If you have tried isolating the bed as per this FAQ, and you have a good mattress cover , you should be aware that bed bugs will still come looking for you. Most commonly, they will come and find you by daylight. They can bite you as you sit in a chair, awake. They can crawl up your leg without being detected. So make sure that besides isolating the bed, you are getting serious advice and assistance and treatment from professional pest control operators: keep aggressively fighting the bed bug war on multiple fronts, and make your bed a safe space as much as possible.
(I say this because I’ve come across some amateur bed bug advice recommending isolating the bed alone as a fine strategy for driving bed bugs away from your home; my own amateur advice is there’s no evidence whatsoever to prove that will work, and plenty that it will give your problem time to multiply. But we’ve covered that before well enough.)
When you’re bitten after isolating the bed, it’s probably because they’re biting during the day. Remember that when you feel a bite for the first time can be hours away from when the bite occurred. (Some of us have noticed the itching of a new bite beginning after a warm or hot shower, whether the shower was an hour or nine hours later, but I don’t doubt people have very different experiences of when bites are noticed, as they do of bite appearance and level of discomfort.) First noticing a bite in the morning doesn’t necessarily mean it happened while you were asleep, due to this potential time delay.
Although you will probably be bitten in the daytime and newly secure at night, there are some reasons your bed may not be secure even after you attempt to isolate it.
It’s possible to be bitten after isolating your bed because your mattress cover really isn’t secure. If you do have bed bugs in that mattress, and use a cheap vinyl cover, or even multiple cheap covers or nicer covers that happen to tear, you could simply have a bed that is not isolated any more. Don’t ignore this possibility. You need a good encasement, but no mattress cover is completely secure– they must be used with care. You have to be careful not to rip them. A cat’s claws might tear anything. Be aware and keep checking for damage.
Also, your pillows and comforter must be sealed in the same way the mattress is (with additional washable covers on top). Your pillow and comforter are as likely to contain bed bugs as your mattress was, and they can be harder to detect. Washing on hot and drying on hot for a really long time (the jury is out on exactly how long but people often aim for 90 minutes or 2 hours on hot, which is a long time indeed), or dry cleaning, may or may not always kill bed bugs. We’re traditionally told they will, but a reader recently shared the story of a dry cleaned comforter harboring bed bugs in a bag for 6 months and then reinfesting her. If that doesn’t make you want to be super cautious, nothing will!
A third thing to be aware of is that if you have isolated the bed, some have claimed that bed bugs begin approaching the bed from other angles, namely running up the wall, across the ceiling, and dropping down on you as you sleep. This is definitely not something that happens to everyone, and I think it’s most likely in cases of severe infestation. But if your bed is isolated, and you’re sure they’re still biting you at night (and one way to be really sure would be if you saw them biting you then), or you see them on the ceiling or crawling towards it, then this may possibly be the case.
Someone on the Bedbugger Yahoo Group — I’m not sure who — cleverly started calling this the “Airborne Division.”
Frank, a Yahoo-Bedbugger who runs The War on Bedbugs blog, has a great page detailing how to stop the Airborne Division from completing their mission. And no, I am not anthropomorphising those bed bugs; they don’t have “ideas” and aren’t “being creative,” when they find you. They just have a really strong need to drink blood or die. Anyway, Frank invited me to repost this information here, but it’s so detailed (with wonderful graphics and everything) and the blog is worth a visit, so I am sending you there instead.
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