Can you develop an allergy to bb bites?(6 posts)
Strange situation here:
My boyfriend thinks he's been getting bites at my apartment for months. I never got any bites and never found any sign of bugs, bed bugs or otherwise, so I brushed it off. However, the other day, he woke up with a few bites, and so did I.
Question 1: Could I have developed an allergy to bb bites? I've read on here about people's reaction changing from a bad reaction to no reaction at all, but does it ever go the other way?
I went on a bit of a rampage and tore apart my apartment and read up for hours online. I found one tiny bug on my boxspring that looked to me more like a carpet beetle to me, but now I'm worried. I'm also moving in a couple of days, so I'm extra worried about bringing an infestation along with me to my new place.
Question 2: Is it worth it to just start brand new with a new bed (I'm moving with just my bed, clothes and pots and pans. Given the concerns, I'm considering getting all my clothes drycleaned since I don't have a lot anyway...)? Do the encasements really work in confining any bugs that may already be present
So far the only evidence we have are the bites and the single bug. What should I do for a more definitive answer? Thanks so much for your help!
Yes, you can be bitten for a while before you react to bed bug bites. (And then some people never start reacting.)
You can use BBAlert Passive or ClimbUps, or other monitors to try and detect a problem. However, you are unlikely to catch a culprit within a few days if you're moving so soon.
If your boyfriend believes he has been getting bitten for months by bedbugs, there should be other signs. You should be seeing the black 'ink' marks on the sheets and around the bed, as well as cast skins etc. To check the box-spring properly you need to remove the drawers, lift it onto it's side and remove all that black woven fabric from the underside of the bed. If you still haven't found signs of bedbugs, there is a good chance that it was something else that caused the bites.
Whether or not you decide to keep your bed has to be your call. Personally speaking I would spend half an hour with a torch inspecting the bed inside and out, gently pealing back any loose fabric etc. If I still hadn't found any signs of bedbugs after that I would be happy to keep the bed.
If you do find something, don't chuck it away. Get a good pic and post it on here. We should be able to confirm or rule out bedbugs for you.
Lastly, peoples responses to bites are extremely variable. It is possible to develop as well as lose sensitivity to bedbug bites. I know people who have been previously insensitive and then exposed to large numbers of bites in a short space of time and have developed a strong sensitivity thereafter. As Nobugs said, there can be a long delay between bite and response, particularly if you haven't been bitten before. However, this delay tends to be up to a maximum of about 10 days (i.e. if you have been bitten and still haven't had a reaction after 10 days, your probably not going to react at all).
English to American translation...Torch = Flashlight
Torch your box springs has a slightly different meaning in the US.
Richard is talking about utilizing an battery powered torch.
On a more serious note
You might be able to save on dry cleaning bills, if you treat dry clothing in a dryer... Most "Dry Clean Only" garments can be heated in a dryer as long as they are not wet... We want about 130 degrees at the center of the mass for at least 20 minutes or so.
Clothes are labeled dry clean only for different reasons... Sometimes the issue is shrinkage of wet cloth or cloth that can be damaged by water contact... other times it may be appliques, buttons or sewn on items that cannot be placed in a washing machine... A Packtite is another approach for your clothing , shoes and small items that can tolerate a heat treatment.
If you confirm bed bugs in your box springs / mattress or other items and wish to save them... The moving van can be treated with Vikane gas before you move in to your new location or you may choose to replace them... depending on your replacement cost vs treatment.
(Disclosure: I provide K9 services for a Vikane fumigation specialist)
I'm thinking the torch might prove a good tool in many cases. But perhaps that's why bed bugs don't smoke in bed.
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