A co-worker brought BedBugs into the office and since then I have seen signs of them at home.
I have contacted a pest control company and they are coming in Monday with a BedBug sniffing dog. That gives me one day to declutter in order that the dog have good access to all of the closets, bureaus, etc.
I have managed to accumulate a lot of ribbon and yarn and have most of it stored in bins in my bedroom but some of it is in bags. I don't know if there are BedBugs in any of my supplies but I would like to take preventative measures before I store them.
BedBugs will die at 113 - 118 F and it is recommended that dry clothing or bedding be dried in the dryer for about half an hour or so. Temps in the dryer can get up to 190 F.
From what I've read, the lowest oven setting is probably too high and may start a fire but I do know that ribbon is frequently baked in the oven. I have done it myself when "corking" (curling) ribbon for hair accessories. I forget the temp but it is more than the lowest temp, in the case of my oven that's about 170 F.
Of course when you bake ribbon the goal is usually to curl it or "set" a bow's shape and I wouldn't want to do that with ribbon or yarn I plan on storing.
Does anyone have any thoughts on whether or not I should at least do one trial run and cook some smaller skeins of yarn at 170 F (the lowest setting on my oven), as long as I keep a close eye on it?
Regarding ribbon, does anyone know what the highest temp you can bake it at without "setting" the shape?
I could eliminate the risk of fire by using the dryer shelf for the yarn and ribbon but the internal temps may not get high enough without the tumbling.
Unfortunately BedBugs have been known to survive without feeding on a host for a year or longer but worst case scenario I think I will use the vacuum Space Storage bags and put them into long term storage for 18 to 24 months.
Other than that I guess I'm just looking for some moral support and encouragement.
Oh, as long as I'm at it, wish me luck getting ready for my Final Exam on Tuesday with all of this going on.
Sorry to hear about your bed bug scare. I have been in the canine detection and bed bug remediation business for many years.
First off. Canine detection is a great tool. It is not however a sliver bullet. The accuracy advertised by canine teams and practically NESDCA associated teams are miss leading.
As far as the upcoming canine inspection. The canine team should have given you a pre inspection checklist. Being prepared for a canine inspection is a key step in a successful canine inspection.
It is very important that this is done so the residence to be inspected is at the optimum conditions for the canine team.
Assuming that there have been no DIY or professionally pesticides applied. A canine inspection can proceed.
Having dead air, there having been no disrupting of a potential bed bug habitat and distractions are the some requirements for a canine inspection.
Everyone has stood around a campfire with the wind at there back. No smell is detected. Down wind, the smell is strong. Timely closing of windows, HVAC system turned off and ceiling fans turned off will assist in this area.
Unlike drugs and bomb making materials. Bed bugs are more difficult to locate because of the extremely low vapor pressure created by this bug.
Habitat disruption. Moving or de cluttering areas prior to a canine inspection most often hinders a canine inspection. Disrupting areas can reduce the level of the target scent below the threshold that is recognizable by the canine. Disruption can also remove a potential source of the target odor from the area being inspected.
Distraction like pet food on floor, garbage need removed. Load noises, talking, TV etc. need to be kept to a minimum.
You should hear one of two things from the canine handler after the inspection. I was able and have presented all areas to the canine and there was no scent available of live bed bugs or viable bed bug eggs or I had an alert(s) and I will show you the area and the evidence of either live bed bug activity and or viable eggs found. The target odor cannot exist with out live activity.
The statement made that bed bugs are 80 percent located around the bedroom can be very inaccurate. Bed bugs migrate with in dwellings as people do. This is practically true if you have vacated a bedroom with bed bugs and are now sleeping somewhere else in the home. The location of the laundry room plays a big part in the possibility of spreading bed bugs.
In my standard remediation program. The entire residence gets treated if bed bugs are found anywhere.
I have a 99.2 percent first time elimination of bed bug and viable bed bug eggs because of this discipline. I always assume that a bud bug can be anywhere in a residence which has them. They are tremendous travelers.
Partial area treatments done by many almost always means countless follow up treatments. Using a canine team to pin point areas to treat is reckless due to the facts stated above.
Protecting your personal items. If the Pest Control Company finds live activity and you proceed with a chemical treatment. Your personal items can be placed in sealable plastic bags. A fumigant strip can be placed in the bag and the bag sealed for 30 days.
As far as heating your personal items. The oven is much to hot even on low. If a heat treatment is found to be the preferred remediation process than most of your items will be safe but a short list of no heat items. Candles, crayons etc.
If you are expecting then I would stay away from pesticides.
Lastly, Many are finding that work will pay for a remediation if the work place is the source of a bed bug problem.
Good luck, I hope that your home will be found to be bed bug free.
Thanks so much for the input.
Unfortunately we are pack rats and I felt de-cluttering was necessary to comply with the prep protocol to allow the dog complete access (e.g. to a blocked bureau, a night stand and a TV table).
I just found what I'm guessing is a third or fourth stage BedBug with droppings and a small trail of eggs between some books in my bed board. Oddly, the BedBug seems dead. I thought I saw it move but that must have been my imagination. I have bagged and sealed it for the entomologist when he gets here. He won't be with the dog handler tomorrow.
DH and I are leaning towards whole house heat treatment. However, I am intimidated by the prep protocol (removing all batteries, aerosol cans, etc.).
Is it practical to do whole house treatment with pesticides or am I pretty much stuck with heat treatment?
If I can do whole house treatment either way then I suppose could re-schedule to a regular inspection, the cost of which can be applied to treatment. The dog inspection is more expensive and it can't be applied to the cost of treatment. I was willing to pay for the dog in case the infestation was really limited, then I would have been open to spot treating the sleeping areas.
I'm not wild about rescheduling since I'm anxious to proceed to treatment as quickly as possible. Which, given your info, would be problematic since we have a cape with two of the bedrooms upstairs, the laundry area in the basement and the breezeway DH sleeps in on the ground/1st floor, and the family dog sleeps primarily in the living room.
Regarding reimbursement from my employer. Currently I'm unemployed. The office I referred to is my Dad's. He died a little more than a year ago and I am helping two of my siblings with the handling of the estate. The estate is willing to reimburse me but I have a strong incentive to do this as affordably as possible, without sacrificing effectiveness.
I'm really interested in your advice on the pros and cons of whole house treatment.
My success in bed bug elimination is due to always treating the entire structure and the contents with in it. I also heat treated many of the cars associated with the homes treated.
Managing the content level of a dwelling insures success. Most people today are collectors of stuff. Many call it clutter, I prefer calling it content.
Two important things to remember about heat treatments
Ambient air temperatures are meaningless for killing bed bugs. Monitoring ambient air temperatures is done to protect your structure and personal property from damage due to over heating.
Core temperatures of all items with in the structure must be monitored for the desired kill temperatures. The only way to get heat to penetrate furniture, mattress, solid wood furniture , wall voids , under carpet,behind base boards,etc. is with convection. Mixing and moving the tempered air at high speeds. With out ample air movers. The process is limited in scope.
Content management. Many homes contain too much content to heat in the home or apartment. I have a process that removes content from homes and treats it at an off site heat chamber. The process allows me to heat any home with out hesitation. Many Pest Control Companies have to pass on heat and go chemical because they lack a content management program.
There are many different ways to do a heat treatment. Please take the time and talk with those about their systems.
Ask for references. If you have any specific questions please ask.
Best of luck and have a great Thanksgiving holiday
owner B R Pro Services
I agree with Bill. We heat treat the whole home with the Temp Air Remedial Heating System not just a few rooms. I have seen companies do this and it can save the customer money (as long as the rooms not treated don't have a problem). One major problem with doing that is, bed bugs are great hitch hikers and could be in any room..... I also think that another reason some companies go with a chemical treatment (which in low level or moderate infestation work well, if done right) is the cost of the equipment and the training of the employees/technicians.
I would suggest for your ribbons & yarn a mess laundry bag. The heat and air can penetrate the bag to heat all the items well and yet keeps it contain.
Please remember that treating your home and getting rid of the problem is not the end of the story.... You will need to make sure that this is not a repeat again in the future. As you could bring them home again. Try to implement some safe practices... such as don't take extra stuff to work with you. Make sure to alway wash and dry (on high heat for at least 30 min) any clothes that you get at a 2nd hand store, garage sale or such places.
Good Luck and try to enjoy the holiday.
World Pest Control
Bill and Shonda,
Thanks for the replies. I just lost a long response. I'll try to summarize.
The dog handler was in yesterday. He did a pre-inspection and there was strong visual evidence of infestation in the two second floor bedrooms. The dog responded to the Living Room couch and Recliner, and the Day Bed in the first floor TV Room. The dog didn't respond to anything in the basement.
The Entomologist will be in tomorrow for a follow up inspection / assessment to map out the whole house heat treatment, including the basement. They will be using fans but I will try to nail down what they mean about monitoring core temps. I take that to mean they are doing more than just monitoring ambient (air) temps.
As much as I like the idea of off site "contents" treatment since it sounds like it would be more thorough I'm pretty much committed to moving forward with this company, but I could ask if they are equipped for that.
Finally, I am concerned about the potential for re-infestation from the office and I'm pursuing a contract employment opportunity that would keep me out of the office --for the most part-- for the next 4 to 5 months. If that works out I'll try to limit what I bring in the office, where I put it, and what I take home. Looking down the road, the problem in the office should be resolved at the end of that 4 to 5 month time frame.
If Pest Company with Canine came in on 11/19, what was their findings?
If the canine is a trained and certified, good at what he/she and their handler does, you should get a good inspection and if you have bed bugs the canine should have alerted to the areas of activity.
Also a good bed bug specialist (company that has dealt with bed bugs) should be able to visually inspect and confirm from the canine's alert to find a bug. Not all companies can or will do this and there can be the possibility of eggs, small nymphs, but they can be seen visually if a thorough inspection is completed.
I would put yarn in dryer as you suggested and/or if you can part with the ribbon and yarn for a year or more, just store and purchase more for now.
e-mail us with any questions. Always happy to help with advice. We are a PMP in Delaware and specialize in bed bug services and have two very talented, trained & certified (2x per year) canine bed bug scent beagles. www.ladybugpm.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck to you.
Sandy "Ladybug" Honess.
I am on facebook too. Sandy Honess
If you are going any of this prep work, please remember (and I'm sure the company you are working with will also tell you this) to seal up anything you heat treat to keep it safe. I always recommend that if one of my clients is going to help heat treat their clothes to buy new big trash bags (such as hefty) and keep the box outside. Put the clothes in the dryer for 30 min on high heat and then when it's done put the treated contents in a new trash bag (that you just retrieved from outside). Twist the bag several times and tie shut. If you want to put more clothes in the bag, take it back outside until the next load is done.
As for the off site content treatment, that would only help get rid of the bed bugs on you items... but if there were any bed bugs or eggs say behind a base board or in an electrical outlet, that would not help with getting rid of them. (unless they are planning on doing a chemical treatment in those areas)
Whole house or at least whole room treatment would be the best approach with either heat or chemical. Since you know where the dogs alerted, this give you at least a starting point. Sandy would be a good person to ask more questions about the dog. Since her company has 2 dogs.
I know this can be a stressful time and now through in the Holidays..... But try to relax, things will work out.
PS: I am in Kansas, so we don't go PA. Just trying to help where I can ;o) We do have an extensive prep sheet you can view on line if you wish. (might help you think of some questions to ask the company treating your place) www.worldpestonline.com
I can understand your BB concern, they are very bad in sucking human blood and always found in the cracks of bed. I used to spray bed bug treatments long island pest control for removing all the BB. I use it once in every month. It's a good option to keep your home clean and tidy.
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