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has anyone tried the "zappbug oven"?

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  1. comp666

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 18:28:55
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    Seems to be a new thermal treatment unit like the packtite.

    Has anyone had experience with it?

  2. pesticidalmom

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 18:31:11
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    If I could afford any of these products, I would be so much happier right now... Hope you get an answer, and good luck!

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 20:16:54
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    Comp666,

    A while ago, you were looking for cheaper options than a Packtite. I notice this one is a lot more expensive than a Packtite.

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

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 21:56:11
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    No, I haven't. I tried something else off of Amazon and ended up buying the packtite.

    Questions I would ask before purchasing:

    1. Why doesn't it have shelves like the Packtite to improve the air flow?
    2. What type of independent testing has been done?
    3. What type of heat (not all heat is the same for killing)?

    Good luck.

    They
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    = TAOT
  5. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 22:11:44
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    As much as I love and adore my packtite, I have never posted to Amazon under my real name.

    When I bought things related to BBs, it wa often clear that the reviewer had used the item for that purpose, but rarely did they say specifically so.

    Yet... Here is an item I've never heard of with a small number of glowing reviews. I'm suspicious. Normally with amazon you have to dismiss some of the great reviews as plants and look at the entire spectrum. There's enough that I'd like a glowing review from someone who has used it here.

  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 12:55:57
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    I don't trust amazon reviews and I wouldn't trust one here from a new member and that's their only post. We see that sometime...

  7. comp666

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 22:44:26
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    Nobugsonme - 3 days ago  » 
    Comp666,
    A while ago, you were looking for cheaper options than a Packtite. I notice this one is a lot more expensive than a Packtite.

    It is more expensive but apparently it's 5x bigger than the packtite at 2x the cost. I am looking to purchase an "oven" product for my move and the bigger size might allow me to salvage some more furniture.

    I was not satisfied with how the thermalstrike rep resolved the complaints in my other thread. I still can't find the university lab verification ThermStrk mentioned.

    theyareoutthere - 3 days ago  » 
    No, I haven't. I tried something else off of Amazon and ended up buying the packtite.
    Questions I would ask before purchasing:
    1. Why doesn't it have shelves like the Packtite to improve the air flow?
    2. What type of independent testing has been done?
    3. What type of heat (not all heat is the same for killing)?
    Good luck.

    I would also love to see some independent testing as well. I was hoping some enthusiasts on this site would have done some thorough testing using heat sensors.

    Here's a new review posted 1 day ago that seems to be genuine (or maybe made by a competitor?) giving it 2 stars. http://www.amazon.com/review/R1T4YITUWXIM5K/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B007T01K94&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 8:13:17
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    Here's a question: would a space 2x the size of the Closet need more temperature monitoring than a smaller space?

    Anyway, I am always astonished that people would go to the trouble of creating a product which will surely be challenged based on an existing patent.

    One would assume there's an incentive under such circumstances -- since the product will likely be available for a short time -- to sell as much as possible and not worry about long-term customer satisfaction.

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 11:12:11
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    Hi,

    Can I suggest that you contact the supplier and ask if they would be willing to send one to my lab for testing.

    I am more than happy to test anything as long as I am free to publish the results.

    I too was less than impressed with the technical support offered by one supplier but the crux of my issue still lies with the fact that out of 4 thermal chambers tested only 2 worked and they are both by the same supplier.

    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
  10. comp666

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 14:46:59
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    bed-bugscouk - 3 hours ago  » 
    Hi,
    Can I suggest that you contact the supplier and ask if they would be willing to send one to my lab for testing.
    I am more than happy to test anything as long as I am free to publish the results.
    I too was less than impressed with the technical support offered by one supplier but the crux of my issue still lies with the fact that out of 4 thermal chambers tested only 2 worked and they are both by the same supplier.
    David

    I've sent them an email.

  11. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 16:45:00
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    Comp666,

    Please let me know their response. I would buy one but as the last failed product cost be over $500 and is no use to me I cant justify the expenditure unless its also a cinema seat cover and in which case I am so up for testing it.

    David

  12. zappbug

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 9:47:21
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    Hey everyone! Great to see all of the conversation about the ZappBug Oven. We'd love to answer any questions you might have.

    Our goal is to provide a one-stop, free resource on how to get rid of bed bugs. We also manufacture and distribute products that make your fight against bed bugs easier. If you haven't had a chance, we recommend that you check out our website, especially the section on how to get rid of bed bugs.

    Also, if you have any concerns about the efficacy of the ZappBug Oven, please take a look at the videos showing bed bugs die inside of the ZappBug Oven. We have conducted extensive testing and guarantee that it is 100% effective (when you follow the procedure outlined in the User Manual). These videos are located on the page titled "Watch ZappBug Work."

    If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us - info@zappbug.com

    @comp666 - We have not received an email from you but we would be glad to discuss independent testing of the ZappBug Oven.

    Have a great day!

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 10:59:18
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    zappbug,
    The only person in this thread with the equipment and skill to test our product is likely David Cain of Bed Bugs limited. If you send him a sample to test and it passes muster, consumer confidence in your product would likely increase a lot.

    Please note the link to your website was deleted in your post above. Please read the rules which apply to professional involvement in the forums:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/warning-bed-bug-professionals-please-read-this

  14. comp666

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 16:48:39
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    zappbug - 6 hours ago  » 
    @comp666 - We have not received an email from you but we would be glad to discuss independent testing of the ZappBug Oven.
    Have a great day!

    That's odd, I filled out the form at zappbug.com/contact/ with my c************3@yahoo.com email address. At any rate, I would love to see some testing done by either David Cain or Bed Bugs limited like Nobugsonme mentioned. This site ranks pretty high in terms of search engine optimization so if you get approval on this site by one of the trusted professionals, it'll be great marketing for your company

  15. anonariwo

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 28 2012 11:52:10
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    I am also interested in this thread. I just bought the ZappOven but have not yet used it - it arrived yesterday but I am still bagging my stuff and only just isolated and decon'ed my bed area (vacuuming, DE, JT Eaton bed bug spray, mattress and box spring encasements, climb up interceptors and 2 sided sticky tape).

    I will post my ZappBug oven feedback once I have had a chance to use it but also very interested in the independent tests.

    One note, I wish the setup instructions were clearer rather than just the pictures - I have 2 left hands and need clear instructions on setup. But its packed very nicely and looks very well made.

    ps: I am a new member because I have only just discovered bedbugs - have been browsing this site anonymously for a week.

  16. zappbug

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 28 2012 19:20:15
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    Sorry about that. Probably a bug on the website (hopefully not a bed bug ). I'll have our IT guy take a look. Thanks for letting us know!

    comp666 - 1 day ago  » 

    zappbug - 6 hours ago  » 
    @comp666 - We have not received an email from you but we would be glad to discuss independent testing of the ZappBug Oven.
    Have a great day!

    That's odd, I filled out the form at zappbug.com/contact/ with my c************3@yahoo.com email address. At any rate, I would love to see some testing done by either David Cain or Bed Bugs limited like Nobugsonme mentioned. This site ranks pretty high in terms of search engine optimization so if you get approval on this site by one of the trusted professionals, it'll be great marketing for your company

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 28 2012 19:25:06
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    Anonariwo,

    Consumer reviews of a heating device just don't tell us much about effectiveness, plain and simple, because while we consumers can verify we reached the correct temperature-- usually in one place where we have a probe-- we usually can't be sure any bed bugs were present or killed.

    And we can't be sure there are no cold spots.

    Someone like David can implement temperature recording tags all over inside and can verify without question that a machine kills bed bugs and leaves no cold spots which would preserve their little nasty brown lives.

    I hope they're able to make independent testing happen. I am sure we will hear about the results if testing occurs.

  18. anonariwo

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 12:06:54
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    @NoBugsonme - thanks for the response. Understood.

    I did my first run on the ZappBug last night - did the cushions on the sofa in my bedroom, 2 very large deep cushions. I ran the ZappOven on empty in my bedroom and it reached 120F in the oven in just under 10 minutes (it comes packed with a wireless La Crosse Technology - on Amazon ). Temperature in my bedroom beforehand was 73F and the oven was resting on a wooden floor.

    I then placed the cushions in the oven- the first on 2 (of 4) foam brick supports that come with the oven, then the other 2 foam supports on the cushion and then the second cushion placed on those. I relocated the remote temperature sensor in the space between the 2 cushions in a spot furthest away from the heater.

    The temperature then dropped over the space of about 10 minutes to a bottom 94F and then resumed climbing. It again reached 120F in about 20 minutes. I let it run for about 30 minutes (in which the temperature climbed to 129F. I then placed a sealed ziplock bag with 2 live bed bugs into the oven alongside the sensor (I have 7 live ones I captured to test my extermination processes - the only ones I've seen BTW). I closed the oven and let it run for another 30 minutes - the temperature climbed in that time to 138F. At which point I took the ziplock bag of bedbugs out to check and they were dead (checked them this morning also - still dead).

    Ziplock bagged the cushions. Total run was about 1 hour 45 minutes.

    So far very pleased with it. I also take back my earlier comment about assembly, I simply needed to pull out a corner (it opens up as a folded triangle and you need to reach in to pull out the corner thats tucked in to turn it into a cube).

    Bug baking continues in earnest today.

  19. anonariwo

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 12:20:17
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    This post BTW is me, and some of the 7 bugs I captured (4 left in ziplock jail, as I also tested the JT Eaton spray on 1).

  20. anonariwo

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jul 29 2012 12:57:02
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    And below are some pictures of the ZappBugg. The oven is next to the sofa and the cushions I decon'ed.

    [photos started showing a noxious ad for a shopping wiki, so links deleted]

  21. HeartOfSilver

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 2 2012 9:38:59
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    I am going to buy and try this. The comments about the wiring and thermometer in the Packtite has me nervous, and I like the fact Zappbug has thought the design through enough so that there are no openings like around the cord in the Packtite.

    I'm anxious because I have to drive across the border to pick it up (I am in Canada) and arranging to ship it back would be awful... but if it works, it would be worth it! I love how it fits full suitcases (I travel a fair bit) and bigger things. Living in a city where bedbugs are being called an epidemic, I think having one of these is going to be a really useful investment. I hope this works out.

  22. HeartOfSilver

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 2 2012 11:12:01
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    All right, never mind. Apparently they don't do free/faster shipping anymore, but Packtite does. Guess I am going to have to with the Packtite after all. I'm disappointed, the thermometer and the lack of auto-shutoff really worries me.

    As if I need more to worry about while dealing with a bedbug infestation! >.<

  23. BedBugMutts

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 2 2012 13:09:32
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    HeartofSilver - I sent you a PM. Ken Hando

  24. curls

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 2 2012 16:21:24
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    zappbug - 1 month ago  » 
    Sorry about that. Probably a bug on the website (hopefully not a bed bug ). I'll have our IT guy take a look. Thanks for letting us know!

    comp666 - 1 day ago  » 

    zappbug - 6 hours ago  » 
    @comp666 - We have not received an email from you but we would be glad to discuss independent testing of the ZappBug Oven.
    Have a great day!

    That's odd, I filled out the form at zappbug.com/contact/ with my c************3@yahoo.com email address. At any rate, I would love to see some testing done by either David Cain or Bed Bugs limited like Nobugsonme mentioned. This site ranks pretty high in terms of search engine optimization so if you get approval on this site by one of the trusted professionals, it'll be great marketing for your company

    You noticed the problem with emailing -- but didn't respond to the part about letting Dave test this independently. It's easy enough to PM him here, or the moderators & discuss the possiblity.

  25. djames1921

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Sep 3 2012 9:42:33
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    Heartofsilver, per your comments questioning wiring and lack of autoshutoff in the Packtite:

    The Packtite is the only portable bed bug killing device that has been used successfully in the field by people all over the country for almost four years now. It has always had a thermal autoshutoff switch, not sure if there is propoganda out their claiming otherwise, if so it is untrue.

    Disclaimer: I make Packtite.

  26. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Sep 3 2012 10:12:22
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    Hi curls,

    I am in the middle of testing the unit at present and am currently awaiting the manufacturers return from vacation to discuss a couple of points I have raised before either running more tests or concluding my report. I will be traveling for the next 10 days but this is agenda item #1 for when I return.

    David

  27. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Sep 24 2012 17:52:29
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    DC, I assume you haven't received answers? I'm fine with what I have (packtite closet), but just curious. I am planning on purchasing an Insect Inferno instead of the Cadillac Escalade Extended Cab (I am joking since I bike or transit)

    TAOT

  28. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Sep 24 2012 18:18:31
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    I am awaiting a voltage and current monitor to exclude voltage variations as an explanation although my high end power converters cost more than my old Lincoln Fifth Avenue which was two tone silver and black with a half leatherback and cow print seat covers. Houston in 96 was not prepared for that one.

    But a trailer would also mean a new vehicle and I am tempted by the Mitsubishi animal crew cab edition and I have of course asked for some special modifications to the design for added London functionality. I am just not an off the shelf kind of guy.

    It could easily spend a cool million developing the rolls Royce solution but I have to earn it first.

    David

  29. HeartOfSilver

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    Wed Dec 5 2012 16:55:09
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    Any update on this? I bought one and need to know if there's something I need if it doesn't work as well as needed

  30. bed-bugscouk

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    Wed Dec 5 2012 21:34:32
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    Hi,

    Sorry I am traveling so will follow this one up when I back.

    I still have an open issue or two with the manufacturer, we think we have resolved the voltage issue but I doubt I can engineer out the cold spots I have found without significant redesign and a lot of development time (which is outside of my testing remit).

    At present I can't recommend it because I know there are flaws that could leave bedbugs alive after a run.

    David

  31. HeartOfSilver

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    Wed Dec 5 2012 22:01:47
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    Would you share where/what the cold spots are please?

  32. bed-bugscouk

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    Wed Dec 5 2012 22:07:12
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    Hi,

    You can't avoid them, if they exist bedbugs will find them so having a list will not help, plus as I said I am not in London at this point in time.

    David

  33. bed-bugscouk

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    Thu Dec 6 2012 12:44:44
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    Had a few minutes to do an Internet search and this review appears to confirm our concerns:

    [link not working as of 9/13, so deleted]

    David

  34. BuggyB00

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Dec 8 2012 17:12:23
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    I am reviewing online info comparing Packtite with Zappbug. This is the most relevant thread.

    I am in Canada, so only the closet Packtite is available. Hence my options are closet PackTite or Zappbug. For the time being, I am only considering technical performance rather than cost. The salient take-aways is that Packtite has a broader usage base, and hence more reliable reviews. Zappbug has greater volume (though that's not a main concern of mine right now as both are more than adequate). Packtite has a rack to improve circulation, while Zappbug has wireless sensors to get rid of the need for an opening.

    The main unknown in my mind relates to the article cited above regarding the fact that zappbug uses only one sensor for such a large volume, leading to much nonuniformity in the temperature. This means there are cold spots that may never reach kill temperature. The contributing factors are the larger volume and the lack of a rack to improve circulation (I am merely hypothesizing this statement based on the info I've read online). Even if the cold spots eventually reach kill temperature, if it takes so long that kill temperature is achieved for only a short period of time, this is liability in my mind.

    In view of this, an obvious question in comparing PackTite with ZappBug is whether closet PackTite has nonuiform temperatures that lead to cool spots, at which kill temperature is not achieved (or not achieved long enough). Does anyone know of any info that could shed some light on this?

  35. bed-bugscouk

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    Sun Dec 9 2012 10:07:36
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    Hi,

    When I first got the closet to test one of the commissioning checks was to use banks of temperatures probes to seek out any cool spots. Part of this can be seen in the validation video we submitted which I have linked below:

    http://youtu.be/57d3vPzIuNE

    In short we could not find any cool spots of temperature variations within the PackTite closet which is not the case with all the other systems we have tested.

    We actually use the remote weather station loggers as well as commercial data loggers within each run as the units are located in another part of our building and can thus be monitored from the office upstairs. You can get them cheaply enough on Amazon or eBay but is is well know that cordless temperature systems are not as accurate as the corded ones which might explain why they are not supplied as standard.

    As for the larger capacity claims when we tried to fill the Zappbug oven to this capacity it actually produced more cool spots so although the unit has a larger foot print we could not conclude that you could process more volume in it.

    David

  36. BuggyB00

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Dec 9 2012 10:59:43
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    Thanks for posting your results, Dave. It gives me a basic level of confidence in the new design.

    With the rise in BBs, it would be nice if a lab of more means could subject new ovens to more elaborate testing. For example, with briefcases and books, and using calibrated wireless probes buried within the belongings that are placed into the unit.

  37. bed-bugscouk

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    Hi,

    We have conducted such experiments on all of the commercially available units and make most of them available on our website to download (apart from the one that threatened legal action unless it was removed) but I actually think it should be a testing lab appointed centrally to design a series of standard experiments to test all products against.

    In most industries you would expect companies using products to conduct their own internal validation of any inbound technology but this does seem to be an alien concept for most pest controllers.

    I would provide more write ups on tested products but if it takes 20 man hours to collect the data it may take another 30 to complete the report on it and frankly there is no return on that time and while time is one of the sparser commodities in our portfolio. I had contemplated an eBook of all the testing data so that with time it can pay for itself, it might be one to watch for in 2013.

    I have maybe 20 tests to write up when time permits.

    David

  38. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Dec 9 2012 16:04:17
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    David. You run a large, decontam center in London, correct? It runs three or four packtite closets. If you were given any of the other products for free to run...would you u
    se it?

    Not to subject you to litigation, but you have reputational risk as a company if packtite doesn't work. I like that I can hang things in the closet but I also like that packtite is widely used.

    I'm saving up for an insect inferno.

  39. BuggyB00

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    bed-bugscouk - 4 hours ago  » 
    We have conducted such experiments on all of the commercially available units and make most of them available on our website to download (apart from the one that threatened legal action unless it was removed)

    Would you be able to provide an indication of how to navigate to these results? I followed the link of your avatar, but wasn't able to find my way to them.

    bed-bugscouk - 4 hours ago  » 
    I actually think it should be a testing lab appointed centrally to design a series of standard experiments to test all products against.

    If I look to the electronics industry, standards are the result of political and market battles, but in health & safety e.g. exposure to hazardous materials, there is a lot more government invovlement. BBs seem to a health & safety problem, so it might be a matter of time. In trying to think of a precedence, however, I am not aware of international standards on control of other pests (or even national standards). However, this is not an area with which I am familiar.

    bed-bugscouk - 4 hours ago  » 
    In most industries you would expect companies using products to conduct their own internal validation of any inbound technology but this does seem to be an alien concept for most pest controllers.

    I suspect it is because it is expensive. One has to devote the personnel, facilities, and develop the defensible systematic method.

    bed-bugscouk - 4 hours ago  » 
    I would provide more write ups on tested products but if it takes 20 man hours to collect the data it may take another 30 to complete the report on it and frankly there is no return on that time and while time is one of the sparser commodities in our portfolio. I had contemplated an eBook of all the testing data so that with time it can pay for itself, it might be one to watch for in 2013.

    I have maybe 20 tests to write up when time permits.

    Looking out for it, thanks.

  40. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Dec 9 2012 17:46:26
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    Unfortunately..from many govt perspectives, mosquitos and roaches are more of a health issue. Bbs don't carry disease.

  41. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Dec 9 2012 19:01:31
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    Hi TAOT,

    All PackTites ( 2 closets and 1 original ) were purchased as have been the other tested units apart from the ZBO which was submitted for testing. We prefer to buy as it means I am not beholdant to anyone. The fact you can't pay me to review speaks volumes when you think about it.

    BuggB00,

    The reports are hosted in the educational section in the advanced section, link below:

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

    Although I am planning a massive web rewrite for 2013 (KQ you still playing catch up, sorry can't resist).

    David

  42. BuggyB00

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    Mon Dec 10 2012 4:10:18
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    theyareoutthere - 5 hours ago  » 
    Unfortunately..from many govt perspectives, mosquitos and roaches are more of a health issue. Bbs don't carry disease.

    I suppose they have a point. All BBs do are explode in population, then leave you anemic and a leperous-looking.

    bed-bugscouk - 4 hours ago  » 
    The reports are hosted in the educational section in the advanced section, link below:
    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/bedbugslimitedadvancededucational.html

    I misuderstood. I though you meant that you conducted experiments on all commercially available heating units, with the units not empty. It is this kind of testing that I think requires considerable resources. You have to define representative tests e.g. books, suitecase with clothes, etc.

    I just went through your report on the single indoor heating unit on that webpage. Sheesh. I hope you have legal help to deal with such bluster.

    I just picked up a PackTite Closet yesterday. Haven't set it up yet cuz the most risky step in my mind is transferring the content of my bagged & sealed luggage to the Closet. Perhaps I can trouble you with my story? It's a bit lengthy, so of course, feel free to stop at your hearts desire.

    I spent Sunday getting all the precautionary accessories I could find out about. Spray bottle with plenty of rubbing alcohol in case I see a critter flying out (figuratively) as I cut open the bag and load into the Closet. Living in a 1-bedroom apartment, I have no "staging" area like a laundry room or garage. So I was going to do this transfer in the heart of my home. I've never had BBs in my home, but I got bitten during a 5-day trip. All the characteristics of BBs: occur in bunches, 1 to 4 a night, look like large welts rather than puncture wounds, surrounded by rash, but oddly, all ankle level and below except for one on the calf -- maybe they're battened down in my shoes.

    This BB incident occurred despite my mag-light check of folds and tuffs of the hotel mattress & sheets. Turns out the mattress was brand new, so of course there would be no trace there (and especially not the sheets, since they change daily). Yes, I should have checked the bed boards, but with dark wood, the signs would be hard to see. Since I have no BB sample, I may have a hard time getting the manager to do professional inspection (trying to by email right now). If there were BBs, and the mattress was replaced, it makes me wonder if they knew about the (alleged) BBs and whether the new mattress was the cheap attempt at addressing the problem. No mention of BBs for the hotel in TripAdvisor and BBregistry.

    In any case, upon returning, I bagged all my stuff in the fire escape stairwell and bagged the clothes I was wearing in my bathroom. They've been festering there, probably breeding and hooting in a menacing fashion as I apprehensively plan my course of action. No extra bites after returning home, so if a few escaped bagging, they haven't found their way to me yet.

    An aside: I might be hampering their honing ability because I have a HEPA air purifer that spews upward, and the air flows across the ceiling for a short distance before flowing downward along the wall, then forming a laminar flow across me on the bed. The convection might make it hard for BBs to determine the direction of heat and C02. The bed is pressed against the wall to enable the formation of the laminar flow. I now know that, in the absence of the laminar flow, this is a bad bed position because of vulnerability to BBs. I adopted this bed position to form the laminar flow (of HEPA filtered air) after a bout of asbestos contamination long ago -- I was never quite confident that I got it all out of the matress, and I breathe very close to the mattress when I'm on my side. However, I'm willing to forgo laminar flow if I see signs of infestation.

    From what I read in this forum, people avoid the risk of transferring their stuff to the PackTite by zip-lock-bagging their things individually rather than bagging entire suite cases (and large backpacks). I imagine that the risk simply occurs during the zip-lock-bagging rather than in the transfer. The person from who I bought the Closet suggested cutting open the bagged suitcase or backpack after placing it inside the Closet, then bagging the cut-open bag for disposal. An obvious point of risk will be bagging the bag that is cut open. I will be ready with my alcohol spray, and I also splurged on a Vapamore MR-100 steam cleaner. Spent the evening getting comfortable with it so that I can wield it at a moment's notice. However, I don't think it will be as effective as the spray bottle, since it only kills within 1 inch of the nozzle. At that range, not a whole lot of area is covered, things get wet real fast, and there's a lot of force that can send BBs flying around all over the place (hopefully dead, but who knows). Also, it's noisy as heck, and there's always some liquid wetness that sputters out unless you are using it contiuously.

    The BB video on the Vapamore site shows a more systematic usage where you use a rectangular area accessory. In contrast, I had in mind more targeted sharpshooting -- basically, if I saw a critter escaping, zap (or more accurately, hiss). After the Closet was zipped shut, and the cut-open bag was bagged, I would clean up the area as a precaution. Maybe steam cleaning would help then, but the spray bottle just seems much simpler and faster.

    The volume of stuff in the suitcase and backpack will be larger than the boxes and shirts that I've seen in your report above on the indoor heating unit (not PackTite). Even though you found it hard to get the Closet to *not* reach 120F, I think it would be highly prudent to take stuff out of my suitcase and backpack. Much of my suitecase contents are in bags themselves, so they must be removed from the bags, not only to improve heating but also to avoid melted bags on my belongings. The suitecase also contains a lot of gel packs of cold compression after heavy exercise. They have lot of heat capacity, which could slow the increase in temperature, so I may take them out and simply wash them down. The large volume of books and papers in the backpack is also very insulative, and they need to be distributed within the Closet. All this mussing about increases the risk of a critter escaping, so both the steamer and the spray bottle will be ready. I realize that there is no way to ensure that I see and get all escapees. There's always the vaccuum as well, but having to change a $5 bag every time I stop vacuuming seems quite...well, maybe it's not a big deal considering the measures I've taken so far, though I might just keep the bag and tape the opening (Miele bags have a spring-loaded trapdoor that closes when the hose is pulled out.

    About saving vacuum bags, I also encountered a webpage where someone suggested using hosery sock (I think I got that term right) in the tube for a vacuum cleaner. This catches bugs before they get into the vacuum cleaner. It seems to me, however, that once the vacuum is turned off, the critters in the hose might simply fall out of the sock. It was awkward trying to determine how the hosery sock sizes work so that I could select one to buy, and no less funny trying to return them.

    Regarding electronics, I intend to bake them. I'll take whatever risk is associated with that. For example, regarding the laptop, if I were to instead return the stuff to the employer in zip lock bags, I'm quite sure that they would prefer that I did otherwise.

    If anyone has any bright ideas on minimizing the risk in loading up the Closet, I'd appreciate hearing them. Thanks.

  43. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon Dec 10 2012 4:32:09
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    Hi,

    If a unit fails when empty it will fail when full.

    Yes everything has been tested full and in normal use mode but it is not necessary to write a failing unit up fully.

    As you say I run the gambit of legal threats already in doing this sort of testing and as I am not funded to do it you will just have to be grateful for what I can put out there.

    David

  44. BuggyB00

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 10 2012 12:56:31
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    Understood, and I (and I'm sure, others) are very grateful for your information. The benefit is not just avoiding the cost of buying an ineffective heating unit. We also avoid the consequence of erroneously believing that our belongings have been decontaminated when they are not. The consequence is infestation of a previously uninfested dwelling, or harm to the efforts in eradicating an infested dwelling.

    If you tested all the commercial units, then I think it would be reasonable to assume that any units not present on your website are probably there due to either lack of time or legal threats (I was under the impression that there was only one such belligerent business, but I wasn't sure). My personal way of interpreting the testing/reporting situation is as follows. The 3 categories of heating units are: (i) Those that you've advocated in the past because of their efficacy, (ii) those that have yet to be reported publically, and (iii) those that can't be reported due to legal threats. Category (iii) are to be avoided. My impression is that there is only one that you openly support, and I notionally put that in category (i). There may be some in category (ii) that are better, but information is not public (yet), so it's moot. Rationally, then, there is only one ideal choice.

  45. zappbug

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Dec 18 2012 17:36:50
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    Hi Everyone,

    We wanted to let you know that an independent test report was just released for the ZappBug Oven. We cant link to it in this forum but it is easily accessible on our website.

    [Admin note: here is the link to ZappBug's Independent Testing Data report.]

    The testing was overseen by a P.D. Entomologist and the results show that the ZappBug Oven kills 100% of bed bugs in all life stages.

    If anyone has questions about the ZappBug Oven, heat treatments, or bed bugs in general, we would be happy to speak with you.

    -The ZappBug Team

  46. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Dec 18 2012 20:54:50
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    Zappbug,

    I run the site and I would be happy for you to link to it from a post in this thread.

  47. zappbug

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    Tue Dec 18 2012 21:17:29
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    Nobugsonme - 18 minutes ago  » 
    Zappbug,
    I run the site and I would be happy for you to link to it from a post in this thread.

    Thanks Nobugsonme!

  48. zappbug

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Dec 18 2012 21:21:43
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    An independent testing lab's review for the ZappBug Oven is available at ZappBug.com/Independent-Testing

    Testing was completed by i2LResearch USA, Inc (formerly ICR) located in Maryland. All testing was overseen by Dr. Robin Todd.

    To quote the report “…the ZappBug Oven successfully provided complete mortality of all bed bugs in all life stages.”

  49. BuggyB00

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Dec 21 2012 1:51:07
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    That's a reassuring report. It would be nice if testing can be done on the existence of cool spots, since the unit has such a huge volume.

  50. zappbug

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    Fri Dec 21 2012 16:22:50
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    Hi BuggyBOO,

    We understand your concern and are working on a report that includes Thermal Imaging to show explicitly that there are no "cool spots" in the ZappBug Oven.

    For now, I can personally assure you that there are no "cool spots" in the ZappBug Oven. The Oven shape was designed by a Mechanical Engineer using 3D modeling and Computational Fluid Design. The design has been thoroughly tested over the past two years. No systemic "cool spots" have ever been found and the ZappBug Oven has worked for thousands of people.

    We believe that some confusion has arisen from a basic issue. In the heat treatment process, air must be allowed to flow around items to heat them quickly. It's easy to visualize the issue when you think of drying clothing in the sun. To dry clothes, you spread them out or hang them in the wind for faster drying. If you were to ball the clothes up, it would take much longer for them to dry. Similarly, if a full piece of luggage is zipped closed and placed inside the ZappBug Oven, it will take significantly longer to heat treat that luggage. This is common in heat treating for bed bugs and the industry standard is to include a thermometer and monitor the temperature in a representative, insulated location. The industry standard for time/temperature is to hold items at 120F for 1 hour. This is what we recommend for the ZappBug Oven and it has worked very well for our customers.

    If anyone has questions about testing or heat treatment, please feel free to contact us.

    -The ZappBug Team

  51. bed-bugscouk

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    Fri Dec 21 2012 17:09:28
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    Out of respect to the nature of the festive season I will defer my response to that one till after the holiday but would encourage you to run thermal imaging because I was able to find the cool spots without the assistance of a computer and they exist regardless of how loaded it is.

    I sorted the voltage drop issue with a different circuit to the transformer but at 45 it's too cold to run tests but if I get a chance I will spoor you a video next week.

    David

  52. zappbug

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Dec 23 2012 15:56:57
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    David -

    We would be more than happy to discuss and verify your findings. Also, we would request that you communicate with us via email before making public statement about the product. It is important that we identify the specific issue you are having and verify that it is repeatable. The ZappBug Oven has been independently tested and verified by a Ph.D. Entomologist. In addition, we have completed extensive in-house testing with live bed bugs and thermocouples. All tests have been successful: 100% of bed bugs at every life stage have died and we have identified no cold spots. Making broad claims about the product before engaging with us directly is not productive. I am confident that we will find a solution to the issue you are experiencing and will be happy to work with you. However, this should be done professionally and privately before arriving at broad, unspecific conclusions that independent testing has not been able to duplicate.

    I look forward to speaking with you next week.

    -Cameron

    Co-Founder/CEO, ZappBug

  53. bed-bugscouk

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    Sun Dec 23 2012 23:04:10
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    Cameron,

    Ignoring emails and then claiming no direct communication is as you would say "not productive". To date I believe I am most likely to be the only person to have looked for cold spots as I do with all systems. Yours is not the only one I have found them in as I have mentioned to you in email previously.

    Therefore the statement that you are not aware of them is false.

    Best to take this one up in direct email, still waiting for a reply to mine of about 2 months ago.

    David

  54. zappbug

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    Mon Dec 24 2012 1:03:00
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    David -

    As of our last communication, indicated in your email below, we had not verified that your unit was working properly. I am aware that you have claimed the existence of "cold spots" but you have not indicated the location of these "cold spots." I will email you directly requesting specific information. We will have an independent, third party test for these spots and publish their findings on this forum as well as our website.

    Also, I think it is important for readers of this forum to understand that you have long-standing associations with manufacturers of competing products. Please see this representative thread from this very forum.

    The ZappBug Oven is a great product, supported by a strong team with thousands of happy customers.

    This email dated Oct 22 2012 is the last communication I received from you. It does not indicate that a response is desired.

    [reposted email from David Cain deleted]

  55. BuggyB00

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    Mon Dec 24 2012 2:46:49
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    I cannot disagree more with zappbug. We need sources of information quite apart from the vendor. The very suggestion that they must be in the loop for all information is quite simply incredible. To insinuate that such arm's length information is unprofessional is, in my view, an attempt at information warfare. Let forum users be party to the discussion between testers and vendors. We will assess the credibility of the information from the various parties, and this does not just mean testing being done for the vendor. This forum is not meant for the PR of any specific commercial entity.

    I, and many people I know, have Ph.D.'s and there can be much disagreement among "doctors" about proper framing and approaches to characterization for almost all problems. While degrees in academic training represent some level of credibility in narrowly focused fields, this credibility should not be overestimated especially for multidisciplinary problems of application which are found in the field. As well, the value of practical experience of users/practitioners should not be underestimated.

    Along the lines of characterizing the unit's capability to adequately heat typical loads that are placed within it, it would be very useful for testing to be done with representative arrangements of such belongings. Even though some such arrangements are not ideal. Pictures would help alot for potential users to assess the realism of the test.

  56. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon Dec 24 2012 6:40:56
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    Hi Cameron,

    Firstly it is considered a breach of the AUP to publish a private communication on the forum which email covers. It would however appear you have missed an email where I let you know I had resolved the voltage issue with a different extension cord to the transformer and it was running within specification.

    As for the precise locations of the cool spots in the unit I am frankly amazed you have not found them yourself yet, they are quite large and easy to find if you probe around with a thermometer. However my role in product testing is not the same as a contract research lab. I am not here to prove the product works I set out to find out where it does not work.

    Of all the products I have tested the vast majority have failed, the ones that pass seem to already be subject to extensive testing during product development and have the errors already ironed out from them.

    I will warm the office up later int he week (its Christmas shut down here) and will take a video of the unit running with probes in to show you that they exist. The precise locations will be given in my report which I had not planned finishing just yet but if you want to see them I will happily finish it. I may even focus the report on why "validation testing" is not the same as "destruction testing" and how only be doing the later will you realise exactly why some products have errors.

    With regards the linked to another thread as you will see I have declared that I use the system in a commercial context which I would also do with yours if it worked. But therein lies the problem. If you don't think I treat all vendors the same and test all products equally then I fear you have misunderstood my business. I provide the highest possible levels of technical assistance when it comes to bedbugs and have resources and tools way beyond what is currently in the public domain. If I test a tool for our own use I need to make sure it is reliable enough to be associated with it. Everything we use and do is fully destruction tested before it is used with customers to make sure we are fully confident in it as a technology.

    To date 2 suppliers have managed to pass my testing protocols with regards heating technologies and its no great shock to see that they have both been in the field for a long time and that they both developed from an experimental perspective.

    Regards,

    David

  57. theyareoutthere

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    Tue Dec 25 2012 10:13:18
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    Didn't buggyboo also find cool spots, as a customer?
    To me, a consumer, if David isn't getting free products, isn't related, and isn't blackmailed...it seems he just bought a product like buggyboo did.

  58. zappbug

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    Thu Dec 27 2012 14:05:23
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    Hi theyareoutthere -

    We sent David a free ZappBug Oven for testing and covered the cost of international shipping from Seattle to London in early August of 2012. This arrangement included written confirmation that he would discuss the review with us before posting it publicly.

    Everyone-

    Currently, we are working with a local thermal imaging company to show visually that there are no "cold spots" in the ZappBug Oven. If anyone believes that they have found a cold spot, we encourage you to submit a picture showing the location of this "cold spot." We are so confident that there are no "cold spots" in the unit that we offer to post a video of live bed bugs dying in any location identified as “cold spots.” The ZappBug Oven has been used effectively by renters, homeowners, pest control companies, hotels, libraries, and travelers. We are happy to work with anyone to scientifically validate any claims.

    Moving forward, we do not want to fall victim to Godwin’s law of forum discussions and wish to diffuse any antagonism that may have arisen. We will cease to engage in cross-accusation and rely on the scientific method and objective fact. Again, if anyone has found a “cold spot,” please identify the location of this “cold spot” as well as the method of temperature measurement and operation.

    Feel free to contact us anytime. If you wish to submit any information via this forum (with the approval of the moderator) we will be happy to publicly respond and publicly submit all testing data.

    -The ZappBug Team

  59. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Dec 27 2012 16:38:47
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    Zappbug,
    I appreciate that you're working to verify that your product doesn't have any problems with cold spots. I am fine with people communicating with you about that here.

  60. comp666

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    Thu Dec 27 2012 19:23:20
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    Hi David,

    I'm the OP of this thread and I just want to say I appreciate the time and energy you put into running these experiments. These bed bug tools aren't heavily reviewed like the newest iPhone, yet the problems they tackle are often times much more painful than not having a new phone. It's comforting to have someone as qualified as you to provide a 2nd opinion. Thanks!

  61. BuggyB00

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    Tue Jan 1 2013 18:57:07
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    theyareoutthere - 1 week ago  » 
    Didn't buggyboo also find cool spots, as a customer?
    To me, a consumer, if David isn't getting free products, isn't related, and isn't blackmailed...it seems he just bought a product like buggyboo did.

    Sorry for the late reply, but I missed the reference to my pseudonym.

    No I did not try ZappBug. I did not have information showing the robustness of the design against cold spots for typical arrangements of typical items that are meant to be treated. However, you can find accounts on the web about cold spots near the back. I believe that the items being treated were books.

    To be fair, books are very challenging in terms of heat penetration and uniformity of temperature, even in the PackTite. It's simply the nature of books, and to a large degree, how you stack them.

    And to be even more fair, there is no single "typical" arrangement of "typical" belongings. Therefore, it would be impossible to characterize the effectiveness of any heating unit to the point where one could confidently say that it is 100% effective. Effectiveness is an unavoidable combination of two things: (i) the common sense with which items are arranged within the unit and (ii) the design of the unit in such a way that convection is as thoroughly penetrative as possible for as many different arrangements of items as possible.

    Effectiveness itself is of little use to a decision maker unless it has been validated. I don't mean laboratory procedures that are described in excruciating detail for a few select cases i.e. the kind of reports that carry an aura of "scientificness" to non-scientists. I mean a diversity of cases where a diversity of arrangements of a diversity of belongings are tested, with temperature probes liberally placed throughout the volume of belongings under test.

    Placing a single probe in a "representative" location is insufficient, as some locations will be hotter while others are colder (this is assuming that the representative location is even identifable, which is unlikely). Likewise, probing only the most insulated point is of limited use not only because such a point my be hard to identify, but the exterior surface may be exposed to a convection hot spot i.e. it might not be the coldest spot. For a single problem, you really need to probe the coldest spot, which is hard to identify and varies with the load being heated. The best you can do is place a bunch of probes in spots that are likely to be cold spots, and this must be done for a diversity of loads.

    Since we're talking about real-world validation rather than proof-of-concept in the lab, the above testing can be crazily time consuming and expensive -- unrealistic, in my view. Hence, the best we can do is rely on one-off tests by individual testing establishments, hopefully using realistic loads. Considering the effort required, I would say that we'd be lucky to have such test results. Then, based on our keeping abreast of such incomplete information, we each need to make personal judgements and decisions. At least, that's the most rational way forward that I can think of. I'd be curious as to other people's rationale in deciding how to heat-treat.

    Also, despite the tremendous contribution that analytical modelling can make toward designing a heating unit, there is often a gap between abstract models and reality. This is especially the case considering the diversity of items in that can go into a load, and the diversity of arrangements with which they can be placed into a heating unit. Hence, I do not believe that such modelling in any way validates the effectiveness of a unit, regardless of whether it is done by Ph.D.'s or not. In other words, we should not confuse modelling for design versus laboratory proof-of-concept or validation in the real world.

  62. TooMuchItching

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    Wed Jul 16 2014 20:10:09
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    Hi everyone,

    Hope no one minds me reinvigorating an old thread, but I admire the commitment both Zappbug and David Cain have shown in this thread.

    I am newly suffering a bed bug infestation and am in the position where I actually have to move house. Luckily, I'm a student with an air bed, and everything I own is small enough to fit in a BB heater. Since the Zappbug heater is one of the most inexpensive BB ovens on the market, and I am in no financial shape to purchase a Packtite, I will be purchasing one of these products within the next day.

    So here's what I'd like to do, since Zappbug has been so forthright in this thread with their desire to see effective product reviews. I will run the heater with various configurations of my infested belongings and buy two additional wireless thermometers to monitor various spots in the oven. It won't be extensive testing, but it will be something, and in "real-world" conditions.

    I have two questions for the Zappbug team:

    1. If I should consistently find any of the "cold spots" that David attests to, and various configurations don't improve heating, would that be grounds for replacement of my unit? Again, I ask as a consumer with a very, very limited budget. I am a graduate student and my family supplies my entire income, and I desperately need your product to kill all my bugs! =)

    2. Given that any consumer (which I am, I'm not an entomologist or BB expert) can run this testing, do you feel comfortable with my posting results here? Feel free to answer this question in a PM. I'm not interested in threatening your company, but I do feel that freedom of information is critical when it comes to bedbug issues.

    Thank you to everyone, as always I am so impressed with the members of this forum!

  63. bed-bugscouk

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    Thu Jul 17 2014 8:37:13
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    Hi,

    Good post.

    I have every confidence that if you go looking you will find them.

    To date there two companies who have asked me to test to prove they got it right before going to market and one that is currently asking me to look at testing a unit because the initial design review illustrated they have the same issues that others have not realised.

    I appreciate that this may at times seem annoying but the end point I am shooting for is inventors who understand what they are developing so as to avoid these issues in the future.

    Of course all that would be resolved if there was a transparent consumer based testing standard for all bedbug related products.

    David

  64. buggyinsyracuse

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    Thu Jul 17 2014 10:29:11
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    Hi Toomuchitching - I would suggest you contact Zappbugs directly as they may not be checking this site all the time: http://www.zappbug.com/contact/. They also list their phone number on their web page.

    Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your results.

  65. BuggedDown

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    Sun Sep 7 2014 22:52:17
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    Hi all,

    Thank you so much for the informed discussion that's been going on here. I'm unfortunately in the market for either a ZappBug or a PackTite ASAP, and I'm not sure which one to go with. David, I've seen your comments, and greatly appreciate the independent research that you continue to do and to share with us.

    Between the different permutations of ZappBug and PackTite, do you (David), or anyone else on this thread/ forum, have suggestions for which specific product will be most effective in killing any bedbugs inside of it? David, I've seen your posts in which you say that ZappBug has cold spots inside. Does PackTite have the same issue? If it does, is there a different product you'd recommend? I intend to place books, clothes, shoes, bags, and I'm sure other items inside of it.

    For anyone who has used one of these before: do you have recommendations for using them that will enable them to work most effectively?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    Sincerely,
    BuggedDown

  66. bed-bugscouk

    oldtimer
    Joined: Apr '07
    Posts: 18,192

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Sep 8 2014 12:33:43
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    Hi,

    I would recommend the PackTite closet as the unit with the best throughput and speed of operation.

    The issue with cool spots does not occur in all designs, it does however occur in most of the ones I have seen. This is not to say that this design aspect alone drivers what is a good system, I have tested others where the design should work and yet the heater used is wrong and as such the air temperature gets to shut off point long before the heat penetrates to even 2 layers of T shirt.

    I suspect it is driven by people who say "I can make one of those" rather than starting from scratch and working out how things work. In the case of at least two of the products out there I know for certain that is the case and as such I consider these companies to have more than dubious ethics. After all what can you call someone who continues to sell something they know could fail.

    Once you have read through the instructions and set up a few runs you will understand how easy it is and by learning not to overload it you will see how fast it can be.

    Hope that helps.

    David

  67. zappbug

    newbite
    Joined: Feb '12
    Posts: 15

    offline

    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Sep 12 2014 13:12:22
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    Hi @TooMuchItching,

    We just noticed your message and would love hear about your experiences with ZappBug products. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance. You can find our contact information on our website.

    Also, we noticed that @foldleep posted a comprehensive review of the New ZappBug Oven 2 on bedbugger here: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/my-experience-with-the-zappbug-oven-2

    Have a great day!

    -The ZappBug Team

    Disclaimer - We manufacture and support the ZappBug Heater, ZappBug Oven 2, and ZappBug Room.


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