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Help Nuvan strips inside my apt by PCO--is this safe

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  1. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 2 2011 16:49:32
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    I have positive identification of a single bedbug. Landlord has a PCO on contract. They use chemicals, no heat treatment. I have a very large library of books and papers. I have a small studio apartment, which has a lot of bookshelves.

    To handle the books and papers (tax returns, notebooks, printed pages), they are planning on using Nuvan strips. Although they're inexpensive online, they are charging $200 for first 10 bags, $10 for each additional bag, and $175 to come back and remove strips. This sounds expensive but it seems I don't have choice. Their other option was for me to shake every books to inspect and wash cover I belive. (would I have to look through every page--that would take weeks!)

    There would be 3 location for the bags. 1. The bags would be close to where I sleep--same room, other bags would be close to bathroom/shower and I would pass within inches of the bags every day only partially closed. IThere is an airshaft in bathroom to other apartments. There is also a backwindow there that I open and would also drift up to others maybe. I was planning to put 1-2 bags in my kitchen.

    There would be at least 10 bags with Nuvan strips.
    From online search, i get conflicting info, so not clear. I have read the product info and am still unclear.
    1. is it safe to use indoors? So close to where I and other sleep.
    2. is this really necessary, is there another way? They don't use heat treatment. I don't want to heat treat every book myself. I have already thrown away 8 boxes for books just to have floor room when I take down my books from shelfs.
    3. does anyone know if the bags have to be clear, it is easier to buy black bags.
    Thanks very much.

  2. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 2 2011 17:02:54
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    P.S.
    Boxing stuff up for 18 months or longer isn't an option either, I have such a small apartment, I can't leave boxes of books boxed up for 18 months.
    PCO insists that all bookcases be emptied of books and it will be hard enough to move around for 3 weeks with the books in bags on the floors.
    What other options are there for books and papers

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 2 2011 23:16:21
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    Most people here (including me) aren't qualified to give advice on Nuvan strips except to say you should follow the labeling instructions.

    I would be very concerned about this method if you did not feel you could keep the bags intact. (If you have a cat with claws, for example, all bets are off. Not sure I'd want kids bouncing around this stuff either.)

    For the quantity of stuff you have, if you're in the US, I would personally go with a Packtite (read about Packtites in this FAQ). It costs $309, but is pretty cheap to run and you could load the books in in batches. And that seems cheaper than the option you outlined. A Packtite could also be used in future after trips to decon luggage, etc., so it would not be the same as dropping the same money on consumables.

    Although you could not treat all the books at once, it would not be much more work doing it in loads over time vs. loading everything into bags at once.

    (Packtites will be available in Canada and Europe in the near future, but aren't yet.)

    FYI, this is the Nuvan Prostrips label (PDF) which says,

    For Control of Bedbugs and Bedbug Eggs

    NUVAN PROSTRIPS may be used to control crawling bedbug nymphs and adults exposed to product vapors for 48 hours. In difficult to treat areas, a minimum treatment time of 72 hours will provide better results. Strip may be used to control bedbugs that have entered various items in an infested structure including, but not limited to: electronics, appliances, footwear, art work, collectibles, plush toys, clocks, radios, wall hangings, telephones, computers, printers, mattresses, box springs, books, lamps, furniture and other such items. Place infested items in a suitable plastic bag, poly sheet ing, container or room that is closed to contain the strip treatment. Plastic bags or poly sheeting should be at least 2 mils thick. The closed volume for treatment should not exceed the volume to be treated for the size of the strip used. Take care to avoid direct contact of the strip with the surface of items being treated. Seal items in the containment for a minimum of 48 hours to kill bedbug nymphs and adults. To kill any bedbug eggs, if suspected to be present, seal items in the treated space for seven days. Seal plastic bags and poly sheeting with as much air space around the treated article as is practical as this will enhance the exposure to the product vapors. Proper seal can be attained by any appropriate manner such as the use of tape, twist ties or other means. Professionals should test for adequate seal by testing for the escape of air from the sealed bag. Identify sealed treatment by a label indicating a pesticide treatment is in process that should not be disturbed by unauthorized persons. The label should include the date, pest professional person or company responsible and contact telephone number. When treatment is completed, remove treated items from the treatment in a well ventilated area and air out for a period of not less than two hours.

    How much space will one strip treat?
    Always use the appropriate size and number of strips for the space being treated. If more than one is required, distribute them within the space equally.

    I note that a second product, Nuvan Prostrips +, is a much larger strip and has a label that differs (PDF) from the regular Nuvan Prostrips, and does not outline use of the product in plastic bags. So if "+" is the product the PCO has in mind, it would be an off-label use.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jul 2 2011 23:26:18
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    Yes I have studied that labeling and other posts and it remains unclear to me if it is safe to use close to where people are living. I plan on calling manufacturer on Tuesday as well as other PCOs and get their take on it. The labeling is very mysteriously silent about whether location needs to be unoccupied where the Nuvan strip is in the bag. My PCO says it's only for 7 days but other posts here say 2 weeks.
    How many books can you put into the packtite at a time and how long do they stay there?
    PCO will be here before I could run books through that so don't think I have the time to handle the books that way--too busy washing clothing this week.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 0:24:05
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    I'm sorry, I am not a professional and I can't really give advice on DDVP beyond repeating what the label says. I would talk to the PCO and manufacturer if you have concerns.

    How many books? Well, the model available right now is 36l x 19w x 24h. The space you can actually place the books in is smaller, but you can still get a lot in there at once.

    You'd need to place the temperature probe inside the book at the very center of the stack and monitor the temperature to make sure it reaches the desired temp of 120F, then run it another hour, just to be on the safe side, according to inventor David James, in this FAQ. Monitoring the temperature at the core is essential.

  6. bbgirl

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 9:38:56
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    I looked into using a pest strip inside of my attached garage which is not vented into the house and the manufacturer told me it would be safe if I didn't smell car fumes from time to time that there probably wasn't direct air transfer into the house. I decided against it after reading some warnings on this site though - dichlorvos is very dangerous and I'm not an expert but I definately think you shouldn't use it inside of your house - bagged or not. If you can get a Packtite (for less cost it seems) you can use it on many of your things including clothing and books. I was able to do quite a few books at one time stacking them 4 high and leaving space around each stack on the rack. Four hours was plenty of time to get them up to temperature from the core through with some extra time for safety. It damaged the binding of some of the cheaper soft cover books but nothing serious. The important thing is that now I feel safe keeping them. I was able to also save my CD and DVD collection - the heat can damage the discs but they can be washed and inspected separately and the cases can be treated. It would be hard to miss even a nymph or egg on the shiny discs. A quick rinse and inspection is enough.

    One PCO that I spoke to said that it wasn't necessary to treat books and other shelf items. He said that they would thoroughly spray the shelves and that any bugs in the books would die when they came out to feed. I preferred to treat everything and not rely on the spray just in case.

    As time stretches on I want to wear some of my clothes that will not take washing in hot water and the dryer. I can wash them as usual in cool water or hand wash things and hang them to dry. Then a quick touch up with the iron and an hour or two in the Packtite and they're good to go! I'm afraid of the dry cleaners.....I think they either are or may become infested by so many people taking their infested clothing there to be cleaned.

  7. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 14:24:13
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    Thanks for input, I'm leaning bbgirl towards not using it--going to call manufacturer.
    This belongs in another thread, but the idea, of using the Packtite on wooden floor in an old building for 4 hours creeps me out in terms of fire danger. I guess that's irrational. Any thoughts?

  8. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 15:34:10
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    "Do not use in any area where people will be present for extended periods of time."
    If your books are infested I would recommend packing them up and taking them to get fumigated, for both safety and efficacy reasons. I have a number of concerns about how these strips are currently being used.

  9. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 16:34:08
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    unfortunately itis unclear what this means: "Do not use in any area where people will be present for extended periods of time." It could mean don't hang in an area where people are but it's okay in a sealed plastic bag or it could mean don't but sealed plastic bag with nuvan strip in area where people are. It seems that the manufacturer's info is purposely murky, in any event I will try to get through to them on Tuesday.
    I have no reason to suspect my books are infested. Found a bedbug several yards away from books. One set of books is within two yards of foot of bed, where I'm getting bites, next set of books is 10 yards away, next set is 15 yards away. So I doubt the books are infested. This is just part of the prep for the PCO coming.
    Different PCOs have different protocols: vacuum books, use rubbing alcohol, etc., so I think about using that way and let the chemicals do their work if there are any bbs in books, rather than risk Nuvan strip, but still want to know how safe it is, in case books do turn infested.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 18:09:26
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    Winston brings up another idea. You can have a pod or truck with your belongings treated with Vikane or heat in some areas.

    This is more costly than a Packtite or the DDVP option. However, I think Winston is right to be concerned about DDVP use.

    I would not, however, rely on spraying books with alcohol, or vacuuming them. Not only is this a ton of work, but it's not as reliable as something like the Packtite. You can't be certain you're hitting a bed bug with alcohol or getting it with a vacuum. This was advised by some firms I am aware of before there were better, relatively inexpensive options. FWIW, I think lots of people use the Packtite in old buildings and on wooden floors.

  11. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 19:32:31
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    Because a bedbug was found in my apartment the PCO didn't do an inspection (and they don't use a dog anyways), so I have no idea how large or widespread the infestation is and perhaps it's mainly my bed area, which only has a handful of--treasured!!!--books nearby. I have whittled my book collection down by 1/3 and may discard another 1/3 this week so the amount of work with the PCO protocol is considerably cut down.

    I'm also considering the 18 month close up the books that were 2 yards from my bed and there other books that were 10-15 yards from my bed put back after second treatment and let chemicals do their stuff. I know there's a lot of posts here about sealing for 18 months which I have read, but does anyone remember whether that is putting them into a heavy duty plastic bag or was that a rubbermaid container or it doesn't matter.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 3 2011 22:24:36
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    It would have to be sealed so that bed bugs cannot get out. An airtight seal on a bag is your best bet. Some people put that inside a tub so it's more easily stored. Many tubs are not airtight on their own (I believe Rubbermaid are not), but some may be and in that case, the bag would be unnecessary.

  13. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 5 2011 16:47:32
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    I think at this point you may be looking at overkill for a single bed bug. you should inspect the books first perhaps using a hair dryer over the tub or some other area.

  14. Pestman1076

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 15:45:44
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    Think about this: We have use ddvp forever, millions of cats and dogs had flea collars with ddvp wrapped around their neck for years with no after effects. When I was young we had no-pest strips hanging in the kitchen for fly’s....ddvp so I am not going to get excited about the health hazard.
    I would treat the room where you saw them, put out insect monitors in the other rooms and inspect once a week. If it is determined that bedbugs are in the library, I would use a dowel on a middle shelf with a book anchoring it and hang a Nuvan strip from it. Then I would tape clear plastic with painters tape and seal the whole bookcase. The dowel rod would keep the middle of the plastic out a bit from the book case. It would be a fumigation (kinda) and you would use a lot less strips and be safe all at the same time.

    [ADMIN NOTE: This advice is incomplete. The user has clarified his instructions below. See this more recent post.]

  15. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 18:49:39
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    For the record forever started around 1955. This material does still have valid uses and may be a bed bug option in some cases. However in environments that people occupy for long periods of time or thrown into a bag with clothes and other items is not the way to go. Pestman has thought out some of the contact issues but the label states what the label states. If it were a non occupied space that might be different. Unfortunatley efficacy data on egg mortality in this type of application is sketchy in my opinion. BTW they were originally marketed in this country during the sixties as the "Shell No Pest Strip" by Shell Oil.

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 19 2011 23:25:03
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    Pestman1076 - 7 hours ago  » 

    I would treat the room where you saw them, put out insect monitors in the other rooms and inspect once a week. If it is determined that bedbugs are in the library, I would use a dowel on a middle shelf with a book anchoring it and hang a Nuvan strip from it. Then I would tape clear plastic with painters tape and seal the whole bookcase. The dowel rod would keep the middle of the plastic out a bit from the book case. It would be a fumigation (kinda) and you would use a lot less strips and be safe all at the same time.

    Pestman1076,
    Your profile implies you're a pest management professional.

    Do you really want to advise strangers on the internet to use hazardous products in an off-label manner?

    Do you realize the liability issues you're creating for yourself?

    Everyone else,

    Nobody should be using products except as directed by labeling instructions. Winston is right to advise caution.

  17. Pestman1076

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 10:11:43
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    Nobugsonme - 10 hours ago  » 

    Pestman1076 - 7 hours ago  » 
    I would treat the room where you saw them, put out insect monitors in the other rooms and inspect once a week. If it is determined that bedbugs are in the library, I would use a dowel on a middle shelf with a book anchoring it and hang a Nuvan strip from it. Then I would tape clear plastic with painters tape and seal the whole bookcase. The dowel rod would keep the middle of the plastic out a bit from the book case. It would be a fumigation (kinda) and you would use a lot less strips and be safe all at the same time.

    Pestman1076,
    Your profile implies you're a pest management professional.
    Do you really want to advise strangers on the internet to use hazardous products in an off-label manner?
    Do you realize the liability issues you're creating for yourself?
    Everyone else,
    Nobody should be using products except as directed by labeling instructions. Winston is right to advise caution.

    I did not make my self clear, I would treat the bed room c&c with Temprid, and inspect, leave insect monitors in the other rooms to see if there is activity. If you have not seen or find activity in the libray, you don't treat. If you do find them there you treat the book area as I posted. It is on the label to treat rooms, closets and other places but not to be exposed over 4 hours. With taping plastic and sealing the book shelf off from the room, just don't spend more than 4 hours in the room.

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 22:04:12
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    Pestman1076 - 11 hours ago  » 
    I did not make my self clear, I would treat the bed room c&c with Temprid, and inspect, leave insect monitors in the other rooms to see if there is activity. If you have not seen or find activity in the libray, you don't treat. If you do find them there you treat the book area as I posted. It is on the label to treat rooms, closets and other places but not to be exposed over 4 hours. With taping plastic and sealing the book shelf off from the room, just don't spend more than 4 hours in the room.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    I can't give advice on DDVP or assess whether your advice is a good idea. And since I know Winston's background as an entomologist and PMP, his cautions are very convincing to me.

    However, in the interest of clarity, I made a note on your post above, directing readers to the further elaboration.

  19. Pestman1076

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jul 21 2011 9:19:43
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    Winston O. Buggy - 1 day ago  » 
    For the record forever started around 1955. This material does still have valid uses and may be a bed bug option in some cases. However in environments that people occupy for long periods of time or thrown into a bag with clothes and other items is not the way to go. Pestman has thought out some of the contact issues but the label states what the label states. If it were a non occupied space that might be different. Unfortunatley efficacy data on egg mortality in this type of application is sketchy in my opinion. BTW they were originally marketed in this country during the sixties as the "Shell No Pest Strip" by Shell Oil.

    Thanks for clarifying the name Winston, would you by any chance know how much active was in the flea collars and shell pest strips? Just curious and can't find it anywhere.


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