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do I really have to give up all my cardboard?

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  1. mangycur

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Sep 22 2007 19:16:25
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    I have several boxes of books. Taking them out, going through them--fine. Putting them in plastic bags, fine. But I have plastic bags everywhere. Did everyone here actually go buy plastic boxes for everything? Or did you buy fresh cardboard after the first PCO spray? Even if I were to move things to storage, I would need boxes to carry things in. What did you all do? The expense is daunting.

  2. WelcometoFlatbush

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Sep 22 2007 21:13:40
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    Hey,
    I had a grocery store that gives out free boxes. I got a bunch of them and left them in the car during summer, and brought up the boxes only long enough to put the magazines and books in bags in the boxes and took them right out to the car to take to storage.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Sep 22 2007 21:49:20
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    I would try and get a deal on plastic storage tubs, and knot cheap plastic garbage bags (thick as possible, eg for contractors) inside them.

    Cardboard boxes can easily harbor bed bugs (in the crevices) and cockroaches are known to like them as well. Which means you might take bed bugs to the storage facility, and you might bring them or something else back.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. mangycur

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sat Sep 22 2007 22:09:09
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    *sigh* I know you're right of course. Thanks, as always, Nobugs

  5. parakeets

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Sep 24 2007 9:17:18
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    I agree with Nobugs. I actually found a bedbug hiding INSIDE one of the corregated tubules that make up a corregated box (there must be a name for those tubules. "Corregs?") It would be impossible to find bedbugs in corregated boxes if they can hide there.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Sep 24 2007 10:17:27
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    I always knew roaches loved them, but bed bugs take the creepiness factor of cardboard to a new level.

  7. bugalew

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Sep 26 2007 17:37:48
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    I can't say enough or shut up about how I saved about a $100 by using someone else's moving boxes and ending up spending almost $3000 which was exactly my savings. Not to say yours came form your boxes but these critters apparently L-O-V-E cardboard corrugated or otherwise. A round of clear plastic for all my friends!

    Goning on six weeks- I plastic bag everything I bring into the house-magazines etc and even yes bags. I take my new garbage bags and put them in clear bags. Vacuum cleaner? CDs? Remotes for TV, stereo and dvd player? Camera? Netflix I receive in the mail? Isopropyl Alcohol, Vaseline, kleenex and Deep Woods Off on my night stand? Caulking gun? All in bags. My clothes are in Space and Ziplocs of various sizes. As they wear out (and those Space bags wear out), I'm replacing w/contractor bags-100 for $20 Home Depot. If I tie them, they have been working fine. As far as the bins go: I've been told any bin will do because anything in the bins needs to be yes- in bags. The bins are rarely air tight enough and are simply for organizational purposes. It's all about the bags. Have I typed the word "bags" enough? It's a new normal and I say whatever works for now. Best of luck to you

  8. IWearTheScarletBB

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Dec 27 2007 22:30:45
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    With the temperature of the basement and attic area, do we need to get rid of the cardboard?...

    We live in a single family residence (at least a single human family residence...and apparently a million BB family residence) and have all of our extra stuff stored in cardboard boxes in our basement and attic area. The attic area is connected to a bedroom where there has not been any evidence of BB so far. The attic area is also not climate controlled and gets pretty cold this time of year (in northeast). The basement is heated, but it is kept pretty cool compared to the rest of the house. I can not even imagine the expense and hassle of switching from cardboard to anything else. But, on the other hand, I also can't imagine living with these BB for one day longer than I need to. I would think that any BB would hightail it out of these cooler areas for the warmer climate of other parts of our house...but, then again, if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't be in this situation.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Dec 28 2007 0:07:32
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    IWTSBB,

    It may be so, but...

    People have claimed to leave bagged items outside for weeks, in the northeast, in Winter, and have bed bugs survive. I'd guess your attic and basement are more insulated than that. I would personally dump the cardboard.

    Remember that if you're fighting bed bugs,eliminating places they can HIDE--indeed, where they ARE hiding--is part of the process.

  10. IWearTheScarletBB

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Dec 28 2007 9:37:31
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    Yea, I know (sigh). But, I was thinking/hoping that they would move out of those cooler areas to the warmer areas of our house and in the process by poisoned/DEed/caught/etc. I know ANYTHING is possible with these hellish creatures, but is is probable that they would bunker down in the cold areas when my apparently delicious butt is sleeping a mere 20 feet away?

  11. IWearTheScarletBB

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 11:28:15
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    In addition to my above question, I have another question about my attic storage. The attic is pretty cold right now, but gets pretty hot in the summer. I know that the temperatures at either time are not extreme enough to kill. But, can I assume that dormancy only occurs in cold temperatures? When it gets hot in the summer, won't the BB be pretty active because of the heat and come seeking us out? I am asking because I don't know how fast I am going to be able to go through all of our attic stuff...working full time, having a toddler, and a dog that has recently starting requiring medical attention leaves little time for going through the attic. It may be quite some time and am hoping that summer's heat will force them out and we can hopefully nab them.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 12:06:16
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    IWear,
    I am not sure anyone here can answer your questions with any certainty. I have some for you:
    Do you know your attic is infested?
    If so, when did it begin? Haven't some seasons already passed? Did they kill your bed bugs? I have serious doubts that everything in your attic would become hot enough long enough.
    It is worth considering also how many times your bed bugs will breed and multiply in other areas of the home while you wait for the attic to become bed bug free. It is probably best just to treat your whole home, no?

  13. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 15:27:42
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    Hi everybody,
    I've got similar issues. Have a large (4 level) single family house filled to the brim with stuff. To get ready for treatment, have been trashing lots, bagging things I want to save (for later treatment or 18 month wait). Have an attic and basement which I'd like to use for storage of bagged items, but need to empty them 1st. I've no reason to think the basement or attic are infested. Does anybody have comments on the following strategy? I'm thinking I'll spend most of my time now emptying the basement & attic, and when that's done, have the 2 areas treated by the pco, then move the sealed bags to the 2 areas so the rest of the house can be treated. But after the basement & attic are ready & treated, I won't be able to immediately move all of the bags in. Will need to spend much time (probably months) going through the contents of the house on the 2 floors between the basement & attic because I won't have everything all bagged & ready until the basement & attic are ready (due to lack of storage & working space). I know it's preferable to treat the entire house at once, but wonder if this plan might work. Have thought about renting a large (unheated)POD type container to be placed outside in the yard, but don't want to use that because of mold/mildew issues. Have also thought about renting a storage unit, but don't like that option because of time/trouble involved in transport and possible bb exposure from neighboring units. Thanks everybody for your thoughts on this or any better ideas...

  14. IWearTheScarletBB

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 16:41:09
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    Yes, in a nutshell that is also my problem. Luckily, we only have three levels though. Like you PleaseHelp, I have no reason to believe that my attic and basement are tainted with the beasts. I may be rudely surprised, but that is what I now hopefully think. I would also prefer to have the entire house treated at once, but that is pretty much impossible. One would think that, since I am so desparate to get rid of them, I could make it possible, but it really isn't. I am trying to move as fast as I can and am thankful for the vacation time I had planned for the holidays (at the time I requested it, I hadn't intended for my time to be spent like this, but such is life).

    NoBugs...The attic definitely doesn't get hot enough to kill...however, I was hoping summer would get the attic hot enough to get their little panties in a bind and they would come out into the house where they would hopefully meet their demise. If any bugs were introduced, it would have been somewhat recent when we unpacked our Christmas decorations (before we knew we had BB). The decoration boxes had sat on a couch that we now suspect as infested...so, some hitchhikers may have jumped on to ride up to the attic.

    I am sooooo tired of over-analyzing this situation!!!!!!!

  15. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 18:01:34
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    One comment on books:
    I've seen PCO's suggest removing these from the treatment areas. I think I understand why, but caution is in order here as books are a good harbourage for BBs.

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 19:49:16
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    pleasehelp,

    I am not sure if any of your fellow sufferers can speculate on whether it's as effective to have one room treated and then another. I suspect it's best to do the whole home at once, then declutter, then retreat. I think some PCOs will treat around the clutter, and then they're being killed as you work on it. (But I say this not knowing the degree of clutter in question.) I'd ask a PCO about that situation. They can tell you how they would handle a cluttered home.

    IWear,

    I'd say a similar thing in your case. I don't think any of us suffering from bed bugs can speculate. I can suggest you treat your entire home. And that if your suggested method does not work, your bed bugs can get worse and cost more to eliminate. But I can't be sure. I'd ask the PCOs at thebedbugresource.com since they probably have advice based on treatment experiences.

  17. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 22:21:19
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    Thanks nobugs - I was hoping some of the PCOs on the forum might comment. I'll also go the thebedbugresource and ask. My PCO doesn't want to treat before I declutter, but he doesn't seem to have any suggestions on how to go about the decluttering.

  18. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Dec 31 2007 23:34:53
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    Pleasehelp,

    Can I offer some well-meaning (okay, impertinent) thoughts?

    Do you realize that the plan you are contemplating has you living with bedbugs for months? In a single family home you must have a great advantage; you control all and the neighbors, what neighbors, right? This advantage, I would guess, is erased if you allow your infestation to grow to a level where the bedbugs are well spread, well entrenched in multiple harborage locations. Then your fight to eradicate must be an uphill battle.

    Why not the pod? Why would you get mold issues so quickly? I don't follow.

    Also, as a connoisseur of certain strategies, may I warn you against spending a lot of time chasing the "perfect" solution to this or that? It can be, of course, nothing more than a nifty way to defer action and avoid an unpleasant task. I would hope you can find it in yourself to be a bit more ruthless with the tasks you face!

    (Here's something that helps me. I try to make a decision. Just make a decision from the best three available options. Choose. And work from that until I face another decision.)

    I wish you the best and hope you can achieve freedom from bedbugs. Soon.

  19. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2008 1:23:25
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    Nomo, thank you so much for your advice. You are so right. You've got me pegged... paralysis by analysis. We're going to forge ahead with the pod(s) thanks to you. I had run this by my brother who said the mold would be a problem, but if everything is sealed up in heavy plastic, I don't see why. It really, really helps to have you and this group to turn to when there are so many questions & things to consider.

  20. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jan 1 2008 20:42:08
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    Hi pleasehelp! It takes one to know one is what I hear...

    Don't ignore your brother's warnings, just take steps to limit the possibility of moisture being a problem. The pod people may have ideas. I just did a quick search and making sure things are clean and dry and placing sheets of plastic on the floor are some of the tips I saw. (You should go look. But don't overdo it.

    IWear,

    If concentrating on the living areas is all you can do now, then that's all you can do, right? None of us do our bedbug-fighting in ideal conditions. There's always something.

    It's a New Year. Full of possibility. Death to bedbugs.

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2008 11:36:26
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    I don't know what this POD business is all about, so can't comment on the method or the mold. I think hopelessnomo's advice is spot on, though.

    Let me add one thing: though we don't think it's a great idea, it may help to remember that some people do no prep before treating bed bugs. No laundry, no nothing. I think it can make things harder to treat, so really, please do not do this.

    However, it does suggest that treatment is possible even with some clutter. And that treatment with clutter is better than postponing treatment, or treating rooms one by one.

    I'd say you might interview more PCOs.

    And I can't remember where you are, pleasehelp, but heat or gas may be applied either to your home or just your contents--heat would avoid mold if that is a specific concern. Neither treatment can be done on unsorted stuff, since some of it won't survive. But still.

    There may also be professional organizers or cleaners who can help with sorting stuff.

    I know all that is expensive, and I am on a budget. It won't work for everyone.

  22. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Jan 2 2008 18:10:32
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    Thanks nomo - I'll check on that & try not to overdo it!
    Thanks too, nobugs - a POD is a newish moving/storage container that's becoming popular... It's a 8x8x12 or 8x8x16 shed-like structure that's delivered to a street or driveway & rented out. The renter fills it, then the POD company can move it along with the contents or simply come pick it up when it's no longer needed. I'll take your suggestion and interview more PCOs to find out about options for treating around clutter. Are there any PCOs here that wish to comment on this topic???? BakedBedBugs is also checking for me to see if there's someone here (DC area) who does ThermaPure treatments. Meanwhile we've isolated the beds & wear plastic bags over feet & lower legs. Does anybody know if bbs cross DE moats (1/4 inch deep & 1 inch wide)? Even if they do, that's ok with me because they'll die, but I'm curious.

  23. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Jan 3 2008 0:13:04
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    Thanks for clarifying that, pleasehelp. Is there a concern with mold in pods in general? Or does your brother have a specific concern? The stuff gets sealed in plastic, I assume.

  24. buggeroff

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2008 16:25:27
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    I can't see how mold will be an issue in January. July, yes, with the heat and humidity everything molds, but not now. I have a garage full of stuff that isn't moldy. Get the Pod, treat the house, be done with this situation before the muggy weather hits. You may even be able to use Vikane on the stuff in the Pod.

    Look at it this way, they won't die if you don't start killing them. And if they aren't dead, they're breeding.

    Aren't you the one I gave the name of a PCO to? Did you contact him?

  25. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2008 17:45:34
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    Thanks Buggeroff - Yes - I'm the one who contacted you, and I'm working with that company now - I like them a lot. He'd much rather work in a house that's been totally prepped, but we're getting a pod & concentrating our efforts on 2 large areas now (the ones the dog alerted on). He'll treat those areas 1st (with no guarantees), then we'll work on clearing out & treating the rest of the house. I don't think there's a concern with mold in Pods any more so than any other un-dehumidified/heated container that's sitting outside. My brother thought it would be an issue, but you & nobugs disagree. Of course I'll make sure it's airtight, so I agree w/you it should be ok.

  26. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jan 4 2008 20:29:28
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    I don't have any opinion on the mold, either way (not my area of knowledge at all!), but it does sound like you have a good plan, pleasehelp, and I am glad your treatment is starting.

  27. bekalekah

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jan 5 2008 0:56:05
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    If you tape all openings to a box really well, is it safe? I have a large mirror box which I use to store/transport framed artwork (we haven't been here long enough to unpack it). I've been lugging this box around for 7 years, so it's a bit tattered, but I had sealed it pretty securely prior to treatment. I plan on going through it with a thorough inspection this weekend (and washing the blankets I use for padding), but I don't know how to store them properly when done. I went to the Container Store tonight & didn't find anything big enough to put them in. If I buy a new box and tape it up really well, will it be safe?

  28. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jan 5 2008 1:48:06
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    bekalekah, If you're able to tape a box such that ALL openings, however tiny, are covered, AND the tape doesn't peel off or detach, you can keep bugs from escaping a box and from getting in. You'd need to be sure any exposed edges of corrogated cardboard are sealed as well. Framed artwork, however, sounds like it could be very difficult to inspect thoroughly. I'd opt for keeping the box taped up (& sealed in a plastic bag or stretch wrap if you're not 100% confident the tape will stay put) for 18 months just in case there are bugs inside. And if I were doing that, I wouldn't bother to wash the blankets - bugs could escape when you take them out of the box.


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