Bed bugs and I'm moving this weekend?!(6 posts)
So I'm pretty sure I just found bed bugs... The evening/morning of the day the packers are supposed to be coming to pack up my stuff for my move. For a while now I'd been having problems with these AWFUL bug bites (I thought they were mosquito bites and then maybe mutant spider bites), but when I checked my mattress for blood smears I didn't find any. I changed my linens and actually moved my mattress and box spring (I don't have a bed frame) and vaccuumed. I didn't see any bugs period. Then I went out of town and when I came back my Grandma was here and stayed in my bed but she didn't have problems at all. I went out of town once more and when I came back I immediately started getting bites again. I've (Unfortunately) been sleeping on my couch as a result of not being able to sleep because of freaking out about spiders in my bed... But then earlier this evening I found a bug crawling on my dog. I killed it and flushed it down the toilet and then proceeded to have an absolute meltdown because I didn't know what kind of bug it was. After googling bed bugs (At work we actually discussed this possibility again today) I think that what I saw was a bed bug. I then stripped my linens -again- and found another of the bugs on the mattress. I also flushed this down the toilet (It just didn't occur to me to keep it). After locking all my pets and myself out of my bedroom I then proceeded to have a panic attack and found your website. I looked for more bugs to keep but I couldn't find any, but found what looks like pieces of them maybe?
Anyways, I guess my main issue is the movers coming later today and the fact that I'm moving myself on Sunday and I don't know what to do! Impulsively I decided not to bring my mattress (It's a lucky thing it's heavy and I can't carry it myself because it would probably already be in the trash). I know mostly everything has said NOT to move places you're sleeping/etc but At this point I don't really have a choice... Any suggestions?
Also - There are no bloodstains or fecal smears or anything of that sort on my mattress/box spring/linens but I found a few of what looks like could be skin casts? No more live ones and I cut open the back of my box spring and I didn't -see- any but I can't imagine they'd just be hanging out (I was kind of envisioning a teeming surge of bed bugs - Sort of like the scarabs that swarm in The Mummy), and it isn't as if they leave webs or something behind. Is there anything I should be looking for specifically in the back of the box spring?
One of the transportation guys came and was very nonplussed by my issues (And the fact that I burst into tears when I opened the door, he was very kind LOL), and assured me I had nothing to worry about but... I'm unsure.
I just don't want to accidentally spread bed bugs across two states :/
Also, bat bugs? Can you have them hanging out without an actual infestation? Because we do have bats living in our building...
Welcome, Cho. Most of us would find the predeicament you're in scary (someof us have been there, too). You've just discovered bed bugs (or at least are afreaid that's what it is) and are moving. In you case, I don't think you have much choice. You're packed and going. If you had more time (and the $s and it were available to you in your market and enough stuff to warrant), there are services that will fumigate your stuff in the van or pod en route your move (this is different from someone setting off a bug bomb in a u haul, which is not recommended).
You have described a few factors which may indicate that you don't have BB in your home (i.e., lack of poop marks). Not all bugs in a bed are bed bugs. People have "bite-like" reactions to a variety of allergens and irritants and can also have delayed reactions to bites received elsewhere.
While a hot vehicle is not a reliable way to eradicate BB, a trip in a moving van in the USA this week may work to your advantage, should you have a BB problem (but we can't say for sure).
Best I can say is get a basic overview of BB (via our FAQ). On arrival, try and get rid of your boxes. Be viliant in unpacking (i.e., check each item) and monitor regularly for BB in your new environment. If you do discover a problem, have whoever is responsible for BB control do their job. Do not let your new landlord guilt you or insinuate that you brought this on. For all you know, it's not your stuff. If need be, follow the travel FAQ to prevent spread to your visitors and the peeople you visit.
I hope this helps and that you have a successful move, in any case, we have your back.
You might have bed bugs or bat bugs, but I would not be surprised if it was something else. Fleas are a big possibility, especially if you found more than one on a dog and in bed -- and with no fecal stains, etc.
Look carefully at these photos of bed bugs. As you'll see, they look quite different at different life stages, and the fed/unfed nymphs are quite different from one another. There are also photos and links to photos of signs of bed bugs, so you know what to look for (bugs, fecal stains, cast skins, eggs).
If your pests look like these photos, they could be bed bugs and might also be bat bugs (experts can tell the difference, but you or I would have a harder time).
If they don't look like this, I would consider whether you might have fleas or even ticks. (Each Googleable). Fleas are small. When you see one on a dog, they usually move really fast, close to the skin. Catching one is hard. And they can also jump.
If it is bed bugs and you have the funds, getting your stuff treated en route to the new home would be one way which should prevent you from moving them. Some companies will fumigate a truck with Vikane gas or heat your stuff to killing temperatures.
If you had more time, treating items in a Packtite would help. (This might be something you can do at the other end, but if your stuff is in boxes, bed bugs may have spread to the home before you treated the items anyway.)
Unfortunately, depending how many more bugs you have, it is likely you will move them. Cilecto is right that if you're moving in a hot climate and the stuff is in the truck, parked in the sun, for days -- it might help. But every item in the truck would need to get to killing temperatures at their very cores. Not as easy as it sounds.
I would install monitors in the new home so you can detect the problem quickly and get it treated before it spreads beyond your home.
Good luck and let us know if we can help.
ps if you find another bug, get a closeup photo if possible and post it for identification!
Thanks for the replies c:
I tried taking a picture of the second one I found on the mattress but my phone apparently hates me and it was awful and blurry.
My stuff is gone, but definitely when I get it at my new apartment I will be going through everything (And then putting it all in the dryer). I've already spoken to a pest control place in the area I'm moving to about the situation as well. So I guess for now all I can do is hope for the best, and that maybe they were some other sort of bug.
Also, I looked through those pictures (I'm going to have nightmares just from them, let alone the real ones) and they were very helpful (especially because the guy I spoke to at the pest place said I should be able to see eggs but couldn't tell me exactly what they look like as far as size/etc). I'm still thinking the two I found looked like the adult bed bug, but a little lighter in color.
I found some casts though, but they were all dark in color but the images made them look like they would be lighter - Could they just be older ones and it made them darker?
Again, thank you both for responding c:
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