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Bed Bugs In Our Hair

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  1. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 18:09:51
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    My husband and I brought bed bugs from a hotel back into our apartment. It's been 2 and a half weeks of absolute hell, almost no sleep, constant washes, dealing with our huge amount of clutter (small NYC 1-bedroom apt) in prep for PCO treatment, and constant anxiety about whether we are transferring bed bugs every time we go outside. We have determined for sure that we have bed bug eggs which hatch in our hair. Even though everyone says bbs don't like hair, I'm here to tell you IT'S NOT TRUE!! "Our" bbs LOVE our hair and it's driving us out of our minds! Our empirical evidence is that we have actually combed out both eggs and nymphs from hair with a lice comb (both after regular hair washing as well as washing with conventional lice treatments, such as RID, NIX, and Malathion). When the lice comb catches on a bed bug egg, it detaches from the scalp with a little tug. Even so, it's extremely difficult to remove them, and we are exhausted from the many time consuming hair washes and combings. Also, the way we discovered this is that several times, while sitting at the table, either I or my husband would notice a number of tiny bright red nymphs on our table and down the front of our shirt. We wondered, "where the heck are these coming from?!" and inspected the ceiling, the table, the chairs -- nothing. When we started to notice patterns of bites right at and below our hairline, and for me since I have long hair -- also at the point on my back and shoulders where the hair strands end, it's clear they have set up shop in our hair. My husband also has a beard, and we combed out and egg and several nymphs from there as well once we figured out what was happening. A few days ago, my husband spoke with an acquaintance who dealt with bb's recently, and this man mentioned that they had them in their hair and it was tremendously difficult to get rid of them.

    My question is, has anyone else had this and dealt with it successfully? I read Adele's thread about bed bugs in hair, but nothing seems to be helping us. I've doused my head with 91% alcohol, but even if it gets the nymphs it still leaves the eggs there. Either we're not getting everything out (seemingly impossible after so many washings and combings), or they keep coming and laying new eggs. WE NEED HELP! I literally feel like I can't make it through this. Tomorrow work starts (I work at a school) and I'm terrified and paralyzed by the thought that I might take these things with me on my hair. The washing and combing with lice comb takes over an hour. Not to mention that even after our treatment we're still battling the bugs in the apartment itself. We went to a hotel last night to get a decent night's rest. Of course, we took every precaution and more in order to prevent any bbs traveling with us. We showered and combed with lice comb before leaving home, wore only washed, dried, and bagged clothes, treated our shoes with alcohol, bought a new suitcase because we're afraid to take anything out of the apartment, we showered and combed again immediately after getting to our room. And yes, I saw 3 nymphs on the bed where I was sitting, right beneath my hair. I thought I was going to collapse from horror and guilt. We immediately rolled a lint roller (Helmac) over the bedding, pillows, and towels. Also the carpet around the bed and the couch in the hotel room. We can't go on like this. If anyone, anyone has any experience and success with this problem, please respond. We are desperate.

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 19:31:15
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    Can you post some pictures?

    Are you sure that you are dealing with bed bugs?

    Have you had a specimen identified by a professional? Bat bugs look very similar to bed bugs.

    The conventional wisdom is that bed bugs do not harbor in human hair or on a host under normal circumstances. You may find an entomologist that will be interested in documenting your experience.

    There is a cedar oil product available from Cedarcide.com that is labeled for bed bugs that can be sprayed on your person or added to a shampoo ... If you want an alternative to the alcohol spray.

    I will send a PM to you.

    Your description of red colored nymphs is consistent with a bed bug infestation.

  3. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 20:43:05
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    Thanks so much for your post. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the bugs, only of our initial bites we got at the hotel. The bed bugs were positively identified -- our doctor sent 2 that we found at the hotel to a lab. The ones we have seen here at home look the same. We noticed new bites on our 3rd day home. We will try the shampoo. I would be happy to communicate with an entomologist re our experience, but most importantly, I just want to get rid of the bugs and get them out of our life. As I said, I know of one other family who mentioned in passing that the bbugs got into their hair, and they also used lice treatments and they cut their hair short to aid in the process. They eventually got rid of the bed bugs. I don't suppose the Cedarcide kills the eggs, does it? We think the initial PCO treatment we had for the apartment worked well for a start, but with eggs laid on our scalp, many get born that don't have to cross the insecticide. Any further thoughts or advice on how to deal with this?

  4. tiredinithaca

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 21:08:20
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    OK, this is freaking me out.... I know that Adele had them in her hair, but I thought (and please correct me if I misremember) that involved a hair piece or wig? Please, please, please somebody tell me what the logic of this infestation is? Why would they opt for being ON their host, rather than their usual pattern? Not to be too gross, but I am a fairly hairy person... So this is just another reason for me to be freaked out.

  5. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 21:22:46
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    We are also freaked out. I don't know what the answer is. I don't know why we are getting eggs laid on our head, but we are. What seems to be happening is they hatch from eggs that are attached to the scalp, and then either feed immediately and drop down out of the hair (onto our shirts, arms, table, and so forth) or they drop out of the hair and feed where they land, and then make their way to a harborage. This is our theory. But don't freak out if this hasn't happened to you. It doesn't sound like it has -- you would know it, by the same signs we had. And it's not as if we have adult bb's wandering around up there. Their presence seems to be limited to eggs and newly hatched nymphs. We're thinking that eggs either get laid while we are asleep, or all the eggs that were laid that were/are on the scalp occurred at the hotel where the infestation was apparently very severe -- although our stay there was already 20 days ago, not 2 1/2 weeks as I mistakenly mentioned previously. This points to our getting eggs deposited on our scalps here at home from the "hitchhikers." But again, please don't freak out over this if you haven't noticed this problem. It's obviously pretty rare since most people say it's impossible.

  6. Adele

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 22:26:26
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    ok so since I am being mentioned in this thread I will respond.

    My circumstances were as severe as the one mentioned above EXCEPT that I had a full head hair piece attached to my scalp that trapped the bugs and was obviously infected. Once I got rid of the hair peice it still took weeks to get them out of my scalp but the alcohol rinses and constant washing helped.

    Until my bedbug problem cleared completely i had problems with them in my hair from time to time but nothing like the problem I had when I was wearing the hair peice.

    i never tried the cedar oil that Doug mentioned but I think it may help you as well. Just bear in mind that your scalp may also be very irritated and itchy - Scalpacin can help with some of those symptons. That is an over the counter scalp itch medicine that helped to calm the irritation down when my scalp was itchy

    What you also need to be mindful of is that they may be harboring in your bed at the head of the bed - have you encased your mattress and box spring and isolated the bed? you can read the FAQs on how to do that. What worked for me was to place the feet of my bed frame in bowls of mineral oil

    I found that once I isolated the bed and encased the mattress and box spring - that the problem subsided greatly.

    As far as conventional wisdom is concerned, the amazing thing about it is that it is never absolute.

    There are some resident experts here who would argue to the death that bedbugs would not harbor in hair and that my experience was a result of an overactive hysteria - but if we knew so much about these creepy monsters then why would we need entire university departments studying them?

    you may also want to invest in a good steamer to steam your encasements and make sure they are free of bedbugs as well

    Good luck....

  7. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Sep 7 2009 23:29:23
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    Thanks very much for your post. The information was very, very helpful to us as it validates what we are going through and what we know to be true, and gives us hope that we can get through this hellish experience. In terms of where the problem is originating, it's actually not in our beds. When we came home from the hotel, we were so afraid that some bed bugs came back with us that we did not sleep and have not yet slept in our beds. We have a lot of clutter, and wanted to prevent our bedroom from becoming a harborage site at all costs. So, for the past 20 days I have been sleeping on the couch and my husband on the recliner. We had a bed bug dog inspection a week after we got home. The dog indicated bed bugs in (1) the top buttons of the recliner [right where one's head rests], and (2) in both corner seams of the couch [also where one's head rests]. So I guess that's it then. We did have a PCO come in and treat last Thursday. He blasted both the recliner and the couch, as well as treating the rest of the apartment. But last night, we had a new "crop" of hatchling nymphs drop down in front of us. This was after washing our hair and going over every inch of our heads with a lice comb. I'm so hoping that these eggs were laid before the the PCO treatment, but don't know for sure. I'm utterly terrified that these disgusting creatures will travel on my head with me to work (which is at a school and which starts tomorrow). Because even with my 3x daily showers and hair washings and treating my hair with lice meds and lice comb still does not make it certain that I leave the house bed bug free. I wonder if the cedar oil will kill the nymphs and eggs? I want the eggs dead!!

    Meantime, the beds were also treated by the PCO and we bought encasements. We need to have a normal night's sleep! But they don't make encasements as far as I know for couches and recliners.

  8. Adele

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 0:50:18
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    You know your situation sounds very extreme for such a short period of time - it took literally many weeks if not a couple of months for my situation to get that bad

    you should also think about going to a DR as there may be something else there as well

  9. spideyjg

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 1:00:15
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    Post pictures of these things.

    Unfortunately only heat or fumigation kills eggs and you cannot heat your skin to that level or fumigate your head.

    Jim

  10. DeathToAllBBs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 1:51:29
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    This makes me want to shave my head. Of all the nightmare things to have to deal with, this is just hideous. I hope you find a quick resolve to this situation.

  11. depressedandconfused

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 5:34:45
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    My heart goes out to you. This sounds so awful.

    I am no expert on this, but I did have an idea (experts, please chime in, if this is a BAD idea). What about leaving shampoo or mineral oil in your hair and then wearing a shower cap to bed? The idea is that the mineral oil and/or special shampoo would suffocate the newly hatching nymphs and the shower cap would keep bugs from laying new eggs in your hair or at least make it more challenging?

    Like I said, it's just a thought and certainly less drastic than shaving your head.

  12. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 11:21:40
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    I was actually wondering how hot saunas and/or hot water coming from a water heater would be.

    (Do not mock the English major too much for not knowing the exact numbers that go along with the temps in saunas or water leaving the hot water heater. She is, after all, an English major, and numbers are often beyond her. I'm just saying.)

    Anyway, if saunas get to, say 120 degrees, or if the hot water coming from your tap is that hot, and you can stand being in the sauna for 20 minutes and/or you can place your head right next to the tap in the tub and run pure hot water onto your hair, that ought to kill a lot of bugs and eggs at those temps.

    What I don't know--and what you would need to exercise EXTREME CAUTION about--is at what temp you will sustain burns.

    My guess is that 120 is probably around the temp in most saunas. I guess that since towns out in the desert here routinely hit 120 or higher in the summer, and walking around in them felt to me very much like being in a sauna.

    Of course, if you have any health issues that mean that you shouldn't be in the sauna, don't try that plan. And if your hair is really thick--also maybe not a great plan.

    Remember that sauna guidelines say not to hang out at those temps for more than 20 minutes, and if you have certain health conditions (heart conditions, diabetes, etc.), this is a very bad plan.

    (I don't have a sauna in my home, but I do have access to one at the gym.)

    The hot water in the tub approach might be safer in terms of someone's health and in terms of avoiding spreading the bugs to others. After all, you're localizing the part of yourself that you're exposing to heat--rather than subjecting the whole body to it. And if they're already in your home, you're not risking any hitch hikers dropping off in a place that would then have to battle them.

    But you would also have to make sure that the water is really 120 degrees.

    Keep in mind that when people use thermal remediation, they use temps of 140 to make sure that as the heat transfers, all parts of the home are heated to the bed bugs thermal death point. 120 is a little too low to be sure of its effect.

    But if you don't have any health issues that would prevent doing so, the worst that would happen is that any bed bugs and/or eggs there wouldn't all die, so you wouldn't be any worse off than you currently are.

    And yes, if anyone knows the temps that most hot water heaters are set to, I'd be happy to be enlightened.

  13. Emmm

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 13:05:56
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    This is not going to be a popular suggestion, and certainly not one I'd follow without having done every single thing else, but could you shave your heads? I know for women it's often much more catastrophic than men (I just shaved my boyfriend's head minutes ago, for instance ). Could you get a short (but cute!) haircut in the interim? Less area for them to hide in, easier for you to scrub and rinse them out every day? And have your other half shave his head in the interim?

    I don't make that suggestion lightly. I have long hair and would struggle 10-fold to make that call myself (I'm vain, what do you want? ). But it is an option. Not that it would fix things, but it would certainly help, wouldn't it?

    I'm not totally surprised eggs survive a shower, but I am that bugs do...

  14. DeathToAllBBs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 14:25:35
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    Maybe a really intense finger massage with shampoo and water would make them less sticky? I don't know just how sticky the eggs are, but something I've done pretty often when I wash my hair is give my scalp a really brisk massage all over. It takes a few minutes to really do it well, but with water and shampoo, maybe that might break them loose. Does anyone know if the eggs are too sticky for even something like this to work?

    Is there anything that makes the eggs less sticky? would that work with a massage?

  15. spideyjg

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 15:34:11
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    I posed the question before to the entomologist if there was any info on the cement the BB lays down and any hope of a solvent.

    Most anything that can dissolve a solvent isn't good for intense skin contact.

    I love my beard, hair, what little there is, and 'stache but a critter infestation would have me a turn into a cue ball.

    Most hot water heaters are set to 120-140. I don't believe soaking your brain pan in either temp water long enough to kill bugs is safe.

    Other than possibly Doug's suggestion of looking into a Cedar based product, Doug is very mindful of safety, I'm stumped on any suitable option.

    Jim

  16. BugsInTO

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 17:26:10
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    I hope things start to get better for you very soon.

    I've had lice and they never drop off of their own accord. Makes sense that the bedbugs are dropping off, because they don't actually live on people. If that's where they are when their eggs hatch, they would feed and then drop off to find a new harborage.

    When fighting lice, I covered my head with olive oil and a shower cap. If you try this for bedbugs (and it makes sense to me to try it) cover your pillow with something oil proof as well.

    A folk remedy for lice is to soak your hair in vinegar before combing - it's supposed to help loosen the egg's attachment to the hair follicule. Maybe it will work on the bedbug eggs too. But, be careful using the vinegar. Check to see if it is compatible with anything else you are trying. If your scalp is raw, it will sting.

    If you are able to physically remove all the bedbug eggs from your hair and scalp, that might help to break the cycle. When I had lice, I paid a professional "nit picker" comb out the family and it was the worth the money. I don't know if they would do a combing for bedbugs, but you might call them. In Canada, I used a company called the "Lice Squad."

    If you and your husband are combing each other's hair, I recommend that you buy a magnifier visor. You can get them at hobby and craft stores. It will make the process go faster if you can see what you are doing.

    Good luck.

  17. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 18:11:30
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    Thank you to everybody who has posted. I have an UPDATE:

    I just got off the phone with someone from Cedarcide. From our description of many of the bites we've been getting and from our detailed description of the bugs and our symptoms, he said it sounded very much like we have BIRD MITES. Some pics I saw on the web match what we've seen parachuting onto the surfaces around us. (Engorged ones look kind of like little red pepper flakes or paprika dots.) This is in addition to the bedbugs because APPARENTLY BIRD MITES CAN AND DO "HITCHHIKE" ON THE BED BUGS TO FIND A HOST. They often co-occur because of this. I can't believe this. A new hell. We already had a positive ID of bed bugs in our apartment, and now it seems we are also dealing with another -- hard as it is to imagine -- possibly even worse parasite! Bird Mites, from what I've just learned, are ubiquitous and can be extremely difficult to eradicate. For what it's worth, if anyone experiences the symptoms I described in my original post, and has bites that look either like bright red pinpricks or small, bright red, slightly raised "splotches" of blood (about 1mm in diameter), and if they come in groups of two, you may have BIRD MITES in addition to the BED BUGS.

    I just started doing some research on this and although I'm now even more anxious and upset, at least we have more information on both "enemies" we are fighting.

    The only good I can think of to come of this is to warn other bed bug sufferers (and others) that they should CHECK/ID WHETHER THEY ALSO HAVE BIRD MITES OR ANY OTHER KIND OF MITE IN CONJUNCTION WITH BED BUGS. If the infestation goes a long time without being identified/dealt with, it gets geometrically more difficult to deal with them, same as with bed bugs.

    Would be glad to hear if anyone has experienced bird mites along with their bed bugs. Again, thanks to all for your suggestions and good wishes.

    p.s. sorry for all the caps -- I couldn't figure out how to bold the text.

    ihatebbugs

  18. spideyjg

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 18:30:42
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    The only good I can think of to come of this is to warn other bed bug sufferers (and others) that they should CHECK/ID WHETHER THEY ALSO HAVE BIRD MITES OR ANY OTHER KIND OF MITE IN CONJUNCTION WITH BED BUGS. If the infestation goes a long time without being identified/dealt with, it gets geometrically more difficult to deal with them, same as with bed bugs.

    Thanks for the followup. That is why I asked you to post pics. Bottom line can't miss ID feature or BBs or mites is a leg count. Mites have 8 and BBs 6.

    I have heard tales of bird mites and hope like hell to never run across them. Did Cedarcide claim their stuff would be effective?

    Jim

  19. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 18:51:06
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    I know -- pictures would have been good. Unfortunately, we don't have a digital or cell phone camera as my husband and I are technologically prehistoric. It's lame, I know. (We took pictures of our bed bug bites with a disposable camera we had with us on our vacation.)

    Regarding Cedarcide -- the guy said the fogger (which we ordered) would kill the mites, and should be used again 72 hours later. From what I saw elsewhere online, I don't think it has a residual effect, hence, spraying again. They said it's non-toxic and that pretty much everything in the apartment - clothes, books, furniture, walls, etc. can be "fogged" with Cedarcide. Since I was by then focused on the mites, I didn't ask about effect on bed bugs (I can only deal with one horrific crisis at a time), but they do advertise that it's good for bed bugs as well. Our PCO who treated our apartment for the bed bugs said fogging with Cedarcide should not adversely affect the action of the insecticides he sprayed. So that's good, I guess. I'm just hoping everything together works to blast both the BBugs and BMites to kingdom come. We can't take this much longer. We're ready to collapse from exhaustion and anxiety and putting our lives basically on hold to deal full time with these bugs. I'll keep everyone posted on outcome.

    ihatebbugs

  20. bbfiend

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 19:51:36
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    my heart goes out to you guys! good luck with both types of vampires!

  21. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 8 2009 23:15:00
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    Sending "get rid of them and blast them to kingdom come!" wishes your way. What a bonding experience the two of you must be having! Truly, it sounds like you and your husband have a great relationship and support system. Imagine if you had to go through this alone.
    Where was this hotel? I want to avoid it at all costs. Please let us know.
    Please keep us informed on your progress and success.

  22. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 9 2009 14:16:46
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    Since you live near the museum, you can bring any specimens here for me to examine. You really can't identify the pest simply by what cedarcide people told you. The grouping of bites is not characteristic either. The best way for a correct determination is to examine any specimens you've collected from your home or from yourself.
    Hitchhike is not quite a good term because the insects and mites aren't really hitching a ride, but they may very well crawl over one another and be carried along as the larger creature moves from one place to another. You can see this in bed bugs when smaller nymphs crawl on larger ones or adults as the larger ones crawl around, so it looks like the smaller ones are hitching a ride.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  23. spideyjg

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    Wed Sep 9 2009 15:07:56
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    Ooops didn't realize you guys were close to Lou. You cannot possibly take samples to a better authority than him.

    Jim

  24. ihatebbugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 9 2009 22:28:37
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    We haven't yet identified exactly what is going on -- am in the process of trying to catch what's biting us so Mr. Sorkin can identify and help us figure out this puzzle.

    Thanks to everyone for their ideas. Meantime, we have smeared vicks vaporub cream on areas with bites and even our hair, and that has helped with itching and repelling whatever it is that's causing these twinges and itches. Also, washed hair with minty Head and Shoulders and put on shower cap, and that also helped.

    All in all, have not found much of anything in hair lately, thank G-d, but are still getting these pinprick twinges on ankles, feet, etc., but whereas up to a few days ago (when we would check these twinges, we would see little bright pinprick bites), now when I look at where a "twinge" just happened, there's nothing to see, but I still certainly felt something and itch in that location. So we still have a mystery here. Bed bug wise, are still being vigilant and are 6 days past our PCO treatment.

    To My Worst Fear -- your post was so sweet and made us smile, which is so good to do these days. Thank you. As far as the hotel is concerned, I don't want to say which one it was (it wasn't in NYC) because we still have to deal with them vis-a-vis paying for our expenses connected with the whole mess.

    What bothers me about what happened is mostly in their reaction to the situation. There should be some kind of protocol that hotels have to follow, as a matter of public policy. Instead of acting like they've never seen this before (yep, they said that), they should have someone officially check under the bedding while the guest is present and write up what they find or fill in a checklist the guest can review so there's no "revising" of events. Mostly, I feel they should not only dry clean the clothes of guests who this happens to (they did this for us), but they should have a system in place whereby they treat all the guests' other belongings including luggage. Because what good is just dry cleaning the clothes when the suitcases have been sitting on a bed bug infested carpet for several days? Perhaps hotels, especially big ones, should have to invest in a Packtite or have some other suitable treatment available.

    Instead, we were sent on our merry way not knowing that our untreated luggage was a possible threat to other people's luggage that was on top of ours in the hold of the bus we traveled home in. Who knows? Maybe someone else who was on that bus is dealing with this problem and spending thousands of dollars because their luggage was next to ours in the bus's hold. I feel it's really irresponsible of hotels to let guests go without at least offering a way to treat their other belongings besides clothes. Bed bugs may not be seen as a serious health threat, but they certainly do wreak havoc in people's lives on so many levels that they should be dealt with as a public health issue. Those are just my thoughts when I think of what we're going through.

  25. earthangel

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 17 2009 1:55:18
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    I'm glad you are finding solutions that are bringing some relief.

    I am also dealing with what I think is a bird mite problem and also had "it" lay eggs in my hair, though many details are also different.

    I just want to offer this remedy which has helped me in case it works for you or anyone:

    -fill a spray bottle with original Listerine, the golden-colored one [only this one - the eucalyptus in it is important]

    -after you finish showering and washing hair, spray your head and body with Listerine. Leave it for a few minutes - two or so. Then rinse it off. According to the site I read, the Listerine makes the mites get off of you.

    Then before you leave shower, spray the shower itself with Windex - Windex reportedly kills mites on contact, Listerine does not kill but removes them. This step is important so you kill anything you got off your body.

    I have had a very good result this way, no more hair infestations and nothing gets into my bed with me. It's also important to have some kind of slipons or flipflops in which to walk to your bed - never let feet touch the floor, or they will carry the bugs into the bed. And I change my nightgown every night.

    I keep all laundry in a plastic trash bag in the hamper, and I throw some Borax on top of each thing I put in there, as Borax is said to kill these things - then it just goes into the washing machine, which is also a recommended remedy.

    I slacked off the night shower /Listerine routine and had a setback so I am sure it's working. It is not harming my skin at all. If it burns, rinse off sooner.

  26. Louise

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 17 2009 13:09:19
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    Not sure if this would be effective on bird mites or bed bugs in the hair, but the Robi Comb, an electronic lice comb that electrocutes the bugs in the hair, is really amazing on lice. It doesn't kill the eggs, but it only takes about ten minutes to comb through the victim's hair; by using it two or three times a day, you eventually get them all.

    Louise

  27. Beth

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    this sucks. in my last apartment when the infestation was bad, i had somethng i think laying eggs in my hair. i hve since got my hair chopped off to a boy's cut. i don't notice it anymore except sometimes my head still itches. my dog itches like crazy and really i think the bedbugs are not so bad she should be itchin as she does. has frontline on her too. i wonder if we have bird mites too. that would suck. i swear she is carrying somethng on her skin. havent combed her to find out--i will .

    amy

  28. Beth

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    Sat Feb 13 2010 16:47:57
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    oh now i see it was because i onlywashed my haironce a week when i was reallyill and had thick hair.

    i still think they are on my do or finding her a lot during the day. thisgrieves me the most. how to get them off of her. she is a beagle with lab like hair but i still think they like to hitchike on her. everytime i pet her i start itching. of course it could be the nasty zodiac pyrethrin shampoo i usedon her. could this cause her to itch so much? i don' have a dog bed for her so she just lays on the floor a lot. TERRIFYING!

    amy

  29. wchicago

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    Sat Feb 13 2010 17:24:11
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    hey amy
    did you get your climbups? fedex said they were delivered, so make sure you got them. ok, onto your q re:itchy dog. could your dog have mites? my dog had a recent bout of dog scabies, and the canine scabies mite (canine sarcoptes) bites humans too -they can't brrow on us (not like human scabies) but they can bite us. little b@stards. anyway, my dog was on frontline too and my vet told me that frontline doesn't kill mites (just fleas). so you need to go to the vet and ask them for revolution instead of frontline -its also a topical, but used every two weeks for six weeks (so a total of 3 times in 6 weeks) it will kill mites. and then you can use it once a month (like you use frontline) to control fleas, mites, and heartworm. unless your dog has any collie in him, revolution is dangerous to collies and collie mixes.
    then again, if it was mites, the pyrethrin shampoo should be killing them as well. i think maybe its time for a vet visit. OR try one more thing (this is super cheap i promise) mites can live in the environment for a few days -thus theoretically could get back on the dog after a wash. my vet told me to borax my hardwood floors to kill them. basically, you mix 1.5 cups of borax per gallon of hot water, mop it on your floors and leave it for 3 days - looks like crap while its on the floors but doesn't hurt the wood finish or anything (its off my floors now, they are fine). she told me to wash the walls with borax too, since i don't have a hepa vacuum and therefore when vacuuming could spew mites into the air and onto walls. borax is like 3 bucks for a HUGE box at any target or walmart.
    step 1: borax wash your bathroom floor
    step 2: wash dog with pyrethrin shampoo and keep now clean dog in bathroom, on boraxed floors.
    step 3: borax the rest of your floors and wash down walls before letting your dog back out into the rest of the apartment.

    good luck!

  30. Beth

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    Sat Feb 13 2010 17:37:50
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    oh yes wchicago! i put it in my "allow dog on bed "post! i didn't have my password for this site for a couple of days but got them and they are under my bed!

    yeah i think she might have some kind of mite. unless she is just super allergic to the one or two bites she has. she does itch the same two places--the top of her head and her side. she also itches insid her ear a lot. ear mites? she had these once recently and i admit not treating her thoroughly. in benzo w/d i culdn't remember to wash her ears twice a day. i couldn't even recall to brush my own teeth--i had "transient amnesia" which is why i couldn't do the bedbug thing well. i still have the medicine for her ears so i have to start that again now that my memory is getting much better.

    i am allergic to borax. i remember it with roaches.

    poopy.

    thanks w. you are so helpful!

    amy

  31. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Feb 14 2010 2:23:30
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    Beth,

    Dogs may have dry skin in winter, or fleas, as these are both common causes of itching.

    I don't know your full situation -- are you still trying to detect if you have bed bugs? (I am guessing from the ClimbUps discussion).

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  32. Beth

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    oh no i had vey bad bed bugs in mylast apt.--crawlig all over my bed i tried to get my landlord to pay and she wouldn't so it took me time to save money for an exterminator. exterminator came 3 times. i moved because of a black mold problem.a few bugs followed. got a couple of bites in my new place, some new fecal spots and saw a molting in my pillow case.they came out and sprayed my new place and i took all books, etc. out of the home to be treated later (ibet theycame in mybooks). put interceptors just to sleep. 3 nights, no signs in the interceptors. dog still itching. maybe they are old bites. i checked last night her ear mites are back, s am treating that. i am also fairly certain they are in my truck (only place i seem to get bites now) and so must treat that as well.

    thanks-
    amy

  33. jjakk

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    Mon Jan 17 2011 13:51:16
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    Found this 'post/thread this morning since I am also researching the possibility of bird mites.

    I am beginning to think that what may be the culprit in a lot of cases of suspected BB's;
    people with mystery bites but no other evidence of them such as fecal traces, cast skins or actual bug findings may actually be 'Bird Mites' since they are so small.

    I wonder if having a large oak tree within 20 feet of my apartment windows could be a source.
    If they are in bird nests in the tree I am guessing that perhaps a strong wind can blow them into the windows. Perhaps one of our pros can comment on that.

    In my searches I found this site which offers a lot of information about 'bird mites' that could be very helpful to all in the case of BB's vs Bird mites.

    here is a quote from the home page:

    "Possible Bird Mite Infestation?
    Pinprick bites with or without lesions
    Frequently intense itching of the skin
    Vague sensation of crawling on the skin
    Bite marks and lesions that heal very slowly
    Increase of symptoms in certain areas of the home
    Increase of symptoms at night and in humid weather
    Physician suspects scabies but the treatment does not help"

    http://www.birdmites.org/index.html

    http://www.birdmites.org/strategies.html

  34. victimized

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    Would we not eventually see the bird mites?? I saw a video or two on youtube where you can actually see these things. So far I have not seen anything like that in my home or on myself but it sounds like what I have. Scary. There had been a bird's nest in the porch roof between ours and our neighbour's home and two summers ago we gutted out third floor. It stayed that way for 6 months or more, with no walls or anything. Maybe they found their way down into the rest of the house? I know my cats started scratching a lot during the few weeks leading up to finding bed bugs in the house but have not been able to detect anything else. Aside from the stay carpet beetle on our doorway and a piece of a carpet beetle larvae shedding on my cat's fur yesterday afternoon. They spend much time on the floor, especially at the top of my stairs in the hall where we only have an old plywood subfloor exposed now, and the leftover carpeting on the bottom step to our attic in which they take turns sleeping on. The carpeting does not go up the stairs, it stops above that one step but still.
    Here is a good question to those who insist actual specimens are necessary for proper ID.... how can we go about getting samples of these things??

  35. jjakk

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    Tue Jan 18 2011 14:28:08
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    To 'Victimized' :

    After reading your last post I searched You Tube and saw the video that showed the bird mites moving about. I didn't expect to see them that obviously. Maybe they were a different type of bird mite. I thought bird mites were tiny and barely visible without magnification.

    On a similar note to something besides BB bites which we both suspect, I found a post with quite a long thread on here that should be of interest to you regarding 'Mystery Bites' that are different from BB bites, which many people have also experienced and suspect to be some type of mite.

    The post number to reference is # 46594.

  36. bed-bugscouk

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    Tue Jan 18 2011 14:46:29
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    Hi,

    For some clear common sense basics on bird mites see my info sheet at:

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/birdmites.html

    The are visible to the eye but will generally be found at the top of walls at the ceiling junction in properties. If you see something suspect the best way to trap is on a piece of sticky tape as they can be difficult to spot on dark surfaces.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bedbug infestations in domestic and commercial settings. The patent numbers are GB2463953 and GB2470307.
  37. jjakk

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    Thanks David - that is a great fact sheet on bird mites you did - It helps clarify and determine if they are an issue. I Ok so bird mites can be visible to the eye but very small, now what about rodent bugs/mites? Are they the same size as bird mites and visible enough to see moving upon search? I live in an apartment but have no problems with birds or rodents, but I wonder if mites would travel between walls and gaps in baseboards if they have lost their host animal.

  38. Buggybumpers

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    I have lived in my building for six years and never had any problems with bugs until the past six months. In addition to BBs, which are still with me despite six sprays by a professional service and all sorts of other battling efforts, there is something else going on, too. I have short hair and lately I have noticed some very small white balls in it which come off easily. I know it isn't lice and a hairdresser told me Head and Shoulders shampoo kills just about anything. I've been using if and the little balls got less but now I have noticed some black specks on my scalp. That's about the only way to describe them--specks like a dot of pepper. They neither move nor itch. When I move a lint roller over the back of my neck, the tiny specks are there, too. I am a clean person in every way and I cannot believe this--a curse like the plagues of Egypt. There were some larger [but still tiny] black bugs, too, that I found on my bed, but they didn't look like BBs. I saved some on a piece of tape and showed them to the pest control guy--who had no idea what they were. He did ask me if I had any pets and I said no. I have none. According to the manager of my building, the bugs on the tape have been sent to a university for analysis but no word yet.

    Years ago, I had two little kids who contracted headlice from a friend and I defeated those. I got rid of cockroaches that were waiting for me in an apartment I moved into in Los Angeles. But I can't seem to make any head-way with my troubles now. It's an endless nightmare.

  39. PrettyHateMachine

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    Sat Apr 23 2011 14:10:47
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    I know this was posted along time ago, so I do not know if you still have bugs in your hair but...

    When I was a teenager my nephew and niece lived with us. They where ALWAYS bringing lice home from school. We would have to battle lice at least once a school year, if not more. The funny thing is, I never got them. Not once did I ever have lice in my hair. and believe me once my mom found lice on one person she went in OCD mode about checking everyone ALL the time. There where times when everyone in my house had them but never me. The only thing I can think of is some of the things I did to my hair...

    1.) In my teenage years I went through a lot of experimenting with hair color, I changed colors a lot, so I dyed my hair often.

    2.) I have naturally very curly hair. I hated it. I would wake up at 4 am every morning before school, shower, blow dry my hair and then IRON(yes with a clothes iron) my hair. I actually still do it once in awhile when I want straight hair. I would lay a towel down on my bed, let the iron heat up and then lay down and iron my hair until it was straight. I know it sounds crazy but it really does straighten your hair and I never had a problem with it ruining my hair(it actually makes it very soft and gets rid of the frizz and dryness feeling you get from blowdrying) and as long as you are careful you won't burn yourself.

    The only thing I can think is that the lice did not like all the things I did to my hair and would not get on me. Maybe this would work for bedbugs/mites also?

  40. Nobugsonme

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    Sat Apr 23 2011 20:19:52
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    Buggybumpers - 17 hours ago  » 
    I have lived in my building for six years and never had any problems with bugs until the past six months. In addition to BBs, which are still with me despite six sprays by a professional service and all sorts of other battling efforts, there is something else going on, too. I have short hair and lately I have noticed some very small white balls in it which come off easily. I know it isn't lice and a hairdresser told me Head and Shoulders shampoo kills just about anything. I've been using if and the little balls got less but now I have noticed some black specks on my scalp. That's about the only way to describe them--specks like a dot of pepper. They neither move nor itch.

    Hi buggybumpers,

    If you have the white balls or black specks in your hair, I would go in and see a doctor and show them. They may be able to tell you what this is.

    One thing I can say is, it's not bed bugs. Bed bug fecal, we're told, does not present as moveable specks like black pepper. And nothing bed bug related is a white ball.

    Good luck to you.

  41. Nobugsonme

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    Sat Apr 23 2011 20:25:22
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    PrettyHateMachine - 6 hours ago  » 

    The only thing I can think is that the lice did not like all the things I did to my hair and would not get on me. Maybe this would work for bedbugs/mites also?

    I think that if anyone is concerned that there's something living in their hair, they should see a doctor and get a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This is much preferable to guessing at the problem.

    I would personally be very nervous about ironing my own hair with a clothes iron, for fear of burning myself.

    Bed bugs, if they were in the hair could simply be washed out with a normal shampoo. They do not embed in skin or cling to humans.

    If you have a hairstyle which does not get wet (see below), then you should cautiously consult a hair professional or consider removing it for the time being.

    We're told bed bugs will not hang out in your hair normally, but it has been said to happen on occasion -- especially by people with wigs, dreads, hair extensions or other styles which are not washed in water regularly.

  42. eurydice

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    Sun Apr 24 2011 11:39:00
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    Someone has probably already suggested this, but why can't you just use a hairdryer?? Surely they get hot enough, if you let them stay on your head as long as you can take it (and maybe re-do it again and again??). This seems like it would work on short hair, at least. Does a clothes dryer get that much hotter than a hair dryer? Doesn't seem like it...

  43. Buggybumpers

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    Sun Apr 24 2011 12:04:04
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    I use a hair dryer on my hair every time I wash it and it gets pretty hot. After I use it
    I don't see a thing in my hair because it blows everything out but it doesn't take long before I do again. Other have complained about the little white balls on medical fora and have been
    told it's a form of sebhorrea [sp?] but I never had anything like it ever until my bug troubles
    began. It may not be related. I am seeing the dermatologist as soon as I finish the series of
    tests I am undergoing on my heart.

  44. Dcajv

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    Wed Apr 27 2011 11:16:18
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    Try a straightening iron? Or if you are near philadelphia there is a place called lice lifters that use a new device to kill lice with heat. I know u are not talking about lice but just wanted to offer some suggestions that might help.

  45. bittenbitter

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    Wow... I am hoping to see an entemologist on Monday with some samples I collected from my bath water. Little black specks. Like pepper. Don't seem to move either. But after a rather intense spraying today for bed bugs, I've been seeing them all over our couch and on my body and my baby's. If it is bird mites, I won't know what to do. My husband is already extremely unsupportive and I'm already unbelievably depressed. I came on here today because my scalp has been itching ever since this infestation, and, not trying to sound vulgar, but the itching and crawling sensation has spread to my pubic and anal area. Hoping beyond hope that its something easier to deal with than bird mites. Ugh. Only God can help me then...

  46. Nobugsonme

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    Bittenbitter,

    I think you know this but in case anyone reading this is unsure, black specks like pepper are not associated with bed bugs.

    There are some alarmist things people have written about bird mites on the Internet. However, I think you have to try and avoid those websites. Entomologists tell us bird mites can be effectively treated.

    So if this is the problem, it is not the end of the world. Identifying the cause of your problem will help you find a resolution. I hope you're able to do that soon.

    I would recommend seeing a doctor also as there may be a medical explanation for the itching.

  47. curls

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    Another thought for the next person with a problem like this -- is vaselining the scalp of the hair -- so the bugs can't get out, or in?

  48. bittenbitter

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    Nobugs,
    I am not sure how successful Ill be in identifying these things. I'm hoping to see an entomologist in the area if I can find one. My doc already thinks I'm a nut as it is because my friend was misdiagnosed with scabies when it was in fact a bed bug problem, I believe. So I kept bringing my baby in to the doc with small rashes (apparently from the bed bugs) thinking it was scabies, and he kept telling me it wasn't.

    Now I find we definitely have bed bugs, and I don't believe that there is a program that can effectively treat both bed bugs and bird mites and I'm not sure my landlord would appreciate me telling her that wed have bird mites as well. I was never good at handling stress, and this is proof. I'm an MA for heaven's sake, and I am finding out about several parasites lately that I never knew anything about. Its scary and extremely stressful. Anyway, I know I'm off topic, so Ill shut up. Just wanted to reply...

  49. Nobugsonme

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    Bittenbitter,
    You definitely need an entomologist to ID something like bird mites.
    As for the bed bugs, how did you confirm you have them?

  50. bittenbitter

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    Wed Sep 5 2012 2:51:30
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    I saw one chilling in a pile of excrement on the seam of my daughter's mattress and had samples collected and positively identified by our pco. And there's the bites as well. My daughter had gone to stay with my sister, and she brought them back with her along with a cd case full of eggs. I'm so enfuriated with my sister for not telling me. She and her husband did a self-heat-treatment on the house and then moved, and didn't bother to tell me they were "getting over" a bed bug problem until I told her about mine. Then everything fit.

  51. bittenbitter

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    And every entomologist in this city is like a million miles away and none of them say anything on their websites about where to send samples or if they even offer that service...

  52. Nobugsonme

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    If you private message me your location I might have some suggestions. Most large PCOs have a consulting entomologist who could ID mites. You can ask them. Local University Extension offices also often ID bugs and mites.

  53. bittenbitter

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    I would love your advice! And don't think I'm stupid or anything, but I tried to pm someone on here once and couldn't figure out how... I'm not very literate when it comes to computers and websites...

  54. Nobugsonme

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    bittenbitter - 2 hours ago  » 
    I would love your advice! And don't think I'm stupid or anything, but I tried to pm someone on here once and couldn't figure out how... I'm not very literate when it comes to computers and websites...

    Hi Bittenbitter,

    I am not an expert, but I will try and help you find someone to do an ID near you. However, you should explore the suggestions above:


    Most large PCOs have a consulting entomologist who could ID mites. You can ask them.
    Local University Extension offices also often ID bugs and mites.

    To private message someone, make sure you are logged in. Then look at a post by that person. To the left, under the username, date, etc., you see "PM this user". Fill out the box and submit it.

    To check your messages, look at the sidebar, under the bed bug icon and Packtite Closet/US Bed Bugs ad. After the welcome message. If you have messages, it says "you have X new messages." You can click that to read them (here's a shortcut link: http://bedbugger.com/forum/pm.php ).

  55. cazzap06

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    Sun Nov 11 2012 4:51:22
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    This is an old post I know but it is very helpful as I too have felt 'them' in my hair presuming they were the bed bugs too ( erm in pubic hair as well )

    Thing is it went hand in hand whenever I had the flare ups of bed bug bites so naturally thought it was one and the same problem but did sometimes wonder if there was an additional problem

    Showering & bathing definitely helped though and my hair on head is long & thick & was tempted to get it all cut off at some points too , but then at times when everything flares up on body & hair it disappears from body & hair at the same time

    It wasn't a constant problem , but do sometimes feel them in my hair on occasion , alongside being bit on my body too but will have a read up about things just in case I have two problems co-inciding as well

  56. annoluce

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    I can imagine a bedbug might occasionally lay eggs in hair...but it seems a bit unlikely.
    The lady says she works in a school.
    I strongly suspect headlice, possibly in addition to bedbugs.

  57. bed-bugscouk

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    Hi,

    The conserved behavioral habits of female bedbugs makes laying eggs in hair about as statistically probable as you winning 2 lotteries in the same week (without even entering one of them).

    David


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