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Overzealous Self Treat- help!

(10 posts)
  1. Mr_Snooze

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 13:26:21
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    So my wife and I found bedbugs and instantly went through the 5 stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. It was a terrible 30 seconds...

    We quickly washed all our clothes and bedding thoroughly, sprayed alcohol everywhere and sealed up our mattresses. We went one step further and put DE all over our bedroom. A week later I attempted to clean it up with a vacuum cleaner(and proper protection of course, mask goggles, the whole bit), but only seemed to blow everything around the room. We have carpet and I'm afraid we were a little overzealous in the application. I think I fell into to newbie trap of overapplication from what I've read on these forums, and I probably should have read more.

    Is a proper vacuum the only way to clean this up? At this point I'm pretty sure I have to go out and get a new vacuum but I was wondering if this was the only course I can take now.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 13:32:57
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    Dear snoozie & everyone else,

    OK, we're a tad off base with our DE over-applications here.

    While you could sleep atop a mountain of DE and still get bit, we need to recognize and learn that these pesticide products need to be applied in a fashion that they will do the most good and that each such product has its own performance characteristics.

    You need a HEPA type filtered vac to clean up DE dust without making it become airborne resulting in you and your family breathing this sh#t in. We DON'T want that ! ! !

    Note that you can also immediately remove accessible bed bugs by using a vacuum too.

    Check out my other posts on self treatment as this will help you too.

    What other questions do you have ?

    pjb

  3. Mr_Snooze

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 13:52:58
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    I checked our vacuum and it supposedly does have a HEPA filter on it. It's a Bissel Powerforce Bagless. It worked for a little bit but then stopped and now all it does is kick more DE in the air when I turn it on. Does that mean it is kaput?

  4. Bedbug_Undertaker

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 14:36:25
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    Mr_Snooze,

    When working on the post and, sometimes pre treatment side I get to vacuum up a fair amount of powdered DE folks have gotten on line and used to self treat. My vacuum cleaner is a dyson dc26. It's a bagless cylinder model with a HEPA filter.
    When over use of powdered DE is involved, my vac often gives up the ghost too. Simple fix is to let it cool down then locate the filter, take this out and brush it with a stiff brush, (I use a nail brush) then give it a wash with water and washing up liquid. Leave it to dry then, pop it back in your vac and it should work fine after that.
    I have had my vac for 4 years now and it's seen more use than most industrial vacs could ever dream of. Yet it's still going strong and I've never had to buy a new filter for it.
    Use the finest nozzle attachment and, hold it slightly above the carpet rather than brushing the carpet with it. You'll find that should keep it from blowing about so much. Once you've got the surface powder up then get give the carpet a closer vacuum.
    As P Bello says you don't want your family breathing that stuff in. Have done that myself many times. Whilst I do wear a mask during post treatments, I can still taste the stuff on my teeth from simply inhaling it as I enter the property when it's over used.
    Last weekend I visited 3 houses from the same family who'd all decided that turning their bedrooms into what resembles sand pits of DE, just entering the rooms left me feeling rather nauseous for a few hours.
    I dread to think how I would have felt had I not used my mask for the removal. And yes my poor little vac struggled with the last house!
    However it has recovered after a good filter washing and is back on top form.

    BB_U

  5. cilecto

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 15:14:01
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    Unless a vacuum cleaner has a filter to keep the DE from getting into the mechanism, the DE will clog the vacuum. One way to minimize the amount of DE is to mop it up with wet rags.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 15:14:45
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    Helpful posts, Paul and Bedbug_Undertaker! That's a priceless tip about rescuing a vacuum after cleaning up DE...

    I would just add that we have a FAQ on DE which may be helpful in terms of how it can be used safely and effectively.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 15:20:05
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    Practical issues always seem to come into play !

    You've likely clogged your HEPA filter. And, if worse, the DE got past the filter and funked up your motor too !

    You can do this:

    > Remove & clean the HEPA filter or replace it with a new one.

    > Assuming you have access to a compressor, use an air line to clean out your vac's motor and other internal working parts. OF COURSE, you MUST do this carefully such that you're not breathing this stuff and you MUST do it outdoors so that you're not contaminating your home's interior with that crap too !

    > If you have large accumulations of the powder, they may be best removed using a dust pan and suitable whisk type broom. Be CERTAIN you are not raising a cloud and breathing in the dust. Consider using a mask too ! ! !

    Be friggin careful dude ! hope this helps ! paul b.

  8. Mr_Snooze

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 15:41:54
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    Thanks everyone! All the tips were very helpful! I've cleaned out the filter and have used a dustpan and a piece of cardboard to scrape the "clumps" into a trashbag, no dust!

    I'm hoping once the filter is dry I'll be able to get the rest of it up and continue working to get rid of this problem!

    Again thanks for all the feedback!

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 15:55:21
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    Nobugsonme - 40 minutes ago  » 
    Helpful posts, Paul and Bedbug_Undertaker!

    ... and CiLecto, who posted at exactly the same time I did!

  10. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 14 2013 22:20:22
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    Very helpful post. Thanks everyone!

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT

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