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Fighting the invisible enemy

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  1. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 13 2011 16:20:28
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    Hi, I’m new here, and English is not my first language, so please excuse my language errors.

    I came across some topics here when I was searching the web looking for answers during the past half month, and have been reading from this site for the last a few days, and now I’m registered here. There’re so many confusing conflicting information out there on the web (basically, no lab evidence as prove), and I’m interested to communicate and share experiences with persons who have the real problem themselves, and find out a way that suits myself.

    I can repeat a lot of what we should do to deal with BB problem, but, I would say everyone has something special to deal with, and may not pick “one for all solution” right away.

    My son found BB in his rented apartment maybe about 10 months ago, got treated, and said there’s no problem recently when I asked about it. I’ve been kicking myself for the past half month since I paid no attention at that time to the problem and did nothing. He checked on the internet and tried to do the things he thought could stop the spreading of BBs, and I never paid attention to that either. I basically had no idea what I’m dealing with and didn’t think a bit. He works around Boston and comes home maybe once or twice monthly on weekends. Wife works away from home and comes back on weekends. That’s all about our family.

    So, about a month ago, I got some bites and I knew they were most not likely mosquito bites, since I was in long cloths that time, and the bites were under the cloths. And they were just one or two days a week, and a few single bites here there each time, and no one else in the family had anything. So, another reason to kick myself again, since I still did not do anything about it, no alarm sounded. The last week in June it all began, the bites became every day and more and more, it alerted me to do some reading. And the red flag turned on for BB.

    What maybe special to my case is that the bites only show up about 11 to12 hours later after being bitten (I think), assuming the bugs bite around 4am, and I start to see the bites coming out after 3pm. So, the saying “you wake up with the bites all over you” etc. just doesn’t apply to me. One would first assume the bites occur around that time you see them, but, based on the surroundings I was in and my previous experience of delayed reaction to some bites (long story) ,I started to suspect that they could be BB bites. After all the readings, I panicked. Told wife, she won’t believe it a bit (she’s in the state I was in before). But, I have no time to convince her, thinking every bite may create one more breading bug, followed by 200 eggs, I have to react now.

    So, the long weekend we went out bought mattress and box covers (or bags) and the D.E. dust, ‘coz my son told us so, on the phone. Checked the bed, and around, absolutely no sign what so ever. Put the cover on, put the legs of the frame into plastic box with D.E. in them and put some D.E. around the bed. The bed is not touching anything, and if the bugs come on to the bed, they must craw though the D.E. dust (unless they drop from the ceiling). 2 nights went by, still a few bites. I then wondered, maybe they are on the bed ( can’t see any, now I have a theory, we can’t see the eggs and the ones just hatched, and they are all over on any surfaces). Since the cover was new I assumed the bugs if any would be enclosed in. It left only the metal frame. So, I took out RAID, sprayed the 4 legs and the wheel I could get. And that night all hell broke loose. I got the worst bite ever, close to 20 all over, and many the classic 3 and 4 bites. Think about it, watching them pop up one by one all over in the afternoon. The next night, I slept with lights on, and got only a few bites. Still, I’m scared to sleep on the bed any more. Not that I’m afraid of bites. I’m afraid of contributing to them growing larger and larger and more and more.

    The past weekend, I slept in my garage in the car, and of course not many bites (since I have a delayed reaction and so many bites on me already, I can’t tell what’re the new bites any more). OK, a long story, but there’re still many details left out.

    So, my situation now is this: I don’t see the bugs not even a sign, and I’m the only one most of the time feeding them. Of course, wife has bites now when she’s back home.

    My war plan now is this: first to starve them, second to kill them.

    Now come the many questions: how long will it take to starve them to death, especially for those just hatched BBs? I read 18 months, but is it really? MY house is 2000 square feet plus basement, not easy to get to them, how can I kill them? They have to get to me, right? No matter how many of them are there, as long as they can’t get me, they are going to die. So, I can’t let them go on dormant. I stay in the bed room until I need to sleep. I have D.E. dust all over and applying more every day. I’m putting in those sticky traps now all over. But, do they work? I’m thinking to sit on the bed about 4am with whatever killing spray in hand and kill those that want to get on the bed, but I have to have the lights on to see them, will they come out with light on? And the saying on the web is, if they are really hungry, they even come out in the day light, but, are they going to come and get me like I’m planning now?

    I just can’t see them.

    Oh, how I miss my “miserable life” before this now, my life is totally changed, and I know I need to hang on for 2 years after the day I get no bite to starve them to death.

  2. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jul 14 2011 0:37:49
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    I'm not sure should I make one post unlimited long by adding to it more, so I'm starting another one.

    I want to share some thought about Diatomaceous earth (D.E.), the only magic dust for us to DIY. I got to know this word "Diatomaceous" less then 10 days ago, but I've studied it to death and get to know this dust by doing my own test. But, from all the information I got about this dust, I still don't know if it'll do the job.

    How long does it take for the dust to do the job? Some professional suggestion says 10 days if the bug has the dust on it, and it may not work on adult bugs. How about the nymphs? They would shed their skins each every week if they get their meal, some information says. Assuming they get the dust on them on their way to the meal , and once they shed the old skin, the dust get off them too, and it's not even 10 days, how can they be killed in 10 days? You just wonder if there are some serious lab experiment data to give us some accurate idea.

    The dust does kill ants, from my own experiement, within a day, if it swims in the dust. Some people on the web also gave their test on bed bugs dropped into the dust, the result vary from 1 day to 4 days.

    I watched an ant avoiding the dust when it came across it, can bed bug do the same?

    So, our hope on the dust to do the trick, really is not that solid, is it? I don't even know how they get on the bed. How do I know they will walk in the dus I put everywhere?

  3. Rosae

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jul 14 2011 6:52:45
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    Hi,

    My English is worse I'm afraid; a kind of literal translation from my own language and very slow.

    It sounds to me that they are living in your metal bed frame. Please see his post: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/why-is-steel-bed-fram-better-than-wood If there is only on tiny small opening they all go through the same hole.

    I don't know what's in RAID, but on the bottle there should be the name of the active chemical component(s) in it. If it's a pyrethroid, I doubt that it will kill all bed bugs. Most strains have a level of resistence against pyrethroids. All pyrethroids (at least the ones I tried until now) made my bed bugs more vivid and agressive, so I recognize this.

    It is very hard, nearly impossible to starve bed bugs if you live in the same room. They are very skilled to survive. In a few days they manage to break through all defences. But if you make it very difficult to reach you, their populations can't grow very large.

    I'm battling them since more than 3 months. The main reason why I didn't manage to finish the infestation is because they are in my iron bed bottom and I never managed to make it bed bug free. Also encasements (vinyl, plastic, fabric), failed. Why, I still don't know. I couldn't decide to discard it for various reasons. The main reason is that while lifting the bed repeatedly I injured my arm, which feels numb now and is partially paralized. The nerves are squeezed between other swollen tissues. It is recovering now but still have no strength in my fingers. They feel like tingling powerless pieces of rubber. And also because the frame is extremely heavy and last but not least: I can't choose what to buy and I feel extremely tired, only the thought that I have to make a decision and have to get rid of the old bed wears me out.

    But I have promised myself to have killed the last ones before the end of the year. In the mean time it is trial and error. I'm receiving an average of 1 (visible) bite in two days currently.

  4. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jul 14 2011 9:55:53
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    Thanks Rosae. Sorry to hear about your injury. Please take care.

    The ingredients of this RAID I used are: Permethrin, Pyrethrins, Piperonyl butoxide technical (I have no idea what they are). It’s very effective killing small insects, so I always have it around. Since then, I've bought 3 different sprays, 1 called “Bed Bug Killer” from a store, and 2 from amazom.com and said to be safe and green product (haven’t tried them yet, and they are very expensive). Bought some of those sticky insect traps or monitors, and it’s already 1 day 2 nights past and they all look very clean, not even a spider got caught.

    Yes, I suspected the metal frame too. So, the past weekend, I took off the mattress and box, sprayed the “bed bug killer” into all the gaps or holes, openings of the frame, and even the surface around them. The frame looks really clean, and nothing fell off after I sprayed. And then, I dusted the D.E. dust all over the frame, and puffed it into all the gaps as much as I could. Now the bedroom looks really booby trapped with D.E. dust, especially around the bed. Whenever I walk around and suspect some small gap, I’d puff the dust into it. I just found out a store (Home Depot) has 1 gallon “bed bug killer” selling really cheap (compared to whatever green stuff I bought online), and I’m going to check if there’s any in the store nearby this coming weekend, and start spraying whenever I suspect a hiding place.

    Yes, I’ve already believed the bed bugs are super intelligent at getting to us. I read those stories all over the internet that people saying they see the bugs, but I just can’t see any at all. I believe starving them alone won’t work. So, that’s why I’m thinking to sit on bed and kill them when they come to me. Last night (or this morning), I waited till 4am, and no bugs came out. Since it’s the one week anniversary of the last massive attack by them to me, I’m imagining some of them may have shed their skin and looking for another meal.

    Besides the D.E. dust and the sticky tapes, I’m looking for something that has residue kill or repel effect, at least last long enough for a night sleep. I don’t get on the bed now, and am waiting for something I can spray around the mattress before sleep. Since I always feel, no matter how brief I’m on that bed, and I can see nothing on it, I’ll get bitten. I only stay in the bedroom to give out CO2 and attract them out now, and when I can’t stay awake any longer, I go somewhere else to sleep. As whether I’ve got bitten last night, I’ll have to wait after 3pm this afternoon to find out. Seems like I didn’t get a bite yesterday, but I’m not so sure.

    Yes, I too am thinking the bed bug cover may not work either, so I’m going to open and spray into it each week, just in case.

    Here’re the links to the sparys I bought online, just in case you need to study the ingredients:

    ELF for Bed Bugs

    Bed Bug, Dust Mite ERADICATOR

    The traps (search for lower price somewhere else, since I just found out this one aint cheap):

    Trapper Insect Trap

    Bedbug Killer at Home Depot

  5. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jul 14 2011 11:54:51
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    From what I read and understand, one bite a week is already way too many. Since the nymphs would shed their skins each every week, and require only 1 meal. The adult can produce over 20 eggs after one meal in 10 days, etc. So, one bite a week can't be sustaind for long. It may lasts for only a month before getting worse.

  6. Rosae

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 15 2011 5:39:05
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    Hi,

    I'm no expert so I can only tell about my own experience.

    I too tried DE in the tiny holes of the iron bed bottom (where the springs were connected to the frame), but they went through it to visit me and apparently survived. After I sealed the bigger holes with duct tape. As the frame is the only possible place for them to hide, I must really believe that this is the weak spot in my defense chain.

    DE with an insecticide in it kills the bed bugs way faster so if they would have sold this here in Europe I would have bought it. I remember names like Tempo Dust, TrieDie (I don't know if he last one is correctly spelled) and more. Pyrethroids in dusts seem to work, although the bed bugs have large resistance to them.

    I tried also DE on the floors through my entire house but had to remove it because of respiration problems. One of my laptops was ruined inside and the other one has only keyboard problems (hopefully). So here it was not successful, although several persons report success.

    I tried spreading a vinyl shower curtain over my entire bed (like a table cloth) with two rows of sticky carpet tape along the edges (one inside and one outside) and despite of that they came into my bed.

    At the moment I sleep on top of a synthetic blanket over my bed, and underneath and round the edges (about 30 cm along the edges) DE powder and insecticide, but the ventilator seems to spread it over me for the next day I feel the powder all over me. I wonder if it's the insecticide or the DE. I don't know what's worse.

    Sometimes I think I will die earlier than the bed bugs. No, I'm just kidding.

  7. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2011 17:05:44
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    Computer: Gary’s person log 20110716, end of week 3.

    After 1st week’s cluelessness, 2nd week’s confusion, and 3rd week’s panic-ness, now we entered a new era.

    For the bugs, whatever they are, they went through all you can eat free meal for the 1st week (and before), still all you can eat meal but must go through D.E dust to get it for the 2nd week, and endured deny of meal service for the 3rd week. Maybe they didn’t really need any meal for the 3rd week, and were sleeping digesting laying eggs happily in their comfy home wherever it’s, and changing their skins too in there.

    In the 3rd week, I never got on the bed in the bedroom. Only stayed in that room late enough to spread CO2, and then went to somewhere else to get a little sleep (Hope they still haven’t figured that out yet). Never noticed any bites like those before, but, it’s not a relief yet. Some mysterious bites showed up 1 or 2 each a couple of days here and there, totally different from those before. Not the same time slot (majority after 3pm before), disappeared quickly (1 hour or so), and didn’t have the dark color, changing from dark red to dark brown in about 4 days, etc. That is a major concern. Like someone else questioned this on the web, is it that my reaction to the bug bites changed? Am I going to not react to the bites any longer? And this is really devastating, since the bite marks are the only clue for me to assess the situation of the war against the bugs, without them, I’m blind, and may very well just surrender for now.

    It’s been for 10 days after the 1st D.E. dust application being applied, and I really hope the dust should have started to dehydrate those suckers now (room humidity about 50% now), but I really don’t have much of confidence, very pessimistic. The sticky traps or monitors are scattered all over places 20 of them and adding more each day (no, they are not splitted into 3 smaller ones). For 5 days already, only found 1 small flying insect caught on one of the traps down stairs and far far away from the bedroom. From what I can tell, it’s one of those we usually can find in the indoor plant planters; looks like a very tinny fly (don’t know what their name is).

    Went out to Home Depot this weekend to arm myself with more weapons. Didn’t find that “bedbug killer” spray from Harris, instead find this from Hot Shot:

    Hot Shot 128 fl. oz. Ready-to-Use Bedbug and Flea Home Insect Killer

    The ingredient in the Harris is Deltamethrin 0.03%, in Hot Shot Permethrin 0.2%. It’s only 10 bucks for a gallon, not sure if it’ll work, and whether I still need to get the “bedbug killer” later, better to be alternating so that they will get confused, and can’t develop resistance.

    As a friendly associate suggested I got these 2 also.

    Hot Shot Bedbug and Flea Foggers (3-Pack)

    Hot Shot 17.5 oz. Ready-to-Use Bedbug and Flea Killer

    The fogger is really the nuclear here; I’ll keep it for now and do more study and may use it when I’m forced up against the wall (suckers be aware).
    The instruction of the killer spray says that it’s for mattresses, I really hope so, and we’ll see.

    Wife volunteered to sleep in the bed next weekend. And my plan at that time will be holding the sprays on guard, staying awake around 4am and start the killing spray dare they come out.

    So, for the weekend and next week, we’ll do more assessment of the situation and continue to starve them as I’ve been doing in week 3, and prepare for the real battle that I’ll be reclaiming my bed, and lure them out to the D.E. dust battle ground. I plan to spray the mattress each night before going sleep around 4am whenever I can do it that day, and … (well, I’ll wait and see, I don’t think I dare to do that at this moment).

    And, after week 4, I’ll be going chemical, may even offensive, and I’m trying to get ready now.

  8. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2011 23:07:34
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    New development just came in. Upon close inspection of all the trappers, some small bugs were caught.
    One of them: The normal size view

    And this sight gives us a great indication that how hard we can find the bugs in 1st instar stage especially if not fed. This bug is 1mm long, similar size of a 1st instar nymph.
    Like this
    It's almost impossible to find them on bed, on cloths, and on anything.

    On close look, the small bugs caught don't look like bed bugs.
    The head is a little big
    Another one
    Different view of the 2nd one, you can even see the small wings
    carpet beetle?

    So, now I know the trapper does trap things, I'm going to add more on hot spot, and see if I can catch something more.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 16 2011 23:34:10
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    The first bug, I can't see.

    The last three are not bed bugs. (Compare the shape of the head and body to that on the bed bug nymph photo from Lou Sorkin that you linked to.) You won't see wings like the last photo on a bed bug.

    I did not have time to read your treatment plans carefully. And I am not qualified to tell you how to treat for bed bugs.

    But I do know enough to tell you you absolutely must NOT use the bug fogger (bomb) you bought, even the one labeled for bed bugs. Trust me on this. You can make your problem worse. Experts tell us you will not eliminate them with a bomb. They can scatter more deeply into your home, making them harder to treat. I don't know of any PCOs or entomologists who recommend bombs for treating bed bugs.

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2011 4:18:32
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    Thanks for your warning, I'll not use the fogger as my tretment tool for now. I think I'll keep using the defensive strategy, and work around the bed on luring them out and kill.
    The first bug in the full view photo is actually the same bug in the last 2 close up views.

  11. Rosae

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2011 6:41:36
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    A louse? (wild, uneducated guess)

  12. loubugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2011 7:02:12
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    The pictures you posted in addition to the one of my 1st instar bed bug nymph are booklice even the last one with wing pads.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  13. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2011 10:18:58
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    Thanks. Googled it and sure looks like booklice.

  14. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 18 2011 14:31:31
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    " carpet beetles"? I think I've seen them since the beginning of the time, especially the skin fron the lava (though I have no idea what they are, but they seem not harmful). How come it's only this year? Can it be really? I just don't know what is going on.

    Carpet Beetle Dermatitis

    "Apparently, only individuals that have long-term exposure (years) to these hairs become sensitized."

  15. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 18 2011 23:18:49
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    Found this one under the sitting cushion of the sofa (or love chair):

    Side view
    Top view

    Alway came across this kind of larvae of some insect here and there. Never paid attention to them, since they seem harmless, very slow moving, and usually out of sight under things, such as chair cushion etc. Don't have a beetle at this moment. But I did see a live beetle on the comforter (or blanket) in bed that day when I was looking for sign of bed bugs. Never paid attention to that either. They are just some kind of small beetles, black color, usually dead on bathroom floor. Never thought they have anything to do with that kind of larvae down stairs on the sofa.

    So, could it be that the larva hair caused all the "bug bites" for over 2 weeks? That is really puzzling.

    If it is, then, I should be very scared of this kind of larva and its hair from now on? Since I'm now allergic to the hair?

    I still haven't given up the idea, that the bed bugs are still out there. So, I'll keep checking on the trappers, and wait and see.

  16. EffeCi

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 3:27:47
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    So, could it be that the larva hair caused all the "bug bites" for over 2 weeks?

    Yes, maybe. It's a dermestid beetle (Attagenus sp) larva.

  17. Rosae

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 4:02:31
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    Beautiful photographs!

  18. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 11:23:35
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    Thanks EffeCi.

    Well, Rosae, I washed my hands several times after taking the photos. And now I feel their hairs are everywhere in the house (I'm going to search for how to get rid of their hairs). Now I have a new issue to take care of. On one hand, I really wish it's not bed bugs, on the other hand, I still feel the bed bugs are out there, and can't let my guard down. But now, I won't be able to tell what the bites are from. I hope the D.E. dust I put everywhere can take care of the larvae problem too, and I'll be actively searching and getting rid of those larvae. Before all of these started, I just never thought of there're all these alien lifes living with us, and again today I learned the chiggers .

  19. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 12:41:39
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    Hi,

    For information on dealing with carpet beetles see:

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/carpetbeetles.html

    Its all about attention to detail cleaning and neutralising the static you get from using a cleaner, details int he information sheet.

    Hope it helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) 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 products.
  20. Gary Lee

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 16:28:53
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    Thanks David. Much appreciated.


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