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Can Heat Treatment Drive Bed Bugs Into Another Apartment Unit?

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  1. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 6 2015 20:23:29
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    In the "Best Method for Empty House" thread, the poster named Richard56 said:

    I think the risk of heat treating might be that you could potentially drive the bed bugs into your neighbor's unit, and now end up with a problem next door.

    Therefore, even though I've been told by the heat treatment company that heats the units in the apartment building that I live in that heat treatment kills bed bugs before they can escape out of an apartment unit, can heat treatment drive bed bugs into another apartment unit?(And there is a reason why I ask this.)

  2. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 6:03:16
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    No takers? (Although sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of people around here don't like me.)

  3. jim danca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 8:47:36
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    The effectiveness of a heat treatment can depend on the way the building is constructed. I think there is also debate as to whether propane or electric is best. I haven't had the need for it and I think the EPA is trying to evaluate how building materials are effected by the extreme heat.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  4. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 8:50:48
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    SNP:

    Therefore, even though I've been told by the heat treatment company that heats the units in the apartment building that I live in that heat treatment kills bed bugs before they can escape out of an apartment unit, can heat treatment drive bed bugs into another apartment unit?(And there is a reason why I ask this.)

    It all depends on what type of equipment is being used, the skill of the operators, their monitoring technology, and how that all interacts with the building structure and contents. This is why many heat treatment companies use chemical residuals as part of the heat treatment process to mop up bugs that may have escaped to a cold spot. So, yes, in theory, the bugs could be fried before they escape, but then again...

    Now, going back to your concern. A cold spot could be in the unit or it could be in an adjoining unit, depending on the integrity of how the units are sealed from each other, therefore my concern using heat treatment alone in an empty apartment with adjoining units.

    Not a pro, so you might want to check around with other sources. A lot of misinformation in this world, and if you can believe it, even here

    Richard

  5. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 13:23:21
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    jim danca - 4 hours ago  » 
    The effectiveness of a heat treatment can depend on the way the building is constructed. I think there is also debate as to whether propane or electric is best. I haven't had the need for it and I think the EPA is trying to evaluate how building materials are effected by the extreme heat.

    Well, I think that they use propane(?) because they have a line going from the heaters(through the windows) to their truck. But if it would be helpful I could send you a private message with the name of the company and a link to their website.

  6. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 13:34:34
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    Serious_National_Problem - 17 hours ago (And there is a reason why I ask this.)

    So get to the reason already. I've assisted on several heat treatments in both free standing houses and apartments.

  7. Dark_Ages

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    Fri Aug 7 2015 13:35:18
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    Richard56 - 4 hours ago  » 
    SNP:

    Therefore, even though I've been told by the heat treatment company that heats the units in the apartment building that I live in that heat treatment kills bed bugs before they can escape out of an apartment unit, can heat treatment drive bed bugs into another apartment unit?(And there is a reason why I ask this.)

    It all depends on what type of equipment is being used, the skill of the operators, their monitoring technology, and how that all interacts with the building structure and contents. This is why many heat treatment companies use chemical residuals as part of the heat treatment process to mop up bugs that may have escaped to a cold spot. So, yes, in theory, the bugs could be fried before they escape, but then again...
    Now, going back to your concern. A cold spot could be in the unit or it could be in an adjoining unit, depending on the integrity of how the units are sealed from each other, therefore my concern using heat treatment alone in an empty apartment with adjoining units.
    Not a pro, so you might want to check around with other sources. A lot of misinformation in this world, and if you can believe it, even here
    Richard

    Well, I wonder where all the pros are at this forum.

    But if it would help, I could send you a private message with the name of the company and their website.(I don't want to disclose it publicly.) Also, they tend to turn their noses up to anything that is chemical, etc., therefore, they don't chemical use residuals and probably would recommend against them. Heck, they even discourage the use of 91% alcohol as a contact killer.

    Also, at their website, they claim to have a special heat treatment system that 'draws' the bugs to the heat.

  8. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 14:15:35
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    BigDummy - 3 minutes ago  » 

    Serious_National_Problem - 17 hours ago (And there is a reason why I ask this.)

    So get to the reason already. I've assisted on several heat treatments in both free standing houses and apartments.

    Okay, but first I would like to quote the entire paragraph of what I said:

    Therefore, even though I've been told by the heat treatment company that heats the units in the apartment building that I live in that heat treatment kills bed bugs before they can escape out of an apartment unit, can heat treatment drive bed bugs into another apartment unit?(And there is a reason why I ask this.)

    And the reason is that I keep getting re-infested too often, and now too quickly. The last treatment that I got was in mid June, and very shortly after that I started to have sensations of tiny needles being stuck in my elbows(even though, I did run hot water over my elbows). Throughout July I started to see very small red bumps on my arm like the ones I've seen before from baby bed bugs.(And as they grow, the bumps start to get bigger.) And as a matter fact(and this is going to blow you away), the very first night of the heat treatment, after I came home from the movies and after changing both my clothing and my underwear in the bathroom in my apartment building's lobby, and after going to my apartment and moving all of the bags out of the bathtub and all of my medication, etc. out of the refrigerator, and opening the windows and turning on the fan and the air conditioner, and putting my sofa back together and taking off my clothes and sitting down on my sofa to rest.... I had eventually noticed one of those small red bumps on my left upper arm.

    And yes, it was like one of those horror movies after having the long battle with the monster and thinking that you have defeated it.... but at the very end there's something to indicate that somehow the monster has survived.

    But I didn't see anymore small red bumps after that, but only had the needle sensations on my arm(at first). Also, eventually, I started feeling bumps and itching on my lower back above my booty crack, which I usually eventually get after all of my heat treatments.(And yes, I have had quite a few so far.) However, by the end of July, I started to get fiercely attacked by bed bugs, but the size of the bumps seemed to indicate that they were only half grown and were not adults yet.

    But in saying all of that, even if I had brought home a bed bug or two which may have probably been on my body since I had changed all my clothes, I still got re-infested too quickly(and this has been the fastest where other times have taken months to get re-infested). But I have thinking all along that maybe some of the bugs are going and hiding somewhere deep inside floors or somewhere that is between my apartment unit and the surrounding apartment units. Also, the bumps that I always get on my lower back makes me think that there still might be some bugs in my bathroom toilet areas since that area had gotten heavily infested years ago, but the heat treatment people say that they can't allow the full heat to get into the bathroom because it will melt the toilet ring.

  9. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 14:54:16
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    SNP:

    And the reason is that I keep getting re-infested too often, and now too quickly. The last treatment that I got was in mid June, and very shortly after that I started to have sensations of tiny needles being stuck in my elbows(even though, I did run hot water over my elbows).

    Sometimes it makes sense to step back a little.

    Apologies if I missed this in another thread, but can you please tell us a little about how this whole bed bug situation started, including the chronology of your multiple infestations and what was done about them.

    Very important, did you ever find a bug, cast skin, fecal stain or egg, and if so, was it confirmed by a professional? And if you did, when were they found? Bites and "bumps", if you've read our FAQ's, really don't count as they can have a myriad of causes.

    Richard

  10. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 7 2015 15:05:33
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    Post some pics of what you're finding, skin irritations are not evidence.

  11. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Aug 15 2015 19:00:08
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    Richard56 - 1 week ago  » 
    SNP:

    And the reason is that I keep getting re-infested too often, and now too quickly. The last treatment that I got was in mid June, and very shortly after that I started to have sensations of tiny needles being stuck in my elbows(even though, I did run hot water over my elbows).

    Sometimes it makes sense to step back a little.
    Apologies if I missed this in another thread, but can you please tell us a little about how this whole bed bug situation started, including the chronology of your multiple infestations and what was done about them.
    Very important, did you ever find a bug, cast skin, fecal stain or egg, and if so, was it confirmed by a professional? And if you did, when were they found? Bites and "bumps", if you've read our FAQ's, really don't count as they can have a myriad of causes.
    Richard

    There's been so much commotion, personal attacks, insults and ad hominems launched at this forum in relation to myself that I had almost forgotten about this thread. Also, I wanted to say that in a forum like this where there are people who are upset, frustrated, and who are in pain, and who may sometimes be irrational about certain issues, I don't think that this forum needs arrogant, self-appointed experts who make self-imposed decisions to violate the Forum Rules of Civility and attack other people at will. Therefore, if there is someone or someone's information that you don't like, I think that you should just leave that person alone rather than try to attack or humiliate them.

    But in saying all of that, I don't know if the person who I quoted would be interested in my response to their questions, but if he or anyone else is interested in responding, here it goes:

    1. can you please tell us a little about how this whole bed bug situation started

    It actually started back in 2008 when the apartment building that I live in was under different management and they used to spray for bed bugs. Also, my infestation was so bad that they had to pull up the baseboard tile in several rooms in order to spray deeper. Plus, even my bathroom was infested heavily where the bugs were crawling behind my toilet tank and my vanity. However, after several months of spraying every other week, I eventually became free of bed bugs.

    2. including the chronology of your multiple infestations and what was done about them

    Well, to the best of my memory, I stayed bed bug free for years. Also, my apartment got a different PCO(who still sprayed), but I remember from time to time telling my landlord that I would get the occasional bite, but they checked and found no evidence and said that the bites were probably from mosquitoes.

    But maybe about 4 years ago, our building came under new management and the new company used heat treatments instead of bug spray. Also, around 2 years ago I got infested again, however, the only evidence that they found were gray colored blood stains on my pillow case(which the PCO said indicated bed bug regurgitation and/or fecal stains) and bed bugs that I had captured on adhesive tape. Also, they had a bed bug dog, which found the scent of bed bugs, but they said that they needed to bring a different bed bug dog in to verify the first bed bug dog's result. And then after the second bed bug dog smelled the presence of bed bugs, they said something about needing a third bed bug dog to come in. Well, after that it seemed as if they were just playing games, and I told them that I didn't want the third bed bug dog to come into my apartment and then told my landlord that I was just going to put my rent in escrow. However, the landlord seemed to have gotten really upset by that and decided to tell the heat treatment company to treat my apartment. Also, I may not be able to recall correctly, but I think that before this, they had treated my apartment by only steaming my bed, sofa, and perhaps clothing, etc. But after the threat of escrow is when they first gave my apartment the heat treatment.

    But for a while(maybe months or even a year) my apartment was bed bug free, but eventually I got re-infested again. Also, the same thing happened about 3 or 4 more times, but the re-infestations occurred more quickly(like 3 or 4 months apart) where after the most recent heat treatment in June, a mild re-infestation occurred about a month later. And I believe that the only reason why it is mild is because I sprayed Bedlam(for the first time) on my sofa and around the edges of my bed.

    3. Very important, did you ever find a bug, cast skin, fecal stain or egg, and if so, was it confirmed by a professional? And if you did, when were they found?

    Well, as I mentioned in my previous answer, the only thing that the professionals found and confirmed were fecal or regurgitation blood stains on my pillows. And of course the captured bugs as I had mentioned. Also, this was two years ago with this current heat treatment company. However, more recently(before the June treatment), the so-called professional had the audacity to tell me that the blood stains looked like the same stains from the previous visit and that those stains can't be washed out. (Grrrrrrrrr!) And yes, I was pissed off! But I kept my cool and told the landlord and she told me that the PCO was visiting again next week. So meanwhile, I soaked the pillow cases in one of those oxi(oxygen) cleaners, which gets out just about any stain, and showed her the clean pillow cases. Therefore, the blood on my pillow cases prior to the June treatment may have been blood fecal evidence, eventhough it didn't seem to have that grayish color. Also, going back to the spray PCOs from 2008 and onward, , the only evidence that they ever found were the captured bed bugs that I showed them.

  12. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Aug 15 2015 20:23:37
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    So you have no new evidence at this point?

  13. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Aug 15 2015 21:31:22
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    BigDummy - 1 hour ago  » 
    So you have no new evidence at this point?

    So is that what you got from my post?

  14. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 16 2015 7:24:48
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    Thanks for sharing your history. From what I've read here, multi-unit buildings with repeat infestations are one of the most difficult situations for many reasons including that tenants only have limited control over the situation. I also better understand your concerns about heat treatment and possible bug dispersal. That said, heat overall is a good approach, and it does sound like the new management is more committed to the situation. It also sounds like you currently don't have any signs of bed bugs in your unit -- bugs, cast skins, eggs or fecal.

    There have been some recent studies about using Cimexa dust prophylactically in multi-unit buildings. Not sure how this would work with the building's overall heat program but maybe you can discuss with managment and/or the PCO.

    Richard

  15. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 16 2015 10:07:37
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    Hmmm . . . you asked: Can a heat treatment drive bed bugs from unit to unit?

    The short answer is; Yes, this is possible.

    However, if it will occur depends on a number of variables. A competent and experienced professional will recognize and address these factors such that the risk of escaping bed bugs is adequately addressed.

    Some of the methodologies utilized to address this issue include but may not be limited to:
    > The application of suitable materials to utility penetrations.
    > The use of vacuums to immediately remove numerous bed bugs present prior to and during such treatments.
    > The installation of suitable sealing materials to contain and prevent escape.
    > The application of residual products to suitable areas to supplement and enhance the heat treatment effort results as needed.

    Below is the link to a heat treatment video which may provide some additional information of interest. it may also be helpful for you to share this information with your LL or PM folks as well.

    Good luck winning your BB Battle ! pjb

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Flash Video

  16. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 17 2015 10:08:33
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    Dark_Ages - 1 day ago  » 

    BigDummy - 1 hour ago  » 
    So you have no new evidence at this point?

    So is that what you got from my post?

    Unless I missed something, that is what I believe you are saying, which is a good thing. If they eat they poop. It might be time to look at some other cause to your skin irritations at this point just to rule out other factors.

  17. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 16:17:46
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    Richard56 - 5 days ago  » 
    Thanks for sharing your history. From what I've read here, multi-unit buildings with repeat infestations are one of the most difficult situations for many reasons including that tenants only have limited control over the situation. I also better understand your concerns about heat treatment and possible bug dispersal. That said, heat overall is a good approach, and it does sound like the new management is more committed to the situation. It also sounds like you currently don't have any signs of bed bugs in your unit -- bugs, cast skins, eggs or fecal.
    There have been some recent studies about using Cimexa dust prophylactically in multi-unit buildings. Not sure how this would work with the building's overall heat program but maybe you can discuss with managment and/or the PCO.
    Richard

    Sorry about taking so long to reply, but I have been pretty busy as of lately. Also, you said:

    From what I've read here, multi-unit buildings with repeat infestations are one of the most difficult situations for many reasons including that tenants only have limited control over the situation.

    So what would some of the other reasons be besides the tenants having limited control over the situation? Because according to the HT PCO and our building's landlord, the only reason to them would be because of the tenants bringing the bugs back in or someone with bugs coming to a tenant's apartment. The HT PCO and my landlord never mention anything about cold pockets or whatever other reasons that BBs return that I am asking about.

    Also, as far as the cimexa dust goes, our HT PCO strongly recommends against diatomaceous earth because they say that with the heat treatments, all of those fine particles will blow around in the air and get into your lungs where it can't be removed. And they probably feel the same about the cimexa dust.

  18. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 16:29:50
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    P Bello - 5 days ago  » 
    Hmmm . . . you asked: Can a heat treatment drive bed bugs from unit to unit?
    The short answer is; Yes, this is possible.
    However, if it will occur depends on a number of variables. A competent and experienced professional will recognize and address these factors such that the risk of escaping bed bugs is adequately addressed.
    Some of the methodologies utilized to address this issue include but may not be limited to:
    > The application of suitable materials to utility penetrations.
    > The use of vacuums to immediately remove numerous bed bugs present prior to and during such treatments.
    > The installation of suitable sealing materials to contain and prevent escape.
    > The application of residual products to suitable areas to supplement and enhance the heat treatment effort results as needed.
    Below is the link to a heat treatment video which may provide some additional information of interest. it may also be helpful for you to share this information with your LL or PM folks as well.
    Good luck winning your BB Battle ! pjb

    Well, our HT PCO doesn't include any of the above that you mentioned, however, could you explain further what you meant by your first methodology:

    The application of suitable materials to utility penetrations.

    I didn't quite understand that one.

    Also, as far as sharing your information with my LL or PM folk, are you kidding? They only march to the beat of their own drum. Particularly the HT PMP folk.

  19. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Fri Aug 21 2015 16:35:59
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    BigDummy - 4 days ago  » 

    Dark_Ages - 1 day ago  » 

    BigDummy - 1 hour ago  » 
    So you have no new evidence at this point?

    So is that what you got from my post?

    Unless I missed something, that is what I believe you are saying, which is a good thing. If they eat they poop. It might be time to look at some other cause to your skin irritations at this point just to rule out other factors.

    Oh, my bad. But yes your right. Although I have seen some bite marks(which I know is not evidence). However, as of latetly(about the last week or so), I haven't been getting any bites in my apartment(except a few in a pair of pants that I didn't throw in the dryer), which could mean that they're resting between meals or the Bedlam Plus that I've sprayed on my bed and my sofa is working.

  20. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 23 2015 4:06:26
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    Actually, Richard and P Bello, I had more questions for you.

  21. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 23 2015 7:41:00
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    OK.

    What are the questions???

    pjb

  22. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 25 2015 4:33:28
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    P Bello - 1 day ago  » 
    OK.
    What are the questions???
    pjb

    Could you explain further what you meant by your first methodology:

    The application of suitable materials to utility penetrations.

  23. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 25 2015 19:09:55
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    Sure.

    What this means is the application of suitable insecticide products to utility penetrations & surrounding voids in which BBs may harbor and/or travel. Suitable products may include dusts which are well suited for such applications.

    Additionally, residual products may be applied to supplement & enhance heat treatment results.

    And, vacuums may also be used to immediately remove BBs prior to and during the heat treatment when they may begin to move due to the rising temperatures.

    OK?

    Pjb

  24. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 27 2015 6:58:17
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    P Bello - 1 day ago  » 
    Sure.
    What this means is the application of suitable insecticide products to utility penetrations & surrounding voids in which BBs may harbor and/or travel. Suitable products may include dusts which are well suited for such applications.
    Additionally, residual products may be applied to supplement & enhance heat treatment results.
    And, vacuums may also be used to immediately remove BBs prior to and during the heat treatment when they may begin to move due to the rising temperatures.
    OK?
    Pjb

    Yep, gotcha. However, our PCO's PVO is that the heat penetrates everything, including the electrical wells behind electrical plugs and light switches. Plus, they don't believe that the bugs begin to move due to the rising temperatures, but are killed pretty quickly by the heat.

    But then you wonder why there are certain tenants(such as myself) who repeatedly get re-infested.

  25. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Aug 27 2015 7:56:02
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    Done properly it does penetrate into the walls. The heat treatment team that I work with probes specifically to make sure the inner wall temps are high enough to kill all stages.
    If you think about the structure of outlet boxes and the transfer of heat from surface temp inwards those things aren't really the challenge, I would be more concerned about a plaster and lathe wall with no penetrations and no openings for a temp probe.

  26. Dark_Ages

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 30 2015 1:05:17
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    BigDummy - 2 days ago  » 
    Done properly it does penetrate into the walls. The heat treatment team that I work with probes specifically to make sure the inner wall temps are high enough to kill all stages.
    If you think about the structure of outlet boxes and the transfer of heat from surface temp inwards those things aren't really the challenge, I would be more concerned about a plaster and lathe wall with no penetrations and no openings for a temp probe.

    Thanks, BD.


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