Bed Bugs Wars

This is another item on thedeveloping bed bug battle.  The take homehere is that a sustained treatment at 50C will kill off the problem

It is not a great plan but itcertainly does the job but is difficult to put into practice.

A better solution is to seal offthe building and bring the ozone level up to 10 parts per million or so. Unfortunatelythis is still only available in Vancouver and Seattle.  The process has to be professionallyapplied.  Warning – avoid promotersselling plasma arc ozone producers – they produce mostly nitric acid which iswhat you actually smell.

With ozone nothing will surviveexcept your friendly strange breathing cockroach.

The bed bug is rapidly recoveringbecause we do not allow the effective pesticides that ended their past pervasiveness.Somewhere we have to establish effective public policy for this.  On and off is turning out to be stupid.

Winnipeg landlord turns old trailer into cooker torid furniture of bedbugs

The Canadian Press – Mon, 21 Feb, 2011 12:48 AM EST

Leon Wieler, stands beside a trailer heconverted into a bedbug cooker, in this recent …

WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg landlord who had bedbugs in his suites hasdesigned and built his own solution for ridding the pests, he literally bakesthem to death.

Leon Wieler took an old equipment trailer, installed heaters and fans,and now heats the inside to a temperature that's fatal to bedbugs.

Wieler calls that temperature the "thermal death point."

"It was a matter of necessity. I had my first case of bedbugsabout four years ago. I'm a very hands-on landlord. I do my own repairs, that'swhat I do. And the response I was getting from my exterminators wasn'tadequate," explains Wieler, who owns a 36-suite building.

"So I did my research and I became an exterminator and I built mybedbug oven, because the research has found that heat is the Achilles heel ofthe bedbug."

Wieler says he learned extermination himself, but needed a way to treatfurniture, mattresses, TVs and computers.

So Wieler tried putting various items of furnishings in the trailer andeventually discovered that bedbugs die when the temperature hits 50 C.

It sounds simple, but Wieler says it took nearly four months ofexperiments to get the cooker right. Too high a temperature in one spot canstart a fire or melt something. Too low in another spot might mean some bedbugssurvive.

He also had to figure out how long it would take the heat to penetratevarious types of furniture.
"If you're just heating mattresses and couches, you can make thetemperature go very high with no difficulties. If you're wanting to treat TVsand computers and VCRs, you have to concentrate on a very, very high air flowand a minimum of heat," Wieler says.

"I don't have an engineering background so I had to learn this allby trial and error. But trial and error is a good teacher."

For mattresses, he turns the temperature up to over 70 C and cooks themfor about four hours. He bakes electronics at a lower temperature for up to 20hours.
Cities across the continent have seen a surge in bedbugs, partlybecause of an increase in international travel but also because of a ban onhighly toxic pesticides such as DDT and a growing bedbug resistance tolower-strength insecticides.

Earlier this month, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger announcedhis government is developing a strategy to fight bedbugs that will includemarshalling each municipality in the fight and co-ordinating techniques toexterminate them to stop the infestation.

Ontario recently rolled out a $5 million planto educate and fund public health agencies across the province to help fightbedbugs.

Wieler says his cooker is only one component of his bedbug controlstrategy. He says he still must make sure tenants are careful not toreintroduce bedbugs to his building, but he says the cooker has helped keep theapartments bedbug-free.

The cooker wasn't cheap. The heaters are industrial quality, and Wielersays he spent about $14,000 just for materials.

Also, about one per cent of items don't survive the trailer treatment.Unusual types of plastic are usually the problem.

"We once had the plastic turntable ring of a microwave warp. Sothe owner put a plate on it and put it in his toaster oven and flatten out andit was fixed," Wieler says.

"Some kids had Lego that didn't appear to be damaged, but the fitwasn't as tight as it used to be," he adds.

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