nyboySeptember 28, 2011

I am going to look at a chest of drawers thats been in a storage facility. Is there anythng I can do for bedbugs?

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Keep the piece the hell out of your house. You'll be tossing mattresses and uposterled fueniture.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:37PM
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Look the piece over carefully....after some time in storage you shouldn't have problems if there are bedbugs. Bed bugs need a blood meal to reproduce.
Heat kills bedbugs. 30 seconds direct heat with a hour dryer will kill them....that is IF there are bed bugs in the piece you are looking at.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Nonsense. Bedbugs are easy to combat if you use a little common sense - tossing is not necessary. But it certainly is far easier to not get them in the first place.

We had bedbugs last year and were initially afraid I'd brought them home on some used stuff (turned out we got them from my mother in law). I actually posted here about it. Now that I know more about bedbugs than I'd like to, I realize that you can pretty much predict whether they will be on something or not.

Bedbugs are attracted to people (to the CO2 they exhale, specifically) and so if the item has been somewhere where people at least occasionally go, chances are very slim that it would have bugs on it. Even if it went into the unit with bugs on it, if they can smell people they will have abandoned ship in search of a meal a long time ago.

In my estimation, going travelling is far riskier bedbug-wise than buying used furniture. Especially if it's in a store, the bugs will have gone to the clerk. Although they like to feed at night, if people are only available during the day, they will feed, or try to, during the day.

The risky situation is (a) if something came from an infested home and was put in a storage where no people ever go, any adult bugs on the thing MAY have gone into a state of extended (up to 18 months) hibernation waiting for a meal, from which they will wake up when they smell you (they may also have died), or (b) if something came from an infested home or even an infected home where it was in contact with the bed. They call them bedbugs because the bed is where they want to be.

Here's the thing: you can see bedbugs. They are easily visible to the naked eye, with the possible exception of babies - use reading glasses to look carefully enough for those. But if there are babies, there will also be bedbug moults, eggs or eggshells, and poop. Inform yourself on line what these look like. So examine the piece, if you decide to buy it, ideally before you put it in your car. But to be honest, I don't do this - the risks on furniture are simply too small to make it worth my time, or worth offending the seller (people are prone to annoyance if you accuse them of having bedbugs).

I'd consider the average storage locker very low risk.

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Seems as Karen and I were posting at the same time.....and she has a lot more info than I do.
I once bought a book case from a house that was badly infected, scrubbed it with ammonia, hosed it down and left it in the sun to dry. My friend bought a wonderful old bed from that same house for $ one wanted anything from the bedrooms.....she also scrubbed it and sunned it well and it was fine.
Just keep your eyes open...
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 10:09PM
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Boy, that was EXACTLY the same time!

Linda is right that heat does kill bedbugs; so does steam; you can also vacuum it thoroughly. But these methods are both fallible and indirect. Bugs will try to crawl away from the heat, for instance, to a cooler part of the dresser, while steam can blast an egg or bug across the room without killing it. Even scrubbing might miss one. Search and destroy is my preference as it is simply more precise.

If you really think the dresser might have bugs on it, the first difficult step is to get it home without getting bugs into your car. Pick-up trucks are good here.... but if you have a car, plastic is your best friend. Anything small enough can be encased in gargantuan plastic bags (tape them together if you have to); otherwise consider giant saran wrap, whatever that stuff is called. You really have to close the gaps, because the bugs will be drawn to you in your car. I use clear bags for easier detection, by the way. Bedbugs cannot fly, they can only crawl. But they cannot crawl on slippery plastic (they would be able to on the saran; the idea there would be encasement).
For that reason, clear plastic bags and clear plastic boxes (again, for easy detection) are the most important tools in my arsenal. That, and knowing how predictably they will come to a breathing host. Seriously, the best way to get anything bug free would be to put it in a big plastic box, even if it is taller than the box, and then sit near it and breathe. The bugs will gradually make their way toward you, and in doing so will end up on the bottom of your box, unable to go anywhere. Some things are too big for boxes, of course, so maybe your bathtub... if it's slippery.

Most people will prefer to actively clean, of course, as Linda and her friend did. Working outdoors has the extra benefit that you can see the crannies of the piece really well.

By the way another way of transporting really big things would be to use big bedsheets to wrap it; I have a set of king size that I use for transporting anything I think might have spiders on it. They would work to contain bedbugs too IF YOU TAPE THEM SHUT. Tight weave, no holes...

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:10AM
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Thank you! Not sure how big a problem they are, but in NY you can't pick up a paper or turn on tv without a story about bedbugs. It might just be media blowing things up. No one I know has ever had them in their homes. I am sure a lot of shops are loosing sales because of it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:13AM
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It is a pity that shops and charity shops, and any other cache of old merchandise is now suspect and it will prevent a lot of people who would buy from them from even considering it now. The bedbug epidemic is not overblown as far is how widespread the problem is now. We have a friend who is a professional exterminator and I asked him if he is seeing examples and his eyes just rolled. He is seeing lots of it, even in rural areas.

Yeah.....travelling is by far the biggest vector. And absolutely, preventing them from entering is much easier than eradicating them. They are considered dangerous for vectoring disease, but just nasty. Inspection is necessary and you should be able to do a pretty good job of looking things over before you ever bring items into your home. It won't stop me from buying antiques, but it is making me more careful of what I introduce into my home before 'quarantine' in one of my g'houses first.

There is a recommended spray one can use. You should be able to Google it. I'd treat any furniture with it before I'd bring it in from unknown sources. Karen is also right that they can lay dormant in many stages for extended periods, just like fleas. Just another example of global trade and travel. argh. They were considered exterpated from the U.S. until recently. Oh BTW, I know from talking to old-timers that they have a smell about them.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:44AM
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Interesting....I live in a sort of rural area....a town of just under 20,000 about 30 miles from population center of about half a million....and have never thought that bedbugs were eliminated. As an avid auction attendee and "junker"...or perhaps "junquer" I ran across places where they were known to be many times. I have smelled the smell....seen beds crusty with them and their mess. They were sure around 25 to 30 years ago!
Now my son travels lots and lots. Gone over night easily 150 nights a year....likely more. I asked him was he taking any precautions to avoid bring bed bugs home....he said....and I quote! :-)..."Oh Mom! Really! I don't stay at those kinds of places."
Don't know what to think...are the business travelers right...or the exterminators and column writers.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Your son may be suffering from just a bit of luck :-)

I have read that bedbugs may be even more prevalent in higher end establishments because the people in them travel so extensively. Your mid-range hotel where Jim and Mavis stay for their daughter's wedding may be less susceptible. Or not.

My only experience with infestation was my mother-in-law, and I didn't notice the smell, but then I'm a bit oblivious in that department. But that is why dogs are useful for finding bugs even when just a few are present.

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:47PM
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There was a word missing in my last post. I said that 'They are considered dangerous for vectoring disease, but just nasty.' and meant to say they are not dangerous as far as carrying disease. Yeah, the menace was considered to be pretty much gone from the late fifties to the late 90s......and their return has been blamed on a lot of things but scientists are not really sure yet why they made such a comeback. I'm a private pesticide applicator, so I'm a bit of a bug nerd too and here's an article I thought explained it well

Here is a link that might be useful: Don't let the bedbugs bite

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:13PM
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