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A Proper Beauveria Bassiana Field Trial

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  1. BuggerOffNY

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    Posted 1 week 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 1 week 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 1 week 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 1 week 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 1 week 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 6 days 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 5 days 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.


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