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Please someone clear this up for me. DE and heating pipes.

(8 posts)
  1. Buggedeyed2017

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sat Feb 25 2017 23:39:37
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    UNRELATED HISTORY: About 6 months ago, a neighbor behind (sharing a wall) us had bbs, and the exterminator came and used chemicals. We quickly laid down food grade DE as a border around the apartment. We also dusted the outlets, sealed any openings we could find, isolated beds and put all clothing and books into large ziplock baggies. A few weeks later, found a bb on its back alive. And later found a nest but they were all dead. Since then, we put duct tape over the outlets and sealed around heating pipes. Also we were going to do a heat treatment, and were scheduled for it, but then were notified that another neighbor in the building now has them. I guess they ran to another apartment when the chemicals were put down.

    QUESTION: How safe is it to use good grade DE around heating pipes? We've applied it twice, but I worry about the safety. When it heats up, I heard it gets dangerous. But Ive also heard of people using it around pipes and they tell me it is fine. I worry about this every time we apply. I wish someone would solve this for me once and for all so I can either vacuum it up, or leave it there.

  2. Livingagain

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Feb 26 2017 7:49:07
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    Maybe David could answer this, I think he uses DE in his normal work. DE is just microscopic sharp particles, I don't know why that would be dangerous around pipes.

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Feb 26 2017 9:22:27
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    Hi,

    I will answer the question first and then explain the answer you actually need.

    How safe is DE, as its inert at a metabolic level it poses no danger to your digestive system because the body cant absorb it. There is a minimal risk when applying or in situations where it can become airborne, the risk being to eyes and lungs. This is why applying preventative lines and barriers is not something I personal recommend although I do appreciate the psychology (in terms of the solution people think it provides).

    I use and recommend a tested sources of DE which I know works. I do this because I have worked with a number of sources of DE and there tends to be some source to source variation as you would expect from any organic material.

    However logical it may seem I would advocate for a simpler and much more effective solution based on two steps:

    • Better education of tenants about bed bugs so that avoidance is the first thing that is encouraged.
    • Universal bed monitoring with the understanding that the tenant has a responsibility to inspect monthly and that there will be an annual double check or requirement submit clear monitor as annual proof of being clear.

    The first impact of doing this is to slow down the issue. While I understand why it may appear that things are spreading to the building but its also equally possible that they are arriving in a similar way. To be very clear about this what happens in block A of a complex may so affect blocks B-G if the method of exposure is via a source that is common to all the blocks. This is more likely to be true when you see spreading in a building that does not emanate from a single heavily infested unit.

    As you are also slowing down the introduction you have also created a framework to plot the data onto which enables you to eliminate the spreading infestations because you are now actually aware of them.

    The routine universal monitoring step is about ensuring that these "super cell" cases and spreading through "mistreatment" cases are taking straight out of the equation.

    Now in my case we have used the same simple device and an adaptable set of educational resources to roll this approach out in a multitude of projects from single high rise apartment complexes through to large site with multiple (8-12) living units per block with 10-30 blocks on a single site. The added advantage being that dealing with infestations can become as simple as replacing the fly paper, namely when you have an issue replace it and deep clean so you can get on with your life.

    So a bit of a long winded way of saying the right DE is OK and has the safest profile because it is less likely to become airborne but there are simpler and easier options both for your home and for the building as a whole.

    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
  4. Ombugsman

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Feb 26 2017 11:12:20
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    Calcined or pool-grade DE (the very dangerous kind) is made by heating amorphous DE at temperatures over 1000 degrees turning some of the natural silica into crystalline form which renders it dangerous to lungs. Food-grade is non-calcined meaning it has not been treated at high temperatures. Would being near or on heating pipes at < 1000 degrees somehow transform even a small amount into crystalline silica? I doubt it or everybody would know not to put it near or on heating sources and that admonition would be on the label. But it might be interesting to call a DE manufacturer (probably a pool-grade one would be best) and ask them. If you do, let us know what they told you.

    Regarding the preventative placing of a DE border, the probability is low of killing bugs which just walk through DE (they have to be exposed to it for a longer period). CimeXa shows the most promise in this regard but the surface matters and it hasn't yet been tested by reputable researchers on many different types of substrates.

  5. Buggedeyed2017

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Feb 26 2017 22:03:13
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    Thank you all for your responses.

    David, that is an interesting fix to the problem. It seems like a good one. So you're saying that education and knowing the signs will make major infestations a thing of the past. Yes, sounds good, but my apartment managers don't care about educating people or telling them to look for little black stains on their sheets. In fact, when the exterminator came to inspect twice, they didn't even LOOK at my sheets or my beds. Its a joke. They basically took anflashlight and looked up in the corners for bug bodies in a spider web. That was it. Yes I told them I had seen some, but I had no evidence. My son had also been bit in a row, with big welts, but that was one time and it hasn't happened again.

    There are NO black stains, casings, nests or any other evidence here that I could find and if there are any bugs here at all, I believe it's so minimal that a dog will have to figure that out for us. Our beds have always been clean, and when this first came about, we vaccuumed like crazy every day and emptied the canister into a ziplock baggie and threw it out to the dumpster. immediately.

    Along the lines of what works better than DE - I also feel like the sealing makes a big difference. Of course we don't have the tools or ability to seal the ceiling fixtures, so it's not surefire, but we absolutely can not have pesticides and chemicals in our living space since our son has autism and chemicals affect him neurologically and profoundly.

    So I felt DE was our best option, and although I feel little creepy crawly things on my body and then I feel a pinch, and there is a little itchy bump there, - I don't see any bug on me and no one else in my family feels anything. So I'm thinking its possibly all in my head.

    So I believe we are more educated on the prevention and signs of these bugs, than most tenants and I can only hope our fellow tenants will educate themselves on these critters.

    Moving on to my question about heating pipes, thank you ombugsman for explaining how high temps really have to be to for crystallized silica. I will call the st Gabriel's food grade de company and ask them about that. Good idea!

    Lastly, I have heard about cimexa, but I feel we have been successful in treating with DE, bed isolation, sealing and regular vacuuming. We planned on shelling out $3000 for a heat treatment just to be absolutely sure - but that was before another apartment had them show up. I'm not paying 3 grand just to have them wander back over here. I guess in 2 years when our lease is up, we will pay the 3k to move.

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2017 7:44:14
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    Hi Buggedeyed2017,

    I would strongly suggest you have a look at the temperatures of the pipe, 1000 F is 530+C. In the UK the maximum temperature of a pipe in a how water system is 49 C, At 400+C combustion starts with a number of common materials in peoples homes.

    Ia m not sure why someone would post such reply to information beyond their continual sockpuppeting of anything I say or that they have a vested interests as a certified cimexian.

    Yes I appreciate that joined up thinking and coordinated efforts may seem a long way from where you are and a million miles away from the quality service that you are your family deserve but the solution to bed bugs never lays in the land of reactive.

    Ultimately is is about aligning the benefits to all parties:

    • Lower impacting events for tenants and no risk of spreading unit to unit
    • Lower costs for the landlord as they can start to manage the issue correctly
    • Better working conditions and high efficiency for the servicing agent because they are dealing with light cases

    This is why education often passes from the tenant back to the landlord and through to the PCO because they have the greatest initial interest and motivation for change.

    Hope that helps.

    David

  7. Livingagain

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2017 7:53:37
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    Buggedeyed- I was looking for research that I read a while back that indicates that DE around the interior perimeter of multi-family units is somewhat effective for preventing spread of bed bugs (the eradication costs for management were reduced). But I can't find the exact study right now. And it would follow that if DE is somewhat effective Cimexa would be even more effective based on the field study results with that.

  8. Ombugsman

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Feb 27 2017 11:59:42
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    Ia m not sure why someone would post such reply to information beyond their continual sockpuppeting of anything I say or that they have a vested interests as a certified cimexian.

    My reply about the heating pipes had nothing to do with CimeXa. In fact, the issue includes CimeXa since it's amorphous silica which might partially change into crystalline form if exposed to sufficient heat for a period of time. I'm not a chemist so I directed OP to a source (the manufacturer of pool-grade DE) who might be able to give him/her a definitive answer. The issue is if food-grade DE is sitting on a heating pipe at a certain temperature for a continuous and indefinite period of time, could some of it possibly change into the more dangerous crystalline form. Now it's not likely this would happen or the label would prohibit it which I noted but the only way to be sure is to check with an expert in this area. And I'm pretty damn sure you're not an expert in this area since you didn't even know the difference between pool-grade and food-grade DE in another thread and gave advice there which could have led to the death of the OP or one of the people in the residence. Here's the thread if anyone is interested:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/massive-diatomaceous-earth-cleanup-questions


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