Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tools/ideas for fighting bed bugs

Let's talk thermal

(24 posts)
  1. LastMeal

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 46

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 0:59:10
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Has anyone here used Thermapure to treat a home? They don't seem to have any licensees in my area but told me on the phone that they had people that could travel. They mentioned infrared imaging to ensure that the entire structure is heated to the right temperature, which sounds VERY thorough to me, but I've been tricked before by the prospect of getting rid of my bugs overnight.

    I'm especially interested in how effective this treatment is when compared to Vikane fumigation. They each have their pros and cons, but I'm leaning towards heat because, well, there's pretty much a zero percent chance of death. Don't get me wrong, I'm dedicated to getting rid of these suckers, I just count being alive at the end of all this as one of the success criteria.

    My third option is something I mentioned in another thread which is to ThermaPure the house and Vikane a UHaul (if they only knew what we're really using their rental trucks for...) full of all the heat sensitive stuff (electronics, melty things). I'm still a little scared of the whole colorless odorless deadly gas though...

  2. LastMeal

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 46

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 1:01:07
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Oh one more general thing about thermal: I live in CT and it tends to get very cold in February, would this affect a thermal treatment (e.g. maybe a small area at the edge of the outside walls is just barely habitable)

  3. paulaw0919

    oldtimer
    Joined: Jul '07
    Posts: 1,163

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 10:47:39
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I Vikaned my home back in the fall. I assure you they don't let you back in the structure until it is safe. The gas dissipates very quickly once the tarp is removed. (That's if you are doing structural fumigation. Either way, Thermal or Vikane...I don't kow if it's possible during this weather temp and might be better to do in the spring. Downside of Vikaning a structure is that it's costly. Not just for the procedure but the prep work. All food, medicines ect need cannot be in the structure. Baby mattresses need to be discarded. There's is A LOT involved. The upside is that you don't have to worry worry about it affecting or ruining items in the structure (melting) We even had both of our vehicles done in the structure as well. If you would like more info on this please feel free to PM me.

  4. St.BarthsBites

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 47

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 12:13:56
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi-

    TempAir is another provider of Thermal Heat. They have an office in Minnesota and Mass. I called Minnesota and they forwarded me to Mass. I live in the NYC metro area and they said they would treat in this area so you might want to try to reach them as well.

  5. LastMeal

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 46

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 15:08:18
    #



    Login to Send PM

    From their website, it looks like TempAir has a non-propane heater, does this get around the NYC fuel restriction? Has anyone used either thermal treatment with any success?

  6. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,252

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 16:52:58
    #



    Login to Send PM

    StBarths,
    If you know a company willing to do thermal in NYC, please do share their name and website.

    LastMeal,
    Thermal seems really promising. I don't know much about what must be left out. It does appeal to me, but we'd been told it wasn't an option here. If that's changed, I'd love to hear from those who've used it.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. St.BarthsBites

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 47

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 13 2008 20:59:58
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi-

    I talked to Gary Grabow at Temp-Air (temp-air.com or thermal-remediation.com)today. He is based in Minnesota. They would consider coming to New York on a case-by-case basis. Basically, he implied it has to be a big enough house with a major infestation. He stated that they typically treat big warehouses and other large commercial properties and they are really focusing on trying to license their thermal system to PCO's as opposed to treating individual homes and apartments. He said that he has been unable to interest any NY area PCO's to date but again, would consider doing a job on a case-by-case basis.

  8. LastMeal

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 46

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 0:52:55
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I talked to someone at Temp-Air, possibly the same person that St.Barth talked to. He said that they are not really focussed on structural fumigation (e.g. their treatment would not kill things inside of walls), but was based on their field evidence that bedbugs will become more active and present themselves when there are heats of around 90 degrees. In this way, PCOs would be able to target their conventional pest control. They're trying to license the equipment which he stressed is electric and not propane.

    He specifically mentioned that this was contrary to what people online are saying, which is that in the face of intense heat bed bugs will try to find cooler places to hide within the structure.

    Thinking about it now, 90 degrees doesn't seem right, doesn't it get that hot routinely in the summer? Then shouldn't bed bugs be out and about and easy to squash by the time august rolls around?

  9. St.BarthsBites

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 47

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 10:32:17
    #



    Login to Send PM

    LM-

    That's pretty interesting about the heat not getting into the wall cavity. Presumably it wouldn't get into the floor cavity either. If that's the case, why bother? I would opt for structural heat or fumigation. However, I thought these heat treatments are commonly used for termites. If so, I don't see how it could kill the termites either if the heat doesn't get into the wall cavities.

  10. BakedBedBugs

    member
    Joined: Dec '07
    Posts: 137

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 13:46:32
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi guys, this is going to be long so bear with me.

    I am a Thermapure licensee specializing in Bed Bugs. Nobugs, let me know if I step over any lines here okay?

    We are located in British Columbia, Canada so we could not travel to the east coast to help you. I hope that helps you understand that what I am about to say is in no way intended as a sales pitch. Nor is anything I say intended as a slam on TempAir. I know some of the people involved and they are good people providing a valuable service.

    If I may be so bold as to suggest the reason for Temp Air's suggestion of 90 degrees is based purely on legalities. I could be wrong but here is my take on it. If I understand things correctly TempAir's patents and intellectual property only cover container style thermal treatments targeted to wood boring insects and thermal treatments in post harvest food processing plants. They do not have patents for thermal treatments of structural pests in someones home. Therfore if they suggest heating to 90 degrees and using a traditional PCO they may be protecting themselves from legal action.

    Last Meal: I know from first hand experience that bed bugs will definately flee heat. We treated one home that had a pretty serious infestation where the bed bugs fled the heat to areas like bookcases etc. Then it got too hot in the books! I am not exagerating when I say it was like a scene from the "Towering Inferno", bed bugs were actually jumping out of the bookcase! They all died almost as soon as they hit the carpet which was much hotter than where they had just left.

    St.BarthsBites: Achieving thermal death point temperatures inside wall cavities and floor cavities for bed bugs is realtively easy. Remember, this technology was developed(and successfully used for 20 years) for drywood termites and the temperatures required there are MUCH higher than for bed bugs.

    Frankly 90 degrees is at least 20 degrees too low to reach the thermal death point of bed bugs. Period.

    Colder climates are more challenging to a successful thermal treatment. It is completely possible though. This is why it will be difficult for many PCO's to adopt this technology. They are PCOs first and heating guys second. We are heating guys first and diversified into thermal treatments. BIG difference. I have $750,000.00 invested in heaters. Can I get a building up to thermal death point in the winter in a cold climate? You bet. Could someone dabbling in heaters say the same thing? Rightfully so, most PCO's would shy away from investing the kind of money in heaters it would take to successfully treat any structure in any climate... the return on investment is just not there.

    Okay how about we dispel some myths about thermal treatment:
    "I can't leave my electronics in the home." - False. Electronics can be harbourages for bed bugs. We want them left behind and heated. It requires that we monitor them very carefully and that we use a slightly lower temperature but for a longer time but it is completely feasible. I have successfully treated home with lap-tops, tower computers and several televisions in them.

    "Thermal Treatment will melt my stuff!" - False. Sure it is possible to damage items with heat. Most of the items that we would suggest removing from the home before a treatment would not be high risk items for bed bugs. Aerosol cans, prescription medicine, plants, photos (be careful with these, bed bugs could be in the boxes or in between the stacks of photos), candles, certain types of foodstuffs etc. Anything to be removed should be thoroughly inspected and perhaps wiped with a contact killer.

    "Thermal Treatments cannot be done in NYC." - False. CURRENTLY there is no one in NYC with the right technology to do thermal treatments in multifamily apartment buildings licensed for thermal treatments. Make no mistake though, the equipment is present in NYC. It is being used during construction of high rises all the time. There would be nothing stopping a PCO from buying a Therma-Pure license and then renting the neccessary equipment to do the job. It would mean changing they way they do things and charging a whole lot more than many people want to pay.

    The biggest challenge to thermal treatments are reinfestations and sprinklers. Spriklers are an issue, no doubt. They can be overcome with good management and a serious motivated landlord.

    ThermaPure does not sell heaters. TempAir does. Both technologies work but only one can be legally used for structural pests. TempAir would be great for container thermal. That is what their process was designed for. ThermaPure is testing electric heaters as well. The challenge with elctric heaters is getting enough electricity to produce enough btu's to reach thermal death points. It can be done, it just isn't easy. There are heaters that are much easier to achieve thermal point with and can still get around the fuel issues in NYC. They are expensive though. To get started, in my opinion, a PCO would need to buy around $60K-$100K worth of heaters.

    Fell free to ask any questions either here or by PM

    Tony Canevaro

  11. MixedFeelings

    member
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 180

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 14:24:41
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thank you for this informative post!

    MF

  12. St.BarthsBites

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 47

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Feb 15 2008 15:55:09
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Wow Tony! That was awesome information. Thanks for that. When are you planning on moving to the NYC area...we have great restaurants and a great football team.

  13. LastMeal

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 46

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Feb 18 2008 16:26:57
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks Tony, that was really informative. I still have a few questions if you don't mind. Rather than PM you with them, I thought I'd ask you here so that other people could potentially benefit from the knowledge:

    How effective is this treatment? It's supposed to be 100%, but have you ever had any problems that you could not attribute to reinfestation?

    What do people do in the case of reinfestation? Do they try to treat the source of the problem, or do they just end up living with it?

    What about LCD screens/flat panel TVs? Does the heat effect the liquid crystal?

    Have you ever had wallpaper melt off the walls?

    Again, I really appreciate you taking time out to answer these questions (I'm sure we all do). Having you here is like electric internet gold.

  14. BakedBedBugs

    member
    Joined: Dec '07
    Posts: 137

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2008 12:47:38
    #



    Login to Send PM

    If we can follow the right protocol we are 100% effective. We have had failures where we made a mistake in applying the process or where were unable to follow our recommended heat treatment protocol.
    Where there is a high risk of reinfestation we recommend using a knowledabe PCO who will apply a residual pesticide to help control future problems.
    Heat will damage LCD etc. The key is that we do not achieve those temperatures during a typical bed bug treatment. There are ways to protect these devices to prevent damage, like running a duct from a window under the tv or using an aircompressor set to release a steady stream of air under the thermal blanket to keep it a few degrees cooler, etc.
    We have never had wallpaper melt. Vinyl wallpaper can be a problem (so can anything vinyl) and there are cases where we reccommend against thermal treatments.

    My pleasure. If we get too detailed in the questions I might have to get you to sign a confidentiality agreement though

    Tony Canevaro

  15. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,252

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Feb 19 2008 23:05:49
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Thanks, Tony. I do appreciate your input.

    In the interests of equal time, if any of you has Grabow's email, please PM me and I will invite him to respond.

  16. fightorflight

    senior member
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 704

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 3:21:25
    #



    Login to Send PM

    BakedBedBugs: Wow, that was fantastic. Rather than coming off as a sales pitch, you came off as realistic and knowledgeable about this method (well maybe a little sales pitch here: "If we can follow the right protocol we are 100% effective"). Anyway, you seem to present a promising method and I'm glad you explained it so thoroughly.

    Until the magic bedbug WMD/doomsday machine appears, I think part of the response to this pandemic lies in optimizing and expanding on technologies we already have available.

  17. St.BarthsBites

    newbite
    Joined: Jan '08
    Posts: 47

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 8:01:05
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hi Nobugs-

    Sorry I didn't get Gary Grabow's email at Temp-Air.

    Apparently Orkin has just licensed the Therma Pure technology and is hoping to introduce it soon. I spoke with Orkin's Western Pest division in Philly about a possible fumigation or heat treatment at my house just north of NYC. The guy I spoke with who does structural fumigation (George...sorry didn't get the last name....lame on my part)is checking with HQ to see when they will be launching the heat treatments. Not soon enough IMHO.

  18. paulaw0919

    oldtimer
    Joined: Jul '07
    Posts: 1,163

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 9:12:38
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Orkins Western Pest Division is who I used for my Vikane Treatment. At the time it was Western Pest Control and Orkin had just started to step in. I have spoken to George a few times during my experience back then. Nice man there. His last name is Bruns. He's been there for many years, like over 20-25 if memory serves me correctly. It's nice to know that they too are looking for new ways to treat this. That they have fumigated trains for bed bugs. (Good complete knock down for traveling bed bugs in my opinion.)

  19. BakedBedBugs

    member
    Joined: Dec '07
    Posts: 137

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 12:05:19
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Excellent, I knew Orkin had licensed in California and they were working on rolling out the technology in other areas. Good news.

    Fightorflight: well, that may have been sales pitchy but it is true. When the proper heating protocol is followed the technology is 100% effective on all life cycles of bed bugs.

    By the way, TempAir's process is an excellent solution for mobile treatments or belongings.

  20. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,252

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Feb 20 2008 14:43:45
    #



    Login to Send PM

    That's great news about Orkin expanding into Thermapure heat.

  21. grabow

    newbite
    Joined: Apr '08
    Posts: 1

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 7 2008 16:41:40
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Greg Grabow, National Sales Manager, Thermal Remediation Technology by
    Temp-Air.

    For over 40 years Temp-Air has been the largest provider of temporary heat and cooling solutions to the North American construction industry. We provide sales, service, and support through our 12 regional offices and are headquartered in Burnsville, MN.

    Nearlly 8 years ago, due to the signing of the Montreal Protocol(1995), the Clean Air Act (1998) and the significant trend by consumers' prefering pesticide free products, Thermal Remediation by Temp-Air was born. Temp-Air has and continually collaborates with research partners such as Kansas State University, University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Propane Educational Research Council and many others to enhance & promote the application of heat as a viable non-chemical alternative for effective Integrated Pest Management.

    One key service Thermal Remediation offers is industrial heat treatments for stored product pests throughout the U.S. & Canada. We do have a patented process for this application and it would be condidered an advanced treatment for a Pest Control company to either buy into and/or perform. In many cases we work closely with the pest control industry to perform these treatments for their customers.

    Regarding "bed bugs" and the application of heat.

    Temp-Air has performed numerous bed bug projects throughout the U.S. for the past year or so to further develop, understand and ultimately offer the Pest Control, hospitality, and other markets afforable equipment & training to promote the widespread use and application of heat for bed bugs.

    A unique insight into the challenges facing the industry, whether it's the right equipment for the job, the investment, training, support and the long-term vision for the industry to be successful with heat remains Temp-Air's strategic focus.

    Bed bugs die at 113F and 90F is a great temperature to start looking for activity and identify target areas of infestation. Temperatures need to be around the 120F - 135F in order to be successful within a structure and proper heat & air management are key to anyones success.

    Without question, the impact of the resurgence of the bed bug, the challenges that chemical applications pose, new equipment costs and training to use heat are all realities that are being faced throughout the industry, including residential homes and markets.

    Temp-Air remains focused on the development of the equipment, training and certification of companies for the application of heat for bed bugs. There are limitations on structure sizes to be treated, at this point, primarily do to investment, for a service provider who wants to "do it all".

    My contact information is listed below and invite your questions. Heat will become more market mainstream in 2008 and it will become more available across the country, just not as fast as many need it to.

    Greg Grabow
    Temp-Air, Inc.
    National Sales Manager
    Thermal Remediation Technology
    952-707-5224 Direct Line
    952-240-2629 Cell
    952-707-5104 Fax
    e-mail ggrabow@temp-air.com
    http://www.Thermal-Remediation.com
    3700 West Preserve Boulevard
    Burnsville, MN 55337

  22. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,252

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 7 2008 19:25:40
    #



    Login to Send PM

    GREG, thanks for your input.

    Please let us know (1) if anyone in the NYC area treats homes with your system, and (2) if apartments as well as single-family houses can be treated.

  23. scared1234

    newbite
    Joined: Apr '08
    Posts: 3

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 8 2008 2:22:21
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Is there any kind of a temperature curve to follow regarding length of time to bake clothes in an oven to be bug-and-egg-free versus temperature? Is there any temperature that would be "adequate" for a 20 minute bake?

  24. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,252

    offline

    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 8 2008 9:55:17
    #



    Login to Send PM

    scared,

    you should not bake your clothing. Use a dryer. Information can be found on the FAQS (button below) re: treatment of clothing and other items.


RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

291,734 posts in 48,881 topics over 151 months by 21,459 of 21,861 members. Latest: NHbugs, nervousbackpacker, SimpleObserver