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bites in lines ... but no other evidence

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  1. xxx

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 14:10:21
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    I have lurked through so many posts, but sometimes it's easier to just ask.

    About a month and a half ago a line of 5 insanely itchy bites appeared in a uniform spacing on my hip. This was two weeks after a visit from the folks, so I was naturally suspicious they had brought sometime along from the plane or something.
    Then two weeks later, a wavy line of 5 or 6 bites on my breast, then another week and a line of bites under an arm, then another week a series of bites grouped on my arm (not a line).

    After the first few I asked my midwife-- i am like 4-5 mos pregnant, she says they look like bug bites and it's not related to pregnancy. Then a few more bites, I see the doctor. She says looks like bug bites, but not likely to be bed bugs since my husband and kids have none. She says maybe spiders and recommends hydrocortizone cream.

    Now I have a few more 'bites' on my belly.

    So nearly always under clothes, except once on my arm.

    We've had no evidence of bed bugs except the bites on me (noone else), but I still feel like Occam's Razor would point there since the bites are in lines (although not always, some single bites and some in groups). I have set CO2 traps, glue traps, I have examined every crevice and poured boric acid into every socket. Still more 'bites' appear. No blood spots, no bug casings. nothing.....

    The only thing is that when we throw the comforter in the dryer, little black things show up in the lint. But I don't know what that would be evidence of. They're like tiny pebbles almost.

    So, does this sounds like anything? I hate to go nuclear with insecticide bombs and no evidence other than bites, especially being pregnant.

    If I had more evidence to present, I would, but it's a mystery. I am totally stumped and hoped someone would say 'Hey! That's what I had-- it's just.... '

    right now I am not letting people visit because I am afraid we will give them bed bugs. totally sucks.

  2. xxx

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 14:21:47
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    ** the black 'pebbles' are not bugs-- i have access to microscopes. They are very hard, with smooth edges.

  3. jsmith85249

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 14:42:16
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    I'm no expert but from what I'm reading on this forum, bites alone are not a solid indicator of bed bugs. I'll leave it to someone else to respond regarding the precautions you have taken and any others you should take for bed bugs. However, you might want to take a look at this to consider other possible causes for your bites: http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3006/

  4. cilecto

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 15:02:25
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    What JSmith said (several other factors can cause bite type reactions). Also, you might have experienced something outside the home. be sure to review our FAQ. 1 or 2 bed bugs are likely hard to find. CO2 traps are not very reliable in occupied rooms and glue traps are not very reliable, period. Boric acid has little or no effect on bed bugs. Experts advise that bombs/foggers can exacerbate a bed bug infection.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  5. xxx

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 15:29:08
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    It's a little frustrating. If C02 traps (I have a nice free supply of dry ice) are unreliable, and glue traps are too.... then how can one ever confirm he doesn't have the little buggers?

    Every morning I inspect our sheets and there's nothing there.

    Doctor said definitely not scabies-- because, again, no one else is affected. I still don't know how she came up with spiders. I guess she just didn't want to say she had no idea. Not chiggers-- because the incidents do not match up to time spent outdoors. Not fleas, I combed the heck out of the cats. Mites at this time of year seem unlikely, and we have traps for mice and rats-- and we have cats who are intolerant of any rodents or birds.

    I have been toying with the idea of the carpet beetles, but there isn't much info out there. Does pregnancy increase intolerance? Wouldn't you be able to find evidence of carpet beetles?

  6. cilecto

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 15:58:30
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    Some people take time to react (up to about a week). Carpet beetles do not bite, but some people have reactions to the tiny hairs that are shed by their larvae (little worm-like creatures). Not everyone reacts to bed bug bites. For your doctor to say it isn't "because no one else in the home is getting bit" betrays a lack of understanding of the bugs and their reaction. The site admin has indicated that plug in flea traps are useful in detecting fleas. CO2 monitors are useful in an unoccupied space (in an occupied space, bugs seem to prefer the humans). In an occupied space, some people report success with "passive" monitors. These are small "patches" designed to be "comfortable" to bed bugs, where they would prefer to harbor and poop. You examine them periodically. They need to be placed carefully. Again, a small infestation is hard to detect. You are being vigilant, so you're ahead of the game, if things should escalate.

  7. xxx

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 17:13:06
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    OK. Thanks.

    Can anyone comment on the under-clothing thing? I mean if it's actually bed bugs, this would me they actually pass perfectly inviting uncovered skin to get to hard-to reach places. But of my 5 sets of bites, 4 of them would have been under 1 or even 2 layers of clothing....

    and that's not taking single bites into account.

  8. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 18:02:34
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    I've been bitten at my waist when I was wearing a shirt tuched into my pj bottoms.

    They're flat, like a piece of paper so they can get into small spaces.

  9. Lumina

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Tue Sep 20 2011 23:15:52
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    Wish I had answers for you, xxx. I'm another newbie here, also getting bites but no other evidence of bed bugs ... but having trouble ruling them out, though because of the lack of definitive proof of a negativity.

    Wouldn't you be able to find evidence of carpet beetles?

    Theoretically, yes, as with bed bugs -- larvae and/or their shells, or the beetles themselves. For me, I've found one possible larvae, and one pretty definite carpet beetle. Which doesn't seem like enough to convince me that that's what causing one or two "bites" every day or so, but is more than the evidence of bed bugs, so ... <shrug>

    Can anyone comment on the under-clothing thing? I mean if it's actually bed bugs, this would me they actually pass perfectly inviting uncovered skin to get to hard-to reach places. But of my 5 sets of bites, 4 of them would have been under 1 or even 2 layers of clothing....

    I don't know -- this is pure speculation on my part.

    It's possible that bed bugs might have some reason for preferring a more "interior" place to snack -- maybe it's more tender to bite a thigh than an ankle, or maybe being under clothes feels enclosed and safer than eating in the open.

    Someone here once posted speculation on the carpet beetle theory that in enclosed spaces (like at the waistband) or places otherwise constricted (like the crook of an elbow), the irritating fiber is pushed more into the skin, causing the "bite."

    Similarly, whether fiber or bite, if it's an area covered by cloth, maybe the friction of the cloth irritates the area more than a similarly affected open area, so the "bites" under cloth are more dramatic and noticeable.

    I wish I knew. (But even more than that, I wish I would stop getting these whatevers they are! <G>)

  10. xxx

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2011 10:29:34
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    well, the short and long is that it is in fact bed bugs.

    i am glad i treated with the boric acid, because that's how i finally found a carcass. 1, and i would say 3rd instar.

    so now the fun begins. since it's such a low incidence, I think we are going to DIY.

    sure i got it from my folks' visit, but they insist they don't have any.


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