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Help ASAP - heat vs. fumigation

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  1. jeffklein

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Nov 30 2008 17:47:47
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    I believe that thermal and fumigation are both very effective. They both have limitations as well.

    Bed Bug and Thermal Remediation Specialist
    Please email me directly for support. Thank you.
  2. Bugologist

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2008 8:42:03
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    Seeing that I've worked with both as well, I have a slightly different take but voice the same overall opinion as Jeff Klein.

    With heat, understanding the limitations are absolutely key from an applicators perspective. Heat can, if done properly in the right infestations, rid you of your problem in one shot. One thing heat CANNOT overcome is excess clutter. Not only does it take forever to heat an over-cluttered unit up, there will almost always be cold spots that cannot be addressed and thus bugs have a greater chance to survive. In low level infestations this still may not be a problem since the bugs are more predictable but in high level infestations excess clutter can, and probably will, cause failure.

    Vikane, or structural fumigations, have less limitations in regards to it's effectiveness but the cost and setting can be limiting. This obviously isn't a realistic option in large apartment buildings and city settings (I know large scale fumigations have been done but they are not common). But from an application perspective, fumigations can overcome clutter and other concerns typically associated with bed bugs if it is done properly.

    Either way they are both great options. Heat can be pesticide free, only take one day and cost significantly less compared with a fumigation while fumigations can overcome common obstacles and be 100% effective if monitored but tend to cost an arm and a leg and put you out of your home for at least a day or two.

    Also, with both, they can only rid you of the bugs in your home and have no residual effect. If you take some with you the day of the treatment (on you, a bag, a backpack) and bring them back after the treatments, you will be back where you started. Preparations are critical.

  3. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2008 12:08:53
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    Hi Bugologist,

    Do you mind if I ask which system you have worked with?

    My experience with clutter is much more successful. We have had failures in some of those situations, but we have also developed strategies to deal with clutter that have worked very, very well. In Canada, where Vikane is not an option, heat is one of the few viable options to deal with those chronic clutter situations that cause traditional pesticides such problems.

    I agree with everything else you've said. Both are tools that have a place and can be very effective.

    Tony Canevaro

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2008 16:38:48
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    I'm also curious to hear from the pros about clutter. My apartment, which admittedly has a certain amount of clutter--mostly of the DVD, book, papers (from previous classes, which I have to hold onto for 5 years and which as a part timer I don't have sufficient office space for at work) types.

    My PCO pretty much said that because of how much stuff I had in the apartment (unclear whether this was furniture, clutter, or both), heat was the only option for my unit.

    I guess what I'm asking is how much clutter is too much? Is there variation among PCOs about how to deal with varying levels of clutter?

    (I should add, if anything good came out of the whole bed bug fiasco, it's that I'm working hard on decluttering. The work thing is still a problem, but I've moved more old files into the office, where they are now cluttering up that space instead of my house. Imperfect, but so it goes.)

  5. Bugologist

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 9:24:05
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    You can alter the clutter and address it to optimize heating but in a lot of apartments I've done sometimes you don't have the room to move the clutter around to optimize heating. You can easily just spread a pile of clothes out to heat it properly but sometimes you just don't have the room to do so.

    As for what is too much clutter, that differs on an apt. to apt. basis. That's like asking the "if a tree falls in the woods..." question. There's really no definitive answer.

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 10:51:38
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    Actually, Bugologist, that answer helped. It sounds like an apartment or house with some clutter, but not clutter that occupies so much space that it can't be moved, is treatable--esp. if the issue is a lot of furniture that, for example, couldn't be moved away from the walls.

    On the other hand, clutter like an office at a place I used to work, with a single person sized path through it doesn't leave enough floor space/footprint on the floor/other flat surfaces to reposition clutter as needed.

    I'm sure there are exceptions to that, but just knowing that it's partly about being able to reposition the stuff in general? That helps. I wasn't hoping for definitive answers so much as general guidelines or principles, and you gave me that, so thank you. (I'm sure there are a lot of variables that go into the decision, but just having one or two helps.)

  7. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 2 2008 11:21:18
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    Being able to reposition the clutter is the key. To date, I've not had a situation where I couldn't alter the clutter in such a manner that would prevent a sucessful treatment. Since we are on site for the duration, we do a lot of "mixing and stirring" of peoples belongings.

    Also, if you have some extra time to let the heat soak a bit longer then heat will penetrate all of the clutter.

    The key we ask our clients is to get clutter off the floor whenever possible. If you can get air flow around all sides of the clutter it becomes easy. Piles of papers on the floor equals difficult. Piles of paper on the coffee table or desk = much easier.

    Tony Canevaro


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