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Thermal treatment combined with chemicals?

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  1. tryingtobecalm

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon May 18 2009 2:50:03
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    New to this forum- all the info I've received so far has been so helpful! Brief bedbug story: So we began seeing the dark spots on our sheets a couple of weeks ago, but didn't realize what they were. Even when I looked it up online and found that bed bugs might be the culprit, I didn't think this was the case since we weren't getting any bites and the marks on our sheets were so few and so tiny. Anyway, we both got bites about a week ago and searched our mattress/box springs/frame/nightstands for bugs to no avail- we also found a flea on our dog and thought we might be getting flea bites. This morning I found more stains and finally, found one tiny bug under the mattress tag. YUCK- definitely bed bugs!

    Anyway, I feel like I've read so much information, but I'm still not clear on the best kind of treatment. I know it's debatable, but to me, it seems like combining the thermal treatment with some residual chemicals seems like the best bet. I found a PCO who inspects and then decides the best treatment based on what they find, but they offer both the thermal treatment and chemicals and often do a combination. Does this seem right? Has anyone had success with this?

    Also, until the PCO comes out, is there anything I should be doing? We ordered the protect-a-bed mattress and box spring encasements so that they're here when the PCO comes and are going to get some XL ziplocks and plastic containers tomorrow... I feel so helpless just sitting around waiting, but from what I've read, it seems like you shouldn't do anything drastic (move things, throw things out, etc.) before the PCO comes. Any other tips?

    Lastly, I know the PCO will give us instructions pre-treatment, but I'm a little confused about the bagging. It seems like some people bag every single thing in their homes, including their TV and other large electronics, but is this really necessary (especially if you do the thermal treatment)? We've only gotten bites in our bedroom, which is pretty small so we keep it very clutter free- there's basically only a bed and two nightstands, so would we need to bag up everything in all rooms? I really can't imagine bagging up all my books, movies, pictures, etc. for 18 months! Though if I have to in order to get rid of these things, I will. Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon May 18 2009 11:26:18
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    For what it's worth, my thermal provider came out to my place with three PCOs. the first PCO was a chemical guy who went in and treated the apartment before the thermal treatment. Then the two thermal guys fired up the heaters and baked the place.

    I'm sure the chemical guy did use residuals. It was kind of a moot point for me, however, since I left town to head to the airport during the treatment (not my choice, mind you. It was a family wedding that had already been scheduled, and I couldn't very well ask them to move it, and that day was the fastest I could schedule thermal treatment.)

    I'm honestly not sure how necessary chemical is to thermal. And here's why. A number of PCOs here will tell you that some of the chemicals used degrade in high temps, so if the chemicals are applied first, I'm not sure what good they're going to do. I suppose it's possible that chemicals were applied a second time after the thermal treatment, but the sense I got was that they were only applied first. (It's also possible that the real purpose of the chemical guy was to inspect for bugs, since the other apartments were inspected, and the thermal guys who treated my place were not bed bug experts. Keep in mind I live out west where thermal got its start as a treatment for termites, not bed bugs, so the thermal guy knew thermal but not bed bugs at my particular company. He explained it to me as the PCOs specialized, much like docs. He knew a ton about thermal, but someone else knew about bed bugs.)

    At any rate, that said, yes, they can be used in combination if it makes you happy, but I have to tell you. No bugs survived the thermal treatment in my apartment to need residual chemicals. I saw absolutely no signs whatsoever of bugs in my place after thermal. That's not everyone's response, but I wanted to toss out that months (yikes! not even two months shy of a year!)out from my treatment, if I had it to do over again, I would have pushed my PCO to explain why they needed to use so many chemicals before a thermal treatment. If they wanted to use chemicals, it would make more sense to apply them afterwards, or to not use them at all if the thermal worked.

    However, if you really want a combo treatment, such combos are available in some places. Do keep in mind that there may be more specialization with some providers. I'm not sure that's true, but it's possible. And you want someone with experience in both doing each.

    As for bagging, ask your PCO. My PCO said I didn't need to bag anything or do any laundry before the treatment, and I didn't do much, and they treated, and I got rid of all the bugs with one treatment.

  3. tryingtobecalm

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon May 18 2009 14:30:02
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    Thanks buggyinsocal! It's good to hear about positive experiences with the thermal- yeah, I guess I was thinking that if you use both thermal and chemical, the chemical would come after as sort of a precaution. I think our case is pretty mild so maybe the thermal alone would do.

    I'm actually in Southern California too- LA... not sure where you are, but if you're anywhere close and have recommendations for PCOs/thermal providers, let me know. Thanks!

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon May 18 2009 17:33:23
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    I sent you a private message (PM) with the info about my PCO. Hope it helps.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon May 18 2009 17:40:59
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    Feel free to post here the name and/or link, buggy. It might help if someone comes along when you have retired, one day.

    Recommendations are fine. We just don't like companies promoting themselves, or pretending to be customers.

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

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Mon May 18 2009 21:18:20
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    I'm just a little dodgy about posting the exact city that the company is located in, but I guess they have enough branches that it doesn't reveal anything beyond what I've already said, which is generally that I'm in south Los Angeles county.

    Ultimately, I went with Hydrex Pest Control. Here's their main website:

    http://www.hydrex.com/

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Tue May 19 2009 0:05:27
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    Aha -- gotcha! Thanks.


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