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Is it possible to have a low level infestation for years?

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  1. Itchybutdealing

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 14:05:53
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    Hi All,

    So it has been a while. I have not posted a success story because I am not sure we have success. We first got bbs in 2006. Then we moved after exterminating and having a child. A year later I was being bitten again so we had the dog come and they said that there were bed bugs present, though we never saw them. We did see that my parents had them (and treated 3 times there). We were treated 5 times in our apartment. It seemed to at least keep things at bay.

    We moved again 5 months ago into a house. We had bed bugs and beyond vikane gas our moving truck and cars. Now I am starting to see little scabs on my daughter and I again. I vacuum like crazy and have the climb ups but have not caught any of the bed bugs. So is it 1) Paranoia +Eczema 2) A very low level infestation? 3) A Reinfestation? 4)Just some crazy nightmare that I am sure I will wake up from when the alarm goes off? 5)Halloween Fairies who leave us tiny little scabs when they kiss our hands.

    PS Needless to say this stress on my part consistently has wreaked havoc on my marriage!

    Thanks for the input and I hope everyone is well:)

  2. bugnut

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 14:19:00
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    Wow - I understand about the stress thing. From what I can see on the forums male and female partners deal with this issue VERY differently.

    OK - so you had Vikane - is is possible that anything you moved with was in a plastic container and was recently opened? Vikane does not pass thru plastic. If you were careful about this,than it is not from that.

    Local infestation? From parents and/or work? Are your folks rid of them? I got them from work - is that a possibility?

    Also - you said you first had them in 2006 - when was the last time you are sure you had them? If it is longer than a year and a half ago then it is not from that.

    Lastly, I see the experts say time and time again - bites do not equal bbs. I had bites and knew I had them but did not treat until I found a cast skin and K9 confirmed. We know that K9s are not 100% either. I am being devils advocate but I don't think you can say you have them without further evidence. I know from experience that I think "BBs" whenever I have a small bite. It sounds like you did a lot of work to eradicate them!

  3. Tracy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 14:53:14
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    Not that I want to be the bearer of bad news, but Bed Bugs and Beyond was the company in New York that totally messed up and missed the boat entirely on my friend's vikane fumigation 2 years ago.

    They just stuck a tube in the back of a moving truck and called it a day. That has to be the most idiotic idea I have ever heard of

    Moving trucks were never designed for air-tight fumigation containment. Bedbugs need to be treated with the utmost of attention, thoroughness and care so whoever thought up that brilliant idea, in my opinion, should be sued.

    From my extensive research on fumigation - the more air tight and sealed the containment chamber is - the more effective the results. Moving trucks were not designed for this purpose and any fumigation company using them in such a way is just cheap and lazy.

    At a minimum the truck could and should be tarped but from what Ive heard - Bed bugs & Beyond doesn't even do that.

    In my friends case, she threatened a lawsuit and they wound up redoing her fumigation - this time in a vault chamber - and it was more successful

    Based on that incident - and also the fact that I don't believe they leave the fumigant in long enough - I would never use them. PERIOD.

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 20 2010 23:39:17
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    It's not possible to have a low level infestation for years. If you look at the reproduction stats of bed bugs, you'll see why.

    It is possible that you had some other pest/irritant at the same time that you had bed bugs. Remember that pest management these days is very different from pest management even 15 years ago. These days the treatments used are pest specific. If you had, say, bed bugs and carpet beetles, you got treated for bed bugs, the carpet beetles might not die off. since it's a hair like thingy on the beetles' larvae, if you don't remove those, you could continue to see "bites" (more accurately bite-like responses) long after the bed bugs were gone.

    It is also possible to be bitten in places besides your own home and not bring an infestation home.

    As awareness of bed bugs has widened, we've seen a lot more false alarms and false positives, so I'm of the opinion that if you cannot find concrete evidence of bed bugs--cast skins, fecal matter, and/or actual live bugs, it's not bed bugs.

    (The problem, of course, is being skilled enough to inspect thoroughly enough to find bed bugs early on in an infestation. However, in your case, that's likely not the issue. If you're asking whether you could have had a low-grade infestation for years, I cannot imagine a scenario since the bugs'd get hungry and come feed. Then they would lay eggs. The eggs would hatch, and the nymphs would get hungry and come feed. Then you'd have more reproducing bugs. I likely brought a single hitch hiker or two or some eggs home from a hotel, and within 6 weeks I had a big enough population that I saw the bugs in easily visible places.)

    I'm not saying that it's impossible. If you had something with bugs or eggs sealed air tight for less than 18 months, and you opened that up, you could reinfest yourself that way, but as I see it, that's not having had a low-level infestation for years, that's a reinfestation.

  5. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 0:11:40
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    Buggy -
    You are always so calm, nice, supportive, and informative. I always like your posts.

  6. Itchybutdealing

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 8:12:15
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    Thanks everyone for the comments. Buggy you are probably right, I just wondered if it was possible because we also vacuum on a regular basis so I was thinking that might keep them under control. I will try to continue to live my life and ignore the little bites, scabs and nicks I see on us. We do live in the country now and my daughter likes to go bush wacking (we have to watch out for lyme ticks now which I guess healthwise is worse than bed bugs). I will keep you all in the loop if something more certain pops into our climb ups.

  7. bugnut

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 8:18:05
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    Climb ups are a good monitoring tool - maybe a passive or a beacon thrown in for good measure? Run the beacon for 2 weeks to be sure and you can have a better idea of where you are at. Plus the "bug" season is almost over in the NE - if you are in a part of the country where it gets cold your outside type bug bites should cease shortly.

  8. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 8:31:06
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    ITCHY: Is it possible to have a low level infestation for years?
    ----------------------------
    Unless the source/harbonage (probably unlikely) is outside your living area, probably not. At least that was the conclusion I came to. I understand your stress, and because there are so many variables involved the only thing that can save your sanity is to focus on whether or not you have conclusive evidence of bed bugs, i.e. specimens, fecal stains or cast skins. If you have bed bugs, you -- or a pro -- should be able to find these signs somewhere. If they aren't there, then you have to assume you don't have bed bugs and look for other sources of the bite marks, be it other insects, allergies, etc.

    TRACY: (BBB) just stuck a tube in the back of a moving truck and called it a day. That has to be the most idiotic idea I have ever heard of...Moving trucks were never designed for air-tight fumigation containment. Bedbugs need to be treated with the utmost of attention, thoroughness and care so whoever thought up that brilliant idea, in my opinion, should be sued.
    ====================
    Many successful fumigations are done without "air tight" containers. Tenting a house is one example. The important thing is that the Vikane levels are carefully monitored throughout the treatment area. My understanding is that BBB has such monitoring equipment and does not just "stick in a tube".

    Sorry about your friend, but moving can have so many variables that it's next to impossible to put the finger on any one treatment approach as the cause. That said, no approach is infallible be it chemicals, heat or DDVP strips.

    Richard

  9. Tracy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 13:12:12
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    Richard - what you are saying is not true. In all cases - such as tenting a house - the point of tenting the structure is to contain the fumigant.

    I mentioned in my posting the truck should be tarped at a minimum. If you are going to try to correct me, please at least quote my postings accurately

    The key to any successful fumigation is not only that the gas is contained but also the gas is kept at a constant level and can properly circulate throughout the containment unit. That is the heart of fumigation. That is why my fumigation efforts were successful because I was mindful of those points.

    When you have a truck that is packed with stuff and NOT tarped, it is a recipe for failure. I don't know what BBB does now with their fumigations, but my friend told me that her truck was packed - meaning that the fumigant likely did not reach all areas - and most importantly- the truck was not wrapped.

    This point is significant because sulfuryl fluoride - ie Vikane - is lighter than air and will likely escape out of every opening that gas can find before it even has a chance to circulate. As I said before and will say again - moving truck are not meant for air tight containment fumigation.

    Could it possibly work without tarping the vehicle and just sticking a tube in the back of the truck? I suppose so but I tend to think there is an element of luck involved. Tenting the truck helps.

    With regards to the sensors, this was another area of fault that my friend found with BBB. At the time they did her fumigation ( I don't know what they do know) they ONLY they had equipment was to sense the proper amount of chemical that was going to be pumped into the truck by volume and temperature and time.

    She did not believe that they had any sensors inside the truck to determine that the gas was kept at a constant concentration thorughout the process. Since the truck was not tarped and the gas could leak out, this was probably the heart of why it failed. Knowing the amount that should be in the containment unit is not sufficient, you also have to maintain the proper concentration throughout the entire process.

    She told me that there was NO WAY anyone could have placed any sensors in the truck as it was packed to tightly. They never told her not to pack it with so much stuff. She never asked my opinion, otherwise I would have told her not to pack it so tightly.

    It was very shoddy work, IMO, and if anyone had a successful fumigation under those conditions, they were probably lucky.

  10. Ilovepink1908

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 15:57:08
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    Tracy, I hate to get into this conversation--as I admit that I'm very familiar with BB&B and know them pretty well. I admit I do have a bias, so I'll put that out there first. What's even more so, I told myself I wouldn't post on this board again so that I could get bed bugs out of my head once and for all and stop thinking about them. But, I can't not say anything in response to your post--it just wouldn't be right knowing the type of person I am.

    With that being said, I was also Vikaned by BB&B two years ago, and my treatment of the uHaul and vehicle was very successful. But, you can't blame BB&B for your friend's problem after the fact--particularly because I remember on my Vikane prep sheet that it said any moving truck you use needed 30-60 percent (I don't remember the exact figure) of its space to be open because the Vikane needed to circulate. My response was getting the 20-something foot uHaul to pack a one-bedroom apartment. The biggest items I had were a bed, dresser and loveseat. Everything else were clothes, items etc. It worked great in part because I was able to spread everything evenly across the bottom of the uHaul, with nothing packed on top of anything. Even with that said, I was careful to not leave anything in the car (which was tented during fumigation) as the same rule percentage rule applied and throwing off the balance of the gas:item ratio would mean an unsuccessful fumigation. So, I certainly think your hunch about your friend packing the truck too tight is the right--not that BB&B did a shoddy job. That's kinda similar to a PCO coming to fumigate and you didn't wash and put all your clothes in plastic bags. Is it your PCO's fault if you didn't follow the prep sheet? No? I didn't think so.

    So please, unless you have first hand experience and you were there, I don't think it's fair to try to attest to anyone's company by hear-say. You best believe if I recommend or don't recommend someone's services, it's because I've worked with them first hand. And--to be frank-- I'm a very hard customer to please.

  11. Tracy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 21 2010 16:13:12
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    Ilovepink1908

    your comments are well taken and I am not offended by your point of view. I was not there at the time and did not speak to the fumigator directly -as well all info was directed to me was done so second hand - and these are all good points. Thank you for pointing them out.

    But the remainder of my posting about the sensors in the truck, tarping the truck and ensuring that the fumigant can circulate properly also comes from my own experiements with fumigation (DDVP in my case) as well as my chemical engineering background

    If you had a successful fumigation and they did not tarp your truck then I would still say it would have been better to tarp it - but good for you that it worked.

    Thank you for responding to my posting with a realistic point of view as someone who has worked with this company sucessfully.

  12. bbpsych

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Oct 22 2010 9:52:00
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    123bugs - 1 day ago  » 
    Buggy -
    You are always so calm, nice, supportive, and informative. I always like your posts.

    So do I!

  13. sleep tight

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 23 2010 12:56:51
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    Bed bugger is highly respected and an excellent resource for information but Sulfuryl Fluoride (Vikane) fumigation is specialized field that many people, including pest control operators are not familiar with unless they are in states where Vikane is commonly used for dry wood termites such as Florida, California and Hawaii. No one can deny that if not administered correctly, Vikane fumigation can fail. The purpose of my response is meant to provide educational value and to share factual information regarding containment (truck) fumigation which is based on research and backed by scientific studies conducted by Dow AgroSciences. The recent comments in regards to the process are inaccurate and have no bearing on the success of the overall fumigation process; to help explain why I will break each down.

    Bottom line…….The key to success for Vikane fumigation is that the required exposure ratio is maintained for the required exposure time. (If gas “leaks” due to the containment method it has to be reintroduced to maintain the exposure ratio, which when monitored doesn’t affect the success of the process it just increases the cost of the gas at the operator’s expense.) Very sophisticated monitoring equipment is used throughout the process to ensure success.

    Therefore

    “From my extensive research on fumigation - the more air tight and sealed the containment chamber is - the more effective the results”
    is inaccurate. You can have the tightest seal possible but if the fumigant isn’t monitored to maintain the required exposure ratio for the required time it can fail.

    There are various sealing methods that can effectively confine Vikane in trailers (moving trucks) so

    “Moving trucks were never designed for air-tight fumigation containment” and “moving trucks were not designed for this purpose and any fumigation company using them in such a way is just cheap and lazy.”
    is also falsely inaccurate. In fact ALL of the following are methods that have been tested, studied and proven successful:
    1. tarping the entire trailer and sealing at the ground with sand/or water snakes
    2. driving the truck on the tarp and then wrapping it
    3. tape gaps on doors and other openings
    4. tape openings and seal trailer doors using polyethylene and tape.

    Sealing – Based on Research Studies conducted by Dow AgroSciences:
    1.Trailers with wood flooring generally have waterproofing material applied to the underside, which limits fumigant penetration through the flooring. 2.Taping all trailer doors is as effective as using polyethylene and tape for confining
    3. Confinement may be more variable using tape-and-seal than tarping but sophisticated equipment such as a SF-ExplorerIR after fumigant introduction will identify areas requiring additional sealing and significantly improve fumigant confinement.

    Fumigant Introduction: The required dose is calculated (total pounds to introduce) and introduction rate (pounds/minute) using a Vikane Fumigide. This provides the scientific calculation required to determine exposure ratio and time based on the amount of airspace within the contained area. The measure of pounds of Vikane is introduced, using equipment such as weighing scales, to obtain required dose.

    In regards to

    “They just stuck a tube in the back of a moving truck and called it a day. That has to be the most idiotic idea I have ever heard of” and “just sticking a tube in the back of the truck? I suppose so but I tend to think there is an element of luck involved. “
    An Introduction hose (tubing) is the ONLY method used for fumigation whether for a truck or full structure and regardless if it is tape-and-sealed or tented. The gas is released under its own vapor pressure through tubing directly from pressurized 100lb cylinders! In fact, based on average temperature and humidity conditions, it is recommended to introduce fumigant through at least 100 feet of 1/8” ID hose. In conditions of high temperature and humidity an introduction hose longer than 100 ft may be necessary to achieve the label-required introduction rate. Think about it, the gas is deadly under containment because it displaces, oxygen…how else could you get the gas into the contained area?

    Monitoring is the only way to confirm that the sufficient dosage is accumulated to control the target pest. During the monitoring process, fumigant concentrations are measured remotely, using a Fumiscope or similar device. This is done at appropriate time intervals. A Fumiguide is used to calculate the actual half loss time to determine the amount of fumigant to add or time to extend the exposure to obtain the required dosage.

    “he did not believe that they had any sensors inside the truck to determine that the gas was kept at a constant concentration throughout the process.” And “With regards to the sensors, this was another area of fault that my friend found with BBB”
    There isn’t any type of sensor inside to detect Vikane and concentration levels! It is monitored remotely with very sophisticated equipment however such as a Fumiscope.

    In regards to: [quote]“meaning that the fumigant likely did not reach all areas” and “This point is significant because sulfuryl fluoride - ie Vikane - is lighter than air and will likely escape out of every opening that gas can find before it even has a chance to circulate. As I said before and will say again - moving truck are not meant for air tight containment fumigation.” [/quote] Sulfuryl Fluoride displaces the oxygen in the contained area because when released it is dense (3.5 times heavier than air), and will extract heat from the air as it changes from a liquid to a gas.

    Aeration: Once the dosage has been obtained, aeration can be initiated. Vikane level is brought down to 0ppm.

    I hope this information is helpful. Finally, I just want to clarify that Bed Bugs and Beyond is not a fumigator! We are a nationally trusted, non-biased full service brokerage provider offering services of scientifically documented and validated immediate bed bug elimination, education, counseling and expert advice. We promote fumigation and our network providers meet high standards to be in our network. If those standards are compromised they will be eliminated from our network to ensure quality assurance. We back up their work and ensure they are meeting standards by offering a 100% guarantee for a minimum of 6 months and complimentary treatment, post fumigation, of any personal and travel items that may become exposed to infestation, to ensure our clients remain bed bug free. We work with retailers, libraries, universities and human resources for large employers just to name a few. We recently provided assistance to national retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria Secret and Nike. We coordinated & orchestrated fumigation treatment when they had to close their flag ship stores in Manhattan because of bed bugs and needed immediate relief. We also coordinated efforts for the Empire State building! In the last three years we have orchestrated fumigation successfully for over 4000 clients.

    Please feel free to contact us at anytime with technical questions regarding the fumigation process, we will be happy to answer them and provide you with factual information.

  14. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 27 2010 14:59:53
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    Hey, I've been thinking about this for a few days: I read an interesting article in the past yr., written by someone who asked his or her grandmother what they did "back in the day." She said how they just dragged everything outside and washed it all really well with hot water a few times a year. The author asked whether this had helped, and the old woman laughed and said, "It was better -- for a while. But we never got rid of them altogether; they always came back."

    The author then says it having gotten temporarily "better" was the point and concluded that we seem to be headed back in this direction -- that more and more they just keep coming back and that people just move on with their lives.

    Sigh.

    Anyone else read that? I want to say it was from NY v. BBs or something...

  15. The Reluctant Entomologist

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 27 2010 18:32:53
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    ^^^^^^
    I'm bumping my own recent post (response, that is) as my lazy way of participating in the "olden days" discussion. See directly above .


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