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Home Bed Bug Heat Treatment - 3 propane 40k BTU forced air heaters, 2 radiant

(35 posts)
  1. heattreatmentlandlord

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 0:48:16
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    [Admin warning: structural heat (or thermal) treatment of a home is not a do it yourself project. People who have tried to do their own heat treatments for bed bugs have discovered they made the problem worse, and spread the bugs. Some have even burned their homes down and damaged others' property. Do not attempt DIY heat treatment. You can read some stories about this in threads tagged "DIY heat treatment."]

    Hey all,
    I wanted to share the home bed bug treatment I did last month to clear my upstairs unit of bed bugs. I had paid for a professional cryo treatment (with chemical bombs in the walls when bed bugs were found in the walls which I did not authorize) and without the thermal treatment that the tenants had described as part of this treatment. It turns out the tenants described this treatment as including heat treatment when it was only a whole house treatment that includes heat treatment.
    I've read a lot about the various heat treatment studies by UCF in Florida and UC Davis where they set up a house with bedbugs, and various scattered reports around the web. I decided that for my unit, the way to do it was to bake the house for an entire 8-hour day (while the sun helped warm the place) and propane forced air heaters (3 of them) circulating air through the house as well as 2 propane radiant heaters to heat the walls in different rooms. You can see the results in this video. I HIGHLY encourage other landlords to invest in this equipment if they encounter bed bugs so they have the equipment to combat the problem when another tenant brings it in, rather than pay a PCO time and time again. Individual renters can learn from this process as well. One of these forced air heaters costs $80 and one of the radiants costs $129. Propane canisters cost $34 each at Home Depot and to fill one costs about $14 at $2.75/gal. I spent about $1k and now have the tools to do this again or to heat an outdoor space or even have a party with the radiant heaters outside instead of heat umbrellas.

    http://www.naden.de/blog/bbvideo-bbpress-video-plugin -->

    [+] Embed the videoGet the Video Player

    I'm pretty satisfied that I was able to take care of this problem myself and have the tools to do it again. Bed bugs have no heat tolerance - all stages die at 115-118 for an hour or so, even the eggs. The walls were baked enough in the unit that it was 72 degrees in the unit about 12 hours after I turned off all the heat, even though the outside air was in the low '40s in the AM.
    I HIGHLY recommend that you keep the propane canisters outside, either out a door or out a window, so they don't get as hot as everything else, and propane leaks, if any, dissipate into the outside air.
    I used the forced air heating in the unit as well to create a baseline heat, the oven to help heat the kitchen, and electric radiant heaters pointed at different walls to help. Windows were open at least a crack in every room.

  2. KillerQueen

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 1:33:27
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    May fly if you’re a landlord in Peru.... Speechless!

    As George Costanza would say…. I have no words, I’m without words!

  3. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 6:25:46
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    IR thermometer reads as low as 108 at end of film. How does that kill BB?

    How do you ascertain if the wall voids and under floor got hot enough?

    What steps to insure that bugs do not migrate to adjacents units?

    How does heat affect existing chemicals applied?

    Hypothetically, if I had a unit that were not on ground level and with no balcony, would it be safe to have the propane tanks inside during treatment?

    What did you do to ensure the safety of the occupied adjacent unit during treatment?

    How would law treat you in court if a tenant discovers that the unit has BB and this was the treatment and sues you for his losses?

    How does your insurance company feel about this?

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  4. btaggart

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 8:28:07
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    are the propane heaters rated for indoor use? i dont think so. PLEASE EVERYONE NO ONE SHOULD EVERY TRY TO DO A THERMAL TREATMENT ON THEIR OWN. There is extensive training and reasearch thats needs to be done before anyone is ready to preform a thermal treatment.

  5. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 10:12:07
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    Did you get any temp readings off the ceiling?

    Did you check the temp of your breaker panel?

    Relying on electrical heaters to be regulated by the overload thermostat, using an oven for heating a room and using propane powered equipment that is designed for outdoor use are obvious fire and safety hazards. An electrical overload that creates a fire is a potential outcome with some of the techniques that were used in the video.

    Did you monitor for carbon monoxide levels? The partially opened window won't necessarily prevent a lethal concentration of CO from building up throughout the structure. Low oxygen levels and volatilized chemical vapors are also an issue. It doesn't sound like you are wearing a respirator with an organic vapor filter during the narration of the video.

    I'm glad that you didn't experience any disasters, but I am concerned that people who follow your advice may not be as fortunate with some of the hazardous tactics that are advocated in the video.

    A fire in an occupied multi-unit building is the nightmare scenario that I am concerned about here.

    The electric heaters used in the UF study also pose a serious fire hazard, if they are utilized as a heat source... It is not safe to rely on the overload thermostat device to regulate the heating elements... A few years ago many of these heaters were recalled due to the failure of the overload thermostat which had created dozens of fires.

    I hope that your bed bug eradication efforts were successful, but I would ask that you refrain from advocating an unsound approach to the general public. Imagine the civil liability that could have resulted from a fire in an occupied building... I doubt your liability carrier would approve of the DIY thermal pest control.

    Thermal is a good approach, but you need the right training and the proper commercial grade equipment to perform the job safely.

  6. flabergasted

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 10:18:05
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    There won't any be any insurance coverage if something goes aray; and if anything happens to the neighbours adject their insurance company will be suing to recover for damages to their client.

    As for use propane tanks indoors (usually on forklifts, portable banquet facilies etc) they have safety straps securing them in the event of an explosion but propane can be a very unstable fuel and is effected by temprature.

    Fire regulations here stipulate that empty or full tanks have to be chained down when not in use in an area outside the building to a secure mouring. There is a minimum $500 fine for a first offense in our municipality you get 48 hours to remedy the situation and then the fine doubles every time. I presume fire reglations are just about the same anywhere in north america.

    I am with all the post here thermal should only be performed by a professional. This brings to mind a say childhood say I think we have all heard "play with fire you will get burnt".

  7. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 11:55:05
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    Everyone knows I'm a big fan of thermal, having had success in my own personal bed bug battle by hiring a pro to use it on my apartment.

    However, in addition to the very, very many very real hazards everyone else has pointed out already above, I'm going to add one more. Improperly done thermal can absolutely result in substantial fires, carbon monoxide problems, damage to items and structures, and so on which is why it's a very bad idea.

    In addition, however, in a multi-unit building, done improperly, it can also result in the bugs spreading to adjacent apartments.

    I would hope that landlords would not be so concerned with their own sense of self-reliance, irrational refusal to simply hire a qualified professional to perform a service (the equivalent of which we would never attempt ourselves if it were medical, i.e., if I need an appendectomy, I'm not going to read about it on the internet and then try to operate on myself after reading anatomy books), or general cheapness that they would be totally fine with risking everything discussed above *and also risk* pushing the bugs into other apartments, causing those tenants to suffer, because they're too cheap to just hire a pro in the first place.

    I sort of thought that landlords had a legal responsibility in some states not to encourage vermin to move into tenants' places. I certainly think that legal or not, they have an ethical obligation to try to avoid that.

    And I can see some landlords reading that process, trying it, spreading the infestation, and thinking to themselves that it's not a big deal since they can cheaply treat other tenants' places too--all for one low, low price.

    (And I the only one hearing the same rhetorical tone and moves that generally go with selling used cars here?)

    For each additional apartment that could then need treating, the chances of fire, damage, carbon monoxide, failure of treatment, and so on are all brought to bear again, which is just another reason that the original poster's suggestion is a really bad idea.

    (Also, has the original poster established credentials to prove he or she is really a landlord? We have no way to know with a single post that the OP isn't really someone who sells the items he or she is talking up here, do we?)

    I had thermal remediation done on my apartment by professionals. I saw firsthand how complicated the set up is. I've heard several professionals, including those who treated my home, repeatedly explain that thermal is as much art as science--and that not getting that blend of art and science correct could mean not only not getting rid of the bugs, but creating very hazardous situations, or just spreading the infestation.

    Remember, dear readers with common sense, that the trick to using thermal without seeing bugs spread is that that temps have to be raised at a very particular rate. The idea is that when the structure begins getting warm, the bugs will flee into cooler spots. Eventually, even those cooler spots will start to get warm. Then the bugs will try to flee those cooler spots but will have nowhere cool to go. At that point, they jump from the frying pan into the fire. And then they die, and bed bug sufferers rejoice.

    It takes a certain amount of experience and the right tools to raise the temp at that specific speed. That's why even though I live very close to a desert where air temps routinely reach 120 degrees F during the day, I wouldn't rely on parking my car in the hot sun in Palm Springs or Las Vegas to get rid of bugs in my car. The car in the hot sun method doesn't allow for the kind of fine control of the rate of temperature increase that you need to have to be assured that your method of elimination will both work and avoid simply spreading the infestation as the bugs flee high temps. Since with bed bugs, failure to eliminate even a single pregnant female or a pair of opposite gender bugs means that you still have an infestation that will keep going, I can only advise people to use methods that can be 100% successful.

    and the method proposed by the original poster doesn't fall into that category.

  8. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 12:11:15
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    > has the original poster established credentials to prove he or she is really a landlord?

    No one in his right mind would own up to bring a LL if s/he wasn't.

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 12:57:27
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    I have had a favorable response from the Darwin awards on this one.

    I am sincerely grateful and amazed that you survived the experiment to be able to post about it.

    Please don't try this at home, especially with naked flames and flammable gases.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    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. Adele

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 13:42:38
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    OMG!!!!

    you better be thanking whatever guardian angels you have protecting you that something drastic did not go wrong

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 18:05:28
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    This is a really, really bad idea. Dangerous, probably illegal, and you have no evidence it even worked.

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

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 4 2009 20:09:31
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    @KillerQueen: Thanks . . I think?

    @Cilecto: that was the bathroom farthest away from the two rooms where there were any bugs. I have no reason to suspect BB in that room but could re-treat if any appear. I mentioned that in the voiceover if you had your volume up. The walls in the affected rooms were heated with a combination of the propane radiant units and electric radiant heaters - not close or hot enough to cause a fire, no surface got over 200 degrees. The lower unit was heated as well. No one was in the building while this was done. Not sure about heat affecting chemicals, but the place got no hotter than, say, a non-air-conditioned place could get in Vegas or Arizona in the summer.

    I would NEVER have the propane tanks inside. I would not feel comfortable with them in an ambient temperature over 120 degrees, depending on where you get your propane data. I would also worry about leaks inside.

    I am disclosing to future tenants the professional method applied first, and the heat treatment I just did as extra insurance.

    @btaggart, these forced air heaters are the same as used in building construction to dry out taped drywall, and in workshops. I found no issues at the temperatures I saw inside, and was constantly monitoring.

    @DougSummers, your commentary makes the most sense and perhaps I should go back and edit the video or remove it entirely. I certainly don't want someone going off and trying this without EXTENSIVE research. I do not think the temperatures achieved are much different than using electricity in a hot desert climate, but I do see your point.

    @buggyinsocal, that's why I heated the entire house and no one occupied the house while this was all going on.

    I don't have time at this point to respond to everyone, but I do fear that with these BB epidemics everywhere, landlords will have to raise rents on everyone unless they can do their own treatments. Pest Control rakes it in, landlords break even, renters lose. It seems that everyone has voted that that's the way it should be.

  13. heattreatmentlandlord

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 0:16:30
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    Well, I removed the video from YouTube, because I don't want someone trying it who thinks they know enough about propane heaters and home construction and bed bug behavior to do it safely and thoroughly. I do fear that landlords will have to raise rents, or simply sell their homes, perhaps at a loss, because renting them is no longer feasible as a business in the Age of Bedbugs. The average landlord should of course use a professional and factor in the cost of occasional bed bug treatment into the rent so that when a new tenant comes in and the landlord has $1-$2k to spend on heat treatment that they have cash reserves to do so.

    I would not have done this if I hadn't done extensive research on heat treatment, bed bug behavior, and propane safety. That's why I made sure to heat the walls thoroughly and do the entire process for at least 8 hours so the air would bake the walls, the walls would bake the wall voids, and the propane radiant and electric radiant heaters would also bake the walls, which would then in turn bake the wall voids. The heat rising from the lower unit to the upper unit (this is a 2-unit single family home) should have done the floors as well as the air baking it from above.

    I am absolutely certain there are "professionals" out there (present company excluded of course - the pest control professionals here seem to have a solid grasp of BB behavior and whole-house heat treatment) that would have not done as thorough of a job as I did. Remember, the Titanic was built by professionals. The Ark was built by amateurs. While the job I did was not anywhere near the job the better or best professionals would have done, it was certainly better than the worst. And the unit had already been treated by a professional using cryo and chemicals inside the walls - this was just extra insurance.

    I read the studies, watched the heat treatment videos online, and tried to replicate the heat treatment process on my own. I monitored the process and didn't burn my house down. I highly suspect that I was not lucky in this regard, but instead took proper precautions - in any case, luck favors the prepared mind.

    I don't recommend anyone try this at home, of course, and have removed the video. You guys are right.

  14. flabergasted

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 0:42:40
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    KillerQueen should have had my handle on this one, cilecto, btaggart, DougSummersMS. bed-bugscouk (yes a Darwinis in order), Nobugsonme are trying to save lives here. As for my informtion on propane data I work in construction and I have the safety protocols for the use of this stuff all over the world pasted in the I pasted in a saftey regulatory sheet from a company in the State of Califonia.

    PLEASE PLEASE listen to these people and don't edit the video pull it before someone gets seriously hurt, they level a building and or someone gets killed.

    [i][b]1. PRODUCT AND COMPANY IDENTIFICATION
    EMERGENCY OVERVIEW
    24 Hour Emergency Telephone Numbers:
    Spill, Leak, Fire or Accident
    Call CHEMTREC
    North America: (800)424-9300
    Others: (703)527-3887 (collect)
    Ph y s i c a l H a z a r d s / P r e c a u t i o n a r y M e a s u r e s : Flammable gas. Can cause flash fire. Liquefied petroleum gas.
    Contents under pressure. Keep away from heat, sparks, flames, static electricity or other sources of ignition. Do
    not enter storage areas or confined space unless adequately ventilated.
    California Poison Control System: (800) 356-3129
    MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET
    Propane
    (MSDS: 169570)
    Health Hazards/Precautionary Measures:
    NFPA Hazard Class: HMIS Hazard Class
    Physical form: Gas or Liquid (Under pressure)
    Odor: Odorless (or skunk, rotten egg, dead animal, or garlic if odorant added)
    Appearance: Colorless
    Health: 3 (High) Health: 3 (High)
    Flammability:4 (Extreme) Flammability: 4 (Extreme)
    Product Name: Propane
    Product Code: Multiple
    Sap Code: Multiple
    Synonyms: HD5 Propane
    LP-Gas
    Liquefied Petroleum Gas
    Odorized Propane
    Propane (Stenched)
    Propane (Unstenched)
    Propane Commercial
    Propane Motor Fuel
    Propane for Process
    Unodorized Propane
    Intended Use: Fuel
    Chemical Family: Liquefied petroleum gas
    Responsible Party: ConocoPhillips
    P.O. Box 2197
    Houston, TX
    77252
    For Additional MSDSs 800-762-0942
    Technical Information: 918-661-9476
    The intended use of this product is indicated above. If any additional use is known, please contact us at the
    Technical Information number listed.
    Liquefied gas may cause eye and skin burns and frostbite. Gas may
    reduce oxygen available for breathing. Use ventilation adequate to keep exposure below recommended limits, if
    any. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing.
    Page 1 of 8
    2. COMPOSITION/INFORMATION ON INGREDIENTS
    3. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION
    Inh a l a t i o n ( B r e a t h i n g ) : Asphyxiant. High concentrations in confined spaces may limit oxygen
    available for breathing. See Signs and Symptoms.
    Ski n : Contact with the liquefied or pressurized gas may cause frostbite ("cold" burn). This material is a
    gas under normal atmospheric conditions. No harmful effects from skin absorption are expected.
    Eye : Contact with the liquefied or pressurized gas may cause momentary freezing followed by swelling and
    eye damage.
    Ing e s t i o n ( S w a l l o w i n g ) : This material is a gas under normal atmospheric conditions and
    ingestion is unlikely.
    Signs and Symptoms:
    Light hydrocarbon gases are simple asphyxiants and can cause anesthetic effects at high concentrations.
    Symptoms of overexposure, which are reversible if exposure is stopped, can include shortness of breath,
    drowsiness, headaches, confusion, decreased coordination, visual disturbances and vomiting. Continued
    exposure can lead to hypoxia (inadequate oxygen), cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin), numbness
    of the extremities, unconsciousness and death.
    Potential Health Effects:
    2500 ppm ACGIH TWA
    1000 ppm OSHA TWA
    2100 ppm NIOSH IDLH
    ACGIH
    Simple asphyxiant
    ACGIH
    Simple asphyxiant
    800 ppm ACGIH TWA
    0.5 ppm ACGIH TWA
    10 ppm OSHA CEIL
    Agency Type
    Propane
    Propylene
    Ethane
    Total Butanes
    Ethyl mercaptan
    CAS# 74-98-6
    CAS# 115-07-1
    CAS# 74-84-0
    CAS# 78-28-5: 106-97-8
    CAS# 75-08-1
    >65
    <35
    <6
    <5
    <0.1
    Note: State, local or other agencies or advisory groups may have established more stringent limits.
    Consult an industrial hygienist or similar professional, or your local agencies, for further information.
    1%=10,000 PPM.
    All components are listed on the TSCA inventory.
    HAZARDOUS COMPONENTS % WEIGHT EXPOSURE GUIDELINE
    Limits
    (MSDS: 169570)
    Reactivity: 0 (Least) Physical Hazard: 0 (Least)
    Page 2 of 8
    Ca n c e r : Inadequate data available to evaluate the cancer hazard of this material.
    Ta r g e t O r g a n s : Inadequate data available for this material.
    De v e l o p m e n t a l : Inadequate data available for this material.
    Ot h e r C o m m e n t s : High concentrations may reduce the amount of oxygen available for
    breathing, especially in confined spaces. Hypoxia (inadequate oxygen) during pregnancy may have adverse
    effects on the developing fetus. Exposure during pregnancy to high concentrations of carbon monoxide or
    carbon dioxide, which are produced during the combustion of hydrocarbon gases, can also cause harm to the
    developing fetus.
    This material contains mercaptans. Mercaptans are toxic gases with the smell of rotten cabbage. The
    smell disappears rapidly because of olfactory fatigue. Therefore, odor may not be a reliable indicator
    of exposure. Effects of overexposure include nausea, vomiting, irritation of the nose, throat and
    digestive tract, signs of nervous system depression (e.g., headache, drowsiness, dizziness, loss of
    coordination and fatigue), pulmonary edema, muscle weakness, convulsions, respiratory failure, coma and
    death.
    Pre-Existing Medical Conditions:
    Exposure to high concentrations of this material may increase the sensitivity of the heart to certain
    drugs. Persons with pre-existing heart disorders may be more susceptible to this effect (see Section 4 -
    Note to Physicians).
    4. FIRST AID MEASURES
    Eye: For contact with the liquefied gas, hold eyelids apart and gently flush the affected eye(s) with
    lukewarm water. Seek immediate medical attention.
    Skin: Treat burned or frostbitten skin by flushing or immersing the affected area(s) in lukewarm water.
    After sensation has returned to the frostbitten skin, keep skin warm, dry, and clean. If
    blistering occurs, apply a sterile dressing. Seek immediate medical attention.
    Inhalat i o n ( B r e a t h i n g ) : If respiratory symptoms develop, move victim away from source of exposure and into
    fresh air. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention. If victim is not breathing, clear airway and immediately
    begin artificial respiration. If breathing difficulties develop, oxygen should be administered by qualified
    personnel. Seek immediate medical attention.
    Ingesti o n ( S w a l l o w i n g ) : This material is a gas under normal atmospheric conditions and ingestion is unlikely.
    Note To P h y s i c i a n s : Epinephrine and other sympathomimetic drugs may initiate cardiac
    arrhythmias in persons exposed to high concentrations of hydrocarbon solvents (e.g., in enclosed
    spaces or with deliberate abuse). The use of other drugs with less arrhythmogenic potential should
    be considered. If sympathomimetic drugs are administered, observe for the development of cardiac
    arrhythmias.
    5. FIRE FIGHTING MEASURES
    LEL%: 2.1 / UEL%: 9.5
    Autoignition Temperature: 842°F/432°C
    Flammable Properties: Flash Point: -156°F/-104°C
    OSHA F l a m m a b i li t y C la s s : Flammable Gas
    (MSDS: 169570)
    U n u s u a l F i r e & E x p l o s i o n H a z a r d s : This material is flammable and can be ignited by heat, sparks, flames, or
    other sources of ignition (e.g., static electricity, pilot lights, or mechanical/electrical equipment, and electronic
    devices such as cell phones, computers, calculators, and pagers which have not been certified as intrinsically
    Page 3 of 8
    Fi r e F i g h t i n g I n s t r u c t i o n s : For fires beyond the incipient stage, emergency responders in the immediate hazard
    area should wear bunker gear. When the potential chemical hazard is unknown, in enclosed or confined spaces, or
    when explicitly required by DOT, a self contained breathing apparatus should be worn. In addition, wear other
    appropriate protective equipment as conditions warrant (see Section 8).
    Isolate immediate hazard area, keep unauthorized personnel out. Stop spill/release if it can be done with minimal
    risk. If this cannot be done, allow fire to burn. Move undamaged containers from immediate hazard area if it can be
    done with minimal risk.
    Stay away from ends of container. Water spray may be useful in minimizing or dispersing vapors and to protect
    personnel. Cool equipment exposed to fire with water, if it can be done with minimal risk.
    6. ACCIDENTAL RELEASE MEASURES
    Flammable. Keep all sources of ignition and hot metal surfaces away from spill/release. The use of
    explosion-proof equipment is recommended.
    Stay upwind and away from spill/release. Notify persons down wind of the spill/release, isolate immediate hazard
    area and keep unauthorized personnel out. Stop spill/release if it can be done with minimal risk. Wear
    appropriate protective equipment including respiratory protection as conditions warrant (see Section 8).
    Notify fire authorities and appropriate federal, state, and local agencies. Water spray may be useful in
    minimizing or dispersing vapors (see Section 5). If spill of any amount is made into or upon navigable waters, the
    contiguous zone, or adjoining shorelines, notify the National Response Center (phone number 800-424-8802).
    7. HANDLING AND STORAGE
    Handling:
    Storage:
    Contents under pressure. The use of explosion-proof equipment is recommended and may be
    required (see appropriate fire codes). Refer to NFPA-704 and/or API RP 2003 for specific bonding/grounding
    requirements.
    Do not enter confined spaces such as tanks or pits without following proper entry procedures such as ASTM
    D-4276 and 29CFR 1910.146. The use of appropriate respiratory protection is advised when concentrations
    exceed any established exposure limits (see Sections 2 and 8).
    Use good personal hygiene practices.
    "Empty" containers retain residue and may be dangerous. Do not pressurize, cut, weld, braze, solder, drill,
    grind, or expose such containers to heat, flame, sparks, or other sources of ignition. They may explode and
    cause injury or death. Containers should be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner and in accordance
    with governmental regulations.
    Before working on or in tanks which contain or have contained this material, refer to OSHA regulations, ANSI
    Z49.1 and other references pertaining to cleaning, repairing, welding, or other contemplated operations.
    Keep container(s) tightly closed. Use and store this material in cool, dry, well-ventilated
    areas away from heat, direct sunlight, hot metal surfaces, and all sources of ignition. Post area "No
    Smoking or Open Flame." Store only in approved containers. Keep away from any incompatible material (see
    Section 10). Protect container(s) against physical damage. Outdoor or detached storage is preferred.
    (MSDS: 169570)
    E x t i n g u i s h i n g M e d i a : Dry chemical or carbon dioxide is recommended. Carbon dioxide can displace oxygen. Use
    caution when applying carbon dioxide in confined spaces.
    safe). Contents under pressure. Vapors may travel considerable distances to a source of ignition where they can
    ignite, flash back, or explode. May create vapor/air explosion hazard indoors, in confined spaces, outdoors, or in
    sewers. Vapors are heavier than air and can accumulate in low areas. If container is not properly cooled, it can
    rupture in the heat of a fire. Closed containers exposed to extreme heat can rupture due to pressure buildup.
    Page 4 of 8
    Engineering controls:
    Respiratory:
    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
    If current ventilation practices are not adequate to maintain airborne concentrations below
    the established exposure limits (see Section 2), additional engineering controls may be required. Where explosive
    mixtures may be present, electrical systems safe for such locations must be used (see appropriate electrical
    codes).
    Wear a positive pressure air supplied respirator in situations where there may
    be potential for airborne exposure above exposure limits (see Section 2). If exposure
    concentration is unknown or if conditions immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH)
    exist, use a NIOSH approved self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or equivalent
    operated in a pressure demand or other positive pressure mode. A respiratory protection
    program that meets OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.134 and ANSI Z88.2 requirements must be followed
    whenever workplace conditions warrant a respirator's use.
    Skin:
    Eye/Face:
    Other Protective Equipment:
    The use of thermally resistant gloves is recommended.
    Approved eye protection to safeguard against potential eye contact, irritation, or
    injury is recommended. Depending on conditions of use, a face shield may be necessary.
    A source of clean water should be available in the work
    area for flushing eyes and skin. Impervious clothing should be worn as needed.
    Suggestions for the use of specific protective materials are based on readily available published
    data. Users should check with specific manufacturers to confirm the performance of their products.
    9. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
    10. STABILITY AND REACTIVITY
    Stability:
    Conditions To Avoid:
    Hazardous Decomposition Products:
    Hazardous Polymerization:
    Avoid all possible sources of ignition (see Sections 5 and 7).
    Stable under normal ambient and anticipated storage and handling conditions of temperature and
    pressure. Flammable gas.
    Combustion can yield carbon dioxide and carbon
    monoxide.
    Will not occur.
    Appearance: Colorless
    Physical State: Gas or Liquid (Under pressure)
    Odor: Odorless (or skunk, rotten egg, dead animal, or garlic if odorant added)
    Vapor Pressure (mm Hg): 108-124 psia@ 70°F (221°C)
    Vapor Density: 1.50
    Boiling Point/Range: -44°F / -42°C
    Freezing/Melting Point: -309.46°F
    Freezing/Melting Point: -189.7°C
    Solubility in Water: Negligible
    Specific Gravity: 0.508-0.510 @60/60°F (15.6/15.6°C)
    Evaporation Rate (nBuAc=1): >1
    Flash Point: -156°F / -104°C
    Flamma b l e / E x p l o s i v e L i m i t s ( % ) : LEL: 2.1 / UEL: 9.5
    Note: Unless otherwise stated, values are determined at 20°C (68°F) and 760 mm Hg (1 atm).
    8. EXPOSURE CONTROLS/PERSONAL PROTECTION
    (MSDS: 169570)
    M a t e r i a l s t o A v o i d ( I n c o m p a t i b l e M a t e r i a l s ) : Avoid contact with strong oxidizing
    agents.
    Page 5 of 8
    11. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION
    13. DISPOSAL CONSIDERATIONS
    This material, if discarded as produced, would be a RCRA "characteristic" hazardous waste due to the
    characteristic(s) of ignitability (D001). If the spilled or released material impacts soil, water, or other
    media, characteristic testing of the contaminated materials may be required prior to their disposal. Further,
    this material, once it becomes a waste, is subject to the land disposal restrictions in 40 CFR 268.40 and may
    require treatment prior to disposal to meet specific standards. Consult state and local regulations to
    determine whether they are more stringent than the federal requirements.
    Container contents should be completely used and containers should be emptied prior to discard. Container
    rinsate could be considered a RCRA hazardous waste and must be disposed of with care and in full compliance
    with federal, state and local regulations. Larger empty containers, such as drums, should be returned to the
    distributor or to a drum reconditioner. To assure proper disposal of smaller empty containers, consult with
    state and local regulations and disposal authorities.
    14. TRANSPORT INFORMATION
    Chronic Data:
    No definitive information available on carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, target organ, or developmental toxicity.
    Acute Data:
    Ethyl Mercaptan:
    Dermal LD50=No data available
    LC50>991 ppm (4-hr., Rat)
    Oral LD50=No data available
    Isobutane: Dermal LD50 = No data available
    LC50 = 13,023 ppm (4-hr., Rat)
    Oral LD50 = No data available
    n-Butane:
    Dermal LD50 = No data available
    LC50>10,325 ppm (4-hr., Rat)
    Oral = No data available
    Propane:
    Dermal LD50=No data available
    LC50>12,190 ppm (4-hr., Rat)
    Oral LD50=No data available
    Propylene:
    Dermal LD50=No data available
    LC50>7,2000 ppm (4-hr., Rat)
    Oral LD50=No data available
    12. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION
    (MSDS: 169570)
    DOT Shipping Description:
    There is no information available on the ecotoxicological effects of petroleum gases. Because of
    their high volatility, they are unlikely to cause ground or water pollution. Petroleum gases
    released into the environment will rapidly disperse into the atmosphere and undergo photochemical
    degradation.
    Petroleum gases, liquefied,2.1,UN1075
    Page 6 of 8
    Component CAS Number Weight %
    Propylene 115-07-1 <35
    Mercaptans Various <0.1
    SARA 313 and 40 CFR 372:
    This material contains the following chemicals subject to the reporting requirements of SARA 313 and 40
    CFR 372:
    Warning: This material contains the following chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer,
    birth defects or other reproductive harm, and are subject to the requirements of California Proposition 65 (CA Health
    & Safety Code Section 25249.5):
    --None Known--
    EPA SARA 311/312 (Title III Hazard Categories):
    15. REGULATORY INFORMATION
    California Proposition 65:
    Carcinogen Identification:
    (MSDS: 169570)
    Bulk Package Placard/Marking:
    Non-Bulk Package Marking:
    Packaging References
    Note:
    Non-Bulk Package Label: Flammable gas
    49 CFR 173.306, 173.304, 173.314, 173.315
    Flammable Gas/1075
    Hazardous Substance/RQ None
    This material has not been identified as a carcinogen by NTP, IARC, or OSHA.
    Acute Health: Yes
    Chronic Health: No
    Fire Hazard: Yes
    Pressure Hazard: Yes
    Reactive Hazard: No
    Emergency Response Guide: 115
    IMDG:
    Shipping Description: Petroleum gases, liquefied, 2.1, UN1075
    Non-Bulk Package Marking: Petroleum gases, liquefied, UN1075
    Labels: Flammable gas
    Placards/Marking (Bulk): Flammable gas/1075
    Packaging - Non-Bulk: P200
    EmS#: F-D, S-U
    IATA:
    Proper Shipping Name: Petroleum gases, liquefied
    Hazard Class/Division: 2.1
    Un/ID#: UN1075
    Packing Group: None
    Subsidiary Risk: None
    Non-Bulk Package Marking: Petroleum gases, liquefied, UN1075
    Labels: Flammable gas
    LTD. QTY. Passenger Cargo Aircraft
    Aircraft Only
    Packing Instruction #: - Forbidden 200
    Max. Net Qty. Per Package: - - 150 kg
    Petroleum gases, liquefied, UN1075
    Page 7 of 8
    16. OTHER INFORMATION
    Disclaimer of Expressed and Implied Warranties:
    The information presented in this Material Safety Data Sheet is based on data believed to be accurate as of the date this Material Safety Data
    Sheet was prepared. HOWEVER, NO WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY OTHER
    WARRANTY IS EXPRESSED OR IS TO BE IMPLIED REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION
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    use or from any failure to adhere to recommended practices. The information provided above, and the product, are furnished on the condition
    that the person receiving them shall make their own determination as to the suitability of the product for their particular purpose and on the
    condition that they assume the risk of their use. In addition, no authorization is given nor implied to practice any patented invention without a
    license.
    Issue Date: 04/17/03
    Previous Issue Date: 06/21/02
    Product Code: Multiple
    Revised Sections: 1, 2, 5, 14, 16
    Previous Product Code: Multiple
    MSDS Number: 169570
    EPA (CERCLA) Reportable Quantity:
    --None--
    Canada - Domestic Substances List:
    WHMIS Class:
    (MSDS: 169570)
    Listed
    Status: Final
    A-Compressed Gas
    B1-Flammable Gas
    This product has been classified in accordance with the hazard criteria of the Controlled Products Regulations
    (CPR) and the MSDS contains all the information required by the CPR.
    Page 8 of 8

  15. heattreatmentlandlord

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 1:07:35
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    flabergasted, the video has been pulled out of concern for the uninitiated or impulsive.

    I would also have to ask, though, what sort of heat treatment certifications exist for licensed Pest Control agencies in the state of California? The US in general? What sort of Thermal Remediation Certification is required and what should one look for when looking for a PCO?

    I have never seen propane grills with tanks secured by chains outdoors, and have dined outdoors next to propane-fired heat lamps. Should I be concerned?

  16. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 11:07:31
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    HeatTreatment LL

    I appreciate that you put a lot of effort into understanding the issues, yet there were still flaws in your plan. I don't say this to criticize you, but rather to point out that one must be competent in multiple disciplines to pull this kind of project off safely. Even well trained pros struggle with safety issues at times.

    I don't know the rating on your power supply, but I strongly suspect that you overloaded the electrical panel. It is very hard to get enough power from a standard power supply panel due to the amount of amperage that is needed to produce the required BTUs to heat the work area sufficiently.

    The NYC Fire Dept won't allow anyone to use propane for thermal treatment in the city regardless of their qualifications. I suspect that California fire codes have similar restrictions.

    I applaud your decision to pull the video off YouTube. My main concern was that others might experience serious problems trying to follow your blueprint.

    It is clear that you have good intentions with an interest in finding a cost effective solution for providing thermal treatment for others in your position.

    Your goal is the same as the UF researchers that tried to use off the shelf equipment to perform an improvised chamber treatment that used the existing power supply. The problem is that using non-commercial grade heaters is inherently dangerous.

    There are some private groups that provide most of the training for thermal providers. I don't think any state has a specific license for PCOs that perform thermal, yet.

    Thermal Remediation and ThermaPure are the primary groups that provide training for the pest control industry.

    They use some patented technology... You can learn a lot about their methodology, if you read their patent applications... which are public information.

    ServiceMaster has registered some patents on heat treatment as well.

    I want to thank you for providing the video... I suspect that there are many others who decide to perform self treatment, but don't post a video that can be criticized... You have stimulated some discussion.

    I would love to see a safe DIY thermal treatment system... but there are so many pitfalls that I do not see how it can be done without extensive training.

  17. heattreatmentlandlord

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 12:37:27
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    Doug,
    Thanks, much appreciated, and in hindsight perhaps it wasn't the most responsible thing to do to show the video to the average masses of YouTube. Considering how much "Jackass" type behavior there is on there, it's best that I took it down.
    There wasn't much heat being done by electricity - the vast bulk of the BTUs were from the 3 forced air heaters and the 2 radiant heaters to heat the walls. But I see your point - even with no other electricity being used in the house, I probably wouldn't use more than 2, at the most, 3, 1500w heaters on one electrical panel.
    The forced air heaters do have a warning "FOR INDOOR USE ONLY" but I understand that they intend them for use in construction areas or garages. Even in these situations, I am wary of propane canisters. NEVER store propane canisters in your basement - leaks can lead to your hot water heater igniting the leak (propane is heavier than air) and a serious basement fire or worse. The warnings in the manual state not to store or use propane canisters over 100 degrees fahrenheit. Previously, I had read 120 degrees, but in any case the propane canisters were outside where temperature and leaks were safely controlled. I would also never store propane canisters in a garage - leaks could be ignited by auto exhaust or electrical sparks, or sparks from power tools. Propane tanks cool as they empty, but that is not safe to rely on for temperature control.
    Some of the videos I have seen are not as thorough as my treatment - for example, they heat the air for 8 hours but pay no attention to specific radiant heat directed at the walls. I understand the concept of the air baking the walls, but feel safer when a moderate level of radiant heat is directed at the walls. Not too close or too hot, of course, and the heat was moved from time to time.
    There is a high temperature shutoff on the propane fired units, so unless there was a malfunction in that, it seemed safe at the temps I was using. Visually, the fuel seemed to burn safely at all temps. All units had a tip-over sensor.
    As for the NYC guidelines, I wonder if they allow forced air heaters in construction work and what certification or training workers need in order to use these heaters. Granted, of course, they are not aiming for 120 degree + heat, but leaks can occur, power tools, etc.
    It's sad that NYC doesn't allow propane - not even with big heaters set up outside with ducting? Does everyone have to use those big 240v electric units inside with a generator outside? I wonder if they developed a certification process for propane thermal, would treatment costs and the bed bug problem go down, and use of hazardous chemicals go down?

  18. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 13:37:10
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    Heat Treatment LL

    I was adding 60- 80 amps for the oven and HVAC forced air system which is usually located on the same panel.

    NYC FD greatly prefers fuel oil and electricity as power sources for thermal treatment according to NYC PCOs that I have spoken to about the subject... Although I am sure that propane is used for other applications in the city.

    Typically fans are used to direct heated air through the work area like a convection oven to heat the walls.

    Every job is different... People aren't kidding when they describe the process as part art form and part science.

    I can see that you have numerous safety considerations in mind.

    That is the problem in a sense... even an intelligent landlord that does his homework can easily overlook a critical safety consideration and inadvertently create serious injury or property loss.

    It is much like appling chemicals... it looks easy, but a simple mistake can create a disaster.

    According to Dr. Potter, the US government published a do it yourself guide for homeowners that wished to utilize cyanide fumigation to eradicate bed bugs during the 1920's. While it turns out that it was effective for killing bed bugs, it was responsible for dozens of deaths. I'm not trying to make a direct comparison obviuosly... just a historical perspective.

    I don't know how we can ensure the personal safety of people that engage in self treatment, but at the same time, we have to recognize and provide for the fact that "Get a Professional" simply won't work for everyone.

    If we are not going to provide socialized pest control for people that can't afford a PCO... we need to work harder on safety education for those people that choose the DIY path.

  19. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 5 2009 13:43:43
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    Doug Summers, the voice of reason.

  20. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 9:18:59
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    > I don't have time at this point to respond to everyone, but I do fear that with these BB epidemics everywhere, landlords will have to raise rents on everyone unless they can do their own treatments. Pest Control rakes it in, landlords break even, renters lose. It seems that everyone has voted that that's the way it should be.

    The reintroduction of BB into 21st century urban life is and will be disruptive, to say the least. Note that BB were widespread before 1950 and landlords seemed to do OK. Until safe, effective, affordable solutions are available (and supply meets demand), we are in for a world of hurt. All that said, unless fine carefully (and not to say that all thermal providers know exactly what they're doing) I'm concerned that your approach will not be safe, effective or affordable. The acid tests are if your next tenants will have BB and how your insurance company would react. It is far better to hash this out here. It's scary what BB solutions people are peddling unmoderated on YouTube. Best of luck.

  21. bitten123

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 14:28:20
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    I really can appreciate that you put tons of effort into study before trying this. That said, wow, I'm just very thankful you are alive. I can say that my dh would have done this type of thing if I would have let him, he seriously wanted too. He is quite intelligent and that that somehow that would have equipped him to do it himself (he was oh so wrong). All I could think of is everything in flames, our bodies included in the flames... Total no go on my part to bring in propane heaters. That idea was squelched by me.

    I'm hopeful it worked for you, but I hope others don't try it. Way to risky, and life is way to precious!

  22. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 6 2009 15:22:51
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    HeattreatmentLL,

    I also want to thank you for pulling the video. Unfortunately, yes -- even if you did this safely, others will try and fail. We see this often.

  23. desperatehomeowner

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 16:47:11
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    OBVIOUSLY none of you live in a nice, clean and free of clutter home with your children and/or have spent up to 4000.00 on trying to rid yourself, your home and your family of bed bugs and/or live in the great state of Alabama where there is not one company licensed to perform heat treatments on your home and/or can not borrow anymore money to do anything else to help the situation.
    SO...of course, I will try this because I have tried EVERYTHING else and I have had no success. I am now a year older, a good bit less money and a little in debt and STILL have bites on my body!!!
    I am one step away from gasoline and a match so I feel certain this method is safer than the previously mentioned one!!!!!

    Jeeeez...

    Unless one of you "professionals" want to come to my home and help a single mom out that is bleeding from bed bug bites and bleeding financially from trying to eradicate them from my home then...please....save your advice for someone less desperate than me.

    So...heartreatmentlandlord...I may be the only grateful person for your post but I am very grateful! I do not hold you responsible for the outcome of course!!! I am a grown woman.

  24. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 18:50:56
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    desperatehomeowner - 1 hour ago  » 
    OBVIOUSLY none of you live in a nice, clean and free of clutter home with your children and/or have spent up to 4000.00 on trying to rid yourself, your home and your family of bed bugs and/or live in the great state of Alabama where there is not one company licensed to perform heat treatments on your home and/or can not borrow anymore money to do anything else to help the situation.

    As for no one offering heat treatment in Alabama, there are two licensed providers listed here as doing thermal remediation in Alabama, using Temp-Air technology.

    I am not sure if there are any using ThermaPure technology but you can find out here.

    I understand the financial strain of paying for heat treatment, and that it may not be an option for that reason.

    However, desperatehomeowner, you need to choose a pest control method which will be safe and effective and not burn your home down or harm people.

    You may not realize how many people have burned their homes down (and other peoples' homes, for that matter) trying to treat for bed bugs.

    Using these methods is potentially very dangerous to property and people.

    If you can, I would recommend getting someone to treat your home, whether it's with heat, vikane gas, or traditional methods.

    If you must do your own treatment, look into steam and DE, which can be effective if used correctly and safely. Our FAQ on steam and FAQ on DE are a first step.

    I can totally understand your frustration with having bed bugs, and your desperation to get rid of them, but please understand that those of us who are concerned about these methods have your best interest at heart.

    I am not a professional, but I have heard a lot of stories about people damaging their homes and even harming people in attempts to get rid of bed bugs, and I don't think that's what you want to do.

  25. desperatehomeowner

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 19:34:17
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    Nobugsonme, Thank you for your concern and your suggestions. All three of those companies were able to work in Alabama. However, they are out of state and Alabama has passed new laws that bind these companies from working here any longer. I have spoken with all three owners.

    I have a steamer that costs several hundred dollars and I have used it many times for temporary relief. I have hired a company to come and steam on 3 separate occasions.

    I do not have an infestations because I have stayed on top of all the things that I can do. I do not see them and never have. Canines have detected them in 2 places in my home...the 2 places that I continue to get bites. I will be fine for a month or so and then...they are back!!!

    I can not take this anymore.

    I thank you for your input and your concern. I have to do something though and I am out of options.

    Thanks,

    desperatehomeowner

  26. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Mar 6 2011 13:41:39
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    People. Please do not attempt to follow Step In Time's recommendations. They are misinformed and dangerous.

    Step.
    Please define "don't do well" in low humidity.
    Without prospect of food (people around), BB have little reason to move roam around. How will they drag themselves over the DE?
    Did you just recommend baking a house to 95c? How do you intend to achieve that using the home's own equipment. And have you considered what 95c can do to your home?

    > Please don't succumb to desperation to use a technique that could burn down your home or hurt someone!

    Amen.

  27. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Mar 6 2011 15:20:16
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    Desperatehomeowner,

    Actually, a lot of us here now live in places that were once clutter free and infested with bed bugs and despaired of ever getting rid of the bugs because at the time there weren't good PMPs to treat our places or because as renters we had no say over who was hired to treat our homes.

    I don't think we've had a lot of posters from Alabama before, so off the top of my head, I don't have a PCO to suggest. The nearest pro that I can think to suggest to you who might know someone in state with experience in treating bed bugs is Doug Summers. He's not a pest management professional himself; he trains canine detection dogs. If I recall correctly, he's in Florida (though I doubt it's the panhandle, so I do realize that he might not know the state all that well). If anyone on the boards is likely to know which companies in Alabama have folks experienced with bed bugs, he's the guy I'd suggest you send a private message to.

    Additionally, if there's a strong entomology program at Bama or Auburn, if you haven't already looked to see if any of them are doing research on bed bugs, that might be the place to go. Sometimes the local university's entomology program will do bug identification, which may mean that they know the best professionals in state. It's been a long time since I lived down that way, and I don't do bio, so I don't know if either of those schools has an entomology division, but they are big enough schools that if you haven't yet checked there, I might. The bio departments' webpages will have info on the research interests of the faculty.

    Many of us on the boards are laypeople who've had our own run ins with bed bugs and want to help others from having spent thousands of dollars on treatments (as we've done ourselves.)

    Over time, what I've personally seen is that the most effective way to make sure the bed bugs are gone is to find a pest management professional who knows bed bugs and have that person treat from the start.

    You said that in your case, dogs alerted to two spots in the residence. Did the handler then confirm those alerts by looking for visual confirmation? We've had a lot of reports of people using detection dog/handler teams that didn't confirm hits with visual inspection. Such alerts may be false positives, and they have caused people grief.

    Did you ever find bugs or cast skins that were identified by a PMP or an entomologist who knew his or her stuff as being bed bugs? I want to be clear; I am not suggesting that this is all in your head or that you didn't have bed bugs. Sadly, dealing with bed bugs is a lot like a diagnosis of exclusion because they can be so hard to detect. As a result, dealing with them is a lot about ruling out one possibility at a time. I'm asking that question because just as it's possible that you do still have bed bugs that aren't being treated effectively, it's also possible that you have another pest that is often mistaken for bed bugs. Today's integrated pest management is such that the chemicals and techniques used for one pest won't work on another pest. So, for example, if you had bed bugs and carpet beetles, and you treated for bed bugs and got rid of them, you might still have carpet beetles, and since the hair-like things on carpet beetle larvae can cause what looks exactly like a bug bite, you might still be treating for bed bugs with stuff that won't work on carpet beetles.

    It's also possible to be bitten in places that are not the home. My one and only bed bug scare post-treatment was likely being bitten by bed bugs in a movie theater.

    I know that when you're frustrated, desperate, sleep deprived, and worried about protecting your kids, someone like me asking all those questions (some of which you may well have answered a million times before) is the second most rage-inducing thing in the world (right behind continuing to spend money to fight bed bugs), but you do really sound like you're looking for help, and I suspect people here would be more than happy to do what we can to help, but we can't help without knowing more details of the particular case.

    In the time I've been on the boards, I've seen several people have bed bugs and another pest, and then get treatment to get rid of the bed bugs but mistake skin responses from another pest or just skin responses (which are very common post bed bugs because bed bug bites seem to make some peoples' skin hyper-reactive) and continue to believe that they had bed bugs when they didn't. They've ended up spending a lot of money trying to eradicate a pest that was no longer there, and they've been miserable in the process--in ways that only bed bugs as a pest seem to make us.

    I'm not saying that's what's definitely happening in your case. I've also seen people get ineffective treatment and battle the bugs for a very long time before finally getting a PMP who knew what to do in to take care of the problem. That's often just as frustrating and just as costly.

    What I'm saying is that if you'd like help from people here on the boards, I suspect many of us would be happy to give it. None of us wants to see anyone else suffer from bed bugs a second longer.

    But figuring out what's going on in a particular case can be tricky when dealing with this pest in particular. Bed bugs are very good at hiding and very hard to treat effectively. Obviously, that's why people get desperate enough to try dangerous things. But effective treatment that doesn't risk burning your home down is possible. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd hate to see you try this and burn your home down--and have your insurance not cover it--when you haven't exhausted all other possibilities yet. Being rid of bed bugs but out of a home doesn't seem like a great solution, and it certainly costs a lot more than even the substantial outlay you've already put into the problem.

    Please don't try the "solution" listed above.

  28. desperateandbroke

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 8:54:40
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    Desperation can cause men to do seemingly crazy things. I was infected with the evil creatures for over a year before I finally decided to go through with self thermal remediation.

    Several things dissuaded me from having a PCO come in and do this for me. The biggest being the probability of reinfestation being likely.

    What I did was buy a 200,000btu portable propane convection heater and an 80,000 one for keeping the rooms hot after I got them up to 150 degrees. When I heated my basement, I actually turned off the gas to both my water heater and my furnace. Before I did the treatment, I made sure that all my mattresses had bedbug encasement's so they wouldn't be able to use those as a source of refuge.

    I don't have the money for repeated heat treatments by a PCO. I expect the war against bedbugs to be a never ending one. I expect the enemy to eventually work it's way back into my life. I will be prepared to fry them to death again and again.

  29. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 9:08:06
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    You really did this?!? That's crazy talk. And one you should not advocate. When people advocate things that are clearly dangerous to the general public, I think they should be held liable both criminally and civilly for their actions.

    In some jurisdictions, you might be. Take your own risks, but don't turn up online advocating it.

  30. desperateandbroke

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 11:30:16
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    What would you recommend? I don't see a lot of options. Bed bugs are out there. Sooner or later you are going to get them if you haven't already. Chances are you will get infected again after you clean up the first.

    I could afford one heat treatment, but thats about a years worth of savings for me. I couldn't do it the second time. What would you suggest? It's better than trying to cohabitate with them and possibly spreading them. I might wish them on my worse enemy, but I don't actually have any enemies.

  31. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 12:34:26
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    There are no silver bullets. For anyone. Rich or poor. You can Vikane your million dollar townhouse only to have them be reintroduced to you through work, neighbors, deliveries, schools. Then have to start from scratch again. Yes, the deeper the pockets the more that you can do or afford, but truthfully no one wants to drop this kind of money repeatedly. (One of the stories told to me was of someone in just that situation who chose to move and leave everything behind after close to a year of ineffective treatment. It was no less a financial hardship for that person than that solution was for me. They had more money, but their stuff was worth more. The situation was more similar than I imagined financially. )

    You're not alone in suffering from them. This is a radical and potentially dangerous solution. Consider if your neighbors started to employ it as well. The chances of a misapplication or a misuse of propane? Well, that could end up quite badly, especially if there are multiple large fume or fuel-filled tanks around.

    When you employ a solution out of desperation, you have to consider the effects of the solution. I moved. It was that or lose my job. It wasn't a fun choice. I didn't like the possiblity, really, a certainty, that the BBs would spread around my building. OTOH, I knew my resources were done, my health was compromised from misapplied pesticides and that I couldn't spend the time legally fighting my ex-landlord to get him to do what's right. That left my neighbors to make similar choices: stay and fight, or get out fast. It doesn't make me happy ethically, but it's not the same as using massive tanks of flammable materials to heat my home up either.

    The risk to lives and property are real. Not just to your own, but to your neighbors. Start a fire with that much fuel and I don't care how much space there is between houses, there's a very real risk of setting other homes on fire. Cause an explosion? Goodbye pipes for city water or hello, pollution in your well water. That's a pretty serious choice to make for other people. Yes, the bugs are annoying and psychologically damaging, but not sure it's worth that kind of risk. (Could you really afford to clean up that damage if you can't afford treatment?) I'm assuming you're in an area that a bit more country and there's more distance between houses, but if you're in a suburb, there are people around who could be injured if something goes wrong.

    Worse...there's no guarantee this treatment will work. You're not an expert at heat remediation, and they have failures. Why would you assume your skills are that much better?

  32. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 14:30:47
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    Added above:

    [Admin warning: structural heat (or thermal) treatment of a home is not a do it yourself project. People who have tried to do their own heat treatments for bed bugs have discovered they made the problem worse, and spread the bugs. Some have even burned their homes down and damaged others' property. Do not attempt DIY heat treatment. You can read some stories about this in threads tagged "DIY heat treatment."]

  33. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 16:10:41
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    I don't have the money for repeated heat treatments by a PCO.

    I don't know anyone on these boards who has needed repeated heat treatments done by a good PCO who did heat right the first time.

    We have heard of some people who reported having heat treatment done who reported failures, but as near as I can tell, those "heat" treatments were't structural heat treatments as we understand them. I suspect that there are shady PCOs out there marketing "heat" treatments that are not professionally done heating of the whole structure.

    There are limited numbers of cases of PCOs new to heat treating who don't have extensive experience who come upon a structure that presents particular challenges. But even in those cases, the PCOs I've most often heard from will retreat during the warranty period--esp. if they're new to the business.

    That "repeat treatment" problem can be avoided by careful pre-screening of the PCO hired for heat treatment.

    Part of what you're paying for when you pay for heat treatment is the expertise of the PCO. Good heat PCOs will tell you that effective heat treatment is as much art as science, so that experience is worth paying for.

    In addition, you're also paying for the bonding and insurance that PCOs carry in the event that something goes wrong. If you do it yourself, I can't imagine a homeowner's policy that would cover the damage caused by burning the home down which is an entirely too likely outcome of self-treatment involving heaters.

    In you rent, although I'm not a lawyer, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that trying to self- heat-treat property would leave you massively liable to lawsuits from your neighbors and/or landlord.

    I had bed bugs more than 3 years ago. I've educated myself (and continue to do so, hence why I'm still here on the boards, lo, these many years later.) Despite traveling frequently for work and staying in hotels around the US, I've not been reinfested. I'm not saying that it can't happen. But with proper education after the fact, passive monitoring, and with good review of the PCO to choose a highly experienced one in advance,--so long as you've rules out sources of reinfestation--there's no reason to believe that heat treatment from a good PCO should need to be a repeat experience.

    And there's certainly not enough doubt to push people into dangerous and likely illegal self-treatment as described above.

  34. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Oct 12 2011 16:17:06
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    Sooner or later you are going to get them if you haven't already.

    I don't actually think that's true. I do think in cities with denser levels of infestation, people are at higher risk of infestation.

    But I don't think bed bug infestations are inevitable.

    People who are well-educated can take a lot of steps that will drastically reduce the chances of becoming infested:

    *getting into the habit of monthly inspections of sleeping areas

    *practicing smart protocols for items that are exposed to high risk places. (For example, my suitcase almost never sits on a bed now.

    *inspecting hotel or hostel rooms while traveling

    *making the home less bed bug friendly by keeping the sleeping area simply, uncluttered, and easy to inspect and reducing clutter whenever possible

    *using proactive technologies like passive monitors and packtites for people who are in high risk situations (people who travel frequently, people who work in industries which mean frequent exposure to bed bugs, etc.)

    I realize that some of these are easier to accomplish for people with more money. Keeping a spare Packtite around the home is only an option above a certain income threshold. It's a lot easier to reduce clutter if you live in a home that is big enough for the number of people and the amount of stuff you have. (I fail the second of those criteria epically, btw, because I live in a big city.)

    But some of these like monthly inspection of the sleeping area and passive monitors are easily done and inexpensive.

    Cilecto found an old post of mine where I described the anxiety out bed bugs as treating them as if the are like "Tribbles with velcro." It's a particularly apt description. While bed bugs can be easily transferred, such easy transference is not as common or easy as we're likely to imagine in to be when we're in the throes of initial bed bug panic.

  35. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 19:09:42
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    [admin note: this is a response to a response which was posted on multiple threads and subsequently deleted from all but one.]

    This is an old thread... the last entry was 9 months ago.

    If you look at any of those outdoor propane heater closely... you will find warning stickers regarding CO gas... There is a reason for the warning stickers... It isn't a marketing ploy.

    If you do a little research.... I think you will find that CO from improper use of propane heaters kills people every year.

    I was a firefighter / paramedic who has declared patients dead due to CO poisoning.

    I have seen drunk drivers that managed to drive home without getting killed... hundreds of times... but that doesn't mean drunk driving is a safe practice.

    Your anecdotal evidence has no validity.


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