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A Proper Beauveria Bassiana Field Trial

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  1. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Oct 12 2018 0:53:34
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    Hello. I have done quite a bit of reading on these forums in an effort to find a way to resolve my own bed bug problem. I've read through the few threads on Beauveria Bassiana. Namely, the field trial one. Many pointed out issues with the field trial itself, such as the use of other insecticides which blurs the effectiveness of Beauveria Bassiana. Now that Aprehend is available on the market and it's known that Beauveria Bassiana in this setting provides minimal health risks, I think it would be worth documenting my experiences.

    Disclaimer: Everything stated here is to be considered educational only. I am in no way suggesting that one should go against the label on pesticides. Things CAN go wrong and likely WILL. Improper use of pesticides can have varying consequences, up to and including death.

    For some background: I live on my own in a relatively small 1 bedroom apartment. I'm in my mid-20s with a strong immune system. I'm lucky enough to not react to the bites at all. I can't accurately gauge the level of infestation that I have due to a lack of reference. I've only seen one infestation, the one I'm dealing with. I would imagine it's somewhere from mild to moderate, though. I've identified multiple nests on the outside of my bed in just about any crack or crevice available. I can very easily find adult bugs, white nymphs, discarded shells, their nests, and their fecal matter. My only upholstered furniture other than my bed is a rocking chair that is very infrequently sat in, and my computer chair, which I spend a significant amount of time in. I have only ever seen the bugs on my person or on my bed. I haven't spotted them on either of the chairs, nor in any room other than my bedroom (aside from when I spot them on my person and promptly kill them). That said, I work under the assumption that there is at least one bug in a room other than my bedroom, even though I haven't seen one. My bed doesn't have a frame. It is a full sized bed with box spring, and the box spring sits on the floor.

    Unfortunately, I'm not able to afford a PCO, and thus I cannot acquire Aprehend. I did some research on what options are available and came to the conclusion that anything other than Aprehend would require working with 3 different treatments. For example, a dust such as Cimexa, a contact killer, and a residual killer. The price of these, for me, would have been about as much as Botanigard 22WP and a pump sprayer would cost. During my research, I came to the conclusion Botanigard would likely provide a more effective treatment than the other options due to bed bug resistances and the amount of factors involved in correctly applying 3 different pesticides vs effectively applying one pesticide that actively spreads via contact. The other factor in this decision is the hope that, if any bugs do flee and make it outside the apartment, they will have ideally been infected and continue to spread the infection to any bugs they come in contact with. Hopefully reducing the likelihood that the problem spreads to other apartments in the building.

    I have not used any treatments previously, or otherwise attempted to deal with the problem. I decided it was best to just let the bugs be until I came up with a plan, in order to avoid spreading the bugs to any adjacent apartments. I likely brought the bugs in from my previous living arrangements, where they had a significant infestation in all of the rooms and the PCO they hired didn't have a clue how to effectively deal with them. So it's unlikely any of the other apartments had bed bugs before I moved in, and I'd like to avoid the other apartments getting infested as a result of me moving in. I like my current landlord, and even if I didn't, my state's laws say that, given the circumstances, I would be responsible for the costs involved in eradicating the bugs.

    Day 1:
    Received Botanigard 22WP. Did some basic math and determined that to match the quantity of Beauveria Bassiana in Aprehend (9%), it would take roughly 1.5 cups of Botanigard 22WP per 1 gallon of mixture. I made sure the water was room temperature, so that the spores would not be damaged. The water used was tap water. I did not do any filtration to the water. In hindsight, spraying this mixture left a white, crusty film behind, likely the result of not enough water/too high a concentration of the powder. I will use a much lower concentration next time, likely half a cup per 1 gal. It's possible the first treatment will be rendered entirely ineffective because of this. Trial and error.

    I started by spraying an outer perimeter along all of the base boards in my apartment, as well as the other cracks the bugs may be able to traverse (such as holes for piping, cable wires, etc). I started with this step to ensure that if the bugs evacuate the bed, they can't spread to other areas without carrying the spores with them.

    I then stripped my bed and sprayed along the bottom of the box spring around all four sides. I then sprayed everywhere I had identified a nest, to ensure that the bugs would be infected. I then sprayed along all four sides where the box spring and mattress meet. I then sprayed along the top edge of the mattress on all four sides. I did this because some of the nests are on the mattress itself and I wanted to increase the odds that, when the bugs came to feed, they would be forced to travel through the spores.

    During this, I had also directly sprayed any bugs I came across in the process. Because fuck those bugs in particular.

    Day 3:
    Did some inspection of my bed to see if the bugs are showing any signs of infection. I'm not sure if it's a sign of infection or not. Only time will tell. But I have noticed some white spots on some of the bugs. This could either be infection, or it could be a result of me directly spraying the bugs, possibly leaving a residue behind on their shell. Photo attached. I didn't observe the bugs moving any slower than they normally do. I wouldn't expect to notice lethargy this early, though.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't get very good photo quality with my phone due to a lack of natural light. I had to use flash for anything to be visible, but flash creates a glare. But I've marked the locations of the white spots, not that anyone could determine much from the terrible photos. I'll try to take some better ones tomorrow when there is natural light available.

    I want to re-iterate that nobody should be taking this thread as advice, nor evidence that doing what I'm doing is a good idea. It is simply my experiences. Your experiences may vary wildly, to the point of causing death to you or your loved ones.

  2. HelpBB

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Oct 12 2018 12:16:05
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    Hope it works for you

  3. will106106@yahoo.com

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Oct 13 2018 2:26:03
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    Please keep up updated in this thread!

  4. ihatethemsomuch

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sun Oct 14 2018 8:37:18
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    I also purchased the same version of botaniguard a few weeks ago, and have been using it in addition to an exterminator. He seems confident that we got them, but I found a nymph that seemed rather energetic a few hours after he left from the last treatment. Even though I know my place is covered in every legal residual in my state, I'm still scared to sleep in my bed, because I was unfortunate enough to wake up during chow time. The image of the emergent pattern created by them all closing in on my person at once is one I'll never forget. What's worse, is that I'm an ecology master's student, which means one of the things that I study is how quickly populations can rise and fall. I know the staying powers that insects possess.

    Anyway, I've uncovered a few recent research papers in addition to the one that led me to purchase the botanigaurd that had some information that might help you out. Aprehend did more damage almost twice as fast as botaniguard. They suspect the reason is that the oil solution causes a higher number of spores to stick to the bugs the first time, and it's more likely to result in a lateral transfer to their friends, which I believe is what we're both hoping for. I'm going to research different oil types that I might try mixing the botaniguard with, to see if I can make something sprayable for my sheets. The spores last about a week when mixed in a water solution, so you'll want to spray weekly if you're mixing in water though.

    Even if you're trying to make your population die with B. bassiana alone, you still want to physically stop movement between your bed and your room, to contain the bulk of the population in your treatment area. I've done this by placing the legs of my bed in disposable plastic food storage containers filled with baby powder (they can't climb out), and made little climbable on-ramps from the floor with paper towels, so I can trap any of them that try to get on the bed from the room.

    If you aren't sleeping in your bed, you want to use a lure system to keep them moving around on the spores. They mixed a yeast and sugar solution in soda bottles, to release the carbon dioxide that the bugs usually use to find us to keep them moving. They found that using lures for two nights, and then no lures for two nights (then repeat), led to the highest lateral transfer rates, because the bugs spent more time with their friends during their nights off.

    Good luck, my fellow researcher.

  5. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sun Oct 14 2018 19:08:02
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    During this, I had also directly sprayed any bugs I came across in the process. Because fuck those bugs in particular.

    🤣 Love it.

  6. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 15 2018 12:46:00
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    ihatethemsomuch - 1 day ago  » 
    Even though I know my place is covered in every legal residual in my state, I'm still scared to sleep in my bed, because I was unfortunate enough to wake up during chow time.

    Your case may be different. But, in my case, I'm effectively using myself as bait. So not sleeping in my bed would be counter productive. I specifically sprayed areas they would need to travel across in order to get to me, to ensure that when they feed, they will get their dose. Granted, in my case, I don't react. So it doesn't bother me a ton that they bite me, other than the annoyance and general disgust they bring.

    I will be continuing to update this thread, whether my test results in failure or success. I plan on doing another treatment today, as I'm doing weekly treatments. This time I will have to clean up the residue left behind from the last treatment, though. And I'll be using a half cup per 1 gallon.

  7. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Tue Oct 16 2018 17:24:56
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    Got busy yesterday and decided to do the treatment today instead.

    Day 9:
    Took a damp wash cloth and wiped all of the residue from the last treatment away. Fortunately, this was pretty easy. Didn't require any elbow grease at all.

    Made a half gallon of the mixture this time, using 1/4 cup of Botanigard 22WP (1/2 cup per 1 gal). Repeated the same steps as the previous treatment. There is no visible residue left behind after the water dried like there was last time, so that's a positive sign. This time it's more of a clear film of sorts. But you have to be looking for it to see it.

    During the treatment I inspected my bed and couldn't find any bugs showing the tell-tale white fuzz they get from a Beauveria Bassiana infection. I'm under the impression the previous treatment was ineffective due to too much mixture, not enough water.

    It's worth clarifying on how much of the spray I am using. I made 1/2 gal of the mixture, but spraying all of the base boards, my bed, and any other escape points I could find only used a tiny portion of this. Maybe 1/8th to 1/16th of the total mixture actually got sprayed. The rest is disposed of. I move the sprayer pretty quickly. My goal is to just apply a thin mist to the intended areas. I consider any puddles a bad sign.

    I want to re-iterate that nobody should be taking this thread as advice, nor evidence that doing what I'm doing is a good idea. It is simply my experiences. Your experiences may vary wildly, to the point of causing death to you or your loved ones.

  8. HelpBB

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 10:22:03
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    Any updates? I hope it is working!

  9. anonabug

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 17:08:47
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    I used only a heaping tablespoon of Botanigard in a gallon of 70 degree water. Two treatments, about a week apart. Worked in two different infestations. See my thread for instructions.

  10. HelpBB

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Fri Oct 26 2018 11:30:01
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    I really hope it is working for you. We had our house sprayed with Aprehend. What is weird is nothing feels or looks oily but my sons room where they also sprayed it it turned white and dusty. I hope this is not an issue. I don't think it is to humid or dry. My dehumidifier says 50% humidity.

  11. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Sun Oct 28 2018 17:29:52
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    anonabug - 6 days ago  » 
    I used only a heaping tablespoon of Botanigard in a gallon of 70 degree water. Two treatments, about a week apart. Worked in two different infestations. See my thread for instructions.

    Thanks for the info. I was trying to match the BB content that Aprehend has. But a week or so after the second treatment, none of the bugs are showing any of the white fuzz. I'll do a tablespoon next treatment, which should be tomorrow.

    HelpBB - 2 days ago  » 
    I really hope it is working for you. We had our house sprayed with Aprehend. What is weird is nothing feels or looks oily but my sons room where they also sprayed it it turned white and dusty. I hope this is not an issue. I don't think it is to humid or dry. My dehumidifier says 50% humidity.

    I don't believe humidity is a major concern for Aprehend. At least they claim it's not in their marketing materials. Their solution is the spores suspended in a mineral oil or similar from what I understand, which is how their spores can survive for 90 days after treatment. Fortunately for me, I live in an area where humidity is pretty much always at ideal levels for Beauveria Bassiana.

    Sorry for the lack of updates guys. I only come on here once a week or so. I skipped last treatment because it was obviously ineffective and I was busy. I assure you I won't abandon the thread, though. I'll keep it updated whether it works or not. If the next treatment with a tablespoon of powder doesn't work, I'll have to do some testing with a bug or three in a jar to make sure there are actually active spores in what I received. There's always the possibility that the company I ordered from didn't properly store it.

  12. will106106@yahoo.com

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 29 2018 0:42:35
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    Thanks for all the updates and post. I will start my botanigard treatment tomorrow. If it fails, I can still use it in my small garden. I'm curious if I should try to clean up all the Temperid fx first. Thanks

  13. HelpBB

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 29 2018 10:51:40
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    Will [email address username deleted] If you have them in several different places maybe lean up a place with warm water first and leave all the other place alone. Let the place you cleaned up dry then spray everthing. Keep us posted. I hope it works for you too. Maybe also try it with water and maybe some with oil but I wouldn't put the stuff with oil where it can be seen.

  14. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 29 2018 17:51:35
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    Day 22: Did another treatment today. Used a heaping tablespoon into a gallon of water this time. Treated the same areas as before, using the same method as before.

  15. Chronic

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Mon Oct 29 2018 22:09:07
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    Is the population decreasing? From what I heard they don't always get the white fuzz. Maybe capture a few that have been exposed to current treatment plan. Seen how they're fairing

  16. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Thu Nov 1 2018 22:08:22
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    Chronic - 2 days ago  » 
    Is the population decreasing? From what I heard they don't always get the white fuzz. Maybe capture a few that have been exposed to current treatment plan. Seen how they're fairing

    I've noticed I see them far less frequently. It's difficult to objectively say the population is decreasing, however. I have noticed a couple dead ones. Mostly I'm looking for white fuzz and lethargy at this point. Every so often, I will go to one of their nests and poke them to see how quickly they move. I was poking at one of the nests earlier to try and get them to move, and they seemed very hesitant to move at all. Previously, when I had done this, they would quickly move into a crevice where they were much more difficult to reach. This time, they just seemed to sit there until I poked them enough that they were forced to move, and even then they just moved a few millimeters. But, honestly, I don't know enough about bed bug behavior to know if this is an indication that they're dying off or if this could be standard behavior.

    Capturing a few that have been exposed doesn't sound like a bad idea. Given I directly sprayed their nests, and they don't seem to be avoiding the nests I sprayed, I'd imagine capturing a few from that area would be a good course of action.

  17. anonabug

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 9:58:42
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    There is someone on this site who captured a dozen or so live ones, put them into a plastic container with some cloth strips soaked in Botanigard and left them in there for 12 hrs or so, then released them. Two weeks later, no bed bugs anymore. They obviously got infected, returned to the nest, and spread it to all the bugs in the dwelling. In lab testing, the highest rate of infection was when bedbugs crawled across cloth saturated with spores.

  18. anonabug

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    Posted 1 month ago
    Sat Nov 3 2018 10:00:39
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    I've never heard of anyone finding nests of bedbugs, and I've certainly never heard of bedbugs that didn't scurry away rapidly. Either these aren't bed bugs, or they're some very sick bed bugs (and given the fungal exposure, any insect could get sick and die - they've all got chitin).

  19. BuggerOffNY

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    Wed Nov 7 2018 9:26:17
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    anonabug - 3 days ago  » 
    I've never heard of anyone finding nests of bedbugs, and I've certainly never heard of bedbugs that didn't scurry away rapidly. Either these aren't bed bugs, or they're some very sick bed bugs (and given the fungal exposure, any insect could get sick and die - they've all got chitin).

    If nobody's found nests, how do we know they have nests? They don't seem all that difficult to find to me. Pretty much any crevice they can hide in. My bed has handles made out of fabric on it. 4 of them in total. Each of them has what appears to be a nest. The box spring has plastic pieces on the corner, which make another nice crevice for them to nest in. What I think are nests have multiple bugs in them who appear to be communicating with each other in some way, plotting their next feast. Discarded shells are also a common feature of these nests.

    I agree they do tend to scurry away pretty quickly when poked at, though.

  20. HelpBB

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    Posted 4 weeks ago
    Wed Nov 14 2018 12:19:16
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    How are things going?

  21. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Tue Nov 27 2018 18:24:13
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    The population seems to have drastically thinned. Whereas before I would find a handful of bugs in each available crevice. Now I'm only able to find a handful of bugs around the entire bed. I haven't noticed them crawling on the bed at night nearly as much, either. Before I'd find one or two a night crawling on the surface of my bed. Over the past few weeks I've found maybe one or two a week. Probably need another treatment or two to get the stragglers (I haven't done a treatment since the last one reported here about a month ago).

    On the flip side, though. I'm not finding any dead carcasses. I haven't done a thorough inspection, though. It's possible the dead carcasses could be under the box spring or somewhere else.


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