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Limestone

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  1. bugginme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Mar 27 2008 11:55:39
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    Hello to everyone on this remarkable blog. We've joined your ranks, as our apt building has several confirmed cases of bedbugs. A company came through to do a NIC treatment of limestone around the edges of the apt. But I haven't read anything that suggests that limestone works as a mechanical killer on bbs. Does anyone have info on this? Thanks!

  2. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Mar 27 2008 11:57:06
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    First I have heard of this but anything can be possible.

  3. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Mar 28 2008 10:42:12
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    I used NIC 325 as part of treatment. I got good results with it. No way for me to know it was the magic bullet, but I suspect it played significant part in me getting rid of the bugs.

    It's a dessicant dust. I was told that it's a mechanical killer that works very similarly to diatomceous earth (DE). I've asked a few pros and no one could advise whether one was better than the other.

    Limestone is the inactive base of the product - makes up 99.5% of the mix. The active ingredient is corn gluten meal (0.5%) So, it looks like it's essentially pulverized rocks and grain. It's odorless and has the texture of baking flour.

    The label says it's non-toxic and EPA exempt. It's labeled for bedbugs. The instructions for bedbugs are:

    "Apply a light layer of NIC 325 as a perimeter dust at carpet edges and throughout entire carpet. Dust all cracks and crevices and harborage areas such as baseboards, picture frames, bed frames, light switch plates, electrical outlets, drop ceilings and folds and tufts in mattress, box spring and upholstery. Broadcast into wall voids with a power duster. NIC 325 has no flash point so you can access wall voids by removing light switch and electrical outlet faceplates. Remove all bedding and wash and dry at high temperature. Always treat adjacent rooms or units. NIC 325 is NON-Repellent and perfect for bedbug treatments."

    Did you have it put it down preemptively to keep bedbugs out of your unit? That's pretty cool.

  4. bugginme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Mar 29 2008 9:44:04
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    Thanks for typing up that label, persona-non-bugga. Very helpful. Where did you get the NIC 325?

    We paid for the NIC treatment ourselves after a K9 came through our apt and sat down next to our bed (supposedly a very bad sign). The exterminators tore apart our bed and looked around, but found no evidence of the bbs. But since our immediate neighbors have a horrible infestation (and at least 10 other apts in our building), we decided to do this & steaming. Cost an arm & a leg.

    Then, our children each woke up complaining of "mosquito bites." Welts, one group three in a row. We called the pco, and they said they weren't surprised - it was 2 1/2 weeks after the NIC, so any eggs that were lying around would be hatching now. But, they told us not to use chemicals yet - to just sit tight as the NIC sound eventually get them. (Kids have been bitten 1 day each.) I think what they're saying is that you wouldn't treat only with NIC for a bad infestation, but if you are at the very, very earliest of stages (or suspected stage), this could work.

    In the meantime, I'm not taking any chances. I ordered some DE and have (very carefully with respirator) spread around the rooms they didn't hit with the NIC. Would love to buy some more NIC, though, but am not finding it on the Internet.

    I guess the good news is that I'm not supposed to vacuum it for 6 weeks

  5. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Mar 29 2008 14:53:03
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    I bought it at a storefront pest-control business in Queens, NY, about three years ago.

    I think I paid around $20 for a 16-oz bottle. Compared to the cost of buying DE on the web, this is a lot more expensive. I'm not sure whether the price I paid was fair or not. I haven't seen NIC for sale anywhere else, but I haven't really looked for it either.

    Maybe the manufacturer could direct you to a vendor. The contact info on the bottle is:

    ACM-TEXAS, LLC
    P.O. Box 270941
    Ft. Collins, CO 80527

    (970) 203-0005

    Sorry to hear that your children might be getting bitten. Hope it resolves itself or that it turns out to be something other than bedbugs.

    As far as I know, bedbugs have to come into contact with NIC in order for it to work. If the problem persists over the next several days, I'd wonder if bedbugs were hatching and harboring in a location that would not require them to cross the powder. Hypothetically, say NIC was only placed along the walls of a room. A bedbug that was born and hides in the nightstand travels to its host in a bed nearby. That bedbug might never get near the room's perimeter and, therefore, never come in contact with the killer dust.

    Since it sounds like you're uncertain whether bedbugs are there in the first place, maybe this won't be a problem in your case. Just keep it in mind if the situation doesn't improve.

  6. bugginme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Mar 29 2008 16:11:44
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    Great info. And a really good point about how the bugs can travel. I'm putting DE around the legs of dressers and night stands (and the beds), so that they'll have to cross at least one of my killer powders to get to the kids.

    I'm beginning to wonder about these K9s. I was told that if they sit, there's something there for sure. But maybe they sometimes sit for the wrong reasons?

    For anyone using DE, I'm finding the suggestion to use a paint brush to spread it around very useful. My puffer was making clouds everywhere.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Mar 29 2008 20:36:50
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    bugginme,

    I don't think it is possible to generalize about bed bug k9 behavior-- they detect different things based on their training, and they have different levels of effectiveness in detection.

    They can be very helpful, but not all equally so. Depends on the dog, the trainer, and the handler and to some degree, on the circumstances in your home.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  8. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 1 2008 16:21:46
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    NIC 325 is no longer available and has not been produced in over a year. The current version is NIC Pro - Organic. It is limestone with rosemary and mint. At the current time it is out of production to the best of my knowledge for reasons which are not public.

  9. bugginme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Apr 2 2008 8:12:13
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    How mysterious. Do you know who the manufacturer of NIC Pro is?

  10. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Apr 2 2008 12:09:01
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    The same as NIC 325 (the 325 actually refers to a section of environmental law).
    ACM their website nicdust.com does not seem to be up. If they go out someone will
    probably pickup the product, I know they were trying to sell it.

  11. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Apr 2 2008 18:58:44
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    Winston, did you ever use any of the NIC products? Did you find them to be helpful or effective?

  12. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 3 2008 11:12:48
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    I have used NIC 325 and found it very effective for roach control especially in trash compactor treatments. As far as bb are concerned I know several techs who are quite happy with it. As far as the new Organic pro I don't have feedback as we are using up our
    325 stock and will probably move to Drione or another product based on availability.

  13. 4everparanoid

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 3 2008 12:13:23
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    Hi there,
    This site is terrific! I have spent hours reading over the past few days. I have a former survivor of 2 infestations (both solved on my own--one with vacuum/fogging, which I realize now is a no-no and the other time by moving 3-4 times). It's been 10 years. Now I have 2 small children and a 2800 sq. ft home, which I cannot move from and I have no idea how I would/will ever eradicate another infestation!

    I am suspecting bed bugs, but then I do every time I travel. My "new" questions are:
    * the alleged blood stains I see on my kids' sheets are very even, like the head of a pin and superficial--don't go through the sheets. Does that sound like digestion marks? I looked at all the pictures here and none look like what I'm seeing. I seem to remember that the stains went through to the mattress pad/mattress before but then it has been 10 years!

    Also, as I accumulate more evidence for my husband to actually believe me this time, I thought I would start washing/bagging some stuff. I have my own washer/dryer...do you see a problem with using those (the washer is brand new so I would hate to contaminate it.) Or should I make an effort to go to laundramat, which would be more difficult for me.

    My only evidence so far is bites on my kids but they have been one or two. Not lots. I'm thinking this is just the beginning...I added to this post as I am intrigued by the preventative measures but don't want to move forward without a professional opinion I think. I don't want to make it worse, but I don't feel like I have enough evidence to confince a PCO that we have bb. (I cannot even convince my husband and he lived through it with me 10 years ago) Oh the memories...
    thanks!

  14. 4everparanoid

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 3 2008 13:44:22
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    I hope I'm doing this right...this is my first timing blogging. Hopefully someone will see this last one...how come I have only ONCE seen a bed bug? I lived through one minor bed bug infestment (18 years ago) saw the dead one that time. Then I lived with the bed bugs for 2 years (10 years ago) but NEVER saw one once. It is enough to question my sanity. But then bb tend to have that effect on people

  15. bugginme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 3 2008 21:07:25
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    Winston,

    Thanks for the insights. Do you have any opinions as to the benefit of NIC vs DE?

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 3 2008 22:03:27
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    4ever-- I replied in your other thread:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/help-anyone-out-there?replies=7

    (It's easier to find your responses later if they are all in the one place.)

  17. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 6 2008 13:51:19
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    Thanks for answering my question, Winston!

  18. Bugless

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 6 2008 20:21:26
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    Here's a source for powdered limestone:

    https://www.healthyhome.com/Site/ProductItemDetail.asp?Product_ID=1043

    The product is called PowderGard. It kills many kinds of insect. The website specifically lists bedbugs among them. It is safe for humans and pets and can be used indoors, but a dust mask should probably be used when applying indoors. The website says that it can be dusted into tufts and folds of mattresses (among other places) to combat bedbugs. It can also be dusted into upholstered furniture that has bedbugs.

    PowderGard consists of powdered limestone and mint. The mint clogs the breathing spiracles of insects. Also, as the limestone abrades the exoskeleton of an insect, it is bad for the insect's nervous system.

    PowderGard is odor-less. I don't know whether some people are allergic to mint. The website says nothing about allergic reaction. But it might be best for a person with an allergy problem to use this product in a small amount to start with.

    PowderGard can be ordered online for $9.95 for a 12-ounce duster-type container, or $19.95 for a 3-pound bucket. Shipping cost seems high, but is not much more for the larger size. Only an extremely thin layer is applied, so 3 pounds should go a long way. It is shipped from Florida.

    It is also available from the same seller in 55-gallon drums. That seems like a good business opportunity for someone. It can be put into household-size containers for retail sale. Indoor-safe powdered limestone seems hard to find.

    Other brands of powdered limestone are available for use as an insecticide on gardens. Sometimes it has fertilizer mixed with it. I would use powdered limestone only when it is specifically prepared for indoor use; that type can be used for gardens as well.

    Bugginme mentions that a duster gets more of the dust into the air than a paintbrush would. So it might be best to use a paintbrush mostly, and a duster to get the powder into voids.

    This would be a great preventive for a place that has no bedbugs. It seems to have no bad points. As a preventive, occasional redusting should probably be done.

  19. Bugless

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Apr 6 2008 23:48:54
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    I just found more places that sell PowderGard. To find them, go to http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en and search for "PowderGard".

    The prices vary a bit. Also, some places have PowderGard in 10-lb and 20-lb buckets, and in liquid form.

    However, quite a few of the websites listed sell insecticides other than PowderGard and that is not powdered limestone.

  20. Bugless

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 7 2008 11:04:33
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    Here's why powdered limestone is hard to find:

    http://www.epa.gov/region8/compliance/FIFRA0820080003STOP.pdf

    The EPA should put on a hustle and approve this material. The need is urgent.

    After all, it is only limestone, which is an extremely common mineral, and mint, which has been used on food for centuries. (I presume the mint is just dried and powdered mint leaves.)

    You can trust the government to take a leisurely attitude.

    I just ordered some PowerGard from the following website, and my order was accepted.

    http://www.ecosafetyproducts.com/CM-Powdergard-Non-Toxic-Natural-Insect-Killer-p/c11-3000.htm

    If you can't get it, you can always use DE as a preventive.

    But I repeat, don't use anything on an infestation - call a PCO. If you use any kind of insecticide, it will probably drive the bedbugs away from their harborages for a time and a PCO will have more difficulty finding them.

    Powdered limestone is also used as an extender when concrete is mixed, and for other industrial-type uses. Don't try any of that - no telling what impurities are in it. Use only powdered limestone intended for household use.

  21. bugginme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 7 2008 20:13:55
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    Thanks so much, Bugless. I noticed that the first link also referred to their product as NIC325.

    I now have limestone and DE in our apt. It will be hard to tell how effective they are in comparison to each other. If anyone else out there can decipher the difference in effectiveness between the 2, will you let us know?

  22. Bites44

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Apr 7 2008 20:16:49
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    Hi Bugless, thanks for the information. Healthyhome.com just returned my email, and I had phoned them as well. They do not ship to Canada, but they also stated that they are will not be carrying their limestone product much longer, due to new regulations regarding how natural products are sold across state lines.

    There is a lot of info on ground limestone, and I have just ordered some from another online source for a friend(who has had 4 professional treatments and is still getting many bites) This is the source that is shipping to Canada for me:
    http://www.garden-ville.com/5201279_36600.htm

    My friend cannot use DE as she is highly allergic to it, so we are going to try the limestone.

    Also Thanks Bugginme for the info; crossing my fingers that it works,

  23. Bugless

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 8 2008 15:37:20
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    Bugginme, you ask about the difference in effectiveness of limestone and DE. I don't know, but I can add this much:

    Limestone is mainly calcium carbonate. It consists chiefly of the fossil shells of microscopic marine protozoa called foraminifers. There are many species of foraminifers.

    DE is mainly silicon dioxide. It consists chiefly of the fossil shells of microscopic marine or fresh-water plants called diatoms. There are many species of diatoms. They are entirely different from foraminifers.

    Thus, limestone and DE are chemically different. But they are both comprised of the microscopic shells of living organisms.

    I hate to sound pessimistic, but I don't think either of these products will be fully effective. If they were, bedbugs would not be the great problem they are.

  24. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 10 2008 17:49:29
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    Question to bites 44 does your friend have shell fish allergies?

    By the way did u know that diatomaceous earth is used to stabilize the
    very explosive nitroglycerin, and that the combination is called dynamite.

  25. Bites44

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 10 2008 21:14:17
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    Winston, she is not allergic to shellfish. However, she was in art school and developed a sensitivity to yje fine dust from charcoal sticks (for drawing). This may be related, ???
    We put DE along baseboards, and under her computer, and she got violent headaches and nausea, and had these black rings around her eyes (black rings are usually a sign of allergies.) So we picked it all up again, and it took several vacuumings. Maybe it was not a true allergy, but certainly a sensivitity.

    Then again, maybe the Tempo (a pyrethrim)that was sprayed in her apartment by a PCO compounded the problem.

    She is still suffering with severe itching, so we are willing to try anything. The limestone that I have been reading about makes sense to me, amd I took good note from your earlier statement that you know some techs that had good results with it. I thank you so much for sharing this.

    I myself had a light infestation and was unable to hire a PCO due to health reasons and due to my age, so used only DE. Crossing my fingers very strongly daily, I think they are all gone now.

    I didn't know about the nitro, but I do know that farmers use food grade DE in the graneries to get rid of all sorts of grain bugs and beetles.

    Thanks again, I have learned a lot on this forum, don't know what I would have done without it.

    On an aside here, I'm not sure that diatoms are related to shellfish, as diatoms are algae with a silica shell. Good question, I have forgotten my University Biology.

  26. freaked out in brooklyn

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Thu Apr 17 2008 7:40:35
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    I order 3 pounds of the limestone. It feels like this stuff might work, along with all the other prep. Why is this so hard to get.
    The company said the FDA has made laws not to be able to get this stuff, because it is out of arizona. We can get all this toxic stuff, and then they shut down a natural, healthy product from being easy to get. I wish I would have ordered the gallon size as New York is infested and
    i never want to have to deal with this again.


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