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Hypothetical question on BB behavior

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  1. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 25 2012 11:43:07
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    My friend (really this is about a friend) has a fairly large house. He told me today that he is having overnight guests tonight and they are taking a 12 hour bus ride to get here. As the only thing I can think about in the last month or so are bed bugs, all I kept thinking was you are a brave brave man!

    So, let's assume the guests have bed bugs (remember hypothetical). The guest rooms are located upstairs and the main living area, den, master bedroom are downstairs. So if the guests bring bbs, and then leave (assuming they don't carry them downstairs themselves) would (1) the bbs upstairs likely go dormant and wait for the next guest or (2) eventually start wandering around looking for a meal? I would guess it would depend on if they could detect co2 from downstairs? So, that's another question. . . what distances can bbs detect co2?

    Also, just one more unhypotehtical question: Posters mention over and over on posts that they undress outside or in the garage, etc. Again, can't the bbs detect co2 through the walls and just come inside from either outside or the garage? (Again what is their detection radius if anyone knows?) Thanks!

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 25 2012 15:37:08
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    Dear abs,

    Some of the decaffinated brands taste just as good !

    As we have enough to do in dealing with actual bed bug situations, let's not count our bed bugs before they hatch, OK ?

    However;

    > Bed bugs smell/detect CO2 through the walls? OK, I'm not really laughing right now, uh, I'm going with NO to possibly Eff No ! I strongly doubt that bed bugs that may be in a person's bedroom or hiding in their couch might possibly be drawn to a person changing their clothes in the garage. So, actually, Eff No !

    > BBs go dormant? They don't do that. They lie in wait for their host to return to the "nest" or more correctly bed in the case of humans.

    > BBs wandering? Yes, this is well known in recorded history of early man. Early nomadic tribes of bed bugs roamed the desert for forty days and forty nights. They were searching for their favorite hosts Ali Babba and his Forty Theives. History tells us that each bed bug bit one of the theives each of successive nights, hence the forty days/nights of roaming in the desert. And, this is how bed bugs learned to bite at night. Then, after the Germans bombed Peral Harbor, bed bugs changed their behavior to what we see now.

    > BB Host Seeking? (Actual answer.) Hungry bed bugs may become motivated to seek out a host and search for a host. How long they may remain hidden and wiating for a host vs. when they might begin to seek or quest for a host likely varies by individual bed bug.

    Hope this helps, have a great day and try not to worry about bed bugs we don't yet have ! paul b.

  3. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 25 2012 16:59:37
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    lmao, seriously! Thank you. I guess the hypothetical was to see how good they were, and at what distances, they could detect co2. So in multi unit dwellings it is usually a case of the original infestation getting too large and so some will "wander" looking for another host and not so much that they can detect the co2 in another apartment once they are in the walls and such? But they will follow you from one bedroom to another bedroom in a single family home (hense the advice if you find them, don't start sleeping elsewhere)?????? Thanks again, and no more hypotecticals!

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 25 2012 22:30:49
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    Paul said,

    > Bed bugs smell/detect CO2 through the walls? OK, I'm not really laughing right now, uh, I'm going with NO to possibly Eff No ! I strongly doubt that bed bugs that may be in a person's bedroom or hiding in their couch might possibly be drawn to a person changing their clothes in the garage. So, actually, Eff No !

    Hi Paul, I think you misunderstood.

    My understanding of AF's question, was something like: "people report getting undressed in the garage to avoid bringing bed bugs inside. But if there are bed bugs in the garage, won't they come into the home?"

    And yes, AF, you are correct that people "getting undressed in the garage" in and of itself is probably of limited use. Putting items removed from body into Packtite or dryer, much more helpful.

    That said, I agree with Paul that you shouldn't worry overly much about bed bugs coming from a particular source like a long-distance bus. Yes, bed bugs can happen, but you aren't going to be able to manage the possibilities.

    Better to focus on detection (monitoring using passive or pitfall monitors, for example), and if you feel things are high-risk (like public transport, movie theaters, etc.) and it makes you feel better, do something like Packtite or dry items on hot.

    It can help peace of mind and it can help if you are actually exposed. We all have to kind of choose how careful we're going to be. I do Packtite suitcases and all items taken on a trip or clothing worn in NYC cinemas. On the other hand, I don't come home and bake my clothing every day. However, if it seems manageable and manages your anxiety, then there's nothing wrong with it.

    Monitoring doesn't prevent bed bugs but we know that catching them early can make them not such a big deal.

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

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 7:18:23
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    Thanks NoBugs. I think my "question(s)" were two pronged. One was the radius of the bed bugs ability to "detect" co2 from a host. Why I want to know that I'm not sure except to see how they follow you to another room, which I gathered from reading here is pretty standard, so I just wondered how they detected you and at what distance. And I've also read some posts where people thought they got their bbs from an unattached neighbor that left furniture outside?????

    And, two, if they are either outside or in a garage won't they try to come inside and if, yes, they would have to be able to "detect" you or co2, wouldn't they?

    And I am still at the point where I come home and bake my clothes and shoes in the dryer and PackTite!

  6. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 7:39:03
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    Dear abs,

    Ooops, see I messed up !

    It seems that we adivse folks to set "active traps/monitors" within about ten feet of where they suspect bed bugs to be hiding. however, recently presented research indicated that five feet may be the range of CO2 detection/cue by bed bugs. This said, if we assume ten feet perhaps that's a more conservative approach.

    Additionally, bed bugs also detect heat during the host seeking process but my reseaerch industry colleagues indicate that this occurs as the critter gets closer to the host and that the CO2 attracts from a greater distance whereas the heat cue kicks in as the bug gets closer.

    Hope this helps and sorry for missing your initial questions ! paul b,

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 8:22:39
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    Hi Paul,
    Thanks, but if someone did have bed bugs in their garage (let's say an infested sofa being stored there), isn't it fully possible, even likely, they would find their way into the home eventually, in the absence of feeding opportunities, and even if it means traveling more than ten feet?

  8. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 8:26:01
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    Entirely my fault as I didn't state the questions clearly! Thank you again for your response! (Loved, loved, loved the opening two sentences of your first response!) I'm still perplexed by these damn bugs though! If it's only 5, and at the most 10 feet, how can they follow you to another bedroom?! And if they can't "detect" through walls do they just get "lucky" when they move from one apartment to another when (1) either forced out by "treatments" or (2) go looking for another host because of too large of an infestation? And if they are out in your yard or garage, will they eventually find their way inside by either heat or co2 detection? Sorry, these aren't really questions for you as you have already graciously answered my questions. I'm just one of those why why why people that has to try to understand or wrap my head around something! Like trying to figure out their way of "thinking" or playing chess with them to try to outsmart them! HA!

  9. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 8:28:57
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    Oh I didn't see NoBugs response - I guess that's what I meant in a more succinct way! Or if you take your clothes off out in the garage, drop one on the floor before you put your clothes in the dryer, it is probably very likely they are going to find their way inside???

  10. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 8:40:50
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    And, sorry one more question, is it really possible to get bed bugs from an unattached neighbor that left infested furniture either on the curb or by their house? Or would it depend on the distance from your own house?

  11. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 8:49:37
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    Dear abs & nb,

    Well, we're certainly "pushing the envelope" on the hypotheticals here.

    We need to understand what is possible versus what is likely as they are different.

    In answering such questions my tact is to consider what we know regarding biology, behavior, add a dash of experience & observation, invoke logical thinking and determine what is reasonable.

    As you may know, all scenarios are subject to the circumstances or parameters under which we consider such questions. Allow me to elucidate:

  12. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 9:04:05
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    (Ooops ,hit enter to kwik)

    Infested Couch at the Curb or Dumpster (Like at an apartment complex):

    What are these bed bugs going to do and what are the considerations?

    What do bed bugs normally do?
    As obligate nest parasites they tend to remain hidden waiting for their host. They don't sit there and quickly observe: "hey guys, were at the curb, WTF ! Now we have to wait till a college kid or someone else comes by to claim this couch. Or, what if we crawl across the parking lot to that building over there. I bet there's humans we can feed on there." That sh#t don't happen. For the most part we'd expect that the bed bugs in that couch would primarily remain on that couch waiting for a host.

    Other Factors:
    We might consider other factors that may alter the initial response above: Weather, Population present, Proximity to buildings, Proximity to humans, Timing of trash collection and others

    Each of these factors may alter the scenarios to a degree however, the over riding factor remains to be "what is reasonable" to expect based upon the conditions & parameters being concisdered.

    The Garage Scenario:
    Is it attached or detached? How often to people enter the garage? How long are they present in the garage? What do they do in there? Pets? Temperature? yadda, yadda, yadda !

    Is it possible that a bed bug(s) on an infested couch, or mattress, can get from the garage to the house?
    In short yes however, we'd have to consider the various parameters and factors that come into play.

    Perhaps we're best served dealing with actual circumstances rather than think up all these hypotheticals.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get to the store to buy some markers, cardboard, windex & a squeegie to work on my cardboard sign for the Midtown Tunnel experiment thing. Note that the windex & squeegie is the back up plan. : )

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 9:45:19
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    Hi Paul,

    I was thinking if an attached garage and yes, I realize it's hypothetical but this is a scenario which has come up before.

    I wasn't asking for the sake of engaging with hypotheticals but because some people might read your previous posts above as suggesting bed bugs wouldn't walk more than ten feet for food even in an attached garage situation and I didn't think that you meant to imply that.

  14. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 9:47:58
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    Got it! Thank you so so much! Midtown Tunnel? . . . grabbing my GPS, meet you there (my windows really need to be cleaned - HA!)

  15. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 9:50:09
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    Oh, I did read one post or somewhere that they will walk up to 100 ft. for a meal!!! Ok, that's all well and good but how the heck do they know where to walk to? Seriously!!

  16. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 10:30:58
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    There are a various cues they may hone in on:

    > CO2

    > Heat

    > Karimones

    > Movement & vibrations given off by host (Note that this is not much talked about but it's logical to suspect that this may be a viable cue.)

    > Perhaps others we have yet to discover (Bugs don't talk and are good at keeping their secrets from us.)

    We know that bed bugs can quest or search for hosts. How far is a question that is being looked at by a variety of folks so, stay tuned.

    pb

  17. Blackheart

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 10:32:12
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    I've been wondering the same thing because we tossed out some black garbage bags onto the balcony and I have been quite worried about dealing with those. Thinking about using Nuvan Pest Strips in each bag and not taking any chances of re-infestation?

  18. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 10:37:41
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    If they're empty, take all those bags, stuff them into one bag, tie it in a knot and throw em away.

    pb

  19. Blackheart

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 10:44:12
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    Yeah good idea except in my initial panic I threw alot of valuables into those bags (my late mom's jewellery and such) so I can't really toss it

  20. KillerQueen

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 14:36:12
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    I nominate this for thread of the month.

  21. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 15:04:23
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    Remember I said;

    IF they're empty.

    pb

  22. meltdown

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 26 2012 15:30:32
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    So, since we're talking about random behavior questions, (I was wondering about my contaminated garage too BTW)....Has anyone ever left a good "nesting" spot by the bed intentionally to lure bed bugs?

    I am asking because I have a few things stored under my bed, and I am afraid that if I get rid of them and wrap my mattress at the same time, they will be forced to find a new and harder to reach hiding spot. (Don't get me wrong, I plan to eventually get rid of it all, but I am just wondering if I should empty the entire room first?)

    Thoughts?


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