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Thermal Kill Temperatures, Questions

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  1. aballen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Dec 21 2008 18:56:05
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    Does anyone know, FOR SURE, the termal kill termperatures for Psocids, booklice and springtails, and mites, both household, dust (are they one in the same) and especially Bird Mites? We are getting another Thermal the week after Christmas and I am wondering if the temp needs kicked up, or if it is even possible?

  2. Bugologist

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Dec 21 2008 20:23:10
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    Nobody has researched that as I know but there is no need to either.

    If you have these pests in your house a larger problem exists. Most of these are insect/mites that like humid conditions. If you have all these pests you have a moisture problem somewhere in or near you home.

    Psocids and booklice are the same and regardless of moisture they are found in almost all houses. If you have an abundance of them, a moisture problem most likely exists.

    Springtails are typically present when moisture issues exist, and sometimes more specifically outside the home. Homes with fresh mulch or other moisture-containing items lay up against or close to the home can find problems with springtails. In the humid and warm days of August I find them in my home. Again, one or two here and there isn't typically seen as a "problem". Hoards of them are a problem. If you wanted to cure the problem you need to address the source (moisture), not the bug.

    I don't know of any data about temperature thresholds and mites but as far as biting mites are concerned, bird mites are the most concerning but again, if these are present heat isn't your answer. The answer is remediating the bird problem in your home. If the birds are there, the mites may be as well. Heat would only be a temporary cure.

  3. aballen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Dec 21 2008 23:42:23
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    Thanks Bugologist. We don't have a moisture problem anymore, we did have a floor sink and a pool installed which resulted in alot of powerwashing of the home. That resulted in moisture and mold remediation in summer 2007. We found the Psocids and springtails when we started looking for bb and they were abundant, thousands in my estimation, everywhere, attic, just everywhere and in everything. We taook care of that problem and ran a dehumidifier. We still catch at least ten or so a week on sticky traps, I am sure there are more since I dont have sticky traps everywhere. We do not have any birds in our house. We don't have any pests except the psocids and springtails. We do have tons of landscaping with mulch, but no more mulch then any other home. Last year I had it regraded so it would drain away from the home better. No more leaks, nothing that I can think of. But, we had bb and are continuing to get bitten after one year of treatment of all sorts. We are now doing Thermal for the second time. With that many bugs in the sticky trap, does it sound like we still have a psocid/springtail problem? Before, the traps looked like they were covered in pepper there were so many. I am just trying to think of something else that could be biting us. But we do notice blood on the sheets.

  4. thebedbugresource

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 22 2008 0:59:42
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    Hello All,

    Most structural insects will die at 120F.

    The European Union requires all wood products imported to be fumigated or heat treated to 56C (133F). This is to ensure adequate penetration into the wood to kill wood boring insects.

    Sean
    Entomologist/Pest Professional

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 22 2008 4:14:15
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    Hi,

    This might be the reason why your thermal has failed int he past, it is feasible that your issue does not fully arise from bed bugs but may be an allergy to chitin as well.

    If this is the case no amount of heat will deal with the problem because even if the insects are dead the allergens will still be present.

    If you seriously suspect that booklice or pscosids are at issue hear then the solution is to dry the area and remove the mold spores. This is best done with a dehumidifier and is measured in relative humidity of the air and not the temperature it gets to.

    There is a similar story on here from a long time back where a vikane fumigation was stopped because the issue was booklice and not bed bugs. This really highlights the need for evidence based treatment programs.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  6. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 22 2008 12:21:51
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    I'm mobile right now so won't comment fully except to mention that a typical Thermapure or other thermal treatment will dry the structure more than you realize. Thermapure does much more mold remediation than they do thermal pest work.
    Tony

  7. BakedBedBugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Dec 22 2008 19:52:26
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    aballen,

    Are you SURE your mold is remediated properly? Toxic reactions to fungi can cause skin problems much like you describe.

    Best of Luck! (Don't expect your heat treatment to solve the mold issue unless you specify you want to try and deal with the indoor air quality. The temperatures are higher than typically achieved for bed bugs and the duration needs to be longer, not to mention your Thermal provider may not be insured for mold work.)
    Tony Canevaro

  8. birdmitesdiediedie

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue May 5 2009 12:17:09
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    aballen,
    Did your second thermal work? Can you tell me what temperatures you tried both times? We have bird mites and I'm about to try to kill them by hiring a ThermaPure PCO.
    Thanks!

  9. GypsyD.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 9:51:24
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    Hello everyone...I am new to this forum as of yesterday and my problem is not bed bugs anymore, it is bird mites, however since this all started with bed bugs a few years ago, I think I can fit in. My question for everyone is this: does thermal treatment absolutely, positively, kill bird mites, eggs and nymphs? We have had the house heat treated fully, still had bites and convinced them to return to at least treat the worst two rooms. At the time, I was told by the PCO that heat treatment, at least theirs, is 100% and they have never had a failure or missed a single bug. So they were retreating only to humor me, the crazy bag lady who had just forked over the money saved for a new grandchild, coming in Sept. Our house is old and big, and mostly wood with lots of gaps everywhere. I have tried to follow the protocol but it's exhausting me, ruining my creativity at work and I am really afraid I am becoming the crazy old lady everyone thinks I am. The bites are awful, the crawling is unbearable. Last night, I set up an aero bed, on plastic, used a brand new bed sack instead of sheets, boiled the blankets and soaked them in borax then dried for hours, scoured my body right before bed, including the soles of my slippers, wore pyjamas that had been boiled, used Listerine everywhere, wore a shower cap to bed and went to sleep on three antihistimes, confident that it would be a decent night. I was awakened at 3 am by biting and crawling, got out of bed and started to cry. I feel hopeless, tired, out of ideas and can't afford to do any more professional treatments. I've ordered fogger and cedercide and am now taking Ivermectin and will continue taking as much as I can get. I hate to sound this way but if the meds poison me, it might be a mercy in the end. I am afraid I won't be able to hold and care for my grandchild and have nothing to live for any longer.

  10. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 14:48:13
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    Hi, GypsyD. I'm sorry to see you in distress. Are you catching actual samples of bird mites (or bed bugs) or are you experiencing a crawling "sensation" (which could be attributable to causes that do not require treatment of your home)? What kind of heat treatment did you have, ie, the kind individual items and surfaces are treated, or the ones where the entire house is "baked" by carefully placed heaters? If the latter, this should be done by carefully trained technicians. Hopefully, someone at the company can address the question of efficacy of their approach with regard to bird mites. (I don't know a lot about BMs, but suspect that to fight them effectively, you need to remove the birds they live off. Has this been done?

    The thing we try to drive home in this community is that BB can be beat. We share useful and labor (and sanity) saving tips in our FAQ. We have access to state of the art information through our Resources page (and participation on the forum by leading practitioners). And when you're in distress, you'll find people to share with.

    You'll get through this. Enlist your friends and family. Lean on us. Treat yourself extra special.

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

    (Not an pro)
  11. GypsyD.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 16:23:45
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    Thanks so much, cilecto! I do need answers but even more than that, I need to talk to people who understand. I guess we all know that nobody who isn't being bitten can fully grasp the horror of the situation, especially when so much of the standard info on bird mites is just, simply, wrong. In any case, yes, I have specimens and they have been identified by two reliable sources as bird mites. The treatment we had was the professional kind that baked the whole house. I don't understand how anything could have survived unless the mites took shelter deeper into the walls or something, but we have more bugs to show so we are hoping we can get treated again. The birds are long gone, although that was done unprofessionally, and that probably caused this horrendous problem. I actually just figured out that the broom my husband used to clear the nest out of the walls was still around, somewhere, and it's been almost a year.
    Having had both bed bugs and mites, I would have to say I would rather have the bed bugs. At least you sort of knew what you were fighting. With mites, you quickly learn that they can't be simply "rinsed off" in the shower, as one professional said...that is hilarious. They have to treated on the body and scrubbed off, every single time. Also, for some reason, they don't die in the dryer or Packtite, not even for four hours on the highest setting. We have quickly learned that laundry needs to be soaked overnight and then washed on sanitary and dried for hours. We can't figure out why this is, but only drowning or smothering them seems to work. They are very hard to kill. Sorry if I am sounding kind of bitter but this feels like a curse...the sore skin, the constant attacks and never feeling safe, the lack of rest and loss of free time and the worst part, the isolation from family and friends. If they dare to visit us, I feel guilty every minute, and worried that a bug or two will go home with them.
    Thanks again for your encouragement, kindness helps a lot and so does being believed. At first, I was super calm and told myself, they're only bugs...worse things can happen. But now, I am finally desperate and feeling like there is no end to this nightmare, ever. Does anyone know why, in the year 2011, humans can't figure out how to kill tiny spiders? This is a life changing event and it shouldn't be.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 17:17:44
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    Hi GypsyD.,

    Unfortunately, most of us here do not know much about bird mites. There are some entomologists and pest professionals here and what I understand from them is that bird mites can be treated and eliminated by a knowledgeable professional.

    As Cilecto notes, identification is the first step.

    You need specialized advice about bird mites. I would not assume that Packtites, or thermal treatment designed for bed bugs, or anything else you see described on this site would necessarily be helpful in eliminating bird mites.

    Large pest control firms generally have an entomologist who they can consult with about tough cases. I suggest asking some of the ones local to you if they have one. And getting them to help. You really can get rid of bird mites, but it is not a DIY job.

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 17:52:13
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    Hi there, Nobugsonme, thanks for your answer. I do realize that this is a bed bug site but I've been lurking for a while and reading the situation with aballen and wondering how that turned out and was just kind of assuming that some people here would have the dual problem since bird mites and bed bugs seem to be in the same society of miniature vampires we have to deal with.
    Our treatment was done by a professional and identified by the entomologist who works with that company. We didn't try to do it ourselves, once we realized how serious it was. We were assured by a professional and an entomologist that we have bird mites and that the thermal treatment was absolutely a sure thing. Since I know nothing at all about mites (although I've learned more than I ever wanted to know, since then) I took their professional word for it. And that was that all insects die at 118 degrees. So that information, true or not, came from a reputable source. Now, I can only pray that they are right and bird mites can be eliminated.

  14. miteymaid

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 21:30:52
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    I sympathize with you because I'm also on this website trying to glean what I can from thoughtful people and use it for mites also. I would hope Lou or David or someone like them
    would have some ideas, because having a mite infestation is as horrible and hard to get rid of as bedbugs and it's really difficult to get good info beside being told to get rid of the nests. I called the people at pactite and they wouldn't recommend their product for mites because they said they never tested it for them. I was originally thinking of going that way also. I was thinking of doing a heat treatment but now I'm not sure either. I would hate to fog my whole apt. with pesticide, since they are in everything I need to do something drastic but I hate to use tons of pesticide. Sorry nobugsonme, you run a good blog and we're only trying to go somewhere with people who sound reasonable.

  15. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 23:27:50
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    miteymaid - 1 hour ago  » 
    Sorry nobugsonme, you run a good blog and we're only trying to go somewhere with people who sound reasonable.

    You don't need to be sorry!

    I completely understand. I have seen some really dangerous-sounding advice on websites aimed at bird mite sufferers.

    It's not that I don't want to help. I would caution anyone against taking advice here which references bed bugs and applying it to mites. And I would caution you against taking any advice given by others unless they are really experts on bird mites.

    An entomologist in a local university extension or entomology department may be a good resource. I am glad Gypsy got advice from her PCO's entomologist -- that's great. And s/he will likely know much more than almost everyone here.

    Lou Sorkin is a good person to ask advice from about mites. Perhaps you can private message him?

  16. GypsyD.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Apr 3 2011 23:30:58
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    Hi Miteymaid, I've been dying to chat with a fellow sufferer and would be happy to tell you about our thermal treatment and what has worked, so far, for us. If you would like to PM me, maybe we can chat about this and compare notes. Hope you are doing better than I am...I've been trying so hard to keep it together but this is really wearing me down! There seems to be so little information about these mites.

  17. miteymaid

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Apr 4 2011 0:08:16
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    Thanks nobugsonme. I'd been trying to contact Lou. The thing is they always want a bug and I've yet to find one. It's really hard when you're dealing with something microscopic. I finally had my daughter bring one of her cats to a dermatological vet who knew about cheyletiella mites but the cat acted up and she was only able to get a few tape samples. She didn't find anything under the microscope but she acknowleged that they don't show up at least 60% of the time. I'm almost positive that's what I'm dealing with, no birds here. When she got those cats was when I started with my problems. Maybe I'll try him again. It's just getting worse and I don't trust the pco's I've talked to. Remember the blogger who had the 2 asymptomatic kittens but then her cat was infected and reacted? She was able to get rid of them but she started much earlier in the infestation. I had mine for a year before I realized it wasn't fleas or bedbugs.

  18. GypsyD.

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Apr 4 2011 11:02:28
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    Sorry everyone, guess this is the wrong site for me after all. After reading all the posts from a few years ago, from aballen and others, I thought there might be some people interested in communicating about bird mites since they so often seem to follow on the heels of beg bugs and flea infestations.

    As an elderly woman with a college education and a successful company I've been running singlehandedly for 30 years, I don't consider myself a dangerous internet crackpot or any sort of hysterical poster. The tips I was prepared to share about my cleaning protocol and so on, would not have harmed anyone but might have helped someone just beginning to deal with this problem. Had I, in the early stages of infestation, been able to communicate with another bird mite victim, it might have saved me many precious weeks of doing the wrong things while our infestation grew.

    I consult with experts and take their advice and am sending specimens and corresponding with an acarcarologist at the university of Reading in the UK, about the ways of bird mites and how they have "adapted". Information is always helpful, and extremely interesting, but beyond that, I was hoping to connect with people in my situation, for moral support. I am feeling depressed and isolated but I think a site that is bird mite specific might be better suited to my needs and less suspicious of my motives.

    Best of luck to all you bed bug sufferers...I've had them and they are horrible!


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