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Can somebody tell me if I have bedbugs?

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  1. yesermine

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 11 2007 13:27:57
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    I just moved into a new (small) apartment studio, and I'm not sure if I really do have bedbugs, or if I'm just paranoid.

    BITES: Both yesterday morning and today, I found myself itching what may or may not be bites within hours of waking. Yesterday it was a small welt on my torso, which itched briefly (and which I noticed about two hours after waking, while sitting shirtless in a chair). Today, I had a small itchy welt on my waistline, which completely vanished after twenty minutes. An hour later, my forearm began itching, and I feel a definite raised welt there, but it has stopped itching. Two days ago, I was sitting in a movie theatre, and felt myself itching and got paranoid that I had brought bedbugs with me to the theatre. I thought I felt a welt on my ankle when I was itching.

    The problem is, I've looked high and low for bedbugs in my apartment and haven't found any. I found and collected alot of insects from the nooks and crannies in my apartment yesterday, but they don't look like bedbugs. The larger ones are obviously cockraoches, and the smaller ones--they're all dark (brown or black) and have a very characteristic white spot near their head--appear to be younger cockraoches. I'm apt to think that they're all cockroaches, except the small ones don't have wings. I'll probably take my specimums to an expert today.

    I did a pretty thorough (and neurotic) search of my apartment yesterday. I'm using an inflatable mattress with a sleeping bag, which I've checked thoroughly (and found nothing--no fecal matter, no bedbugs, ete). I've checked the areas around my bed pretty thorougly and found nothing there either (except the cockroaches).

    SO: should I just sit and wait to see if I keep getting bitten? Is it possible that my apartment only has one or two bedbugs, which is why I can't find them? Is it possible that I don't have bedbugs at all and that my itching is all psychosomatic or allergic or the result of something else biting me? I live in Chicago, so I figure mosquitoes are dead (though they could still be living in the building?).

    What makes this difficult is the fact that I JUST moved into this studio, and I'm wondering if I should try to get out now before the problem gets too bad. I guess that decision would be easier to make if I had solid evidence about the existence of bedbugs. A guy who lives on my floor of the building, but in a different hall said he's lived her for months and has only ever had to deal with roaches. Does anyone have any advice on how I can determine if I really do have bedbugs?

    Thanks,

    Tim

  2. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Dec 11 2007 13:53:09
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    Are the welts still showing? (Meaning they haven't disappeared already?) Our bed bug bites stay around for a couple weeks at least (or months)...whereas skin irritations (in my experience) don't seem to last as long. Perhaps have a knowledgeable dermatologist take a look at the bumps. It's possible that you could be allergic to something in your new apartment...maybe even the roaches (my cousin is)...and a dermatologist could help determine it. However, sometimes the dermatologist/doctor won't diagnose correctly and if you do have bed bugs you'll have a bed bug infestation that's had time to grow significantly and harder to treat. My husband first got bit on his arm with a huge welt, followed by small welt-like bites on his torso every couple of nights. When the first bite happened we thought it to be a spider, but after he kept getting other welts we knew it was something else. Voila....bed bugs. Now we get bit every night. And if you are at the beginning of your infestation I can bet you won't find them. We've been into it over a month and have yet to find any live or dead bugs in our home. (Though we found a couple fed nymphs in one of our cars).
    My suggestion is to have a good PCO (pest control operator) with a lot of experience with bed bugs to come over and inspect. Many times they'll come to inspect for free. (Good news (or bad depending on how you look at it) is that roaches do eat bed bugs. But still, I would have that PCO come over).


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