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Thermal experts - Can you weigh in

(6 posts)
  1. eatingmealive

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 27 2009 19:49:38
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    I have been reading a few older posts that speak to thermal treatment being ineffective in the instance of treating one unit in a multi-unit building. If the unit is the only one infected and properly sealed would you say that thermal is effective? Additionally, what would you note in the instance that it is the only unit infested, but it is not properly sealed.

    This is more curiosity than anything on my part right now, based on older (circa late '07, early '08) posts.

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 27 2009 20:16:11
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    Thermal treatment will be effective for killing bed bugs that are in the areas that are heated into the lethal range for a sufficient duration.

    It won't have any effect on bed bugs that are in unheated areas of the structure or bed bugs that are introduced into the treated areas at a later time.

  3. eatingmealive

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 27 2009 20:40:53
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    What are the risks of the bugs fleeing the treated area? This is something I have seen frequently mentioned.

  4. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 27 2009 21:48:52
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    Depends on where the bugs are harboring...if they are in the furniture & contents they should become baked bugs...if they are harboring in a wall that is shared with an unheated unit they may be able to migrate to the cooler unit & survive.

    Thermal is an excellent tool, but it has a few limitations. Can a spot thermal treatment work.... Sure, if the bugs are hiding in a location that is heated adaquately... then people can sleep in the treated room the very next night & remain bite free. That is one of the attractive features of thermal treatment...near instant gratification. Treat one day & be bug free the next night

    The challenge for any bed bug treatment is that any approach that less than 100% effective is a failure. The threshold for minmum success is very high.

  5. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 27 2009 22:54:49
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    We regularily do this.

    Sealing becomes tantamount if we are unable to inspect the surrounding units. If a unit sealed properly and the neighbours have bed bugs then you will usually solve the problem. "Properly sealed" is the key.

    Unless bed bugs are currently harbouring in an adjoining wall cavity you should be able to acheive eradication. When they are in an adjoining wall then you must treat the other side of the wall at the very least.

    Thermal can almost always be "effective". The question is how do you define "effective"?

    A unit that has no evidence of activity in surrounding units but is not sealed will perpetually be at risk of re-introduction from a neighbouring unit. Personally I wouldn't live in a multi family building unless I sealed the wall penetrations. You have no control over what your neighbours do.

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Jan 27 2009 23:46:18
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    I had thermal treatment on my apartment which is one unit in a multi-unit building with four units. The other three units were inspected, both before and after treatment, and declared bug free both times. My unit was the only one treated with thermal, and it was 100% effective in the first go.

    I never did any caulking or sealing of my apartment to prevent the bugs from migrating (mostly because between the time I found them and the time I was treated was probably under two weeks total, and it only took that long because we had to contact a few PCOs before we settled on who to go with).

    I'm pretty sure that the bugs were only harboring in fabric items in very close proximity to the bed, not in walls or shared spaces in the building.


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