3 months of bites and no signs of bed bugs(10 posts)
3 months ago, just arrived from 2 weeks in Laos, my wife noticed a mosquito like bite when getting out of shower in the morning. As we had read that some hotels in Laos had bed bug problems we tried to stay where there were no reports of bed bugs, so we thought it would be too much of bad luck to get the problem all the same... however, the bites continued to show up: isolated bites with very little reaction, often just a small red spot with a bit of itching. In the following two weeks I also got bites in the arm.
I looked for signs of bed bugs and saw nothing until I saw very small rusty spots in my bed sheets, 3 or 4 of these spots and the bites convinced me I had bed bugs.
I went to a doctor who confirmed that the bites were insect related. I then called a PCO, who agreed these were bedbug symptoms and said identification was almost impossible so he recommended to treat straight away (first treatment 3 weeks after detection of first bite). At this time me and my wife were having 2 bites a day (at least noticeable ones as our reaction is very mild).
I must say I did not notice any significant progress during the treatment and the number of bites remained stable. In the treatment (of the whole apartment) they used pyrethroids and Ficam. During the treatment I also installed a mattress protection and climbup intersectors. This seemed to improve at first but soon the bites returned to previous levels.
During the treatment and after the treatment we and the PCO never found any traces of bed bugs, cast skin, fecal spots, anything. However I did find some more small blood spots (more like rusty coloured spots) in my bed sheets. These were the only signs. I also found several skins of carpet beetle and one dead carpet beetle. At one point I thought my bites could be caused by these beetles but as I don't scratch I have no explanation for the blood spots on the bed sheets, plus, some one of these spots was under the pillow. And moreover my bites are often spot on the veins on my arm and hands...
As the bites continued, I contacted a second PCO. He did a basic inspection and found no signs of bed bugs but based on my bites and finding of small spots on bed sheets he started the treatment. He said the bites should decrease but they didn't. Three weeks past I get about 3 bites a day (that I can detect). He will come next week for the second treatment but said he is very surprised the bites did not reduce. He thinks I might be getting them elsewhere but I have noticed some of the bites when I shower in the morning and they were not there the night before...
Yesterday I took apart my bed and saw no signs at all of bed bugs.
Nothing in the climbup interceptors for two months. Nothing on the sticky tape in the bed's legs. My bed is an island and the mattress is protected but I still get bitten.
Don't know where to go from now. I feel I have already too much chemicals in my place... I am going through a mild depression with all this....
Is it possible they are under the wood floor and hence protected from the chemicals. However they do have to walk on them (the PCO says one of them is very residual) to get to me. And they have to go through the climbup interceptors...
Any ideas??? please help !!!!!!!!!!! I don't want to move apartment, it is very difficult to find a place and I invested a lot on my furniture...
thanks for the help
I am in a similar situation. I have been suffering from bed bug bites for two months after being exposed and three separate, different k9 inspections that were negative. My bed is isolated and I sleep with white sheets in white long underwear. I cut my hand earlier this week and have seen a blood spots that I attribute to that since I've seen no other signs and it was a pretty bad cut.
I know the experts say wait for evidence but I'm going crazy!!
Anyone with suggestions for both of us please? Unfortunately no k9s where I live... maybe I should just wait it gets a bit worse and I can do an identification? it does not sound a good idea to let the number increase but I cannot keep hiring PCOs and pouring chemicals in my place... some advice would be appreciated, thanks so much.
OK a few golden rules on this one:
Don't rely on travel websites to avoid bedbugs as the information is always out of date and by avoiding some hotels with bad reviews you increase the traffic in the others and thus increase your risk of getting bedbugs when you are trying to reduce it.
Its not rocket science and only takes 5 minutes to do at the start of the stay, don't do it and you may as well play Russian roulette.
No-one can look at a bite of a skin reaction as say its due to an insect unless they see the insect biting before the reaction occurs. Anyone who claims they can is a fool of the highest order regardless of if they have a medical degree or not
Skin reactions indicate issue but not what causes them.
Any PCO who treats without confirmation of the confirming signs of bedbugs is doomed to fail. Its the golden 1st rule identify and them plan a strategy to resolve the issue.
You have managed to pick two poor PCO's and allowed them to treat twice, please don't make that mistake again as strangely enough people paying them to work like this is not teaching them to work correctly.
No confirmation no treatment its that simple.
With ongoing activity like you have described the faecal traces would be easy for an experienced professional to find, I would suggest that you find your local one and ask them for an opinion. If they can't find anything then the chances are your issue is not bedbugs and the three professionals you have consulted with are wrong in their diagnosis.
The only other option is to monitor and continue observation, if you continue to not find confirming signs of bedbugs then move on down the list of possibilities and investigate what is actually causing the problem in the first place.
Hope that clarifies and helps.
Bed Bugs Limited
Thanks for your answer. It is good to have an answer even if I know I will have to sort out this myself.
I obviously know some of those rules from reading here but unfortunately where I live (switzerland) PCOs don't have the same experience as in other countries which have been dealing with this for longer... when inquiring different PCOs on the phone, they all said they only do basic identification. The second PCO I hired, which will come back next week, seems experienced but they just don't follow the same philosophy of only treating on identification, unfortunately for me.
I must say that apart from the climbups, I also bought the bed bug beacon which I have used in my car (5 days in the car while I took the bus to work, but found nothing) and will use in unoccupied rooms. I think you are the maker of bug beacon, no ? any feedback on its effectiveness on lightly infested places?
I know a good PCO in Switzerland, PM me if you want their details. They are certainly a fan of my way of thinking (i.e they are not a lazy incompetent toad).
No I am not the maker of the Beacon that is David James of PackTite fame, we supply it to consumers in the EU but I cant claim credit for it. I do use it in my work though when I have to work in areas that are not occupied during treatment. I have a report on its effectiveness int he advanced education section of my website.
I'm having the same problems bites on and off for a couple of years now my bedroom has been treated a few times. I bought the covers from protect a bed paid 300 for them I also have crawlups. Just got bit again 4 or 5 bites on my arm. Could the BB possibly be in my couch I rarely fall asleep there. A couple of nights ago I did an went up to be at 1am. I know BB can live a long time without eating. The last few times I was getting bites I actually found the BB which couldn't get into my mattress becasue of the covers they were living on the outside of the covers.
I feel depressed today that I have bites again, I can't afford to spent thousands of dollars on getting rid of these vampires. A few months back my husbands arm was all bit up.
bed-bugscouk - 2 days ago »
I have a report on its effectiveness int he advanced education section of my website.
David, the link on your site you reference in fact seems to point to ./bedbugsdnatestingresults.html
Can you fix it? I am buying the Bedbug Beacon tomorrow and your assessment of it could help me use it more effectively. (I am getting bitten but see no signs of BB)
My husband, myself and two kids have bites with no signs of bed bugs. We were sprayed x3 and the bites are now worse. We have done everything above and beyond! HELP!
I'd say depending on how long this has been going on, it is perhaps the time to look elsewhere than bed bugs for the cause of your skin reactions.
If you have bed bugs, after a while you cannot miss the signs. You see them. The longer you have an infestation the more bed bugs you see, you see the bugs , the cast skins and the fecals.
It's not like they are invisible and supernatural hiders.
I know you wake up with those "bites" and your mind assumes bed bugs immediately, if you convince yourself too much, when you have none, it can be extremely hard to undo.
Are you willing to entertain the idea that it's not bed bugs?
That's the place to start, accepting that idea.
Think of all the effort that you have put into getting rid of bed bugs, the cleaning, the energy, the bags, the worry, the insomnia, the paranoia, the checking, the money for PCOs, the bed encasements etc etc
Why not put a fraction of that effort towards accepting the idea that it's not bed bugs
If you do it will be so rewarding for you and your love ones.
Just think, no more bags, no more worry that strange invisible bugs are biting you at night, just lying there on your bed relaxed thinking "I'm sure glad it's not bed bugs, this skin reaction issue is annoying, but at least it's not bed bugs, I'll figure it out eventually"
Don't fight it anymore
I was once exactly like you, and when my infestation was over and I still had bites and blood stains, for months on end I was suffering in misery, and if someone would even suggest that it wasn't bed bugs I'd get angry at them even...
So I know in what headspace you are, it's a terrible place to be
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