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Bug identification, please [a: bed bug]

(21 posts)
  1. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 15:36:54
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    Hi,

    I have been getting bites since Monday of this week (July 22, 2013).

    Monday morning: three on my knee
    Tuesday morning: two on my ankle, one on the back of my neck, and one on my right arm
    Wednesday morning: one on my right arm
    Thursday morning: back of my knee
    Friday: none
    Saturday morning (today): one on my right arm

    Since Tuesday, I thought I had fleas, as I don't own any pets, but my apartment neighbours do. I began to self treated by using RAID Max and then without any luck, using Ortho Home Defense MAX. I vacuumed and wash my clothes as best as I could. This morning, I check my bed frame, and I caught a live bug. I taped it onto a piece of paper.

    Please note that I also suspected I had bed bugs because I travelled back from a ferry on Sunday night, where I checked my luggage.

    Here are the three photos of the same bug
    http://freestuffpage.com/?attachment_id=12099
    http://freestuffpage.com/?attachment_id=12098
    http://freestuffpage.com/?attachment_id=12097

    I called a local PCO, who asked me to text him the photos. He thought it is a carpet beetle.

    The earliest he could arrive is Monday.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Is the bug in the photo a bed bug?
    2. What should I do in the meantime until the PCO arrives on Monday? Specifically, should I throw away my mattress and bed frame? (I don't mind throwing them out, as they were donated over a year ago.)
    3. Since I got bitten since Monday, how widespread would this issue typically be? Is the matter mostly contained in my bedroom, or has it spread to my living room?
    4. Please note that I live in an apartment, so should the adjacent units be inspected?

    Thanks for all of your help!

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 15:43:36
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    If you anticipate not wanting to have your real name associated with this account (most people don't), please email me now and we can fix that.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 15:59:15
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    Looks like a well fed bed bug with a distended abdomen.

    Sorry, I can't answer the questions now as I'm writing chapter 9. pjb

  4. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:07:48
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    <- non-expert

    Typically people do not have to get rid of personal belongings. I would not get rid of the frame because you'd have to either replace it or set your mattress on the floor, and then it would be impossible to isolate the bed if you ended up needing to do that. What kind of frame is it (metal or wood)?

    I would not anticipate you introduced these but suspect they are coming in from your neighbors to have so many bites so suddenly. You might find out your neighbors have them and tried bombing (don't do that) and sent them into your place.

  5. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:11:17
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    It really looks like a well fed adult bed bug as PJB stated.

    Can you take another photo so we can see color/markings?

  6. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:13:55
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    Nemo - 2 minutes ago  » 
    <- non-expert
    Typically people do not have to get rid of personal belongings. I would not get rid of the frame because you'd have to either replace it or set your mattress on the floor, and then it would be impossible to isolate the bed if you ended up needing to do that. What kind of frame is it (metal or wood)?
    I would not anticipate you introduced these but suspect they are coming in from your neighbors to have so many bites so suddenly. You might find out your neighbors have them and tried bombing (don't do that) and sent them into your place.

    Hi,

    Thanks for your prompt reply. The frame is wood; it is a DIY frame that was donated to me. There are numerous screw holes and eight wooden legs. So, there are a lot of crevices for bedbugs to hide.

    As a further question for this forum members, may I please ask how can I convince the PCO that it is not a carpet beetle? The reason is that I just called to see when he could arrive on Monday, and he said that it may just be some sort of beetle. I Googled carpet beetle and the one I caught does not look like a carpet beetle. After my comparison, I think it is a bed bug.

    Thanks.

  7. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:19:08
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    Keep the specimen for him to look at. The photo is very dark, if he was looking on a phone especially he might have trouble telling. You might also go hunting for more... With that many bites I'd be looking.

    Frames can be hardened against bed bug harborage with just a roll if tape to cover the screw holes. It's not much help now but might make it easier to keep an eye out for them later by limiting hiding spots.

  8. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:25:45
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    NY Bug Man - 12 minutes ago  » 
    It really looks like a well fed adult bed bug as PJB stated.
    Can you take another photo so we can see color/markings?

    Hi NY Bug Man,

    Thanks for your help.

    Here are two more photos, using a digital camera, instead of a camera phone:
    http://freestuffpage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/IMG_3264.jpg
    http://freestuffpage.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/IMG_3267.jpg

    Would you be able to tell if this is male or female? It would be devastating if it is a female, which means it would have laid eggs.

  9. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:27:20
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    Sorry, it does seem to be a bed bug.
    Have you inspected around your bed area?

  10. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:30:01
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    Also educate your self on self treatment before you start to spray store bought products. You will make the infestation more difficult to treat if you choose improper methods.

  11. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:35:10
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    NY Bug Man - 5 minutes ago  » 
    Sorry, it does seem to be a bed bug.
    Have you inspected around your bed area?

    Thanks for your advice. I have inspected the bed area. At this point, I have not found anything new. I will keep on inspecting around the bed area.

    Thank you for your advice on self treatment. My plan now is to keep checking until the PCO arrives on Monday. Hopefully, he will agree that it's a bed bug and he will start treating.

    It's going to be a stressful weekend for me until his arrival.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 16:54:15
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    Please check your email!

  13. rs1971

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 17:05:59
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    Hi. If your PCO thinks that that is a carpet beetle, I wouldn't bother trying to convince him. You should just find a different PCO. PCO's misidentifying pests is a really common theme on the forum, but it's almost always the other way around. They think that carpet beetles are bed bugs. This is the first case that I recall where someone thought that a bed bug was a carpet beetle.

    As someone mentioned upthread, given your bite frequency, this is probably unrelated to your trip on Sunday. The number of bites your getting is indicative of at least a three or four bugs. It's entirely possible, as you hypothesize, that they have wandered over from one of your neighbors. Has anyone with an adjoining wall moved out recently by any chance?

    In any event, you seem not too freaked out by the news, which counts for a lot. The (largely irrational) mental toll that bed bugs take on some people, is one makes them such a horrible pest. If you're not having issues with that, count yourself lucky as that's about 80% of the battle.

    Good luck.

  14. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 19:01:24
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    Hi,

    Thank you all for your help. As a follow up question, since the first PCO I contacted said that the earliest he could visit is Monday, and the fact that he stated that from the photos, the bug appeared to be a carpet beetle, I have the urge to contact another PCO and ask if they could arrive earlier, Sunday.

    Or, should I just stick with the first PCO and wait until he arrives on Monday at 11 a.m.

    Thanks!

  15. P Bello

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sat Jul 27 2013 23:48:14
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    Dear bbcomox,

    As even Stevie Wonder could tell that this is a bed bug from the photo you posted, any pco that tells you it's a carpet beetle may not the right one for you.

    I advise you "let your fingers do the walking" and call a few others.

    Hope this helps, good luck ! paul b.

  16. Dichroic

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Sun Jul 28 2013 0:23:30
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    I can tell it's a bed bug. I'm a newbie to this world.

    My newbie advice? Oh, shit. I just realized newbie advice is stupid.

    Nothing about your life is different from yesterday. That's how I'm mentally getting through this. You can too.

  17. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Jul 29 2013 20:03:49
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    Hi,

    Thank you all for your advice and insight. I would like to give everyone an update and seek your further comments and answers. This forum is certainly a great tool in combating bedbugs.

    Thanks to Paul B., this morning, I decided to contact a local bedbug expert: http://www.bcbedbugexpert.com . I chose this company because it is a BBB member, and the BBB record since its membership of November 15, 2012, had been good. There have not been any complaints. This company uses structural heat to 135F with electric fans. Another reason is that this company is dedicated to bedbugs and not any other pests.

    Here are the PCO's advices to me:
    - laundry: for anything that is folded, such as stuff in dressers or bins, dried everything in the hot setting of the dryer for a full cycle; use clean plastic bags and store them in my apartment balcony; for anything that is hanged, no need to clean or dry them.

    - wax products or oil painting: I don't have any of these items.

    - electronic devices: don't take any electronics; on arrival, unplug everything; (could I take my smartphone with me?)

    - where to sleep: since the heat treatment will be applied to the whole 650sq ft apartment, I could sleep on my sofa beginning tonight because otherwise, I would get more bites staying in the bed. And, if I get any bites tonight on the sofa, then it is likely that bedbugs are already in the sofa. Yes, the bedbugs will likely migrate to the sofa, but the sofa will be treated.

    - car: I also asked to have him treat my car, so that he would treat my car first, then make sure I have a set of clean clothes to wear, and I could drive to an off-site location for 6-7 hours

    - luggage in the closet as a possible hotspot: I place all of my luggage in the hallway closet; he advised me not to disturb any luggage, but if I want to declutter, I could just declutter in the area around it

    - post-treatment: once he is done, I could start moving things back to the original place in and look for any signs for the next 30 days, as the company has a 30-day guarantee

    Here are my questions:
    1. As mentioned above, can I take my smartphone with me on Saturday?
    2. Is it true that I could start sleeping on the sofa tonight?
    3. Any questions that I should ask the PCO?
    4. Anything else that I should watch out for or prepare in order to get the best result possible out of heat treatment?
    5. He will not put any residuals down. Just in case there is a bedbug infestation in adjacent apartment units, what should I do? Could I later, caulk everything and put DE in the wall outlets, etc.?

    Thank you all of your kind support. Once I get over this hump, I will be sure to continue to participate in order to support any newbies.

    Thanks!

  18. NY Bug Man

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Mon Jul 29 2013 20:17:50
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    P Bello - 1 day ago  » 
    Dear bbcomox,
    As even Stevie Wonder could tell that this is a bed bug from the photo you posted.

    :lol:

  19. loubugs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jul 30 2013 14:30:14
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    A definite adult bed bug. It looks somewhat symmetrical so I'd say a female. The rear really isn't in focus.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  20. bbcomox

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 23 2013 16:47:12
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    Hi,

    I would like to provide an update and ask some more questions. As you may recall, I caught a live bed bug on Saturday, July 27. After some delays, I got my apartment heat treated on Friday, August 9.

    The PCO brought in three electric heaters and four fans. He first targeted the bedroom: he placed two heaters in the bedroom and one in the living room. Much of the morning was focussed on the bedroom. In the afternoon, he focussed on the living room, especially my sofa, as he instructed me to sleep on the sofa each evening prior to his arrival. He also focussed on the hallway closet and linen closet, where I kept my luggage and dirty laundry, respectively. In addition, he steamed my car: from the trunk to the front seats.

    In total, he arrived at 9:15 a.m. and left at 6:00 p.m. for my 650sq ft apartment.

    I felt he was knowledgeable and thorough. My first concern was that his electric heaters were set up to go to 135F and not 140F as frequently mentioned in this forum. He did use the laser thermometer to show me that walls and furniture were reaching 140+F. My other concern was that he did not put any DE or residuals at all. (My landlord got a different PCO and sprayed the adjacent units a week before the heat treatment.)

    Since then, I have been monitoring for the three evidences: live samples, cast skins and fecal matters on my bed and frame. I installed climb up interceptors for my bed. So far, I did not see any signs of bedbugs, fecal matters or cast skins.

    Additionally, during this two-week period, I checked my body every day for bites: there was a bite on the back of my neck one day, two small bites on my thigh on another day. These bites were tiny, so I thought they might come from other insects.

    However, this morning, on the 14th day. I found a noticeable big bite on my waist. I began to worry, as its size was similar to the bites I got from my first bedbug bites.

    I checked the interceptors, I checked the mattress and bed frame. and did not find any signs of live samples, fecal matters or cast skins. I vacuumed my whole house, and wash and dry my bedding.

    What should I do? I cannot conclusively say the bite on my waist was from a bedbug. Should I notify the PCO to give him a heads-up, as he provides a 30-day warranty? Should I keep diarizing my bites?

    Any advice you could provide is much appreciated. Thank you.

  21. greeceathens

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Oct 16 2013 22:29:13
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    I'm feeling bites too even tho the closest to a ''sign'' i've come is a black fleck on my bedframe...:(
    Hope you get your stuff sorted, I admire your calmness, a good example


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