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MM Novato Reviews

Arguably the most common way people get bed bugs is by bringing them into the house from somewhere else through their personal belongings. Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. They’ll often tuck into your luggage as you travel from your hotel to the airport and finally to your home. That’s why ThermalStrike designed their new ThermalStrike […]

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage Review: The Traveling Bed Bug Killer

Arguably the most common way people get bed bugs is by bringing them into the house from somewhere else through their personal belongings. Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. They’ll often tuck into your luggage as you travel from your hotel to the airport and finally to your home. That’s why ThermalStrike designed their new ThermalStrike Heated Luggage set. Built-in infrared panels generate enough heat to kill any bed bugs hiding inside. Are these bed bug proof travel game-changers, or just bed bug gimmicks? Let’s take a closer look and find out:

Design and Features

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage comes in two sizes: a 20-inch carry-on and a 24-inch upright checked suitcase. The 20-inch model measures 20″x13″x9″, slightly smaller than the typical 20- or 21-inch carry-on. Still, it’s a good size for a weekend getaway or short business trip. The 24-inch upright scales up to 24″x16″x10″ and serves as a smart way to check extra gear for longer trips.

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage exterior

Both sizes have the same hard-bodied design featuring polycarbonate outer shells and reinforced corner guards. It’s a sturdy construction formula that should have no problem holding up to years of stowing and bumpy baggage handling. The telescopic aluminum handle and gyroscopic wheels make the luggage ergonomic and easy to tote around the airport, even when they’re completely full.

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage lock

The built-in lock features a TSA-approved key and combination switch. We’ve seen similar designs work well on high-end luggage, as it’s easy to secure the zipper sliders and release them with the push of a button. It’s easy to use and it works. What’s not to like?

Heating to Treat Luggage

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage plug

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage work with infrared panels built into the rear housing of the body. If we lay the luggage flat on a hard surface and plug in the included cable with its built-in timer, the panels will start generating heat that will radiate heat through all the luggage’s contents from the bottom up. A temperature sensor is stitched in under the interior pocket flap. That sensor will track the heat as it rises up to 140 degrees, more than enough to kill any bed bugs hiding inside the suitcase. All the integrated heating and safety devices are FAA and TSA compliant. Nobody should have trouble getting through security due to this luggage.

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage travel

We recommend running the ThermalStrike Heated Luggage’s heating function twice per trip. Plug it in for a cook-off the night before your returning flight while you sleep. Once you’re home safe and sound, plug the luggage in again for another round. This is to make sure that no bed bugs make it from the hotel to the airport, and that no bed bugs make it from the airport to your home.

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage timer

While the included timer has settings for two, four, or eight hours, I’d set it to eight hours each time I use it. We want to give the heating panels enough time to fully heat up every item in the luggage. Some insulated materials will take a while to completely hit that 120-degree temperature that we’re looking for. Any cold spots serve as a potential safe haven for bed bugs to survive the treatment. We also want to make sure that the luggage is on a hard, flat surface each time we plug it in. Think desks, countertops, or coffee tables, not the bed or hotel luggage rack.

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage

Are you a frequent flyer that’s worried about bringing bed bugs home from your trips? Someone who’s had bed bugs before and will do anything to prevent getting them again? Or are you just someone looking to upgrade your luggage and would like a little peace of mind to come with it? If you fit any of these profiles, you need to take a look at the ThermalStrike Heated Luggage.

ThermalStrike Heated Luggage Traveling Bed Bug Heater

Treat your belongings – without unpacking. ThermalStrike Heated Luggage is the world’s only luggage that kills bed bugs.
Starting at:

$249.00
ThermalStrike Heated Luggage
Posted in Reviews MM Novato on | Leave a comment

MM Novato News

No bed bug treatment is complete without a bed bug steamer. A steam cleaner with the right amount of heat and pressure can kill bed bugs of all life stages on contact. Not just any steamer will do the job, and only a select few have become known within the pest control field. The Vapamore […]

How to Upgrade Your Vapamore Primo to the Latest Version

No bed bug treatment is complete without a bed bug steamer. A steam cleaner with the right amount of heat and pressure can kill bed bugs of all life stages on contact. Not just any steamer will do the job, and only a select few have become known within the pest control field. The Vapamore MR-100 Primo has been the top-rated, top-selling bed bug steamer for years. Its success is obvious if you’ve experienced its ergonomic design, build quality, and class-leading specs and features.

But Vapamore wasn’t satisfied with sitting back and selling the Primo without considering improvements. The second-generation MR-100 was released last summer, featuring all-new and improved tools and accessories. If you’ve been using and loving your Primo for longer than that, Vapamore offers an upgrade pack to get your steamer caught up. Let’s take a closer look at how to upgrade your Vapamore Primo to the latest and greatest version:

Vapamore MR-100 Primo Upgrade Kit

Upgrade Kit Overview

The MR-100 Primo upgrade pack can be purchased directly from Vapamore. Since the steamer’s body has not been changed in the upgrade, these revamped tools and accessories are all you’ll need to catch your steamer up with the newest generation. The kit includes:

  • An all-new steam gun and hose
  • An all-new floor head assembly
  • An all-new triangle scrub brush
  • A carpet slider attachment
  • A detail accessory adapter
  • Two improved extension poles
  • A micro fiber floor pad
  • A water level dipstick

Vapamore MR-100 Primo Steam Gun

Nearly everything about the steam gun has been refined, with each small touch adding up to a large overall improvement. Rubber padding has been added to the rear of the angled grip, improving comfort through long periods of use. In our testing, this padding also helped prevent our hands from slipping if they got wet or sweaty while cleaning. The trigger and safety lock have also been improved, featuring larger controls with more responsive feedback. Naturally, the new steam gun and hose remain compatible with previous MR-100 attachments.

Vapamore Mr-100 Primo Floor Head

The new floor head assembly is arguably the star of the show this year. The included triangle scrub brush attaches to an opening on the top of the floor head. Simply push it down into the fitted gap until the brush locks into place. Once connected, the scrub brush acts as the joint connecting the floor head to the steam gun or its extension tubes. The included microfiber pad features velcro strips that grip on to the floor head’s lock tabs. Lastly, the carpet slider attaches to the floor head over the microfiber pad, completing an assembly that glides along carpet, rugs, and other soft spaces.

Vapamore MR-100 Primo Stowing Hook

The new extension tubes feature an improved construction that resist flexing even more than the original tubes did. One of the included tubes features a storage hook. When attached to the tube, the floor head assembly can be locked into a standing position and stowed away on a hook mounted to the side of the Primo’s body.

Is the Upgrade Worth it?

So you have a Vapamore Primo and you’ve been happy with it for years. It’s helped clean your bathroom, kitchen, carpet, and more while keeping bed bugs and germs at bay. If it hasn’t let you down yet, is buying an upgrade kit worth it? In a word: yes.

Vapamore MR-100 Primo Carpet Glider

The floor head assembly alone is worth the price of the upgrade kit. The design is perfect for cleaning and disinfecting mattresses, box springs, sofa cushions, carpets, rugs, and other broad fabric surfaces. To switch from open spaces to corners and seams, simply unlock the triangle scrub brush from the floor head and keep working without interruption. When you’re done, everything stows away neatly thanks to the new standing position and side-mounted extension tube hook.

The Primo deserves its position at the top of its class. If you’ve been using your Primo for years, and want to make sure it stays up to date, the MR-100 upgrade kit is available now.

Upgrade Kit for Vapamore MR-100 Primo

Upgrade your Vapamore Primo to the latest generation with this collection of updated tools and accessories.
Our Price:

$109.00
Upgrade Kit for Vapamore MR-100 Primo
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MM Novato FAQ

Too many of us have been in this situation: you wake up one morning to find itchy bite marks on your arm or leg. You panic, remembering about that news story you saw on TV or that horror story your neighbor told you. The first question might be, “is this a bed bug bite?” Since […]

FAQ: How Do I Know if I Have Bed Bugs?

Do I Have Bed Bugs?

Too many of us have been in this situation: you wake up one morning to find itchy bite marks on your arm or leg. You panic, remembering about that news story you saw on TV or that horror story your neighbor told you. The first question might be, “is this a bed bug bite?” Since you can’t be sure, that’s likely followed immediately by, “how do I know if I have bed bugs?”

Before dousing your home with gasoline and lighting a match, you’ll want to confirm whether your suspicions are related to bed bugs or not. The most common sign of a bed bug infestation – those itchy red bites on your skin – are easily confused with mosquito bites, spider bites, or an allergic reaction. Many other warning signs can be false alarms as well. Let’s talk about identifying signs of bed bugs and confirming a bed bug infestation.

Bed Bugs and Their Signs

The first step in determining whether or not you have bed bugs is to inspect your home for signs of the critters. While bed bugs can be spotted with the naked eye, you’re probably not going to find one out and about while you’re awake. Instead, you’re more likely to come across something they’ve left behind while moving between their meal host (you) and their hiding place.

Bed bugs on mattress seamBed bugs often leave blood stains on sheets, pillows, and furniture. These small red spots are caused by bed bugs spitting up some of the blood they were drinking. Blood stains can also occur when a bug gets crushed by their host rolling over in bed.

Thin black streaks can occur where bed bugs have been active. These are bed bug feces, made up of digested blood and excreted by bed bugs on their way to their hideout. To confirm that a streak is from a bed bug, try dabbing it with a damp cloth or paper towel. It should leave a red smudge.

Bed bugs reach adulthood by progressing through five infant stages of development. Each stage is entered by digesting a blood meal and shedding their skin. These bed bug skins are transparent, golden-tinted, and resemble the bed bug that discarded them.

Adult bed bug

An adult bed bug. Photo credit: Gilles San Martin.

Bed bugs themselves are tan or brown in color, though they can appear more red after they’ve had a meal. They’re usually about 5 millimeters long as an adult, or roughly the size of an apple seed. They have flat bodies and can’t jump or fly – instead, they scurry along the floor at about the speed of a common ant.

 Confirming an Infestation

To begin your confirmation process, start searching for the previously discussed signs of bed bugs somewhere in your room. The natural hot spot for bed bugs would be on or around your bed, but don’t ignore other parts of the room that they may be hiding in.

Inspecting a mattress for bed bugs

Begin by carefully inspecting your sheets on both sides. Lift the sheets off the mattress to check its seams, and turn the seams up to look under where they tend to fold over. Remove the mattress from the box spring and check its underside, then search along the seams and underside of the box spring. Remove everything from your bed frame so you can check its joints and edges.

If the inspection of your bed left you empty-handed, start searching elsewhere in the room. Check along the baseboards where the floor meets the walls, and search around dressers, nightstands, and other low-standing furniture. Shine a flashlight into any cracks or spaces in your flooring. A bed bug can hide anywhere a credit card can fit, so be careful not to pass by any thin hiding spaces.

If you’re still suspicious after your inspection, you should begin monitoring for bed bug activity over the next few weeks. The best tools for that job are a set of bed bug proof encasements paired with ClimbUp Insect Interceptors. The encasements will keep bed bugs from entering or escaping your mattress and box spring, and the ClimbUps will trap any bed bugs that try to climb up the legs of your bed to feed on you. If you find bed bugs in your interceptors, you’ll know to start treatment right away.

Next Steps if You Have Bed Bugs

If you found any convincing signs of bed bug activity, the time to act is now! You’ll want to start treatment ASAP so that you hit the bed bugs in the room before they’ve had time to feed and reproduce even more than they have already. Our 4-step solution is a professional-strength treatment process that can stop the biting from the very first night. It’s been proven over years of use by thousands of customers, and it all costs less than hiring a pest control professional to perform the treatments.

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MM Novato Reviews

A few years back, Vapamore stepped into the commercial bed bug arena with their MR-1000 Forza. The Forza is a high-power, high-capacity, high-durability steamer that leaves no professional wanting for more. However, its heft and price tag gives pause to those that may not need the dual-tank continuous flow design it offers. For those looking […]

Vapamore MR-750 Ottimo Commercial Bed Bug Steamer Review

Vapamore MR-750 Ottimo

A few years back, Vapamore stepped into the commercial bed bug arena with their MR-1000 Forza. The Forza is a high-power, high-capacity, high-durability steamer that leaves no professional wanting for more. However, its heft and price tag gives pause to those that may not need the dual-tank continuous flow design it offers. For those looking for the power and toughness of a Forza in a lighter and budget-friendly package, Vapamore now has the answer: the all-new MR-750 Ottimo.

Unboxing and first look

Like the Forza before it, the MR-750 Ottimo comes in a plain and unassuming box. It’s only when you open it up that you realize how generous a package you’re dealing with. Included with the steamer is a steam gun and lengthy hose, two extension tubes, a bunch of floor and joint attachments, and more brushes and tip tools than I would know what to do with. All of the attachments you aren’t using can be easily stowed in the included storage basket.

MR-750 Ottimo body

Despite being shrunken down from its older brother, the Ottimo is still an intimidating machine. Its powder-coated metal body panels and reinforced corners shows that it means business. The true nature of Italian engineering shines in the MR-750’s physique: it’s elegant but purpose-driven, made to look the part and act it too. Since it’s noticeably smaller and lighter than the MR-1000 Forza, the MR-750 Ottimo skips the second carry handle on the front of its body. The casters are also much smaller since they don’t need to bear as much of a load.

MR-750 Ottimo storage

While the MR-750 Ottimo comes with a storage basket (albeit without the Forza’s stroller handles and cup holder), I opted to go without it for most of my testing. I did the same when I reviewed the Forza, and it was personal preference that’s driven the decision both times. While the basket will be essential for those using the Ottimo for cleaning duty, I was primarily reviewing it as a bed bug killer. When steaming for bed bugs, you only need to use a couple of the included attachments – the ones you’re not using can go in a pocket rather than a basket.

MR-750 Ottimo trigger

The Ottimo’s gun is very well suited for the job — it features a spacious trigger guard and a locking switch beneath the trigger itself. When engaged, that switch locks the trigger in whichever state it’s in: if you’re not steaming, it acts as a safety, but if you are, it’ll act as cruise control. Missing from the MR-750 Ottimo is the Forza’s ultra-premium hose braiding, but for the price difference I can do without.

Setup and Use

MR-750 Ottimo pressure heatup

Despite its reduced footprint, the Ottimo still carries over from its big brother an enormous water capacity. Even without the continuous fill feature that the bigger Forza provides, the Ottimo can still steam non-stop for up to three hours. Thanks to its high-powered heating element, this huge tank is brought to a boil in just about 8-9 minutes. This is noticeably faster than the 15-20 minutes that a less powerful boiler would need to heat up that amount of water.

MR-750 Ottimo Steaming

When you pull the trigger on the Ottimo’s steam gun, the first thing you’ll hear is the distinctive click of the CEME solenoid. The Italian-made solenoid regulates steam flow into the hose, reducing moisture and condensation buildup and ensuring a consistently hot and dry steam. Thanks to its incredibly powerful boiler, the MR-750 Ottimo is capable of a whopping 75-PSI steam output. This super high pressure is at the very top of the Ottimo’s class, and will ensure that the steam vapor penetrates deep into cracks and crevices to hit hiding bed bugs.

MR-750 Ottimo steam adjustment

Like most commercial-grade bed bug steamers, the MR-750 Ottimo offers adjustable steam control. By turning a knob on the control panel, you can adjust how high or low the pressure coming out of the gun will be. At max pressure, the Ottimo offers unmatched penetration but at a tradeoff of a lower tip temperature, since the rush of steam flow reduces the ability for the heat to stay in place. By turning the dial down, you can better focus the heat near the tip of the nozzle, which is ideal for attachments such as the flat fabric tool.

MR-750 Ottimo vs Bed Bugs

While the MR-750 Ottimo comes with a variety of attachments for various cleaning duties, you’ll only need a couple for an effective bed bug treatment. To kill bed bugs with steam, you’ll want to narrow your arsenal down to the small flat fabric tool (paired with the included cotton cover) and the detail jet tool (with a microfiber towel wrapped and secured).

MR-750 Ottimo fabric tool

Use the fabric tool on low steam pressure to cover soft surfaces such as mattresses, box springs, sofa cushions, and more. For cracks and crevices such as baseboards, floorboards, and the edges of the carpet, switch to the detail jet tool and high pressure for maximum penetration. Remember to move the steam nozzle slowly, no more than about one inch per second, to ensure that the treated area is properly exposed to the heat.

Treating a room for bed bugs is a breeze with the MR-750 Ottimo. After a short fillup and heatup time, the spacious double-walled boiler is primed and ready to deliver class-leading 280-degree steam. This can reliably kill bed bugs and their eggs instantly, even if they’re hiding several inches from where you point the steam nozzle.

Wrapping Up

Vapamore MR-750 Ottimo

Homeowners, property managers, and pest control professionals have asked for a durable, powerful steamer that offers more than the typical consumer models but aren’t as large and feature-packed as the top-of-the-line commercial steamers. With the MR-750 Ottimo, Vapamore has answered that call.

Vapamore MR-750 Ottimo Heavy Duty Bed Bug Steamer (75 PSI)

The MR-750 Ottimo is the ultimate in steam cleaning for heavy-duty home use or light-duty commercial use. Years of development and customer feedback went into the development of the Ottimo to bring commercial power to a machine in a small light package.
Our Price:

$799.00
Vapamore MR-750 Ottimo
Posted in Reviews MM Novato on | Leave a comment

MM Novato Treatments

Got a sneaking suspicion that bed bugs are sneaking around your bedroom? Perhaps you’re waking up to find itchy red welts on your skin and you’re concerned about what might be causing them. Whatever the reason you suspect bed bugs, you’ll first need to check the room for bed bugs and confirm an infestation before […]

How to Check a Room for Bed Bugs

How to check a room for bed bugs

Got a sneaking suspicion that bed bugs are sneaking around your bedroom? Perhaps you’re waking up to find itchy red welts on your skin and you’re concerned about what might be causing them. Whatever the reason you suspect bed bugs, you’ll first need to check the room for bed bugs and confirm an infestation before starting treatment.

Early detection is key in an effective treatment – the sooner you hit an infestation, the sooner you can cut off their food supply and their ability to reproduce. You’ll also be dealing with a smaller population than if you wait until weeks or months later to start treating. With that in mind, let’s jump right into how to inspect a room for bed bugs:

What Signs to Look For

Bed Bug Eggs

While bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, it’s not likely that you’ll find any running around in the open. If you do, that’s a bad sign – it suggests that you have a high active population nearby. In most cases, you’re more likely to find inanimate signs of bed bugs than you are to find the bugs themselves. Here are some examples:

Blood spots:

They’re dark, they’re red, they’re round. This is arguably the most common sign of a recent bed bug feeding. However, they’re not the most convincing indicator of bed bug activity, since there are other bloodsuckers that could leave these spots behind.

Fecal droppings:

These thin, dark streaks are left behind as bed bugs digest their latest blood meal. These droppings are made by heavily digested blood; they’ll smear red if you dab them with a wet cloth. Bed bug feces are usually smeared in thin streaks since they poop while walking. Gross.

Shed skins:

Like other invertebrates, bed bugs need to shed their exoskeletons as they grow. When one shell gets too cramped, they shed it and grow a new, roomier shell in its place. Since bed bugs need a blood meal to grow to their next stage, finding these skins means that bed bugs have been feeding on somebody nearby.

Bed bugs:

If you do find a live bug, pay close attention to its shape, size, and color. Bed bugs are mostly round with a pointed posterior. Their shell is a dark reddish brown, and they’ll grow up to be about the size of an apple seed. They have six legs, short antennae, and no visible (or functional) wings. Make sure the bug you find matches this description before jumping to conclusions.

Inspecting the Bed for Bed Bugs

Inspecting a mattress for bed bugs

Since bed bugs feed on you while you sleep, the bed is naturally the primary “hot spot” for bed bug activity. You can start to inspect a room for bed bugs by inspecting the sheets, pillows, mattress, box spring, headboard, footboard, and frame. Make sure to perform your search slowly and thoroughly so you don’t miss anything.

There are a couple of handy tools to have with you during your search: at the very least, you’ll want a flashlight and a stiff card like a bank card to help scrape stuff out of tight spaces. A magnifying glass also helps, as most signs of bed bugs are very small and hard to see clearly. If you need help moving your mattress or other furniture, have a friend or neighbor on hand.

Start by inspecting your sheets on all sides of the mattress, both the surface and the underside. Check the seams of the mattress and lift the seams to look under where they tend to fold over. Lift the mattress off of the box spring and check underneath, then check the seams and underside of the box spring.

Remove both the mattress and box spring from your bed frame so you can inspect the joints and edges of the frame. If you have a headboard or footboard, check both sides of them and pay close attention to any wooden seams where pieces connect. Once you’re sure you’ve checked everything, you can put the bed back together.

Checking the Rest of the Room

Inspecting for Bed Bugs
While their names may imply that bed bugs can only be found on your bed, that simply isn’t the case. You can find bed bugs anywhere in the room where their host sleeps. They like to tuck away in places out of sight and out of reach, such as between baseboards, floorboards, and the edge of the carpet. It’s also common to find bed bugs tucked away in nearby furniture like nightstands and dressers.

If the room has hardwood or tile floors, shine a flashlight along any cracks or spaces between floor panels. Remember, a bed bug has a very flat body that can hide anywhere a credit card can fit. Use a bank card or something similar to scrape along cracks and crevices to try and dig out anything that might be hiding in them.

As a last measure, check any hanging picture frames or other wall decorations. Pull the cushions off any sofas or love seats in the area and check their seams for warning signs. Remove the drawers from dressers and nighstands and look inside the emptied cabinets.

If you found any convincing signs of bed bug activity, the time to act is now! You’ll want to start treatment ASAP so that you hit the bed bugs in the room before they’ve had time to feed and reproduce even more than they have already. You can start by treating and isolating the bed, then move on to nearby furniture and other cracks and crevices in the room. Our 4-step solution describes how you can hit every potential hiding place with effective chemical and nonchemical methods.

Posted in Treatments MM Novato on | Leave a comment