Share your tales of bed bug woe, ask your bed bug questions, etc.

by nobugsonme on March 12, 2007 · 110 comments

in bed bugs

This is the ongoing thread where people ask questions about bed bugs, give us updates on their bed bug situations, and share ideas for fighting the little mahogany monsters. When it gets too long, I close the thread and start a new one to keep the conversation going. (The last one was 133 comments, so here we are, starting again!)

The prior installment is here.

1 nobugsonme March 14, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Hi All, I don’t normally “move” comments left on the FAQs because this got too time consuming. (The “Need Advice?” link at the top of the blog gives instructions, if you ever need to redirect someone.)

However, the comments on this post were not working (everything is fine now, thanks for the tip Nomo), and so I am posting this here.

New reader Ihatebedbugs4eva wrote:

Ihatebedbugs4eva // Mar 14th 2007 at 11:29 am

So here’s my story. Like many, my roommate and I didn’t know we had bedbugs. She complained of a “rash” on her feet and when she wore socks or used some mint foot cream the rash didn’t come back, but when she stopped using those, this mysterious rash returned.

I on the other hand had only one odd bug bite on my ankle (at least that i can remember), and thought it was weird to have a mosquito bite in late November in the Northeast!

So my roommate, a month later, looks more closely at her bed, oh, and she let me know what she found. I almost cried. So I looked at my bed–yes there they were! It wasn’t as infested as my roommate’s, but they were there–ok so we got rid of a lot of them, and had been sprayed 4 times I believe by professionals.

Because of the extremely cluttered condition of my roommates bedroom, it was almost impossible to get at least most of them in there, and i guess they started to spread into the closet near her room and into the living room. So a futon and couch in the living room were sprayed, but we still found 1 or 2 here and there the next few weeks.

So here is what i did. After everything was sprayed, i started throwing away junk i didn’t need, while anything i was in question about, i bagged and brought up to some family and i left it outside in the dead of winter (around the time when the wind chills were in the negatives). Almost everything i owned had been sitting in the freezing cold, collecting ice on it for about a month and a half. Oh i also sawed my couch in half ( i needed to get rid of it anyways) with a saw the size of a butter knife, threw it away, and threw my bed away when i moved, along with my futon and pretty much all of the furniture. The only thing i took with me was my grandmothers nightstand (frozen) and a bistro set (metal with no place for those f-ers to hide)

I moved from my old apartment. It really just ruined that apartment for me and I was extremely depressed being there, knowing I couldn’t do anything that I used to for fear of bugssssss (although I never once saw one actually on me, I always thought I felt them)

So my new apartment–in 6 weeks i found i believe 4 live ones (one in the living room, one on the floor behind my bed, one crawling up the bathroom door and one when i just first moved in, on my comforter!). I haven’t been bitten since november though (could it be that I was lucky, or what? I don’t understand), no bumps, nothing–just really dry itchy winter skin, a little eucalyptus body lotion helped that!

I don’t understand how bad my new infestation could be, but we found some dead/frozen bugs in our stuff and then 3 of the 4 live ones were dark in color, not red, but almost black and one was smaller and yellow.

I did order my own pest control, I have been researching for now 3 months on how to do this and i understand i shouldn’t, but i will. I can’t remember the name of the spray i got, I will check later when I am home, but (how gross is this) it smells like the one that was used at my old apartment. I sprayed it in all of the cracks of the whole perimeter of the bedroom, will do my closet (did some with Drione), and living room soon. I also have Drione dust that I am scared to use, but i will in places that my cats won’t go, and i also have regular DE.

Why are people afraid of DE? Its non-toxic if you buy the garden kind (i had some leftover pool-grade from last summer, but then saw how bad it is for animals and humans). I will be spreading this all over the floors and sweeping it into the cracks (its old wood floor).

The spray i bought is a residual, works up to 8 weeks, the Drione is also a residual up to 6 months i believe. I was going to get Gentrol, but I didn’t and was thinking maybe i should have as well, but i dont feel that the infestation is really that bad. Luckily, I am no longer freaking out like I used to when this was new to me. Now its been 3 months of knowing what they are and at the very least 6-8 months of actually living with them and not knowing.

I do want to know if anyone has any suggestions to my situation, opinions etc? Like I said 4 live ones in 6 weeks, haven’t been bit in over 4 months (maybe the cats? But they don’t scratch out of the norm). I no longer live with the infested roommate (which is weird she only said she saw one bug since shes moved, we will see about that!)

I am so glad i found this website!

2 hopelessnomo' March 14, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Hey Ihatebedbugs4eva, sorry about your troubles, especially about moving your bedbugs with you (unless they were already in the new apartment which is always a possibility).

About DE, it may be dangerous to inhale it (yes, the freshwater kind. And the freshwater is the ONLY kind anyone should be using). Please do a search for buggedinbrooklyn’s posts about the proper way to use a mask. You absolutely need a mask if you plan to use Drione. Elsewhere you will find recommendations as to application–a very thin layer is what you want and no clumps. You probably need to do more research if you are going to do your own pest control. Maybe a lot more now that I reread your post. My understanding is that the residual effect of some pesticides is overstated and applications 2 or 3 weeks apart are considered necessary. I am not an expert, not even the most experienced person (help Nobugs) but I wanted to encourage you to do more research. You have responsibilities to your health, your neighbors, your cats, etc.

You don’t address why you are choosing not to use a professional. I hope it is not because you are afraid of notifying your new landlord.

I wanted to write other encouraging things and not just express doubts but now I just want to warn you against doing your own pest control, and that is not usually my area so I’m at a loss. I know this is hard. Good luck.

3 Ihatebedbugs4eva March 14, 2007 at 7:21 pm

Howdy! thanks for responding. Now..i know i shoudln’t do this myself; however, i have little fait in many kinds of professionals. The kind used at my old apt sprayed 5 times, but i actually had to tell them where to spray each time. Why!? I know i can do a more thorough job and i dont appreciate half a$$ed jobs…who does? hehe.

Anyways…I didnt purchase any of the pest control right away. It took 3 full months of researching most of my days (at work and literally all night as i got almost no sleep for 1.5 of those months. I would be onlne trying to find out what i could and couldnt do) and reading literally every website i coudl find about this situation before i would even consider buying DE (good thing i read about the swimming pool DE…although i have inhaled it a few times by accident when using it in the pool filter). I cant tell you how many different websites I have read regarding bedbugs. I have read comments on using various pesticides as well as DE, most of the comments regarding DE were positive too.

As far as the pesticides..ugh..i know…bad…I read the description of what its used for and how,and then of course i googled it and read from many websites about the product (i do this with literally everything i am abou tto buy, i have to read at least 10 websites, especially those with user comments). I am still sketched out by the Drione, because it IS a dust, yet you shoudlnt breathe it…so maybe i feel like ive wasted my money on it becuase im afraid to use it.

I don’t know if i have an infestation..or just a few here and there or what, but i would rather just do this myself this time around, and if i have to do it in my own house later then i would use a pro. Like i said, i ahvent been bitten since novemeber (unless im immune? i doubt it though?) I didnt even get bitten when i had to sleep on my old mattress. Its been a month and a half at my new home, and my mattress has nothing (as far as i can see) on it and im doing all i can to keep it that way. I feel like i should have thrown everything away, and i think its unfair that my roomate isnt complaining the way i am about this although her infestation was really bad…mine wasnt and i have a feeling the reason why im having some now is because they dispersed from her bedroom when the PCO tried to spray it, especially when i have done everything under the sun to prepare and proceed with this! Although i do hope somoene can help..words of encouragement more than discouragement, but im doing it..and i hope it works. I just dont know how many could be in here, how many coudl have survived that cold 50 days, and how many survived beng sprayed 5 times.

4 nobugsonme March 15, 2007 at 3:18 am


If your stuff was in freezing cold (literally) for a week or more then the bugs were probably either in your other stuff, which wasn’t frozen, or in your car if you have one, or your workplace, or in your new home. All of these are possible sites of reinfestation.

I’m a little unclear on how many bugs you have seen in your new home. But seeing even a few does not mean it’s a small infestation. (Some of us are bitten very badly for a long time and see no bugs–just black specks, and maybe some cast skins.)

Being treated 5x if the PCO did not do a good job means you may not have had any effective treatments. (We don’t know, but if you post lists of what the old PCO used, as their receipts or logs should record, we might be able to say.) Treatments, done badly, can make infestations spread more, and so make them worse. And they can certainly help somewhat but not entirely. All this is possible in your case.

I appreciate the research you’ve been doing about pesticides, but a good PCO might be able to help you figure out where the problem is. And so it might be solved more quickly.

I know you probably brought bed bugs in to your current place, but your landlord is responsible for treating it if you’re in a city where this is true, and in fact, if you try to spare him/her the cost of treatment, you may allow bed bugs to spread as you treat, and s/he may have other units infested as a result anyway. I just want to throw that out there.

I say this not to discourage you–I don’t think anyone here means to be discouraging. We want to help you beat this, which you can. We’ve heard hundreds and hundreds of bedbugger’s stories by now. So we just have a slightly different perspective. But I emphasize that it’s your own choice and no one here can tell you what’s going on in your home, nor make the decision of your next step. Take our advice for what it’s worth–and know we’re on your side whatever you do. We’ll be here.

5 hopelessnomo' March 15, 2007 at 8:02 pm

This is for S.

Hi S. I don’t think I’ve talked to you before, but, well, this is about your bites. I’ve been so wanting to tell you this but I was afraid that I would be wrong and not helpful–it’s not something I would entertain, you know, suggesting that maybe, possibly, your infestation is over? You know what I mean? It smacks of all the unhelpful things that people who never had bedbugs say to try to comfort. I also have not discussed my move here because I can’t bring myself to do it. So, I was browsing another site and I read a recent question and answer thread (you’ll know what I mean) that makes me feel safer giving you my thoughts…

I moved to escape bedbugs. I took extreme precautions. I am fairly certain that I don’t have bedbugs in my new apartment. There is a possibility that I could be wrong, I suppose, but I believe it is remote. I moved about 2 months ago. My “bites” (both biting sensations and small nymph-like bites) have only recently begun to fade. I’m sitting here, using the computer at work since I no longer own a computer, and it’s very warm and I feel faint crawling and itching sensations on my arm and back. I’m not sure if this will ever go away. A few weeks ago, I was still feeling what I call the “memory” of bites at different times during the day. I took a calculated risk, a leap of faith, that these “bites” were not real, actual new bites, but the memory (both physical and mental) of old bites. Complete with raised bumps and little red dots and all the old manifestations, except that there was a difference in the quality of these sensations that I cannot articulate that allowed me, despite my fear, to believe that they were not new bites. I did not use pesticides in my new apartment upon moving because my skin reactions were complicated at the end of my bedbug fight and I wanted to know for sure what I was dealing with. I am possessed of a deeply pessimistic personality. I could not possibly persuade myself of something good (these are not real bites) willfully.

I hope you take this with the skepticism that is rightfully yours as someone who cannot really be assured that the infestation is over. I respect that and would not dream of suggesting otherwise. So just file away as a possibility.

6 nobugsonme March 15, 2007 at 11:46 pm

Nomo, do you still get new bites? I mean, “bites” in new places, even if they aren’t technically bites?
I’m posting about this now. Been meaning to for some time.

7 nightshirt March 16, 2007 at 9:20 am

very funny that this topic should come up. I had my last pco visit on january 26, 2007. then about three weeks after that i thought i got a bite. so i waited to see if more would come and they didnt so i dont know if i got a bite or not. since them (mid feb) i too thought i got a small nymph bite. dont know for sure either way. since then – mid feb – NOTHING. but believe me there is no way i feel assured that i dont have bbs brewing somewhere. i have done all the caulking and i think that is what made me feel a bit safe.

so this past monday i started having interrupted sleep again. id wake up swatting myself, i was for sure there were bbs crawling all over me. itching too. upon getting up in the morning – nothing and nothing has surfaced on my skin all week. but this is happening nightly. i am now paranoid. i have my husband check my whole naked body out each morning to see if he sees any telltale signs and the answer is no. so i know what nomo is going through.

i dont know if i am a pessamistic person usually but concerning these bbs i certainly am. i am sure they are coming back at some point. caryn (?) reinfestation really messed my mind up. just the thought of living out of blue zippies again makes me want to get a gun permit. just kidding but the thought that at any moment they can arrive.

even if the initial infestation is over you can reinfest in a heartbeat.

do people have to live as if they will reinfest for the rest of our lives? strip at the door, bag clothes, shower, etc. till we die?

i really see now the emerging market for this bb free stuff. not just the chemicals but the bedding with the chrisanthimums (sp) in it, etc. this will never end until a chemical company comes up with something safe and the strength of DDT.

sorry for rambling.

8 carolyn March 16, 2007 at 11:36 am

i have just discovered bed bugs in the apartment i just moved into and cleaned thoroughly…i traced it to a used chair an old roommate gave me – evidently it was horribly infested, as well as my bed (but not as bad, i don’t think??)
i didn’t start getting bites until i moved, and only two-three weeks after moving (and moving the infested chair into the apartment). i lived before in a warehouse where the chair was stored, but it was a large, cold warehouse and the chair was stored in a back storage room for most of the time i lived there…i am planning on treating and wrapping the chair before throwing it out the third floor window and dragging it to a fire pit to burn….for ever and ever amen!!!! (just joking)
i will do the same with my mattresses, buy new and wrap them in these plastic mattress covers from target (bed bugs must have some sort of secret deal with mattress manufacturers and chemical companies 🙂 )
i talked to the guy at home depot and he said that people have had success with “real kill” spray for baseboards, walls, etc ($5.88 a gallon) and “spray away goodnight” (or something like that) that is spot treatment.
i read on another blog that
so my plan is:
1. get rid of all upholstered furniture, wrap it in plastic when moving and then burn it so it doesn’t infest anyone else
2. remove everything cloth/fabric (all clothes, bags, towels, rugs, etc) and wash it twice (with ammonia? i haven’t looked into this yet) and dry it for at least an hour
3. i should probably just get rid of my sheets?
4. clean entire apartment with ammonia, etc
5. spray everywhere, real kill in cracks, etc and “spray away” everywhere as well
6. once apartment has been cleaned, sprayed, cleaned again, then move everything back in with new mattresses wrapped air tight (duct tape over any seams, zippers, etc and vaseline the bed frame (which i will also wash well in ammonia and spray (it’s one of those dinky metal ones))
get a new chair (actually getting a used chair from a woman, but i don’t think they have had any bugs), spray it and put a plastic cover (like the fifties) then another cloth cover for chairs (so i’m not sitting on plastic)

what about non cloth things? like my kitchen table – was at the old warehouse apartment and is now here – it’s metal and something else that is “hard”(?) –
should i just get rid of everything i can let go of and super treat anything i cannot?
i have no idea how bad the infestation is – i lived in the warehouse for 6 months before moving here – never had any bites, etc, so i’m thinking the chair in storage is the major culprit. how quickly do bed bugs move? if this chair has been in the living room for three weeks or so, is my entire apartment infested? (just started to get bites 5-6 days ago…)
i keep swinging between save what i can and clean thoroughly and get rid of everything, clean myself or pay professional (i don’t have much money, and i’ve read they don’t even work well!?)
aaaaaahhhhhhhh i itch!
ps — thanks for listening!

9 S. March 16, 2007 at 11:02 am

Hopelessnomo, thank you so much for your post. I just saw it now, after commenting on the current post about lingering sensations. Thank you for reaching out.

I know what you mean. There is a difference in the quality of the sensations. Not all, but some. Some feel like a much-reduced version of old bites. They look like adorable miniatures of previous swollen bumps – like half the size – and in different places.

Others, like the one I sent to Nobugs yesterday (currently posted in the Bite Photos section) really look new to me. But I am willing to entertain the possibility that even these, are old.

Your leap of faith is remarkable, given your worthy pessimism. It gives me hope that I can make that leap – if not just yet, sometime soon. There’s a mental struggle between “I should hope for the best” and “If I relax I might miss something.” It’s amazing how our best survival instincts can also cause us so much mental strife.

I am living in my current place for at least six more months. During that time, we will continue to take physical precautions in the house, like changing, bagging and laundry. We will keep our bed isolated. We will also probably go ahead and treat the cars. I don’t think I’ll be able to fully relax until we’ve moved, but I will start entertaining the possibility that it’s over, even knowing that my mind might be a little slower than my body in accepting that.

Thank you so much for your thoughts.

10 Ihatebedbugs4eva March 16, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Hi nobugs,

I appreciate your support either way it goes hehe 🙂 I really do. Its such a relief to have a website like this to come to.

I found 4 live bugs in random places in the 6 weeks that i have been in my new home (in my old home i found plenty, on the floor, on my bed in the frame). I literally froze everything I had, and if i coudlnt move it myself..i didn’t bring it with me/freeze it. I also washed and dried on high, everything i could…The things that i couldn’t do much about were frozen outside for no less than 3 days and up to 5 weeks. Also, my car only gets used once per week, so i would hope that the poopers would die in there too. Who knows!

All I could do when iw as in my old apt was to research everything i could find. It felt like i read hundreds of websites, all while wearing my bedtime combat gear, and feet not touching the floor.

Ive never had the telltale sign of bloodstains, or poo speckles on my bed and i used light sheets the whole month i had to sleep in my old apt (my roomate did though!), but when i was in my old apt, yes i fould that they were living on my matress, with the poop stains. Needless to say, that mattress is long gone, although it was treated by the PCO along with the bed frame which is also gone. Anything i had that had any remnant of a bedbug was tossed.

My last bite was in November, and that was while i was still int he old apartment. I moved out of there the end of Jan, and even then in Jan i didnt have any bites (although i still found 2 live ones on my old treated mattress).

Now, on my new matress and bedframe there is nothing, no stains, no poo, no blood and its been 6 weeks. I did use the DE on my bedframe as a precaution (we will see if it works), and also i stuffed some in the cracks around the perimeter of the room.

I hope so much that i am not wrong (but then again i usually am haha) but i feel strongly that somehow i had a few toughies that didn’t die in the cold (survival of the fittest?), because EVERYTHING i own was thrown away or treated with heat or cold before i moved.

I am def. not ruling out a PCO. I will actually start researching them now and see what i can find in the case that i am wrong (like i said, i probably usually wrong about everything ) but something in me feels ok..for now at least.

I do appreciate you guys here!! And i will be back (im sure!)

11 hopelessnomo' March 16, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Hi Carolyn, sorry you’re in this situation. Please don’t get rid of things unless:

a) your space is really cluttered;
b) it is something that is heavily infested and difficult to treat, and your PCO (yes, you need a PCO) cannot effectively treat it; or
c) psychologically you can’t stand to live with it anymore (hey, I can relate).

And don’t buy new things until you are in the clear.

Read the FAQs about the proper way to handle your clothes, visiting places, isolating your bed, etc.

Don’t bother with ammonia; it doesn’t work. But go ahead and clean like a fiend–cleaning does help. Instead of ammonia, where feasible, try alcohol, Murphy’s Oil Soap, or plain soap and boiling or hot water. Vacuum carefully and with a powerful vacuum cleaner. Dispose of the bag quickly and responsibly.

In fact, consider your neighbors, your co-workers, etc. in everything that you do from now on.

You don’t just have to wash on hot/dry on hot, you also need to keep what you’ve washed in this way in airtight bags or containers. XL ziploc bags will be your new best friends. Try to reconcile yourself to not being green for the moment.

There are references to moving in your post I don’t quite understand. Are you moving again?

In most areas your landlord is required to hire a PCO to treat your infestation. Informing your landlord also ensures that other units are inspected and treated (in a perfect world, I know). An ineffectively treated infestation can grow, disperse and become more difficult and more expensive to treat. Contact your landlord immediately.

I know I’m forgetting some things so ask away.


12 hopelessnomo' March 16, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Hi S.! I’m so glad that I didn’t offend. These are risky thoughts and what we should call Advanced Concepts in Bedbugs 😉 and you certainly don’t want to be on the wrong side of a hypothesis. And don’t think that my confidence is always all that strong. I have such moments of doubt and fear! But I underestimated the strength of my rational mind–for a while there in the full heat of my bedbug trauma, I didn’t think I was losing it, I thought it was already lost.

There is no way around the possibility that you could still have bedbugs and not letting your guard down is the only response. But other possibilities are there and maybe, one day, you know? Because you’re not going to have bedbugs forever. That is a certainty.

13 hopelessnomo' March 16, 2007 at 4:17 pm

Hi Nightshirt, I agree, the thought of never being free from bedbugs is several magnitudes beyond frightening.

Want to know what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid that my obsession with bedbugs will call them forth again into my life. That bedbug ideation, if you will, will come to bite me in the butt one day. But trying not to think of something is not helpful at all.

14 nobugsonme March 16, 2007 at 10:35 pm


People have become obsessed with bed bugs. (I’m not judging whether you have!) People have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Acute Traumatic Stress Disorder
acute = you still appear to have bed bugs /
post = bedbugsnomo’, but the trauma lingers.

For anyone who thinks that it might help people have reported finding therapy helpful for some of these results (with the caveat that you should interview your therapist on the bed bug issue–make sure they either get it or are open to it– before committing).

Participating here and using my energies to run the website and try to do something about this issue has been a positive channel for me, and for others I’m sure. Although we’d all rather probably be people who had bed bugs for a few weeks, got rid of them easily, and are now doing whatever it is we did before, many of us were burned and that explains the ongoing involvement in this.

And I think of this — raising awareness, spreading information, changing laws to help stop bed bugs– as a social movement we’re all involved in. It’s not one I’d ever have been involved with if I wasn’t burned by bed bugs (there are much bigger fish to fry). But having been so burned, it becomes urgent.

I think it’s absurd that my dad fought for Civil Rights in his day and I am here fighting the rise of an insect that could be successfully held at bay back in the days when blacks and whites could not eat at the same lunch counter in the US south. I realize –as many have pointed out– that many millions of people around the world live with bed bugs day and night and have much worse things to worry about. That we’re all blessed not to have worse health concerns.

But there’s room for change here, someone has to do it, and who else but those of us who have been through the ringer? And bed bugs can be bad. I don’t mean the degree of infestation necessarily, but the length of disruption, the lack of support from people who wouldn’t think of ignoring other (obvious) health problems you suffered, etc.

That said, if your bed bugs ever came back, you’re in a better position to fight them now, as long as they are caught early. Did you use any freshwater DE? Perhaps it would help you knock out any lingering worries, and used correctly (with a mask, and puffed lightly) it is safe and should not bring on any allergies for you like pesticides did. For small infestations or preventing recurrence, I do think this is worth a shot.

I also think people should keep a log of their skin reactions. You may not be sure when you’re bitten or if you’re itchy from an old bite. But you can rate how itchy you feel, how much of your body is itching, on a scale of 1-10 each day. Some people can be more specific (dime sized welt on right shoulder appeared this morning). Others can’t. But everyone can give it a ranking of 1-10. You can record when you go away and for how long, and how you feel when you’re not home. You might find that you’re itchier when you spend the afternoon in a chair you don’t usually sit in, when it’s hot and humid, or when it’s cold enough to wear a certain coat (gee, that down coat…). And you will probably see patterns in bites–maybe you go for a week being bitten and then get a few days off. Or you’re itchier every 8 days. Those kinds of patterns, assuming you’re not panicking and imagining things, can tell you if maybe you are being bitten, or at least if other factors are making your skin worse. For someone like Nomo who isn’t sure if they’re coming back, it could mean seeking out treatment when bites appear to come more often or in greater number. Lots of you may already do this, but I wanted to throw it out there. And if itching is far in between, it is especially easy but especially important (in terms of catching a rising population).

15 nobugsonme March 17, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Hey– Everybody click here.
What the heck is going on in Stockholm, which has a d0t as large as London. That is Stockholm, right? TIAGO, are you ok??? I think you’ve got company…

16 Ihatebedbugs4eva March 17, 2007 at 2:48 pm


Ok i was just thinking..this is going to sound like a dumb question but I may be getting onto something.

I had a friend visit me during last summer…just a few days. Now mind you..i have never had a problem with insects…ever. When he got home he discovered “down there” was crawling with white things. He slept on my couch, the same couch that no one else has ever gotten anything from.
He travels a lot and brought his suitcase into my apartment. Could it be any chance that the little white things crawling around were bedbug nymphs?
It sounds crazy, but soon after his visit is when my roomate and I started getting bitten, and he tried blaming us for pubic lice lol…which NO ONE has and no one caught and that was the truth; however..we did get bed bugs!!

17 nobugsonme March 17, 2007 at 11:06 pm

I doubt it, 4eva.

18 Emily March 18, 2007 at 11:21 am

Hi everyone! First of all, I’d like to say that this website and all of the information that I’ve found from it has been extremely useful. I’ll be going on a trip soon to a hotel which has had about 6 reports of bedbugs on tripadvisor. My friend booked the hotel and I regret not checking up on the hotel before agreeing to staying there. I’m also having a lot of problems convincing her in taking the precautions that are summed up in the “How can I avoid bedbugs while traveling” FAQ. My question is, can bedbugs bite through clothing like socks or panyhose?

19 S. March 18, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Hi Emily,

I don’t think they can actually bite THROUGH fabric. I’m fairly certain they need direct contact with skin. However, they can just crawl under your socks and bite you that way. I don’t think there’s any way to truly protect yourself using clothing alone.

If you absolutely must stay in this hotel, please PLEASE check the room before even bringing your stuff in. I’d put my suitcase in the tub (which I feel is safer than any luggage rack), then inspect the bed. Check the headboard, the sheets, the mattress, the frame, under the bed. A small flashlight might be really helpful for this.

Do you have bedbugs, or have you ever? If so then you should know what to look for, but if not, I’d recommend you watch the CBC video (linked at the right sidebar of this site). It shows the reporter and an entomologist inspecting a number of hotel rooms, and really gives you a sense of what to do. You also might want to look at the U of Toronto photos – they have some good to-scale photos of bugs and eggs.

Though, damn, I sure wish you didn’t have to stay at this hotel! Six reports???

My boyfriend recently traveled, and we checked his hotel on TripAdvisor and everything seemed fine (69 reviews, and not one mentioned bedbugs). However, he still checked his bedframe – took it off and looked closely – and he found what looked like small, whitish cast skins. We suspected they might have been eggs that had hatched – that’s more what they looked like. They obviously could have been shells from something else, but still, you better believe he called right away and requested a room change. He checked that room and didn’t find a thing. So just remember, you are the paying guest and if you want a new room, they need to give you a new room. Don’t be afraid to exert control over the situation.

Finally, in most cases this may or may not be necessary, but in your case, since the hotel DOES have complaints of bedbugs, I would be extra cautious. Get some XL ziplocs, and put all your clothes in one (or you could put individual items/outfits in gallon ziplocs). Keep your clothing in the ziplocs, including pajamas – when you get up in the morning, put those pj’s right into a ziploc. When you get home, wash everything right away, or keep it in ziplocs until you can.

I hope this doesn’t sound like extreme advice. I’m not suggesting you bring chemicals and start spraying the room or anything – but I guess I’m just saying that your risk is much greater than if the hotel had zero complaints. So promise us you’ll be careful, okay? Getting bit in a hotel room is bad; bringing the bugs home is a trillion times worse.

20 Emily March 18, 2007 at 4:16 pm

S., thank you so much for all the super helpful information. I really do appreciate it. Also, I don’t think this is extreme advice at all. Like you said before, it is better to be extra careful than to regret it later on if you happen to bring them home with you. I’ve never had an experience with them before and I certainly don’t want to start now. My biggest problem right now however is trying to convince my friend to be careful as well because she doesn’t take this issue seriously and waves it off. As it turns out, this friend is also my roommate. I’m afraid that she’ll bring them home by being careless and that my endeavors to be bug-free will be wasted. Hopefully, that won’t happen!

21 S. March 18, 2007 at 7:15 pm

Hey Emily,

No problem. Going through bedbugs has kinda turned me into a zealot for the cause. So, glad to help. Also, glad you’ve never gone through it – hopefully you never will. 🙂 We need more people like you on this site – the preventative ones!

Maybe you could show your roommate the CBC video? It actually helped my boyfriend a lot to take the issue more seriously. I also showed it to my sister before she traveled, and she came away from it being like, “Okay, whoa, what do I need to do first?”

Just make sure to stay rational with your roommate – you don’t want her thinking you’ve gone off the deep end. Just say “Look, I know we don’t have bedbugs now, and I know they don’t seem like a big deal to you, but this hotel has had six complaints. That means bedbugs could be in one room. They could be in six rooms. Or they could be on an entire floor – they travel easily from room to room. If you don’t want to inspect your room, maybe I can come over and help you do it.”

If she won’t do it for herself, maybe she’ll do it for you. Because we’ve all dealt with the people who don’t take this seriously, and sometimes you can never really get them to feel it personally. Maybe bugs don’t gross them out. Maybe they don’t realize how much time and money goes into eradicating them. Maybe they think they are tiny, like mites or fleas (bugs that don’t scare me in the slightest). Perhaps asking her what her perceptions are of bedbugs will get to the root of why she doesn’t seem to care.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

22 nobugsonme March 18, 2007 at 8:09 pm

S’s advice is excellent.
If your roommate is willing to have an XL ziplock inside her bag, or some 2 gallon ones, that would help. It would also help to carefully inspect bags outside before taking them into a car or home. Laundry and clothes worn could be treated as if you had bed bugs–washed and dried on hot (sealed in bags until you get to it). Not such a big deal to do this once, vs. after an infestation. Anything not washable/dryable on hot can be dry cleaned — again, seal in bag until you get them to the cleaners.

I also would recommend your friend watch the CBC video. Although there are lots of news reports and articles, this is the one your friend would probably get–it has people in it who might be like her, and who she won’t think are crazy or living in dumpy places. Hearing them tell of the horror of bed bugs might make her a little more cautious.

Also, take heart. If you r room and hers are inspected (as per the CBC video), and you take the other precautions we mentioned, you probably won’t have a bad experience. You can see signs and you can demand a better room. If you’re sharing the room, offer to inspect while she’s parking the car or going to get a bottle of water or something. If she has a separate room, ask if you can do hers, for peace of mind. Explain it’s a quick precaution.

Another tip Parakeets has shared in the past: if hotels do have a bed bug room, they probably keep it until all the others are full (on the chance that it will stay empty). It might be best not to arrive late at night if you can help it!

I just stayed in a hotel and I was slightly nervous, but I had an awesome time. I did a careful check (which took five minutes and I did it while my friend was getting something from the car.) After the first five minutes, I stayed alert, but after one night knew things were fine. They aren’t everywhere, even in infested hotels.

23 nobugsonme March 18, 2007 at 8:11 pm

ps the CBC video is under “photos, movies, and audio” in the sidebar.

24 nightshirt March 19, 2007 at 9:21 am

ok – paranoid me.

i was the one in my household to get the huge welts, etc. in the prime of my bb infestation and my dog also was getting bitten. since our last pco visit i have stopped getting bitten but freddie still is itching alot. i know dogs can do that – dry skin, etc.. but as my paranoia about them coming back again gets worse i am phantom itching and swatting although when i get up in the morning – nothing.

the question – could i not be getting bit and only my dog now? im telling you – this is certainly a mind f—.

25 nightshirt March 19, 2007 at 9:27 am

just went to a web site re: DE. how would one apply it? how much should you buy for an apartment about 1700 square feet and how often would you use this as a precautionary method assuming my infestation is over? which products would you all recommend for precautionary extermination afater infestation and how often and safe for pets. thanks.

26 Emily March 19, 2007 at 11:39 am

Thanks so much S. and nobugsonme, all of this has been really valuable advice. I’m going to have my friend watch the video tonight and hopefully it will clear up her misconceptions about bedbugs. She thinks they’re only harmless nuisances too tiny to detect and that it’s impossible for them to travel. I feel a lot more at ease knowing what kinds of things I can do to prepare for my trip and also what I should do after I come back. I’ m so glad that you guys are here and that this site exists!

27 eileen gilgallon March 19, 2007 at 1:11 pm

should a child be excluded from school until the problem is resolved

28 eileen gilgallon March 19, 2007 at 1:12 pm

should a child be excluded from school till the problem is resolved

29 S. March 19, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Emily, good luck. A warning – the video shows bugs. Lots of bugs. Bugs walking around, bugs biting someone. They will gross you out, they will gross her out. It’s just plain gross.

But sometimes, a little grossing-out is in order…

30 hopelessnomo' March 19, 2007 at 1:46 pm

No, Eileen, please no. A bedbug problem may take several weeks to resolve. Sometimes even longer. Please read our FAQ on how to deal with clothing. If the child is wearing clean clothes (dried on hot) taken from an airtight bag after showering, he or she should not be carrying any bedbugs. Books and bookbags and coats can be tricky items to protect, true. Maintaining these items in ziploc bags while at home and devising some kind of safe area (maybe a dining room table isolated the way a bed might be isolated) where children can do their homework… all of these things might help.

Let us know if you have specific questions and we can try to brainstorm a solution. Or are you concerned about other children at school?

31 S. March 19, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Eileen, is the problem at home or at school? The way I read your question, the problem was at school – in which case, depending on what the school is doing about it – I might recommend taking some time off!

But there are many ways you can protect the kid from bringing anything with him/her out of the house. Nomo is right, keep stuff in ziplocs whenever possible. All clothing should definitely stay in ziplocs until the problem is gone, long gone. You can put a backpack in the dryer for an hour – we’ve done this with 3 of our backpacks. You can wash or dryclean the coat, and spray the shoes with Kleen Free, inside and out. The ‘safe area’ is another good idea for handling “stuff” like books. And bathing in the morning after sleeping in the bed is always good.

32 Bedtime Bear March 19, 2007 at 3:38 pm

About a month ago I found out I had begbugs. So far, my apartment has been treated twice by a PCO who has assured me that my problem is resolved. But after reading comments on this website, I’m not so sure.

I am planning on moving June 1st. I have de-cluttered my apartment, have all clothing in bags, and have covered my mattresses with protectors. This site offers many ways of protecting yourself and mattress from bedbugs, but I am still unsure what I can do to get rid of them completely. Do I rely on the fact that I’ve had two professional sprayings and leave it at that? Is there any product (homemade or storebought) that I can use (and find easily in Canada) that can help kill them? I am afraid of bringing them with me, especially in my piano, which I don’t want to get rid of obviously.

Any help would be great.

33 nobugsonme March 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Bear, did you have any signs of bugs originally? Bites? if so, and your bed bugs are not gone, you will definitely feel more bites well before June 1st. It’s possible you had a small infestation and they’re gone (when was the last treatment?) If not, I’d get thorough professional treatment again and until the bites and other signs are gone.

While sometimes PCOs say they’re gone and theyre not, you would have evidence (bites, black specks, even bugs or shells). It’s good to remember that EVERY bed bug infestation is not long and drawn-out, some are very small. I haven’t heard of any that really needed only one treatment, but some people can be cleared in two.

34 nobugsonme March 19, 2007 at 4:29 pm

Dogs itch. They get dry skin, they might even get a flea or (God forbid) a tick.
But bed bugs want your blood.
Is there any reason why the bed bugs would be incapable of biting you and only able to bite the dog?

(Thought you may have isolated your bed, most people do not isolate their chairs, and at some point you are standing up. A hungry bed bug is a feisty and brave bed bug, and he might run up your leg. Your leg, being preferably to your dog’s.)

35 Bedtime Bear March 19, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Thanks Nobugsonme. My last PCO treatment was three days ago, and I have yet to reset my bedroom in order to sleep in my bed, but I will sometime this week. I will be sure to monitor the sheets for any activity e.g. specks, blood, etc.

The bites used to show up on my skin quite visibly in the beginning, and were rather itchy. But as time went by, I no longer had much of a reaction to the bites, therefore it is difficult for me to determine if I’ve been bitten.

36 nobugsonme March 20, 2007 at 12:40 am

HI Bedtime Bear. Most PCOs tell clients not to leave their beds–we’re usually the bait that’s supposed to attract the bugs to the poison. I’d give it some time after you put your bed back, and if you feel or see anything (black specks may be all you get), call the PCO (or another) in right away.
Good luck and let us know!

37 Kelly March 20, 2007 at 2:10 am

Hi- Its kelly- I left a post a couple of weeks ago on a different thread about my infestation and re-infestation. The PCO was unable to make it that following week, they multiplied… they are coming tomorrow- Thank so much for replying to my tale of woe- I am reading everything on this site. I no longer move anything out of the room that could possibly have a bug. I mentionde before that I threw away my bed- I moved into my daughters room because it was not infested but they found me. Orkin has sprayed three other times. Twice in the oulets and along the base boards. In two days they will be back to do another heavy spray. More laundry for me to do – ugh! I am an allergic reactor. They burn and I feel like i am getting bit all day long. I read a ‘Tale” from someone else in California – the west side. That is where I am too. Should I be calling the city? My landlord refers to it as ‘my’ bug problem!

Thanks all for being here!


38 nobugsonme March 20, 2007 at 2:12 am

Aww Kelly,

It is AWFUL. I am glad you found us and hope we are helping. Your landlord– if you have a serious infestation and s/he does not handle it correctly, it will spread. (But maybe that’s how you got it.)

People think this is a problem for someone else, but it is everywhere.

39 Bedtime Bear March 20, 2007 at 9:46 am

There’s something I don’t quite understand. If I isolate my bed from the bedbugs, that will only encourage them to spread to other rooms to find me. Why would I want that?

40 nightshirt March 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

nbom – there is no reason the would only eat my dog. it is just my paranoia about becoming immune and not realizing a recurrence is happening.

last night i had a dream that i left my cothes on the floor and there was a bb on them. I looked and said – oh this is what they look like. and then in my mind i began preparing for all the hard work that would lay ahead.

could someone answer my questions about the DE posted on march 19 at 9:27 am. thanks.

41 Sara March 20, 2007 at 10:26 am

Bedtime Bear,

That’s a good question and one that puzzled me for a long time. I think you should read the FAQs about isolating your bed – specifically go to Part Three, and read Jessinchicago’s comment towards the top.

You isolate your bed so that you will stop being bit in bed. It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean they will necessarily spread if your bed is isolated – they will most likely just keep trying to get you in bed. If your bed isolation involves chemicals, like on the floor or around the edges of the room, they should die on their way to you.

It’s not like bedbugs go, “Wait, what is this? Is this carpet tape I see? Screw that! I’m heading for the couch!” They aren’t smart and they don’t make decisions. If you are sleeping in your bed, they smell your CO2 and sense your body heat, and they will most likely still come after you.

And remember, whether they die or not, you want the bites to stop. Bites equal life stage advancement which equals eminent reproduction. Ideally, our bedbugs would never bite us. We’d lure them to us and they’d die on the way. (This probably never happens, but you get where I’m going?) It’s like, we are actually their greatest weakness. We want to take advantage of their hunger.

Also, if you isolate your bed and then find you are still being bit, then – if you are SURE your bed is isolated – you can assume they have spread. Then you can take steps to treat the rest of your house. But they will probably spread more because you moved furniture out of your bedroom, or because you started sleeping in the living room, rather than because you isolated your bed.

There are lots of other perspectives on this issue. Read those FAQ comments for more.

42 S. March 20, 2007 at 10:28 am

Um, that comment was from me. That’s right, my name is Sara. But I’ll continue to go by S. for consistency.


43 Bedtime Bear March 20, 2007 at 11:57 am

Thank you for answer, S.. Very helpful.

44 buggedinbrooklyn March 20, 2007 at 12:10 pm

hi all,

S., my problem with isolating your bed is that you are NOT normaly using chemicals to kill them.
you are using items that prevent them from getting to you, yes. but they don’t always work the way your thinking.

first off, your bed has to be fully bug free for this to work at all…and you can reinfest your bed quickly if they are in other areas that you are unaware/aware of.
if a reinfestation of the bed hapens, it is mostly at the top of the bed…the part that is not protected at all from bedbugs.
that is the flaw in isolation.

next, bedbugs do think. all creatures do.
most of it is survival instinct, but they do hunger, and will find ways to reach you if you isolate your bed.
yes, some will die in the containers you placed your bedframe legs in.
but what about the ones who will try to jump from the light above your bed?
or the ones who dont want to try to swim to reach a bed frame?
what about the ones who deside to travel great distances if they cant feed in your bed room?

they might not understand carpet tape, but they understand that if they can’t reach you, they will try another way.

the worst thought is that, the breeding, or groth of the population of bugs will probably far excede the death from isolation…
you will now have to find ways to treat you house in other areas to help kill off the bugs.

sorry, I just don’t understand why anyone would want to prevent the easyest, and best way to kill off the bugs in thier bedroom.
having your bed, covered, sprayed, and slept in, is the best way to kill off the population of bugs in your bedroom.
true, you must do other things too, but this is the best way to kill them off.

if isolation includes chemical spraying from a PCO, then yes, this is a great way to deal with bugs, but still might not be the best.
you will get a good nights sleep, but I’m not sure how many will die if they never reach the chemical do to all the tea tree oil or carpet tape.

I want to also say that I’m not against isolation, just not in order to treat for bug extermination.
it works, but I don’t think it’s the best way.

as it is, what we have to kill bedbugs stinks.
why, treat the other parts of the house and not the bed is beyond me…everytime another bug crosses the chemicals to bite me, another bug dies.
think of it as thier last meal. lol

that’s my 2 cents, and take it for what it’s worth.

anyway, sadly, 4 or 5 days ago I got 3 new bites in one night.
yes the couch, I’m notsleeping in my bedroom as I fear a reinfestation the more I use that room.
no bitessince that night, and it’s been at least a week since I got bit before.

I’m at the point when, now I’m just figuring out that I will just have to get rid of the couch.
maybe not now, but soon.
buying a new couch a few months later is not always the best option, but peace of mind is better then not having this problem go away.


45 hopelessnomo March 22, 2007 at 12:21 pm

I don’t know if Nobugs might want conversations to go in the forums now, but I wanted to say hi to buggedinbrooklyn in context.

I’ve missed you, buggedinbrooklyn, and I just wanted to say that I second that emotion about the couch! Maybe it is time to give it up. Or rather… to send it off on an adventure, courtesy of the NYC Dept of Sanitation. Maybe it’s trying to tell you that it’s itching to go! He wants to go, to hang out with all the other leather couches, to look up at the stars and the moon at night and think about the meaning of it all. Give him a few gentle scars with a box cutter to make him look tough and send him off…

46 nobugsonme March 22, 2007 at 1:29 pm

LOL I love nomo’s ideas.

About the conversation: what do y’all think? Should we try Tales of Woe in the forums for a week or so and see how it goes?

Anyone can go to that forum and start a new thead (for example, Bugged could start one called “My Couch”.

47 buggedinbrooklyn March 22, 2007 at 3:12 pm

hi NBOM,

I think a few things got lost transfering stuff to here…IIRC S. asked for more info about how to treat a bed, and my reply to that question.

no big deal, but maybe other things got lost too.
might wana check into a few things to see if anything else got lost.

btw, great new site…grats

yeah, I gota get rid of it in time…I’m gona still sleep on it, and treat it for the next month or so.
but I can’t see keeping it much longer then that.

it’s been the biggest bane in this horror story, and I don’t think I’ll ever be bug free till it’s gone.

the sad thing is I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get a replacement, any time soon.
(without wasting all the money I’ll be getting soon from my father’s estate accounts)
I now pay full rent, full car insurance, phone/cable bills, “you name it, I got it” bill, and, oh, I do have to eat too…all on a disability check that is pithetic.

I will get a small amount of money that I’ll split with my sister from my father.
it will be just enough to maybe buy a new couch (nothing as nice) and maybe a new computer chair.
I did want to buy a new TV with this money, but that’s life….come on, I’m a man, and a new wide screen HD TV makes my mouth water.
but I guess it’s not in the stars.

I also wanted to put a small amount of this money away incase of an emergency.
after buying a new couch, and maybe a computer chair, I’ll have nothing left.

I’m also worried about a reinfestation, or buying a new couch too soon, and infesting the new furniture.

how long should I wait bug free before buying a new couch?
1 month, 2 months?

maybe I should buy a lazy-boy chair first?
see if I stay bug free for months, then start looking at couches?
I just don’t have unlimited income at the ready.
with no job, and a crappy check I get once per month, all has to go smooth the first time.

it’s been almost a week since my last bite, yet it can start up again tonight.
this nightmare never ends, and I’m not seeing me get from under the financial mess from it any time soon.

worried and scared, and scratching like mad.

48 wantmyskinback March 22, 2007 at 3:35 pm

This is with reference to : LINGERING SENSATIONS, I would add to that thread but I’m temporarily lost. I saw a NYC dermatologist today. I wanted to show her all the marks, scars and new marks I have on my skin. She said that she gets a bed bug bite victim in her office almost every day, that it is not uncommon (in the heart of the upper east side in Manhattan, mind you). She did not want to perform a biopsy on areas of my skin that were going to be exposed like arms or face, because biopsies scar. So we opted against it today. But she also noticed that I have highly allergic reactions on my skin to even scratching it (ie, after the bite, itching it makes me more allergic). She called the condition Dermatographic Urticaria, and I have provided a link :
I think that many of us are so highly stressed from the bites and the eradication process, that the stress manifests itself on our skin, making the problems worse.

49 Tiago March 22, 2007 at 5:39 pm


It’s been a while since I last wrote to you. I was trying to “rough it” and try to focus on my research. My father managed to find some DE and sent it to me, as well as some plastic sealable
bags. Thank the One Above for my family and friends… otherwise I would be completely mad by now. I tried to spread in the bed frame with an old toothbrush, I think it’s not very even but I can’t do much better. What’s the problem if this happens?
Nobugs, the situation here in Sweden is, like you mentioned, getting more complicated. I definitely know I have company. It’s in the newspapers (from my weak knowledge of swedish)! But, if you consider that I leave in a neighborhood of student apartments or corridor rooms, students that come from all over the world and buy/sell second hand stuff all the time, I can easily figure it out. As for the rest of Sweden, the houses are all very efficiently heated so I guess they now spread much more than some years ago.
Just a small description of the apartment, it’s rented, through a student accomodation company, in a big building (I’d say around 100-150 small apartments), 24 m2, one room with a small kitchen and a bathroom. Common laundry facilities. There are not that many places for them to hide, I’d say… I don’t have any upholstery items (my chair is plastic and metal, a LITTLE BIT unconfortable in the behind…)
As for my situation, I’ll fill you in. The PCO came for the SIXTH time last wednesday. This has been going on for almost 3 months. The strange thing is that I never find anything – no black spots, no skins, no blood stains and definitely no bugs (found a dead spider and “silverfish” – ? – harmless stuff). When the PCO came for the last time, I hadn’t vacccumed the place in two weeks (I know… I hate it, I haven’t washed the floors in months, I don’t want to take the products away and I was always a very, very tidy guy) or changed the sheets (white). They assisted me in inspecting the whole bed. Nothing. And still… EVERY DAY I get at least one, more often around 3 marks. Had one this morning, near my left nipple. They are usually less than a centimeter in diameter, kind of hard, with a red aureola around. I feel a small itch on them, nothing too annoying. And they disappear after roughly 2 hours.
This week I said “enough is enough”. I am going home for Easter, waking up at 5 in the morning to put the clothes, shoes, coat and small leather bag (where I carry my glasses and such) in the drier for 90 minutes. I managed to arrange a meeting with both the PCO and the renting company people. I told them I couldn’t stand it. So, when I go for vacation, the PCO is coming to take ALL my things – clothes, furniture, computer, books, the works – and put them in a chamber along with our good pal Vikane. They can’t legally use it on buildings but in chambers, apparently it’s OK… When I come back, I’m going to go to a room, for a couple of weeks, until a new apartment is available, when they will transport my “vikaned” stuff into it. And then, I will move into this new apartment (in the same building, 2 floors up) and pray for a happier future.
I still don’t understand what is happening. I never find anything (never did, except the very first night, almost 3 months ago), yet I always have these misteriously appearing/disappearing pimples. I have one in my chest that has been flaring up every night for the past 4 nights (in the same place, always strangely around 8-10 PM) and then fading away. Others appear in various parts of my body, usually not in the same place, and then fade away. And nobody ever finds anything – the PCO tells me they ALWAYS find something. They are also going to treat the apartment again after I leave, of course. And they couldn’t inform me of where to get the mattress covers. Ah, forgot to mention my neighbours (fortunately!) didn’t complain until now.
I asked the PCO what they thought of the possibility of transporting them with me to the lab and they almost called me a nut case. In a way, I understand their point of view – this has been going on for almost 3 months and, so far, nobody in the lab has complained and I share an office with 5 persons. But I’m afraid that, when I have the new place, with everything treated, I’ll bring them from the lab.
I am going to do some allergy tests next tuesday. I almost “hope” I have an allergy or something like that…
So, next week I’m going home, to try to regain some mental balance and help my mother (my father was operated this afternoon – prostate). What do you make of all this? I can send you some pictures of the marks, I take pictures almost daily… I don’t really know what to think of this stuff any more.

I’ll be waiting your opinion – ask whatever you want, I’ll try to answer as accurately as possible.

Um abraço

50 S. March 22, 2007 at 6:52 pm

Hey WMSB, thanks for sharing. I too would like to talk a little more about the whole lingering sensations thing.

Having reactions to your own itching is fascinating. I’ve definitely noticed that when I scratch one bite, all the others on my body itch. I’ve always noticed this, even when I was little, with mosquito bites – there has got to be a medical explanation, but I’ve always imagined my body’s bug bites were somehow connected. Like, if you scratched one, the whole network lit up.

So maybe “Don’t scratch” is better advice than we realized. Maybe not scratching goes farther towards alleviating our allergies. Huh. Okay. This is henceforth a no-scratch zone.

Like you, I experienced a reaction immediately after my apartment was treated. I had had no bites for a week, and then we decided to get preventative. The baseboards were all sprayed with Demand. For the next three days, I had one or two “bites” show up each morning. They were small, swelled and slightly itchy. Three faded quickly, while the fourth itched and burned badly. That one is now a clear, hard, raised bump. These were not a rash; they were not on body parts that touched the pesticide; they were on my face and chest.

Now, how would it make sense that following a drought, and right after a spraying of chemicals, bedbugs would suddenly appear and bite? I think you referenced them ‘getting desperate and coming out for their last meal’ before, and I also thought that might be the case.

But now I’m thinking that in some PERVERSE way, the pesticide may be giving me “bites” that look like miniature versions of my old bites. I’ve been reading for hours and can’t seem to find any definitive evidence of this. Rash, pain, tingling sensations, that’s all documented. But things that look like insect bites? It’s nowhere.

However, I believe that this community may know more than scientists in this tricky area. My bites look like bites, but now I am wondering if they are not. Hindsight is 20/20, but right now I am making the decision to not treat anymore. For a while. Maybe a month. I reserve the right to rescind that commitment at any time, but right now, I think I can do it.

Because it took me three weeks after the last treatment, to have a “bite”-free week.

What do you think? Can you try ‘not treating’ as an experiment? Especially since treating hasn’t seemed to work? How long has it been since your last treatment?

51 Bugalina March 22, 2007 at 8:57 pm

Just a thought…I have heard that some of the chemicals used have an “excitatory affect on the bugs …thus….they incite the bugs to riot !! I translate this to mean that the bugs would normally be laying low, but when the chemical comes seeping into their protective cracks, they get excited, and crawl out…these chemicals affect the nervous systems of the bugs…they are labeled “neuro toxins”…thus the bugs venture out to eat prematurely, because of the excitatory affect of the chemicals……and then they are forced to cross the chemical barriers..maybe an analogy could be like when a person is holed up in a house and the police want to force them out, they spray tear gas into the house, forcing the person to come out prematurely, against their will . This might explain a surge in bites after a treatment….Maybe a “pesticide” expert could weigh in…

52 buggedinbrooklyn March 22, 2007 at 10:05 pm

hi S.,

I don’t think that it’s the chemicals that are giving you bite like marks.
no, it’s the bugs that are marking you up.

yet I too can’t stand the feeling of all the bites.
at any given moment, a week old bite can “STING” to the point that it feels like I’m getting bitten. then after a second of me scratching it, some of the other bites start flaring up and want to be scratched too.

I always feel like I have bugs walking on my legs, and/or bitting me. even after weeks of not getting any new bites in that area.
at first, I thought it was from the chemicals, but in time, I’ve noticed that the bug bites are the real cause of all the “creapy crawling” feelings on my legs…almost never feel the crawly feelings on my arms.

I also feel I have been bitten in spots that have no marks or raised areas….like from babys.
real or no, your bite marks, and mine, are from bedbugs.
maybe the spraying helps wake them up a bit, but I’ll bet it is like my couch.
you have too few bugs to get bitten every day.
so your once a week or so feedings are bugs that are just hungry.

anyway, what do I know.
take everything with a grain of salt, and I wish you well.


53 nobugsonme March 22, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Hey All,

Bugged, sorry your comment and S’s got lost. If any notices any others missing, please let me know. It took two days to move everything and do the set up and I am pretty sure all the posts were retained and all the comments should have been. Perhaps those comments were left in between my exporting from that site and importing to this one.

WMSB and S and everyone,

If you’re looking for old topics like Lingering Sensations, remember: there are “Archives” buttons: one at the top, one in the bottom sidebar. Pick the month, click it, and scroll down. In this case, it was sometime this last week, so March.

The other method is to put “lingering sensations” in the search box at top. It googles within the site. It’s not that you can’t talk about this stuff here, too, but it does help others who are looking for the conversation later, if it’s in one place.

I’d move the comments, but I am still putting out little fires 🙂

54 wantmyskinback March 22, 2007 at 11:13 pm

Bugalina: With regard to the “excited little buggers” coming OUT (oh joy) of their cracks because of the neuro toxic spray…ok…that’s all cool…but where do they go after? They bite like mad, then they’re gone, with out a trace? I am so confused because the Bed bug dog said they were in my bed frame (which made sense since I was harrassed by them after the “kicker” which is the excitement spray … sounds like an ad for viagra doesn’t it?)…anyway, I took that bed apart and found NOTHING…so, go figure???

55 nobugsonme March 22, 2007 at 11:52 pm


I think Caitlin has written here and on her blog about a really bad “bed bugs’ last stand”, where the last time she was sprayed, they really bit a lot.

Since the kicker, and the subsequent excitement, are you being bitten less?

56 S. March 23, 2007 at 11:11 am

Nobugs, thanks for the point about where to comment. I’m not sure where to reply right now – these comments are about lingering sensations, but they are also a tale of woe and I want to respond to the most recent comments. I guess I’ll reply here, and then if you want to move them all to the Lingering post, maybe start with WMSB’s comment about seven comments up? (Sorry, I know this is awkward for you either way!)

The “last stand” concept is really interesting. Deb, thanks for the tear gas analogy.

But if the bugs came out because they were affected by the chemical, then the underlying point is, THEY WERE AFFECTED BY THE CHEMICAL. Maybe it didn’t kill them before they bit me, but wouldn’t it kill them eventually?

Here’s a question. Do you guys think the chemical has to touch them, to excite them? Or can they just “sense” that it’s in the room? Because while we sprayed our baseboards, I had bites show up first thing in the morning. We didn’t spray our bed. Could they have been in the bed, and smelled the Demand which was 3 feet away at the edges of the room?

I also don’t know how any could have gotten into the bed, as it’s been isolated for so long. I actually hadn’t had any “bites” show up in the morning for months – they’d all shown up in the afternoons or evenings.

Brooklyn, I agree that my skin marks are bedbug-related, though whether they are a delayed reaction to actual bug bites, or a real-time reaction to chemical, I still don’t get. It’s true, they could be new bites, or they could be old bites flaring up. I don’t think they are in the same places, though. But thank you for reminding me of this very real possibility.

57 Tiago March 23, 2007 at 12:08 pm


I tried to write last night but, somehow, couldn’t get my (fairly big) post to go in this discussion. I’ve been following these last posts with some aprehension – you’ll understand why as I write.
Nobugs, the situation here in Sweden is getting complicated, from what I understand – my swedish is still weak but, by now, I know very well the word “vägglus” – swedish for bedbugs, although literally they call them “wall lice”. There is a fairly important second hand market thing here and that may help spreading them. I also understand from the commercials that IKEA takes old mattresses away as a discount on your new one – I hope they know what they’re doing!
I would like to fill you in on what’s been happening for the past weeks and then I would like your opinion. Ask whatever you feel is needed, I’ll try to answer as accurately as possible.
I probably didn’t tell you that I live in a 24 m2 apartment, one room with a small kitchen and bathroom. It’s on the ground floor of a big building with (I’d say) 100-150 of this kind of apartments. It’s rented through a student accomodation company, they built and rent most of the apartments and corridor rooms around here. That means a lot of people coming in and out, from all over the world. I have access to a laundry room in the buildingm where I have been washing and drying my stuff.
Last week, on Wednesday, the PCO went to my place for the SIXTH time. It’s been almost three months since this whole thing started – I’ve never seen a bug since the first night, when I turned my bed upside down but I know that’s not uncommon. I hadn’t vaccuumed or changed the sheets (white) in two weeks before their last visit. I know it sucks but I wanted to keep any possible evidence around for them to see. They checked the sheets, the mattress, the bed – NOTHING. No blood, feces, skins, nothing. They checked alond the baseboards (which they took away, sprayed with Demand + Starycide behind, put back and sealed with silicone) and wherever they wanted – nothing. They tell me “this is not normal, we ALWAYS find some sign, especially since you say you have marks every day”. So, once again, I take the bed stuff to wash and dry, while they spray around and on the underside of the bed. They promised to check where to find mattress covers (I have to tell them that, they never suggested it) but fail to come up with an answer. Every day, mornings, afternoons, evenings, I get red marks. I’ve been taking picture and can send them if you’d like to take a look. Usually less than a centimeter across, round, white and hard bumps with red aureolae around.
I can’t stand this any more. My research, for which I have limited time and funding, has been taking a downhill fall, I’m a nerve wreck and always afraid to do something I shouldn’t. So I manage to arrange a meeting between the renting company and the PCO (Anticimex – by the way, I don’t know any other in Sweden, all everybody knows is this one). That was last wednesday. Again, the PCO says “I never find anything, are you sure you’re not allergic?”. I’m going to take some allergy tests nest tuesday but I’m not too optimistic. The renting company (SSSB) tell me they can give me another place to live. I’m stunned – they always insisted I shouldn’t move. Then I turn to the PCO – if I’m moving you have to help me make sure this ends here. So we agree that, when I go on vacation next thursday (i’ll talk about that later), they will come, dispose of my bed, take all my possessions and put them in a gas chamber with Vikane, including the ones which I froze. I still don’t know aht that will do to my laptop but I don’t know if I really care, at this point.
The strategy is this – next thursday I wake up at 5 in the morning, put my clothes, coat (it’s still cold here), shoes, leather bag (with glasses, etc) in the drier for 90 minutes, eat and take a shower, tiptoe to the laundry room – probably naked, which will really cheer me up… – change into the heated clothes and leave for home. My father has been operated yesterday (prostate), I’m in desperate need for some time away and my mother needs help. I just hope to God I woun’t take anything with me. When I get there, I’m going to take all my clothes and seal them in plastic bags, as well as my leather bag and shoes.
When I come back, they will put me in a room, until I can move to the new apartment (I’m going to talk to the people who live there now on Monday – “hey, have you ever had bites you couldn’t explain??” – and the “vikaned” stuff will be transferred into it. And then I pray again. Very hard, for a brighter future, one where I can laugh again and focus on the really important things in life.
What do you make of all this? My bites / “bites” appear every day, there’s a cluster in the chest that flares up and disappears every evening and others that just appear and then vanish after a couple of hours. And what do you think of my transfer strategy? I’ll appreciate any comments.

All the best

58 Tiago March 23, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Sorry, I know I always write a lot… Just to add that, before his surgery, my father managed to find my some DE. I tried to spread it in the bed frame and under the bed with an old toothbrush (don’t worry Nobugs, I wore a mask and gloves) but I don’t think I managed to do it very evenly and thinly as you describe – it’s not so easy when you don’t have any other tool except your own imagination!
I also didn’t explain that I get marks in different places everyday, which disappear around 2 hours later – although I’m not sure about one persistant small red mark in my thigh.
The “new” apartment is in the same building, two floors up.

I’ll be waiting for your thoughts about all this.

59 hopelessnomo March 23, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Hej Tiago, so very sorry about all of this. I hope your father will be well and recover.

The fact that they proposed a Vikane solution is so encouraging, I hope you realize! Definitely sounds like you are in the hands of good PCOs. Take advantage and go for it. Vikane is said to be highly effective. Very expensive and not available everywhere and some of us have cried because it isn’t.

Make sure they treat ALL your stuff. Not sure about the laptop, either, did they say it had to be excluded? Make sure that any new apartment they move you to is thoroughly inspected. Don’t want to freak you out, you have so much going on, but there is always a risk of moving into a place that is already infested, and you need to take that into account and take steps to assure yourself. (So, yes, ask questions, but also have them inspect.)

You will get through this, Tiago. It will end.

A small paint brush may work better than the toothbrush for the DE (thanks to Bugalina for that one).

60 hopelessnomo March 23, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Oh, I forgot, in the absence of true mattress covers… time to improvise. If you really can’t find anything appropriate, try to find large, heavy plastic, dropcloths (painter’s supplies, hardware stores, I hope plastic ones, and not just cloth ones, are available in Sweden!) and duct tape. It’s not ideal, but you can try to make it work.


61 Bugalina March 23, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Tiago..The bugs are probably living in your they bite and go back in…that’s why they cannot be found…I am certain that you could order mattress covers from the United States and have them shipped to Sweden..( You must be pro active in your new place ) .You could order them online…Also..Vikane is a sure kill for the bugs…This is a GOOD thing to do…When you exit the apt..take only the clothes on your back and inspect your shoes..even spray them with an enzyme cleaner..soak them…leave your bed behind…These monster bugs have no rhyme or reason…sometimes people see them..sometimes people don’t…But the bites don’t lie…God Bless you…Deb

62 Tiago March 23, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Hi again

Thank you so much, Nomo’ and Bugalina, with all this happening is good to hear some nice perspectives. I talked to my father in the phone, despite some pain (sometimes a blood clot gets stuck) he seems to be taking it well. The doctor says he may come out of the hospital on Sunday/Monday, depending on how it’s going to go. Then he’s in for 6/8 weeks recovery but I guess we have to take each day as it comes along – something to which we have all come used to.
Thank you also for your suggestions, I’ll try to buy a painter brush tomorrow. Just because I’m leaving this bug-filled hellhole doesn’t mean I’m going to stop fighting till the last minute and beyond it. As for the mattress covers, I’ll try to find them back home, it’s easier when you know where to look and who to ask. If I don’t find them, your suggestion seems really good, Nomo’. I’ve become quite the expert in sealing bags (a candle, two saw blades and some practice is all it takes)…
I’m also going to put the shoes in the hot drier – I have no enzyme cleaner (I’d really like to know what enzymes are in it – just the biochemist talking…) but I guess 90 ºC for 90 minutes should help. I’ve put my Gore-Tex boots in the drier 4 times now, so they’re getting used to it… They shrunk slightly – ouch.
They’re going to take care of the bed, it’s not going into the new place. I’ll try to convince them to inspect the apartment before I move in but, since their contract is with the landlord, they may be not so open towards it. Which doesn’t mean I’m not insisting!
Just some information about Vikane (I feel I have to give something back to the community, I’ve been taking so much!). The gas (sulfuryl fluoride) stops glycolysis and fatty acid cycles. These processes produce energy for the cells, if they’re stopped, the cells die – and so do the bugs.
The PCO still didn’t reply to me about the computer and other things (microwave, grill, speakers, etc). I hope they can be treated. If not – I’ll tell them to treat them anyway. Should they survive, at least they’ll be safe. The company that produces it (Dow) says it is safe but the PCO mentioned some rubber gets discoloured (I’ll get a bleached computer, maybe…).

Well, I’ll try to keep my hope up. Thank you, once more, for being there. In case you show up in Stockholm, drop me a line, I can show you around!

63 wantmyskinback March 23, 2007 at 9:44 pm

I finally started to tell some of my friends whom I’ve been hybernating from. I said to one of them off the cuff during a phone conversation, “well, another reason you haven’t seen me for a while is I’ve been getting these bites and…” and before I could finish my sentence she cut in “you have bed bugs! so did we!”…. “Wait, YOU had them? when? how? ” and she was like “Oh about a year ago, and we treated twice and they’re gone!”…now of course I’m suspicious…”you treated twice? you didn’t have to bag everything?” I asked her? “no! I had this guy from the Upper East Side, found him in the yellow pages, he was great…he treated twice and treated my maid’s apartment where she might have brought them from. Now we are all bug free!” she replied in this very as a matter of fact and chipperish voice! HOW ON EARTH CAN THEY BE AFTER 2 TREATMENTS? “did you ever see a bug?” i asked her…. and you can bet the answer was NO !!! But her daughter had been bitten from head to toe…and that was enough for her. SHe then threw in , “and —so and so— had them too!!!! ” So and so, is a very high and mightly social light friend of hers, from PAHK AVENOOOO….. so…. I was really glad I started to open up about it. It makes it easier. My friend’s attitude was, “its an epidemic, and we do what we can, but life goes on!!!” Wow, I wish I could feel that way….

64 nobugsonme March 23, 2007 at 9:49 pm

I am so glad to hear of your experience with this.
I hope it will encourage you to tell others and spread information–especially the fact that sometimes they can be more than a brief inconvenience.
A few people do get cleared up in 2 visits, and many more in 3-4. But it can take longer, and the bites can be awful, and the more people who know this, the better.

When more powerful people find out that you can’t always easily eradicate the problem by throwing money at it, maybe we’ll see other changes (as far as laws, government assistance, and companies that stand to lose money to bed bugs funding research into treatment).

65 wantmyskinback March 23, 2007 at 10:10 pm

No Bugs: I didn’t see your reply to my post until just now…with regard to being bitten less, the answer is, it’s hard to tell. I removed the bed which had the “kicker” after the Dog sniffed it. The very next day I got two large bites on my cheek, that are still there. 🙁

66 nobugsonme March 24, 2007 at 5:02 am


Your first comment did post, I think–but I am glad you wrote again, since there is new information there. I am so sorry your father is ill, and I hope his surgery goes well. This is such a stressful time for you _without_ bed bugs. Know that we’ll be thinking of you.

And you’re not the only one who does not see bed bugs or skins and is still bitten. Most people do see black specks (I can’t remember–did you have more evidence originally?) Is there any chance you’re being bitten somewhere else (library, cafe, lab, friend’s home?) Remember, it does not have to be at night. (It’s far out, but possible–especially if other students in your area have bed bugs as it sounds like they do.)

The bites you describe, and the range of effects and duration, sound typical to me.

S is right that the VIkane is good. I would ask about your laptop and I also would be cautious about the leather and glasses going into the dryer! Leather is a problem, alas. I suppose its too warm there already to put it outside, but a freezer might be a good idea.

S– no worries, it’s good to keep threads together, but all conversations are good conversations here. Well, I mean good as in “should be happening”. You know what I mean.

WMSB–delayed reaction?

But to both WMSB and S, I’d say BuggedinBKLN is right–the most likely reason for bites, is bed bugs. I hope they aren’t biting, but I would not relax until time has passed without bites. A few solid weeks. And little “bites” or “bites” that fade quickly, still can be bites.

I hope I have not been too much of a bummer.

67 Tiago March 24, 2007 at 7:30 am


Nobugs, I did find the f… beasts in the first night (almost three months ago). But since then I have found nothing. I have considered that I may be getting bitten elsewhere but what could I possibly do about it? I can’t “not go” to the lab, I have a 4 year contract of which I am now in the middle of the second. Can’t go back, basically, it’s either finish the PhD or give back all the money their paying me…
Thanks for being so supportive, I really appreciate it. I’m counting the seconds to go away from here, but at the same time (even with all the precautions) I just can’t feel relaxed about it. Living in fear is unbearable.
As for the leather and eyeglasses – I really don’t care if they get ruined, I love my parents far too much to risk it. I would put the mobile in there as well but I need it to tell them if the flight is on time. As for the laptop and the other electronic/electric stuff, I’m waiting for their reply. But I really don’t have many options, it’s either that or nothing, I guess, I really don’t know about freezing…
Got another one in my arm yesterday, while in the process of doing the laundry. Guess I must have disturbed one of “his excellencies” when taking the sheets. I currently have a foam mattress, by the way.
I wish I could have access to one of those sniffer dogs, to check this “new” place for me…

Well, I’ll try to hold on.
Best wishes

68 Dan March 24, 2007 at 10:17 am

Hi there!

I used DE in my new apt about 2 weeks ago and I havent seen a bug since (my ex roommat and i always saw our new friends all over the palce, probably becuase we were moving things around so much in our old apt!)

I moved from my old place, froze everything i had and i think a few of them showed survivial of the fittest (my @ss)

To spread the DE we used a dustpan and brush (is that what is called?) Also, i read somewhere to use a turkey baster (yes it works, but wear a mask or something!). Everyone says all you need is very thin almot invisible puffs of DE. JUst stuff the baster in the powder and suck it in, then kinda let all of the powder go into the bulb part and lightly puff it. You will see it come out, but its reallya very light dusting.

When i moved i left all my furniture, except my computer and TV and a nightstand (which too was frozen) and somehow managed to bring some along for the ride. My car had also been frozen, i drive once a week if that.

Also, i havent been bitten since novemeber yay! When i first moved to my new place i went for a walk and down the road saw an apartment buiding a sign that said “we will be spraying for ‘pests’ on this day at this time” I want to assume its bedbugs. It makes me feel better to know others are goign through the same, i mean its not a good thing but it is when you have somepace (like this great website, that seems to change everyday i dont get it lol) to talk about.

Now, i have a question…does anyone use those vacuum storage bags? I thought i saw they they re-iflate sometimes, but i actually just bought some becuase i have some clothes that i don’t need right now, for a long time probably and id like them out of the way. Do you think by sucking out all the air and IF there were any bugs in it the would die before they re-inflated? (if they do)

69 Bugalina March 24, 2007 at 1:09 pm

I just purchased these bags myself. They say on the box that they “keep BUGS out “, so let us hope that there is truth in advertising. I think these bags will be helpful, but you must leave the clothes in them for a long time…how long??? Well I heard recently that if a female bed bug doesn’t get a blood meal in several months, she will once again become infertile…other than that I think a year might be safe….might be..a good thorough inspection is advisable as well….

70 nobugsonme March 24, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Tiago– yes, I was not suggesting you expose your parents–I know exactly how distressing that idea is! But I think you can clean your glasses with warm soapy water, if you’re careful and look closely.

I think you are being bitten at home, probably, and the fact that you don’t see them is not unusual. Have a good trip.

Dan, no bites since November is good. and it sounds like the diatomaceous earth (DE) is working (I like to throw the words when I remember, cause there’s always someone new going “Huh?”

About the website: yeah– I had to make an urgent change yesterday since I had no idea why suddenly people using internet explorer were having big problems. I don’t think I am going to convince everyone to change to Firefox (though I wish I could)…

There may be a few more changes, but we’re still the same.

71 nobugsonme March 24, 2007 at 1:30 pm

HI Bugalina and all,

The space bags do let air in. If you’re cautious and follow directions (I think it says to keep them vertical), it helps. But you will notice some of them fill with air– as early as a week, or in several months. Some may not do so.

I am using a number of them. I have a sense that even if they let air in, they may still be safe. There’s a cap over the hole.

I know XL ziplocs can open too (esp. if you are not careful, you bump them, etc). But this seems more random. My plan is to open them in the laundromat, with a wash before use. And, sadly, not reuse those bags.

72 Anonymous March 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm

My sister said she used the vacuum bags and they let in air. I am still going to try it out though, at least for storage, and i think if they are still sealed and have no holes (may let in air through that cap, but can things crawl through it?) maybe ther bugs will get stuck in the bags for a long lon time…do they suffocate too? or just die of not being able to eat us.

Oh, nobugs i just reread your post, yes there are caps over the hole so unless there is a rip in the bag i dont see how bugs can get in or out of it, right? I just have all these clothes that i have no use for right now (mostly business, and my job dosnt require them yay) so i need to store them at the very least, but i cant throw them away ugh.

Oh yeah i forgot..i mention DE to people that i come in contact with and they also dont know. I luckily knew at least a little becuase we use the pool grade kind in our swiming pool for the past 10 years (I have food grade now of course). A PCO also told my mom that rubbing alcohol is a contact killer, in case you have to wait til your Kleen Free arrived. The only thing is in my old apt, i saw one craling toward ME on the floor, so i got some double sided tape, got it stuck and then taped him to the wall as a frieldy reminder. So i sprayed it with the alcohol, and it looked dead..then the next night i caught another and did the same, but saw that the “dead” one was still moving!?

I think it did help, i just wish i could open the walls and puff some down on in there, bubut i know that is not possible. I have been sleeping with the bugs for a while and i still hadnt gotten bitten either, and i dont know why. My partner got some bites back in december but thats becuase he always ended up UNDER the mattress pad, ew. Maybe he mad eit easier for them to feed, and thats why i didnt get tortured. I think the bit ethat i got in november came from my couch, it was on my ankle and i always sat with my feet inside he edges of the couche (yes gross). If the little crappers want to eat theyr gonna have to crawl across a very hostile environment yay.

Ugh i wish there was a human and pet safe insecticide in pill form, so when they decide to eat us..they die!

73 Dan March 24, 2007 at 2:16 pm

sorry, anonymous was me!

74 Bugalina March 24, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Dan..Some PCO’s actually do drill small holes into the wall voids and inject DE or Drionne…have you dusted all of your electical outlets and all around the pipes underneath your sinks ?? Treat your smoke alarms as well….you can put Frost King double sided carpet tape around your vents and any recessed lighting..its very sticky…Deb

75 simplebead March 25, 2007 at 1:01 am

do these bugs live on people?

76 nobugsonme March 25, 2007 at 1:31 am

simplebead said (on the FAQ):

“thank you so much. I’m not used to blogging like this and did not see my post I’m a little lost. Any way I stayed at a holiday inn in carney’s point NJ and definitely did get bitten while staying there . I just keep feeling things crawling on me , but have not seen any. I was lucky to have washed things ( most) before I came home. I’m so sorry for all that are infested with these things. I did respond with listing the hotel info but the report was only about five complaints where are the others? (”


you need to read the FAQs and learn what the signs of bed bugs are. Many other conditions can cause the feeling of things crawling on your skin (including folliculitis and scabies, both conditions that can be related to your trip– you can catch scabies from hotels, and from scabies or lice from human contact, you can get a type of folliculitis from a jacuzzi, for example–all that is in the general FAQs.) So check out the general FAQs first, and then come back here with further questions, ok? Make sure you have bed bugs, don’t panic–other things can cause “formication” (feelings of having insects crawling on your skin).

77 nobugsonme March 25, 2007 at 1:31 am

ps Any bites since you came home?

78 simplebead March 25, 2007 at 1:44 am

I was bitten by bed bugs while in the hotel it caused a welt on my back. And it has three major red spots in it. No bites since I got home. thank you for your help.

79 Tiago March 25, 2007 at 3:21 pm


I have a couple of questions, maybe someone has some idea. I never knew very well what to do with my cell phones and mp3 player. I can’t heat them and I’m not sure about freezing – I’ve heard do much that some people find dead bugs in their frozen stuff that I don’t really know if it works. But I need to take the phones with me, I have to contact my parents to tell them if the flight is on time so they can pick me up. As for the mp3 player… I know it must sound like a luxury. Perhaps I can leave it behind for the Vikane to take care of as well. I’m actually considering travelling even lighter and leave my leather bag behind for the Vikane treatment, with the mp3 player in it. Then, it’ll be just me, my clothes, shoes, wallet, watch (suggestions for this one, anyone?), keys and ticket home.
The other question is about DE. How often should one renew it? I have the feeling someone else posted on this but I can’t find that post.
This night was really, really bad. I woke up with around 10 spots, mostly my legs and thigh, one in my left arm and one in the torso – at least the ones I felt and saw. This hadn’t happened so intensely in a while, maybe the DE I spread around and in the bead frame got them angry…
At least my father seems to be feeling better now – never thought I could be so happy to hear him say “hey, son, I can piss again!”…

I’ll be waiting for your ideas.

80 Tiago March 25, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Ahhh, sorry I meant to say that people find LIVE bugs in their frozen items, of course… My plan is to take them with me in separate sealable plastic bags but after that?
Tomorrow I’m going to ckeck my “new” apartment. I just hope that I won’t have any hitchhiker during this visit, although I’m in full battle mode these days… I forgot to mention one thing, when we had that meeting with the PCO and the landlord, I brought my supervisor along with me. I felt that, if I had some sort of “higher authority” with me, they would think twice before fooling around. Also, she’s always useful as a witness… Both my supervisors have been really excellent during this period, very understanding over all this, although I notice (of course) that they want me to focus more on my work and less on the BB business.
OK, I’ll stop writting now (I really have to work on writing shorter!).

81 simplebead March 25, 2007 at 6:57 pm

well I was going to ask if freezing things worked I guess that’s a no.

82 Lilith March 25, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Hi, I hope you guys can give me some advice, I’ve read through the whole site. Went on vacation to Italy a few weeks ago. I woke up one night after having the window open to discover a bug bite on my face, and the bug crushed dead between my fingers. I immediately thought “bedbugs” and looked at the mattress thoroughly, but didn’t see any signs of infestation, and the bug didn’t look like a bedbug.

I moved on to Venice a few days later, and didn’t get bit. After I got home (an apartment) I washed all my clothes right away and did a visual inspection of my luggage. A week later I woke up with 2 swollen red bug bites on my left shoulder. They never itched. A few days after that I got one behind my right ear and on my right arm, that don’t itch either. After a week they are starting to fade. But they were never as bright red as some of the photos I have seen. They don’t look like any of the photos I’ve seen, either.

I have sealed my luggage in plastic. I did vaccuum my mattress and put the bed on risers with duct tape on the legs, and did a thorough vacuuming of baseboards and floor cracks, and moved my bed away from the wall. Yesterday morning I woke to find a small black spot on one pillow protector, and a small bloodstain on the other. I bagged those immedately, and washed all my bedding in hot water. I should say I had not inspected my pillow protectors before yesterday, so I don’t know when the stains happened.

About 2 hours after I woke up today I saw a black speck on my pillow which I know wasn’t there when I woke, but it was easily picked up by a tweezer. When you guys speak of black specks, are they easily picked up, or are they soaked into the fabric?

I haven’t gotten bit since at least Wednesday, and I don’t want to put the vinyl covers on the mattress in case I get a PCO and he wants to look at it.

I do have obsessive tendencies to get paranoid about things, like my health, so I am not positive I have bedbugs (having never seen a bug or any signs on the mattress in the seams), or if I’m just making myself think I do because I’ve been googling the topic so much. Should I call my landlord and ask him to send an exterminator? I’m not sure if in NJ the landlord is responsible for extermination. I read over my lease but it doesn’t mention it.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

83 Bugalina March 25, 2007 at 9:55 pm

You should send the small black specks to Lou Sorkin…he is the head entomologist at the Natural History Museum in NYC….he can tell you definitively if they are dried blood or not….in these times of major bed bug epidemic, I think you are doing the right thing in being vigilant…don’t be too paranoid but do be careful…Deb

84 nobugsonme March 25, 2007 at 10:39 pm

They can be either easily picked up OR smudged into the fabric. Lilith, you really sound like you have bed bugs. Why not use a cover for the mattress, and have another on hand to replace it after the PCO treats the mattress. S/he can cut it off. You need to contain the problem if possible. And get a PCO ASAP! See our FAQs if you haven’t yet, and we’re here when you have more questions…

85 nobugsonme March 25, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Simplebead and Tiago,
Who says freezing doesn’t work? It has to REALLY be freezing (literally freezing, not just cold), and it has to be for a while (not just a few hours, but I’d go for a week. Sub-zero F, I’d say less time might work.) If someone has evidence freezing does not work, period, I’d we need to know where it is.

Tiago, I’d leave the electronics for the Vikane, but ask the PCO (since I don’t think any of us have had this treatment, we don’t know much.) Can you use your cell phone’s clock and leave the watch at home? Also, it’s a good idea to leave the leather. Leave everything you can provided the PCO ok’s it. BUT remember that carefully inspecting things–I mean carefully, and maybe with a magnifier for those eggs and nymphs– is something you can do for those items which can’t be treated.

Re: DE, I’d reapply a thin layer after vacuuming.

86 Fedupandparanoid March 26, 2007 at 5:43 am

I hope this message gets to the right place as I have never left a post on anything before. I tried yesterday but I think it went to the wrong place so apologies if am repeating myself. Anyway I live in England UK; my daughter backpacked around Europe in the summer and in Amsterdam she stayed in a heavily infested hostel (I mean as in the management spraying the rooms every day they were there and her and her friends being bitten and seeing bugs) for 4 or 5 days immediately before returning home mid Spetember. Unfortunately I knew nothing about bed bugs and even though she told me she had been bitten I had no idea that the things travelled etc. I have never heard of anyone having bed bugs that I know and had never seen one although I realise now that that was naive in the extreme and the problem is incredibly widespread it’s just that no one talks about it! Subsequently in about November my husband who can be quite allergic to bites developed three very large angry inflamed welts on his arm and his hand swelled and actually consulted a nurse. We then began to be bitten intermittently although at first I wasn’t really bitten much and he reacted far worse than me. We had no idea what was causing this – we moved plants out of the room and thought the bites could be walking through long grass walking the dog. My daughter was now travelling again in the far east, Australia, NZ and China so wasn’t here to identify anything. Then on 10th February this year I woke up at 2.00am to find a large very full bed bug on my bed cover and after consulting an insect book found we definitely had bed bugs and called in our local council who provide a free service. They have treated our room twice and then after I moved into my daughter’s room and got bitten they have treated that.
They have done no inspections, they purely respond to your reports of ‘bites’ and use a fogger with a pyrethrin insecticide. You then have to sleep in the room to trigger the life cycle. They also will not allow you to even make an appointment for a repeat visit before 10 days is up and then it can take over a week for them to come out again so I have now called out a firm that only specialises in bed bugs and who will thoroughly inspect my whole house.
I have now done masses of research on the internet mainly American and Australian sites which are so much more informative than the UK (I think your site is excellent and very informative and can find nothing remotely similar in the UK) what I would like to ask is the following – 1) can anyone recommend an insect repellent that can be used on the face – while having to sleep in the room while waiting for the bugs to complete their life cycle I have been bitten several times on the face which seem to come up in hot angry swellings – embarrassing. 2) Is my rather hairy terrier dog likely to be carrying them around and what can I treat her with (flea shampoo?) she stays with my mother quite often and I don’t want to spread the problem 3) is there any alternative to a clothes dryer for treating clothes. I don’t have one or access to one. The PCO just told me to strip the bed, carry the bedding in a sealed plastic bag and wash as normal which I do on 40 degrees C. From your site it seems that may not be hot enough.
My daughter jokes that I won’t let her back in the house when she returns in May – I’m not seeing that as so much of a joke! Hope someone can help.

87 WILLOW-THE-WISP March 26, 2007 at 11:24 am

YOUR STORY IS HEART-WRENCHING. It is simiar to mine in that I must have had the little buggers in the one room hotel I live in in San Franisco for a few months before I even realized. We are currently experiencing a widespread pandemic of the bed bug in SF–but I too was quite naieve about them. I got a few bites but I reacted only barely–this is becasue I take a sleeping medication that is mostly an antihisimine: advice, Atarax will help reduce the swelling in the bites on your face–see your doctor for a 25 mg–50 mg perscription. And … it helps you to sleep. best–it is fairly innoculous as drugs go: it is related to over the counter benedryl–sleep-ease brand sleeping tablets: so that might do just as well for the swelling and itching.
The cemex lecturalis bug–which is the temperate vesion of the common bed bug is sensitive to heat over 110–120 F … for like 30-45 minutes … but the lousey commercial dryers, locally–don’t seem to do the trick. So I’ve already spent hundreds on washing and drying
advice: I’ve read that 70% isopropyl alcohol will kill the bug–but it probably does not kill the eggs–on contact. now this in itself can get costly but you might want to get a spray bottle and spray your washed linen with a good dose of this before you hang it on the line to air dry. The weather in England, now–is good for us and bad for the bugs. They stop laying eggs at 50 F. and so thank God I live in SF. We have had a cold spell and I’ve taken up sleeping in my winter jacket and leaving the windows open at night. I’ve read that the isopropyl alcohol is for control only and that it is not a good idea to randomly spray anything and everything–but I do this every other day now for the past few weeks. it is flammable and so all electrical appliances shuld be at the very least turned off. then can get into the computer … the telephone … behind wall switches. I spray liberally all around these and so far have not had any shocks nor smelt any fires.
I have set up my bed–due to lack of funds as follows: rather than matress covers I sealed box spring and matress with heavy duty clear painter’s tarp (plastic and sued a lot of heavy duty duct tape). I also bought a large amount of a rather expensive powder from diatect .com I guess yoou could call it flea powder for the carpet–but for fire ants and bed bugs. My rug looks awful and the powder actually clogged my vacume so now I am waiting for the spare parts to be deleivered. Advice: daily, through vacuuming–or if that is too much vacume in sections–especially in the corners andin the cracks and crevises. They advice cauking after the infestation is gone–but I doubt i’ll be able to afford that, so, I’m making the best of it having to live in the environment: it’s not so good on the lungs. So far … I’ve survived OK.
yes … dogs can carry the bug, as can many other pets, so–lots of hot water baths for the dog. Flea powder … give it a try …. Stuff for ticks, I’ve heard will help best, and maybe a hair dryer will help for the dog too–but watch it–you might just blow a little 1mm sized bed bug across the room and he or she will survive.
i’d keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol handy and spray the whole area first before drying the dog off. it’s cute how the dogs shake the water off after a bath: WE DON’T WANT THAT! I’d try keeping the dog in the tub after the bath for as long as you can, while drying with a towel and a hair dryer.
I don’t fully understand why the PCO said you have to live in the environment to complete the cycle … The bugs will hatch whether your home or not. Can take up to a full month for an egg to hatch at 50 degrees. And the eggs could be anywhere–especially in little hidden corners, where, dust tends to collect anyway.
Come on now … even thogh this has probably ruined your life (and mine) we have to laugh a little. I read that the males can’t see well and often try to mate with each other. I’ve also read that the tropical version of the male bed bug will often try to mate with the temperate species–thus making the female sterile. Can we get your daughter to go to south west Asia, which, I’ve read, is an area where the two species overlap and so that area is virtually bed bug free becasue of this sterilization process.
there’s more to say but be through. i’ve chucked 1/3 of my wardrobe out–rather than washing and I’ve put a goodly amount of that powder on the floor in my walk in closet–a place i no longer walk into anymore. I’m giving it a good eight weeks befroe I tackle that area, as–i had found evidence of bed bugs in all of my clothing–even in things I have not worn in over a year. they really like clothes and could just as easily be called the clothes bug.
finaly–i used duct tape to actually tape my blankets to the bed to keep them from touching the floor and I rub petrolium gelly on the legs of the bed to keep the little you know what’s from getting up on the bed. I hope some of this helps you out–and anything you might want to tell me would be welcome

88 Lilith March 26, 2007 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for the advice, Bugalina and nobugsonme. After waking up this morning with some type of small red rash on my left wrist (which is fading now), I got my landlord on the phone. He was very sympathetic and concerned, and knowledgable that it is a worldwide problem. The management company does pay for exterminators, and he says his guy has handled bedbug infestations before. It doesn’t sound like they’ve been in my building before, but he does manage quite a few properties. The exterminator is coming Wednesday morning. I have all my samples bagged up and taped into ziploc bags for him.

I have been waking up at 4AM or thereabouts every morning and turning a flashlight on, looking at myself, the bedding, the walls. Still haven’t seen a damn bug, but at least I’m hopeful now that something will be done, and not at my expense.

Now, if I do have them, I just have to convince my mother to let me do all my laundry at her house for free…

89 Bugalina March 26, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Lilith…I am so glad you are taking action…please read all the FAQ’s on this Blog…clear out as much as you are willing to part with…and then organize…its easier to exterminate in a less cluttered environment…Make certain that they treat your electrical outlets and pipe chases and smoke detectors..Please don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions. The more informed you are, the better. Please be very careful when you transport laundry to your Mother’s…you wouldn’t want to bring them to her. Having bed bugs…is so draining, so much work, but its necessary to be very careful….hopefully you can conquer them soon, but you will need at least 3 treatments, and maybe more. Do not let them tell you that one treatment will do it, because I can’t remember this being true for anyone…Please read all the instructions on the Blog and we will help as much as possible…

90 Tiago March 26, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Hi everybody

I’m three nights away from flying home – anxiety is my companion.

91 Lilith March 26, 2007 at 4:16 pm

I also wanted to say that last night I found a thing under my bed that looked like a slightly smushed large sesame seed – is that a sign of a molting skin or larva? it was sort of split at one end. It’s in my sample bag now.

92 Tiago March 26, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Sorry, clicked on submit without noticing…
As I was saying, I’m soon flying home. I am putting stuff in bags for them to transport to the gas chamber, trying to convince myself that this is going to work.
Nobugs, I mentioned freezing as I read on the Bed Bug Resource that some researchers state it doesn’t really work. I don’t have a personal experience over it (and I hope I don’t need it, with this Vikane treatment…) but you can read it on this link (don’t really know how to do it the neat way you put it so I’ll do it the old fashioned way): or, on the Forum, in General Questions for General Public, the thread “Freezing as a treatment”.
I know this may come as not so nice information but it’s better to know.

All the best

(Editor’s note: Dr. Campbell’s full statement is here. HIs experiments were performed over 100 years ago and does not seem particularly scientific by today’s standards. He also includes a photo of the “blood sucking cone-nose” as a “flying bed bug”, though I am fairly certain these insects are a different bug entirely.)

93 TM March 26, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Those who have used Kleen Free, has it worked? And what about Diatom Dust XR? I have a baby at home and am really interested in more natural options of both contact killers and residuals – at least for her room. If any one has used these or something else natural and had good or bad results, I would love to hear from you.

94 Fedupandparanoid March 26, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Thanks for your reply Willow the Wisp, I hope to have some information to share after I have seen the PCO tomorrow. His firm only deal with bed bugs and it’s costing a lot because he is based in London and I have to pay his travel but I really need to know what I am dealing with. My husband takes the view that if he’s not actually being bitten then the problem has gone but I need to know and if there’s any doubt I want it treated. Also the council only dealt with the rooms where we reported being bitten I want the rest of the house thoroughly checked too (and the dog and car!) What I am finding (and this seems to be general to a lot of affected people) is this whole thing is so mentally exhausting, I think about the blasted things most of the time, not to mention it’s so expensive and really time consuming. I am trying to be positive and thinking how much better we will be when we are de cluttered but I am throwing out stuff that has sentimental value – fabric from my grandmother for example that I kept under my bed. Actually I don’t think my grandmother would have minded because I am sure she would have really horrified anyway coming from that generation that felt bed bugs denoted somewhere unclean. I can’t actually start decluttering yet because the PCO wants to inspect the rooms as they are, without me disturbing things and moving too much but I have loads of plastic bags and boxes ready. But even then that’s not simple because you can’t see them most of the time you could be spreading them anywhere. Incidentally in reply to your query I was told it was very important to keep sleeping in the treated room because it is the CO2 given off by you that causes the eggs to hatch (and I suppose the nymphs and adults to move about on the treated surfaces) otherwise they just go into a dormant state I suppose or move to somewhere there is food.

95 Paula March 26, 2007 at 5:22 pm

I have a guesthouse in England and have recently been given the bedbug epidemic. I have had a professional exterminator brought in to heat the beds in a big inflatable balloon thing over 100 centigrade and also to spray all the roms and hallways etc. I am alo putting poison down underneath the carpets and spraying the carpets and headboards, etc, daily. Will this work?

96 Bugalina March 26, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Paula…That sounds like it has good possibility…Heat ..high heat is a sure kill for bed bugs…high heat about 140 degress F…and at least two hours…Also For FEDUP and PARANOID….Just because your husband isn’t being bitten doesn’t mean the monster bugs aren’t they…You absolutely should treat your entire home…And Kleen Free is a good contact killer, better than alcohol…but its only a contact killer…And DE is a good long as it is food grade…They is much stigma attached to bed bugs…I am very clean, and I got them from a young lady who visited me, they were in her luggage…but the important thing is once you get infested , that’s when it is important to keep your home tidier than you may have before…Bed bugs harbor in hidden clutter affords them more hiding places. Its unfortunate clutter is part of living in a home, but bed bugs robbed me of this luxury !! I am now obscenely clutter free…Paula…you have a problem, owning a guesthouse is problematic…Here in America the hotels are hiring bed bug sniffing dogs. I was told that many hotels have them once a week.

97 willow-the-wisp March 26, 2007 at 8:03 pm

yes it is exausting. i decided to brave the storm and go into the walk in closet–pull out some of the clothing and soak it in the tub. then I took it to the laudrymatt and hot airdried for 65 minutes–the good news is this: I’ve ut so much of that diatect product in the closet that I saw NO evidence of ANY hatchlings or cast shells like I had from earlier episodes when I braved a brief entry into the closet to get clothing and soak it in the tub. The bad news is I have noticed some fecal stains–just a few on the ceiling: let’s not forget thatthey can come across the ceiling, so tonight I will take the rest of the double sided carpet tape and … even though it seemed top not stop them-place it as a save square (if i have enough of it left) on the ceiling all around the bed.
Now how the hel am I going to do that without a ladder …. I’ll wing it:) jokling yes … but I don’t like throwing away my clothes. I dumped 1/2 of the laundry into a sealed double plastic bag at the laudrymatt–rather than dry it … another eight shirts gone ….
I actually have to withdraw cash that I don’t have yet tomorrow … so that’s another 30 bucks or so in bank fees. paoin in the neck, but–elsewhere.
But at least I have all of the larrger ones either dead, dying or hiding in corners. I plan on bying a portable steamer and blasting the hell out of them with the money I steal from the bank.

98 Bugalina March 26, 2007 at 8:30 pm

Spending money we don’t have is just another awful thing about bed bug infestation…Recently I saw where bed bugs were referred to as “wall lice”…they crawl on ceilings and walls…I think it is prudent to fan spray the lower portions of the walls..maybe 3 feet up…with pesticide…also I purchased a double sided tape made by Frost King..its very sticky…I think that applying this tape to the ceiling..maybe where ceiling meets walls, is a good idea…if you have an exterminator maybe the can fan spray the ceiling…The Diatect is a good product..I used it…try and apply in lightly as I have heard that bed bugs avoid anything clumped up…there is a dust selling online called Delta Dust…it looks like a good product…

99 hopelessnomo March 26, 2007 at 9:28 pm

Hi Tiago, first, I am really glad that your father is doing well! I hope you have an excellent visit with all your family. Being able to, ahem, use the facilities is of prime importance!

Just to be clear, and helpful I hope, regarding the freezing issue, Lou Sorkin, the entomologist from the American Museum of Natural History who participates on the yahoo group and on this site, had this to say, in part, about his experiment with freezing:

in a freezer at -29dF for 4 hours and some 1st instars lived. But for 5 days they also died.

You can read more by searching his posts on the yahoo group. So, 5 days at -29dF. One could freeze for 2 weeks for an extra measure of security. It’s not easy to replicate the exact conditions of an experiment you only hear about in this way, but it seems to me that the first crucial issue is always whether your freezer can reach those temperatures.

Yes, there are experts who claim freezing doesn’t work, starting with that strange (and sad) Dr. Campbell–whose experiment btw was 14dF for 10 days, so not comparable. (His writing on bedbugs is very interesting but also disturbing). And plenty of (inconclusive) stories here and elsewhere of people whose bedbugs resurfaced after they thought they’d killed them all in freezing outside cold. As always with bedbugs, caveat surfer.

100 breakfastlunchanddinner March 26, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Hi, I live in a studio apartment in a multi-unit building in Brooklyn and am suffering terribly because I still am not sure whether or not I have bed bugs more than three months after I first discovered bites. Here are my reasons why. I would love if someone could help.

The discovery:
My girlfriend and her roommates believe they got bedbugs when one of their friend’s, who thought he’d gotten rid of his own problem, stayed in one of their beds four months ago. This friend had picked up bedbugs from a hotel in Chicago and he thought he was clean because he hadn’t received a bite for a few weeks. A couple of days after he’d slept there, the girl who’s bed he used woke up with bites on her ankle. They determined they had a bedbug problem. A few days after that, I started getting bites on my stomach. I determined I had the same problem.

The treatment:
Soon after discovering the bites, my girlfriend and her roommates researched and found a PCO (the company they found was recommended highly by New York Magazine). He sprayed both our places and we proceeded with the laundry and ziploc bag measures. Soon after that we all got covers for our comforters. I also put double-sided tape around my bed, which is a futon with a metal base.

The duration:
That PCO has come 4 times (or more, possibly) to spray each of our places since January. It’s now almost April, we’ve persisted with the measures (bagging and sealing clutter, washing and drying clothes on high heat) and we’re both still getting bites.

The evidence:
My bites have come in patterns consistent with the bugs (they look like mosquito bites, they come in rows of three, sometimes sporadically, they usually appear on my stomach). The problem happened just after a known victim of bed-bugs slept in my girlfriend’s apartment. Both her roommates get bites as consistently as I do (my girlfriend gets none for some reason). One of my girlfriend’s roommates says she saw a bedug crawling on her sweater when she got it back from the dry cleaners (I think she’s since switched cleaners). The other roommate says he say a shell casing. There’s a bedbug epidemic.

The doubts:
I’ve had a PCO come 4 or 5 times and each time he’s been skeptical. I tell him, and sometimes show him, my bites and so he continues to spray. He says he’s never had to treat a place more than 2 or 3 times (and that includes one place he says was so infested that the woman who answered the door had bugs crawling up her chest). My neighbors don’t have the problem (nor do my girlfriend’s neighbors and she lives in a small building with one other unit). I just moved into a small studio apartment and I don’t have much furniture for bugs to infest (because I moved in right before I got the bites and I postponed my furniture purchases until they’re gone). The bed that I am using is a futon/couch with a metal frame (and even that has double-sided sticky tape around it and on the base of the legs). Most of all, I have not seen any bugs, nor any bedbug case shells, nor any blood specks on my white sheets, nor any black specks that I can be sure aren’t just the remnants of my black socks where my feet lie.

Do I have bedbugs or what? If so, what am I doing wrong? How can I get rid of them? PLEASE HELP.

101 breakfastlunchanddinner March 26, 2007 at 9:58 pm

(sorry for using the wrong tags!)

102 hopelessnomo March 26, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Fedupandparanoid, I am sorry about your situation. Not having access to a dryer is not a good thing. Just saying that makes me sad but you need to know that you face a great challenge there.

Using boiling water at some point in the washing process (pre-treating? rinsing?) seems to me the only solution. I’m assuming you’re saying you hand-wash your clothes? Does anyone have any other suggestions? It’s the first time I see this particular problem mentioned, and it is a problem that should have a solution. Any ideas bedbuggers?

103 willow-the-wisp March 26, 2007 at 10:11 pm

Hi … wanted to say something aobut isolation ant traps. it is the co2 and possibly the heat: here is a neat little trick I’ve devised for the nymphs: it may or may not work … When I come back from the laudry the double plastic bag my clothing is is is still warm…. I either put it down and wait a half an hour then bombard the bag with the contact killer I have on hand 70% isoproply alcohol–even though others have reccommended otehr stuff–that’s all I have. Wether it works or not I don’t know … but making my hotel room as ujcomfortable for them as i can (and unfortuantely for me) they know that–that’s why they are now trying to clime across the wall … They will on occassion actually do this and fall onto your bed. it’s not brains … it’s the body heat and the co2 so they say.
Worst for me it this my old building has a high deep grooved moulding about eight feet up–all around the room. so far all I’ve done is shoot it with the alcohol every now and then …. but these fecal stains on the wall ….
screw the carpet tape–as soon as i can I’m getting up there with the diatect and dropping some of it into the groove as evenly as I can. Then I’ll try what’s left of my carpet tape roll.
Anyone following my story will be happy to know I ran into a buddy a while ago i told him I had a long term sensitive medical condtion but was broke so he lent me $30.00!
At a buck a bug–that’s 30 bugs down but how many more who knows …. I’m hoping they only poo after a blood meal once …. the fecal matter gets smaller and smaller so I guess –although I’m not following protocol exactly: what I’m doing seems to be working.

Best wiashes–and isolate the bed and a table and spray y0ur little chair that yo usit in to type bed bug b;logs after you get out of it!

104 nobugsonme March 26, 2007 at 10:20 pm


1) can anyone recommend an insect repellent that can be used on the face?

Not really–anything likely to be safe won’t work (I’ve tried both natural and synthetic types), and anything likely to work is not safe to have on your skin, let alone your face, as an ongoing thing. Most insect repellents direct you to wash them off. Better to have bites on your face than to damage it permanently. But note this: people who cover themselves entirely except their faces are more likely to get bitten on the face. Leave some exposed skin elsewhere.
2) Is my rather hairy terrier dog likely to be carrying them around and what can I treat her with (flea shampoo?).

You can probably do this. My hunch is that bed bugs may stay on your dog long enough to go from the floor to the sofa or bed, or from the home to a car (all of which can be a prolem), but are unlikely to hang on to a pet long enough to travel to someone’s home. Flea shampoo, from what I understand, kills fleas on the dog, but does not prevent them.
Some of us use veterinarian-prescribed flea and tick preventative drops (serious ones) and serious prescription tick collars, but I use them anyway. I think they help, but the bottom line is the bed bugs hitchhike, but they don’t infest the dog. They also don’t want to bite the dog unless you go away.

3) is there any alternative to a clothes dryer for treating clothes. I don’t have one or access to one.

I think hopelessnomo is right that boiling may be an option. But going to a launderette (laundromat to us Northamericanos) and drying might be worth it. We’re just suggesting advice we’ve gotten from entomologists. You can experiment and boiling seems promising, but I haven’t tried it.

105 hopelessnomo March 26, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Hi Breakfastlunchanddinner, sounds like a real nightmare. Some first thoughts:

-If you do have bedbugs and they are not being exterminated by a good PCO, they could be a pesticide-resistant strain of bedbugs (there is a lot of mixed information available about this but it appears possible, even likely) and using another type of pesticide may be in order

-You need to methodically review every single place, item in your apartment and ask whether it could possibly be a bedbug harborage. This is very difficult to do in certain states of mind and with lack of sleep. But you must try. Is the mattress or futon encased? Is it the proper type of encasement? Are there any tears? Are there ANY upholstered pieces of furniture? Are there any cracks or overhead fixtures or ceiling fans or holes or baseboard crevices that your exterminator has not treated?

-Is there any other source of re-infestation? Your workplace?

-Do you have any other evidence? No shells, feces?

-You might consult a dermatologist (there is of course the risk of not finding the right one) to help you eliminate any other causes for your bites. It’s possible to have delayed reaction to bites. Or old bites flaring up. I’m not sure what time frames we are discussing in your story. From the sound of it, though, to this non-professional, non-trained, non-specialist reader, you may still have bedbugs that your PCO, experienced and thorough as he may be, has failed to exterminate.

-Do ALL your neighbors claim not to have bedbugs? And do they know that they could have them and not be allergic? Always important to rule out bedbugs coming from another apartment. I know you said they don’t. Don’t mean to burden you with so many questions, but I’m trying to think like you to see if I could have missed something.

-Your PCO could be using the wrong strategy, the wrong chemicals, the wrong approach. Is it possible for you to consult another PCO? Some PCOs are anxious about the overuse of some pesticides as they may undermine the intended action of the chemicals. They could become repellent to the bugs and therefore fail. (The bugs successfully avoid them and come out when the effect subsides.)

-Is it possible for you to consult a bedbug dog? I don’t have a referral but I’m sure others might.

If you post your and your PCOs protocol (what he’s used and what you have used), others who know about stuff like that will have useful things to say I’m sure. Is he ONLY spraying? Or is there dusting as well?

So sorry! But we will try to help you figure this out…

106 hopelessnomo March 26, 2007 at 10:45 pm

Just to clarify, I didn’t mean to say that pesticide-resistant bugs are likely in your case, I wouldn’t know enough to say that, just meant to say that they exist and, according to at least one entomologist, Sean from the Bedbug Resource, very likely some resistant bugs do exist in NYC.

107 nobugsonme March 26, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Tiago, campbell’s research, which is here in its entirety, was done over 100 years ago and under scientifically questionable circumstances. You can read the rest here:
Amongst other things, he includes a photo of the blood-sucking conenose, as a “flying bed bug”, in an article about bed bugs; the cone nose is an entirely different insect, from what I understand. I would give more weight to current entomologists anyway, since bed bugs are not what they were before (eg at least sometimes, at least somewhat pesticide resistant).

Breakfast, Nomo’s advice is good. I would especially be worried about the neighbors. Also, do you have your futon covered (as per our FAQs)? If not, they can be in there.

Willo, I believe I heard an entomologist on the yahoo group say that 90% isoproyl alcohol was required. I think you should use that instead.

Also, Willo, I think its really important that a professional PCO treats your hotel room and the rest of the building. Is this happening? It sounds like you have a sizeable infestation that did not start with your room, but is elsewhere. It’s crucial that your building is treated professionally, or you will NEVER get rid of bed bugs under these circumstances. Diatect, rubbing alcohol, whatever may be useful, but it is not enough. And money should not be an issue, since the law in SF is on your side. Look in our general FAQs (frequently asked questions).

I’d encourage Willo and ALL of you newbies (we call you newbites) to read our FAQs linked at the top. We’ve been researching this a long time and while we do not know everything and we are definitely not experts on pesticides, we have heard hundreds of stories. So I don’t want to silence any of the sharing here, but I do want to say that if you don’t have evidence that something works, or if you can’t point us to a source online, please don’t recommend it. Ant traps, we’ve heard, don’t work. And trying to treat with contact killers alone will absolutely not work, the same is true of treating your apt. or room when they neighbors have bed bugs.

108 nobugsonme March 26, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Paula–the procedure you describe is something I’ve seen an article about, but I don’t think it’s done in the US. The only thing I will say is that the treatment of the rest of the rooms–baseboards, floors, bed frame, other furniture–has to be aggressive. If spraying alone were used, it would usually take 4-3 or more treatments to kill all the bugs. So even though the mattresses may be cleared with this procedure, the room may still have a problem. Make sure the pest control people come back and treat those places they sprayed again. And make sure you–and any housekeeping staff– know how to recognize all the signs, so you can swing into action at the first sign. Your mattresses should be carefully protected as per our FAQs.

109 nobugsonme March 26, 2007 at 10:57 pm

TM, please read our FAQ about doing your own pest control. It isn’t likely to be enough, your problem is likely to get worse, and the amount of toxic pesticides needed to solve the problem are likely to be even worse.

110 nobugsonme March 26, 2007 at 11:52 pm

New thread: click here to respond further or to share your story.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: