Bedbug treatment with aquarium? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Bedbug treatment with aquarium?

So my apartment is getting treated for bedbugs next week. I've been living here for almost 3 years with no problems, and now it feels like my life is over. But anyways, the landlord has exterminators coming in to do a spray treatment.

My question is, how do I prepare my aquarium for this? To go into specifics, I have a small 6 gallon tank. It is home to two cardinal tetras, one pearl gourami, and a bunch of red cherry shrimp (and their babies). They gave us thorough instructions as to how to prepare, and the sheet says aquariums can be left here as long as the filtration and aeration systems are turned off and the tank is adequately covered. My tank has a lid on it with a little opening for access to the filter. It then says that filtration/aeration can be turned on six hours after treatment.

How exactly do I go about doing this? First of all, will it be safe for the fish to turn the filtration equipment off? I read another post saying someone was instructed to turn theirs off for 24 hours and they lost a few fish, and I really don't want that to happen to me. Thanks in advance for any responses!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 06:17 PM
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Are you able to just drain half or 2/3rds the tank and just take everything with you? That's probably the safest bet.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 06:25 PM
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I was a pest control technician for 6 years and treated hundreds of units for bed bugs.

The spray is going to be aimed at baseboards and crevices. Very little should be in the air and given it should not be a fog/mist it will be easily controlled to get into the proper areas. I'm not sure where you live but in my experience (Canada) they will not treat with a fog. It is a spray and a dust. They also need to return in 2 weeks for a secondary treatment.

Given how they should be treating there will be very little particulates in the air to contaminate your water column.

Depending on the ambient room temperature I would unplug the heater. If you are running an air stone absolutely unplug that. You can generally keep the filter running, we are just trying to minimize gas exchange and prevent any chemicals for mixing with your water column. With HOB and canister filters this is easily fixed by just placing a sheet overtop. if i I would strongly recommend putting a sheet overtop of the entire aquarium including the HOB filter. All the sheet will do is prevent any overspray or dust particulates from landing in/on the tank or filter!

The heat and moisture a tank generally produces is a good environment for most bugs. If the tank is on a cabinet empty everything out of it so they can treat the cabinet without getting chemical on the items.

Cleanliness is not a factor for bed bugs but it is for treatment of them, clutter is also an issue for effective treatment.

Hopefully this helps! Bed bugs are treatable and you can get rid of them, prep work is extremely intensive but life will go on, dont beat yourself up

...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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I was considering having the tank moved for the time being to my boyfriend's house until everything is over, which is good because he already has two tanks of his own so he knows what to do lol. Moving it seems like a lot of work but it might be the best option

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I was a pest control technician for 6 years and treated hundreds of units for bed bugs.

The spray is going to be aimed at baseboards and crevices. Very little should be in the air and given it should not be a fog/mist it will be easily controlled to get into the proper areas. I'm not sure where you live but in my experience (Canada) they will not treat with a fog. It is a spray and a dust. They also need to return in 2 weeks for a secondary treatment.

Given how they should be treating there will be very little particulates in the air to contaminate your water column.

Depending on the ambient room temperature I would unplug the heater. If you are running an air stone absolutely unplug that. You can generally keep the filter running, we are just trying to minimize gas exchange and prevent any chemicals for mixing with your water column. With HOB and canister filters this is easily fixed by just placing a sheet overtop. if i I would strongly recommend putting a sheet overtop of the entire aquarium including the HOB filter. All the sheet will do is prevent any overspray or dust particulates from landing in/on the tank or filter!

The heat and moisture a tank generally produces is a good environment for most bugs. If the tank is on a cabinet empty everything out of it so they can treat the cabinet without getting chemical on the items.

Cleanliness is not a factor for bed bugs but it is for treatment of them, clutter is also an issue for effective treatment.

Hopefully this helps! Bed bugs are treatable and you can get rid of them, prep work is extremely intensive but life will go on, dont beat yourself up
Thanks for your response! I do live in Canada, and they 100% will be coming back for a second treatment. If I do end up turning the filter off, though, do you think it will cause any harm?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 06:29 PM
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I was considering having the tank moved for the time being to my boyfriend's house until everything is over, which is good because he already has two tanks of his own so he knows what to do lol. Moving it seems like a lot of work but it might be the best option
This is a very extreme move and should not be necessary.

In my experience most people do not properly prepare their home for treatment which means the bedbugs stay.

Spend your time preparing everything for a proper treatment, the aquarium itself will be fine. Turn off the air stone and cover the tank and filter.

I treated hundreds of apartments for bed bugs and likely thousands for roaches, never have I caused any damage to fish

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Thanks for your response! I do live in Canada, and they 100% will be coming back for a second treatment. If I do end up turning the filter off, though, do you think it will cause any harm?
I would not turn the filter off, you will lose your cycle and perhaps your fish.

The filter is what's keeping everything alive. Just ensure it's covered to prevent any overspray from landing and it will be fine. Don't tape the sheet around the tank. You could likely even use a towel to cover everything.

We do not want the sheet very loose and bulky because bed bugs will then make themselves at home in it. We want it to basically look like a cover on a car. it covers all sides without dragging on the ground.

High heat kills bed bugs. Run everything that can go through the dryer through the dryer on high heat. Then seal everything in garbage bags.

When you remove the sheet/towel from the tank put it right into the dryer

...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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