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Should I tape up screw holes in my bed frame?

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  1. Bigsigh999

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 0:36:13
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    Hi all.

    I've had two heat (steam) treatments, one chemical treatment yesterday, and another chemical treatment on the books two weeks from now. My bb infestation is mild-- I don't see bugs very often, they are contained to my room in my apartment, and I'm taking a lot of precautions to ensure it stays that way.

    After my second treatment, I made my bed an island... I also put climb ups under my bed but never saw any bugs in them. 11 days after the second treatment, I woke up and found a blood stain and poop on a brand new pillow. Drats. Is it possible that they could only be living in my bed frame only, if I haven't seen them in my climb ups? Or are the climb ups not working?

    I suspect my pco isn't being super thorough... in fact, I think I just found an egg on my frame now. So, I will probably buy cimexa tomorrow and spray some more on/in the cracks of my headboard and put some in my climb ups. I have a simple wooden IKEA frame where the screw holes are recessed and they are OBVIOUS points of entry for the bugs-- there are poops all around the screw holes in the top left and right corners. I clean them with bleach between treatments and I've seen new ones appear. Can I put some dust in those holes and then tape over the holes? Or is taping not recommended?

    TL;DR: can I tape over screw holes in my wooden bed frame and is it possible that my climb ups aren't working to trap bed bugs?

  2. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 0:54:49
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    IMO
    Just get rid of the bed frame. Take it apart and put the pieces into bags and seal them up. That's what I would do. Unless you take the frame apart completely. Every screw. Clean. Spray cracks/ crevices/ screwholes with cimexa. Then put it back together and seal all cracks and crevices and screwholes with wood caulking. Screwholes are the perfect harborage. Tons of nymphs can hide in just 1. Have you encased your box spring and mattress? If not, you should. Get a quality one that will last 18 months as you don't want them escaping. It is possible that the majority of bed bugs are living in your bed frame and box spring/ mattress. So isolating your bed at this point is useless. I would also suggest passive monitors. They allow the bugs to Harbor inside of them, allowing you to keep an eye on whether you still have them, and if you do you can simply throw away the monitor with the bugs inside it.

    I'm not an expert. Just sharing what I learned from my experience.
  3. Bigsigh999

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 1:37:47
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    Wow, thank you for the fast reply!

    Shouldn't I wait until after my next/"final" treatment to get rid of my bed frame? I was planning on getting a new one eventually but am afraid of a reinfestation. I'll be treating baseboards with cimexa and putting any new bed frame on the climbups, so is that preventative enough?

    A big fear of mine is that when I am disassembling the bed frame, that they will scatter and get on me or "escape" and set up camp in other furniture. Is that possible?

    My mattress is encased with a quality encasement. I have no box spring, only slats, so that removes some of the annoyance. I plan to reuse this mattress in its encasement with a new frame.

    I'll look into passive monitors, too. Thanks!

  4. FayeState

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 1:51:28
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    Bedbugsbugme, why wouldn't taping work, if it keeps the bed bugs inside the frame?

  5. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 2:05:33
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    FayeState - 13 minutes ago  » 
    Bedbugsbugme, why wouldn't taping work, if it keeps the bed bugs inside the frame?

    It could come loose eventually. Plus you would have to tape up all cracks and crevices as well.

  6. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 2:11:00
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    Bigsigh if you are planning on tossing it anyways just caulk it up (or use wood glue)the best you can. But eventually the movement from you will loosen the caulking. So after your ordeal you should toss it anyways. When you get a new bedframe try find one with as little openings as possible. Then try seal it up the best you can with matching colored or clear nail polish. Reapply it as needed.

  7. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 2:13:08
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    The reason I like the caulking idea is because it will seep deep into the holes whereas taping only covers the holes on top. But if you really want to I guess taping it could work as a temporary solution so long as you're careful not to remove it.

  8. FayeState

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 2:36:21
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    When you say the caulking or tape won't last a long time, how long do you mean? If it last 18 months won't the bed bugs be dead?

  9. FayeState

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 2:37:07
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    Will heat treatment get a rid of the bed bugs in a bed frame without taking it apart?

  10. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 4:28:30
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    FayeState - 1 hour ago  » 
    When you say the caulking or tape won't last a long time, how long do you mean? If it last 18 months won't the bed bugs be dead?

    Well I imagine with the movement of the bed the caulking will start to wear off. Depending on how good you sealed it it should last a while. As for tape would you really want to risk one hungry bb slipping through a weakened edge? I am no expert but it could happen. The whole caulking taping thing is only meant to prevent too many bites until they are eradicated. Then they would buy a new bedframe. If you want to keep it then you risk reinfestation should something come loose before 18 months. Steam can only penetrate so far. Only option to be sure they die deep inside is heat treatment. If you miss even one tiny corner with the steam or chemicals then you risk reinfestation. Whats better? Paying for another treatment (plus all the cleaning involved) or buying a new bedframe? IMO I wouldn't risk it. If you're only using tape until treatment is over then thats fine. To me anyways.

  11. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 6:13:01
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    Tape the holes to reduce harborage areas. Don't throw it out and buy a new one until you know you're in the clear.

  12. Bigsigh999

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 10:22:55
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    I should have specified: taping will only be a temporary fix until the treatments are over/I can remove the bed frame from my apartment! I completely intend on replacing my bed frame, it's just a question of when (and what I can do in the interim to reduce bites).

    Thank you for the tips on sealing bedframes. I plan on getting a metal one next, understanding that they're just as likely as wood to be infested.

  13. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2016 15:20:20
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    We had a metal bed frame during our two infestations. I discarded it when we moved out and will not get another one. The bugs can harbor inside the tubes and you can't see them. If PCOs try to treat the frame with steam, the inside of the tubes can rust. I'm sticking with wood from now on. It's white, I taped over all the holes and treated it with Cimexa "just in case". So far, so good.

  14. Bigsigh999

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 10:12:06
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    So this method "worked" for me-- I found 2-3 bed bugs in various stage of life trapped behind one of the packing tape barriers over a hole in my bed frame. They are indeed hanging out in my frame, and I was able to stop a couple of them! Small victory.

    I've had four treatments so far (the last one was last week) but haven't seen any bed bugs besides these 2-3, which are contained. I'm sufficiently grossed out by my bed frame, though, and have bought a cheap metal folding platform frame as a temporary fix.

    How would you recommend I dismantle this bed frame, knowing bed bugs are in it? I was thinking that I could seran wrap all the big parts individually (headboard, side planks, slats), then dismantle at the seams. Then put into contractor bags before moving them all the way through the apartment and out the front door. Please let me know if there's a safer way to remove this contaminated furniture-- I wish I could throw it out my third story window, but that is inherently hazardous to the other residents in my complex! Haha.

  15. BigDummy

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 11:21:59
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    Easy on the bad advice.
    I don't see any reason to discard your frame unless your PCO is certain that it's problem. A wicker frame would be the only thing I would toss, anything else can be treated in my opinion. Work with your PCO, making changes on your own can prolong the ordeal and set back any treatment that has been done to this point.
    Tape would not be my solution. Filling the cracks and crevices with caulk may be something that you could ask your PCO about, but I would stick with the plan.

  16. Bigsigh999

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 11:47:56
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    I'm not giving advice, but I'm just saying this was one possible way to reduce harborages. It's not a permanent solution.

    Unfortunately I am not able to talk to my PCO. They're a cheap company hired by my apartment complex and when I call their number, they refuse to connect me to a technician that will answer my questions. I can't see any details about my case, such as what chemicals they sprayed and where. I am not getting support from my apartment management office on this either. They won't help me get details about my case. So I'm more or less working this out on my own.

    I'm choosing to get rid of this frame because it's just a cheap IKEA thing and I'm frankly not interested in keeping it in my apartment.

  17. BigDummy

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 12:03:07
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    Sorry, was referring about the other posters giving poor advice, not you.
    Speak to your landlord and ask for the MSDS form,they legally have to give you information on the chemicals they are using.
    I'm not a fan of anything wood from Ikea, it's very soft, like farmed pine.
    If you want to safely dispose of the frame and leave the bed bugs in place don't spray anything before bagging, leave them alone and in their hiding spots.
    You could spread out a white sheet on the floor then carefully wrap each piece, a roll of pallet wrap would work well. Any bugs that become dislodged can be seen on the white sheet, and for good measure I would run that sheet through the dryer after you complete the job. It's important to label each piece with "Bed Bugs" so no one picks it up and takes it to their home, and so that the trash collectors know to use care and not bring home any unwanted friends. Do not label as hazardous or biological or anything that would deter the trash collectors from removing the item.

    I'm not a fan of isolation techniques as it can have a negative side to it causing bed bugs to harbor in odd places. I prefer to have my bed bugs right where they like to be, it's easier to find and kill them that way.

    Check out some of Paul Bello's DIY videos if you plan on tackling this job on your own; he has some of the best videos out there and is at the top of his field. Paul, David, Lou and the others on this site brought me from mere hobbyist to the level where I feel comfortable doing treatments here at work as opposed to hiring outside firms. You're in good company.

  18. Poiqm

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 15:54:15
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    Tape them. Then you can focus on something else.

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  19. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 16:10:11
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    I'm not sure who Big Dummy is calling out for giving bad advice, but I followed David Cain's guide to furniture optimization.

  20. Poiqm

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 16:14:47
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    You could blast all the screw holes with a residual insecticide. Kill 'em dead.

  21. bedbugsbugme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Jan 9 2017 16:24:15
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    bugged-cdn - 11 minutes ago  » 
    I'm not sure who Big Dummy is calling out for giving bad advice, but I followed David Cain's guide to furniture optimization.

    Hes referring to me. I'm just sharing my opinion. No one has to do what I suggest. I'm not an expert. Just sharing my little experience.


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