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eggs surviving in storage?

(13 posts)
  1. itchynscratchy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 9:10:24
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    What is the absolute maximum an egg can last before hatching? I am trying to clean my kid's toys, and it has been painstaking. Could I take plastic toys like Legos, that are easily submerged in a contact killer like rubbing alcohol, and be sure that no eggs will survive if the toys have been bagged for 5 weeks?

  2. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 9:20:08
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    There is some influence of temperature on egg hatching time which is why they are usually quoted as a range from about 9 to 16 days. If I recall correctly the lower the temperature the slower the hatching time.

    I think most people would agree that if you took a figure of lets say 20 days then all eggs laid on day 1 would have hatched. As long as there were no viable egg laying females in the area you contained then all eggs would have hatched.

    I am not sure about the use of rubbing alcohol though, its something that I have never felt the need to use in that way.

    David

  3. itchynscratchy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 10:26:47
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    Thanks. I guess the wild card is the egg laying female. If there were an egg laying female, how much longer would you have to wait?

    What would you recommend instead of rubbing alcohol on a child's toy that couldn't be baked, dried or boiled?

  4. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 10:50:02
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    Hi,

    If a female that is viable to lay eggs is trapped inside then it could be up to 18 months before they would die and not be able to lay eggs. The simple fact is that more research on that specific subject is needed.

    I have jars of samples that I collect and observe on my desk, some go to research and others for in-house research and testing. I have observed that they tend to lay eggs quite soon after arriving in a new environment, or at least they do in the jars I collect them in. It might be a form of colonisation behaviour and would certainly go a long way to explain why they are so pervasive a pest all of a sudden.

    As for what to do with plastic items all I can suggest is that you inspect them thoroughly for signs of bed bugs. If you don’t see anything and want to be on the safe side wash them in warm soapy water. Let them dry and inspect again for the signs of anything.

    If you do find infested items seal them up in wrap or a bag and consult your Pest Controller. If the item is sealed you have time to investigate what options are open in our area / with your resources.

    If you are hand screening don’t forget to take regular breaks outside so that you eyes do not become strained. You get faster with time and practice but having the eye takes years.

    The bath is also the best place to check things over as it’s a nice contained area.

    David

  5. itchynscratchy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 11:08:28
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    I truly appreciate your fast and thorough response. Thank you for all that information. I didn't realize an egg-laying female could hold onto her eggs for so long. One last question, if I may. Why warm soapy water and not hot soapy water?

  6. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 11:18:02
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    Hi,

    The fact is that no-one is actually sure because the research has not been done. I try and advise from a position of better to be safe than sorry and therefore the 18 month rule comes into play.

    I say warm soapy water because if its hot I tend to scold my hands. Either way its the fact that bed bugs has not evolved to swim or breath under water that comes into effect rather than the temperature of the water.

    If I get time this week I will try and excise a few viable eggs from the collection and see if they are viable after a soak. It will take a few weeks to get the results so hang fire.

    David

  7. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 13:12:09
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    i read that boiling water kills bugs and eggs instantly, so i imagine that hot water would probably kill the eggs as well (although it may take longer...).

    when i moved to my new apartment i washed many plastic items in the tub in steaming hot water before moving them to the new place. things that i was concerned about i soaked in the hot tub for ten to twenty minutes apiece. basically i just kept repeatedly filling the tub full of steaming water and throwing items in, making sure i completely submerged them. the water was too hot for my hands, so i would use the shampoo bottle to push the items under the water. i didn't know bedbugs couldn't swim (although that probably should have been obvious, lol), or i probably would not have had the water so hot...

  8. itchynscratchy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Jun 22 2008 17:31:03
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    I never realized you could drown a bedbug either. Thanks David for the egg experiment. Everyone on this website has been so attentive and supportive -- and those in the know like you make us feel that much better/calmer.

  9. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jun 23 2008 1:44:07
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    I didn't know impregnated females could hold on to their eggs either. I was under the impression that they had to have a blood meal before laying eggs, which would mean that if you had your children's toys sealed in bags for five weeks, all eggs should have hatched. One problem you might have is how small and possibly fast the live babies are. I boiled lots of things, surefire tactic, and they all survived. You might almost think of submerging both the toys and bags in boiling water just to kill any fast-running unseeables. You don't have to leave items in boiling water for long, maybe only about a minute - if the water is actually boiling. This brevity is what helps preserve your belongings.

    Maybe you could put the plastic toys in the dishwasher? But is there any risk some nymphs could escape?

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jun 23 2008 4:35:25
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    Hi,

    Sorry got to the office a day late to do the test on eggs and water. They have all hatched out and now I have a jar with 100+ adults and 100+ clear babies running around in it.

    I will collect some more when I can later in the week and restart the experiment.

    David

    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
  11. itchynscratchy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jun 23 2008 6:30:53
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    fightorflight, how or what were you boiling when the babies survived?

  12. Bites44

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jun 23 2008 11:31:23
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    Flightorflight: I have the same question as Itchy.
    You wrote: "I boiled lots of things, surefire tactic, and they all survived."

    I hope you mean that all the items in the boiling water survived. thanks.

    Thanks David for sharing your experiment. Your posts are very important to us all.

  13. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Jun 24 2008 15:19:30
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    David, I want to ask you a question about the concept of a 20-day rule for eggs. Bear with me because this is a process question.

    So we know that vacumming will suck up live bugs that are on an object, but it won't necessarily dislodge sticky eggs. The only thing we know will kill eggs is heat. Rubbing alcohol has not been put to the test on eggs. (This is my understanding, gathered from this forum.)

    So I get a pair of shoes that I can't put in the dryer because it will ruin them. I vacuum them as thoroughly as I can, so all live bugs, including fertile females, will have been eliminated. I put the shoes in a ziploc. I leave the shoes in the ziplock for 20 days. The eggs will have hatched, so that means that either the shoes are clean, or there will be tiny clear nymphs on them. So I vacuum the shoes again and put them in a new, fresh ziplock. Does that sound like a safe process? Can I now wear these shoes to work without fear of spreading the bugs? If so, this is a much better option than storing them for 18 months!


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