Bed-Bugs

Bed-Bugs

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 21st, 2010, 5:21 pm #1

In case you haven't been keeping up with the news lately we are having a bed-bug epidemic in the US. Bed-bugs are nothing new- but they haven't been a problem for decades- and then only in slum areas but suddenly they seem to be turning up everywhere- even in posh hotels.

I didn't think this was anything I had to worry about because nobody stays overnight in my house now and I don't sleep elsewhere either but a story in the local news about a branch library that had to throw out some chairs and fumigate the place made me realize that bed-bugs can propagate in more ways than via sleeping in beds- apparently- the eggs can become attached to clothes and transfer to another person just by sitting in a chair in a public place.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I sat in my dentist's waiting room for my annual checkup. Not saying that I'm paranoid or anything (who me?) but when I got home instead of going in the house- I took my pants off in the garage and tossed them in the washer in the adjacent laundry room.

The question I think is why have bed-bugs suddenly become such a problem after all these years?

Has Al Qaeda found a new way to attack America?
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Bob
Bob

September 22nd, 2010, 5:04 pm #2

"I took my pants off in the garage and tossed them in the washer in the adjacent laundry room." Sorry, Nat, you ARE paranoid!

In the news, Ohio is supposed to be another hotbed (no pun intended) for bed bugs, but I don't know anyone who has had a problem in their home, at least so far. I would guess that in facilities (like where I work) that house many people, and especially if those people go out to other locations during the day . . and sometimes stay overnight at loved ones' homes . . the problem might show up quicker than in a private home. We had a small outbreak of bed bugs in one unit, but most of the facility was unaffected.

I recall an old Rolling Stones tune . . from the 70's, I believe . . "Shattered" . . lamenting the deterioating conditions in New York City . . . and there was a line, " . . rats on the West side, bed bugs uptown . . this town's wearing tatters.' So, there must have been some problems back then too?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 22nd, 2010, 6:30 pm #3

Well from what I've seen in the news many people are having infestations in their homes. And not dirty slum people- but many who are clean and careful about hygiene. I saw many being interviewed who were just baffled how they could have gotten them. And they say once you get them they are almost impossible to eliminate because their tiny eggs are embedded in any fabric and are impossible to see and the current pesticides allowed for home use are not effective on them.

Maybe I'm over cautious because I once had a dog that got fleas started in the house and it took me years to get rid of them. The exterminator told me- "I can killed the ones you got now but the eggs are in the carpet and a new batch will hatch out in a few months and you'll have them all over again"- and he was right. I think these bedbugs would be the same way.
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Bob
Bob

September 22nd, 2010, 7:33 pm #4

As you noted, a newtwork news program I watched last night stated that bed bugs have become resistant to many of the pesticides that have been used to kill them. The strategy now is to apply extremes of temperature to kill the critters and their eggs. One guy had a wand that froze surfaces where bed bugs were seen. But, it appears the more productive path is going in the opposite direction: heating the environment past the point where they can survive. One guy said the minimum temp is 113 degrees F. They construct an insulated box and put the items inside it . . then use a heater to bring the temp inside the box up to the desired level. After a bit of time has passed (I don't recall how long, but it wasn't real long), the items are safe to use again.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 22nd, 2010, 8:14 pm #5

Well only time will tell if these tactics will really work. Insect eggs are amazing durable. And it only takes a few survivors to start a new infestation. In the past such infestations were controlled with long-lasting insecticides like DDT and Cloroidain but just about all long-lasting insecticides have been banned as being carcinogenic or otherwise detrimental to the environment. This leave us with insecticides which have lost their potency by the time the eggs hatch. After battling recurrent flea infestations for years I just want to avoid any more such battles.
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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

September 24th, 2010, 2:21 am #6

Here in NYC these little critters are showing up everywhere from swanky, hotels to movie theaters and Abercrombie and Fitch. The joke there is that no one wears clothes in A&F so wear are they hiding? (Gotta love those shirtless models:)
Our Local Newscasts are doing story after story on how to avoid bringing them home after staying in a hotel.
They say
1. Leave your clothes in your suitcase on the bathroom floor, since bedbugs do not habitat tile floors. Check the beds, REMOVE THE BACK BOARD FROM THE WALL AND CHECK!! YIKES!!!

I wonder if less effective and environmentally friendly insecticides has anything to do with the recent outbreak.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 24th, 2010, 5:02 am #7

Well see Bob, I wasn't so paranoid after-all!

>"I wonder if less effective and environmentally friendly insecticides has anything to do with the recent outbreak."

Yes, as I mentioned above- all long-lasting insecticides have been banned. You really can't have one that remains remains permanently toxic without it being "environmentally unfriendly" so all currently approved insecticides lose their toxicity after a few weeks- probably not long enough to kill eggs that hatch out.

Hell they are even banning our light-bulbs you know. Pour Edison must be turning in his grave!

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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

September 25th, 2010, 3:26 am #8

Well, I agree with banning incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs do the same thing and take one quarter the electricity and last MUCH longer. HMMMMMMMMM, have the same light and use less energy. Sounds like a win-win to me. Conservatives can't bitch and say that "Americans are asked to compromise their life style" on this one.
Oh yes, I forgot they always find some stupid thing to bitch about. They even hate the hybrid car that does the same thing with less carbon foot print.
I really think they WANT to be fuelish!!

Chris
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 25th, 2010, 2:52 pm #9

I'm fine with encouraging the use of CFLs and I'm using many- but there are applications where incandescent are better- like in a closet where you want brief but instant-full bright light (CFLs take time to reach full output), or frequent on-off cycling (shortens CFL's life) or discrete control of brightness (CFLs are poor at this). And I use incandescents as current limiters in certain applications- they are ideal for this as their resistance increases as the current increases- CFLs don't do this. So I should have the freedom to choose for myself which bulb is best for my needs. We have lost so many "choices" over the years! Next the government will be telling me what color car I can drive or what I can eat for supper.
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cool beans boi
cool beans boi

September 25th, 2010, 4:06 pm #10

"And I use incandescents as current limiters in certain applications- they are ideal for this as their resistance increases as the current increases-"

I don't know what that means, but since you know much more about electrical matters than I , I will concede the argument.

I don't think the government will tell you what color car to drive, but I will concede the whole argument about the light bulbs. You should have a choice.
I just hate hearing the argument that CFL's are dangerous when they break. First off, florescent tubes have been around for years and nobody cared then.
Also, the possibility of a bulb breaking is not an excuse to use a bulb that takes four times as much energy in most cases.
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