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Questions about heat treatment

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  1. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 11:42:18
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    Hello! Thank you once again to everyone on here for helping me to feel not so alone and crazy!

    Our bed bug nightmare has been going on for about 2 months, and now I am thrilled that our apartment has agreed to treat our apartment with heat (140 degrees). I have some questions about this, though.

    Just as background, we've never had any signs of bed bugs in our bed or bedroom - they seem to be localized in the couch, living room, and office/den (which shared an adjoining wall with the living room and couch. We've seen live bugs on the walls and ceiling of the living room and office and two live bugs on the couch. I may have seen signs of bugs in the couch, but it's hard to tell (they look like popcorn shells, salt crystals, and food crumbs to me, not necessarily feces, eggs, and droppings). But, I have determined that everytime I've been bittten, it has been when I've fallen asleep on the couch.

    We found the first live bug in November, which initiated treatment from a pest company. (Interestingly, they didn't find anything in the inspection, but automatically treated our place since we had found a live bug.) I get bites, but my husband doesn't. We washed and bagged all our clothes in Ziplocs, vaccuumed, took everything off the walls, and bagged everything else (at the PCO's instructions). We did everything that was asked, and received 3 pesticide treatments. Our couch was steam-cleaned by a professional (the PCO insisted that this would be sufficient and we would not need to get rid of it). My last bite was before the first treatment and I didn't have any bites through the treatment process (a period of three weeks). (However I also avoided the couch like the plague during this three-week period of time.)

    I went home for the holidays (and was bitten at a friend's place, but that's a different matter) and returned home to our apartment. The next night, I was laying on the couch watching TV (my husband was sleeping on the couch), and I woke up the next day to find new bites (on my leg, wrist, and face on the side of my body that was facing the couch). I came home that night to re-inspect and found a live bed bug nymph on the ceiling of our office/den. I didn't find anything else, but did find the popcorn-shell and other crumb-looking things. Some of these "popcorn shells" were in deep recesses of the back cushions of the couch. I find it hard to believe that popcorn could have already gotten back in there, considering that we gave it a thorough vaccuming after the steam cleaning. So, I'm thinking now that they are indeed cast skins of bed bugs.

    Anyway, upon realizing that our couch was still infested, I felt nauceous and hopeless. I knew at the least that we'd need to get rid of our couch (brand new, purchased this past July) and go through the entire preparation process all over again. (We had since re-hung things on the walls, replaced outlet covers, starting putting decor back, etc., after the PCO insisted that it was okay.) I was thrilled, however, when I spoke to our apt. management today and he said that he'd heat treat our apartment instead. From what I hear, this is much more effective than the pesticides. And, he says that we won't have to get rid of our couch.

    Here are my questions: [/b] (Thank you for reading all of the above, sorry for my blabbering!):

    1. Will the heat treatment really take care of the bugs in my couch? Unfortunately, the cushions are sewn onto my couch, and I am worried that the heat will not penetrate the deep crevices where the bugs are hiding. (We've never found this hiding place with all of our searching.) My apt. manager said that the heat will drive them out and then they will die, but I don't necessarily trust his knowledge.

    2. I have some items currently in sealed bags or plastic totes with the Nuvan pest strips inside (mostly books and other items that I couldn't put through the dryer). (I don't have a Packtite, but wish I did! :)) Should I leave these items in the boxes/bags with the pest strips or take them out so that they can be treated with the heat.

    3. Finally, my apt. manager said that I should remove things from my apartment that could melt in the heat. What would this be? He mentioned picture frames - should I remove all frames from my wall? (most are wood and glass). What about the plastic bins I'm using? What about my artifical Christmas tree? I definitely don't want these things to melt, but I'd like for them to be treated if they'd be okay left inside.

    Any advice from those who have gone through this treatment (or do this treatment professionally) would be much appreciated! Thank you so much, my bed bug friends!

  2. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 11:46:15
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    Sorry - I also forgot to ask about electronics such as LCD televisions and computers. Thanks!

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 13:02:30
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    You really need to ask the management company to provide you with the firm's heat treatment prep sheet. They can ask the PCO for one if they do not have it. This is too important to skip-- you don't want to do this wrong.

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 13:42:36
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    I do have the PCO's prep sheet (which says that it's safe to leave electronics), but wanted make sure it was safe! (I've read conflicting information about this topic, on this site and others. After having just purchased a brand new 42 inch LCD television, I want to make sure!) Also, there's no mention on the prep sheet about picture frames. In addition, I was hoping to learn more about the effectiveness of the heat treatment on an infested couch (with sewn-in cushions) and what to do with my items already in bags with pest strips. (I've tried calling the PCO directly, but haven't gotten through. ) And, I'm interested in hearing the experiences and opinions of others.) Thanks!

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 14:07:33
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    I appreciate that. It's important to keep in mind that there's more than one methodology for heat treatment, so what your own PCO says is paramount.

    I would not leave picture frames out if the PCO does not say to, personally. Anything you remove may potentially reinfest you. It is possible some things may be damaged.

    If the treatment is done properly, the sofa should be treated thoroughly, as this is the entire point of heat/thermal treatment: you can kill bed bugs in your furniture and stuff too.

  6. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 29 2010 14:13:57
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    Thanks for your reply! You have made me feel better about the couch!

    I'm not sure I follow your recommendation for the picture frames? Are you saying that we should leave them in the apartment (where they could be damaged) or take them out of the apartment during treatment and bring them back in afterwards (risking reinfestation)?

    Thanks!!

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 0:35:06
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    I hear you saying the PCO did not say to remove the picture frames, and I recommend following their advice.

    The manager may be telling you this because another tenant had damaged frames. Damage is possible. Reintroducing bed bugs via something removed before treatment is a serious risk, however.

  8. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 0:42:29
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    If the heat treatment is done correctly it will not damage electronics.

    I cannot see it damaging picture frames unless the wood has a high moisture content (perhaps recently constructed from fresh wood) and the heat causes warping.

    Some of the things that it can damage are candles, make-up, chocolate and other "meltables."

    Sincerely,

    Sean

  9. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 10:51:36
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    Unplugging your electronics may be helpful... many products like TVs have an instant on feature that continues to power the circuit when the appliance is turned off.

    You can check with the manufacturer's website and look at the maximum shipping temperature in the specs to get an idea of the safe maximum temp for the TV without power... it is listed on the box for some products... Plasma TVs are heat sensitive

    I agree with Sean... Wood frames should be okay unless there is a moisture issue... I would be more worried about the art medium than the frame... oil paintings can be a problem.

    If your books and other items have been treated for more than a week with Nuvon strips... The bugs and eggs are likely already dead... I would place them back in the apartment for the thermal procedure... Remove all Nuvon pest strips prior to treatment.

    Your couch can be successfully treated with heat... Just let the thermal provider know about your concerns and they will likely monitor it very closely.

    Good luck

  10. (deleted)

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 11:00:48
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    Can I used Nuvon strips for shoes and where do I get these?

  11. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 11:18:10
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    I'm not so sure about your couch. A couch with pillows is really thick. I would be afraid that it wouldn't get hot enough in the center. When we had our heat treatment, they took out all the dresser drawers, picked up the area rug and layed it so that air could circulate on all sides. They mounted temperature probes around the room, including one inside the drawerless dresser. If you decide to keep the couch. I would cut a hole in the underside, and mount a temperature probe smack dab in the middle. That is the only way you will know if it gets hot enough.

  12. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 11:22:09
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    Our only casualty in the bedroom we treated, was a Christmas ornament. The thin layer of plastic that coated it melted. But a spare button, enclosed in the small plastic bag, survived.

  13. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 12:21:33
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    Thanks everyone for your helpful tips and advice! I certainly appreciate it!

    Thanks for the reassurance about electronics. Yes, our PCO asks us to unplug all electronics, so I will do so. I will leave my picture frames, books, etc. I'm also leaving up our artificial Christmas tree (which our PCO said would be okay), so that I don't infest our storage unit when I put it away for the year. (I also have a larger pest strip in our storage unit.)

    Toledo, thanks for the great tip about the couch! I like that idea and will suggest it. The couch is really my greatest concern. Our landlord said that the heat treatment would work, but he also said that about the steam cleaning (which did not). I'm pretty sure that the couch is the main hiding spot for these guys, so I'm very tempted to just get rid of it (even though it was just purchased in July and we can't really afford to get a new one). The PCO admitted that he couldn't guarantee that all parts of the couch would get hot enough, depending on the type of couch I have (he hasn't seen it yet). He said that when his employees come on Monday that they will be able to honestly tell me what to do. I just hope that I can trust what they say!

    Any suggestions about whether or not to chuck my couch are welcome! Here is a link to a photo of my couch: http://products.jenniferfurniture.com/haney-sectional-3.html. All cushions are sewn on, unfortunately.

    Thanks everyone!

    tbwoff, I believe that you can only get the Nuvan strips online. I ordered them from this website (they offer free shipping): http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/nuvan-prostrips-p-1192.html. Apparently they don't sell to NY or CT, though.

  14. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 14:12:34
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    Beautiful sofa! I can see why you're hesitant to get rid of it. The good news is that it's rather sleek, which means that the heat may be able to penetrate it. I just insist that probes are placed inside, as you already know bugs are hanging out there. It looks like you could easily make a slit along the seam between the seat cushion and the base. You may be able to do the same thing along the back of the sofa. The slits don't need to be very big, as the probes are fairly small. Good luck and keep us posted!

  15. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 30 2010 23:37:07
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    There is no reason that heat would not be successful with the couch. Bed bugs do not burrow into couches, they reside along edges, piping, etc. and will easily be killed by the treatment.

    Sean

  16. victimized

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 31 2010 0:11:49
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    I watched a video about heat treatment last night. Wow, did not know it was as involved as it is! One night on Inside Edition they featured a story about the stigma of having bed bugs. This woman on LI had them in her house and she was so embarrassed that she came on camera in disguise. Gee, your family, friends, and neighbours wouldn't know your house if they saw it on TV!
    Anyway, they were showing this company that came out to do a thermal treatment after having the K9 inspection. I cannot recall which company it was but they built some sort of shelter out of insulation board in the middle of her room and heated it up with the stuff in it like a packtite and showed the dead bugs inside the bag after. However, I immediately knew that the thermal is supposed to treat the entire house, not just some of the stuff! That is how I remembered it though so they may have done the whole house. But the bags were all filled too and I thought how the core temp needs to get hot enough.
    Even though Philly is #2 in the country, Vikane gas... thermal remediation... K9? Forget it. We have none of that. We have a company that can come to Philly from NJ with a dog but that's it. Sad really. Your sofa doesn't look to be nearly as plush as I was imagining. Why would the cushions be sewn on? That must be very impracticable, bugs or not, for cleaning it thoroughly. I've seen sofas that had straps to hold a single cushion on.
    Not very confident in the idea that bugs so not live inside sofas. Given the opportunity to I can almost bet they would. My chairs match my snowed-on infested sofa. They have lots of tufting, which is why I wanted them, but bad bad news. Upon thorough vacuuming I learned the fabric covering is not one piece and there are seams hidden by the folds that are not sewn together. Will have to take pics. But, it'd be too easy for bugs to get into the batting in this case. Most of the bugs were well hidden on the sofa behind the buttons. In fact, unless someone had been on the sofa, it looked lifeless but they must have been there, hiding, watching, waiting.

  17. Traumabugged

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 31 2010 0:52:06
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    You also might need to check the other tenants who shares a wall with you. If any one of them had been infested, you need to be informed and they need to be treated, too. It's hard but it must be done I suppose.

  18. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 11:29:16
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    Hey everyone - jsut wanted to give an update! They heat treated my apartment yesterday (my entire unit) and then treated all of the surrounding apartments to my unit (above and below) with diatometous earth to kill any escapees. I stayed until the PCO arrived at my apartment so that I could ask specifically about our couch. He assured me that they would be able to treat it effectively and could adequately heat all parts to 140 degrees.

    It remains to be seen, of course, if this was effective but I am very hopeful! My landlord called me this morning and said that he was there during the treatment and that they did find hatchlings under the legs of the couch after they unscrewed them. (This could explain why the the steam cleaning didn't kill the bed bugs in the couch.) They successfully got all of those and reported that there were no live bed bugs when they left at 3:30 PM.

    Bed bug sniffing dogs are coming to inspect our entire apartment building this Friday, and I'm avoiding the couch until then just in case. Please cross your fingers for me!

    Question about dogs (I may post this on another thread too) - do they signal when they smell live bed bugs only or also for dead ones? I assume that there are still dead bed bugs in our apartment and couch from this treatment.

    Thanks!

  19. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 11:30:38
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    Sorry, I forgot to add (for anyone wondering): Our electronics (including our new LCD television and computers) were all fine after the heat treatment, as well as our picture frames and artificial Christmas tree and ornaments. The only casualty that we've found so far was a ruler.

  20. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 16:07:22
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    The only casualty that we've found so far was a ruler.

    Wow! A ruler! They are usually pretty thick plastic. The room must have gotten really hot! Is the landlord paying for the dog? The best way to check if they're really gone is to buy climb-ups. You put one under each leg of the couch/bed. Bugs get caught in them if trying to leave your couch or get up onto the couch.

  21. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 4 2011 16:48:12
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    Haha! It was a special drafting/art-type ruler that my husband (a graphic designer) had; it wasn't very thick.

    Yes, our landlord is paying for the dog, fortunately.

    I will think about getting the climbups, although if they're burrowed into the couch still I'm not sure that will be helpful. I'd like to get one of the active CO2 monitors to put by the couch, but don't really want to shell out another 50 bucks.

  22. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 20:16:56
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    So, unfortunately I have a sad update for anyone following this post. This evening, one week and one day after the heat treatment, I found a live, adult (blood-filled) bed bug on the wall behind the couch. I really thought that we had beat this and was trying desperately to convince myself that we were getting back to normal. I even starting working out at home again yesterday for the first time since this all started (2 1/2 months ago). I am devastasted and don't know what to do next. We have to make a decision very soon about whether or not to renew our lease.

    I have two possible theories about why the heat treatment didn't work. One is that the heat treatment was not successful for our couch afterall. The other theory is that we were reinfested by our neighbors. The apartment below us was heat treated yesterday for bed bugs. (I've been told that they are the only other unit in our building that has had bed bugs.) I'm unclear as to whether or not they dusted our apartment with d. earth, as they did to our neighbor's apartments when our unit was heat treated.

    As for the dogs, my landlord had orginally said that he'd be sending bed bug-sniffing dogs into our apartment last Friday and this Friday. But, the said that the two different PCOs refused to inspect our apartment with the dogs (I believe that this is because their dogs cannot distinguish between live bugs and dead bugs). Anyway, the fact that I found a live bug tonight proves that they're not gone, so I suppose that doesn't matter.

  23. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 20:43:37
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    two different PCOs refused to inspect our apartment with the dogs
    ------------------
    It may have had to do that your apartment was recently dusted with DE. I'd do more research into that. As to where the bugs are coming from, my guess would be the adjoining apartments. Sounds like your landlord is on the right track but still more can be done. Given you live in a multi-unit dwelling, maybe he should be using chemical pesticides along with the heat and DE. That said, it's possible that the bug you saw is a straggler from upstairs on its last legs after being exposed to the DE, but personally I'd want the chemicals for their residual action.

    Richard

  24. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 20:56:47
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    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for your reply. We've already had 3 pesticide treatments (prior to the heat treatment). The preparation was overwhelming and, given that the pesticide didn't work, I don't think that I have it in me to do it again.

  25. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 8:43:40
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    Oh, DC, I'm so sorry. Richard is right about dogs not wanting to come in after DE is used. It's really a moot point, anyway, if you've already found another BB. I would have thought you'd have seen the DE, though. We had white powder around our electrical outlets/light switches. Our heat treatment didn't work, either. I think the bugs just moved. What is the proper protocol for heat treatments? Are all the surrounding rooms to be done at the same time? Maybe that was the problem with both our heat treatments.

  26. HelpinDC

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    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:03:06
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    I spoke with our maintenance manager today (who had just spoken with the pest company). Apparently (although no one ever told me this, and I don't even think our maintenance manager knew), the PCO that did the heat treatment usually performs a follow-up d. earth dusting treatment 10 days later. Has anyone ever heard of this? This makes no sense to me.

    What I actually suspect happened is that when the PCO came to do the heat treatment on Monday for the apartment directly below us, they intended to dust d.earth in our apartment to kill any escapees trying to enter our apartment from downstairs. Since they couldn't do this (because of our cat), the bugs escaped from downstairs into our apartment. (This is especially irritating because I talked to our maintenance manager Monday morning when I saw the heat treatment equipement for our neighbors and asked if anything would be done to our apartment and he said that the PCO assured him that nothing would need to be done to our apartment and that our apartment would not be affected in any way. I could have easily boarded my cat so that they could have dusted!

    The new plan is that dogs are coming to my apartment tomorrow to sniff for bugs (even though before they said that was impossible) and the PCO is going to do the dusting. How is that going to help now? If the bugs have dispersed throughout our apartment (including into our couch), what is dusting the edges of our apartment going to do? I suspect that the PCO is just trying to cover their tracks.

    Any insight into this would be appreciated!

  27. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:45:19
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    Our PCO used the DE immediately after the heat treatment. Did you capture the BB on the wall? You need to catch one to prove that the problem still exists. If DE had been used, that BB's life may have been fairly short. But if it hadn't been exposed to DE, you're in trouble. If the dogs come in and don't hit on anything, the PCO is going to tell you everything is fine. I'd demand another heat treatment immediately and have the PCO dust both apartments.

  28. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:49:02
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    I would also make a point of talking to any neighbors that may be on either side of you or above you. They could have bed bugs and not be aware of it. Plus, I think it's just common courtesy to alert them to a possible problem.

  29. HelpinDC

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    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:52:19
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    Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of - I'm in big trouble. They did not dust with d. earth when they did the downstairs neighbor's apartment. I don't believe that they dusted our apt. when they did our heat treatment either.

    I did save the bug, although I smashed it (to make sure it was a bed bug - there was some debate from my husband, which I resolved when blood squished out).

    I don't know what will happen with the dogs. I'm pretty sure they'll detect something, even if it's only dead bugs (apparently these dogs can't distinguish between live ones and dead ones).

    I can't be here when the PCO comes tomorrow but I've asked my apartment manager to get a clear answer from them concerning how the dusting will resolve our issue and/or what they will do next. I will update after they come!

  30. HelpinDC

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    Wed Jan 12 2011 15:55:52
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    Also, apparently all of the units in our apartment buildling have been inspected. Apparently only the one below us has been positively identified for bugs, although I'm not convinced that we are the only 2 in the building that have them (there's only so much that mgt. will tell me). I've brought this issue up several times and have been assured that all the ones with a problem are being treated. That may be the case, but I feel that the timing of treatments may not have been right, which could just be spreading the issue around.

  31. btaggart

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 22:11:45
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    If you live in dc call connors pest they will give you advice on heat and dogs wether you use them or not they will give unbiased opinons

    Disclosure i have no financial connection to connors pest

  32. HelpinDC

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    Thu Jan 13 2011 18:11:44
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    Interesting twist today - now I'm not sure what to think! I guess only time will tell.

    My LL brought in bed bug sniffing dogs today and, much to my suprise, they didn't find anything! They thoroughly checked the couch and all other areas of my apartment and didn't find any sign of bugs. (I had thought that they would alert to bugs no matter what, because I thought that these dogs couldn't distinguish between live bugs and dead bugs, and would alert to dead bugs or other signs left over from our infestation).

    Then, the PCO that did our heat treatment came today and sprayed a chemical treatment in our apartment. They took our couch apart and didn't find any sign of bed bugs. They looked all over our apartment and didn't find any sign of bugs. They sprayed the pesticides just to be sure, though.

    Apparantly the explanation that my LL received from both PCOs (the one that did our heat treatment and the one that did our initial chemical treatments and brought the dogs today) was that the bug that we found this past Tuesday evening was a lone straggler, likely from our downstairs neighbors (who had gotten a heat treatment the day prior). I still don't really understand this (why and how could there be just one?), but I really hope they're right.

    The PCO that did our heat treatment asserts that they did dust our apartment with d.earth the day that they did our heat treatment. (I don't necessarily see any sign of this, but our walls and outlets are all white to begin with. And, I had already done my own very messy job of dusting with d. earth before our first chemical treatment, before I was even sure that what we had was bed bugs.) They claim, then, that they didn't need to dust our apartment with d.earth on the day that they treated our downstairs neighbor's apartment (which was 7 days after our heat treatment), since they had already done so the week before.

    I'm still wary of this explanation (if you can't tell!), but I do feel better that the dogs didn't find anything. I ordered a bed bug beacon CO2 detector (hopefully will arrive in the mail tomorrow) and plan to set that in the living by our couch, and hopefully this will either provide me comfort or at least let me know if we do indeed still have a problem.

    I will let everyone know how it turns out!

  33. HelpinDC

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    Thu Jan 13 2011 18:13:40
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    Also, I've mentioned to my aprt. management several times about Connor's Pest, but I don't think they're interested. They already have contracts with the other 2 PCOs, which is probably why. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

  34. HelpinDC

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    Thu Jan 20 2011 9:42:51
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    As an update for anyone following this post, I found another live bug this morning. I have to talk to my apartment's maintenance manager to see what the new plan is.

  35. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jan 20 2011 13:37:06
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    Good luck, HelpinDC. I hope the landlord sorts out this situation soon.

  36. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jan 20 2011 13:55:36
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    nobugsonme, do you have any advice for us? I saw your recent post on another thread about heat treatement spreading bugs around if not done right. My landlord is probably going to ask the company to do another heat treatment on our place. I've told him about Vikane and suggested that may be the best method (since at least 1 apartment/floor in our building has or has had bed bugs), but I don't know if he'll go for it (I don't think that the two PCOs he has contracts with offer this). The preparation for the chemical treaments was AWFUL and since it didn't work anyway, I really don't want to do that again.

  37. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jan 20 2011 17:10:45
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    Your story sounds just like mine. The heat treatment didn't work and I don't think the dog "worked" either. The only way I'd try heat again, is if all the surrounding rooms are done at the same time. In your case, I think they should have done the surrounding apartments at the same time.

  38. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jan 20 2011 18:15:06
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    Toledo, has your problem been resolved? (If so, what was it that finally worked?) Or are you still living with bugs? (And if so, what is your next step?) Thanks!

  39. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jan 20 2011 18:34:03
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    A dog only alerted in one bedroom, so we decided to use heat. A month or so later, we found evidence in two other bedrooms so decided to try insecticides. Either the dog was wrong or they moved during the heat treatment. We've had two insecticide treatments. Last week my son had some bites on his arm, so I'm debating whether I need another insecticide treatment. Nothing is in the climb-ups or on our sheets. Meanwhile we keep vacuuming and washing. I'm thinking about a steamer. You may want to consider one, especially if you think they may still be in the couch.

  40. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jan 21 2011 14:23:50
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    So, the PCO that did our heat treatment came today to do a thorough inspection, and of course found nothing. (They never have, it's always me that finds them.) Despite the fact that I presented to them the specimen that I found yesterday (a confirmed bed bug), their new plan is to install Nightwatch monitors around our apartment. I don't understand WHY, though! Clearly we still have a problem and need to be re-treated. Delaying this inevitable reality is simply putting me through an additional week of anxiety-ridden hell. Worse yet, the monitors won't be installed until Monday, so this weekend I am monitor-less in an obviously infested apartment. The weekends are not anything to look forward to anymore. And, the bed bug beacon detector was worthless - it never did catch anything. That's it - sorry for my bitterness!

  41. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jan 21 2011 14:29:52
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    Talk to your landlord. I'm glad you kept the proof. Tell him that you smashed the other one. Two bed bugs is two, too many.

  42. HelpinDC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Mar 21 2011 13:01:14
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    Hello! I wanted to provide an update on this topic, for anyone that finds it later. I am reporting this very cautiously and knocking on wood, but we have seen no more bugs since my January 20 post! It has been the magical 60 days! Yay!!!!!!!

    I still do not understand why we saw the two live bugs after the heat treatment. The 3 Nightwatch monitors were used nightly in our apartment for over 2 weeks and never caught anything. My working theory is bugs may have still been entering our apartment (from wall voids or neighboring apartments) after our heat treatment, but the Phantom killed the rest of them. (We saw one bug after the heat treatment, were sprayed with Phantom, and then saw one last bug 7 days after the Phantom was sprayed. After that, I found a few dead bugs and nothing else since.)

    I was worried that bugs living in walls or neighboring apartments would continue to enter our apartment after the Phantom wore off, so we caulked around all the baseboards around all the walls to our apartment. I think that helped too and we haven't seen anything since.

    For anyone interested in the couch, it seems to be fine too! I made my own "climbup interceptors" with a tupperware bowl inside a tupperware bowl, dusted in talc powder and with a bit of baby oil in the bottom and placed them underneathe all couch legs. I also moved the couch from the wall so that it was isolated. I've haven't seen anything in the climb-ups and think that I will finally remove them because I need my tupperware back!

    It took me a long time to even start sitting on the couch again, let along to lay on it, and even longer to fall asleep on it. But I've fallen asleep on it several times now and have woken up with no bites!

    Even though I had some difficulties along the way, I still think heat treatment is the way to go! The preparation for the chemical treatment was so awful and it didn't work anyway!

    I begged, cried, and almost had a temper tamtrum when our PCO refused to do another heat treatment after the 2nd live bug was found. I was SURE that the problem wasn't solved. And, I still have no idea what happened. But we appear to be okay!

    Best of luck and all my sympathies to anyone battling this right now! This was one of the worst things I've ever gone through and I'm still recovering!

    P.S. I have a ton of travel coming up in the next few months and I love my Packtite! <3

  43. Jennoco

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 14:22:27
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    Glad for discussion -thank you

  44. BC BEDBUG EXPERT

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Mar 31 2011 13:45:38
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    Hello,
    Just wanted to add, some studies have shown a small number of Bed Bugs may survive the initial heat treatment. However, these bugs are rendered sterile and unable to feed. Hopefully those were just straglers and you will catch then in your climbup interceptors.

    Best of Luck

  45. tangler

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jun 12 2011 15:43:54
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    Just wondering, had a few items myself I wasn't sure would be able to survive heat treatment. From what I read on the forums, it seems like it could really depend on the type of heat treatment used. Are there a general list of ways to heat treat for us ignorant ones to be educated?

    Also, we had these items we were concerned about that I don't think have been listed in other posts.

    1. Piano. We have two wood pianos. One is an upright grand and the other a simple upright.

    2. Vinyl Windows. Our windows are double-glazed with vinyl frames and the prep sheet we were given says to remove all vinyl, but for obvious reasons we can't remove our windows.

    3. Batteries. Our prep sheet doesn't include these... my guess is they should be removed?

    4. Binders, 3 ring o-ring/d-ring typical binders. Does that fall under vinyl?

    5. "Meltable Cosmetics" is what it says on our preperation sheet. Does typical other items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc. need to be removed as well? I'm not sure what is constituted in "meltable"

    6.Plastics: I think they are in general, safe? Do they ever get deformed? I have a lot of things in the house such as paintball masks, that I wouldn't want getting warped.

    Thanks in advance! I intend to ask the inspection guys when they come, but out here in Vancouver, BC it seems that bookings are backed for about a week even for an inspection. Thought I'd educate myself a little first.

  46. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jun 12 2011 15:56:27
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    I had heat treatment (Thermapure) on my one bedroom apartment just under three years ago.

    Here's my experience with the above items.

    3. I store my batteries in the fridge. So I wasn't worried about those. The PCO brought my old iPod out to me because he was worried about it. I'm not sure if it was the screen or the fact that there's an interior battery that can't be removed or turned off in it.

    4. I have a lot of 3 ring binders. They all came through it fine.

    5. I removed pencils (lip liner, eye liner, etc.) and sticks (lipstick, chapstick), as well as anything else I thought might melt.

    Most of my other products were okay (shower gel, large bottle).

    However, a few shampoos and conditioners did, for lack of a better term, bubble up. I use a large bottle (32 ounces) of conditioner that comes with a pump top. Several of those had the product leak out of the pump. Product seemed fine, but I thought I'd mention it.

    6. I had some cheap costume jewelry have issues (they were faux aquamarine-ish big stone earrings that were very inexpensive--the crystals cracked).

    I also would STRONGLY suggest that you remove any liquids and gels with alcohol in them. A few small bottles of hand sanitizer plumped like ball park franks.

    And the bottle (spray bottle) of isopropyl alcohol I had around deformed.

    I don't have vinyl windows, but my vinyl blinds did warp slightly.

    Not on your list but worth mentioning, ANY electronic device needs to be unplugged. Some of them draw power when they seem powered off if they're even plugged in.

    any electronic device with a non-removable battery (like the new unibody MacBook Pros, for example) should probably not go through treatment. Check with your PCO, but the most costly losses I had were two TiVos and a microwave, all of which I forgot to unplug.


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