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freezing / cold treatment

(7 posts)
  1. bbbitten

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 8:38:21
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    Hi, I've read that freezing at 0 F for one or two weeks will kill them. How long would it take at 32 F? Does anyone know. I've also read that below 55F, they stop laying eggs and nymphs will die, but the adults will not. Does anyone have any more info on cold treatment? I know it takes much long than hot, but I live in CT and it's starting to get cooler here.

  2. bbbitten

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 9:43:19
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    I found this quote from http://www.stephentvedten.com/18_Bed_Bugs.pdf.
    "Try turning off the heat in your infested bedroom. Bed bugs can
    only survive in the range of 48o F. to 97o F", but I can't find how long it would take to kill BB below 48o F.

  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 12:20:30
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    I would read this whole FAQ:

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/08/04/faq-leaving-stuff-out-to-freeze-walk-in-freezers-etc-how-cold-and-how-long/

    The first thing to know about using cold to kill BB is that unlike heat, it's not a proven in clinical settings sort of method. (that doesn't mean that it's not possible that it will work. It just means that we don't know enough about it and don't have hard, specific numbers that will give us clear guidelines.)

    Anecdotally, plenty of people have tried leaving things out in the cold in the winter in cold climates in the northern part of the country before, only to be sadly disappointed by the results. Many of the items that you'd be likely to leave outside are insulated enough that the bugs burrow into the warmer sections to wait the cold out and then come right back out once you bring the items back inside.

    I think the problem is that even a winter in New England (and I'm not speaking hypothetically here as I spent more than five years living just north of your state. i spent many a Christmas in CT. One was so cold that even to escape our fellow family to head out to a movie, we just weren't willing to brave the single digit temperatures), you cannot count on having two consecutive weeks of a low enough temp to kill the bugs. In addition, keep in mind that air temperature alone isn't the only factor with items outside. Many New England winter days are friggin' cold, with a nasty windchill, but are also crystal clear and sunny. On those days, the temp isn't going to necessarily be as cold on/in the items as air temp and wind chill suggest.

    Now, if you were at the South Pole? I think it would be safe to say that the daily temps there--esp, since there are months of darkness--would be consistently cold enough. However, given the protocols that workers there have to go through before they get to the South Pole, I'm pretty sure there's no way any bed bug infested items would be allowed on the ice.

  4. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 12:50:30
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    I happened to escape the bugs and I stored all my stuff in my garage during the cold, Nebraska winter and I was not disappointed by the results. I have been bug free for 6 months and still no bugs. I trashed all my furniture from the infested apartment and eventually started over buying beds for our kids. I would wash the clothes or pieces of furniture that I refused to part with and put them in our garage. When we moved a couple of months later, I would open one bag at a time and wash then put away. I have seen a couple dead bugs but none that were alive. I also just brought my computer, tv, vacumm, ect and didn' get them specially treated. Anything that could not be washed or dried, I did store in my chest freezer. Only to pull them out a couple of weeks later and shake out the dead bugs. I think that people do what works for them and this is what worked for me. It feels good to sleep and know that I only sleep with my husband and no bugs. I say, do what works and get the treatments, ect and I wish you good luck. Getting rid of the bugs is a slow and painful process that takes vigilance and lots and lots of work.

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 13:07:51
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    Angie,

    That's awesome to know. I'm happy to hear that story. I had only heard about people putting items like comforters out in the snow and finding, to their horror, that the bugs had survived.

    I'm always happy to learn about new ways to kill these evil beasts. Obviously the cold technique won't work in Southern California, but I'll happily file the info away for use for someone who lives somewhere where it will.

  6. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 15:40:14
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    Based on what was in the BB report made in the 30's, cold can be effective but as pointed out it isn't easy to have the proper temps constant or lower for long enough or to penetrate insulated items outside of a freezer, lab, or mega cold site.

    Jim

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Aug 28 2008 19:05:31
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    bbbitten - 9 hours ago  » 
    I found this quote from http://www.stephentvedten.com/18_Bed_Bugs.pdf
    "Try turning off the heat in your infested bedroom. Bed bugs can
    only survive in the range of 48o F. to 97o F", but I can't find how long it would take to kill BB below 48o F.

    I was not able to load the PDF cited, but this information is incorrect.

    An adult can live nearly a month at 37C which is 99F.
    And over 400 days at 10C / 50F.

    Usinger's monograph on Cimicidae is the authority.
    See: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/classic-bed-bug-book-now-available-in-paperback#post-1079

    They certainly don't drop dead at 48F or 97F.

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

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