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let's talk steamers

(27 posts)
  1. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Feb 21 2008 11:56:30
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    Hello Brothers and Sisters in Madness,

    I read the steam FAQs. articles were mentioned. Did I miss any? these are the two I saw:
    http://pctonline.com/articles/printer.asp?ID=2822&IssueID=226&Source=back
    http://pct.texterity.com/pct/200612/?pg=66

    Questions I have that I didn't see answered:
    1) If I buy a dry steamer, can I use it on the cracks in my floor? My floor is crappy anyway.
    2) If I left the PCO's chemicals on that floor and then I use a dry steamer on it, aren't I vaporizing noxious chemicals?
    3) I saw the two steamers recommended on the FAQ (Reliable T730a, and White Wing Steamer) - Ltdan, care to recommend one based on your experience?

  2. needtosleep

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Feb 21 2008 15:24:58
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    I have the White Wing steamer, and I do use it on my hardwood floor. The instructions suggest diapering the floor attachment with a towel (a pile of towels are included), which is a good idea because otherwise, water drips out of the head (one of the few flaws).

    One good feature is the dial that controls water pressure--the idea is to heat the bugs, not blow them out of their harborages. As to your second question, my PCO said to wait a month before steaming. Yes, we probably are vaporizing noxious chemicals, but if you wait long enough, their potency should have diminished by then.

  3. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Feb 21 2008 17:03:56
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    Thank you, needs to sleep. So what is your current status? Do you still see bugs and/or get bites? Or are you in the "waiting period" before you unpack?

  4. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 0:47:52
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    Mangycur,
    I haave the reliable 630 which I'm quite happy with.It's 1 step down from the 730 as it doesn't have contineous steam,but will go for an hour or 2 per tank.I've found it to be ,well,reliable,lol.

  5. needtosleep

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 10:28:43
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    Well, sadly, I'm still getting bitten. You know, I used to get attacked at least once a day--now it's gone down to twice a week. I would so LOVE to be in the waiting period, but that dream seems like a distant reality. Steaming makes you feel proactive though. As the lethal jetstream hits the floor, you think, Take that you little monsters!

  6. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 12:02:33
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    bugbasher, re your reliable 630: does the water drip like needtosleep describes on her white wing?

  7. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 12:33:01
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    pleasehelp,
    I think they all do that to some degree,except maybe the $1500 models (proffessional).It really is quite a manageable thing,usually happens when you stop for a few minutes.I just let it drip out before continuing,we're talking a few drops of water.Which I think is to be expected,it is steam from water after all.I just don't handle the end so I don't get burned,as even the plastic at the end gets very hot.I love the whole idea of frying the little b***ds,it's theraputic.

  8. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 12:47:21
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    Thanks bugbasher... I think steaming will become my new hobby.

  9. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 13:03:43
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    Pleasehelp,
    Your welcome!BTW,if you have any energy left after hitting the furniture and rugs/floors,they're great on windows as well as bathroom tile!

  10. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 13:16:33
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    And also good for de-wrinkling clothing, no?? btw, for bbs, do you steam places other than your known harborages?

  11. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 16:57:19
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    Pleasehelp,
    You can steam every peice of furniture in your bedroom for starters,the rug/floor,window sills,mouldings on the wall,clothing anything EXCEPT electrical outlets and electronics.You probably wouldn't want to do books either,since they can be better treated by the oven,but you could give them a once over the outside and binding ,I dont think that would hurt,just not the pages.I use it primarily for furniture,rugs,mouldings on the walls and cracks and crevises,upholstered chairs and sofas.Just pick the right tool for the job.I would start with the bed and work your way out from there.Read the booklet that comes with it ,they usually tell you to test certain things in a hidden area first.Good luck

  12. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 22 2008 17:45:54
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    Thanks bugbasher!

  13. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 23 2008 9:18:16
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    Needs2Sleep and Bugbasher--
    it sounds like the steaming hasn't gotten rid of them entirely. But you feel it's worthwhile to continue to steam?

  14. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 23 2008 11:56:44
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    Mangy,
    Steam isn't a cure all solution,but part of the whole eradication program.Yes,it's a good idea when used with other methods.Steam by itself isn't going to work any better than chemicals by themselves.The idea is multi attack on all fronts,chemical,steam,cleaning,bagging ,and of course the never ending laundry.It does serve the purpose by cutting down on the laundry.Who here hasn't left something out inadvertently when tired,or hubby hasn't been picking up clothing and bagging but it's still clean.I just steam items like that as well as my pups stuffed toys,sheets on the bed 2x a week in between washing them 1x week.I do the rugs 1x week also just in case as well as the mouldings on the wall.I do this before chemical treatments and allow the 2 weeks after I don't do any area I've treated with chemicals.It can't hurt as long as you don't steam away your chemicals.

  15. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 23 2008 14:47:49
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    dude, this is on par with a plague of locusts.

  16. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Feb 23 2008 15:14:45
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    Mangy, if you are building steam resources, there is a section on steam in the Australian Code of Practice.

    Also, in this William Quarles article there is the concern of a PMP (from an IPM company in San Francisco) that steaming can "volatilize some compounds from treated objects" and hence a recommendation that his operators use a respirator.

  17. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Feb 24 2008 1:41:56
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    mangy,

    It seems like you live in a building with multiple affected units. (I seem to remember you moved from one unit to another, and still have bed bugs, so at least those two. But likely others. Maybe many more.)

    In such cases, if the neighbors are not properly treated, then nothing you do will get rid of bed bugs. It can help a lot, but can't eliminate them. I know you are thinking of steaming and also thinking of paying for your own PCO and I just don't want you to get too frustrated by all this. The landlords really do need to get their act together, sadly. They need education.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  18. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Feb 25 2008 17:17:46
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    Nobugs, (and anyone else who cares to comment)

    You are totally right, but I just want to wax philosophical for a moment.

    3 apartments in my building have successfully gotten rid of bed bugs. The dude who took over my old apartment is not finding any. That makes 4. That leaves me and the people who are lying. LOL. Now I suspect they will get them again at some point, but one neighbor has been BB free for 1.5 years now. (Wouldn't it have been nice if she had TOLD us about her BBs when they occurred?)

    Don't you think 1.5 years is a success? I guess I expect everyone will get them again at some point. But even if we all move to a new building with none of our existing belongings, we're in just as much danger of walking into an apartment that already has them, or getting infected by someone else. So if you think of it that way, there is no such thing as a successfull BB extermination. Just all me Mangy "Glass-Half-Full" Cur.

    I should probably repost this under its own heading "what constitutes a success story?"

    My landlord just got out of the hospital and her spouse who is the one who actually does stuff around the place is not taking it seriously. I guess I'm going to hire my own PCO and try to educate my landlord when she's feeling better.

  19. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Feb 25 2008 22:59:17
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    Hi mangy,

    I am sorry I sound discouraging. It certainly can't hurt and you may be successful.

    I would want to know--of those four people, did they all react to bites? Not "finding" any means nothing, of course. Michael Potter says 50% of people don't react. The guy in your apartment may be one.

    Again, not to be discouraging, but I know it would be even more frustrating if you hadn't considered all this and paid out lots of money and still had them. So I am not saying don't do it, but rather, consider any and all possibilities first.

  20. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 26 2008 10:27:40
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    Nobugs,

    I didn't feel that you came off as discouraging. You're just telling it like it is. I just figure I have a choice. Argue with my LLs for 3 months while the bastards breed and bite, or wipe them out of my place for a while so I can argue with a full night's rest.

  21. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 26 2008 19:25:19
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    Steam and I'm talking about dry steam is a good contact kill method which works on eggs as well as instars and adults. It is especially good when other considerations are at foot, such as infants, respiratory issues, pets and other special situations. I use Amerivap
    steamers such as the Steamax it runs $400 - $500 each. As stated it's one of the available tools and like most requires reuse.

  22. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 26 2008 20:12:05
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    HopelessNoMo & Winston O. Buggy--

    Hopeless--I'm sorry I didn't respond to your post up there until just now. THANK YOU for posting those links to the Australian Code of Practice and the idea of wearing a respirator. I am really glad you pointed those items out.

    Winston--Thank you for your recommendation of the Steamax. This thread is getting more and more interesting.

    Does anyone know if these machines last a long time? I'd hate to shell out $500 bucks a year . . .

  23. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 26 2008 20:22:44
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    Here is an excerpt from lieutenantdan's response to Collette on
    February 19th, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I totally believe in steam. I started steaming only after three pesticide treatments of three different products and a few self treat with Steri-Fab and Bedlam. I used FoodGrade FreshWater DE and vacuumed etc… also threw stuff out. I decided to steam after all other tactics were used. I used an inexpensive steamer and then a more expensive steamer. I believe that you do not need to hit the enemy dead on to kill them. I believe a less hot hit can still kill. I believe that a less hot hit can somewhat cripple the enemy and eventually will die.
    . . . I believe that steam is a very good tactic but I think that in most cases people do need pesticides. I think the term is called Intergrated Pest Management. You have been fortunate but so many different situations and living conditions exist that I do believe most people need chemicals, in fact I would like to see the government introduce stronger pesticides I honestly think that we cannot win the War without them.

  24. bugbasher

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 26 2008 22:41:41
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    Mangycur,
    The good ones have a considerable warrantee on the boiler,which is the most costly of the components.I think mine is either 3 or 5 years.I would look for a ss boiler.Hope that helps.

  25. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 26 2008 23:06:51
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    Thanks Basher!

    (is that one of the reindeer?) LOL

  26. mangycur

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Mar 6 2008 22:19:48
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    another blurb from Lt Dan in a thread
    At first I used just a simple $45 Shark steamer fro Bed Bath & Beyond. I know the talk about mold but I move pretty quickly and my house is dry in the winter and in the summer I use AC and after the thousands I spent on fighting bbs I have a hard time buying a $500 steamer so I take a chance which for me I think is minimal. I later bought a $75 steamer from same place but I forget the name. It is more of a garment steamer. I use both now. What I do suggest is that you use the attachment that looks like a small flat mop, it distributes the heat better and you can touch it against fabric. Maybe someday I will buy a more expensive steamer because I believe that the bb population is spreading in this country and the war will not be over anytime soon.
    One thing to note that I burned myself once with the nozzle while it was not pumping out steam, it burned me through a thick cotton sweatshirt so I do know that it is hot. The way I see it is the world is far from being perfect and we do the best that we can
    with what we have and what we can afford to buy.
    I suggest researching steamers and see if you can find info on mold possibilities that is if you can find info that is not published by a company that produces expensive steamers.

  27. hoo2677

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jan 16 2009 3:14:07
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    I'm firing up my Vapor Clean right now. I steam my bed and comforter every night before i get into bed. Then I spray rubbing alcohol around the perimeter of my sheets. This is of course only a tactic to get a head start before they do, because they come out anyway. I just want to be asleep so I don't see the little creepy crawlies. I've also taken to spraying rubbing alcohol on the floor around my bed and wiping it up before bed also. Less likely to bring one on my feet or socks into bed that way. What a life.

    Monday - 2nd treatment. Also a note, not sure what the product is, but they were in my car. I steamed the car and that just pissed them off, although it did kill a lot of them. The PCO said they had a brand new product they could use, a fumigant. It's in there now and it will.

    As for my neighbor who stuffed her infected bedding into the too small bag outside my door - yes, i saw this, but thought she was just doin laundry, until....I called our condo mgt company, told them the story of what I saw, and what my guest observed, I got a call from two public health officials today who want to hear more. Could there be justice for that level of negligence? Perhaps. This is a neighbor who had two young guys come take her couch away without telling them it was infested, until i walked in and offered her a box of trash bags to bag it. That's when she informed them. I'm not sure at this point which pest is worse.

    My association members have not informed all the tenants that two have had bugs. The sign i posted on the front door of the building disappeared. What can you do?


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