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camera treated - how long before safe?

(8 posts)
  1. very_worried

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Thu May 30 2019 10:43:17
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    I feel like I need to apologize for more questions since they feel like they are coming from a place of insecurity, but it feels like every day a new situation presents itself.

    I'm going to cut a long story short. We had bed bugs. The bed bug dog alerted to bed bugs in my husband's camera. The treatment was as follows: the camera was covered in DE and then more DE was sprinkled around it in a sealed bag. The camera was left in this sealed bag with the DE for 7 months. We are moving countries so my husband decided to finally remove the camera from the bag and clean it.

    My question is: Would experts on this forum deem this camera safe or should we still be on the look out for bugs?

    Thank you!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Thu May 30 2019 13:13:56
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    Hi,

    Unless there was a visual confirmation I would have considered the camera safe immediately.

    Sorry to say this but in all my 16+ years of working with bedbugs I am yet to find them only in an electronic appliance in a room. While I am open to it being a low probability event the odds are actually more in favor of the dog being wrong.

    I sincerely hope the camera survives the DE, it would have been unlikely to survive other powder desiccants.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  3. very_worried

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Thu May 30 2019 18:27:50
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    Hello,

    David, as always, thank you for your answers.

    Upon rereading my summary, I realize I did not adequately explain the situation. Please bear with me while I give a more thorough summary. The story is convoluted one and involves two continents and two apartments. I'm only interested in one aspect of the story - the Zurich one and the camera.

    In Zurich, we had a minor bed bug infestation in the bed, which was brought via a stay in an infested Airbnb in France. We were not careful enough and it managed to find their way into our apartment. The bed bug dog that we used alerted to the bed and the camera. Also a back pack that wasn't originally on that trip but was used by my husband afterward. The camera had been in the alerted bag (odd adjective.)

    So after treatment of the bedroom and the bag, everything seems fine, but the camera is the outstanding issue. It was in a sealed bag and dusted (somewhat heavily according to my husband) with DE. It has been 7 months.

    My question is: is this camera safe to be out of the sealed plastic bag now?

    My husband removed the camera it from the sealed bag and cleaned it but did not put the camera back into a sealed plastic bag ( though it is now.) Do I need to be vigilant or is this unnecessary at this point?

    I look forward to your answers and thank you as always.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 31 2019 5:14:53
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    Hi,

    That helps but were the alerts every visually confirmed?

    How long after the return from the potential exposure trip was the part?

    David

  5. very_worried

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 31 2019 6:01:35
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    I was not present, unfortunately, for the detection and treatment in Zurich. I do not think the alerts were visually confirmed.

    However, I will confirm that there was a bed bug infestation because I found a bed bug and captured it in a jar. Later, I found evidence on the bed slats and bodies of a few nymphs after treatment in the bed slats holders. So, there is no issue there - there was an infestation.

    As for the camera and the bag, they were treated because of the bed bug dog alerts. I think my husband even treated the suitcase we took to France even though the bed bug dog did not alert to it because of my allergy reaction to the bites (I went into anaphylactic shock in France.)

    I just want to add one last note. Other than the bed, any other alerts to bed bugs in both Zurich (and in Montreal) were among my husband's stuff. The only thing that came into contact with his stuff in Montreal and the stuff in Zurich was his backpack and camera. Both have been treated by now but the camera was, as I said, in sealed bag for the last 7 months.

    I would love it if you said - there probably wasn't any bed bugs in the camera, but I'm not sure that was the case.

    I hope that clarifies everything.

    What is your opinion, David? I do trust it emphatically.

  6. very_worried

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 31 2019 6:25:36
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    Sorry, I didn't answer one of your questions. I discovered the bed bug in the bed about 5-6 weeks after exposure on the trip.

    Timeline:
    August 28th - exposure. Everything was left outside for a week, all bags etc except for my husband's camera.
    Sept 6th - we brought everything inside after steaming and vacuuming. The clothes were heat treated in dryer.
    Oct 6th - I discovered bed bug
    Oct 8-23 - we were away from Zurich
    Oct 25th (around this time) bed bug dog, alerted to bed (upon my own visual confirmation a month later, the alerts checked out) bag and camera
    Nov 1st ish - treatment (it was the cold treatment and then DE)

    I won't bother going into the rest of the timeline because it's irrelevant. The camera has been sealed since the week of Oct 25th until three days ago.

    Hope that helps clarify more.

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 31 2019 7:27:02
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    Hi,

    OK that helps a lot.

    The short story is yes the camera should be fine. The long story follows:

    While the dog was correct in alerting on the bed which was later confirmed through visual inspection it was also incorrect in terms of the bags and I suspect it has a long term training flaw. This may be TMI but its important to understand. There are two fundamental ways to scent train a K9, you can either create an environment where the dog grows up in a working setting and is trained from a young age within a pack that is trained to as well or you must seek to imprint the association with bedbugs on the dog. the later has a number of options as while the "method" tends to be shrouded in mystery I suspect it may not always pass full ethical review.

    In the cases where I has seen K9 give a false positive it has been to other material that produces an odor with a profile close to what you might use to target bedbugs. If the imprint is through fear and not positive reward there is a risk that the specificity gets lots in the dogs desire to avoid the negative. The false negative cases are most likely a dog working out its easier to say nothing that to be reminded of the "bad times".

    Its a shame because I really enjoyed the work I did with out dog training in 2008 - 2010 and I know from personal experience that 100% accuracy is feasible, it is however slower than what we need to deliver to our clients even with 2 dogs and 1 handler, the extra 20 - 50 rooms screened per day can make all the difference and dog a few times a year was more expensive and less accurate than a human checking Passives monthly.

    Also more than other items a camera bag would exhibit some of these odors because its unlikely to be washed in it's lifetime. Equally if there was any level of concern of stress focused on the bag the dog may have picked up on that.

    In an ideal world I would like to see dog services regulated and held to a professional standard but the reality is you cant do that without holding pest controllers to a similar system and good luck trying to get that to happen, they get ugly very quickly. However, if I were conducting K9 assessments I would start from the kennel out as i feel the whole process can have an impact which might explain why the initial 98% accurate has been downgraded to 15%-35% with further information.

    The additional piece of information is that given your medical reaction to France but not in Switzerland it would appear that rather than responding to a single or low level of bites you require a threshold to respond, which is the group most people fall into although their level of response is not as severe. The good news about this is that so long as you continue to check when you travel and monitor your own homes the risk of you needing medical assistance is close to zero given that you will avoid in future.

    Hopefully that last part will help you to appreciate that the long term solution is to divert the energy of anxiety into ensuring you always check and that any issues at home are caught early. Annoyingly the kind of thing you are describing is the kind of case we clear in one visit in under an hour, hardly the legendary Swiss efficiency and more the classic Swiss bedbug letter.

    Hope that makes sense and clears things in your mind. I can appreciate that anaphylactic shock is a significant event that is likely to have an impact and should be worked on in a therapeutic setting and ideally before its anniversary. I personally left mine too long and that makes reversing a lot harder but its still worth doing.

    David

  8. very_worried

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    Posted 4 months ago
    Fri May 31 2019 8:59:14
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    Hi David,

    Thank you for your response. I can confirm that bed bug dogs come in a variety of levels of professionalism, and I want to go into it a bit for perhaps the edification of others. However, I will repost under another tag.

    I just wanted to say, based on the videos my husband sent me, the trainer of the bed bug dog in Switzerland very obviously used positive reinforcement. She would rest the dog and reward the dog through play. It seemed to hit all of the issues raised on this blog about bed bug dogs. That being said, her training was in rescue dogs so I also had a question mark as to how good the dog was.

    Again, I think the camera is probably ok too, but there's always that niggling feeling - is it really?

    My personal experience with bed bug dogs was in Montreal. I hired one company and somehow I had this inner feeling that the dog didn't do a good job. I hired a second company just for my mental health and this company was super professional and I trusted her dogs (which did in fact alert to bed bugs.)

    As for the allergy reaction, I react badly to insect bites generally. My mosquito bites usually turn into boils within a day or two, so it is no surprise I reacted to bed bug bites. And, you are absolutely correct, at high levels of infestation, the reaction rate speeds up and is more intense.

    I did in fact see a therapist for my anxiety a couple of months after the initial reaction. I was having anxiety attacks, stemming from the bad reaction and hospital visit in France. These days, I am much calmer and I'm able to handle the threat of bed bugs much better even though it may not seem like it on this forum. I find the more I know, the better I feel so even though, in theory, the threat is gone, I still keep tabs and I am constantly trying to learn more about bed bugs.

    For those who are reading this: yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I always remind myself whenever I feel uneasy about a hotel room, or airplane seat or even a movie theatre: for the last 10-20+ years, you have travelled all over the world, stayed in many hotels, gone to movies many times before and you never brought home bed bugs. Bed bugs are not the norm - they are the exception. And dealing with bed bugs, it's like dealing with any other pest infestation. It's annoying but it can be done.


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