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  1. #1
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    Help! Bedbug scare

    So, I was at a hotel this weekend and did NOT check my room for bedbugs. Did leave my (non-TB) duffel full of awesome TB packing cubes and laundry SS on the carpet in the room next to the bed. No problems noted. After I check out and met a friend for breakfast who had stayed in same hotel, he said he saw a bedbug in HIS room. He had no bites. I had no bites. I am now afraid of my luggage, but would just as soon not throw it all away (not to mention there are two NORDIC items in my collection!!) Just threw the whole filled duffel into a garbage bag in the garage. How worried should I be? Can dyneema survive 60 min in the dryer on hot as recommended online? Arrgh!!

    Suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    From my experience - yes - Dyneema can survive 60 min in the dryer on high (I do 90 min just to be sure as some dryers do not fully heat for the last 10 min or so). TB customer support can probably answer better (too much heat will damage the fibres) but my experience has been fine for the level of head a dryer produces and I have done this for many trips - just make sure the bags are dry to begin with.

    I do this for all my bags and all my clothes (unused or not) after every trip. As long as the bags are dry (important), there is no damage due to shinking or otherwise. I also try to make sure metal parts like the strap clips are not touching the bags if possible as they heat up quite a bit (you cannot avoid the zipper metal but they have never been an issue for me). Another thing I do is unzip all zippers so there is no stretching / distortion due to that. I put my bags on the dryer rack that usually comes with a dryer so the bag does not get distorted from being tumbled around.

    Here is a link to another thread with some info/advice:
    http://forums.tombihn.com/packing-li...ghlight=bedbug

    Also, during the trip, I use a lot of ziplock bags to reduce possible cross-contamination.

    Now, I cannot speak to variations in maximum heat produced by all dryers - for reference, I have a Whirlpool Duet model of Front Load Dryer. So, I would watch the first load and take it out if you find an issue. Any amount of high heat in a dryer will be helpful.
    Last edited by tpnl; 03-30-2015 at 07:26 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  3. #3
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    Were you in an area with bedbugs? Many people see a bug in a room and immediately think "bedbug". I would check each piece carefully and then give it a wash as recommended on the TB site and look at it again.

    While any area can have bedbugs, if you were in a hotel that wasn't known to have issues then you are probably fine - even if your friend actually did see a bedbug.
    Last edited by ceb; 03-30-2015 at 08:46 AM.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  4. #4
    Forum Member sgazzz's Avatar
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    One of the best, most environmentally friendly ways to rid yourself of a BB infestation (not that you have an infestation) is to use food grade diatomaceous earth (can be found at tack stores). It's super fine shell material from crustaceans and it punctures their exoskeletons and dries them out as they walk around through it. It's slow going but it is said to work 100% of the time and safe for animals and humans. Note that it's superfine and you don't want to breath it in as it can irritate your insides, just wear a dust mask.

    In your situation, I would maybe buy some and sprinkle it in your garbage bag full of TB bags and leave it for a while to be safe. It might be safer on the bags than a dryer on high...
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  5. #5
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    I would put inside out every bag, give the whole thing a thorough bath in cold water and mild dish soap, rince thoroughly with the shower spray while checking nooks and cranies with a manifier,

    While the bags are soaking, at the local independent hardware store buy a broom, gloves and most important a mask and safety glasses, sprinkle diatomaceous earth in every floor of your house,
    If you have an aquarium, cover it with a garbage bag and make sure it is taped securely all around the perimeter to prevent any particle of diatomaceous earth doesn't reach the inside of the aquarium.

    If you have mammal pets, isolate them into the garage or a room less prone to invasion, for example, a bathroom.
    Last edited by backpack; 03-30-2015 at 08:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    While this is all good advice, let's take a step back and evaluate the situation.

    Was the OP in an area known for bedbug infestation?
    Did the OP stay in the local No-tell motel or in a fairly reputable place? While that isn't a guarantee, you'll have a better chance of finding a bedbug in a Motel 3 in Jersey than in the Ritz in New York.
    How sure is the friend that the bug was a bedbug - or was it a poppy seed that fell off a bagel?

    We may be going into overkill for a problem that doesn't exist.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  7. #7
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    First, one should not place anything on the carpet or the bedspread of any hotel room, only on the furniture.

    Even if there are no bugs, a Spring washing of TB items with mild hand washing dish soap and air dry is a good idea.

  8. #8
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    Here's the update. My neighbors now are fully convinced I am crazy, as I opened up my bag on the driveway, took all clean and dirty clothes and stuffed them into a garbage bag and tied it off, then turned each packing cube inside out and examined every cranny and nook. No bugs seen. Then stuffed all packing cubes into another bag with my duffel and tied that off. Threw clothes into hot water wash, and then into dryer on high for 60 minutes. Then put all packing cubes, shop bag, laundry stuff sack, duffel into the dryer for 60 min on high. No damage to anything for this treatment. Now assume anything that was there was killed, and back to normal. Only SLIGHTLY afraid of my luggage now.

    As for the bug itself--was not in my room, as I mentioned, but saw a pic of it, and looked like a bedbug to me. He did describe it as about 1/4 of an inch, and I thought they were smaller, so maybe just a small beetle or something... Anyway, there were no bites on my friend, or on me. And no bugs seen in my room. The hotel was a Days Inn, so surely not the Ritz, but clean in all obvious ways-bathroom looked clean, carpets had been vacuumed, etc.

    Thanks all for the advice. I am now afraid of hotels, and will only sleep in my car. But then again, I read that you can get them from sitting on a seat in a movie theater, so there, I am out of luck--will NOT stop going to the movies. Ever.

  9. #9
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    ...and they are all over the NY subways and...
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  10. #10
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    1/4 of an inch?
    I think you can stop worrying. They're a lot smaller than that.
    Unless there's a larger species I'm unaware of lol

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by icebeng View Post
    1/4 of an inch?
    I think you can stop worrying. They're a lot smaller than that.
    Unless there's a larger species I'm unaware of lol
    The identification guide from the NYC Housing Authority shows fully mature bedbugs at just shy of 1/4". They say that adults are 1/5" ... kind of an unusual fraction for measurement but I'll take their word for it.

    Don't follow that link unless you want to itch all night!
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    Bags: Aeronaut, Tri-Star, Super Ego, Buzz, Pilot, Large Cafe, {Small Cafe & Synapse - Controlled by Wife!}
    Computer Protection: Brain Cell Size 4Z & 6X, Cache Size iPad & MacBookAir, Cork Pouch for Nook (holds Sony Reader)
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  12. #12
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    Revisiting this thread: we have recently had a bedbug scare. I have a Parapack BB. Any information on how Parapack, Ballistic Nylon, and the various mesh and plastic bits would survive in a hot dryer? Darcy, any tests on this?
    Blue Parapack Brain Bag with Brain Cell

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    After every trip, I put my bags in the dryer and dry on High for 99 min (for 100% kill which requires about 50 C or 120 F for 90 min). Note that your dryer may have a cool down cycle for the last 10 min or so - need to account for that. I have done this with all my Ballistic, Cordura and Parapack (S25 back bottom part) items. The key is that the bags be DRY. If wet, they can shrink. Also, check your dryer's specs to make sure it reaches the temp required. If not, you may need to dry it for longer. My dryer is rated to go 50 degrees Celsius on high. I also use the rack that usually comes with the dryer (for shoes, etc) so the bag does not bounce around in the dryer. I also may sure no plastic pieces touch any bare metal parts of the dryer and try to lay them flat. I have never had any issues with the plastic bits melting.

    I would not expect this to be TB recommended but it is the only true solution to kill both the BB and their larva. Washing actually does nothing except shake a few loose and not much for the larva. I would watch your Brain Bag and check it after the first 45 min to see if there are any issues and then continue to the full 90 min if no issues.

    BTW - put all your clothes and bag in a plastic garbage bags and tie them up as soon as you get home so the bugs do not crawl out before you have a chance to kill them. Take them out of the garbage bag when ready to dry them. I actually put all my clothes in large zip lock bags for travel to minimize exposure. It also has the side effect of keeping me more organized!

    Hope this helps

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 08-19-2015 at 10:22 AM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

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