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Encasement rationale

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  1. BB-B-gon

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 8 2010 3:40:05
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    I have a relatively new BB problem in private home after visiting a B&B north of NYC; I had bite clusters a few nights later in my own bed. DH wore same PJs both places. PCO set traps, no bugs, so no treatment. I took everything out of my room, heated mattress to 140 degrees for 4 hours in my car (three heaters), washed/dried everything, caulked bed, mouldings outlet covers, spread DE everywhere and worked into cracks of wood floor, two-sided duct tape around door openings, isolated bed on yogurt cups filled with DE. Sticky traps placed between mattress and headboard and floor beside bed, bed legs and throughout house. No bugs.

    2 months goes by and now I found a stage 1 nymph on me in the bath tub (morning bath, up from bed). It is very tiny cream-colored oval, small head with hairs/filaments visible with magnifying glass. No other signs, no dark spots, smears or bugs in bed areas. No bites -- at least not reacting. Are Nymph bites less reative? I suspect we killed the adults in the first go-round and eggs have since hatched.

    So now have windows open and am freezing my bedrooms for about a week. I know this will not nec kill adults, but are nymphs more vulnerable to freezing? Will get steamer and methodically sterilize mattresses. Reclean and be more strict about isolating beds -- nothing put on bed, frequent checks and steaming, etc.

    My main question is about bed encasements that have been recommended here. I am not understanding the rationale. If I want the bugs killed, then I would need to steam regularly until all hatchlings are dead. Encasements leaves the eggs to hatch and risk failure by rips, seams and zippers. with vinyl or urethane backed fabric, steaming the encased mattress over and over would not be effective or pentrating and may damage the encasement. That is why I am not understanding the rationale.

    That is how I treat Lice (x3) -- pick all the nits, apply oil to the head for the inadvertant missed nits for duration of hatching (2 weeks), regularly wash bedding.

    How long from being layed until the BB eggs hatch?

    Another simpler option is to switch to air mattresses that can wiped down and sleeping bags that can be easily tossed in dryer every few days.

    What other residuals are recommended for NYC bugs and where do I find their product/chemical profile and safety info?

    Thanks so much for this site!

    BB-B-gon

  2. Richard_Naylor

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 9 2010 12:18:50
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    Hi BB-B-gon,

    Regarding hatching times, this is highly temperature dependent.

    At 26oC they take about 6 days
    At 20oC they take about 18 days
    At 13oC they don't hatch at all (this is called the developmental zero)

    Regarding encasements I agree with you. They don't keep bugs away. All they do is slightly reduce the number of potential harbourages around the bed. This is actually a bad thing, as it forces the bugs to occupy more peripheral harbourages, which makes treatment more complicated.

  3. terry glasson

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 9 2010 19:40:28
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    Hi Richard,
    Very interested in your observations on hatching times and temperature. Do you have any referances on this as someone posed the question to me before and am very keen to find any research findings on such as it would have implications on treatment.

    I actually think the mattress encasements are good if you don't have unreal expectations of them. Once you have completely steamed the mattress, you can periodically remove and hot wash the cover for peace of mind. The white also assists in identifying spotting.

  4. BB-B-gon

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Dec 11 2010 8:51:13
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    So I think I will go without encasement and steam every 7 days for a month. Remember, my history is no bug signs except one 3 day episode of cluster bites two months ago. Total cleaning/heating mattress and then one baby found in my bath two months later. I have had the room open to continuous sub freezing temps the last week, will continue one more week. Everything is caulked and bed is isolated on pots with DE. I still believe I am in second wave of very early infection. I am a little worried that my DH has tracked them around the house with his PJs, like he brought them here. Another reason for sleeping nude! Meant only as a prevention suggestion, of course.


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