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Bedbugs and cleaning it all- books, yarn, help!

(8 posts)
  1. paranoidwriter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Apr 29 2015 12:47:10
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    Hi all,

    So after my initial discovery of a live bed bug scurrying from my sleeping boyfriend in our bed, I had a bout of small panic attacks while getting in touch with my landlord (in NYC here), who gave me a PCO's number. I emailed the PCO several pictures of 3 live bugs I found and killed, and he confirmed the ID of bed bugs, and sent me a preparation sheet of things to do before he visits for a Treatment- washing/drying all textiles, bagging clothes in drawers and closets, cleaning and vacuuming, the usual works.

    The main area affected seems to be our couch, we found about 10-15 adults in the seams, but it didn't seem to be the worst it could be, ie plenty of space was without signs of BB. But what do I know. In any case we decided to take apart and trash the couch, so it's out of the picture now. We vac'd the floor all around, and have started collecting our sealed bags of clean clothes in the empty space.

    Onto the questions:
    1. Taking apart the bed and frame, I saw only two adults and a few "younger" ones on the underside of the box springs. There was nothing on the mattress itself, and other "signs" were visible between the mattress PAD and the mattress sheets. So, does this mean that the mattress is likely ok, and it can be encased? Just wondering if we should get on Amazon prime for that ASAP...

    2. Also, I crochet and have quite a lot of yarn in a wicker basket on the floor, near the center of infection, the couch. I'm hesitant to wash/dry these, since I'm afraid it will mess up or set the fibers. Most are in balls still, but I have a few "works in progress" that are not tied off, and I'm not sure how those would handle a wash. Does anyone have any experience in making sure yarn is BB free? And what method did you use, a wash and dry, or just dry?

    3. Shoes, sandals, leather bags, etc- how are these disinfected? Would it be enough to spray my sandals and open toe shoes with 91% alcohol? But what about boots and my leather/pleather heels? In line with I got a very expensive, beautiful briefcase as a gift last year and just can't throw it away, but it can't be washed- since it has rayon lining, would spraying alcohol work? What's the most thorough method aside from tossing the few things I need here?

    4. Finally, books and sketchbooks- I am an avid reader, and my boyfriend an avid artist, and we both have two bookcases full of our "craft". First of all, should we bag up the books and sketchbooks before the PCO visits, and leave everything bare? The sheet he sent me only mentioned clearing closets and dressers.

    Aside from all this, I am two weeks away from turning in my Master's thesis and completing my program, and WAS planning on spending the days finalizing my research. I haven't done a thing in the past two days besides clean and launder and panic. Throwing out the couch has helped calm me somewhat, but I am still too nervous to calm down. My boyfriend is much more relaxed in general, and has been so helpful in reeling me in, but he works full time and I've had to spend the daytime alone, taking care of this. I can't talk to my family or mother, because they will only freak out and make me more nervous. So please, meditation advice anyone? Internet hugs? Assurances this CAN be beat? Because that is what I am set on...

  2. RNinNYC

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Apr 29 2015 15:20:23
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    Welcome-
    I'm also in NYC and for some of these things that you are worried about, you have two good options-
    1. Bed bug Laundry NYC - http://www.yelp.com/biz/bed-bug-laundry-nyc-new-york-2 -- they have a heat chamber. I sent my shoes and bags to be treated by them. I believe that they do books. They may be able to do your yarn, too.

    2. Buy a Packtite- You can do the heat chamber yourself, but not sure if you would receive it by the time you have your first treatment- http://www.packtite.com

    IF you have any questions about Bed Bug Laundry, feel free to PM me.

    Good luck

    paranoidwriter - 2 hours ago  » 
    Hi all,
    So after my initial discovery of a live bed bug scurrying from my sleeping boyfriend in our bed, I had a bout of small panic attacks while getting in touch with my landlord (in NYC here), who gave me a PCO's number. I emailed the PCO several pictures of 3 live bugs I found and killed, and he confirmed the ID of bed bugs, and sent me a preparation sheet of things to do before he visits for a Treatment- washing/drying all textiles, bagging clothes in drawers and closets, cleaning and vacuuming, the usual works.
    The main area affected seems to be our couch, we found about 10-15 adults in the seams, but it didn't seem to be the worst it could be, ie plenty of space was without signs of BB. But what do I know. In any case we decided to take apart and trash the couch, so it's out of the picture now. We vac'd the floor all around, and have started collecting our sealed bags of clean clothes in the empty space.
    Onto the questions:
    1. Taking apart the bed and frame, I saw only two adults and a few "younger" ones on the underside of the box springs. There was nothing on the mattress itself, and other "signs" were visible between the mattress PAD and the mattress sheets. So, does this mean that the mattress is likely ok, and it can be encased? Just wondering if we should get on Amazon prime for that ASAP...
    2. Also, I crochet and have quite a lot of yarn in a wicker basket on the floor, near the center of infection, the couch. I'm hesitant to wash/dry these, since I'm afraid it will mess up or set the fibers. Most are in balls still, but I have a few "works in progress" that are not tied off, and I'm not sure how those would handle a wash. Does anyone have any experience in making sure yarn is BB free? And what method did you use, a wash and dry, or just dry?
    3. Shoes, sandals, leather bags, etc- how are these disinfected? Would it be enough to spray my sandals and open toe shoes with 91% alcohol? But what about boots and my leather/pleather heels? In line with I got a very expensive, beautiful briefcase as a gift last year and just can't throw it away, but it can't be washed- since it has rayon lining, would spraying alcohol work? What's the most thorough method aside from tossing the few things I need here?
    4. Finally, books and sketchbooks- I am an avid reader, and my boyfriend an avid artist, and we both have two bookcases full of our "craft". First of all, should we bag up the books and sketchbooks before the PCO visits, and leave everything bare? The sheet he sent me only mentioned clearing closets and dressers.
    Aside from all this, I am two weeks away from turning in my Master's thesis and completing my program, and WAS planning on spending the days finalizing my research. I haven't done a thing in the past two days besides clean and launder and panic. Throwing out the couch has helped calm me somewhat, but I am still too nervous to calm down. My boyfriend is much more relaxed in general, and has been so helpful in reeling me in, but he works full time and I've had to spend the daytime alone, taking care of this. I can't talk to my family or mother, because they will only freak out and make me more nervous. So please, meditation advice anyone? Internet hugs? Assurances this CAN be beat? Because that is what I am set on...

  3. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Apr 29 2015 16:52:47
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    Hi,

    You have options.

    Do a search on the forum for DDVP strips and then google "Rag in the Bag". Also check out these heat chamber units: http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=639493&u=304442&m=24102&urllink=&afftrack=

    Heat chamber units are the slowest option (long treatment times) but many like them. With DDVP and "Rag in the Bag" you can probably do all your stuff in less than half the time of a single heat chamber load, although you'll have to leave stuff in the bags for a specified period of time.

    Also, don't forget getting a dryer rack for your clothes dryer. That prevents things from tumbling and doesn't cost more than a few dollars.

    Lastly, if you have stuff you don't need for say 5-6 months, you can just seal it in bags and let the bugs starve. Store the bags at room temperature or it may take longer.

    Note: if you end up buying a heat chamber device from the link above, this site makes a small commission at no extra charge to you.

    Note2: Active ingredient in "rag in the bag" has a distinct odor. So tread lightly first with a test sample.

    Good luck.

    Richard

  4. Robin

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Apr 29 2015 18:11:50
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    hmmmm, I'm wondering about the information being given out there. I went through an infestation in my apartment building a year ago. It was unpleasant - especially living out of a plastic bag for 2 months - but I certainly did not nor was I advised to go to that extent of cleaning and preparing my home.

    Yes, I was instructed to put every bit of bedding, cloth, and fabric through the dryer and bag and seal it. Yes, I was instructed to do a good job of washing floors and vacuuming.

    But No, I was not instructed to do anything about footwear, books and other such items and belongings. My apartment including bed, furniture, and rugs was regularly sprayed by the exterminator. It took more than one treatment but I certainly did not have to go to the extent you are suggesting.

    Sadly, I am about to go through this all again for a second time. I just received notice my suite will be inspected tomorrow - which means someone in the building has an infestation (I assume it is the family that just moved in).

  5. paranoidwriter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Apr 30 2015 8:58:33
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    Thanks for all the replies everyone!

    I checked out BedBug Laundry, and am very impressed with what people say, and especially the storage option (I can't imagine threading my way between all these huge bags for the next few months!) I've booked a pickup with them already for tomorrow night, and yes, they do yarn! They actually recommend not to do books unless it's a heavy infestation, and that hardcovers with the fabric spine are really the only areas they will nest- they may just be hiding in paperbacks and sketchbooks, so she rec'd we just shake them out and visually inspect them before our PCO comes.

    Richard, thanks for the options! They are a little out of my price range though. I do like the idea of the Rag in the Bag, but it's a tad pricey and is chemical, and it looks like the BedBug Laundry's heat chamber can accomplish what I was looking for.

    I am interested in some sort of at-home heat chamber for misc. things, but I do want it taken care of ASAP as the PCO is hopefully coming in the next 2 days. I'll have BedBug Laundry take care of my vital items, and seal the rest and deal with them as I need to.

    Robin- my PCO did not say anything about shoes or books, I am just being extremely anxious and paranoid- as I had some of these items on me when I believe I was first exposed to BBs, and brought them home. We have very little furniture, so I want to be as thorough as possible to look through my smaller items, eradicate this right NOW, rather than go through X treatments to get piece of mind. Did you notice any new activity in your apartment, or are they just checking you purely as a precaution?

  6. paranoidwriter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Apr 30 2015 9:02:01
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    One more question for anyone who knows- I know that heat is the one sure killer for these things, so would boiling water suffice to kill them at all stages?

    I have a bagless vacuum, and am emptying and bleaching it 2x after every vacuum. I started also pouring boiling water on it.

    Is this effective? Can I then use this method on other hard plasticy items (jewelry? containers? even soaking small cloth belts?)

  7. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Apr 30 2015 10:11:05
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    Paranoid: I do like the idea of the Rag in the Bag, but it's a tad pricey and is chemical
    ---------------
    First, good luck with Bed Bug Laundry. Sounds like a great service! But to clarify the above...

    Actually it only costs around $1.50 to treat a large garbage bag. The active ingredient is Neem Oil. From the Cirkil site: CIRKIL is made to National Organics Program standards with food-grade, plant-based materials with non-toxic modes of action.

    Richard

  8. paranoidwriter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Apr 30 2015 12:43:14
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    Richard- thanks for the clarification, interesting. However, the only online order option I'm seeing is through their website, for $299.88- but I see now that is for a 12 pack!

    Do you have any idea where this product may be sold in individual bottles online?

    Going through the options on their site, Univar says "NOTE: Univar only sells to properly licensed companies that can purchase and or apply specialty chemical products. We do not sell to consumers."

    Target Specialty Store and Residex don't list the product online either, and I'd rather know the price before I call, if they do carry it.

    I'd be interested in being super thorough, if I can afford it...


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