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Need Alternative Shoe Treatment (Clothes Dryer NOT an Option)

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  1. Bugmisery

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jul 20 2008 15:47:41
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    I live in an apartment building in NYC and I am not allowed to put shoes in the clothes dryers that are shared by many. I also do not want to ruin my shoes. I am throwing out a third of my shoes, but have some that I am just not ready to part with, although I don't have to wear them in the next couple of months. I wear treated rubber flip flops to work and change into shoes that I had been keeping at the office pre-bedbugs when I get there.

    (1) What is the most effective alternative option (as opposed to drying on high heat for 30 minutes)out of those listed below or do you have any other recommendations?

    Please note that I intend to place each pair of shoes in 2 gallon ziploc bags & individual container store plastic shoe boxes, after doing one of the below treatments.

    A: Vacuum and spray with bug killer
    B: Steam and spray with bug killer
    C: Vacuum, Steam & Spray with bug killer

    (2) Also, whuch bug killer should I use and is considered safe for shoes?
    Bedlam, Kleen Free, Sterifab, or 91% Alcohol (I have them all - not used any though yet as to not interfere with PCOs plans)?

    Any ideas that you have that do not include a clothes dryer would be helpful. Thanks!

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jul 20 2008 16:19:27
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    You might look at this thread for some information. I would read the whole thread and all the links, esp. as there is information that these strips can damage some substances. I haven't read the whole thread carefully enough yet, but it might be just the sort of thing you're looking for:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/ddvp-no-pest-strips-information

  3. bedbugvictimperthaustralia

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jul 20 2008 18:17:39
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    Putting your shoes in the dryer seems like untested advice to me. I say that because when I did it it destroyed both shoes I put in there - which sucked because those shoes were worth $500 each (hey, it's hard to find cheap ones that fit right).

    Specifically it melted and shrunk the plastic of the sneakers, and it shrunk and split open the suede ones.

    In RETROSPECT (which is a wonderful thing) I would have felt totally okay spraying inside with bug spray. Any of the ones you listed, or a supermarket bug spray that lists bed bugs on the side (ie: a brand of Mortein here) would be fine.

    Of course you'd want to bag it and keep it for a few weeks, then do it again - seeing as eggs might have hatched.

  4. mangycur

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jul 20 2008 19:47:42
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    spraying bug spray in your shoes is not a very safe thing to do. Your skin sucks in a certain amount of anything you put on it--hence doctors prescribe pain medication patches to people--they just absorb it through the skin. So if you spray poison in your shoes, you're going to absorb it into your bloodstream.

    Rubbing alcohol is a contact killer, and is safe to put on your skin, but you have to really soak the shoes with the stuff, which might fade them. And there have been no tests to see if rubbing alcohol kills eggs.

    I am struggling with this conundrum myself.

  5. rebugcca

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jul 21 2008 9:29:15
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    My PCO recommended the following:
    1) Vacuum shoes to remove anything live in/on them
    2) Heat treat them with a hairdryer on the highest setting. Run the hair dryer over the entire surface of the shoe, paying close attention to the seams. Hold it on sections until they get really, really hot. (You will be surprised how hot a hair dryer can make a pair of shoes). Stick the nozzle inside the shoe to heat the interior.

    He said this could be done on leather purses, bags, and luggage too.

    Of course, he also told us that our infestation was light and we didn't need to treat our shoes or luggage unless we wanted to. I did some but not all, and we haven't been being bitten after 3 sprays. . . .

  6. mangycur

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jul 21 2008 9:53:19
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    Hmmm . . . the heat rules that I have read are:

    ironing will work if you can guarantee the item you are ironing reaches 130 degrees
    Steamers--when steaming your furniture, etc.--the manufacteror's specs on the machine must say the temperature at the nozzle is at least 200 degrees
    The library protocol says to bake books at 130 degrees for several hours

    I am not sure I would personally feel confident that my hair dryer would get 130 degrees of heat deep into the creases of the insides of my shoes

    I did take a pair of nice sandles and scrape the creases with a safety pin dipped in rubbing alcohol, followed by a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. The idea being that eggs can be dislodged if scraped. No goober came out of these creases, they were clean.

  7. angie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jul 21 2008 10:48:30
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    I don't know how to help here. I did not worry about my shoes at all. I did bag them and put them in the garage with the rest of my stuff but did not think once about bugs living in them. And between me and the kids (all girls) that is alot of shoes. I really don't feel that they live in shoes, maybe camp there a few nights but no permanant residence set up. I think that you could steam them. I don't know if an irons steam would get hot enough but rent or hire a professional steamer and then after they are dry, seal them. Or put in the freezer? I did have some success with freezing things that could not be washed or dried. you have to leave it undisturbed for a while and chest freezers are better than refridge freezers. Colder and needs to be left unopened. It did kill my bugs that were in the stuff that I put in there. I know that it is not a cure all or anything, but I am offering my advice on something that worked for me. Pillows, blankets (too big to wash or not washable) and I even put stuffed animals to special to ruin by washing nor would we part with them. It never hurts to try and the worst that can happen is it doesn't work but nothing got ruined and no one got hurt. Just a thought!!

  8. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jul 21 2008 12:05:40
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    Steaming should be effective for killing bed bugs & eggs, but I don't know how leather products (shoes) that are held together in part with glue are going to fare after repeated treatments.

    You might want to add cedar oil spray to your list of contact killers to try, if you can deal with the cedar scent.

    You could replace the hair dryer with a heat gun to ensure that you are getting enough BTU's to raise the temp to 130d F.

    An infra-red thermometer could be utilized to ensure that the treated surfaces are reaching the desired temperature range.

    I think some dryer companies offer a stationary shelf that can be placed in the dyer for items that can't be tumbled, if the issue with using the dryer is the physical agitation.

    Let us know how your experiments turn out.

  9. Itchybutdealing

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jul 21 2008 12:09:44
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    Wear sandals and tap them together over the bathtub. Then plastic bag them. Spray Kleen free on non-sandal shoes and bag them.


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