4th PCO inspection NO BB's(26 posts)
Well, I've just completed my 4th PCO inspection by a man who supposedly has years of experience with bedbugs. He has concluded that it is very unlikely that I have bb's because he has never treated for them without some kind of evidence (even if it's just the smallest blood spot). Since this is the 4th PCO that has inspected, I suppose I will accept that I am bb free. It's difficult to accept that the 20 or so bites I had came from something else, but perhaps it was the bird mites or carpet beetles or a combo of both. I noticed the bites 2 weeks ago and was bitten back to back nights, but I don't think I've been bitten since. I still have the double sided tape out as well as the glue traps and the PCO gave me his cell to call if I am bitten again. I am relieved if I am truly bb free, however, the unexplained bites in combination with the other posts I read here of "no evidence but bb's eventually found" still baffle me. Thanks again for this site and for all the great answers and support! I definitely know more about bb's than I ever wanted to know!
victory, I am in a similar boat. Little evidence points to BBs in my home, but I was bitten twice, last time was a month ago now. Perhaps we can start a thread just for paranoiacs like us.
I have a similar story and I have found ONLY carpet beetles around the bed and actually ON the bed. so I have no idea if they were te ones biting. but so far 1 month and no bites and this is after kleen free, murphy's oil, vacuuming, and doing laundry like a mad woman.
But I still have been noticing little sand like perhaps fecal specks?? but they are not black but dark brown and some are light brown.
I have no idea what this is so I was thinking of steam cleaning as hopefully last step in getting rid of what ever critter is living in my daughter's bedroom
I have been amazed how much lint, fuzz and other random stuff gets in the bed! Ever since I began watching like a hawk I have found tons of tiny litle things in the sheets but it is amost always some form of fuzz related to flannel pajamas and the fleece balnket. Also, I ate some Triscuits while I was reading the other night, I thought I was super-careful about crumbs but a few freaked me out, they looked like bugs!
During my clean up I found quite a few little brown worm-like creatures, definitely some kind of bug larvae. I thought they were from moths but then I read that moth larvae are white. Perhaps these are carpet beetle larvae? But they don't look hairy like the pics. Must mail them to Harvard.
The beetle larvae we found weren't hairy either, but still resemble some of the pics of the larvae. Terminix said it was a pantry beetle, which I found strange because we haven't found them in the pantry! We've found them in the carpet, in the dirty clothes and in fresh linens (definitely more characteristic of the carpet beetle!) Itchy, maybe that is what's biting us! I think bedbugco-uk has a post somewhere with links stating that the carpet beetle larvae has been reported to bite, but it does seem strange. After the first incident of 2 bites, the next night (I think) I was bitten over 12 times! And of course, at this point I can't be positive it was overnight, nor can I be positive that every bump was a bite. I do know that at least a dozen of them itched like crazy and eventually became welts on my skin. Orkin also suggested bird mites since we have an abandoned nest right outside our balcony door, but Terminix seemed to think that unlikely. The best guess Terminix has is that it was fleas (though we have no evidence of those either) but we did find ONE flea in the house a few days ago! Both Orkin and Terminix think it strange that my husband, newborn, and I all sleep in the same bed but I am the only one with bites. All so mysterious! Itchy, do you live in a single family dwelling as well?
Just a note worth making entomologists and pest controllers tend to name pests in a rather random fashion so the name of the pest does not indicate where you are likely to find it.
e.g. Carpet beetles in a house with laminate flooring, German cockroaches in a flat in London.
Bites does not = bed bugs in fact bites does not even = being bitten
I think the best way to look at it is if you are being bitten or more accurately have a bite like response you need to look into whats causing it. Until you have a positive evidence of bed bugs i.e. samples, husk skins or fecal blood spots all you can say is that you have something that needs looking into.
With some of these bitten once and nothing for weeks cases it is highly unlikely to be bed bugs, if present they will feed every few days and the trace signs quickly build up.
Thank you for your response; it gives me even more peace of mind. I guess I may never know what "bit" me (my husband and I are both fairly certain they were bites) but I am relieved that it is not bb's!
I am relieved too but slightly sheepish. I feel like an imposter. What will this do to my standuing in the bedbug community? Will I be shunned? Expelled from the forum? I kid, but really I feel like a freak for being so psycho.
But better safe than sorry, I guess.
WE are not paranoid. People are having skin reaction to bites of bed bugs or some kind of bug or not.
The skin reactions and sensations are happening and are real but we are not able to understand what is the cause.
I am going to mention this with some caution. Sometimes I wonder if some country did not do something stupid like release
toxins into the environment or some company had a chemical accident or some kind of accident that released something into the environment and we are not being told about it. We still do not understand why bbs have come back. They say traveling but traveling is nothing new.
I think all kind of pollution releases happen all the time, in different places and for different reasons. I'm not sure that it caused bedbugs to evolve as they have, but it certainly affects the planet.
I do not mean that could be a cause of the bed bug epidemic but something like that may be a cause of the mystery bite/skin reactions we are experiencing. Just a multi facet approach in thinking. Stranger things have happened like seeing the towers fall and taking almost three thousand lives with them here in NYC.
itchy, i'm happy you're on this forum and i am very happy you are bed bug free. bed bugs are equal opportunity, after all. why should we be exclusive?
Oh, I misunderstood you dan. I thought you were saying that toxic chemicals in the environment = mutant bedbug epidemic. But I see what you mean and I do agree that some of the nasty things in our air and environment could cause skin sensitivity.
Thanks for the shoutout, boib!
Some people may be experiencing reactions to pesticides. Having what seems like a bite does not have to come from being bitten, even if one previously had bed bugs (though, of course, this possibility would be my first guess and one would want to thoroughly examine it).
For example, Bedlam's MSDS, which you can read here:
...says it "can cause skin irritation." It appears pyrethroids can cause some irritation to the skin. And we've heard before that dusts can cause skin irritation (even freshwater food grade DE, if your skin comes in contact with it).
This is all not a reason to avoid pesticides and dusts, which can help eliminate bed bugs, but reason to be cautious when doing your own pest control (which I don't recommend) or even something to be aware of when a professional is doing the work. Especially, perhaps, if their work has involved zealous applications or had to be repeated many times. Rather than toxins being released into the environment by a spill, I'd look first to your own home and consider whether the equivalent has happened on a small scale there.
I say all of this cautiously. Sometimes PCOs say, "(insert number here) treatments is enough, always works; there's no way you're still being bitten." Well, that kind of statement is BS.
On the other hand, if time is marching on and the incidence of bites does not increase, you should thoroughly consider other possible causes of skin irritation, including treatment that may be ongoing. (Which is not to say it should be stopped, but that the question should be considered of whether it's still needed.)
On the other hand, I believe there is a logical explanation for anything that looks like a bite and feels like a bite. It may or may not be a new bed bug bite. (For others, we have a FAQ or two on this, click button below.)
I think in Victory's case, bites two nights in a row two weeks ago suggests some stragglers biting at that time. No bites since is very promising. Victory, I'd keep a log, of those bites, when and where you got them, and if it ever happens again. Bite logs can be very useful in watching for patterns which suggest bed bugs are bouncing back. If it happens again, call the PCO.
nobugsonme, i think your point about the pesticide chemicals is interesting. i have only had two bites that were large welts, the others were all small. what i have been wondering myself is if i may be reacting to the chemicals (either in my own apartment, or chemicals i may have on my clothing now from doing my laundry in the shared laundry room of our building. others are also being sprayed in the building and are presumably doing their laundry there as well.) i started doing laundry madly after the first two bites, and my skin has just started going crazy ever since.
i would love to think it's just a reaction to the chemicals (although that's a bit scary). but there have been a few marks in a row, typical of bed bug bites, so i'm not sure what to think.
also, is it possible to react to a bite a few days after you receive it?
p.s. as i read back over this post, i can't help but think i am either totally in denial, or totally paranoid. the PCO found no evidence of an infestation in my apartment, despite my bites. he thinks i might just have had a few stragglers that made their way here from other apartments in the building.
People react to bed bug bites anywhere from a few hours to nine days after being bitten. Most people seem to react within a few days, although often we really don't know when we were bitten. (kraystone reacted immediately, but she's the only one I have heard of who knew this for sure.)
I will say this, most people who are in or right after treatment for a known bed bug infestation probably are still being bitten. It's the most likely thing. Bites of many sizes are also normal.
I really doubt that most people are suffering from overexposure to pesticides, lil. I think in a small minority of cases, if people are treating themselves with pesticides for months and months, this might happen.
thanks, nbom. i had one bite show up this morning, but nothing else so far today. i was thinking it might have been a delayed reaction from days ago, but i realize it's possible i'm still being bit. i was treated almost three days ago now, so i have my fingers crossed that things are under control. my PCO (who seemed very thorough) couldn't find any signs of an infestation anywhere in my apartment, but given that i have bites (welts in the tell tale breakfast/lunch/dinner pattern) and a neighbor who has bbs in her unit, he treated anyway. some days i feel crazy and think i must not have them at all, if there is no evidence. but i suppose the pattern of the bites in conjunction with the neighboring infestation would be entirely too much of a coincidence.
has anyone ever managed to eradicate a very light infestation in just one treatment? my apartment was both sprayed and then fogged with dragnet, and the inside of the lightswitches were treated as well.
yay victory! i'm very happy for you that the bb worry has been settled. you must be feeling so relieved!
Allergies versus bites! I've got a rash on my upper leg today from something, possibly the several week exposure to the pesticides on my tile floor or who knows, I haven't eaten anything strange lately. And along with the rash are 6 inline tiny open sores with associated welts spaced about 2" apart. There are lots of bumps such as you get with hives, even after taking Benadryl. So are the 6 open sores bites or scratches where I've topped the rash bumps unconsciously. If it were just the 6 sores I'd say they are similar to bites but there's many of these bumps all together too. Or maybe they are bites from when I was wearing pants and the hives are the latest response. The clothes have been washed and bagged but I have been on buses and a movie theatres in them this week. Lots of second guessing... Damn bugs! Argh!
"lots of second guessing"... i agree! last night i got out of the shower and had two huge welts on my cheek. i can't tell anymore what's going on. they weren't there all day yesterday. did i get bit during the day while in the apartment? is it an old bite, and if so, wouldn't i have noticed it on my cheek? or maybe i was bit and it just didn't swell up. or maybe.... and it never ends.
A lot of us have had our bites surface after a shower. This is normal. A shower, a hot room, exercise, all these have been reported.
Unless you saw or caught the bug, the bite was probably received _sometime_ earlier, perhaps at night when you were sleeping which is when most people get bites.
I may have a soloution for you guys. Have you recently changed your laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, colone/perfume, or bought new sheets or pillows or clothing of a different material then your used to, or even a new partner in your life who may be waring something your allergic to? In these cases it may take some time for the skin to show blemishes.
Usually when I get a complaint about bed bugs and bites, and can not find any signs of them after a complete inspection of thier home, it's usually Tide laundry detergant, #1 cause, or a never heard of discount brand. I ask people to wash thier cloths, sheets ect.. with Arm & Hammer and this solves thier problem.
Also new medications can cause skin to break out to look like insect bites.
There is also the possability of scabbies or dry skin.
A couple other times people where getting bit from the furniture in the living room or a den or a friends couch. One time it was a chair in a garage where they would all hang out playing video games in that was infested horribly. They would get bit there but notice it later in bed or after a shower.
Persistance and imagination is needed to determine whats causing these bite or blemishes that would appear to be bites when no evidence of bed bugs can be found in the normally suspected area's.
Let me know if any of these idea's where the problem, if not, maybe with some more info i can help out.
"Have you recently changed your laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, colone/perfume, or bought new sheets or pillows or clothing of a different material then your used to, or even a new partner in your life who may be waring something your allergic to?"
I haven't recently done any of these things. Thanks for the suggestions though, I wish it was something like that! I do have eczema, but the pattern of bites doesn't look anything like my usual eczema (I currently have a patch on my hand to compare the bites to, thanks to all the strong cleaners I have been using). My skin has always been very sensitive, so I might be having a reaction to the dragnet residue.
I'm really hoping they're gone, and that one treatment is all it takes. And I hope my PCO is right, that I don't have much to worry about. He didn't seem to think I needed another treatment. He said he was very thorough, and that this treatment should hold me over for quite some time. I have a bad feeling that my property manager would not be willing to book another one.
Are you a bb professional of some sorts? If you are I would like to ask you a question.
When you come across bb evidence in light infestations where do you find the evidence and what does it look like?
Is it a small poop mark here or there? I would assume that the evidence in most cases not be far from the host such as the bed
or couch area. What is your experience please?
oh, this is a good question lieutenntdan... i'd love to know as well.
would only one brownish smear on the mattress be considered sufficient evidence? along with bites? what else should we look for in a light infestation??
David, earlier on you had mentioned:
"I think the best way to look at it is if you are being bitten or more accurately have a bite like response you need to look into whats causing it. Until you have a positive evidence of bed bugs i.e. samples, husk skins or fecal blood spots all you can say is that you have something that needs looking into."
How long do you think it should take to see such signs? Is there ever a point at which an untrained layperson can conclude, "By now, I should have been something"?
D-Bugger, if you have any thoughts on the above (in addition to ltdan's great question), I'd love to hear them too!
Where are you?
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