Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Can a doctor determine bed bug bites?

(7 posts)
  1. bre7ezy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 16:06:29
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    Hi there. We had bedbugs at my apartment from approx August-October of this year. We went through 3 treatments and also discarded of an infested bed frame. We did this the correct way, with duct tape/tarp and wrote "bugs,do not take" on the plastic. We also put our mattress/box spring on a metal frame, to raise it off the ground. And lastly, we encased our mattress and box spring.

    Since the last treatment 1 month ago, we have not encountered any bugs or any more bites.

    Fast forward to a few days ago and my friend spent the night for 2 nights. The next day she started getting these weird bite looking things on her body and they swelled up and looked like welts. She was worried b/c she thought they were bed bug bites, but I told her that we seemed to have the problem fixed and thought that was weird. She then went to spend a few nights at her mothers house and new "bites" kept arising. Which to me, meant that they weren't from bugs on our bed b/c how could she get new bites a few days after she left my house. Don't the bites appear immediately the next day?

    So now she is back at home and saw a doctor and he/she told her that they are infected bedbug bites. Is that possible? Can a doctor determine (by looking at them) if bites are from bed bugs? Everything I have read online says otherwise. It says that testing can determine if inflammation/spots are in fact from an insect. But what I've read has said that you cannot classify bites as being from a bedbug specifically.

    Plus I find this weird, as we have been checking our bed daily for any bugs and have not found any since the 3rd treatment. We also have had no bites.

    So now she has called an exterminator and he inspected her suitcase and did not find any bedbugs and is having her bag her stuff for 7 days (not sure if that does anything) and is having her wash all of her bedding.

    Any expert help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks:)

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Nov 14 2012 16:44:17
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    bre7ezy - 36 minutes ago  » 
    Can a doctor determine (by looking at them) if bites are from bed bugs? Everything I have read online says otherwise. It says that testing can determine if inflammation/spots are in fact from an insect. But what I've read has said that you cannot classify bites as being from a bedbug specifically.

    That is my understanding-- a skin biopsy could determine a bite was insect related but they can't pinpoint bed bugs as far as I have heard from experts.

    As for diagnosing based on visuals, they can only guess.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 10:26:11
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    Once again NoBugs is on point. Even the dermatological society states that one can not be definitive based on bites alone. There are lice, fleas, mosquitoes, mites and Spider bite., spiders are different and also not insects, spider bites are not that common in urban environments and bite for defense and not food when you corner it or place your hand foot etc in their space. Some times the three bite
    theory is used and while this could indicate an interrupted feeding it could also be a rash or reaction of some sort.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 10:54:22
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    Thanks, Winston!

  5. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 11:07:47
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    bre7ezy - 18 hours ago  » 
    Fast forward to a few days ago and my friend spent the night for 2 nights. The next day she started getting these weird bite looking things on her body and they swelled up and looked like welts. She was worried b/c she thought they were bed bug bites, but I told her that we seemed to have the problem fixed and thought that was weird. She then went to spend a few nights at her mothers house and new "bites" kept arising. Which to me, meant that they weren't from bugs on our bed b/c how could she get new bites a few days after she left my house. Don't the bites appear immediately the next day?

    Hi there. Regarding your other question about "don't the bites appear immediately the next day?" It is my understanding that no they don't necessarily do that. They can. But there can also be a delayed reaction up to - I think I read - 14 days? Someone please correct me if I am remembering that incorrectly.

    AbsolutelyFreaking a/k/a Abs . . . NOT an expert/professional:
    President of the Lou Sorkin Fan Club; President of the Paul Bello Fan Club;
    David Cain's #1 Fan; Devotee/Follower of Nobugsonme, KillerQueen and Winston O. Buggy; Admirer of NY Bug Man and his phrase "Knock 'em dead;"
    Enthusiast of both the use of ellipses and smiley faces in all my posts . . . and . . . BigDummy's unique wit
  6. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 11:36:17
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    Sometimes bite reactions appear immediately, sometimes latency period. Some people have reacted 14 or 19 days after the initial bite. The long latency period shouldn't continue with successive bites as far as I know. I've been feeding bed bugs for over 15 years and my reaction still begins within a few minutes and lasts around an hour. Never really itchy except only one place on left arm at inner fold of elbow. This area was only used once or twice in feeding hundreds of bugs, but it seeped tissue fluid and also thin layer of skin peeled. It will itch on and off even though I no longer feed bed bugs at that exact place. The skin peeling and tissue fluid seepage also occurred on other areas, but that one place is the only place where itching occurs consistently. The skin biopsy may not even point to specifics such as insect bite or sting but only arthropod.

    There are lice, fleas, mosquitoes, mites and Spider bite., spiders are different and also not insects, spider bites are not that common in urban environments and bite for defense and not food when you corner it or place your hand foot etc in their space.

    The insects and mites listed are introducing salivary secretions while spiders are introducing venom. Bee, wasp, ant stings also would be introduction of venoms. The arthropods are different and their venoms are different, so reactions to them definitely can be different. In many cases of "spider bite" the offending item may be a bacterial introduction (via the bite if a spider really did bite) and accompanying infection totally misdiagnosed as a reaction to venom. Bacteria can also be introduced by a scratch.
    Some reactions thought to be bites can be reactions to insect/mite/spider shed skins, setae, dusts since these are proteinaceous materials. I've been working with physicians at Columbia Presbyterian on various reactions expressed by people. There will be more info on these studies later.
    http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/spiders-alive our exhibit is still open until Dec. 2 if you want to learn about spiders.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Nov 15 2012 12:37:27
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    Thanks, Lou!


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