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Picked Up Bed Bugs Traveling--Debug Stuff That Isn't Clothes?

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  1. b12345

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 24 2016 12:18:20
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    Hi All!

    I recently stayed at a friend's home that was infested with bed bugs. Obviously no one knew this until I started to get bites about a week in, or else I would not have stayed. I saw the signs of bb's and a real live one, and we called an exterminator who confirmed it was bed bugs, so I'm pretty sure. Unfortunately for me, I was planning on staying there for a month or two so I brought A LOT of stuff, and unpacked it all, before we realized.

    I've since left and am back home. Just about everything I brought is still in my car, besides a few non-cloth necessities I visually inspected and brought in. I'm operating on the assumption that everything is infested because I don't want any possibility of bed bugs spreading to my real home.

    I know the dryer protocol for clothes,and I did it once at her house before coming and will do it again (with new trash bags) before bringing my clothes inside. What I need help with is how to debug all the OTHER stuff. Those items include: purses (not real leather,) a suitcase, shoes, belts, toiletries/makeup/hair brushes, papers, and a sewing machine. I was also worried about my laptop but I took that apart pretty completely and it was clean. How much do I need to worry about those other things? What can I do to be sure they are completely bug free?

    I DO NOT have the funds to buy a Packtite so that is not an option. Depending on the cost and effectiveness and I may be able to DIY a similar product. I likely do not have the funds to live without at least some of the shoes, bags, and purses for 18 months because I cannot afford to replace them. What are my options to debug these items?

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 24 2016 12:46:31
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    You could put your shoes, bags and belts in a pillow case and run them through the dryer.
    The toiletries/makeup/hair brushes and papers can be cleared with a good visual inspection.
    Discard the cardboard boxes.

  3. GeekOnTheHill

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 24 2016 12:52:41
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    Other than the toiletries and makeup, the easiest and most reliable way to treat everything else you mentioned would probably be Nuvan Prostrips. They're resin strips impregnated with dichlorvos, an old-school organophosphate with a high vapor pressure that acts like a fumigant: The vapors kill the bed bugs. It's nasty stuff. I don't like it very much. But it comes in handy for some uses.

    The most common way to use Nuvan is by inserting the strips in a well-sealed, heavy-duty (2 mils thick or more) plastic bag along with the items being treated, and letting them sit for the requisite amount of time. 48 hours will kill exposed stages. Seven days will kill eggs.

    If you decide to use Nuvan, read and follow the label very carefully, and don't do the treatment in an occupied room or one where children, pets, or other critters are around. This includes mice in case you're thinking about using the garage. You don't want anyone or anything disturbing the bag.

    Make sure to follow the aeration instructions, too. Basically unseal the bags and remove the items in a "well-ventilated area" (like outside, my favorite "well-ventilated area) and let everything air out for at least two hours (longer would be better for stuff that touches your body, like shoes).

    Richard

  4. BugsUpInFlames

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 24 2016 17:27:32
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    Please do not attempt a DIY heat treatment on your items! If they can go safely in the dryer, then do it (shoes included). I am not an expert, but I do know that a lot of people attempting to use heat on their own terms, either for their belongings or the house, end up with all their things (and their lives) in flames.

    Nuvan pest strips are a viable option, as others here have indicated.

    I had to go the "starvation route"....a lot of my things that I didn't immediately need were packed away, for up to two years. With my father's death a month ago, I got his family records and they have been sealed, first in a tote, and then two contractor bags ziplock-tied and taped, to not be opened again for two years.

    Bed bugs seldom target electronics unless they are forced in there by a botched elimination attempt or they grow so numerous they run out of places to harbor.

    Get rid of any cardboard boxes. Eliminate clutter.

    Setting stuff outside in bags on a hot day does nothing. Don't bother with this 'method'.

    Whatever you do, please don't make the biggest mistake I know people tend to make-don't use bug bombs or foggers! They don't work because they don't reach where bed bugs hide, and they force bed bugs to scatter, increasing your problem. If they get into your wall voids, you're really hosed. Drives up the cost of dealing with them by thousands of dollars.

    After you deal with your items, consider your car next.

    Formerly BeenBuggedMidoriBird
  5. bitemelady

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 24 2016 20:22:08
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    Here is my shoe-solution--using a shoe-lace to prevent your shoes from tumbling:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/shoe-solution-without-packtite

    I will also be using a shoe-lace (see method in link above) to string through books+notebooks, etc., to put them through the dryer without them tumbling. And I did use the same method twice to suspend two handbags to prevent them from tumbling.

    Finally I tried to avoid Nuvan strips and buying a Packtite by instead ordering a steamer.. however, the steamer did not get up to 250 degrees as advertised (instead it got up to 93). I did however take note that my hair-dryer gets up to 180+ degrees; if your hair-dryer also does then you might try using it on some small items, holding it and moving it very slowly across small valuables (like jewelry--I used tongs to avoid the earrings blowing away or burning my fingers). --Regardless, you sound very careful: keep it up, and I hope my shoe-solution at the link above helps if you want to avoid tumbling-damage.

  6. GeekOnTheHill

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 24 2016 23:26:17
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    bitemelady - 3 hours ago  » 
    Here is my shoe-solution--using a shoe-lace to prevent your shoes from tumbling:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/shoe-solution-without-packtite
    I will also be using a shoe-lace (see method in link above) to string through books+notebooks, etc., to put them through the dryer without them tumbling. And I did use the same method twice to suspend two handbags to prevent them from tumbling.
    Finally I tried to avoid Nuvan strips and buying a Packtite by instead ordering a steamer.. however, the steamer did not get up to 250 degrees as advertised (instead it got up to 93). I did however take note that my hair-dryer gets up to 180+ degrees; if your hair-dryer also does then you might try using it on some small items, holding it and moving it very slowly across small valuables (like jewelry--I used tongs to avoid the earrings blowing away or burning my fingers). --Regardless, you sound very careful: keep it up, and I hope my shoe-solution at the link above helps if you want to avoid tumbling-damage.

    I love your shoelace trick! The main reason I shy away from recommending dryers for shoes and sneakers is because I broke the lint filter on a dryer that way. (The sneakers were just wet, not infested, but still.) Your idea solves that problem. Bravo!

    Richard

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Aug 25 2016 0:42:07
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    Besides Nuvan, which Richard mentions, and other DDVP strips (Hot Shot makes one which is sold in US states where you can't buy Nuvan), Rag in a Bag with Cirkil or Proof is another option for decon in a sealed bag. Some people are concerned about the smell. YMMV.

    The Useful tools page entry on DDVP (Nuvan Prostrips, Hot Shot Strips) and the one on Cirkil and Proof may be helpful.

    If you have access to a steamer, that may work for some of the items (luggage, maybe belt and shoes).

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

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