Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Reader questions (do not fit into other categories)

can you carry bedbugs on your person?

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  1. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 22:37:07
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    yesterday i was at an apartment that had recently been treated for bedbugs. we wanted to remove the carpeting before the second treatment. after finishing up, i took a hot shower, threw away all the clothes i was wearing (including undergarments). my new clothes were in ziploc bags. and i left the apt. right after my shower. i didnt even have a bag with me.. just my wallet and keys. tonight after dinner (24 hours later) itchy bumps showed up all over my arms, almost out of the blue. could i have brought back bedbugs to my own house on my person? could i have been bitten while working in the apt. yesterday and the symptoms are showing up now? please help.. i’m freaking out..

  2. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 22:56:08
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    Absolutely, YES, the symptoms of bites can show up hours and days later. Bites have been known to flare up 14 days after the BB has bitten.

    It sounds like you took a lot of precautions, so I can't imagine that a BB has managed to travel back home with you. So ... deep breath ... you're probably OK.

    To play it safe, read this FAQ on called "Think you have bed bugs, some dos and don'ts"

    http://bedbugger.com/2007/01/20/faq-think-you-have-bed-bugs-some-dos-and-donts/

    And I commend you for helping out someone who is in the BB battle. That was incredibly generous of you!

  3. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 22:57:14
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    Bite reactions can be delayed. They probably bit you there. Keep a vigilant eye out though but your plan was pretty good for decontamination.

    Could be a reaction to the pesticide that was laid down also. Find out what they used the first treatment.

    Jim

  4. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 22:58:00
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    Itchy types faster than me.

  5. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 23:04:36
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    80 words per minute, baby!! ;-P

  6. spideyjg

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 23:19:09
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    Itchy-Scratchy - 11 minutes ago  » 
    80 words per minute, baby!! ;-P

    Hah, I got you beat on that. I can type thousands of characters a minute. Watch

    sdgfauhr8ioghr9hajenrtgshhpowsmrelogthaeriotgjaer

    Oh, you want them in the right order? Well that is gonna take longer. ;-P

    Jim

  7. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 23:34:49
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    thank you so so much.. i feel much better.. i guess i'm going to have to wait it to be 100% sure.. but at least now i can sleep

  8. fightorflight

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Sep 2 2008 23:52:00
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    Oh I'm way, way behind everyone else. But my comment matters - Because, 9+ months on, I still get totally freaked out by BB mimic-bites. These are not new bites, but very ancient marks that just continue to flare up and torment me at particularly vulnerable times. According to my personal experience, there is an excellent chance your body is creeping you out due to stress, but you do not have bedbugs.

  9. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 0:32:13
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    thank you for the reassurance.. i also wanted to mention that although the bumps appeared about 3 hours ago, they are almost completely gone now... could bed bug bites disappear so quickly?

  10. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 0:33:27
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    It sounds like you took the right precautions, on the other hand bed bugs can be amazing with their ability to defy even the most thorough of protocols.

    Still I agree with Jim & Itchy, I would look at other potential causes for the itchy bumps. Knowing that you have been exposed to bed bugs can play games with your mind. Every unexplained mark or itch becomes anxiety provoking.

    I think Jim might be right about the pesticide exposure hypothesis. Did the areas of your arms that were affected make contact with the carpet? Was there any kind of pattern to the areas of itchy bumps?

    Given that you handled an infested carpet, a delayed bite reaction is also plausible.

    Also consider any contact with perfumes, cosmetics, cleaning chemicals & other skin irritants.

  11. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 0:44:45
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    i had about 20 or so bumps on my arms, mostly the upper area. some big, some small. i did handle the carpet with my bare hands and my arms were exposed.. also i don't have bumps anywhere else. the bumps are all gone now and no itching left. i took benadryl, though. could that have gotten rid of the bumps? thank you all for replying.. it may seem as if i'm overthinking this but i cried for a long time after i saw the bumps. i have a 3 year old to worry about.

  12. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 6:08:52
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    Really Scared

    You should take great comfort in the fact that the bumps are gone. That strongly suggests that the bumps are not bed bug bites. Bed bugs bites do not typically disappear after taking an antihistamine.

  13. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 10:28:40
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    but can bed bug bites disappear on their own in just a few hours? its morning now and there is no evidence of any bumps whatsoever. they looked just like mosquito bites last night and were very itchy. however they did not get bigger as i scratched them. and now you can't even tell i had any. i was in the same apt. 3 days earlier also. i put all the clothing away in bags and had all the furniture thrown out(couches, mattress, dresser.) i also got rid of a carpet in a smaller room. i took all the same precautions. i had to go back bc we couldn't get the carpeting out all in one day. we wanted to take the carpeting out before it was treated a second time. the girl who lives there hasn't had any type of reaction for two weeks now. so what i want to know is: was what i experienced last night another type of reaction or could it still have been bed bug bites?

  14. Anonymous

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 10:51:42
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    Good question - if I decide to abandon all and take only clothes on my back. How long will they hide on your person. Would they could they hide in your hair or worse - could a person inadvertantly have eggs in their hair or on skin?

  15. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 11:04:26
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    People can react a little differently, that is why we can't just post a standard set of bite pictures for identification purposes.

    I can't completely rule out bed bug bites for you based on the written description that you provided, but I can tell you from personal experience that my bed bug bites marks did not go away in a few hours after taking Benedryl or Atarax ( a stronger Rx drug). The red marks, itching & inflammation was reduced, but the bite marks would remain visible for few days to several weeks in some areas.

  16. Anonymous

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 11:13:03
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    Doug - If I abandon all, leave with clothes on my back. Can they live on me? Could I have a babybug or an egg unknowingly in my hair or on my skin?

  17. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 11:35:58
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    that is a scary thought but that is why i took a hot shower and wore clothes out of a ziploc bag just before leaving to be on the safe side. i seriously wish these things didn't exist. if i've brought it back to my own house, my life will be turned upside down. also are there any pics of just bite marks? i want to see what the punctured skin looks like w/o inflammation and redness. thanks.

  18. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 12:08:48
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    As others noted, it's possible to bed bug bites up to nine days later. It would not surprise me if you were bitten during the visit to the apt.

    (I wonder also if you ever visited the infested apt. before that, or if the inhabitant has been to your home or in your car, which may mean you may have brought them home before you were being so cautious? I am not trying to alarm you, but you should carefully consider the possibilities of exposure before yesterday, which would tell us more about the possibility of you having already brought them home.)

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  19. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 14:24:24
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    I haven't been in that apartment for the past 2 mos. and my friend who lives there just started complaining about bites a month ago. and i didn't go back to help out until after it was treated. nobody from that apt. has been in my car or home. i called her and she's going to have it treated again today. i thoroughly vacuumed my own home today. i'm still worried though. although my bumps disappeared last night, they are reappearing, still only on my arms. is that usual?

  20. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 14:59:33
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    i noticed some bumps reappeared when i was done vacuuming. i just took a shower and now they are gone again. what is going on? could they come and go that quickly w/in an hour? could i be allergic to something else? should i go to a doctor? please help.

  21. reallyscared

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 15:04:18
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    also could this be a reaction to dustmites? the padding underneath the carpet i pulled up that day had mostly turned to dust.

  22. Anonymous

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 18:34:13
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    Jumping ship as soon as possible - will leave everything if i must. Can the bastards live on your skin or hide eggs in your hair. I read someone's story somewhere on the web where she said her only way to finally get rid of them was to leave her home with the clothes on her back - went to store bought new outfit incl underwear and shoes, threw old clothes in garbage in store and apparently went on with her life. I'm down to pretty much nothing in the way of clothes, linens etc... am willing to leave all furnishings, bookshelves tv - anyone who has decided to flee and succeeded, please let me know your tips. Landlord refuses to get exterminator to inspect building, new people moving in today into an apt that still hasn't had a PCO check it out - they don't seem to be phased by that fact - state Health Dept says "it's not a health issue" - I'm done. Suggestions welcome.

    Thank you!!

  23. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 18:45:31
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    fightorflight - 18 hours ago  » 
    9+ months on, I still get totally freaked out by BB mimic-bites. These are not new bites, but very ancient marks that just continue to flare up and torment me at particularly vulnerable times. According to my personal experience, there is an excellent chance your body is creeping you out due to stress, but you do not have bedbugs.

    fightorflight, how do you know when it's a "mimic-bite" and not a reinfestation?

    I keep getting little bite-marks, which disappear quickly. They often don't itch. If I told ANYONE about this, they would think I was insane!!

  24. fightorflight

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 20:34:58
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    > fightorflight, how do you know when it's a "mimic-bite" and not a reinfestation?

    Oh god, please, not the R-word (the *other* R-word)!

    No, really - because the vast majority of evidence and rational thinking points away from a reinfestation. I mean, if I had a reinfestation from a problem that originally occurred more than 9 months ago, I think I'd be seeing some other signs. And given the way that I moved (second time around), it would be pretty improbable that I carried them from my old place (finally got it right, knock on wood).

  25. Anonymous

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Sep 3 2008 21:59:16
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    fight or flight - you moved twice? What did you do the second time around that made it effective?

  26. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 1:06:45
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    Bed bugs do not live on people like fleas or human lice.

    Taking a shower & washing your hair should be sufficient to rule out any hitchhikers hiding in your hair or elsewhere on your body. Clothing tends be be a bigger issue than hair.

    Clothing and linens can be heat treated in a dryer, but I understand if you wish to pursue the "its best to be sure" approach and walk out empty handed.

    Bed bugs can be tricky to leave behind, sometimes they manage to pull off this Freddy Kruger act & seem to come back from the dead after you repeatedly kill them.

    However, I assure you that you can leave them behind successfully, if you are careful & heed the advice you find on this site.

  27. fightorflight

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 2:26:20
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    > fight or flight - you moved twice? What did you do the second time around that made it effective?

    Sorry, my choice of words is confusing, but makes sense to me. The first time I fled my apt, I arranged to stay with a friend. I took the clothes on my back and some baked papers and a couple of other decontaminated things, like eyeglasses (probably not necessary, but...). I spread the bugs to my friend's home. I really think it was the clothes on my back - drying didn't work for some reason. Then I moved into some temporary housing and this is when I took nothing, except eyeglasses, credit cards and driver's license, all boiled. That worked.

  28. Anonymous

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 7:26:00
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    Wait a minute - you actually left with the clothes on your back. And they were in the clothes on your back? Why do you suspect that? Would it be wise to have new clothes waiting at destination point to immediately change into?? My god - this sounds like something from the Bourne Identity or James Bond - whatever it takes...

  29. Itchy-Scratchy

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 9:21:32
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    Oh fightorflight, I'm so sorry to hear about all you went through. And you are living in some temporary housing, with nothing but your cards. *sigh* What tragic consequences we experience because of BBs.

    PS Sorry I used the "R" word!!

  30. glmillan

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 16:12:13
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    I disagree...i believe you can carry them with you. i feel them crawling everywhere. We used to go to the park on sunny days to pick each others bb's off our bodies. Its very romantic...

  31. fightorflight

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2008 20:29:41
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    > My god - this sounds like something from the Bourne Identity or James Bond - whatever it takes...

    If you want to, or are scared enough, you can really get lost in logistics with this stuff. But since Plan A failed miserably, I was vewy, vewy, vewy careful about Plan B.

  32. Anonymous

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    Thu Sep 4 2008 21:21:42
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    Yeah - I'm gonna take the Jason Bourne/James Bond route too. Still stuck in hell apt though until I find a new place. So the plan - (when I find a cheap one bedroom in Ft. Mitchell, Ft. Thomas, Villa Hills or Crescent Springs) - All cities in KY where I need to live for school district and work - anyway, the plan - take what is precious to me, 2 paintings from grandmother, artwork by daughter, important documents, photo albums and photos, ziploc all, take to storage facility leased for 2 year minimum. Then - take the clothes on my back, bank card drivers license and flee to new apt - shit when I look at the new apt how do I know I'm not bringing them whilst I am looking and deciding? Damn - there's a snag already. Anyhoo - thoughts from forum always welcome - gotta switch laundry AGAIN - just got back from walmart with more ziplocs and rubbing alcohol - got the old bank account down to .89 cents. Saga continues....

  33. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 6 2008 17:00:54
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    The Anonymous user's account was deleted at their request.

    (Just a reminder to all: PLEASE do not post things you will later regret. The system is not designed for accounts to be deleted.)


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