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car+sun+100d temp = thermal treatment for blankets, pillows. Same for whole apt?

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  1. Impfac

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 1:24:08
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    Howdy, obviously I'm new but I've done a lot of reading and got a lot of good info, but did not find an answer to 2 specific situational questions:

    1: 100d weather + abandoned car in sun = thermal for blankets, pillows, etc?
    2: 100d weather + 80k btu central heat + uncovered windows = killing temp inside?

    I live in Albuquerque and its brutally sunny. I have a vehicle in a parking lot I don't use that is in the sun all day, and it gets incredibly hot (the ambient temperature right now is 98-103d). I was wondering, for larger things like comforters, blankets, my body pillow, if laid out so they’re not excessively bunched up, wouldn't my dead Honda become a good thermal treatment for these things?

    If its 101d outside I'm certain the car is well over 120, probably more like 140. It melted my rubber rat =(

    I was also wondering if an 80k btu central heater (rigged not to shut off regardless of temp) + unblocked closed windows + 100d weather + mr sun might heat up the apartment to killing temperatures (we have carpets everywhere... sigh). If the ac is off and the windows are obsessively blocked (electric bill) it gets to 85-90.

    Even if it wasn't a cure but reduced the population I'd consider it worth it. I could find occasion to let it run from morning until night on such a day.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    **EDIT: Ahh, the search feature, I did find a few threads about this, but they focused on uneven heat and the possibility of infesting the car. I don't care if the car is infested, to be clear. That would be the least thing wrong with it =P**

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 3:29:33
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    1. Car in the sun, even in southwestern desert summer temperatures, is not a reliable way to kill the bugs. The items that you specify can all be placed in a dryer. Use the dryer, not the car.

    Infesting the car isn't just infesting the car. There's a chance that the bugs would eventually start looking for food. We know bed bugs will go a fair distance looking for food. They'd eventually need to leave the car and either look for animals to feed on or humans in nearby structures.

    If it were a safe and effective method, I'd've driven out to Palm Desert or Blythe and cooked my stuff that way.

    2. It's a very dangerous idea to try do it yourself heat treatment on a home. A heater rigger not to shut off at high temps is a massive, massive fire hazard.

    Accidentally burning down your home may, in fact, get rid of your bed bug problem, but it'll also get rid of your home.

    Also, I had bed bugs in the middle of a heatwave in so Cal. My apartment if left shut up would also hit (who am I kidding, does also hit) very high temps very quickly. I was out of town several times during heat waves during my infestation. It didn't do crap to knock down the bed bug population.

    But the whole accidentally burning the house down--or damaging the wiring in your electrical system now and not realizing it and burning the house down later--both seem to be a bit more costly than getting effective professional treatment.

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 4:09:28
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    Hi,

    Sorry to say but:

    Car + Hot day + contents + heat transfer coefficient = likely failure

    This is due to two basic facts:

    • The heating of a car by the sun is a conductive process and only convective heating works for killing bedbugs by heat. Bedbugs will simply flee to the cool spots in the car and survive the process.
    • The heat transfer coefficient equation means that you would need to calculate the rate of heat transfer across bags and all layers of items to be heated to avoid cool spots

    If you are interested in the physics see this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_transfer_coefficient

    Sorry but unless you park the car on the surface of the sun its simply not feasible to do this realiably.

    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
  4. Impfac

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 4:55:29
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    Gotcha.

    Sorry but unless you park the car on the surface of the sun its simply not feasible to do this realiably.

    So how long do I need to leave it parked there to be effective? =P

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 5:07:59
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    Impfac - 10 minutes ago  » 
    So how long do I need to leave it parked there to be effective? =P

    If you fund the project I will let you know.

    I think NASA has a few transport options up for sale but I don't think its an economically viable experiment at this point in time.

    I do like the idea of a Muppet show style "Bugs in space".

    David

  6. EffeCi

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 6:52:23
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    I do like the idea of a Muppet show style "Bugs in space".

    ROTFL

  7. Rosae

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 6:54:01
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    I know of at least one person claiming success by heating his bedroom with a rented industrial heater.

    If this is true, maybe someone can invent a safe way to treat your own home with heat. A kind of automated temperature controlled process without risk of fire.

    I have considered to heat my iron bed bottom with a föhn, but I think the bed bugs would have too much time to move to a cooler place. Then I also considered to use a hot air gun but that would probably smoke and smell too much to use it inside a home. Then I also would have to repaint it.

    But I still wouldn't be sure that it would kill them all -> so not useful.

  8. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 9:49:04
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    EffeCi - 2 hours ago  » 

    I do like the idea of a Muppet show style "Bugs in space".

    ROTFL

    Thank you for proving the point that bedbug specialists are Muppet fans rather than Muppets.

    David

  9. bbsuck

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 10:24:38
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    Just thinking out loud:

    What if you sealed the item in a plastic bag/ziplock bag/airtight container, spread the items thin to prevent pockets of cooler temps, and then put it in your car? It seems like there would be little chance of escape (after all, that's how everyone stores their clothes while undergoing treatment). I know it maynot be reliable, but it wouldn't infest your car and may help, right?

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 10:30:36
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    Hi,

    You still need to deal with the complexities of the equation that is heat transfer coefficient which realistically would need to take into account every layer in the items.

    Much of this was done years ago with Stephen Dogget in Australia and no matter how hard you try to get around it, the physics does not work in your favor and as Scottie would say "you cannie defy the laws of physics".

    David

  11. bbsuck

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 10:49:04
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    Boo. That makes sense, but it sucks. :p

  12. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 10:52:45
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    Its a similar set of issue in the Sauna thread, although there you have an excess of heat, the energy of which can be continually put into the system but you still need to get the heat into and through all the items.

    In short its not as easy as it sounds and much of it is covered with process patents which is why few can or will work on it.

    David

  13. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 11 2011 10:57:29
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    Okay, and now I have a mash up of Pigs in Space ("Pigs . . .in . . . spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace") and the Star Trek reboot in my head.

    ::shakes head to clear it::

    David replied before I had a chance to, but while putting bug/egg infested items in plastic bags may keep the bugs from getting into the car, plastic bags do not magically elude the heat transfer problem, as he pointed out.

    Think about it this way.

    Thermal treatment of a home is not a passive process; it's an active one. Professionals who do thermal treatment bring in a variety of heaters to raise the temp in a structure at a particular speed. As one thermal pro explained it to me, thermal is as much art as science. This description is partly because what thermal treatment of a structure does is raise the temp fast enough that the bed bugs go "Hey, ouch, hot, uncomfortable, let's do the bed bug equivalent of going to the movies to get into the AC." so they flee to cooler spots.

    Once in the cooler spots, the active, artificial heating process of the PCO continues to raise the temp inside the cooler spots the bugs have fled to. Eventually, the temp in those spots gets hot enough that the bugs *Again* go looking for a cooler spot, but there are no cooler spots left, so the bugs heat up and die like crispy little critters.

    Insert maniacal villainous cackling here.

    At any rate, my point is, in order to get that right, you cannot rely on passive means of increasing heat.

    Granted, some of us live in climates where it would seem that solar would allow us to do that naturally. I've been to Palm Desert, Blythe, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, El Centro, and such. Those are places that in the summer take heat to whole new levels. (They really are hotter, quantifiably, than even the South in the summer. I spent my summers in a place where a low humidity day was a day that was 95 degrees F and the humidity only got to 95% instead of 98%. It was awful. That's why I live here now. A lot of southwestern desert towns this time of year really are still 85 degrees at midnight. And air temps during the day really do hit 120 degrees F.)

    And yes, the interior of a car, really does get way warmer in those temps than it does in your standard 80 to 100 degree rest of the US. (Ask me about how post bed bugs I was still skittish enough that I parked my car in the direct sun in one of those towns while I worked, and at the end of the day, I could not even touch the steering wheel in any way. My car gets hot here on 100 degree days, but if you give it a minute or two to cool off, you can touch the steering wheel, albeit uncomfortably. Once the temp hits 115 or so, it takes a lot longer for the steering wheel to cool down.)

    But (and it's an important but), most of the items we're talking about putting in a car--like pillows and comforters--are very well insulated items.

    It's also important to remember that cars are themselves full of insulation. Your trunk does not get as hot as the interior of the passenger compartment of the car. The seat is almost always sit-on-able unless your skin is exposed and the seat is leather, and even then, the surface of the seat is scalding, but a ways down under all that padding, it's not.

    If any bugs got loose, they could survive in those more insulated, cooler parts of the car. Car infestations of bed bugs are very rare, and that's a good thing, because they are an epic PITA to treat.

    Even if everything bagged up were sealed, though, there's another problem. The items in bags will have cool spots. The bottom of the bag is sitting on the nice insulated seat, with the insulation of the bag between it and the sun and the heat of the car. The bugs are just going to flee to those spots and hang out there and survive. If there are any eggs there, they'll survive too.

    I really, really do with it would work. It's cheap. It's widely available to some of us. And if it worked reliably, I'd recommend it in an heartbeat. Alas, the best evidence is that it's not a a reliable way to kill all the bugs.

    The problem with that is that even in those kinds of air temps

  14. oscar

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 18 2011 9:22:08
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    bed-bugscouk

    You need to visit Texas in July!

    See the following website: http://www.weather.com/newscenter/specialtopics/slideshows/hotcar061909.html

    If you can find a crevice in my car that is less than 116F on a sunny Houston summer day (99F outside), then you can have it! Or how about Arizona where the actual outside temperature reaches 110-115F.

    I understand what you are saying about material conductivity/heat transfer, but a suitcase is hardly a good insulator.

  15. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 18 2011 9:41:49
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    Hi Oscar,

    I used to live in Texas, Houston in fact and I can assure you it aint gonna work, despite the fact that Texas has the right to secede from the union it does not have the right to secede from the laws of physics and thermodynamics.

    David

  16. BillKnools

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 18 2011 11:10:41
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    I am a bed bug expert and I agree with the advice given above. Putting the car in the sun most likely will not work.

  17. 4bites

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 21:39:58
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    what are the chances your car will get infested if you transported infected suit cases in it?

  18. SweetAlice

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 13:36:12
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    I recently performed my own "heat treatment" by placing my head board and sides tables out in the direct sun on a day that was forecast to reach 117° F. Within 10-15 minutes I had dead BBs. They had left their little hidey-holes, but were dead, dead, dead.

    I've also spoken to others in this geographical area that accomplished the same thing by wrapping furniture in black plastic on cooler days (110°). It resulted in DEAD BBs. These were all placed in direct sun, not inside a car, so that may be the important difference.

    All the complicated, scientific discussions aside - the proof is in the dead bugs.

  19. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 13:47:21
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    The general rule of thumb around here is that successful treatments are those that eliminate all bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs from the home, and most of us are reluctant to declare success until we're 100% bed bug free for 60 days with no signs of any bug activity during that time.

    Did I misread your your other post? If so, I'm sorry. I got the impression that you were still doing battle with bed bugs from that post.

    It is absolutely true that placing an item in the hot sun will kill many bugs and many eggs. Unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily kill all the bugs and all the eggs, and any treatment that doesn't do that isn't something that I personally feel comfortable recommending to people. In fact, most of us around here to don't advocate a treatment unless it's got a proven track record of killing all the bugs either because we're, as in my case, former bed bug sufferers who don't want people to have to deal with an infestation that drags on or because some of the folks here are professionals with thousands of cases in the field.

    As has been outlined in detail above, placing items in the sun or inside a car is not a reliable way of killing 100% of the bed bugs and eggs, not even in places where the outside air temp routinely reaches 125 degrees F.


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