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Don't want bedbugs- coat possibily affected

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  1. MadSam

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Jul 1 2013 19:18:22
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    a relative of mine thinks she may have bed bugs and is trying to figure out how to treat a wool coat, so that it hopefully doesn't get ruined or shrink.

    as of right now it's on the clothes line, it was put it there a few hours ago, and we plan to keep it there for a few days as I have heard is suggested.

    Now, my husband thinks it's find to just bag it up in a zip lock and leave it there. I say out of the question. at the very least it should be bagged up in a zip lock bag, with a lot of DE in it. since i understand that they can live for up to a year with out feeding.

    I was also wondering about putting bed bug spray in the bag.
    has anyone been able to successfully treat a wool coat without it shrinking?

    what does anyone think of my idea of the zip lock bag and the DE? also, if this is done, how long must the coat stay in the bag?

    Please help!

  2. bugdefcon

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Jul 1 2013 20:42:23
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    MadSam - 1 hour ago  » 
    Now, my husband thinks it's find to just bag it up in a zip lock and leave it there. I say out of the question. at the very least it should be bagged up in a zip lock bag, with a lot of DE in it. since i understand that they can live for up to a year with out feeding.

    People often quote long times like that. Often it's quoted by exterminators. Hm... I wonder why they say that. That was from one very old study. Even in that study the reality is that for bed bugs to live that long the conditions have to be ideal for a bed bug. Freshly fed, the temperature at around 50F and fairly humid. If the temperature is hotter and drier. They don't live close to 1 year or the much quoted 18 months. In California during the current heat wave, even based on that study, they'd last at most about a month.

    Here is a much more recent study than the one that 18 month figure people often quote is from. These numbers are for a human comfy 78F and 68% RH. Most bed bugs could only live from 39-106 days. 1-3 months and the longest surviving one only made it to 143 days, about 5 months.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/2/2/232

    Are your conditions ideal? The warmer and drier they are the faster they die.

    If you want it done quickly and be sure, heat up the coat to 50C or 125F and hold it there for a little while. That shouldn't damage it. It's not that hot. Certain parts of California get hotter than that outside. As always, be careful of how you heat anything and do it safely.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 2 2013 1:55:03
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    DE in a bag does not seem like a helpful approach.

    We have heard that many, though not all, items which can't be washed and dried can be put (already dry) through a hot dryer for about 30 minutes. (This is because that's quite a different thing than putting a wet item in a dryer, in terms of how the fabric responds.)

    We understand also that traditional (perc) dry cleaning methods do kill bed bugs, though we aren't sure about the newer "green" dry cleaning methods. Note, though, many of us are concerned about whether a dry cleaner knows how to deal with potentially infested items, you have to warn them about your item, and also be aware some others may not be warning them, so bed bugs could potentially be a problem at the cleaner's.

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

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