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Shampoo vacuuming seems to work (temporarily)

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  1. Cortisonelover

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jul 25 2016 21:51:43
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    Hi all,

    I'm new here but I've been dealing with bed bugs for almost 6 months now. I won't make this post too long, but I'd really like some of the "old timers" to take a look at it if they can.

    I'm tired of the cycle of "treating", they go away for a while, then come back. I am currently in the process of doing research on steamers and residual sprays. I have purchased DDVP strips but have not used them yet. Currently I'm not interested in DE/Cimexa because of the danger of breathing it in for long periods of time (though I might get some Cimexa just to puff behind outlets). What I have done is:

    - isolate my bed as much as I could (used ClimbUps when I used to have a bed with legs, my new bed doesn't have legs so I can't use them anymore - P Bello I sent you a question on your website about this)
    - vacuumed my mattress and encased it
    - bought a new box spring and encased it before putting it on my bed frame
    - many cycles of washing/drying all of my clothing and many cloth material items (cloth purses, gym bags, etc.) followed by bagging all of my clothes in Ziplocks
    - even washed/dried my shoes (not my leather boots) (also in Ziplocks)
    - got rid of as much clutter and unnecessary items as possible (like a broken desk chair, night table, old wooden shoe racks)
    - EcoRaider sprayed my suitcase and stored it in the garage (I don't use suit cases any more, just smallish gym bags that I can wash)
    - vacuumed
    - SHAMPOO VACUUMED my carpet (more on this in a bit)
    - Sprayed EcoRaider Bed Bug Killer along baseboards and bed frame
    - used a garment steamer to steam every single piece of furniture in my room (done in my naive early days before I did research and found out that those steamers are too wet AND don't get NEARLY hot enough)

    I cannot say which of these treatments worked, but I have found that every time I shampoo vacuum...I stop being bitten for about 2 weeks. I find this very suspicious because after all of my research I've done now, no one has ever mentioned shampoo vacuuming as part of a bed bug killing strategy. My two week respite is now ending and it's time to start the battle again. However, I'm very curious as to why shampoo vacuuming seems to stop the biting (at least temporarily). I'm not saying that it kills the bed bugs because:

    1) though "hot water" is used for the vacuum, that water is not nearly hot enough,
    2) the water cools fast anyway,
    3) I doubt this vacuum is strong enough to suck up all those bugs, and
    4) no "old timer" or anyone else on this forum has used this method successfully, as I mentioned above.

    One possibility could be that the process of shampoo vacuuming sorta "drowns" the bugs in all that water, but...really? They seem more resilient than that. If so, why don't PCOs employ this method ever?

    I should also mention that when I have shampoo vacuumed, I usually pair it with regular vacuuming with a (cheap) vacuum first (I store the vacuum in the garage after emptying it), decluttering of some kind, and spraying with EcoRaider (or steaming with the garment steamer in my early days) after I shampoo.

    Have any of you also found this method to work? Or is it simply that the vacuuming is what's helping? Or is it coincidence? Any advice/ideas from the Old Timers?

  2. Cortisonelover

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jul 25 2016 21:52:55
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    I said this post wasn't going to be long.... clearly I lied

  3. frightened

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Jul 25 2016 22:02:04
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    Hi. Have you posted a photo of a bedbug and had it identified by an expert on this site? There are other insects tha bite too.

  4. GeekOnTheHill

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2016 6:17:20
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    I've long advocated shampooing carpets and upholstery for rapid reduction of bed bug (and other insect) populations. But there's really nothing mysterious about the way it works. Detergent and water simply do a better job of removing insects, eggs, droppings, and other insect by-products than air alone does. The surfactants in the detergent loosen things up and make the fibers more slippery and the liquid irrigates the surface and carries the stuff away, making for more complete removal.

    In other words, just like shampooing removes more dirt from carpeting than air alone does, it also removes more insect-related matter. Whatever direct insecticidal efficacy the detergent or the hot water have are minimal. The main benefit of shampooing is simply that it cleans more thoroughly and efficiently.

    Richard

  5. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2016 9:30:39
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    Shampoo treatment would also remove any static charge, which has been known to cause bite-like skin irritations on occasion.

  6. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2016 9:43:59
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    You wrote in another thread that you have yet to find any bed bugs, fecal staining or cast skins, correct?

  7. Cortisonelover

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2016 15:15:40
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    BigDummy - 5 hours ago  » 
    You wrote in another thread that you have yet to find any bed bugs, fecal staining or cast skins, correct?

    Yes, even before I started shampooing I've never seen anything, except for a few skins once that came washed out of my hair in the shower. I did take a picture of them actually....but I stupidly deleted them since at the time I didn't think I needed them anymore. However, this discovery was probably around 3 or 4 months ago and I have not seen any other evidence since, not even on my white bed sheets and pillow cases.

  8. Cortisonelover

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2016 15:23:23
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    GeekOnTheHill - 9 hours ago  » 
    I've long advocated shampooing carpets and upholstery for rapid reduction of bed bug (and other insect) populations. But there's really nothing mysterious about the way it works. Detergent and water simply do a better job of removing insects, eggs, droppings, and other insect by-products than air alone does. The surfactants in the detergent loosen things up and make the fibers more slippery and the liquid irrigates the surface and carries the stuff away, making for more complete removal.
    In other words, just like shampooing removes more dirt from carpeting than air alone does, it also removes more insect-related matter. Whatever direct insecticidal efficacy the detergent or the hot water have are minimal. The main benefit of shampooing is simply that it cleans more thoroughly and efficiently.
    Richard

    That...makes a lot of sense. So I'm probably not just imagining it. Thanks Richard!

  9. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2016 15:59:30
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    Six months and no signs? Something's not right here. Bed bugs may not be your problem.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 28 2016 12:25:21
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    I'm with BigDummy here.

    David Cain has talked a lot about this static issue-- it can cause issues that seem like "bites". So can skin conditions like keratosis pilaris, which seem very common.

    Bottom line is you can't diagnose bed bugs from skin reactions. If you can't use Climbup Interceptor bed bug monitors, consider passive bed bug monitors, which don't require a certain style of bed. (See FAQ on bed bug monitors.)

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

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