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Packtite Bug Breakthrough

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  1. biker

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 12:31:42
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    I purchased a packtite unit about 3 months ago and have been using it
    daily since then. At first it worked well. Everything I treated in it seemed to come out bug free, meaning I did not experience being bitten upon wearing any of the
    treated clothing or shoes.

    But now I am starting to see a rapid deterioration in its effectiveness. The
    very small ones seem to survive the 8 hours treatment time!
    It's horrible. The driers in the basement of my apartment building are also
    not doing the job even after one hour.
    Has anyone out there had a similar experience? I have not been monitoring
    temperatures closely but I will starting now. The device is so simple to use
    I can't imagine I could be using it incorrectly. Besides it had been working.
    The bugs seemed to have adapted to the Packtite temperature levels.

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 13:03:24
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    Hi,

    I have been running PackTite for a long time and a lot more intensely than most people in domestic settings do and am yet to get a failure.

    Although it is technically possible for the fan to fail using the temperature probe will let you know very quickly and it is not that hard to get a replacement and swap it out.

    I have checked your posting history but cant see anything that would confirm your infestation in terms of:

    • Live samples
    • Cast skins
    • Faecal traces

    Basing your analysis on bites or bite responses alone is not the accurate or recommended way to either look at this issue or deal with a problem.

    If you want to post more about what confirming signs you have we should be able to help you.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  3. biker

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 16:50:13
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    Let me ask the question again.

    Has anyone out there "experienced" a failure of what has thus far been a recommended
    method of killing bed bugs with heat?
    Whether using a Packtite or a clothes driers?
    Have bed bugs become more temperature resistant?

  4. so unsettling

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 17:46:45
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    I have been using a packtite for a long time, and no, I have no reason to believe it doesn't work. Why do you think yours isn't? Do you take items out of it, and see live bugs somewhere?

    Or is it because, despite your use of heat, you are still being bitten? The packtite was never designed to cure a home of an infestation. It is a tool to help control spread and sanitize items that may be exposed to whatever infestation is there. I used it for big jobs in the beginning, to clean out books or clothing and then bag a lot of them while my place was treated. I now use it for clothing that I wore that day, since I have no idea where bugs might be among the places i frequent outside my home. I also use it when I buy used books, or take books out of the library. Or for luggage when I travel. The packtite has become a protective maintenance tool for me.

    I am just curious, as to what your evidence is, that the packtite isn't doing the job. I doubt that the bugs are becoming resistant to these high levels of heat. Heat is different that pesticide--although bugs can develop some types of resistance to chemicals, I don't see how the tolerable heat level could climb any higher than it is said to be. They are thin little bugs, not mammoths.

  5. djames1921

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 18:38:31
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    Heat kills bed bugs everytime. If you are getting 120 f or higher for an hour, they do not survive. As long as you are getting those temps, which both your dryer and packtite will provide you won't have any survivors. Feel free to pm me with your contact details their are some other things that could be causing you problems.

    Disclaimer, I make packtite and have actually tested and killed thousands of bed bugs in my units.

  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 19:14:04
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    I don't think there have been problems with the packtite. My home dryer probably doesn't get hot enough, but I just follow it with packtite once the items are clean and dry.

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  7. biker

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 10:10:38
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    Well I went and measured the temperatures for an 8 hour cycle using the packtite heater.
    After achieving 145 deg for probably 6 hours small bugs still survived.

    This is not inconsistent with the exterminator I had been working with a few
    months back who said that other clients were having to increase the clothes
    drying time to an hour to kill the bed bugs. The clothes drier is probably even hotter
    than the packtite.

    My next test will be to take one of my coats (these really collect the bugs) and
    bring it into the sauna with me at my exercise club. The sauna is around 170
    degrees. I'll try it for 15 minutes or so and see what happens.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 10:36:55
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    Please consider so unsettling's questions above: why do you think bed bugs are surviving 6 hours at 145F?

    Is it because, despite using the Packtite, your bites persist?

    Is is because you still see bugs in your home?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. Louise

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 10:51:56
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    biker - 39 minutes ago  » 
    My next test will be to take one of my coats (these really collect the bugs) and
    bring it into the sauna with me at my exercise club. The sauna is around 170
    degrees. I'll try it for 15 minutes or so and see what happens.

    Why do your coats "really collect the bugs"? Do you keep them in a place that is swarming with bed bugs? I get that bed bugs hitchhike, but why would your coats "collect" bed bugs in a way that other clothing and/or items do not?

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 10:59:59
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    If the coat collects bugs then could we see a sample of said bugs?

    I would be willing to ID for free via the post and I am sure others closer will join in the season of good will and extend the same.

    It's ALWAYS important to FIRSTLY confirm was is causing the problem before embarking on a solution.

    PM me if you need an address.

    David

  11. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 12:11:04
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    Non-expert opinion: just as bugs might conceivably tend to evolve bites that take humans longer and longer to react to, or to which fewer and fewer humans react at all...

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/could-the-lack-of-bite-response-be-due-to-selective-breeding#post-128519

    ...due to the selective advantage such bugs would acquire by so doing, isn't it also conceivable bugs could evolve more tolerance to heat than we've observed them to have until now. As the PackTite, and other heat methods of combatting bb's, become more widespread, who's to say strains of bugs might not appear that can withstand that 120F for an hour.

    But 145F for 6 hours? That would truly seem unlikely but in biology we have to be ultra-conservative about ever ruling out *anything*. What if the bugs have only one biochemical attribute that's causing them to die in the 120F, and suddenly there's a weirdo bug that doesn't have that particular single attribute - with the one barrier removed, can we absolutely say that bug and its progeny wouldn't be able to make a gigantic leap in heat tolerance so they can manage 145F?

    Anyway as David points out, first we have to make extra sure it's really bed bugs that are causing biker's bites, even if it's just to see a photo of them here on bedbugger.com in the usual fashion where experts can ID it. If confirmed, obviously we should then run those bugs through the specified heat while observing them closely, to make sure they didn't somehow elude the heat before and come in after the fact to bite biker.

  12. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 13:09:17
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    jrbtnyc - 44 minutes ago  » That would truly seem unlikely but in biology we have to be ultra-conservative about ever ruling out *anything*. What if the bugs have only one biochemical attribute that's causing them to die in the 120F, and suddenly there's a weirdo bug that doesn't have that particular single attribute - with the one barrier removed, can we absolutely say that bug and its progeny wouldn't be able to make a gigantic leap in heat tolerance so they can manage 145F?

    Its not really how biology works. Most organisms have an ability to adapt to their environment but it takes many generations to overcome a strong pressure that affects multiple systems, think Dinosaurs and the ICE age (but not the Disney version).

    The main reason why bedbugs and most organisms die above 120 is that their proteins start to loose function, at 140 they break down completely (the reason why egg whites go from clear to white). As there are very few higher organisms that can survive these temperatures and likewise they find it hard to survive outside of these temperatures I think we are safe from heat resistant bedbugs for a few more millennium.

    In short bedbugs would need to mutate to the extend that they were either not protein based or were super heated protein only based as thermal adaptability is not a single gene trait and affects too many systems.

    I hope that explains and avoid any fear associated with a wild theory.

    David

  13. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 14:02:37
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    As David points out, heat works because it works by "denaturing" the basic biological building blocks upon which the biological structures are based.

    Critters are litterally being cooked which results in mortality.

    The rate at which the mortality occurs may vary by individual but there is no question what the result will be given sufficient temperature and exposure period.

    (If there are bed bugs out there that are not being killed at the target temperatures & duration most of us are using in the field, I'm sure there's a bunch of us that would like to see them.)

    paul b.

  14. mrwitz

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 14:07:54
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    Obviously Mr. Cain's explanation is far more scientific than mine is, but I see three possibilities here that could explain this situation:

    1) The Packtite is somehow broken, either not heating up enough or no circulating heat so that there are cold spots that bugs can retreat to.

    2) The bugs that are surviving are not bedbugs. This is no to say that the OP does not have bedbugs but that there is also another bug that can survive those temperatures. (Possible?)

    3) The OP has bedbugs that have evolved immense heat resistence in just a few generations, marking a massive shift in their biology that essentially makes them indestructible

    It seems to make sense that one of the simpler explanations probably lies at the root of this problem. The best approach would be to isolate each variable and test it seperately. Make sure the Packtite works. Have the bugs ID'd, etc. It's science!

  15. djames1921

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Dec 21 2011 18:09:07
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    Their is one option here that you didn't mention mrwitz, anyone care to guess? Remember this is just an option, it doesn't mean it is what is going on in this case, but we could eliminate it as an option with an identification of the suspect critter.

    Disclaimer: I make the Packtite and will personally eat any bed bugs that survive 140 f.

  16. Louise

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 10:46:03
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    djames1921 - 16 hours ago  » 

    Disclaimer: I make the Packtite and will personally eat any bed bugs that survive 140 f.

    With or without ketchup?

    (Or perhaps covered in chocolate would be the better option...)

  17. biker

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 12:08:31
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    Yesterday I did take one of my "contaminated" coats to the gym with its sauna.
    After about 15 minutes at 165 deg I can report significant improvement.
    Now when I put that coat on, I am now no longer starting to be bitten
    almost immediately (within 2 minutes).

    It appears my questions and observations are contradicting
    the received view on bed bugs.
    All I can think of suggesting is that the bugs I have are black in color whereas I
    understand brown to be the more common color.
    So perhaps I have a particularly temperature resistant strain?
    Unfortunately for me.

  18. Louise

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 12:12:31
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    You're right; your observations are contradicting what is known about bed bugs. My guess is that you are observing bugs that are not, in fact, bed bugs. Bed bugs are never black, and they don't "hang out" on clothing as a rule.

    Please post a picture of the bugs that are afflicting you so that one of the experts on this site can get you an ID. Then you'll know what you're dealing with.

  19. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 12:44:34
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    We need to stay within the realm of possibilities and the truth;

    > BBs can not develop heat reesistance. it is not bilogically possible.

    > Mortality is based upon temperature & duration. (i.e. a lethal temperature for the required exposure time)

    > Positive Affirmation - There needs to be confirmed sightings of live BBs and not smply "reported bites" to confirm that the heat treatment or unit thereof has not been effective. How would we know there were actually BBs present on/in the items being heat treated prior to reporting a treatment failure?

    > For the heat treatment to work, every area of the items being treated must reach the required lethal temperature for the exposure time required. If this does not occur than it is possible that BBs may survive. However, if the PT unit is being used correctly and there is no malfunction of the unit, then there is no way that BBs should survive this treatment.

    Perhaps I've stated the obvious here but, it is what it is.

    paul b.

  20. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 12:47:32
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    Hi Biker,

    If you are basing this purely on bite response then I am willing to bet 98% you don't have bedbugs.

    Please have these other bugs identified and confirmed as to what they are.

    The key reason why i say this is that sauna heat is a more humid heat than dryer or PackTite which can induce an increase in static. The sauna however does not so if you are actually having a Brachiating Urticaria reaction (also known as carpet beetle allergy, cable mites and paper mites) this would account for the reduction you have noticed.

    Please get the sample confirmed or this will continue without resolution.

    David

  21. loubugs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 13:25:51
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    Heating but having bad circulation in the Packtite also wouldn't get proper temps to all places. Overpacking the unit also could lend toward poor air and heat circulation and failure.

    But, above all, identification is key and feeling bites is not diagnostic for bed bugs. Description of unknown creatures also is not 100% diagnostic for bed bugs.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  22. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 13:48:09
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    biker,

    David Cain offered to identify a sample of your insect if you sent him one by mail.

    Lots of professionals here (entomologists or pest pros) can identify a sample if you take a photo.

    Bed bugs are not black. There may be some other pest you're dealing with and having a confirmation of what it is will HELP you solve that problem.

    It may seem like people are being argumentative here, but you have to understand:
    1. We care about helping you identify and resolve this problem, or we would not be responding to your post.
    2. Several others here (not me) are experts on pests and really will be able to help you find the problem if you're willing to post a photo or send a sample.


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