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Gah! Bedbugs!

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  • Gah! Bedbugs!

    Went to an alarm activation at one of our frequent flyer high-rises yesterday. Turns out they were spraying for bedbugs. It looked like they were waging all-out war on this building, crawling around the lobby with flashlights, looking under benches. We had to mask up to go on the affected floor because the fumes were so noxious.

    This is the first I've heard of bedbugs in my city. We go to this place all the time for med runs. What can we do to keep from bringing the critters back to the station? How "contagious" are they?

    Anyone have any experience with this? The idea of bedbugs getting into my station, and from there to my house, is just beyond disgusting.
    Last edited by rookiemove; 07-03-2010, 11:59 AM.

  • #2
    A few things that you can do to prevent transmission to your home:

    1. Always shower before you leave to go home at the end of the shift.

    2. Wear clean clothes home, that you brought with you to work in your overnight bag.

    3. Never wear or bring home soiled uniforms. Leave them at work, and wash them at work.

    4. Try not to ever transport your bunker gear in your car. Even though NFPA standards state that bunker gear should not be transported in a personal vehicle (to prevent crap exactly like this from happening) you could very well get detailed out to another station. If you DO have to transport your bunker gear in your vehicle, try to bag it up in large trash bags first.

    5. If you DO enter a known contaminated environment, do what you have to do, as quickly as possible. The Company Officer should then take you temporarily out of service so that you can decon. Head back to the station, strip down to your skivvies and do a rough decon BEFORE you enter living quarters. Once you have rough deconned, take a good long hot shower. Everyone's uniforms should be washed twice. Bunker gear should be washed. Also rinse off the inside of the rig if possible.

    Whatever you do, just dont bring anything into your personal vehicle that could potentially be contaminated, which could then transmit to your home.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    • #3
      They are a b!tch to eradicate.
      Mostly nocturnal, they will hide out in wood, mattresses and occasionally clothes piles. Store bought sprays don't really work.

      It's best to wash your linen and clothing in HOT water and if you are infected, hire a professional exterminator. They do not like bright light, so if you are trying to locate them it needs to be dark first and then use the light where you are looking.

      Good luck.

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      • #4
        The joys of EMS!
        FF/Paramedic

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        • #5
          Info: I work in the pest control industry for my primary job.

          The new trend for the elimination of bedbugs is heat. Depending on where you are, if the interior of you car reaches 120 degrees for a couple hours, they will be dead. This include adults, nymphs, and eggs. At 120 degrees death is instant for them. If their body temperature gets over 100 degrees for very long they will die shortly, and will not be able to reproduce. Bed bugs are natures best hitch hikers. If your uniform is light colored, that is best. They don't show up well on dark colored pants. (Don't ask how I know). I also recommend changing clothes before you leave work, or just before entering your home. Put your old clothes in the dryer on high heat right away. Until bed bugs have taken a meal, they are an almost clear/cream color. Once they have eaten, they will be a dark red/ almost black. One last caution, setting off aerosol foggers will not end a bedbug infestation. The droplet size of the fog is to large to get into all the places they live. I highly recommend all emergency workers research bedbugs for knowledge of what to look for, and what to expect. Apartments, hotels, and college/universities are the most at risk in my opinion.

          Matt

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          • #6
            They are pain to get rid of. Brought some back from a sailboat I rented on vacation one year. Tips that no one else has brought up. Bed covers, kinda like a large ziplock for you mattress, keeps them from getting in your mattress, keep you bed off the walls pull it out about a foot from the wall. and wash all your bedding, pillows, everything - everyday in hot water till you stop finding them.

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            • #7
              Good point about the bed covers.
              Make sure to check the packaging for it to specifically say "bedbugs". Not just any cover will do. I know for sure Target has them, and most likely Wal-Mart.

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