point is that because of the way they do the fumigation (in the back of a truck that is no way air tight) I just don't believe in the process

    I think a stand-alone house would have better success than a truck

  19. IveBeenBugged

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 6 2009 17:54:48
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    Adele I'm not sure where to start. I was so happy when you had posted about getting the vikane treatment. If I remember it was not that long after I had had mine. I wish you had gotten rid of the bugs then and didn't have to keep going through this.

    I have to post that the process of having a truck vikaned is the same as a house. In my case they not only sealed the truck but tented it also. Fans had been set up in the uhaul to assure the dispersal of the vikane evenly throughout. They also used monitors in a couple places to make sure the levels stayed within parameters. Besides the tenting the biggest difference is that my truck was half full and VERY loosely packed. It took 29 hours before I could pick it up. I had thought 24 but it took a few hours longer to air out completely.

    I'm sorry you did not get the same results when your had yours done but the process with a u haul does work when properly done. I have never had a car done so cannot comment on that.

    I have to say the I found my company (south florida only) by emailing a professor at a university here after I found out online he taught the course. I asked him if he knew of anyone who could help in my area and went with his recommendation.

    Perhaps some of you out there can find some info from a university around you with a bug dept in them with finding help also.

  20. Adele

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 6 2009 21:53:28
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    Hello IBB - How are you, Dear? It's been a while since i've seen you here.

    I remember your posts when I first came on here about my fumigation and I remember how kindly you answered my questions.

    I am winding down my problem now and i feel much more confortable here - because of a kind-hearted PCO known here as KillerQueen - but unfortunately not because of the fumigation

    It did not work for me and I was very upset and angry about it - I could have saved myself months of additional costs and work

    Not just the truck failed but also my car fumigation failed as well

    I think what failed with my fumigation in the truck was that the truck was packed solid with my stuff and was not tarped. I don't know why the car fumigation failed becasue it was tarped and empty.

    but when the bug dropped on my leg - and it was summer and I was wearing shorts and I FELT it drop down on my leg - I was really pissed.

    In any case it's better now but I will never be a fan of fumigation - nor will I ever recommend it - because of my experience with it.


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