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Preventing BBs coming over from other infested units

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  1. chibbnewb

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jul 24 2012 13:33:59
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    I moved into a 50 unit apartment building in Chicago at the beginning of July. Since then, I've learned that the building has a history of bed bug infestations throughout the building. I've written about this at length in several other posts, so I won't go into it again here. Suffice it to say that I have caught confirmed bed bugs in my unit, they were there before I moved in, and other units have bed bugs. The landlord gave me the number for his exterminator, and the exterminator and building janitor both told me they can come treat and take care of the problem. But, they both shrugged off the notion of inspecting/treating the surrounding units, even though they admitted there are bed bug problems in the building.

    My main question here is about sealing up my apartment to prevent the buggers from coming back into my apartment after my unit has been treated. The ceiling through my apartment is made up of wooden slats, essentially, with large cracks between each wood plank, and I have seen bed bugs both crawling out and into the cracks. This leaves me to think that they are living up there, and will continue to come out to get me unless I seal them in. I told the exterminator and janitor this and they both seemed to agree that the bbs might come and go from there, but made no mention or hint of spraying up there or needing to seal it up. Makes me not very confident that they will ever be able to get the problem fixed.

    So, I feel I'm gonna have to fix this issue on my own. My idea is to get some DE and a hand bellows, lightly dust the DE into all the cracks (while wearing a respirator, of course), then seal all of the cracks up with sealant/caulk, and possibly paint over it all if the sealant/caulk is too terribly noticeable.

    I've searched the forums on caulking and sealant, but haven't found anything too specific to my situation.

    My question is, has anyone done this before? Anyone with more experience than me have any suggestions for caulking/DE use like this? Am I wasting my time? HELP PLEASE

  2. chibbnewb

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 25 2012 9:23:56
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    Looks like I'm all alone on this one

  3. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 25 2012 13:01:55
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    Ok, you probably won't like hearing this, but you need to eradicate a BB infestation before you start caulking & sealing.

    Your best first step is to familiarise yourself with the relevant housing law/ regulation in your city/ State. It sounds very much as if your LL hasn't got a clue what he's doing & legal instruments are often the best tools of education, as well as enforcement in a situation like yours.

  4. Mike_Heatsolete

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 25 2012 20:19:09
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    I'd say you are better off sealing after treatment as well. Caulk or silicon are to be applied on surfaces that are clean and dry and dust free. If you have dust while you caulk, you may not achieve a good seal and you will then be wasting your time. Get treated, make sure there are no more bugs, then seal your place. If dust was used, it must be cleaned away before the caulk, so you may want to wait a while to let the dust do its work. Make sure you achieve a 100% seal or you may waste time and money. Use a clear caulk to reduce visibility of the sealing.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

  5. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 25 2012 21:33:59
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    Dear chibb,

    If you moved into an apartment where there was a known pre-existing condition then you may have viable options to pursue beyond the actual control of bed bugs which, by the way, under these circumstances is not your responsibility.

    Additionally, and not to debate the methodologies, as per your question above sealing of cracks & crevices may be done successfully independently of the timing of other control techniques for a variety of reasons.

    Simply stated, the concept of placing a physical barrier between the pests and the interior of your abode is not a new technique or strategy. Ideally, it may be best to apply a suitable dust product into voids where bed bugs may harbor or travel prior to sealing as doing so provides an added level of control.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.


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