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Use your Christmas Lights to kill bedbugs!

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  1. marcgr

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 0:42:16
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    Hi,

    Here is my second attempt at a home-brew bedbug-killing heater. This one uses Christmas lights as the heat source. What could be more cute? Or deadly?

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Kill-bedbugs-with-your-Christmas-lights/

    "And he smiled and said, with a twinkle in his eye,
    "Merry Christmas to all (bedbugs), now you're all gonna die!" "
    (from: "The night Santa went crazy", by Weird Al Yankovic)

    Marcgr

  2. bushbugg

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 2:43:30
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    This might be funny on instructables, but I think the humor runs a little sour here. The afflicted are looking for solutions, the gullible will think this will work. It wont. Theres no way for the heat to be evenly distributed. I know its a joke, but... it falls flat.

  3. marcgr

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 8:39:24
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    bushbugg - 5 hours ago  » 
    The afflicted are looking for solutions, the gullible will think this will work. It wont. Theres no way for the heat to be evenly distributed. I know its a joke, but... it falls flat.

    What part of this do you think is a joke?

    Perhaps the Christmas lights are fooling you, but they're really a lot easier than the first version of this http://www.instructables.com/id/Kill-Bedbugs-in-your-luggage/ which used regular lightbulbs, like a giant bedbug-killing easy bake oven.

    Using the trash can and the christmas lights, I heated the core of my luggage to 125F, the recommended temperature for killing bedbugs, as measured by a remote thermometer in the center of my luggage. Why does it matter if I made my own heater do this or if I bought one?

    Anyway, as I have said multiple times, if you don't want to build your own or if you think this won't work, please buy a Packtite instead. The important thing is that everyone takes precautions against the spread of bedbugs.

  4. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 8:57:43
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    > This might be funny on instructables, but I think the humor runs a little sour here.

    Disagree. This kind of thing is safer here. We have a category for humor on the forum. As long as humor is labeled and the audience is appropriate (ie, don't use humor when talking a terrified newbite "off the ledge"). Just IMHO.

    Seriously, Marc, we should be aiming for fewer parts and less circuitry.

    Any thoughts to an external heat source?

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

    (Not an pro)
  5. marcgr

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 9:03:55
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    You know, I just realized that Bushbugg might have only looked at the first picture in the instructable and not read the whole thing. You might get the impression that I simply wrapped my lights around my luggage and that's it.

    An important part of this is to create a heat chamber, which in this case is a metal trash can. The lights and the bag go into the trash can, and the whole thing heats up, in my case up to about 180F when it was done.

    I did have that picture of my bag with the lights wrapped around it as a "teaser" to try to encourage people to read the whole thing, but I think it had the opposite effect... I've fixed the instructable to make it more serious.

  6. Beth

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Dec 14 2010 18:04:08
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    marcgr--

    this is great. thank you.

    Amy

  7. marcgr

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Dec 15 2010 23:47:35
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    I just thought of a way to make a version of this that requires no cutting and no electrical skills at all. Check out the modifications to step 2 of the instructable. That makes it a little bit safer.

    Marcgr

  8. Jenn28

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 16 2010 0:35:58
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    This is cute. We have to be creative!

  9. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Dec 16 2010 20:27:18
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    I don't have the engineering or or the ento/PCO background to weigh in in effectiveness. Nevertheless, my thoughts:

    - attempt to minimize labor (and chance of error), good.
    - fewer parts, fewer hiding places.
    - a raised grill, like the first model, would likely aid circulation.
    - i'd route all cords, wires, probes through center of the lid, give bugs the furthest distance to climb.
    - on a per watt basis, 7-watt bulbs likely more expensive to replace.
    - without dimmer, may be harder to adjust/control temperature.
    - can the wiring harness take the heat?

    If your first attempt was "hacktite", is this "hacktite nano"?

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 17 2010 8:40:32
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    Hi,

    As requested by NoBugs I have looked through this again and still feel that more field testing is needed.

    It may not be apparent to the outside world but for example the first prototype of the passive monitor was installed in a location in 2005 and only after a few years of data and optimisation did we feel the design was good enough to press the button and start investing in turning a working prototype into a finished product.

    I know Mr James has been through many nights testing, re testing and perfecting his product in the same way.

    At present I see this as an interesting concept but there is not enough data to say it works 100% of the time which has to be the goal with any product.

    As an aside like the Uni of Florida portal thermal chamber it may be a solution for home users who want to build there own but the second you attempt to commercialise this either as a product or a service that people pay for I can assure you it will infringe someones patent.

    As such I am not 100% comfortable participanting in discussions on the subject which means this will most likley be my last input to this thread.

    Good luck though.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC 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 pro
  11. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Dec 17 2010 11:12:54
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    First, The oil filled heaters that were used in the U of Florida study are not safe in a confined chamber.

    Millions of these oil filled heaters have been recalled due to causing hundreds of fires. Run a Google search, if you feel any skepticism

    Using these oil filled heaters in a chamber and relying on the overload thermostat to shut them off at 130 degrees F is an unsafe practice.

    The chamber idea is sound, but a safe commercial source of heat designed for a confined space should be utilized.

    Marcgr
    I sent a PM to you with some of my concerns.

    Basically, My main concern is still accidental fires.

    The x-mas light idea simplifies the wiring, but most of these lights use a two wire system with lightweight wiring and plastic light receptacles. Like Cilecto, I question the ability of the wiring harness & plastic parts to withstand repeated heating in a confined environment.

    The lack of a ground wire is a problem, if you plan to rely on a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) for electrical safety.

    I am concerned that the surface temperature of the C7 & C9 bulbs will still be high enough to ignite items that manage to make direct contact with the bulbs... I have seen this style of x-mas light cause fires when they make contact with a wrapped package.

    I feel strongly that an override thermostat is essential for fire safety and to prevent damage to contents.

    I don't think that passive heat is as effective as moving hot air like a convection oven. Passive sources will produce hot spots in the contents.

    As David points out, the finished product will end up being a clone of the PackTite more or less... without the safety testing, UL rating or product liability underwriting.

    I support your effort to develop a simple inexpensive device to help the community, but the life safety issues here must be thoroughly addressed before we encourage people to build one of these prototypes and create a potential disaster in a multiple unit building... The stakes are really high.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Dec 22 2011 1:34:28
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    Please see important updates here:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/important-safety-update-for-home-built-bedbug-heater

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

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