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items in storage - how long until safe?

(4 posts)
  1. boletus

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 14:14:49
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    last july I moved in (and then immediately out) of a bedbug infested apartment. I got rid of the bed and other upholstered furniture, had the place treated twice by a PCO, washed and dried anything that would fit in the laundry 6 times. everything else (including thousands of books) is still in a storage space wrapped in 3 layers of plastic bags with liberal doses of diatomaceous earth all around. I would love to be able to get access to these things, and am going broke paying to store them, but I sure don't want to get one egg into my new clean apartment. how long should I store them before removal? how can I be sure there are no bugs or eggs in the stuff before I get it out of there? I've heard everything from 2 months to 2 years and have no idea who to trust.

  2. Richard_Naylor

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 11:33:51
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    It is difficult to say. How long they last varies greatly depending on the temperature and humidity. They can last much longer at lower temperatures and higher humidities, as this slows down their metabolism and rate of desication. The storage facility is presumably not heated much if at all? I would say 6 months (July-Jan) really isn't long enough to be completely safe.

    At optimum conditions I don't believe they can survive longer than a year without food. The longest I have had them in the lab was 6 months and the humidity was relatively high. Large nymphs seem to outlast adults, possibly because adults burn up their resources on reproduction.

    That said, if they are well wrapped you should be safe to store them at home. If you have access to a chest freezer you could put the wrapped boxes in there for a week or so. The cold takes time to penetrate but will kill them eventually.

  3. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 11:40:25
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    You might want to invest in a PackTite device for some peace of mind. As long as you're bringing stuff gradually back into your home, it should not be too tedious a process to PackTite stuff in stages. If you want to bring everything back at once, consider either Vikane or someone who will heat treat the whole lot.

    Richard

  4. so unsettling

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 16:29:47
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    Boletus--I did pretty much what Richard described. I too had a lot of things in storage, and had no idea if they were infested, since there was much movement back and forth before I knew enough to bag them. I gradually packtited a boatload of books, sheet music, papers I wrote in college, other written material, photo albums, and similar items that can't be washed. It took some time, and I probably heated them longer than was necessary since I wanted to be sure. It spent a couple of weeks at this, but it sure beats leaving them bagged in storage and wondering when it was safe to open them. My items are still bagged, and I won't open them until I believe it's clear here. I also sealed items such as cardboard table chairs (upholstered) in large contractor bags with nuvan. Those too, remain bagged.

    Things do have to purified in some way. I really think the packtite is worth the money--it will make you feel a lot more secure.


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