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Found bb in hotel. Now what? Looking for opinions.

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  1. Superhawk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Aug 20 2012 21:53:13
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    2 nights ago we were staying at a hotel. I got up early am to get ready to leave to find a bb on the pillow. I didnt save it. I now wished i would have. On the way home i decided to research some on the internet. Im glad i did.

    So this is what we did when we got home. We parked the car away from the house. I took off all my clothes outside and entered the house nude (hope the neighbors enjoyed). Took a hot shower before putting on clean clothes. I returned to the car and started going thru my stuff. I bagged all my clothes to take them to a laundry mat later. I threw out everything else i could; all toiletries, the suitcase and garment bags, etc. i bagged hard items like my electric razor, shoes, etc to put in my spare freezer in the basement. I bagged dry clean clothes seperately to take to cleaners (just bought my wife a custom made expensive dress ). Took the clothes to laundrymat and washed and dried in commercial dryer for over an hour.

    Questions: i had some odd items; a couple collectors boardgames, pill bottles, ipad cords and charger. I took all the stuff out of the games and wiped them with a cleaning cloth with alcohol and paged thru the manuals page by page. I examined the bottles and cords and manipuated everything. I didnt see anything so i assumed those are ok to bring in. I mean these are not like nits so i should be able to see them with close manual examination right?

    My car. What to do about my car? I have an industrial ozone generator and thought i would use that. Next i thought about an electric heater for hours (monitoring with a thermometer). Any ideas?

    How long should i leave the stuff in the freezer?

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Aug 20 2012 22:32:30
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    Please see our FAQs on getting bed bugs out of your stuff. (Note heat is a lot more reliable and makes it much easier to kill bed bugs than cold.)

    Also, the travel FAQs (on what to do if exposed).

    You might want to implement some BBAlert Passive OR ClimbUps monitors, to detect if bed bugs are present at home (just to be on the alert going forward). You can find FAQS about these in our Useful Stuff page.

    Experts tell us they rarely infest cars.

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

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Aug 20 2012 22:52:35
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    Thanks for the reply. I really only question those odd items i listed. I cant expose my medications and collectors games to extreme heat / cold. What are the odds that the bugs crawled in my closed duffle bag and up into the closed game boxes over the pile of dirty laundry next to the bed? Would a manual inspection be adequate to determine if we have them in items like this? Our stuff was only in the room 12 hours and we were only there half that time.

    Im still pretty scared about the car. All our stuff, including clothes and bags that was exposed in the room was in the hatch back for the 10 hour car ride home. It was all during daylight but still

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Aug 21 2012 0:09:04
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    Superhawk - 1 hour ago  » 
    Thanks for the reply. I really only question those odd items i listed. I cant expose my medications and collectors games to extreme heat / cold. What are the odds that the bugs crawled in my closed duffle bag and up into the closed game boxes over the pile of dirty laundry next to the bed? Would a manual inspection be adequate to determine if we have them in items like this? Our stuff was only in the room 12 hours and we were only there half that time.

    You mentioned using the freezer, so I commented on that and linked to the FAQs on getting bed bugs out of your stuff because they explain why the freezer isn't a great option, and what would be necessary to make it work.

    Similarly, there is other useful information in the FAQs for dealing with various items.

    No one can tell you the odds on whether bed bugs crawled into various kinds of stuff because we don't know how many bed bugs were in the room, or where they were in relation to your things, and even then, we'd only be guessing.

    They do like to hide and they love crawling in tight spaces, so the duffel bag zipper end stop would likely not have deterred them. A box of board game stuff, very appealing, I suspect.

    A visual inspection of items is not that reliable if you're talking about cardboard boxes containing board games, or duffel bags full of whatever. I'd personally want to find a way to isolate those until they can be treated properly per the FAQs (heating, freezing -- but if the latter, per the FAQs, probably colder and longer than you expected to do it).

    I hear you that you can't use heat or cold on the board games -- at least one pro here (P Bello) can advise you on using DDVP strips. They're controversial and I personally can't advise on them but they might be an idea for the board games and such.

    If you're talking about sealed plastic pill bottles, then a visual inspection of the outside should be enough.

    Im still pretty scared about the car. All our stuff, including clothes and bags that was exposed in the room was in the hatch back for the 10 hour car ride home. It was all during daylight but still

    Bed bugs don't usually infest cars. It's possible but rare. Bringing them to the home in stuff you had in a hotel room is not quite as rare. I would focus energy on that first.

    I mentioned monitors too because even though we hope you brought no bed bugs home, if you happen to have brought one or two, detecting them early goes a long way toward making the experience not such a big deal.

  5. Superhawk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Aug 21 2012 9:01:12
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    Thanks!

    I read the faqs but they didnt really cover the things i got left (thats why i just threw out 90% of the belongings we took on the trip and just saved items its of high value that i thought would be hard to infect).

    Before the sun set i rebagged up my board games to be safe. Question; these are new board games which means the components inside are still sealed in bags and the cardboard pieces are still in sheets that need to be punched out to be used. I visually inspected each of these sheets and wiped them down with alcohol as i did with the inside of the boxes. Shouldnt i be able to see if i had anything in there? I was planning on dumping the contents of the sealed bags into new bags and tossing the bags, punching the cardboard components and reinspecting each one and rewiping them and then just using them. How much inspection is enough? Is it like fighting germs or bacteria? The site shows how to find bedbugs in carpet, cracks in floors and walls, etc. if they can be found in those places how hard can it be to find them in a 1 foot x 6 inch box thats 3 inches tall? Im not trying to be difficult, i just dont understand some things.

    Side note; the last 2 years kids brought home lice from school so we've dealt with looking for bugs and nits before; are bed bugs harder or easier to spot on objects than lice and nits? I guess thats where some of my confusion comes from. If there were lice in the boxes i examined i would have found them. I guess i need to know how much inspection is adequate for finding bed bugs.

    For comparative reasons; is searching to the level one does for finding head lice and nits effective for finding stray bed bugs?

    Im going to get a thermometer for our chest freezer to make sure i know the exact temp its at. Ive got no quams about leaving it closed for a month; its a spare one and it isnt opened but once or twice a year as it is.

    Ill look into monitoring. If they got in the house i have no idea how as everything we had was either washed elsewhere before being readmitted entry to the house or was bagged up and put in the freezer or thrown away, save for this small box of boardgames, phone charger, etc. which has been rebagged after visual inspection that was done in the garage.

    Looking forward to advice on the strips.

    Man this is freaking me out!

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Aug 21 2012 15:50:00
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    Don't stress out. I did not notice in a previous post if you mentioned your games were all brand new, items sealed in bags, pieces in cardboard sheets. That sounds easier to inspect than a in-use game.

    How easily you can detect them depends on whether there are places to hide. It's hard to visually inspect a duffel bag.

    They aren't harder to see than head lice (except perhaps first instar nymphs which are unfed are transparent and 1mm long so may be), but they do seem more interested in hiding. Lice live on bodies which IMO makes them easier to spot. Bed bugs scramble away from human bodies to hide somewhere tight and secure. Just because you CAN find them in cracks does not mean you will find every one.

    That said, your plan sounds fairly good. (Again I am not an expert and would defer to them.)

    Keep in mind that bed bugs can crawl in a pants cuff or shoe or purse. It's probably not very likely if your room did not have a lot of bed bugs (again, we have no way of knowing). However, I am stating this as an example of one way they can potentially come home even if you treat the items mentioned.

    It's why I'd monitor even if you think you got them all. And frankly, in this day and age, a passive monitor would give me peace of mind, personally, even if you did not get them on this trip. Bed bugs are out there, and passive monitoring is easy and cheap to do as a regular thing.

    If you want to ask about DDVP strips, please private message user P Bello (the P stands for Paul). You can do so via the "PM this user" link next to one of his posts. Most people here aren't qualified to advise on these and lots of the pros here don't recommend them. So going to Paul for input is the best advice I have on that.

  7. Superhawk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Aug 21 2012 16:13:02
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    Excellent! I caved a few hours ago and put my games in the freezer too and restarted the clock. they are hard to get out of print imports and kinda the purpose of our trip. If they get destroyed in the freezer im not only out several hundred bucks, but the chance to enjoy them. Double

    The games were brand new but i took the shrink off the outside box. Everything inside was still factory sealed in plastic bags and cardbaord sheets unpunched. The duffle bag they were in, and ever bag we had taken with us went right in the trash - the outside trash. In fact everything we brought back went in the trash before going in the house except our clothes that went straight to the laundrymat before coming in the house, and electronics, shoes, etc which which went right into the freezer. And my games that were in limbo

    I still think im going to try and use an electric heater to heat the inside of my car. Anyone ever try that?

    Thanks for the replies! After 2 lice infestations each a month plus in length, this is super stressful!


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