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

Bugs seen in evening before bed, lit bedroom

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  1. NST

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 14:56:04
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    I’ve been madly anxious for the last few days, after I discovered a small (definitely) blackish, roundish bug crawling happily over my bedcover one evening (the lamplights were still on in the room, and I hadn’t fallen asleep yet either). I’d seen a similar bug a few days earlier on the side of my bookcase, and in both cases, I’d assumed they were bugs that had come in from outdoors when someone opened a window or door (it’s winter, and bug activity tends to increase around here, I find), so I killed them and disposed of them without much thought, but this morning I woke up and found a thin blood streak on my (clean and only recently changed) bedsheet, where my lower legs would be.

    I have no bites or itches and they don’t seem to look like any stage of bedbug I’m seeing in pictures online nor are there the other signs mentioned in this website (I've read the various FAQs, looked at the pictures tons of times, and inspected all parts of my bed!), but of course the formication, that mad sensation that there are bugs crawling all over me now at all times, and the mounting stress and anxiety, on top of everything else happening in my life, is driving me crazy, especially as I am reading the HUGE upheaval that the discovery of bugs (and ensuing treatment) may cause, which I can't imagine handling Any ideas on what I should do at this stage?? Thanks!

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Dec 4 2015 15:09:40
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    You should calm down, a bug in the bed doesn't mean bed bug. Blood appears way more often than you'd think and it rarely has anything to do with bed bugs.
    If you want peace of mind you might want to pick up a passive monitor, or inspect your mattress and box spring once a week for a few weeks until you're sure that there's no problem.

    HVAC/Locksmith/Bed Bug Control for a non-profit homeless shelter and long term veteran housing.
  3. NST

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 15:15:49
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    BigDummy - 3 minutes ago  » 
    You should calm down, a bug in the bed doesn't mean bed bug. Blood appears way more often than you'd think and it rarely has anything to do with bed bugs.
    If you want piece of mind you might want to pick up a passive monitor, or inspect your mattress and box spring once a week for a few weeks until you're sure that there's no problem.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to me, this definitely makes me breathe (just a little) easier. I guess after seeing the second bug and then the blood streak I may have panicked.

    Does this not sound like a symptom of bed bug, just yet, do you think? My mattress lays over a wooden frame (without a box spring I guess), but I'll definitely keep inspecting it over the next few weeks - thanks again!!

  4. jim danca

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Dec 4 2015 15:47:23
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    Bedbugs love wood so be sure to inspect the wood frame.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  5. NST

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 16:35:22
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    jim danca - 46 minutes ago  » 
    Bedbugs love wood so be sure to inspect the wood frame.

    I'll bear that in mind, thanks very much! So far everything looks clean and non-suspicious, except for the appearance of the two black bugs in the evening, and the blood streak, so I'll keep inspecting everything daily for the coming weeks.

  6. loubugs

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 16:38:09
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    NST - 2 minutes ago  » 

    jim danca - 46 minutes ago  » 
    Bedbugs love wood so be sure to inspect the wood frame.

    I'll bear that in mind, thanks very much! So far everything looks clean and non-suspicious, except for the appearance of the two black bugs in the evening, and the blood streak, so I'll keep inspecting everything daily for the coming weeks.

    Pictures of the bugs would really be helpful.

    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.
  7. NST

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Dec 4 2015 16:46:15
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    loubugs - 2 minutes ago  » 

    NST - 2 minutes ago  » 

    jim danca - 46 minutes ago  » 
    Bedbugs love wood so be sure to inspect the wood frame.

    I'll bear that in mind, thanks very much! So far everything looks clean and non-suspicious, except for the appearance of the two black bugs in the evening, and the blood streak, so I'll keep inspecting everything daily for the coming weeks.

    Pictures of the bugs would really be helpful.

    I know, I apologise that I am unhelpful in that regard! I had thoughtlessly gotten rid of both specimens and didn't think of bedbugs until I thought to look up black bugs, and have not seen another one for the last 26 hours (although if I do, I'll be sure to take a picture for you, and keep it in a sealed plastic bag). That said, the distinct impression I had was that they were black in colour, or at least a very very dark brown, not brown or reddish-brown, and they were both rounder (i.e. also less flat on the 'top') than the bedbugs that are pictured on the website...? I also did a little research on other non-flying, sanguinivorous insects (here) and couldn't seem to identify them either

    Do you still think I have cause to worry? Or should I wait until I see another one/keep inspecting the mattress and boards? Thanks for taking the time to respond!

    Based on my

  8. NST

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 16:52:11
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    Pictures of the bugs would really be helpful.

    (it looks like my reply was not posted the first time, apologies if you see this twice!!)

    I know, I'm sorry I've been unhelpful in that regard! I did not think to do anything when I had disposed of the two former specimens, and only when I thought perhaps to look them up for identification did the suggestion of bed bugs appear, and therefore worry me. That said, will it help if I said that they appeared black, or black-to-dark brown, as opposed to the brown and reddish-brown of the bugs pictured on the website? They were not as clearly segmented on the surface, until they were squashed, and I have a memory of quite a few legs as I tried to inspect them before disposing of them. They were also... a little more round than the flat-bodied bed bugs pictured here? There was a definite roundness in their 'height' - I tried looking up other sanguinivorous insects online, hoping to identify them among the non-flying ones but I had no such luck, so I'm not sure if they weren't bed bugs

    I'm sorry for being so unhelpful, but do you still think I have a cause for worry? Or should I just wait until I see one (in which case I will definitely photograph it for you), or otherwise keep inspecting the mattress/sheets/boards? Thanks so much for taking the time to write!

  9. NST

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Dec 4 2015 17:15:55
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    loubugs - 36 minutes ago  » 

    NST - 2 minutes ago  » 

    jim danca - 46 minutes ago  » 
    Bedbugs love wood so be sure to inspect the wood frame.

    I'll bear that in mind, thanks very much! So far everything looks clean and non-suspicious, except for the appearance of the two black bugs in the evening, and the blood streak, so I'll keep inspecting everything daily for the coming weeks.

    Pictures of the bugs would really be helpful.

    In follow-up to my answer to your comment, I had one more question - is it characteristic to see these bugs 'out in the open' moving visibly in lamplight? There was at least two lamplights on in the direct sphere of where both bugs were seen - it was evening/night time, but the lights were on at both occasions (apologies if this is irrelevant, I'm just trying to make up for the lack of photo evidence!)

    Thanks again

  10. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Dec 4 2015 17:47:22
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    They can be out in full light at times. Grab a photo when you find something in the future, it's best not to try and give a description from memory, we might be focusing on different parts of the bug and not get the ID correct.

  11. NST

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 18:07:22
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    BigDummy - 1 minute ago  » 
    They can be out in full light at times. Grab a photo when you find something in the future, it's best not to try and give a description from memory, we might be focusing on different parts of the bug and not get the ID correct.

    Ah, that makes me feel a little more nervous again You're right, it is probably best to just get a photo if I find another one, as opposed to guessing from memory no doubt addled by all the stress from inspecting the sheets and mattress over and over. It's just the blood streak that keeps me worried, though I know you said that's rarely a sign, it just happened so soon after I started worrying about it. I'll keep looking and let you know, thank you all for being patient with me as I have anxiety-ridden nights/days ahead!!

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Fri Dec 4 2015 19:14:55
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    That said, will it help if I said that they appeared black, or black-to-dark brown, as opposed to the brown and reddish-brown of the bugs pictured on the website?

    I would personally not call bed bugs black, but we've had people here who did. So as Big Dummy said, descriptions aren't very helpful.

    This is not reason to worry. Look at the photos of bed bugs and if you didn't think it looked like them, it probably wasn't.

    I've found plenty of insects in beds including beetles and little red mites. Learning to inspect your bed for signs is a good idea, but don't worry.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 11 hours ago  » 

    That said, will it help if I said that they appeared black, or black-to-dark brown, as opposed to the brown and reddish-brown of the bugs pictured on the website?

    I would personally not call bed bugs black, but we've had people here who did. So as Big Dummy said, descriptions aren't very helpful.
    This is not reason to worry. Look at the photos of bed bugs and if you didn't think it looked like them, it probably wasn't.
    I've found plenty of insects in beds including beetles and little red mites. Learning to inspect your bed for signs is a good idea, but don't worry.

    Thanks for such a patient and reassuring reply! The mention of mites makes me feel (a little?) better, although this morning when I woke up I began a new inspection of my pillows, sheets, mattress, wooden frame, and although I found no more blood streaks (than the one), I did find a single TINY red dot, circular and pin-head in size, which I was able to pick up, and to my horror it looked like an insect, which when I tried to place on a sheet of paper to photograph for you, my shaking finger crushed it blood-red on me - could that be a fed-up bed bug nymph and not a red mite?? It had, as far as I could see, thin antennae of sorts that I could pick up in the light but it was impossible to photograph after I'd crushed it badly I can't tell now if it resembled the one in the picture by Lou Sorkin on your website, feeding on his finger, as I'd located it, quite still, on the sheet.

    I did however keep the paper where it had stained (photographed for you):

    http://i.imgsafe.org/9fd31af.jpg

    I also discovered, in the vicinity of where I'd found both bugs, red-coloured stains:


    (I literally did not spot them until today, despite spending about ten minutes of every hour inspecting them over the last two days), along with two other tiny seed-like blood stains, or what look like them:


    and on the end of two of my wooden boards that support the mattress, something like those felt-tip pen black spots that I've seen on the website?

    http://i.imgsafe.org/9d8baf0.jpg
    http://i.imgsafe.org/8bc3e9f.jpg
    http://i.imgsafe.org/a1c6c4f.jpg

    That last image had a dot which I tried to brush off and it smudged or smeared blackish brown. The black dots on the first two pictures are not shiny or raised-looking or anything, but look matte or dull. Nothing else that is new has appeared on the mattress or the fitted sheet, and I might be over-noticing the new reddish spots on my arms (I tend to have all kinds of flushed and raised bumps over them all the time, but now in my slightly panicky state I'm not sure - they don't itch though, and don't look like bug bites yet).

    These are also two spots of debris that I couldn't identify and which of course now make me worried:


    http://i.imgsafe.org/a06efd0.jpg

    This is the original blood streak I found, with a close-up that can hopefully help in colour id?:

    http://i.imgsafe.org/8fa8b41.jpg
    http://i.imgsafe.org/8dcc5f8.jpg

    And this is an unidentifiable spot I had on the wall of the bed (towards the foot) which I couldn't move or figure out, but its flat and brown and has little lines across it and is opaque.

    http://i.imgsafe.org/a0d3b8b.jpg

    My bed has three walls, FYI, and wooden frames instead of a boxspring. I am linking all the images for you, in the hopes you all might let me know what I should be doing next. Is it time to call someone in, or if I should stop worrying? Should I be laundering my items, as you mentioned in a response here or can I use a Pif-Paf powder that says it also kills bed-bugs (it is very effective against ants in our kitchen)? Frankly I am a little paralysed as to what to do, I could barely check anyone else's beds at home here, and I am shaking quite badly now and feel very sick and very panicky and trying not to burst into tears, so I apologise for all of this, and I'm sorry especially if I have been overreacting or reading anything wrongly.

  14. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 13 hours ago  » 

    That said, will it help if I said that they appeared black, or black-to-dark brown, as opposed to the brown and reddish-brown of the bugs pictured on the website?

    I would personally not call bed bugs black, but we've had people here who did. So as Big Dummy said, descriptions aren't very helpful.
    This is not reason to worry. Look at the photos of bed bugs and if you didn't think it looked like them, it probably wasn't.
    I've found plenty of insects in beds including beetles and little red mites. Learning to inspect your bed for signs is a good idea, but don't worry.

    Okay, so I've been trying to calm down a little and keep doing more research, and from the dozens of pictures I've been looking at of unfed and fed bed bugs in their various stages, the more I feel that the two larger ones I got rid of don't remind of these. That said, the tiny bright-red dot of a bug that crushed red in my hand, combined with the various blood-stains I've discovered and the black dots on the wood boards are still filling me with panic, so if anyone has the time to answer and let me know what the best thing to do would be, that would be great, as at the moment I'm feeling lost and helpless. thanks again, all.

  15. NST

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    Sat Dec 5 2015 10:14:03
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    UPDATE: I think that's it, I should've seen it.

    I was just looking at this picture again when I noticed the reddish dot to one side, to the left along the thin metal bar:

    http://i.imgsafe.org/8bc3e9f.jpg

    This was hours ago but just now I lifted the mattress to inspect it and sure enough the little red dot was still there, a reddish slightly shiny dot, a little smaller than a poppy seed. I tried to use a pair of tweezers but the space was too small for them to pick anything up, so I tried using a pin to coax it out onto the wood where I could squash it, but it was alive and it rather quickly moved lower down the bottom edge of the plank until I lost it.

    Do you think that's it? Should I just go ahead and inform the family I think I've found bedbugs? Or should I keep inspecting? I don't want things to lag longer as I'm afraid any possible infestation will only grow.

    I was wondering if anyone might be able to help and see what option would be best for me. These are two of the companies (Vanguard and Gulf Chemicals) working in my area, do you think they would help?

  16. jim danca

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    If that were fecal, you would be finding live bugs somewhere. On a bed like that, they'll usually be where the slat of wood rests against the metal frame.

  17. NST

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    jim danca - 2 minutes ago  » 
    If that were fecal, you would be finding live bugs somewhere. On a bed like that, they'll usually be where the slat of wood rests against the metal frame.

    I'll definitely keep that in mind. That's exactly where I found whatever it is that moved and crawled round to the darker edge of the wood slat, where I could no longer reach it. It was so small and 'dot'-like that I thought it was fecal matter or something else, but if it moved it must be alive, right?

    Do you think I should just ask my parents to call in a PCO to the house?

  18. NST

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    If anyone's able to spare a minute and quickly look at the images I've embedded or linked and give any opinions, confirm the ID of the fecal traces, anything, etc., I'd be hugely grateful. If you think I should go ahead and spring it on the family and start calling PCOs I'd also be grateful, as I don't know what to do right now and with everything happening at home right now I can barely handle the stress If you do think it's pretty likely though, I'll at least know what to do to solve the problem if possible! Thanks again, all.

  19. NST

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    I can't apologise enough, now for my writing again and I feel terrible for writing again, but if anyone - anyone - can write back and give me any feedback on the images/updates? If you can let me know what you think I'd be so grateful, just to give me the strength to ask for a PCO or otherwise wait - anxiously waiting for any opinions/suggestions/recommendations

  20. Nobugsonme

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    I am hoping you will wait for more expert feedback. This can take a little more time on the weekends.

    I am not an expert but I would not be worried about the "debris" -- bed bug fecal isn't a speck you can lift up.

    Also the ones that look like blood stains are likely blood and therefore do not confirm bed bugs.

    If your small red bug had legs and antennae which were also red, it isn't a bed bug. First instars are translucent until they feed but even then, the legs are still translucent. Also, bed bug first instars are 1mm long and red mites may be smaller.

    I hope that helps a little.

  21. NST

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    I think I found one. That's it. Here are the three pictures. It was on the wall, quite visible, not far from the the head wall-frame of my bed. I had no sticky tape nearby but I had a plaster handy and used that instead



    I've put it in a plastic sandwich bag and taped it sealed now. I feel sick with despair and I feel things have been ruined forever, I can't imagine. Does it get better? Will I be rid of them? How long does it take for the whole ordeal, with all the POC visits, for the flat to be clear? It is now late night and I know I have to sleep in my bed and all, and I've read the FAQs countless times now I'm so tired of the worry, but I feel sick with what's going to have to come, we've only been here a year and the whole move was traumatic enough, and now this

    Should I call the PCO in the morning to come in? Now I have to tell my family that at least my bed area has them, should I be laundering the sheets or should I leave them or? If anyone can please, please help.

  22. misery

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    Not a pro, and sorry.... but that looks like a bed bug. Not quite full grown.

    Not a pro here. Call me Jon Snow...... for I know nothing, except what I've experienced.
  23. NST

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    misery - 29 seconds ago  » 
    Not a pro, and sorry.... but that looks like a bed bug. Not quite full grown.

    That's what I thought too I am just barely trying to keep myself from having another panic attack and just trying to calmly plan what I have to do in the morning and for many weeks after this... Have you had any experience with this? Does it get better?

  24. NST

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    I also want to add that my bed is an IKEA bed with the standard wooden slats (as are everyone's beds in the house), but I've got 3 drawers underneath mine where I store things. I use 2 of them almost daily, and the third I use about monthly, what will I have to do with these to treat them? Can anyone direct me to the parts of the FAQs I will now need?

  25. misery

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    I got to say though, having been through this twice now in 12 months with different apartments. Sleep in your bed. Be glad you don't react to bites. I kept a flashlight, Ziploc, and clear packaging tape precut into small strips near my bed to soothe myself and catch stragglers if (when) I awoke at night. It's hard. I am not saying it isn't, but I wasn't okay until I developed the mindset that I was going to be okay. That I would win. It helps to talk to people. I really wish you the best. Call your landlord Monday and let them get the ball rolling.

    To prepare? Clean. Declutter. Vacuum. There are a lot of suggestions in the forums. Don't go on a garbage spree. Don't let the anxiety win. They are just really icky mosquitoes, without the malaria.

  26. misery

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    http://bedbugger.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bed-bugs-bed-bug-faqs/stuff/

    Read through the FAQS. And again ten times if that helps. I'm an information junkie. I soothe my soul with it, but in some cases it's the opposite for people so know your limits and take care of you!

  27. NST

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    misery - 9 minutes ago  » 
    I got to say though, having been through this twice now in 12 months with different apartments. Sleep in your bed. Be glad you don't react to bites. I kept a flashlight, Ziploc, and clear packaging tape precut into small strips near my bed to soothe myself and catch stragglers if (when) I awoke at night. It's hard. I am not saying it isn't, but I wasn't okay until I developed the mindset that I was going to be okay. That I would win. It helps to talk to people. I really wish you the best. Call your landlord Monday and let them get the ball rolling.
    To prepare? Clean. Declutter. Vacuum. There are a lot of suggestions in the forums. Don't go on a garbage spree. Don't let the anxiety win. They are just really icky mosquitoes, without the malaria.

    I hope you know how much encouragement your words have given me, they sound so kind and considerate - and calming! - at the moment as I'm fighting back tears and feeling so utterly hopeless. I need to believe I'm going to be okay, and in the meantime, I will definitely start putting things in the washing machine, and begin cleaning and decluttering and vacuuming, until a PCO can arrive. Thanks again for taking the time to write to a very desperate and stressed poster, and I am so glad to hear that you are finally free of them - I hope I'll be able to say the same sometime soon.

  28. NST

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    misery - 13 minutes ago  » 
    http://bedbugger.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bed-bugs-bed-bug-faqs/stuff/
    Read through the FAQS. And again ten times if that helps. I'm an information junkie. I soothe my soul with it, but in some cases it's the opposite for people so know your limits and take care of you!

    I am reading (and rereading!) them now as we speak/type! I am not sure, with this, how much information is soothing or distressing me, especially as I summon the courage to have to tell the rest of my family tomorrow, lest my bed's not the only one. I just keep trying to soothe myself by rehearsing what I have to do tomorrow when I wake up and what we'll all have to do... I will do my best to take care of me, as hard as it sounds for me to even start, but your words mean the world!

  29. jim danca

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    You'll want to inspect the drawers below the bed. Not that familiar with IKEA beds, but if there are parts that are screwed together you might want to disassemble it and do a thorough cleaning. Don't set off any bombs. A good homemade contact killer that also cleans surfaces can be made by mixing 5 ounce of 50% rubbing alcohol, with 5 ounces of Murphy's Soap, mixed with 10 ounces of water.

  30. NST

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    jim danca - 7 minutes ago  » 
    You'll want to inspect the drawers below the bed. Not that familiar with IKEA beds, but if there are parts that are screwed together you might want to disassemble it and do a thorough cleaning. Don't set off any bombs. A good homemade contact killer that also cleans surfaces can be made by mixing 5 ounce of 50% rubbing alcohol, with 5 ounces of Murphy's Soap, mixed with 10 ounces of water.

    Thanks, Jim! I'll try and buy some isopropyl alcohol tomorrow, and I'm not sure if we have Murphy's Soap products here, but could I use dishwasher soap instead, or a Pledge liquid cleaner? You're right about IKEA beds, they must be assembled, and this one was a particularly hard job, but I'll definitely plan to disassemble it for cleaning, and will be sure not to have the POC arrange for any bombs, either! Trying to steel myself for my first long day ahead to clean and bag, starting with the bed area and drawers (all this after just finding a new, older looking bug crawling on the bedcover just as I was about to drop off, squashing it on a piece of tape and sealing it along with the other one, for the POC to see) Thanks again as always

  31. misery

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    I spent enough nights sobbing and hating my home and being anxious, I do understand. It just is such a process, and mentally taxing. Different than for everyone but really go for walks! Visit a park. Go to a pet store or local animal shelter and hug some puppies. All of these things will center you, and help you focus on beyond the bed bugs and positive thinking. I'm glad my words help. I hope you take them to heart!

  32. Nobugsonme

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    Wait for an expert to confirm but yes it does look like a bed bug or closely related species.

    In my opinion, I would try and get the PCO in BEFORE you try and do a lot of cleaning/vacuuming/etc. some require extensive prep but others require none. You're best off finding out what your PCO wants and giving them a chance to inspect and see what they see and where. Once you clean extensively, that chance may be lost.

  33. Bedofnightmares

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    Be careful when youre cleaning not to contaminate other areas. Anything leaving the bed bug area should be inspected thoroughly and placed in a safe zone. If it's headed for the wash bag it first , tightly. And when the contaminated bag is empty put it in another tight bag and get rid of it away from your home. (That last part might be over board but that's just how I am). We have also been De-clothing and leaving our sleeping clothing in the bug zone and walk our naked bodies to the safe zone to dress out of our totes.
    We don't bring anything unnecessary in or out of the bug zone. Our bug zone will stay Spartan until we are finished treating.
    I do bug checks on my frame every night or so for a few hours. Anything I find is plucked off with tweezers, placed in an alcohol bath and flushed down the toilet. I feel like I've really helped my situation with my manual bug and egg removals. Each night I find less and less and after my second treatment I was expecting a resurgence like many people have reported,( and like what happened after the first treatment) but so far three nights in no bites and no bugs in my climb ups.
    I removed close to 100 bugs (eggs or living). And it helps me sleep at night to know that that is close to 100 bugs that won't be biting me.
    I feel like we caught it early and I'm fortunate enough to not live in an apartment type community. (Single family home).
    I'm hopeful that this will be over for me soon.
    Hang in there, the emotional distress is overwhelming at times. It's like mental terrorism knowing you have to sleep in your bed and be live bait so they don't move to other areas of your home.
    Good luck I hope sharing my experience and personal rituals will help.

  34. Bedofnightmares

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    If you find bugs and havnt had a PCO yet keep them as proof! I also wanted to add that if I'm to be bitten I'm going to control where. So I tuck my pants into my socks, I tuck my shirt in to my pants and I wear gloves . All they get are my arms.

  35. loubugs

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    Just confirm what you already know. Yes, that's a bed bug nymph and it's not one that has recently fed.

  36. NST

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 13:26:58
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    Nobugsonme - 20 hours ago  » 
    I am hoping you will wait for more expert feedback. This can take a little more time on the weekends.
    I am not an expert but I would not be worried about the "debris" -- bed bug fecal isn't a speck you can lift up.
    Also the ones that look like blood stains are likely blood and therefore do not confirm bed bugs.
    If your small red bug had legs and antennae which were also red, it isn't a bed bug. First instars are translucent until they feed but even then, the legs are still translucent. Also, bed bug first instars are 1mm long and red mites may be smaller.
    I hope that helps a little.

    I hope I didn't come across as rude or impatient when waiting for replies, and I'm sorry if that was the case! I totally forgot about weekends, thanks for that! I think the small red bug (the one I'd picked up and crushed blood) had clear antennae and was likely 1mm long (bearing in mind what you said about describing from memory of course I may be wrong), but after looking at the red legs of red mites online, I don't think it was. The little rusty-red dot of a bug that escaped me on the wood slats also escaped a closer observation by me, sadly.
    Thanks for looking at the images!

  37. NST

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 13:35:30
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    Nobugsonme - 12 hours ago  » 
    Wait for an expert to confirm but yes it does look like a bed bug.
    In my opinion, I would try and get the PCO in BEFORE you try and do a lot of cleaning/vacuuming/etc. some require extensive prep but others require none. You're best off finding out what your PCO wants and giving them a chance to inspect and see what they see and where. Once you clean extensively, that chance may be lost.

    @loubugs confirmed it an hour ago, as did the PCO when they arrived (I showed them the same sample posted here along with an older, darker bug I caught before dropping off last night), and they did some extensive spraying in my area as well as the rest of the flat.

    The only other steps I've taken is putting all my washing (fitted sheet, pillow cases, cover slip) into the wash on a 96 degree celsius wash for over an hour. I've brought some ethyl alcohol (rubbing alcohols are very hard to get where I live, as are PCOs who are a little more... knowledgeable/expert) and Pinesol, etc., and plan to begin cleaning and vacuuming all day tomororrow.

    My question is, my mattress has been sprayed (as have the wooden slats, etc.), and my pillows have been placed out in the cold. Should I remain sleeping on the unsheeted mattress and un-cased pillows, uncovered duvet, etc. for the next two weeks? Should I be putting new sheets and things? Also, we are putting the wash out to dry tomorrow before putting it in a bag, but do you think you could tell me (as the PCO won't) when I could unbag them?

    I've also spent all day rereading the FAQs, and am frankly a little overwhelmed We don't have access to a dryer or a Packlite, so can I use the ethyl alcohol-Pinesol-water mixture, or isopropyl alcohol swabs/wipes to clean out the items in my bed drawers before bagging/Rubbermaid boxing them, and to clean out the bedframe? I'm also still unclear on the instructions on clothes - PCO's sprayed over most of them, and only said it's preferable to wash them after 3 hours of spraying, or otherwise to leave them, what should I do?

    So, so sorry for the questioning, but as you can imagine, living in a coastal desert country means I shouldn't have hoped to get more guidance from the PCO. We may be calling a different PCO for the second treatment in two weeks...

    Thanks again for being so patient!

  38. NST

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 13:37:56
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    loubugs - 2 hours ago  » 
    Just confirm what you already know. Yes, that's a bed bug nymph and it's not one that has recently fed.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to look and confirm! Not that the news is good at all, but I'm glad to know it's confirmed at least as we've had to start taking action. I also located a larger one that looked more adult (darker, larger, slightly elongated), didn't crush blood when I squashed it on the Sellotape but I'm not sure if that means anything) and the PCO confirmed, when I showed him both, that they were bed bugs...

  39. NST

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 13:40:21
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    Nobugsonme - 12 hours ago  » 
    Wait for an expert to confirm but yes it does look like a bed bug.
    In my opinion, I would try and get the PCO in BEFORE you try and do a lot of cleaning/vacuuming/etc. some require extensive prep but others require none. You're best off finding out what your PCO wants and giving them a chance to inspect and see what they see and where. Once you clean extensively, that chance may be lost.

    I wanted to ask, can I still be allowed to keep on posting on this forum post and asking questions for help and guidance as we get through? We're pretty much on our own now with regards to hot washing the sheets and I'm not sure what the best sleeping arrangement would be for me tonight (on my bed, I know), as well as the cleaning and vacuuming until we get a second PCO to do the second treatment in two weeks, and I could really use your thoughts and recommendations to try and do with what I can, in my circumstances.

  40. NST

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    misery - 18 hours ago  » 
    I spent enough nights sobbing and hating my home and being anxious, I do understand. It just is such a process, and mentally taxing. Different than for everyone but really go for walks! Visit a park. Go to a pet store or local animal shelter and hug some puppies. All of these things will center you, and help you focus on beyond the bed bugs and positive thinking. I'm glad my words help. I hope you take them to heart!

    I've been an absolute mess all day today, sobbing when I was alone in the car all day, driving around and trying to get rubbing alcohol and other things to start cleaning, and I've been fraught with horrible anxiety tossing the bedthings in the hot washing machine as the PCO came in for the spraying. I am trying my absolute best, though, to take your words to heart, and try and put things in perspective and be my old self again, but as I am waiting for the spray to settle, I can't stop thinking about them and figuring out what to do. That seems to be the key, is just at least to focus on the next thing I have to do today, then sleep, then the first thing I have to do tomorrow, and so on, and just hope for the best... You've been so kind!!

  41. jim danca

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 13:45:17
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    What product did the pco use? You said he sprayed your clothes?

  42. NST

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    Bedofnightmares - 11 hours ago  » 
    Be careful when youre cleaning not to contaminate other areas. Anything leaving the bed bug area should be inspected thoroughly and placed in a safe zone. If it's headed for the wash bag it first , tightly. And when the contaminated bag is empty put it in another tight bag and get rid of it away from your home. (That last part might be over board but that's just how I am). We have also been De-clothing and leaving our sleeping clothing in the bug zone and walk our naked bodies to the safe zone to dress out of our totes.
    We don't bring anything unnecessary in or out of the bug zone. Our bug zone will stay Spartan until we are finished treating.
    I do bug checks on my frame every night or so for a few hours. Anything I find is plucked off with tweezers, placed in an alcohol bath and flushed down the toilet. I feel like I've really helped my situation with my manual bug and egg removals. Each night I find less and less and after my second treatment I was expecting a resurgence like many people have reported,( and like what happened after the first treatment) but so far three nights in no bites and no bugs in my climb ups.
    I removed close to 100 bugs (eggs or living). And it helps me sleep at night to know that that is close to 100 bugs that won't be biting me.
    I feel like we caught it early and I'm fortunate enough to not live in an apartment type community. (Single family home).
    I'm hopeful that this will be over for me soon.
    Hang in there, the emotional distress is overwhelming at times. It's like mental terrorism knowing you have to sleep in your bed and be live bait so they don't move to other areas of your home.
    Good luck I hope sharing my experience and personal rituals will help.

    Sharing your personal rituals and experience has helped immensely! I've been taking comfort in rereading what you've been doing and trying to see what I will have to do myself. Now that Ive put all the sheets and cases in the machine on the hot (boiling care) setting, should I dry them outside (no dryer) and then bag them? What should I sleep on tonight, just the mattress and uncased pillows and cover? And should I keep it that way over the next two weeks or? The FAQs were a little unclear/overwhelming with info for me to understand this properly.

    The PCO sprayed today, so I am going to be spending all day tomorrow cleaning/disinfecting and clearing/vacuuming the area. I'm thinking I might just use rubbing alcohol to clean what I can and bag/box it up to leave hidden for the next two weeks, until we can find someone better to do the second treatment.

    I am still feeling numb and sick with despair and uncertainty and the overwhelming days ahead of us, but you're right - it feels a little better knowing you're doing something to win. Thanks for taking all that time to write how you've been coping and what you've been doing - I hope we are both free of them in the weeks to come, and that they never come back!!

  43. NST

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 14:22:12
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    jim danca - 34 minutes ago  » 
    What product did the pco use? You said he sprayed your clothes?

    I couldn't see the label name but the products they used were all locally made, so I am not sure. He sprayed the mattress, wooden slats, bedframe, (wooden) floor and rugs, mostly, but I think he meant the hanging effect of the product in the air would also cover the clothes... we weren't allowed in the room at the time... he assured us it would kill all the live bugs with 80% success, and that he would have to return a second time to finish the job, but we may ask another PCO in. Do you think it sounds ineffective or not right for bedbugs? We're going to clean and vacuum over the next two weeks and I'll keep a close eye, I guess...

  44. Nobugsonme

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    Sun Dec 6 2015 17:36:27
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    NST - 3 hours ago  » 

    jim danca - 34 minutes ago  » 
    What product did the pco use? You said he sprayed your clothes?

    I couldn't see the label name but the products they used were all locally made, so I am not sure. He sprayed the mattress, wooden slats, bedframe, (wooden) floor and rugs, mostly, but I think he meant the hanging effect of the product in the air would also cover the clothes... we weren't allowed in the room at the time... he assured us it would kill all the live bugs with 80% success, and that he would have to return a second time to finish the job, but we may ask another PCO in. Do you think it sounds ineffective or not right for bedbugs? We're going to clean and vacuum over the next two weeks and I'll keep a close eye, I guess...

    You have a right to know exactly which products were applied and where. This also affects whether you or another pco can or should be applying other products later (and where and when) so please call and ask for a list. "All products produced locally" sounds dubious in my opinion. We may be able to recommend someone locally if you say where you are (you can PM me if you don't want to say here).

    How much prep is needed varies widely. Is it just one bug that was found? Did the PCO inspect before treating?

    As I understand it, you should not sleep on the bare mattress where product was applied. Please use sheets (and mattress pad if you normally do). These can be washed in future also.

    Of course you can keep posting here during your ordeal. Keep in mind people do different things for bed bugs and all are not equally effective or helpful (some may not be). So please use judgment and don't go overboard.

  45. NST

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    Mon Dec 7 2015 2:29:25
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    Nobugsonme - 8 hours ago  » 

    NST - 3 hours ago  » 

    jim danca - 34 minutes ago  » 
    What product did the pco use? You said he sprayed your clothes?

    I couldn't see the label name but the products they used were all locally made, so I am not sure. He sprayed the mattress, wooden slats, bedframe, (wooden) floor and rugs, mostly, but I think he meant the hanging effect of the product in the air would also cover the clothes... we weren't allowed in the room at the time... he assured us it would kill all the live bugs with 80% success, and that he would have to return a second time to finish the job, but we may ask another PCO in. Do you think it sounds ineffective or not right for bedbugs? We're going to clean and vacuum over the next two weeks and I'll keep a close eye, I guess...

    You have a right to know exactly which products were applied and where. This also affects whether you or another pco can or should be applying other products later (and where and when) so please call and ask for a list. "All products produced locally" sounds dubious in my opinion. We may be able to recommend someone locally if you say where you are (you can PM me if you don't want to say here).
    How much prep is needed varies widely. Is it just one bug that was found? Did the PCO inspect before treating?
    As I understand it, you should not sleep on the bare mattress where product was applied. Please use sheets (and mattress pad if you normally do). These can be washed in future also.
    Of course you can keep posting here during your ordeal. Keep in mind people do different things for bed bugs and all are not equally effective or helpful (some may not be). So please use judgment and don't go overboard.

    After the PCO left I tried to do some research while the spray treatment dried, and it looks a lot like Temprid actually - he showed us a 'locally made' bottle of stuff first before saying he used Temprid, which I saw him prepare a solution with from the bath before he started spraying. I will call to confirm, although in the night we all suffered from burning irritation in the eyes and I had to get out of my bed as did my siblings, whose eyes were burning up until morning (mine are now fine). He did spray my mattress but my bedding was in the wash by then - he was indiscriminate with the other two beds and sprayed over the linens and covers which I read you must not do... They are not being cooperative at all now over the phone, and we are trying to see if we can get help another way. In the meantime, we're going to clean once we're back home today, hot washing and sealing all the clothes and linens affected by the spraying, vacuuming and cleaning the rest. I will PM you my location right away, too. Thanks

  46. NST

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    Mon Dec 7 2015 10:14:38
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    I'm not sure why I'm updating on here, maybe because it's helping me feel a little about the progress as well as the obstacles ahead, and I hope no-one minds... (I won't mind if anyone doesn't have the time and ignores the horribly long updates either!)

    So in the aftermath of the not-so-good PCO visit where he sprayed what looks like Temprid all over the house (especially the two beds in my room, which I share with a sibling), we've been airing the rooms as the rest of my family is still feeling irritated though I've been fine since morning), and boil-washing our bedding in the washing machine while bagging up the blankets and pillows for dry-cleaning. We've also been stocking up on garbage bags, smaller bags, wipes, and ethyl alcohol (the only alcoholic substance permitted where I live) to mix with water and soap/Pinesol/etc. as a contact killer and for spray-cleaning the mattresses and the beds.

    I located, while inspecting/spraying my mattress, two small unfed bugs (both looked like nymphs I think), and nothing else, no other signs whatsoever except the ones I've already shared. That said, while moving various furniture away from the bed to prepare for tomorrow's emptying of drawers, intense, cleaning, and vacuuming, overturning, etc., I did see a bloodstain, along with two bug-shaped bloodstains where I must have inadvertently (and recently, as the stains are quite red) squashed two fed bugs. These were located on the outerwall at the foot of my bed, which is making me also suspect a very old woven trunk/basket (which we've had in all our moves for the last 20+ years and which I'd taken for myself when we moved this year to store my bags and purses), as it's where I had observed two of the older/darker bugs. I'm going to be taking out its contents to clean, dry, and bag while safely disposing of the old furniture so no-one else uses it. But there are no signs whatever on my sibling's mattress or bed , when I cleaned it too, so now all that worries me is that the source, though thankfully the problem appears still very small, must be a little harder to find than the mattress, pillows, sheets, and visible surface of the bed. But I'll find out tomorrow.

    We have two weeks to go for our next (new, and hopefully more professional/experienced/expert) PCO visit, so we are repairing our vacuum cleaner and restocking on ethyl alcohol, garbage bags, etc. to start our cleaning tomorrow around my whole bed zone, along with washing all the bedding and clothes in the house after the pesticide spraying.

    I still feel like a shadow of myself, overwhelmed by the 'trauma,' or shock if that's more appropriate, of all of this, of the huge overhaul of cleaning and inspecting and vacuuming which I know will be going on not just for the next two weeks but the two weeks after that, and more of course, and feeling like what had been my safe haven of a home (and bed!) are no longer so. But my parents pointed out that this is also a good time for us to clear our clutter (of which we have a lot, having had to move to a much smaller flat), disposing what we don't need, and better handling what we do have, for better hygiene too and maybe even lifestyle, and maybe I will come back to reclaim some of it back for me. Does any of this make sense? Has anyone else felt like that?

    I also want to thank anyone who's posted and who's had to bear with my very panicky posts, as you've all been so good at helping me focus at the task at hand and try and do something everyday, answering all my questions as the information still overwhelms me. I will try and keep posting as I get through it! After a busy morning and afternoon I am resting for a moment before the evening and night set out, where I'm going to go out for the laundry and a quick restocking before a tidy-up, and finally returning to my bed.

    As always I welcome any pointers, warnings, recommendations for or against anything I'm doing or planning on doing, any pointers for the time ahead, anything at all! I have already explained to @Nobugsonme our host, but the country where I live doesn't exactly have 'professional' PCOs, although I've since located two other companies, nor is there anything (that is in practice) that protects renters, but we're doing what we can at least for the next two weeks. I have also bought a box of what aren't monitors, I don't think, but bedbug detectors? They look like traps of sorts, which you can place under your mattress, by your bed, and so on, and if one appears on it then you know you've got more. Should I save the use of these for after the four weeks (two weeks after the next PCO visit) or not?

  47. jim danca

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    It sounds like you're being vigilant enough. Have you kept a tally of how many bedbugs you've found? You may only have a four to six week old problem. Not a fan of the type of monitors you described. There's some debate whether or not glue can be used for detection purposes or to resolve a bedbug problem. Disclosure - I utilize my own traps to resolve bedbug problems.

  48. NST

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    jim danca - 1 hour ago  » 
    It sounds like you're being vigilant enough. Have you kept a tally of how many bedbugs you've found? You may only have a four to six week old problem. Not a fan of the type of monitors you described. There's some debate whether or not glue can be used for detection purposes or to resolve a bedbug problem. Disclosure - I utilize my own traps to resolve bedbug problems.

    I really hope so. I've made a checklist of pretty much what I've summarised above as my plan, and I hope to get through it tomorrow and be really thorough. Yes, I've found 6 so far - 3 of those have been darker and older (adult-looking) bedbugs, and 3 have been nymphs (more translucent), and then there are the two bug-shaped bloodstains that I don't remember doing (must have done it without seeing them) on the outer wall at the foot of the bed, that makes me think we can total 8 maybe? Is that a sign of anything, could it really be a four-to-six week problem? I am concerned that I have been unable to locate or find any eggs (or more fecal stains like the ones I photographed on the wooden slats), though I was careful while spraying the mattress, to look for any masses of whitish/clear/yellowish dots. But I couldn't find any, so it worries me that the source is yet unclear (and the PCO did not do this), though hopefully that will be more clear tomorrow.

    I'll definitely take your words about the 'detector' into consideration - I couldn't find anything that resembled a monitor (like the active or passive ones mentioned on this website) specifically for bedbugs, and so I thought this might not hurt at least, when the second two weeks are over?

    I was also wondering, if anyone knew - once I've cleaned/dried/disinfected/sealed items and cleaned and decluttered around the bed area, how often should the spraying (of the alcohol mixture) and vacuuming take place over the next two weeks? (and the two weeks after the second PCO treatment when we manage to get a new PCO to come)? Should I be doing this daily (and as a result boil-washing the sheet and pillowcases daily) or twice daily until the treatment is fully over in a month's time?

    My parents also think we should air the mattress out in the sun, but the sun isn't too reliable in this cold weather (though it's still warm when it does shine), but I am concerned this will help any bedbugs to escape and remain in the balcony until they can return inside. Am I right to think the mattress should stay on the bed for the next two fortnight sessions?

  49. NST

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    Mon Dec 7 2015 13:27:49
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    I thought I'd also post this question again on its own in the likely event others might not read my lengthy response to @jimdanca, if anyone had any ideas!

    I was also wondering, if anyone knew - once I've cleaned/dried/disinfected/sealed items and cleaned and decluttered around the bed area, how often should the spraying (of the alcohol mixture) and vacuuming take place over the next two weeks? (and the two weeks after the second PCO treatment when we manage to get a new PCO to come)? Should I be doing this daily (and as a result boil-washing the sheet and pillowcases daily) or twice daily until the treatment is fully over in a month's time?

    My parents also think we should air the mattress out in the sun, but the sun isn't too reliable in this cold weather (though it's still warm when it does shine), but I am concerned this will help any bedbugs to escape and remain in the balcony until they can return inside. Am I right to think the mattress should stay on the bed for the next two fortnight sessions?

  50. NST

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    Mon Dec 7 2015 13:54:17
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    Also, what should I be doing with my pillows? Right now I'm just putting new pillow cases on them before I sleep tonight, but I've since read the posts on pillows, and I know there was a post where someone said that David Cain did not think they lived in pillows, etc., and mine look okay I think, but I am now wondering:

    Will new pillows will be the best.m now wondering, should I be putting these in the washing machine on the hottest setting too? And should I do this now, or at the end of the four weeks (or so) of treatment? And otherwise, what should my policy on pillows be in the next four weeks (or so)?

  51. distressed

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    Can I ask did the pco say the red stains on the wall were bed bug related? I am trying to determine whether I have them and I have found similar stains on a ceiling fan, some bedroom furniture and on a door frame. I can't be 100 % sure whether these were there before my bedbug scare or not.

  52. jim danca

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    Mon Dec 7 2015 14:42:40
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    If washing the pillows gives you piece of mind, then wash the pillows.

  53. NST

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    distressed - 12 hours ago  » 
    Can I ask did the pco say the red stains on the wall were bed bug related? I am trying to determine whether I have them and I have found similar stains on a ceiling fan, some bedroom furniture and on a door frame. I can't be 100 % sure whether these were there before my bedbug scare or not.

    I'm afraid he didn't comment on the red stains at all, as I just showed him the actual bugs I'd saved from the day before You can start a new forum post and post some pictures if that might help as others can help you identify/not identify them! Hope this helps

  54. NST

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    jim danca - 11 hours ago  » 
    If washing the pillows gives you piece of mind, then wash the pillows.

    Alright, Jim! And airing the mattress? Advisable or...?

  55. Nobugsonme

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    Please be extremely cautious about spraying alcohol or anything containing it.\

    There are stories of people burning their homes down after doing this. This is an issue not only if you smoke, because electricity can sometimes cause sparks. I don't think the fumes are great for you either.

    Yes, alcohol is a contact killer. But a contact killer will only kill bed bugs you see and spray directly, and there are other ways to kill bed bugs you see. So there is little benefit in spraying it everywhere.

    It sounds like you have a very small bed bug problem. It may take a few weeks to resolve, but you may not actually need to do much else. Try to hang in there. You will get through this!

    See if you can talk to attached neighbors about whether they have a problem.

  56. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 3 hours ago  » 
    Please be extremely cautious about spraying alcohol or anything containing it.\
    There are stories of people burning their homes down after doing this. This is an issue not only if you smoke, because electricity can sometimes cause sparks. I don't think the fumes are great for you either.
    Yes, alcohol is a contact killer. But a contact killer will only kill bed bugs you see and spray directly, and there are other ways to kill bed bugs you see. So there is little benefit in spraying it everywhere.
    It sounds like you have a very small bed bug problem. It may take a few weeks to resolve, but you may not actually need to do much else. Try to hang in there. You will get through this!
    See if you can talk to attached neighbors about whether they have a problem.

    I will take your advice on the alcohol! I had taken the caution of airing the room during the spraying and the whole time they dried, and there was no smoking or used electricity at the time, and though it felt good to use it on the mattress seams and edges yesterday, I can see how the potential risks are worth the caution (of not using it).

    So an update on today: we have cleaned the entire bedframe, pulling out the emptied drawers and mattress and the walls and floors around them, including the skirting/low wainscoting, and we have found nothing else, except one dead-looking bug in one wooden slat (the same one that had the stains) and one that looked either dead or like a shed skin, on the same slat. We have cleaned everything else, and all the items in the room are bagged, the clothes for washing and the other items for close inspecting and cleaning/drying before I return them carefully to sealed bags or plastic boxes. The two old items of furniture were emptied, nothing was found in them either but they are more or less damaged and so we have put them in sealed bags to throw out.

    Now it's just to boil-wash the clothes and rest of the bedding and begin looking at the items I bagged for inspecting and cleaning, and then bagging/sealing in new bags, and I will keep cleaning and inspecting the bed daily. Do you really think it sounds like a very small problem?? I keep trying to tell myself that now, as it's giving me the extra courage to keep hanging in over the next two weeks, to keep cleaning and checking. If there are no other signs over the next two weeks, should I still have a second PCO visit? What do you think would be the best practice in this case?

    I will also boil-wash the pillows, when I can, and keep them for the next two weeks or so.

  57. misery

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    You're definitely on top of it. And you're getting (and sounds like you're heeding) great advice, not sure I can add more to it.... I just came to check up on your situation! Reminds me of me, I channeled my feelings into work and now, I haven't seen any bugs in.... drum roll.... 11 weeks! I don't cry anymore. I check but I limit myself to twice a week. I have micromanaged my own OCD by scheduling a weekly checkup and one extra checkup. If my anxiety gets ahold of me, I use my "spare" checkup and go over everything to soothe it. But I really weigh the pros and cons knowing my "extra" checkup won't come back until Sunday. My weekly checkup is every Wednesday. It works. I'm sleeping better, this is totally beatable. Like I said here or somewhere, they're just like mosquitos but without the malaria! We just have to talk our minds down lol. Best of luck. Glad you're doing so well!

  58. Nobugsonme

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    misery - 3 hours ago  » 
    You're definitely on top of it. And you're getting (and sounds like you're heeding) great advice, not sure I can add more to it.... I just came to check up on your situation! Reminds me of me, I channeled my feelings into work and now, I haven't seen any bugs in.... drum roll.... 11 weeks!

    Thanks for sharing that, misery. Look forward to reading your success story soon!

  59. Nobugsonme

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    Do you really think it sounds like a very small problem??

    I am not clear on how many bed bugs you or the PCO actually found when searching, but so far it doesn't sound like a lot.

    I think you're doing great. Hang in there!

  60. misery

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    Nobugsonme - 2 hours ago  » 

    Thanks for sharing that, misery. Look forward to reading your success story soon!

    Soon...... I am not counting chickens until 2016 hits. Lol.

  61. NST

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    misery - 5 hours ago  » 
    You're definitely on top of it. And you're getting (and sounds like you're heeding) great advice, not sure I can add more to it.... I just came to check up on your situation! Reminds me of me, I channeled my feelings into work and now, I haven't seen any bugs in.... drum roll.... 11 weeks! I don't cry anymore. I check but I limit myself to twice a week. I have micromanaged my own OCD by scheduling a weekly checkup and one extra checkup. If my anxiety gets ahold of me, I use my "spare" checkup and go over everything to soothe it. But I really weigh the pros and cons knowing my "extra" checkup won't come back until Sunday. My weekly checkup is every Wednesday. It works. I'm sleeping better, this is totally beatable. Like I said here or somewhere, they're just like mosquitos but without the malaria! We just have to talk our minds down lol. Best of luck. Glad you're doing so well!

    It's really thanks to each and every one of you that it's getting better/feeling easier, I promise! Everyone's been so helpful and giving me real advice that I've been trying to adapt to the best of my ability, and it's made such a difference. Every hour there's that paralysing moment of feeling overwhelmed and ready to give up in the face of the unknown, that panic and anxiety, but I do everything to keep going, and after we cleaned the entire bedframe and for the second day of mattress spraying, I feel so much better/relieved as there were no new stains, no eggs at all (anywhere), and the only three new bugs I located were unfed and (seemingly) dead.

    It's all motivated me to keep putting things for the boil-washing, bagging things for laundry, and then inspecting, cleaning, and sealing all the other items around my bed in labelled bags. I have just prepared a list of the things I have to keep cleaning and inspecting tomorrow, and after today's super close inspection, I might take your advice and inspect the wooden slats and frame, mattress after tomorrow, and focus on the cleaning (and a quick inspection of the sheets and pillows at least). I have been putting my list-making habit to use to try and soothe myself with the upcoming scheduled routine of work, and also trying to look at the bigger picture, trying to see (it's so hard!) beyond this problem and to the other things happening in my life as you've been doing so well, too.

    Wow, hooray for 11 weeks!!! That's so good to hear!! Is there a general time-frame where you can start sleeping easier, like if you haven't seen one in x weeks? I know it's going to be hard for me to stop bending over at every little speck and spot and inspecting it in a moment of fear, but it would be good to know when I can start backing up the intensity of it, argh... I'll come back to your scheduled checkups idea when it's time!

    Until then, to another day of inspecting, cleaning, bagging, boil-washing! And maybe trying to return to at least one other normal-life activity...

  62. NST

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    Tue Dec 8 2015 15:42:10
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    Nobugsonme - 2 hours ago  » 

    Do you really think it sounds like a very small problem??

    I am not clear on how many bed bugs you or the PCO actually found when searching, but so far it doesn't sound like a lot.
    I think you're doing great. Hang in there!

    To date I have personally found 9 altogether - 6 before the PCO did his job, and the other 3 today when I was cleaning the whole bedframe, 2 on the same wooden slat, seemingly dead, and one also unfed, quite dead nymph, in a book on top of the damaged basket along the foot of my bed, so I'm working on its (bagged) contents tomorrow. I couldn't see any signs of any others (I even used a flashlight to look in any screw-heads and holes, etc.), no more new stains or eggs), and I'm not sure what to think if that's good or bad, but nothing in the whole room, and nothing in all the items I inspected and cleaned, though there's more to go through tomorrow.

    You've been so patient and helpful so far, and a great host and moderator, too! I'm doing my best to keep it together and keep moving day by day!

  63. NST

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    I don't want to sound down at the end of today, as I've kept up the work (inspecting, disinfecting, and sealing all items around the bed zone into bags, now all done, except for reinspection of the yet uncleaned bags - taking the bedcovers to the laundry and explaining the situation, so they could be drycleaned), as well as lifting up the mattress to do one more spray-cleaning, and inspection. All the usual work, preparing things to be boil-washed, etc.

    Nothing found, nothing else, except I noticed a single fecal stain/spot on the pillow, where I didn't tuck in the end of the pillow case - I hadn't noticed it before, but dismissed it until I pulled away another pillow on top and saw a single unfed bedbug was crawling away over the pillow. At 10 in the morning. In full daylight. I killed it but I have to say I've more or less fallen apart, I can't understand it - how could this happen?

    Could this have been a one-off, lost bug, or is it an indication I have a bigger (much) problem than I thought? I just read about the bedbug 'smell,' and I remember what feels like weeks ago when I'd smelled overripe raspberries, but now I'm not trusting my frightened memory much... And now I may or may not have a series of bites on my cheek, but I can't be sure as I often have reddish spots and marks on my face, so I'm leaving that for now...

    I've done everything in terms of cleaning/inspecting short of disassembling the bed, and now I think that may be a mistake: a few of the wooden planks have splits or cracks where the screws are meant to be, and I can't quite see 'in' them, even with a flashlight, and that's where the one bug was headed, I guess. I'd also cleaned the skirting boards we'd installed around the original apartment tiled skirting, and couldn't see anything there, now I don't know if there's a hole that is escaping my observation, as I still haven't located any 'harborages.'

    Should I just keep working, and once the countdown of two weeks is over, call the PCO to return? I'm still working on all the hot washing and everything else, though the damp weather is making it harder to keep the loads of washing moving, but I am still the only one with the problem in the house (I work mostly from home, and other than driving family members to work and so on, I spend more time at home than the others), and I'm more or less quarantining my items and everything.

    I also found a container of powder in the kitchen with 0.5% permethrin (we used it in the summer for ants) - I was reading a lot of pros and cons of its use for bedbugs, and I'm not sure if I'm being too hasty in thinking of applying it.

    So what are your thoughts? Should I just be patient and keep hanging in there for the next two weeks, keeping up the cleaning work and the tally of bedbugs found in the inspections/checkups? Or should I be taking more action, maybe even tossing the whole bed? This may be a payback for how much better I felt last night...

  64. jim danca

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    Wed Dec 9 2015 14:34:17
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    Sounds like you're making progress. Pay special attention to the cracks in the planks of wood. I would start a 14 day countdown.

  65. NST

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    Wed Dec 9 2015 16:18:19
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    jim danca - 1 hour ago  » 
    Sounds like you're making progress. Pay special attention to the cracks in the planks of wood. I would start a 14 day countdown.

    thanks Jim, I hope so - though my discovery this morning felt like a setback, I think you're right - will keep up the work tomorrow once I'm home for the afternoon, cleaning/bagging and boil-washing, as well as closely inspecting, as you say, those cracks in the wood planks. I'll keep the 14 day countdown from the POC's visit and see how things go. Will hang in there and try and be patient and diligent! Thanks for the advice

  66. misery

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    I stopped looking at finding them as a setback. Sure it restarted my clock, so to speak, but for every one I found, that was one less I would pull off my baby at night. I considered finding the little bastards to be victories! So HUGE congrats on your latest victories!

    Adding positivity into everything I did really helped my state of mind. Seemed silly at first but hey, I was gonna a find them one way or the other. I just made it so that in the end I reminded myself who was winning!

  67. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Dec 10 2015 0:44:13
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    You are doing all the right things. Don't be discouraged. It does not sound like a large problem and should be fixed soon. I'd get the PCO back in rather than treat yourself.

  68. NST

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    misery - 16 hours ago  » 
    I stopped looking at finding them as a setback. Sure it restarted my clock, so to speak, but for every one I found, that was one less I would pull off my baby at night. I considered finding the little bastards to be victories! So HUGE congrats on your latest victories!
    Adding positivity into everything I did really helped my state of mind. Seemed silly at first but hey, I was gonna a find them one way or the other. I just made it so that in the end I reminded myself who was winning!

    'Restarted your clock' is a very apt way of describing how it felt, but you're right, I need to start changing how I look at it to be more like a victory, and how I handle myself and my thoughts on this! Thank you, thank you always!! Your message comes at such an important moment just as I am struggling now to bring back positivity and a clearer, brighter eye and perspective into things, which I almost lost all of when all this started, and which it's hard to feel these days - but I'll do it, if only to keep going everyday and try and see this to the end! Today was a mostly quiet day of double-bagging and following up the washing, the usual inspection, every day a little step - thanks so much for being there for me, I really appreciate it - here's to safe and happy nights for you and your baby!

  69. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 14 hours ago  » 
    You are doing all the right things. Don't be discouraged. It does not sound like a large problem and should be fixed soon. I'd get the PCO back in rather than treat yourself.

    Thanks, @Nobugsonme, your message definitely helped me feel less disheartened and gave me the courage to quietly keep on, and so today I've been working hard to focus, and get my perspective (and patience) back in order, to keep going day by day. I didn't find anything today on my inspection, but I made progress in the washing and laundry department, and double-bagged a few bags for peace-of-mind, while noting my new tasks for the weekend. I am now feeling better about restraining any anxious impulses to do this myself, and will keep cleaning and prepping until it's time to call in the PCO in 10 days from now. Thanks so much for not giving up on me and not getting tired of my posts (though you'd have a right to!), it's really making all the difference in the world for me. Will keep on working.

  70. Nobugsonme

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    We won't get tired of your posts! I promise.

  71. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 13 hours ago  » 
    We won't get tired of your posts! I promise.

    You are the kindest! So needed after what's been a very (emotionally) difficult day. I've kept up the reinspecting of my sealed up bags of books, jewelry, other clutter, but now it's occurred to me I haven't figured out how I am going to disinfect my shoes and bags. I only quickly inspected these before double-bagging them, leaving only a single pair of shoes and bag to use which I inspect daily, and a new cheap pair of shoes I'm keeping outside my room with some new underwear and things, but I don't have access to a dryer, or a Packtite (not in the US), or these pest strips I'd read about on other threads. Could I take them to my laundry to have them put the loads in their dryers? In the meantime, I'm keeping them all double-bagged, but I'm not sure... I've also tried my best to inspect any documents and papers I've been storing near my bed, wiping down the covers and folders and trying to look in the seams but I'm not sure. Plastic boxes with those airtight locks, maybe, for a year? What about books?

    I have also been struggling to get my parents to see that bringing in a (better) PCO is the most certain (among other ways) to get rid of the problem, particularly as only I seem to have them (I've even inspected even my rooming sibling's bed as if it were my own, nothing). I explained that if a PCO can come in to inspect my whole bed zone, pulling the bed away to maybe inspect the walls, too, as my things are bagged for easier inspection/treatment anyway, and they could spray and treat my area while performing more expert inspections around the rest of the house and everyone else's beds, etc., and that this has to be better than DIY solutions which may only delay the whole thing. The whole stressful day has taken its toll on me, and I haven't been feeling very optimistic about the whole thing, it feels harder than it did yesterday... I am now even starting to wonder whether they are living inside the particleboard wood of the bookcase near my bed (I've caught myself inspecting the particleboard wood interior - the rest is lacquered, and clean in my inspections - with flashlight to no avail), but would they search for another place to hide if I haven't even located where they are around my bed?

    As you can see today's been rather not-so-good, and though I've gone another day without seeing one, on my morning inspection of the bed, I'm fighting the feeling that this is all just too much. Is my reasoning for a PCO right? Am I right to recommend it as the surest of unsure ways to clear up this problem, with 2 to 3 more visits in sight? I am also doing what I can everyday to keep disinfecting and inspecting my things, and preparing to tackle my closet as the next spot for concern, but I feel like the PCO treatments might help the end finally come, in the weeks and months to come, and help me move on in my life.

    If anyone has any thoughts, especially on the plan of action for the PCO to come in by the 20th (that's 2 weeks since the bad PCO visit, I've since pushed for us to call two other companies I've found) as I continue to stay in my bed and keep up my prepping work. And if anyone has any ideas on what I should do with my shoes and bags, and even books and papers really, without a dryer, Packtite, or pest strips, I'd really appreciate the assistance

    Thanks all, as always, from a deeply grateful sufferer.

  72. NST

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    Just a quick backgrounder on my parents' reluctance to bring in another PCO (although by the end of today they've both agreed to call the two companies I looked up to schedule a visit on the 20th):

    We live in the Arabian Gulf (coastal desert, 45-50 Celsius summers which last most of the year, but we are currently in the early days of winter with just above freezing nights and days of 11-19 Celsius), and we are renters living in a single-floor apartment (with apartments and other renters above and below us, though the apartments are stacked in a kind of alternate diagonal manner, so the elevator opens on one side and then the other as you go up). Good PCO's are also very hard to come by, and don't have any of the professional or expert diligence or helpfulness that I read about on the threads - you just call a company, they generally take your word for complaining about a certain pest, with little investigation or attempt to educate/warn/etc. the customer) and there is very little in practice to protect renters and the like from these kinds of problems (for perspective, we're still struggling, as we speak, to get any consistent flow of hot water into our flat despite having paid, etc. ahaha).

    Our first PCO, once I alerted my parents to my problem, came in the afternoon, asked to see where the bed bugs had been found, looked around my bed, and asked me to show him where I'd located the bugs I'd saved. Once I'd done so, he sprayed over the mattress (and whatever was left over the bed, including my duvet), the wooden slats before spraying over the floor, whatever was on there, and my sibling\'s bed, before moving to all the other rooms (we weren't allowed in the rooms as he treated them though he said we didn't have to leave the apartment, but I went in afterwards to see what he'd done). After trying to push other unnecessary (but expensive products) on my parents, he became quite rude when my parents wanted to know more about the treatment he'd just done, and they left. without finishing their work.

    The spay covered everything in a thick white dried film, and unfortunately was very indiscriminately applied over everything, and irritated the rest of my family's eyes and noses for three days, most severely that same night (now they're all better). The company apologised, when my parents called, and wouldn't follow-up to confirm what he'd sprayed or what the spray was, etc. and avoided any other follow up, except to say we were to wash everything (As of now, the company has not disclosed - despite request - what the spray consisted of, but I did a little research into various pesticides and their containers, preparation, etc. and I think it was one called Temprid, which I read was safe for use on mattresses and bed structures but not on linens, but he'd sprayed whatever was there).

    So I took all the affected heavier bedding to the laundry (and explained what happened) for them to be dry-cleaned, while we washed everything affected by the spray (the rooms were left 'as is,' essentially, as there was no request for prep, though I'd already removed my sheets for boil-washing), but I think for my family (and me too), it felt like the problem of the bugs was compounded by the added chaos of this bad PCO visit. At this point the bug problem still seems very small, but the double washing and cleaning (not to mention the initial irritation they suffered) made them frankly reluctant to risk this again.

    I had to do a lot of work to persuade my parents to try this again, so we could eliminate the problem while it was still relatively early, in the best way possible without delay or risk of making it worse. I found two companies who say they deal with bedbugs, from inspection to advice on prep, and finally treatment (where they ask tenants to vacate the apartment for 3-4 hours, too), and so I thought I'd count 14 days from the bad PCO visit to ask one of them to come in and spray. Thoughts on this? I just thought I'd post this for public benefit and background too, for advice!

    I am still keeping up all my cleaning and prepping work, inspecting the bed and so on, and the boil-washing goes on, and I just feel that though we started off with a bad experience, a better PCO might make all of this so much easier with their first visit (and follow-up visits) and help us get through this. Anyway, apologies as always for long posts, just feel grateful I have a place to share some of this with sympathetic and helpful ears (eyes!).

  73. NST

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    Sat Dec 12 2015 13:36:53
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    Update: Nothing really seen on this morning's inspection, bedding boil-washed, new sheets and cases taken out - I am cleaning and disinfecting the rest of my things, and am planning to tackle my closet and its cabinets tomorrow (shoes and bags are still double-bagged until I can figure out how to clean these). PCO is also still on the books to come on the 20th, but I have a question about travelling and vacating beds.

    Most of the family has to travel for the week of Christmas, and are asking if I'd like to join them. My biggest worry is that my bed will be empty for six nights - should I leave or not? I plan on taking all travel precautions against bedbugs, too (though this is adding new anxiety), but I am mostly worried about the fact that my bed will be empty for almost a week, and there may be one other family member asleep in the living room - would this move the bedbugs out (if there are any left after the PCO visit) to try another spot and maybe even the living room?

    Because if it is, then I will stay in the country and my bed with no qualms, but I felt maybe someone here would have a good suggestion or recommendation that I leave or stay. Thanks again, all!

  74. jim danca

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    I doubt migration would occur that fast at this point. It's generally at least two to three weeks before there is any potential for migration out of an infected room in the absence of a host. Remember, the average bug feeds every five to seven days.

  75. NST

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    jim danca - 25 minutes ago  » 
    I doubt migration would occur that fast at this point. It's generally at least two to three weeks before there is any potential for migration out of an infected room in the absence of a host. Remember, the average bug feeds every five to seven days.

    That is reassuring to know, especially as my every-other-daily inspections of my sister's bed and area seem to indicate they haven't moved there yet (she is the other occupant of my room). That is, however, the same reason for my concern, is that while it may take 2-3 weeks for them to potentially migrate out of the room, is there a greater risk to migrate away from my bed to hers? What do you think?

    Edit: I wanted to add that she is likely going to be staying in the country if the rest travel, and so I couldn't calculate the risk if both our beds were vacant vs. if only mine was (and say, she left), and I certainly want to keep the problem limited to my zone if I can, before the PCO arrives.

  76. jim danca

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    I thought you were the only one sleeping in the room. It sounds like your problem wasn't that bad. Oftentimes, you can remedy a bedbug problem faster in an occupied room.

  77. NST

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    jim danca - 4 minutes ago  » 
    I thought you were the only one sleeping in the room. It sounds like your problem wasn't that bad. Oftentimes, you can remedy a bedbug problem faster in an occupied room.

    I'm sorry I hadn't clarified that at first! I think the first time I remembered to mention I wasn't alone in the room was probably well into the thread, sorry about that, Jim - and I hope you're right about the problem not being too bad!

    On reflection now, considering what you've written too, I'm inclined perhaps to stay behind just to help the problem resolve faster, and I may just do that, and keep the motions of the whole treatment process going. Thanks for helping out on this!!

  78. NST

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    On this morning's inspection I found nothing on the new sheets, nothing identifiably new on the wooden slats under the mattress, and so on, but I did notice two small spots on the top pillow (one on the side I slept on, one just around its underside), but they're more orange, or bright rusty orange, in colour than the darker red and reddish-brown blood marks I've seen - does this merit a picture for identification, or should the colour mean they might be old (insignificant) pillowcase stains? I replaced the bedding last night, if that helps, so they'd all been washed before being put in the linen cupboard.

    Making it through another day, or at least through the hours!

  79. NST

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    Sun Dec 13 2015 7:21:47
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    So someone is moving out of our building, I think, and has put out a mattress downstairs. I of course came close to inspect it, and found fecal stains scattered here and there, and a single bug holding on to a side seam. If it is from an apartment below or above us, could the bedbugs have come up through a hole in the baseboards by my bed?

    I've informed my parents in the hopes that we could find out and perhaps twist out a more cooperative effort, but they are extremely reluctant to do so as our landlord is deliberately unhelpful and they don't want to offend anyone by asking. I don't want to upset any neighbours either, but I'd also like to know... Should I just wait until the PCO is finished with the next treatment before I inspect the baseboards if they need caulking or sealing?

    Any - any - advice is welcome... thanks as always!

  80. NST

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    Sun Dec 13 2015 8:24:43
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    Update: The mattress is from an apartment seven floors below us where the landlord says its tenants are revnoating (there is one apartment to each floor, and they are 'diagonal' in that the elevator opens to alternate sides as you go up, but of course the flats/levels are undoubtedly connected...). I have no idea if they are planning on returning the discarded items into their apartment or if the items are to be thrown away (farther from) the building, but my parents said this cannot be the cause of our/my problem, though I've explained we still don't know if anyone else has them closer to us...

    Feeling despondent and very frustrated at the moment, but I am determined at least to do my part for my problem, and keep clearing away and making inspections - one more week to go before PCO visit...

  81. angelaspepper

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    Sun Dec 13 2015 10:07:30
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    My neighbours who live in the townhouse next to me had bedbugs, the bedbugs migrated to my unit. It took a few treatments on each side of our connecting walls to finally get rid of the bugs. One of the treatments was Cimexa lightly brushed along and underneath all of the baseboards and inside of the electrical outlets. This killed any of the bugs that were still inside of the walls that came out seeking food. The bugs are long gone from my unit but the Cimexa remains just in case my neighbours get reinfested (they're hoarders).

  82. NST

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    Sun Dec 13 2015 11:34:13
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    angelaspepper - 38 minutes ago  » 
    My neighbours who live in the townhouse next to me had bedbugs, the bedbugs migrated to my unit. It took a few treatments on each side of our connecting walls to finally get rid of the bugs. One of the treatments was Cimexa lightly brushed along and underneath all of the baseboards and inside of the electrical outlets. This killed any of the bugs that were still inside of the walls that came out seeking food. The bugs are long gone from my unit but the Cimexa remains just in case my neighbours get reinfested (they're hoarders).

    Thanks so much for the recommendation!! I am also so glad to hear that you're now free of bugs, that's such a relief to hear - I looked up the tag for Cimexa on the forums and found that it may be able to prevent the spread of bugs in multi-unit dwellings; I'll put this on the list to consult with the PCO, in case they could bring it along (if they don't already).

    I read that Cimexa, silica dust (same as silica gel?), seems to be better than DE and so on, but does anyone know if there are any harmful side effects to its inhalation, say, around the bed area? I imagine that applying it around the bed, on the boards and inside cabinetry of the bed, as well as along the baseboards would help, and I'll have to inspect the wall when the PCO comes in too, to see if any caulking/sealing is required... are all of these good pointers for my action plan, do you think?

  83. Nobugsonme

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    Mon Dec 14 2015 4:01:55
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    Even if the mattress was infested, if it is seven floors below, it is unlikely you're getting bed bugs from that neighbor unless the six apartments between you in the building are all infested (and it seems like there's no reason to think so right now), or they were in a common area where you picked them up. (This is not that easy but examples would be infested laundry room changing tables, etc.)

  84. NST

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    Mon Dec 14 2015 5:57:36
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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 
    Even if the mattress was infested, if it is seven floors below, it is unlikely you're getting bed bugs from that neighbor unless the six apartments between you in the building are all infested (and it seems like there's no reason to think so right now), or they were in a common area where you picked them up. (This is not that easy but examples would be infested laundry room changing tables, etc.)

    You're right, and I hadn't thought so when I posted this, but I know now I was definitely overreacting, and I apologise No, we have no common areas in the building except the elevator, which everyone uses, and anything outdoors like parking spaces and so on, but nowhere people linger, not with their purses or clothes or anything. I see now how it was definitely my panic setting in the moment I saw the mattress, and you're right, there's no reason to think there's a building-wide problem just yet.

    I will just work on keeping up the routine and counting down to the PCO's visit and go from there - and I will also try and keep my emotions in check (!), but thanks all the same for reassuring me, it makes a world of difference.

  85. NST

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    Mon Dec 14 2015 11:23:23
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    I've just completed my cleaning and inspection of my entire bed area (that's all my belongings and furniture, save the closet which was sprayed the first time and which I'm leaving for at least another day or two, at least the clothes). Everything was carefully cleaned, dried, and put into sealed bags, clothes were doubled-bagged for boil-washing or laundering, and the shoes and bags (which I don't know yet how to disinfect but were all in my bed drawers/very close) are still double-bagged.

    I had around a few hundred books neatly shelved on the bookcase near my bed (that's a whole nightstand and shelf-column away, but still), and I inspected and cleaned every single one. I checked all the edges, covers and inside covers, and pages in some, and all looked quite, quite clean, so after carefully wiping them all over with mild alcohol wipes they were dried and sealed into bags. I am a little thrown by one book, however, which had two single dark spots on the top edge, and they smudged a little when I cleaned them: are they fecal spots? Would a picture help?

    EDIT: image here

    I inspected (and cleaned) the rest of the book very carefully, and now quarantined it in a Ziploc along with another book that had been near my bed and had a dead bug/shed skin in it), but it's left me feeling a little confused. I'm not so concerned with cleaning the stains off, it's just that knowing they might have been there...?

    I'm also still unsure how to clean my shoes and bags - maybe I could ask our laundry to run them through their dryer at 50-60 degrees Celsius for an hour? Thoughts on this?

    I'm reaching the point also where I wonder if the PCO's new visit will determine if some of the items should be released out of their bags at some point (after this or the next visit), but I'm not sure, so at least they've been bagged for now...

    Thanks again for everyone for being so, so understanding! You're really helping me get through this, even when it feels too hard to do so anymore!!

  86. NST

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    Tue Dec 15 2015 5:43:59
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    Nothing today on inspection except two fecal spots that I hadn't noticed before on one of the same wooden slats... my nights have been part exhausted sleep, mostly waking up again and again from distressed half-dreams - I still feel so disoriented... dislocated, and I now keep worrying about every single little thing and things I hadn't worried about before, which (over my generalised anxiety) is getting a bit much... but at least the bed zone is cleared, cleaned, and contents bagged, and I am trying to tackle part by part of the storage items in my closet, though there's no visible signs as of yet, but just to distract myself a little from the worry, and to keep hanging in there - thanks for being there for me! 5 days to go for new PCO, fingers crossed...

  87. NST

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    Wed Dec 16 2015 14:23:31
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    Same update as yesterday - no signs, except two tiny (new? I think) stains on the second wooden slat I'd noted before, at the foot of the bed. I am wondering whether I should swap my morning inspections for pre-bedtime inspections, not sure if that's a bad idea or... any thoughts?

    I am feeling highly upset and overwhelmed, more so than the last few days which were moderately positive or at least 'together,' maybe because now we're also dealing with telephone calls with PCOs, but I'm trying really hard to just keep it together, focus on the smaller tasks at hand and stop thinking about how it could get worse, and just see what happens... Apologies for the constant updates, and I hope no-one thinks I need constant reassurance (though its the only kind that helps these days!) but it's just a huge relief to be able to put it out here, if nowhere else/to noone else... Thanks

  88. NST

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    Wed Dec 16 2015 15:28:07
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    So the PCO, who seems to have quite good experience with bed bugs (their experience includes named testimonials on their website, too, and the person on the line said he would make the visit himself if on schedule), has offered to carefully inspect the house, especially my bed zone, and treat the whole house. He recommended this because he was afraid doing only my room would make them migrate/scatter to adjacent rooms (though he said the risk remained even in treating the full apartment - the names of the specific chemicals did not translate clearly over the phone, will wait until I can get this and share them). My parents voiced a concern about the other flats, too, and he said it was a possibility, as well as the weekly housekeeper visits, though of course I may have brougt one over in my shoes, but he couldn't be sure just over the phone.

    He said the spraying treatment would take 1 to 1.5 hours, and after that we were to stay out of the house for 6-8 hours, preferably 24 hours, as the smell was quite powerful and would fade over 4-5 days. He said once we returned to the house, they would return to clean post-treatment, and then he said we were to keep inspecting for anything over 15-20 days, after which they'd come back (if it takes more than 30 days for something to appear he said it would be a more serious problem, but of course for now it seems restricted to my bed out of the two in the room, at least for now), and he mentioned that they definitely do the follow-up visits as there's no guarantee particularly after their first visit.

    All sounds good, except my parents want him to come not on Sunday (14 days since the last visit) but a whole week after that (21 day since the last visit), as that's when their travel plans are. They want me to go with them, as the PCO would spray on the morning of departure, and return for the clean-up when we do. I keep desperately trying to explain that a) someone has to stay in my bed, at least after those 24 hours recommended, and b) for any bedbugs or eggs that remain, it will have been a whole week 'off' any remains of the last pesticides sprayed (if any have remained), and I don't know if that means anything.

    If anyone thinks I'm overreacting or being irrational, please tell me and I'll accept it gratefully: my emotions have certainly altered my perspective since the beginning of this problem, perhaps not for the better, but I'm just desperate for us to do everything right and not miss anything so that it spreads or worse still, keeps coming back, but please let me know what you think...

    In the meantime, keeping up the boil-washing and quarantining, and will be silicone-sealing any little cracks in the skirting/baseboard plaster, along with the cleaning/inspecting of clutter for disposal/airtight storage... thanks, all!!!

  89. misery

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    Wed Dec 16 2015 22:34:59
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    I know opinions differ, but I am of the mindset not to seal cracks until after treatments. That way you aren't trapping anything in the walls to send them anywhere else. That seems logical to me.

    As far as you staying in your bed....... if you trust your PCO, ask him. If there will be no one in the home, maybe they can install some active monitors in your room to coerce the buggers into the poison? Go on vacation!

    And I think we all need constant reassurance during these times. After all, we are the only ones who know what we are going through. You'll be okay. You are (from the sound of it) doing great! Don't forget to breathe. Find a few minutes for a bath, or shower, or walk. The worst thing I did was make my life all about the bugs. They're just gross mosquitoes. That's something I had to really convince myself of. I didn't become hysterical and sob when a mosquito bit me, or flew into my home. And I didn't need to do it for bed bugs either. It's HARD. I know I slipped up and had bad days. But I always tried to keep my focus on the positive!!

    Best wishes, good luck! Keep us updated!!

  90. NST

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    Thu Dec 17 2015 5:42:56
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    misery - 7 hours ago  » 
    I know opinions differ, but I am of the mindset not to seal cracks until after treatments. That way you aren't trapping anything in the walls to send them anywhere else. That seems logical to me.
    As far as you staying in your bed....... if you trust your PCO, ask him. If there will be no one in the home, maybe they can install some active monitors in your room to coerce the buggers into the poison? Go on vacation!
    And I think we all need constant reassurance during these times. After all, we are the only ones who know what we are going through. You'll be okay. You are (from the sound of it) doing great! Don't forget to breathe. Find a few minutes for a bath, or shower, or walk. The worst thing I did was make my life all about the bugs. They're just gross mosquitoes. That's something I had to really convince myself of. I didn't become hysterical and sob when a mosquito bit me, or flew into my home. And I didn't need to do it for bed bugs either. It's HARD. I know I slipped up and had bad days. But I always tried to keep my focus on the positive!!
    Best wishes, good luck! Keep us updated!!

    You're right, sealing the cracks afterwards is definitely more logical and also considerate, that will definitely be the plan (also added to my current anxious inspections of the house). I will definitely ask the PCO about what he advises, whether staying in bed is better, or whether they could install monitors to get them to come out (if they have them!) or other alternatives. I would like to go on vacation, especially as this Christmas break is the last one we'll all get in months, but the stress is making me opt for my bed only for peace of mind (relatively speaking, of course, as it's not a pleasant alternative in the least, but you understand). I will ask and see!

    Am I wrong to be worried by the week-long delay in the scheduled treatment (a week later than the completed 14-days since the last one), or does that not make too much difference?

    My life does feel like it is now all about the bugs, and this itself is distressing, not to mention feeling so disoriented by it all, and I keep trying to snap myself out of it and remind myself that things will be normal again, when I didn't panic over every tiny little thing, but I do find myself slipping back into it - I will keep trying my very best, and focus on the tasks at hand as well try and pay more attention to other things happening around me, and try not to sink back into the negative feelings! It does make it so much better to have you all there, who understand the experience as I can sympathise with yours, and it helps to even go back and read all your old comments and recommendations when I feel down.

    Will keep it up, and keep you updated too!! Thanks as always

  91. NST

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    Fri Dec 25 2015 9:33:15
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    In the spirit of the holiday season, I hope everyone's had a happy, quiet, and bug-free time! This week's mostly been bad sleep, washing and cleaning, and stressful waiting - I've not seen any further clear or new signs, except for one bite-like bump on my shin last week, appearing 14 days since I first posted and just before I started covering my legs in bed. It was only itching when I noticed it first, and was quite red and a little sore to touch, but it's since quietly gone, so I guess it doesn't tell much.

    We are due to leave the house at noon tomorrow, to travel, and the PCO is meant to arrive in the morning, to treat the entire apartment, starting with the affected area which is currently my bed and bed zone. In addition to the 24 hours of recommended distance from the apartment, he said that we were to inspect the area 4-6 days after the treatment (by which time one family member will have returned), after which they will return to clean up, and then follow up if needed.

    I'll be back by then, and I hope we'll be able to seal up all any cracks and crevices and I'll keep a watch over two weeks and longer - I'm not sure if I should count this as the first or second PCO visit really, but I'm planning on keeping everything sealed until I can be sure for one to two months, when I can start un-bagging, maybe getting a new mattress or saving up for a plain iron bed (does this sound like a good idea, in anyone's experience)?

    I have been doing all my homework about travel and packing precautions, and will be packing everything in Ziplocs in an old duffel bag, along with my flashlight, etc, but the uncertainty of everything is hard, I'll just have to wait until tomorrow, and keep calm and vigilant while travelling, and when coming back. Does anyone have any recommendations for me, in light of plans for and after PCO visit and/or travelling?

    Another minor fear occurred to me in the middle of last night: do I have reasonable reason to worry about bugs in A/C vents? We have two in our room, and one is just below the ceiling, above my bed, on the wall where the long side of my bed is - I haven't seen anything at all, and I'm sorry if it sounds stupid or anything, I just wondered Anyway, with all this stress, I just look forward to a point in 2016 when I might be getting over this... Thanks everyone!!

  92. jim danca

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    Fri Dec 25 2015 12:02:50
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    Since the bugs were confined to your room, you shouldn't worry about the vents.

  93. NST

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    Fri Dec 25 2015 13:51:52
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    jim danca - 1 hour ago  » 
    Since the bugs were confined to your room, you shouldn't worry about the vents.

    Thanks for the reassurance Jim - yes, it's just my room, actually just my bed at the moment, not the other bed in the room yet - I'm sure it was just another irrational worry as I'm worrying about tomorrow's PCO visit and our travels, but I appreciate your taking the time to chip in!!

  94. Nobugsonme

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    Mon Dec 28 2015 1:26:23
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    Have a good trip. Not an expert, of course, but I don't think the week extra before treatment is a big deal.

    I also am not sure those are bed bug stains on the wood. Maybe someone who normally IDs stains can have a look. (I am not one.)

  95. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 11 hours ago  » 
    Have a good trip. Not an expert, of course, but I don't think the week extra before treatment is a big deal.
    I also am not sure those are bed bug stains on the wood. Maybe someone who normally IDs stains can have a look. (I am not one.)

    Thanks, Nobugsonme!! I did a careful flash-lit inspection of the bed on arrival, as carefully as I could, and check the sheets every morning, though the nightmares remain at night haha But since the room is proving clean and I am keeping my precautions about my bags, I'm trying my best to relax and enjoy my time!!

    Thanks also for your input on the week extra before treatment, I hope you're right - the PCO sprayed most intensely in my zone, and the rest of the room, as well as the rest of the house, and seemed to think it was still such a small/early problem at this stage, and asked us to always inspect our clothes and shoes before returning home. They will return in a week or two for 'clean-up' and follow up, and we have up to 30 days to report anything, in which case he promised a free second treatment, which is good as every penny saved helps!

    Though you're not an expert, your feedback always helps! I am not sure if I should be relieved or even more worried about the stains on the wood now, and of course if any experts have the time to ID them I'd be very grateful!! Do you think there's a chance they're just mould or old marks, you mean? They are only on the two slats on either extremity of the bed, as far as I could see. I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of a) keeping the bed but putting in a new roll of slats or b) saving for a solid metal bed with a metal base/slat unit, but of course I'll be keeping everything as is for at least a month or two, I think...

    I wish I'd photographed them before travelling too, but there are two or three spots which I'd thought were stains on the wall, just above my bed - they smeared blackish-brown when I tried to wipe them off with mild alcohol wipes... I'll send them in once I'm back home, if that will help too!

    Any and all reassurance is deeply welcome as I try and keep my perspective positive and helpful, and try and move past the more traumatic effects of the experience, which is quite hard right now, but I just hope that we've taken all the right steps so far, and that I keep up the right work, so that things will be alright. Thanks as always for checking in, it makes me feel so much better!!

  96. Nobugsonme

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    Do you think there's a chance they're just mould or old marks, you mean?

    Yes, they might be. I am really not qualified to ID stains, so I am just saying don't assume the ones on the wood are from bed bugs.

    The ones that smudge may be bed bugs but could be other things also and KillerQueen or Jim Danca may be able to ID a photo.

  97. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 1 hour ago  » 

    Do you think there's a chance they're just mould or old marks, you mean?

    Yes, they might be. I am really not qualified to ID stains, so I am just saying don't assume the ones on the wood are from bed bugs.
    The ones that smudge may be bed bugs but could be other things also and KillerQueen or Jim Danca may be able to ID a photo.

    I'm panicking a little now as to what else they may potentially be (please just be bedbugs or even better, old marks or something)... being away from home is not helping, but if KillerQueen or Jim Danca are able to ID anything from the images I posted earlier, I'd be so grateful!

    http://i.imgsafe.org/9d8baf0.jpg
    http://i.imgsafe.org/8bc3e9f.jpg
    http://i.imgsafe.org/a1c6c4f.jpg

    Again, they are at the very head and very foot of the bed, and haven't changed too much over the last three weeks except what I think were a few new spots, but I can't be perfectly sure. Currently just a few desperately positive thoughts/distractions away from breaking down again but will try and keep calm until we can figure it out, and until I can go home... Thanks Nobugsonme

  98. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Dec 29 2015 18:03:41
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    I suggest you start a new thread and label it accordingly (stain ID needed, bug ID needed, etc.) just for the individual sets of photo IDs. Usually it's good to stick with the same thread but it's hard when people who do IDs have to scroll a lot. You can link to that thread here and link to this thread in the ID one if you want.

  99. NST

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    Nobugsonme - 20 hours ago  » 
    I suggest you start a new thread and label it accordingly (stain ID needed, bug ID needed, etc.) just for the individual sets of photo IDs. Usually it's good to stick with the same thread but it's hard when people who do IDs have to scroll a lot. You can link to that thread here and link to this thread in the ID one if you want.

    You're right, I'm sorry, especially as my thread's too long (!) - I will start a new clearly-labelled thread just for the wood slat IDs, at the moment, and see if it helps if anyone can take a look. I'll also cross-link the two threads. Thanks Nobugsonme

  100. NST

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    So I posted a new thread just for the wooden slat fecal stains ID issue here, to keep tabs! I hope someone will have the time to read it and help out - I am desperately holding on, in what are getting to be difficult days, until I can go back and keep getting through this...


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