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Thread: Not meaning to be my usual gadfly, maybe a bedbug

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    Senior Member Greybeard's Avatar
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    Not meaning to be my usual gadfly, maybe a bedbug

    For those going to Cincinnati for the NAC in March I just noticed there are several recent bedbug reports for the Millenium. Be vigilant.
    Score 3 strokes, 4 seizures and 2 brain surgeries and a bunch of ongoing mini strokes

    I've had brain surgery, what's your excuse? And now L3-4 fusion.

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    Senior Member swordwench's Avatar
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    Before heading to Cincinnati last year, I got into a discussion with the owner of my local feed store about the bedbug issue. (I seem to spend a lot of time and money in feed stores these days.) I was really wigged out at the idea of bringing home stowaways. He recommended using food-grade diatomaceous earth - AKA silica dioxide - which kills the bugs without use of pesticides. All natural, cheap, and effective. It just so happened that I already had a big jug of DE that I use it to keep pests down in my chicken coop, so I put a little in a spice-shaker jar to take with me to Ohio. As per his suggestion, I sprinkled some here and there, and when I got home, I sprinkled it into my suitcase and shook it around. It's now on my packing list anytime I have to stay in a hotel. Just. In. Case.

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    Senior Member Greybeard's Avatar
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    Where would someone obtain this?
    Score 3 strokes, 4 seizures and 2 brain surgeries and a bunch of ongoing mini strokes

    I've had brain surgery, what's your excuse? And now L3-4 fusion.

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    Senior Member swordwench's Avatar
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    I got mine at my local Agway, where I buy all my chicken feed/bedding/etc. Any feed store should have it, and you can order it online from any number of sources. Even Amazon is carrying it now. I have a gallon-sized jug of the stuff that has lasted me years of dusting coop bedding and nest boxes. You don't need a whole lot of it to kill the bugs. They just need to walk through it or get it on their bodies and it more or less grinds them up and dessicates them from the inside out. Yummm.

    Just make sure it's food grade. You don't want the other kind.

    According to my Agway guy, it works on anything with an exoskeleton, and makes an effective barrier for slugs as well.

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    Senior Member Conrad's Avatar
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    As a cancer survivor, I'm scared of DE because of the risk of lung cancer it carries. (See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1740036/ ). The fact that it is food grade does not at all reduce the risk that it can become airborne and cause lung cancer. The minute particles easily waft into the air when being poured. A vacuum cleaner without a hepa filter magnifies this problem. I understood that those in the bedbug business are also scared to death of DE and use it only with hepa filter masks on their faces.

    I've noticed a great many of the hotels associated with fencing venues are reported on the web as having bedbug problems. The best places to check your hotels are bedbugregistry.com and bedbugreports.com (although both those places have been known to drop reports off their sites) and tripadvisor.com (which is less likely to drop a report off the site).

    A most reliable approach is to use hardsided fencing bags and keep only hardware in the bags. Pack all your other belongings in small softsided luggage. Before your return flight throw away anything that melts (deodorant, chocolate, etc.). When you get home, seal each soft side luggage bag in a separate hefty bag before loading it in the car. Then put each hefty bag in the oven at 130 degrees for a couple of hours -- this will kill both eggs and bedbugs. It's cumbersome but beats the risk of lung cancer 10 years down the road from DE.

    The more savvy fencing families become about the bedbug problem, the less likely we are to pick these buggers up and spread them around at a tournament.
    Conrad

    "I will take the Ring," he said, "though I do not know the way."
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Frodo, Chapter "The Council of Elrond"

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