Bite locations(5 posts)
I've been trying to figure out some mysterious bites my son has been getting for about a month now. They first showed up at Christmas time (when we were visiting family and friends) and have continued since then, all over his body *except* his head, face and neck.
Given the timing (the bites started when we were traveling, and then continued after we got back) and the fact that the doctors who have seen him have suggested bedbugs as a possibility, I started studying: I found this very useful site and learned a lot of interesting things. I've now checked our house over extremely carefully without finding anything I'm sure is evidence. I have collected everything I've found that *might be* evidence in a ziplock bag, but there's not much: one tiny white bug that doesn't really look like a bedbug nymph (caught in the double sided tape I wrapped around my son's bedpost) some little round brown things that might or might not be feces (collected from his bedsheets) but nothing that looks like any of the photos I've seen.
We live in an apartment so I had my landlord call a PCO to come inspect. He didn't do a very good job---just looked at my son's room, at his mattress, slats, and bedframe (there's no boxspring, and I had already taken the bedframe apart to examine it) cursory examination of the molding and outlets. He found nothing, and left some gluetraps I think are more or less worthless.
I'm going to see an entomologist who specializes in urban entomology tomorrow with my "evidence", and to collect some more effective traps.
Finally, my question: perhaps the location of the "bites" my son has means they are likely *not* bedbug bites. Maybe he's having an allergic reaction to something having to do with his clothes? We use "method" free and clear detergent (always have) but perhaps he is developing an allergy to it anyway??? Has anyone had a bedbug problem in which they *never* had bites on their head and neck???
Sure. And this can change over time.
On the other hand, you should definitely get a positive confirmation of bed bugs before treating.
You might consider putting a mattress cover on his bed just in case.
Thanks for the suggestion! Actually, he already has a mattress cover, though I don't think it would keep 1st instar nymphs from getting in and out. He has a toddler bed, so the best encasements aren't made in the appropriate size it seems.
However, I've done such a careful inspection of his linens, bedframe, mattress cover and mattress (inch by inch, magnifying glass and all) that I am fairly confident there aren't bugs living there.
One thing that may be amusing: last night I cooked his toy cars in the oven. He took them with on our holiday trip (where he started getting these welts) and he always wants to sleep with them. Since some of them look like they might be possible harborages and are impossible to completely open up, I put them in the oven for twenty minutes at 170.
I don't really think the cars had bugs in them (I imagine they wouldn't want to live in something that he moves around so much), but I guess you never know. At any rate, he didn't have new welts when he woke up this morning.
The "tiny white bug" mentioned in my first post is *definitely* a first instar of some kind; the entomologist I took it to told me he *could not* say definitively whether or not it was a bedbug nymph. He is one of the foremost experts in the world (and happens to be a colleague of mine!)
So...maybe we have a small infestation that all our best efforts (and those of an experienced PCO---we finally got someone who knew what he was doing) have not found. It still seems strange to me that there would not be fecal stains visible on the (very white) sheets.
My son has not had new welts for a few days now. I have double sided tape traps attached to all the legs of our beds, and my children's beds' legs have are resting in some neat plastic traps the bedbug expert gave me---no glue involved! The plastic is slippery enough that once the bedbugs climb in, they can't get out. I installed them last night but haven't caught anything yet.
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