CLA Connect Open Forum

BEDBUGS!

  • 1.  BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-25-2018 23:11
    This is the first experience for bedbugs in the laundromat. Any ideas what I do? Call professionals? How much should it cost?

    ------------------------------
    Ralph Botts
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Jersey City NJ
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-25-2018 23:26
    What do you mean? To wash clothes?

    ------------------------------
    Ross Dodds
    Wash On Western & WeHo wash
    Los Angeles, CA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 05:11
    When pest control guys hear the word bedbugs dollar signs appear in both eyes. If you have them in clothes put them in the dryer for 30 minutes (some say 20) on high. Then wash them. They need blood to live so if one should fall on the floor it will die.

    ------------------------------
    Curt Harrington

    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 09:56
    Totally agree with Curt.

    I believe every mat in NYC has bedbugs. I used to keep my attache case in plastic, but I found it's not necessary.
    They are similar to roaches in that they avoid light.

    Heat in a commercial dryer will kill them quickly. They die at only 120 degrees.
    Here is a useful article:   http://homeguides.sfgate.com/kill-bedbugs-clothes-heat-dryer-43234.html

    Still, I like to sprinkle Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth around the mat. It's totally non-toxic to humans yet it will kill any crawling insect, especially Bedbugs. Farmers use it to kill bus in their grain silos. Dirt cheap too.

    https://www.ebay.com/p/100-Food-Grade-Natural-Diatomaceous-Earth-2-Lbs-pounds-Fastest-Delivery/1548451620?iid=131532820103&chn=ps


    ------------------------------
    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 11:28
    Thank you. I meant in the laundromat. Not in clothes. I didn't know how to get rid of them in the laundromat.

    ------------------------------
    Ralph Botts
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Jersey City NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 11:39
    Ralph,

    I just told you.....Diatomaceous Earth, Food Grade, will kill ANY crawling insect in your mat that happens to walk on it.
    You will rid your mat of Bedbugs, Roaches, Beetles, Ants, etc. It is non-toxic....

    I dust behind the washers & dryers, in between the washers & dryers,  my bathrooms, basement, under folding tables, behind the counter, with it.
    Just don't dust anywhere people walk because even though it is a dry powder, people can slip on it.

    Dust once a month.

    Michael B is an expert in Bug control....Hopefully he can add to this conversation at some point.

    ------------------------------
    Paulie B
    Multiple Mat Owner since 1976
    New York City, NY
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 15:35
    ​​Paulie, not much for me to add after several others posted much of what I was going to say.
    Diatomaceous earth or Boric Acid. If placed in an area that doesn't get disturbed it can work killing incest's for up to a year, like in a wall void or attic space. Boric Acid breaks down absorbing moisture over time unless insect grooms itself ingesting it & will die that way also.

    ------------------------------
    Mike B
    Multi Store Owner
    Sunny Palm Harbor Florida
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 12:21
    Thank you

    ------------------------------
    Ralph Botts
    Store Owner/ Employee
    Jersey City NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-26-2018 14:30
    Bed bugs - Insects in the City
    Insects in the City remove preview
    Bed bugs - Insects in the City
    Bed bugs Mostly absent from the U.S. for the past fifty years, bed bugs are making a comeback. Increased international travel and immigration, along with the loss of effective insecticides, has helped this insect spread faster than any other urban insect pest. The following links and fact sheets should help you avoid and get rid of this pest.
    View this on Insects in the City >
    The above link to Texas A&M has very useful links to the EPA page on bedbugs and other studies.  We have people wash the clothes first on hot before drying them on high.  The kill starts at 114F and is complete at 140F, as I recall.  Eventually, we hope to have copies of studies to pass out for customers that have them or are concerned.

    The Los Angeles County Dept of Health says we need to run our hot water at 140F to handle bedbugs.  I do not know how many owners in LA are doing that.

    Jim Allen
    Chief Burro

    ------------------------------
    Jim Allen
    Potential Investor
    VIP Laundry
    Orange CA

    Potential InvestorVIP LaundryVIP LaundryJimAllenVIP LaundryVIP Laundry
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 06-12-2018 08:42
    Edited by Alex Bitman 06-20-2018 15:17
    Baking Soda is the best solution for keep the bed bugs away. Spread a baking soda or Carpet Fresh across the crevices and cracks or wherever you detect bugs I use central vacuum for vacuuming, that the combo of suction and soda would kill them.

    ------------------------------
    Alex Bitman
    Non-Industry
    Biomi
    Vancouver
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 05-27-2018 11:45
    As some may know from past posts, I operated a Bedbug thermal extermination business for about 4 years.  I got into the business in 2010 when I could not find an exterminator who could kill the bedbugs in my apartment building.  The reason why they couldn't is that most chemical treatments are ineffective in killing bedbugs.   Yes, chemicals will kill them, but you have to literally spray the bug for the chemical to work.  Unlike roaches, whose legs and feet pick up residual chemicals which they then ingest by grooming, bedbugs legs and feet don't have the hairs to pick up the residual chemicals and they don't groom themselves.  Residual treatments are ineffective in killing all bedbugs.  However, they can reduce the numbers of bedbugs and should be part of an overall treatment plan.

    OK, first, you will routinely have clothing with bedbugs being processed in your store.  Bedbugs, while not exclusive to lower income homes, are more prevalent in lower income homes.  You won't know, can't tell which customers have them, and are wasting time and energy to try and stop those customers who you do know about.  The reality is that your business is one of the best methods to kill bedbugs.  I wouldn't necessarily promote that, but it is true.

    Heating any life stage of a bedbug, whether egg, nymph, or adult, to 122 degrees will kill it pretty much instantly.   Washing and drying your clothes normally will achieve this goal.   To eliminate a home infestation, we used huge heaters along with fans to heat the entire inside to over 130 degrees.  We usually treated for 4 hours at that heat, allowing the heat to penetrate deep into all furniture, mattresses, etc.   Done properly, this is the most effective method of elimination.  We also gave water soluble bags to our customers for their clothes and sent them to our own stores for washing and drying.  The water soluble bags look like plastic bags but dissolve once the cycle starts.  They just stuff the unopened bag straight into the washer, preventing bugs from getting into the store.

    Diatomaceous Earth is one of the best treatments for bedbugs, other than heat.   However, most people do it incorrectly.  It must be applied as a very light dusting, pretty much everywhere, but especially around furniture, any cracks, wall voids, corners, etc.  You can buy small puffer applicators for this.  When the bedbugs walk across a surface treated with DE, it gets up into their body and literally cuts them up and caused them to dry out and die.   Very effective.  However, they are not going to walk across a pile of DE.  The dusting should be barely visible.   The good news is that this works on pretty much all bugs, including roaches, as well.  As long as the surface remains dry, it will remain effective.  It is also non-toxic to mammals and can literally be eaten by humans and animals without ill effects.  It is a physical, rather than a chemical, attack on the bugs.

    I'm not sure why you think you have a bedbug problem in your store.   However, some basic steps will minimize any problems.  First, vacuum thoroughly and work the crevices hard.  There typically aren't lots of bedbugs in your business and physical removal is a great start.  Immediately seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dump it.   Second, have an exterminator provide a chemical treatment.    Finally, treat with a light dusting of DE.    This will probably take care of your problems.  Unless you have a major infestation, which I doubt, you won't need a heat treatment.

    Bedbugs don't survive well in the store environment.  They like crevices and soft surfaces.  Your chairs should be hard surface, such as plastic, rather than upholstered.  They don't have a food source to come out and eat at night, which is how they feed.   In a home, they will come out when the hosts are asleep, feed on them, then return to a nearby hidey hole/crevice.   However, they will transfer during the day, climbing from a chair or sofa onto the clothing of a person.   All it takes is a single pregnant female to come home with you to infest your entire house.

    Bottom line, don't panic just because you saw one or two bedbugs.  Vacuum them up, treat with chemicals and DE, keep looking.  Unless you see other indications, you are no different from every other store in town, since people carry bedbugs with them everywhere.

    In four years of running my thermal remediation bedbug business, going in and out of bedbug infested homes regularly, neither myself nor any of my employees ever carried them to our homes resulting in an infestation.



    Charlie


    ------------------------------
    Charlie Smith
    Charlottesville, VA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 06-12-2018 15:52
    Charles that is great info. Thanks for taking the time to pass it along!

    ------------------------------
    Rob Bodner
    President
    EFR Inc/ The Laundromat Guys
    Park Ridge, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: BEDBUGS!

    Posted 06-13-2018 11:22
    ​That was very useful information, Charles. Thanks!

    ------------------------------
    Cathy Green
    Store Owner/ Employee
    ------------------------------