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Bed Bugs

Question:

Hi. My current apartment is infested with bed bugs, and the landlord's pest control agency is going to come in to treat, but the apartment is old and absolutely full of cracks, and I don't trust that they are actually very thorough, so I am not confident that the treatment will actually rid the place of the bed bugs. I am planning to move in to my dad's house while I look for a new apartment. I DO NOT want to take bed bugs with me to my dad's or to my new place. I frequently transport my laundry and other belongings in my car, so I am concerned that I may have brought bed bugs and/or their eggs into my car, and when I try to move, even if I clean the things I'm moving, they'll get re-infested in my car as I transport them. Is there a way to safely fumigate a vehicle? Would interior detailing of the car get rid of any potential bed bugs in there? I'm scared to move anything without ensuring that my car is clean, and I'm allergic to the bed bug bites so I want to get rid of them (or get away from them) as fast as possible.

Please help! Thanks 


Answer:

Bedbugs have a high reproductive rate, live as long as a year, and  can last without a food supply for months.  With access to a host, their spread is assured.  



Your concern about their being transported to your dad's home is a real consideration, and, yes, your vehicle could have received some "hitch hikers"  



You say that you do not trust that the landlord's exterminator will kill all the bedbugs, and you want to take extra steps to prevent their spread.  A professional should be able to eliminate bedbugs.  One visit may not be enough.  That technician must treat all the apartments to be certain that there are no more bedbugs.  You can ask that your car be treated, since the possibility of spread is eminent.



Purchasing a self release bomb for your car is a good idea.  First, make certain that all loose contents have been removed, and placed in a plastic bag.  You can dust the bags contents with DeltaDust or silicagel, which is also a powder.  Do not place electronic or computer type equipment where dust can effect the chips.  You can place such items in another plastic bag and store the contents in a freezer for at least three days, setting the temperature to the lowest point.

The plastic bag with the other contents should have had most of the air removed.  This is done by folding the bunched open end and tying or placing a rubber band over that end, in order to, then grab to sides and move the bag like an accordion so as to distribute the dust in all cracks and crevices.  Once completed, leave the bag in the car during the over-night treating time.  Air out the car the following morning.



You may do the same thing with objects that you are not able to thoroughly inspect.  Being thorough is the key to success.



It is possible that you have batbugs rather than bedbugs.  They look alike to the non-professional.  Attics and chimneys may be the source of a bat colony.  Birds may also carry batbugs.  Unless you know the origin of these creatures,  You might suspect bat activity in the building.  Of course, other tenants may have introduced them, and they are now finding you.



I can send you more detail, but this response can be adequate to your immediate needs.



Landlords are responsible for this problem, and can be held to a certified clearance of the condition.  Before you take on this project completely, hold the landlord to task.



Best wishes Lisa,

George Manning


Consulting Entomologist

Pest Control Chicago
American Pest Solutions

 

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