Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

bed bugs in walls

(6 posts)
  1. anxiousbb

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Jul 13 2011 2:09:57
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    We had a sample bed bug in a ziplock bag. So when the PCO came around he didn't really bother doing an inspection. He took a look at the bag, confirmed it was a bed bug and left after barely answering our questions. He told us it would take $4,000 to treat our entire home (3 bedrooms) on Long Island because treating only one area exacerbates the problem. In addition for a little over $100 a month for the next six months they would come buy and do another inspection/treatment if needed. This would cover all other type of infestations as well. Clearly the PCO was trying to sell us a package.

    My parents thought it was a bit ridiculous considering they hadn't spotted any more any where else after tossing out my mattress/box spring because the PCO himself said it would have been a mild case. We cleaned out my entire room and washed everything. I have been sleeping on the couch. My mother sleeps in the adjoining room which had the bed bugs to be "bait". So there are people still up in the bedrooms. It's been nearly four weeks.

    Today just now, in the bathroom in the crack I saw five or six little black dots running out of the wall and around the tiles. I also want to point out that this summer has wreaked havoc with the bugs as we also have an ant problem and a few black beetles. I just wanted to know how to determine if the small bugs were bed bugs. My very real worry is that they have migrated through the walls. My family still lives out of plastic bags and we're being careful.

    Was the PCO right? should I just find a way to suck it up and pay my parents back for the treatment?

    Please help! Just the idea of having to deal with these bugs again is screwing with me emotionally and mentally.

  2. Louise

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Jul 13 2011 21:57:09
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    "Little black dots" is not a description of bed bugs at any stage of their life cycle. When they're first hatched, the nymph is almost transparent, and after that they become increasingly reddish-brown, not black. So I don't think you need to panic about those particular bugs.

    For an excellent description of what bed bugs look like at various stages of development, check out Lou Sorkin's post in this thread (the seventh one down): Size challenged. Having a hard time mentally figuring out what size bbs are.

  3. anxiousbb

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 14 2011 15:50:58
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    Thank you!! That link really did help. Now my question is this. After I threw out my infested mattress/box springs, I washed everything in my room and the adjacent bedroom.

    I threw out the stuff before the PCO came in so all he saw were some dark spots on my base board. He was in my house for all of 2 minutes (literally) so I'm not sure how much faith I have in his inspection. He had said that they hadn't spread to any other room yet. Is it possible that we got them all? Or are they still in the wall between the two bedrooms? As I mentioned before they do have "bait" in the adjacent room so if they were still around wouldn't they have come out by now?

  4. Louise

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Jul 14 2011 23:52:35
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    The problem is that people don't always see/notice bed bugs when they DO come out, so it's possible bed bugs have been venturing out, feeding, and making their way back to their harborage unseen. ESPECIALLY if the people being bitten are non-reactors.

    However, it's also possible that you had only the single straggler if you picked it up somewhere else.

    I think you are wise to question the reliability of the PCO's 2-minute inspection. I would also be highly skeptical of his claim that "they hadn't spread to any other room yet" after such a brief "inspection."

    Just a few clarifying questions:

    Do you have any idea where the single bed bug you found may have come from? (i.e. any exposure incidents either in your home, at work or school, or elsewhere?)

    Did anyone ever notice any bites? If so, how many and how often?

    Why do you think they're in the walls?

    Have you considered getting a second opinion from a different pest control company? Honestly, $4000 seems to be extremely steep to me (depending upon how large your parents' house is), and at this point (if it were me), I think I'd continue to adopt a "wait-and-see" approach to see if anything else develops. If it's been four weeks without any signs, that's very promising, I think.

    Also (and I *know* this is hard), if you *do* find evidence, save it. Kill the live bugs and destroy the eggs, yes, but keep the carcasses and any casings you come across (assuming the worst happens) to show the PCO. As well, keeping track of where you find fecal matter (or leaving it where it is) might be able to help a PCO figure out where the infestation(s) are located. A piece of packing tape will pick up live bugs nicely, and sticking it onto a white index card - before depositing it into a ziplock baggie and placing the baggie in the freezer -is a wonderful way to kill the bugs found AND save them to show the PCO. (The hand-rippable packing tape is particularly lovely, imo.)

  5. anxiousbb

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Sun Jul 17 2011 22:27:29
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    Unfortunately I am someone who is a non-reactor. I have to look for the bites on me...they don't always swell up. So until I see streaks or spot one I won't know if I still have them.

    I have considered getting second opinions but it's easy to tell which PCO's actually have experience with bb just by finding out what theit treatment would be like. And most aren't reliable.

    I must have picked them up in NYC. And I was the only one who had them in my room...thankfully. I had thrown out my mattress/box springs because I saw they were living under the bed skirt in the seams. I think originally they didn't go anywhere because I was sleeping on the bed every night and they had no reason to move anywhere else.

    The reason I thought they might have been in the walls is a) because of the PCO and b) because the day after I got rid of my infested mattress one was spotted in the room attached to mine. And the quickest way to get from one room to the other is through the space between the baseboard and the floor. But since no others have been spotted *knock on wood*. (Even writing that makes me worry I've just jinxed it)

    The hardest part is the waiting. I know they say 56 days but just knowing they may be hibernating for 18 months is emotionally exhausting. Thanks for your advice though! I don't know where I'd be without this forum.

  6. Louise

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 16:46:37
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    anxiousbb - 2 days ago  » 
    The hardest part is the waiting. I know they say 56 days but just knowing they may be hibernating for 18 months is emotionally exhausting. Thanks for your advice though! I don't know where I'd be without this forum.

    Sorry - I should have checked out your other posts. I hadn't realized that you had found numbers of them on your bed.

    As far as bed bugs hibernating for 18 months: If there's food available to them, my understanding is that they'll be coming out to feed. It's only when they can't get to food that they "hibernate." Not sure if that's a comfort or not.


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