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shoes - BB heaven or low risk?

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  1. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 21 2007 13:11:51
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    I have been under the general impression that, although I should inspect and clean my shoes, they are probably not an item of great risk. Today I got my PCO prep sheet which says "shoes must be put in dryer on high heat (they are a prime hiding place.)"

    PCOs and BB veterans, what do you think? have you found BBs harboring in shoes? Other than the general risk of pickign one up as you walk around, do you think they are an item that requires greater attention? OMG I must have 50 pairs.

  2. goawaybugs

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 21 2007 13:33:36
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    I'm not a veteran but when I called PCOs about my situation, one told me that shoes were an unlikely candidate, unless they were made of fabric. I think I have seen posts somewhere about sneakers having bugs. According to the PCO I spoke to, leather shoes should be less likely. I would think it's still possible, particularly if there are cracks or crevices, or even zippers, but that's what they told me.

  3. AnneWithBites

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Fri Nov 23 2007 5:32:26
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    Good question! I was thinking of spraying them with a spray againts pests bought in the shop.

  4. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Nov 26 2007 12:08:06
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    I put all the sneakers in the dryer. but I am not ruining all my leather shoes. Even worse than the heat, it's all that flying around the dryer that will kill them. THey'll be all scruffed up.

  5. LEStenant

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Nov 27 2007 21:07:14
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    Shoes and books...my most beloved possessions and no way to be sure they're not harboring bedbugs...I don't think there's an answer. Bb's walk around and hide in all different places. Maybe the sheet says they're a prime hiding place because so many people keep shoes under their beds.

    Could you blow them with a hairdryer or shake them out really well over a bucket of water? Wouldn't kill eggs, but would dislodge any stowaways...maybe?

  6. paulaw0919

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Nov 27 2007 22:56:06
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    If you have a sweater rack for your dryer...that would work. My dryer came with a rack that I can put in and I put my shoes on the rack for 1.5 hrs on high heat. The dryer works the same but because the rack is stable the shoes don't move. I was able to put over 4-5 pair in at a time. You can eve ncall the 800 for the dryer make and they can probably send you one for that model possibly. (this is of course if you have a dryer at home..) Before I used the rack I did try to put shoes in a pillowcase with some towels to help the banging around, but those shoes still go ruined anyway.

  7. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Nov 27 2007 23:32:55
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    For people who want to try this, the dryer rack is a great idea and it may not be necessary to dry for a whole hour and a half. In a very hot dryer, you may not need so long. We know about Dr. Potter's experiment of 5 minutes in a dryer above 175dF that killed all life stages. I would pre-heat the dryer and try, say, half an hour.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Nov 27 2007 23:51:24
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    Shoes can harbor bed bugs. Anything can harbor bed bugs. I think the likelihood increased with the size of the infestation, how it's handled (eg if you or the PCO bombed, they're more likely to be in all kinds of places), and where the shoes were kept. Were they under or near the bed or an infested area (the sofa, or wherever your bed bugs may be hanging out)?

    These questions can't be answered for certain.

    It might help if you dried them. There's a shoe rack on the Useful Stuff page (link below). Drying dry shoes for 10 minutes might even do it. (Time is anybody's guess, but I think that is a good place to start--30 mins would be good if it did not dry the leather too much.) Drying is probably best if you intend to use the shoes.

    It is also true that stuff left in a place where they will have to crawl out and cross poison to feed _should_ eventually become bed bug free if poisons or mechanical killers (dusts) are properly placed and remain long enough. (TVs and such, though not always infested, fall into this category.)

    However, with shoes, this "wait and see" method means not wearing the shoes for a very long time. If they were living IN the shoes, it would be like they were living in the bed--they don't have to cross poison to bite.

    The only thing I would personally not do is bag them. But I am not into the 18-month bagging thing. Some people swear by it, but it's not my bag

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

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 10:59:48
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    I hate to say this, but two months after two treatments I found a bug in my leather boot! So leather or cloth rules didn't seem to apply in my case. Luckily, as I had been wearing thick socks, the bug I found was a squashed adult stuck to the bottom of my sock. Gross, but better than a live specimen. I have taken to wearing thick socks with any shoe I can't see all the way inside of and doing a little stomping jig immediately upon putting them on (I know this may just be a ritual to make my self feel better and for my roommate's amusement, but hey).

    I have a lot of shoes... I plan on tossing any fabric shoes in the wash, vacuuming what can't be washed and bagging w/a little shake of DE and putting them in those plastic shoe boxes from the Container Store. And anything last season goes in the trash! haha

    Honestly, I think the worst part about bed bugs is not the biting but the incredibly huge amount of neurotic cleaning you have to do ALL AT ONCE.

  10. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 11:59:28
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    I have begun spritzing my shoes with deltamethrin before I leave the house. An attempt to kill hitchhikers as a courtesy to my neighbors. Probably not very effective but it makes me feel better.

  11. jennifer09

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 12:13:40
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    Itchyincharmcity,
    Where did you get your deltamethrin? Can I buy at a Home Depot?

  12. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 12:21:19
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    It depends where you live, in some states it is illegal to dispense it to retail customers. I live in Maryland where it can only be sold to soemone with a PCO license. But I bought it in New Jersey at a farm and garden store called Agway, it is Agway brand.

    I am sure you could buy it on the internet but it may be illegal to ship it to ... are you in California? Deltamethrin is a pyrethrin and my PCO tells me it is the active ingredient in Suspend.

  13. jennifer09

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 12:29:44
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    Thanks. Yes I'm in California and they do have restrictions on certain pesticides. I'm going to Home Depot at lunch and see what's there. I don't want to get all crazy and do stuff myself. I'm currently using alcohol in spray bottle and DE. In conjunction with what my PCO uses. I don't want to mess his plan up. Thanks!

  14. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 13:30:07
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    I have steamed my shoes both inside and out.

  15. itchyincharmcity

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 15:41:25
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    That $40 steamer sounds like the best purchase you ever made! Steam would probably be fine on most cloth and leather shoes, it's just the suede you'd have to cook in the oven or something.

  16. BBsBlow

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:29:55
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    Nobugs-
    How come you're against the 18 month rule?

    -Blow

  17. Lelaine

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 16:44:13
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    Steaming sounds like a good idea. I managed to dry out a pair of pumps by leaving them in the dryer on high for half an hour. No one at my work cares, but they don't look too good anymore.

  18. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Nov 28 2007 21:25:40
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    Well, about 3 weeks ago, I sprayed isopropyl alcohol on a pair of shoes, inside and out, and it did not seem to harm the leather. The shoes dried out in about 8 hours and there was no smell. But if you have some favorite shoes it might be best to try on a small bit of the leather. I don't know if there were bugs in the shoes, so I am hoping if there were, the alcohol killed them.

  19. bedoozled

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Feb 23 2013 20:14:55
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    BuggedOut - 5 years ago  » 
    Honestly, I think the worst part about bed bugs is not the biting but the incredibly huge amount of neurotic cleaning you have to do ALL AT ONCE.

    Reading to try and figure out what to do with my shoes and purses, but I just have to say - YES. My roommate is out of town, so I've had to deal with BOTH of our stuff all on my own, and I am dying; I've only been bitten two or three places, but mostly I just want to stop riding the elevator up and down six flights to the laundry room!

  20. cilecto

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Feb 23 2013 20:49:36
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    I would not spray alcohol on shoes. While it may not hurt the leather of your particular shoes, it could cause drying and discoloration for others who try it. Besides, alcohol is of limited value...it will kill bed bugs (but not eggs) that you drench directly with the alcohol...the same bugs that you could see with your naked eye and pick off if you just inspect the shoe. Alcohol will have no effect on bugs who come by later over the surfaces you sprayed. Your best bet with shoes is gentle heat or a thorough inspection. If you must apply something, use a leather cleaner.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)

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