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Pure Heat in MA

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  1. Fearful_and_Buggy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 19 2009 21:59:15
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    Given that my GF and I are going to be moving...don't know where yet...I'm probably going for the thermal truck treatment. The closest people are Pure Heat in MA. I know that Sandy, the owner, once posted on here about the company, which is how I found them.

    Has anyone had any good/bad (preferably good!!) experiences with them? Also, can anyone direct me to a list of things that I should do when packing up for a thermal truck thing? What stuff cannot be put in the truck? Should I start hand-washing all our candles?

  2. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 19 2009 23:11:46
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    Fearful_and_Buggy - 1 hour ago  » 
    I'm probably going for the thermal truck treatment. The closest people are Pure Heat in MA. I know that Sandy, the owner, once posted on here about the company, which is how I found them.

    Also, can anyone direct me to a list of things that I should do when packing up for a thermal truck thing? What stuff cannot be put in the truck? Should I start hand-washing all our candles?

    We haven't heard anyone who has had thermal truck treatment.
    We postulated it would be a good alternative to Vikane and the thermal providers should step up, a few months go by and then heard someone was gonna get it done and nothing else.

    Blaze that trail for us will ya!

    Jim

  3. Fearful_and_Buggy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 13:45:01
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    spideyjg - 14 hours ago
    We haven't heard anyone who has had thermal truck treatment.
    We postulated it would be a good alternative to Vikane and the thermal providers should step up, a few months go by and then heard someone was gonna get it done and nothing else.
    Blaze that trail for us will ya!
    Jim

    Oh god, you're kidding me. So I'm about to throw a lot of money at something that may not even work? What the heck am I going to do? I can't keep dealing with this...and I can't imagine going to a new place and being re-infested all over again! Everyone on this site who has had thermal seems to have had a thermal failure. It doesn't give me any hope at all.

  4. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 14:11:15
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    Dude hang on a second.

    Thermal does work and oftentimes the failures are due to the structure and ventilation that prevent spaces from getting to thermal death points.

    Now if all your stuff is in a modified sealed up truck, the thermal providers have far more control over the temperature and environment.

    Done properly I have no doubt at all that a chamber thermal approach can be just as effective as Vikane. Which means a one shot nuke and pave BB treatment.

    I hope Sandy posts as to what they are doing but the science is sound that thermal works. In the end high temps is the one Achilles heel these bastards have that is easily exploitable regardless of life stage.

    See what kinda guarantee they give you.

    In all fairness any treatment thermal or fumigation can fail but if the provider does the proper monitoring to ensure the treatment reaches death levels, fumigant concentration or temperature, you are cured.

    Pack light so that the heat easily reaches everything. All things that can be heated in other ways you can treat them yourself. Clothes will insulate well and IMHO should be dried alone then sealed up. Inside the truck piles of clothes could provide refuge.

    What guidance has Pure Heat given you?

    Jim

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 14:26:25
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    Everyone on this site who has had thermal seems to have had a thermal failure.

    Erm, I had thermal treatment just about a year ago, and it worked like a charm. I got rid of the bugs in one go.

    Yes, I had a little bit of damage that was preventable. The PCO should have told me to unplug my DVRs, and my geriatric microwave died slightly prematurely, as did a few cheap surge protectors and some cheap costume jewelry along with a few bottles of hand sanitizer, but despite having had an infestation for months--one that was far enough along that I saw bugs during the day time--all of my bed bugs were gone in one go. In one treatment. Without having to act as bait for the bugs.

    I'd call that a success.

    And I live in an apartment, not a single family home.

    Remember a couple of things about both the boards in general and thermal in particular:

    One, like any complaint/advice/rave driven site, there's a sample selection bias here. You're going to get a disproportionate sampling of people who have nightmare stories here. People who get bed bugs, get a good PCO, and get rid of the bugs in one go? Don't tend to stick around and post. So there are plenty of people who went with thermal (or Vikane or conventional chemical treatment) and were successful and didn't feel the need to post here. It's people with more difficult problems or failures who are more inclined to post.

    Secondly, some of the people who've posted about thermal failures here later came back and admitted that, in retrospect, they didn't have bed bugs but some other pest that was causing bites. So keep that in mind.

    Third, most failures with thermal come from PCOs who are just starting out in the thermal business. As the thermal PCOs here have said time and time again, thermal treatment is as much art as science. PCOs who are in the beginning of the learning curve may make mistakes, but the good ones should be willing to re-treat if that's the case.

    I don't think Pure Heat in Massachusetts is new. I've been hearing their name for a while. And I haven't seen a smattering of complaints about them that we have heard about, for example, one Vikane provider in NYC. (That said, we've also had plenty of other people be successful with Vikane. As with most things with bed bugs, I think a lot has to do with how good the PCO you go with is.) If there were frequent problems with Pure Heat, I think we'd have heard about it here. Of course, my memory isn't perfect, so if I'm wrong, I'd love for people to step up so that you can make a more informed decision.

    We haven't had anyone post to the boards about having thermal done successfully on a truck full of items, but that doesn't mean that no one's had it done successfully before. (see point 1 about sample selection above).

    Do read all the prep instructions that the PCO gives you about how to prepare the truck. And make sure that you're taking precautions with yourself so as not to bring any hitch hikers. But thermal isn't an unproven method, and I've seen articles talk about heating chambers being used in fixed locations, so I don't think it's an unproven a technology as you're suggesting.

  6. Fearful_and_Buggy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 17:17:50
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    Hi Buggyinsocal. I was hoping you'd respond, since you are the most vocal about having had thermal.

    Since we don't know when, exactly, we're moving, we haven't officially contracted with Pure Heat. Ken (Sandy's partner) said that we'd need to give him some lead time, but that it would probably be doable. The bigger issue will be cost, since they're an hour away and driving a truck full of our belongings to Cape Cod, sitting around for 4-5 hours while they toast our desks, and then driving home to move into a new apartment sounds...pretty bad. On the other hand, having them come out to do something similar also sounds bad.

    We'd not had any instructions on what to do, so of course I'm thinking the worst. Can I bring both my mattress and the futon mattress? How many books will fit in the truck and will they be too dense? Will I just have to throw out most of my stuff?

    This whole thing is destroying my life. We sit at the desk and get bites, because they're in the vicinity of the desk, which means we have to try and heat two computers and a laptop to 150 degrees, which isn't going to work. (Oh, and everyone keeps telling us that bedbugs live in the bed. No, they live near the people, and we sit at the desk late at night.) And all my yarn will need to be thrown out. Can you tell that I'm panicking?

  7. cachevalier

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 18:21:11
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    hi buggy social...i used pureheat in early march and havent had problem since. sandy and her crew did an excellent job..no complaints. im not sure how to prepare for a truck but in my apt. it was minimal. she told me not to throw out anything. my worrys were mostly for my pc and dvds and such. she told me not to worry cause they moniter the heat on sensitive items. also on that day she told me to go to work cause i couldnt do anything anyway. i came home as they were finishing up. i really think its easier to do an apt. than a truck cause they can watch the temp on certain things so they wont get ruined. well just wanted to let you know sandy comes highly recomended from me

  8. cachevalier

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 18:24:23
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    sorry that last message was for fearful an buggy..sorry for the oops

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 18:35:36
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    My memory is that two people claimed to have had failed thermal from a particular company.

    One later came back and said theirs wasn't a failed treatment at all.

    Thermal has a good track record.

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

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Jun 20 2009 20:30:32
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    buggyinsocal - 6 hours ago  » 

    We haven't had anyone post to the boards about having thermal done successfully on a truck full of items, but that doesn't mean that no one's had it done successfully before. (see point 1 about sample selection above).

    As a clarification we have heard of one or 2 people that talked about thermal chamber treatment but never heard a follow up. We have heard several people with thermal structural treatment but not chamber or truck.

    Jim

  11. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2009 13:45:06
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    Thermal is very much a day long process for most people. Like cachevalier said about being told to go to work, my "day" started with the PCOs arriving at 8 am. I had a flight to catch, but my neighbors told me that the PCOs were there pretty much until 4 or 5. They didn't heat the apartment the whole time, but remember, the goal is to get the whole place up to 140 degrees F and keep it there for 4 or 5 hours, which means time to set up the equipment, time to reach those temps, time to keep them there, time to vent all that heat out, and then time to break the equipment down. So the whole thing may take longer than 4 or 5 hours total.

    (If I didn't have to work or travel, I'd probably go to a megaplex theater with like 30 screens and do a triple feature to keep myself occupied during that time.)

    Since I get back to Massachusetts several times I year, I don't think I'm misspeaking when I point out that the Cape is far less likely to have theaters that big, so that alone might make me vote for apartment treatment rather than the truck.

    Anyway, with the addition information that you provided, here's what else I would say.

    First, go ahead and contact Pure Heat. If you're thinking about using them, go ahead and call and tell them that you're considering using them and you're debating truck vs. apartment treatment. They may be able to give you specific advice about the details of your situation.

    As to what you can keep, well, here's what I threw out: my comforter and sheets because they were down and had clear bed bug fecal traces. I didn't think psychologically I could ever sleep on them again, and because I travel so much, I wanted a comforter that I could regularly wash and dry, which isn't true of down. The PCO never told me to get rid of them.

    I also threw out the microwave and surge protectors that stopped working.

    I still have the two TiVos in the house because I want to find an electronics specific place to dispose of them in an environmentally safe way. See how timely that is.

    I also still have the futon that was my living room couch and my bed that I had during the infestation--mattress, box spring, and frame.

    Which is a long way of saying that I think yes, with thermal treatment, everything you've mentioned so far is probably fine to put through thermal safely with one exception. That exception is the laptops. See below for details.

    I removed all the DVDs and CDs from my house because the thermal PCO told me to. But he also clearly implied in that kind of nudge, nudge, wink , wink way, that they had to tell people to remove them for liability reasons, but that if I left them behind they'd cover them up to keep them from getting as hot, and that probably they'd be okay.

    My apartment has stacks of books everywhere. In the bathroom next to the toilet and on the back of the toilet. In the bedroom. At the time of infestation, I had about 40 books sitting beside the foot of the bed. I have four bookshelves in the living room/kitchen, and some of them have books double stacked, so there's no reason that books cannot be treated with thermal. And no reason that it can't work on lots and lots of them.

    As for how many would fit in the truck, would talk to the Pure Heat providers about that. You may need to rent a larger truck than you normally would specifically so that you don't have to pack as densely.

    But again, I would call Pure Heat and see what they suggest.

    I don't remember the particulars of your case, so there might be a reason that you don't want to treat your residence with thermal instead of having your belongings treated in a truck, but if it were up to me, I would probably go with treating the residence instead of the truck to make dealing with some of those potentially troublesome items easier to deal with.

    The only thing I would be worried about would be treating the laptops with thermal. Honestly, I wouldn't put a laptop through thermal treatment if I could avoid it. Maybe post that to a specific thread on its own because some of the PCOs here probably have some suggestions for how to treat them. Things with hard drives are the things most vulnerable to those kinds of high temperatures.

    Yarn should be treatable. The only thing about yarn that I would be worried about is that if the yarn already had fecal spotting on it, you might not want to use it.

    Anyway, I hope some of that helps.

  12. Fearful_and_Buggy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2009 19:08:06
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    Briefly, the reason I don't want to treat my apartment is because we're leaving. I've had it with the LL and his approach to this, as well as the approach of the PCOs that he has hired. Although I like my apartment, I think the relationship with my LL will be antagonistic, to say the least, because I have called the state, I have exercised my rights as a tenant, and I have been persistent. He's insisting that we're the only ones in the building that have them (but hasn't inspected) and that we brought them in when my GF moved in (from a bedbug-free apartment, via a bedbug-free truck and car, into a bedbug free apartment...2 whole months before the problem started. VERY unlikely).

    I don't want to try and have everything thermal-treated in the apartment and then move it into the truck. Why? I don't know. I suspect that some bugs could hitchhike from, say, the carpet in the hallway (where I could have picked them up in the first place) into my newly-toasted carpeting. Does that make sense?

  13. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2009 19:46:21
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    No, that makes sense. However, you have a decision to make if that's the case.

    Putting the DVDs and CDs into the truck for thermal treatment runs the risk of damaging those items.

    Pretty much anything else (With the possible exception of computers and televisions, and obvious things like candles and make up) can be treated safely with thermal.

    Oh, and I wouldn't take any rubbing alcohol and/or rubbing alcohol based products with you.

    If I had a good camera, I'd take a pic of what my last bottle of hand sanitizer did during thermal. You know those Ballpark Franks commercials? The whole "plump when you cook them" thing?

    Yeah. Well, guess what. Totally happens to alcohol based items during thermal. Weird but true.

    I would be leery of putting DVDs or CDs into a truck for thermal treatment. So you'll have to decide whether you're going to put them into the truck and risk them being damaged, or if you're willing to seal them up airtight and put them in storage for 18 months.

    FWIW, I put mine in airtight storage for over 8 months. Living in sunny, hot southern California, I figured that after 8 months of storage outside without climate control, any stragglers were probably dead in our temps. To be sure, I opened the bins (outside, of course), tossed in DDVP strips, resealed them, and left them that way for a week. Then I opened the bins one at a time, outside in a completely ventilated space, and brought the items in after inspecting the bins for any large bugs. At that point, the stuff had been sealed up for 9 months total. Any bugs that were big enough to survive that long would have been starved and easy to spot.

    Given that your landlord seems resistant to inspecting the other apartments, I would be opting for truck versus apartment too. It's possible you picked up a hitch hiker somewhere from your own travels, but it's just as likely that a neighbor has them.

    Hope that helps.

  14. Fearful_and_Buggy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2009 19:51:24
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    (Can I ship all our buggy buckets of poison and DVDs to Southern California? We're in Boston and the average temp at the moment is 60 or so. Hell, can I just ship me and my girlfriend? We're nice!)

  15. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Jun 21 2009 19:58:04
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    I'm a big Red Sox fan, since I'm a Boston native, and TBS carried the game today. I also just got off the phone with my mother who's currently down the Cape. So you caught me on a day when I know exactly what your weather is like, which is pretty darned sucky even for New England.

    Anyway, that's a long way of saying that you have my sympathies.

  16. itorturebedbugsforfun

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jun 29 2009 13:45:33
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    Hey Fearful and Buggy!

    I also live in Boston, have bed bugs, and am moving 9/1 using the truck/pure heat on the cape!

    I started getting bed bug bites about a month ago. I've already had two chemical treatments to little/no avail. I've had a move set up (new lease signed, down payment paid on new apartment) since before the first sign of bed bugs. There's no way to get out of this move happening September first. My infestation is (relatively) light: I have only seen one actual bug and get bites about 1/3 of nights. Regardless, its ruining my life. I have anxiety, distress and insomnia. My friends and family treat me like a leper (which I guess I sort of am.) I can't leave the house without worrying about where I'm taking them and I can't stay in the house without worrying if I'm being bitten. My PCO told me that a unit upstairs is a "battlefield" and that the tenants don't do any prep and don't care. I doubt chemical extermination will ever be totally effective in this building with tenants like that. I'm trying my best to keep a sense of humor about the situation.

    My plan beginning Mid August 2009 and culminating September 1, 2009:

    - Packtite everything possible including clothes, books, small rugs, bedding, pillows, shoes, etc. and seal in airtight plastic containers. Then move these to the new apartment (wiping down the outside before they enter the new place). Packtite was $300 from Amazon, containers $8 apiece from Target.
    - Load the rest of my stuff (large couch, mattress, box spring, two large tables, two end-tables, art, book shelves, etc.) into a large truck and drive to Cape Cod (~$200 for rental truck and miles to and from Cape). It is my hope that because I will have treated most of my small belongings in the packtite, airflow will be better in the truck and there will be less places for the little bastards to hide.
    - Treat the truck with Pure Heat thermal remediation by Sandy and Ken ($600 for large truck)
    - Hire a k9 unit to check the truck ($175)
    - If k9 finds any bugs, Pure Heat will re-treat at no cost.
    - If retreat is necessary, I'll hire the dogs again, repeat as necessary until dogs clear me.
    - In addition I am treating my car (small sedan) with Pure Heat, which Ken said they will throw in for $100.
    - Throw out the clothes I'm wearing, change into baked-clean clothes, drive home, cry of relief.

    So I estimate it will end up costing me around $1,500 (an enormous expense for a recent college grad) but it will be worth it to know that I'm bed bug free. Any suggestions to improve my plan? I absolutely, positively, cannot bring them to the new apartment. My life depends on it, as I'm sure my new roommate would murder me. Fearful and buggy, if you do the truck + pure heat before me, please let me know how it goes!

    Wishing a most painful death upon all of your bed bugs,

    Rachel

  17. Fearful_and_Buggy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jun 29 2009 18:41:58
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    Your plan is very thorough. I'm not sure about two parts:
    1) Do you need to heat your car? If it gets to a reasonable temperature up here during august, you'll end up roasting the bugs in the car. I'm tempted to do that as well.

    2) Did they recommend the dogs? I'm not sure if those are necessary either.

    I've heard that using the packtite is a good ide a for small items, but I'm at the point that I don't trust anything but a lot of heating to kill stuff. I can't give you any more advice. I'm really down at the moment because we just found a new bug in the bedroom. This is the second large adult we've found out and about in a few days. That can only mean that the infestation is getting worse, in my opinion.

  18. muddy

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jun 30 2009 4:03:31
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    Can I just add that, even though I can understand the rationale for thermal treatment to be set at 140F in an apartment to reach all the crevices, surely it's not necessary to go so high in a truck or container. Remember BB's start to die at 113F, so truck or container treatment could be at least 20F lower and therefore less destructive to electrical good, etc. I'm just speculating here, but if temperature probes are placed in the most insulated places, such as in a stack of clothes, then it shouldn't be necessary to pitch the ambient temperature so high. The temperature of 120F the packtite people aim at would be effective in such a situation I would have thought.

  19. itorturebedbugsforfun

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Jul 1 2009 18:05:32
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    I'd rather some of my stuff be ruined than have one bed bug survive the thermal treatment. I think the dogs are necessary because how else will I be sure 100% of the bugs are gone?

  20. itorturebedbugsforfun

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon Apr 5 2010 17:03:49
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    Hey Tim-

    Pure Heat completely got rid of my bedbugs in one treatment. They also told me they'd retreat at no cost if it didn't work. I moved my stuff directly from the truck into a storage unit and had the unit sniffed by a bed bug sniffing beagle several weeks later. (Keep in mind that I took a little risk there, since technically I could have gotten more bugs FROM the storage unit.) My original plan was to have the beagle sniff the stuff while still packed in the truck, but his handler Mike informed me that the dog might alert to recently killed bugs, so I had to postpone it.

    Anyway the beagle cleared my stuff and I was very pleased with the job Pure Heat did. If you want some tips for moving you can check out my post "How I moved without bringing BB's w/ me or throwing anything out" - I detailed everything I did to move and successfully leave them behind. But I definitely recommend Pure Heat. Ken especially was super nice. If you want to use a dog, I recommend Mike Tache (http://www.americank9pi.com/) - really nice too. I used his dog 3 times and I believe he does a good job (he got into the industry because he himself had bed bugs and was frustrated by the lack of expertise.)

    Good luck. PS if you need to borrow a packtite, I have one that isn't being used (I'm also in Boston.)

    Rachel

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Feb 25 2011 23:31:46
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    Read all the details of FearfulandBuggy's treatment experience here.

  22. trobertson79

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 15 2011 11:48:52
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    If you're curious about costs, PureHeat in MA told me they charge $2-3/sq-ft. With a required fire detail, it will cost me around $5,000 to treat my 2,000 sq ft house.


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