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Second thermal complete

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  1. help_me

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Sep 26 2011 23:42:05
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    So today my home underwent its second...yes... second... thermal heat treatment in 6 months. Talk about bad luck. I feel cautiously optimistic, the house feels cleaner and safer tonight. I helped do a lot of the searching around during and immediately after treatment for any signs of bugs and we didn't come across any. At one point the tech found something in my other half's car, deep in the space where the back rest meets the seat top and we swore it was a dead you know what, he smokes cigars, it turned out to be a piece of tobacco leaf. Things are slowly cooling. The heater went off at 3:25 this afternoon, I finally decided to turn my bedroom AC unit on at 9:20 pm to start cooling the room in time for sleep. It was 98 degrees in there. About an hour ago I was upstairs putting the clean bedding on and the temp read 87. Every time I use the sink in my bathroom the water comes out warm at first and the sink itself is warm, what a big difference it is having a heat treatment in hot weather vs. late winter early spring. This time around I will actually do all the caulking I was supposed to have done back in March.

    I am not sure if it would be alright to mention the name of the company but I really liked them. At first I was a little apprehensive because they had one heater and my house is pretty big. It's no mansion but it's certainly got a lot more space than a typical apartment. My first heat treatment consisted of numerous heaters of various sizes plus a large black one powered separately.

    It all depends on the technique and methodology used I suppose because the numbers throughout the house were pretty damn good. The bedroom was in the high 140's, deep in the thick wall (drywall over plaster, don't ask) was about 136ish.

    Hey, guess what!? So far, it seems do-able to Packtite VHS tapes. I experimented with the Billy Blanks Instructional tape that came with the Tae Bo work out tape. The quality is already poor because it's an old series and possibly even bootlegged. Either way, it still played fine after taking it out of the Packtite at 146 and cooling off first.

    If you are reading this and you were here at my house helping me out inthe biggest way ever, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I will be able to get up tomorrow without worrying (maybe a little still) about having bugs in my hair from laying against my pillow. You were both awesome and I had a lot of fun chatting with you while you worked and feeling welcome to ask questions and such. My house was so much cleaner at the end of today than it was in March, your help was great.

    Am becoming gradually more interested in this unusual and oh so important field of entomology, pest control, and thermal remediation.

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 27 2011 1:49:53
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    You are allowed to mention the name of the thermal company.

    Glad to hear that you are happy... Come back in a few weeks and let us know the final outcome.

    Killer Queen has a thread on the forum where he provided some tips for sealing and caulking that may be helpful

    Good luck

  3. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 27 2011 9:11:44
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    help_me - 9 hours ago  » 
    So today my home underwent its second...yes... second... thermal heat treatment in 6 months. Talk about bad luck. I feel cautiously optimistic...

    Can you describe the circumstances, since thermal is supposed to require only one application. Are you able to shed light on how other people going with thermal can avoid having to repeat it, since it's quite expensive.

  4. help_me

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 27 2011 16:20:37
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    Well I received a thermal back in March, as I mentioned, and I do not know if maybe there was a leftover, very low grade presence, still lurking or if they were reintroduced into the home.

    I was still finding the occaisional marks on my skin sporadically since spring and had not actually seen real evidence here in the home. Upon going out, especially work (only a couple days a week) I was very careful. I would inspect myself and shake my clothes out real good in the bathroom before coming home, then put everything right into the dryer and go up and take a long thorough shower. If I had gone out in the car or went to the store, I would usually put my clothes into the dryer but didn't necessarily take a shower. It depended on confident and safe I felt. The house was reinspected twice, once in April and once in June I believe and both times yeilded no results, not even the car. The last time we were reinspected was following a big false alarm that was followed a couple days later by finding the real thing in the dryer. Perhaps something had entered the home that didn't go into the dryer or washed down the drain that was in hiding or the two inspections were not accurate.

    Either way, just before this last thermal I do believe we were both getting bit. We had obvious marks on us. Now this time, the inspection I got a couple weekends ago, yielded two alerts. One in the bedroom on my side of the bed only after I lifted the mattress and one in the car. A couple days later I put the stuff into the dryer from the bed and boom, a bug in there which i posted on here a couple weeks ago.

    Are you able to shed light on how other people going with thermal can avoid having to repeat it, since it's quite expensive.

    Unfortunately, because I don't know exactly what was going on here I can't give precise recommendations. A large part of my problem has been the person I live with. He's really not on board with the bug protection plan, he does most of what I ask of him only because I won't relent but he's the type who will go out places with higher risk unnecessarily just because and deny that there might be any risk. All I can really recommend is to be like I have been and assume that every place you go and every situation is very high risk. When I have gone out but I felt there wasn't a lot of risk I would still put my clothing into the dryer only I would strip down right at the dryer, I think from now on I will do it in the bathtub all the time.

    Definitely use a Packtite. For everything from library books to packages you get in the mail because you never know where stuff was stored before being shipped to you. If I had the money, I would absolutely build a little laundry shed behind my house that has power running to it and keep a washer and dryer and a Packtite out there.

    They need to invent people decontamination showers, you step in and it does the whole person, clothes and all, in an instant. Mobile decontamination drives are the wave of the future.

    "Saturday from 10AM to 1PM mobile automotive decontamination unit in the Target Shopping Center Parking lot. Cars $50 Cars with small items $75. Bed bug immunization shots $90 <--- made that one up, wishful thinking but who knows? Maybe eventually they will have one.

    Pull in, sign into a queue, when ready pull up to the unit and they heat your car. Pay, drive off.

  5. BarelyLiving2

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 27 2011 21:12:50
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    If you don't mind if I ask, did Animal Planet pay for your first thermal treatment?

  6. help_me

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2011 1:43:48
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    No, Animal Planet did not pay for the thermal.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2011 2:09:33
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    help_me,

    Are you saying you never found any evidence of bed bugs in the home, and you had at least two inspections (April and June)?

    What kind of inspections were done? Sorry if you've explained this elsewhere but it's hard to keep track of all the details.

    Most people believe it's important to find visual evidence of bed bugs (bugs, cast skins, fecal stains) because if bed bugs are biting, these should be present. Fecal stains, in my understanding, may be more easily spotted than other signs in lighter infestations.

    I truly hope that your problem is solved now. If the skin reactions recur again (and of course, I really hope they won't!), I would investigate whether you might be getting bites somewhere besides your home, or whether there's another cause besides bed bugs for the skin reactions.

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2011 14:12:45
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    Nobugs, There have been many events since March so I ought to sit down (when I have the time to) and organize all my information as far as dates and such go.

    In writing this post the other day I actually realized I've lost count if there have been two or three bug-in-the-dryer events since the first thermal. I think it's been three!

    The most recent was a couple weeks ago after I put my bedding in. I stopped it with 30 mins left to check the temp and checked the lint trap randomly and there was a bug. The night we had Hurricane Irene we had no power, I have an oil lamp wall sconce in my bedroom that I use as a candle holder so I kept vigil all through the night with that. I noticed the next day in the day light there was a series of tiny blood spots on my side of the bed, like perfect little dots. We've been seeing intermittent blood spots on the sheets for months. We hadn't seen any live bugs, fecal (that we know of), or cast skins.

    They reinspected with the K9 once in about April for my standard post treatment inspection. They were good enough to come back out again in early summer after I found a dead bug in the dryer.

    The K9 inspection I just received a couple weeks ago was partly to ease my mind, at least when it was scheduled that was the reason, but during the waiting time a series of bites exploded on me. I woke up one morning and my forearm was covered in scratch marks, I looked and there were two fresh puncture marks. I had a small row of bumps on my cheek right near my chin (no one breaks out with pimples like this) a triangle on my shoulder, he had triangle on his back, a straight line on HIS same shoulder, etc. I was really glad the dog was coming because it seemed like something must be there.

    When the dog alerted in the bedroom and the car I tried to believe maybe it was wrong... but then I found the bug in the dryer so that is when we scheduled the treatment. I searched the box spring when we were putting the bed back together and I didn't see anything, that doesn't mean it wasn't there though. If you saw my house you would understand VERY soon why not seeing here doesn't necessarily mean nothing there.

    I am hoping everything can mostly go back to normal, never will go back totally normal though. still don't think I'll put all those bags of clean clothing and such back into the drawers ever again. They're so much cleaner this way! That plus I am considering moving back home.

    Oh and they also heat treated both our cars. The first thing he did was go to the library and take his car. He seems to think things being clear on our end means the world is safe again, he doesn't get it. It doesn't cost that much to have the car heat treated so...

    I have really wonky skin. I've got eczema and I am very pale so you can see pretty much anything that appears. Sometimes things just do not look randomly occurring at all. In my case I am a very observant person, almost like a detective. A lot of the marks I was getting correlated with edges of clothing and sleeping patterns.

  9. thiscantbehappening

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2011 21:08:18
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    Hi,

    Our family is going through a very similar situation.

    I was wondering what you meant by your family member or roommate going out in places that are "high risk" and potentially bringing them back. What places are high risk that we should be wary of for bed bugs? Here in LA everyone seems to be in denial.

    regarding your comments about decontamination; I understand but do you really go to these lengths, and is it really necessary to go to these lengths in order to not get reinfested? people keep saying on this board that they strip down the moment they get home, in bathtubs or outside, and immediately quarantine their clothes and packtite everything that comes in their homes. Is this really how we all have to live now as a society to keep these bugs out of our homes? is anyone on this board with children actually able to enforce this high discipline with their family members? My son is a 12 year old latch key child who comes home from school way before I get home from work. I cant even get him to pick up his dirty socks let alone quarantine his bookbag and school clothes upon arrival to our front door - but mind you, I have pleaded with him. Luckily, he is not allergic to their bites so he is not even aware of them.

    What do people do with their guests, or handymen, housekeepers or contractors they may have working in their homes? Do we ask all guests into our homes to abide by these rules? Ahem, excuse me, before entering my home you would not mind stripping down into my packtite, would you? Or do we stop entertaining, forbid people to come into our homes? I am not meaning to be facetious, this is a serious question.

    Please dont get me wrong, I am absolutely suffering with this problem too. We had an expensive steam/spray treatment by a highly reputable company in January which miserably failed. After frustration with "professionals" I took matters into my own hands and began spraying my home with temprid, which appears to have chased them into the kitchen. I am now faced with the decision of whether to spend $3K for whole house fumigation, but am wrestling with it because I dont know how on earth I will ever be able to prevent these bastards from coming back after knocking them down with Vikane. It all seems so hopeless and I am so angry and ashamed

  10. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Sep 28 2011 21:18:54
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    Thiscantbehappening and Helpme,

    Your posts are why I bought the packtite, but humans are never 100% error free. I just pray that it will work out.

    It will be interesting to hear what is considered high risk.

    My understanding is that it's increasing in schools (all grades, university, etc). Maybe another mom can help. I'm not a mom of a middle schooler, but a close friend is a middle school teacher. Is there some sort of reward system you could provide your son for packtiting when he comes home? All the moms are probably laughing.

    From what I've read, it sounds like the experts let people in their homes but do regular inspections.

    Maybe those nudists in the 70s were on to something smart...

    Oh well. You are asking a lot of the questions a lot of us are thinking.

    They
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  11. help_me

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Sep 29 2011 0:20:42
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    I would love to answer all these questions right now but I have to be up early...later... for school.

    To be honest there are only so many places to draw the line, like if your toilet explodes obviously you have to have someone come into your home and do the work unless you know how to fix that yourself. Best thing I would say is schedule it so that whoever is coming will be hitting your house first thing before someone else's. It is a really tricky situation, it is not easy, make no mistake about that. I guess too the route of vigilance one will decide upon is based really on each person.

    I only take the risks when I need to like in the case of something like a repairman. Having a slumber party with 20 overnight guests to watch a movie marathon? I can live without that. I'd much rather go to someone elses house and change out of my clothes when I get home.

    These are absolutely things I think about all the time and have actually asked.

    High risk places to me are those where lots of people are coming and going on a daily basis and especially sitting or otherwise. Waiting rooms, libraries (when you sit at the computers or at a table), restaurants, even clothing stores because people bring back return items as well as try on clothing in the fitting rooms. If you've ever seen a fitting room it can be a really messy area.

    For me I feel better about stripping down. It's just become a new way of life for me and now I can't imagine NOT doing it. Everyone is different and I don't mean to impose my own personal feelings on anyone else, these are just the measures I take.

    My other half has a tendency to wander around a lot when he's out. Barnes and Noble, the library, doctours' offices, and I still always have to worry now that he's been visiting with people and not telling me because he knows I'll be angry so I have to just imagine he is to play it safe.

    Thiscantbehappening,
    Was thinking about how you said you started treating yourself and now they are in the kitchen, I think this is realllllllyyy why it's important to not try and self treat. Unless you especially know what you are doing this is often what happens.

    It stinks bad to be in that boat. My credit is damaged because I refuse to pay the company that first did my house. Have you considered thermal? It's unfortunate that LA is not yet on board with it. San Francisco is pretty high up there on the list of bad cities but I realize how far apart the two are. I can imagine that in a place as health conscious and organic as Cali/LA it's going to be really tough.

    As for your son, can you change the locks? Jk.

  12. thiscantbehappening

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Sep 29 2011 20:32:44
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    Thanks so much for your kind responses, theyareoutthere and help_me To your comment about schools, I agree that they have the potential to be a huge breeding ground (especially kids' lockers) but I have not heard of any school here in LA admitting to having them; although they must have them

    These are all excellent observations and suggestions. help_me, I totally understand your viligence, and thank you for sharing your strategies for coping.

    I obtained a third quote today for a whole house tent fumigation for $2,500 with 6 months warranty. The other two companies I contacted quoted me $2,075 and $2,900 respectively with NO warranty or any guarantee of any kind (2,044 sq ft house). I am thinking about doing the $2,500 fumigation, and getting a packtite to ensure that we dont re-infest afterwards. I just hate to throw that much money away on this

    take care and hang in there we are all battling this terrible problem together

  13. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Sep 29 2011 21:18:17
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    This cant be happening,

    Wow, that is shockingly expensive for fumigation

    Not to have the thread go off tangent, but I just got the packtite closet. It's more expensive but it's easier to use and I like that you can hang items. I don't have the original so can't compare it. For me, the easier it is, the more likely I am to follow through. I use a gym bag and it's so easy to throw the shoes, jacket, and bag in for a couple of hours. I've only had it for less than a week, but it's so much easier than my old dryer or the other tool I used that I wasn't comfortable with (I had condensation).

    Helpme's ideas are really good. It makes sense that there is a big concern about reinfestiation after thermal or fumigation. I like the suggestion about service people.


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