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Can you feel BB's crawling on you, or are they too light?

(5 posts)
  1. Redtape

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 13 2012 7:49:40
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    Not sure if I have BBs or not yet, still in that stage where I suspect it but am still looking for legit confirmations to be sure if it is them or isn't them.

    Anyways, sometimes when i lay in bed, ill swear i feel something crawling on me, and when i open my eyes to look there's nothing there. Could this have been a BB crawling on me while im laying down, or are they too light to feel crawling on you, and it's just my paranoid mind playing a trick on me? I've heard from someone that they are so light that you can't even feel them crawling on you, is it true?

    Also, if it was them crawling on me, is it possible that they're so fast at running away that when i look at my arm to see if it's them they're already gone? I swear ive thought ive had BBs on me at certain times, only to look at my leg or arm and see nothing there; Ive always assumed that if it were BBs i didnt see them because they are really fast at high tailing it the second they feel me move a bit.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 13 2012 8:29:51
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    Dear redtape,

    It's possible to feel bed bugs crawl on you especially if they encounter hair whilst crawling on you.

    Everyone is different and some are more sensitive than others.

    When feeding individual bed bugs I know that I can feel them move depending upon the circumstances.

    However, I would NOT characterize bed bug ground speed as "fast" by any means. In timing bed bugs crawl speed we found that it takes them about a minute to cover about four feet. (That equates to about 0.045 mph or about 22 hours per mile.) So, figure about 15 seconds per foot or about 1.25 seconds per foot.

    This said, if you wake up suddenly because you "feel" a bed bug crawling on you and you look quickly for the bed bug we need to consider some additional pertinent factors/questions:

    > How long is the delay time between you "feeling/sensing" a bed bug crawling on you and you actually waking up to look?

    > How far would the bed bug have possibly moved during this "delay time"?

    Assuming that you're sensitive enough to actually feel a bed bug crawling on you, that you wake up quickly to look for the bed bug and that the bed bug remains moving in an effort to elude your detection and there is a delay/reaction time factor:

    > If the delay time is 1 second, the bed bug may have travels about 1.25 feet or about 16 inches.

    > If the delay time is 2 seconds, the bed bug may have traveled about 2.5 feet or about 30 inches.

    > If the delay time is 5 seconds, the bed bug may have traveles about 6.25 feet or about 75 inches.

    Of course these numbers are all approximatations and 'your mileage may vary' however, as you can see an actual bed bug would not likely travel far enough for you to not see or find it assuming you're able to see, have adequate lighting and the delay/reaction time was sufficiently short.

    As such, if you're awakening due to sensing something crawling on you but cannot see or find anything, my guess would be that there really isn't a bed bug(s) crawling on you.

    One thing you can do to be more certain is to set your alarm for the "wee hours", say 3:00 AM and wake up to conduct a bed bug search & destroy mission. You can do this as many times as you wish until you are satisied that you either have or do not have bed bugs present.

    Either way, it may be good for you to "know for sure" as this may eventually lead to your own peace of mind.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

    As a consulting entomologist I provide services for entities such as property managers, health/housing/emergency depts, schools, hospitality/resort/cruise industry, homeowners, food service, retail, pest professionals & product manufacturers. I recommend only efficacious methodologies, products and equipment. Professional relations have included Actisol, AMVAC, Atrix, BASF, Bayer, Catchmaster, FMC, GMT, Eaton, MattressSafe, Nisus, ProTeam, Rockwell, Syngenta & Woodstream. No compensation for product sales occurs. As inventor of Knight Safe bed bug sleep tent provides a royalty.
  3. RWhit

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 13 2012 9:20:57
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    Hi Redtape,
    Feeling a bed bug crawl on me is how I discovered we had bedbugs. It didn't wake me up from my sleep, my daughter did and I had the sensation of something crawling on my arm. I felt it with my hand, got up and grabbed a peice of paper a few feet away on my desk, at this point it was still crawling on my sheets, slid it onto the paper and into a ziplock. I feel like if I could do all that and the bug was still making a break for it on my bed but not far from where I first found it, then you should be able to see a bed bug crawling on you as soon as you feel it.

    I have a pretty bad bug phobia, so if that increases my sensitivity to an insect crawling on me I don't know. I do at the thought of anything crawling on me get the jeeper creepers and suddenly feel like there are bugs crawling on me everywhere. So it could just be paranoia. I often lay awake itching and scratching at invisible bed bugs that are not there, it's just my mind reacting to this current situation I'm in.

    Thanks for the info P Bello. You actually let bed bugs feed on you willingly?

  4. Redtape

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 13 2012 9:24:09
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    Thanks for the info P Bello and Rwhit. I appreciate it.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Sep 13 2012 10:58:00
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    Yes, you can feel a bug crawl on you, but it depends where it is when crawling. More sensitive skin such as under your arm rather than on the hairy part. However, you can feel bed bugs crawling on the hairs. Larger nymphs and adults more often will be felt compared to smaller or smallest nymphs. You can sometimes feel feeding, too. There may or may not be an anesthetic in the saliva, but since the stylet fascicle is very thin, it may not always be perceived as it is forced through the skin while feeding. Feeding, itself, may also be felt. It may just be some type of annoying sensation or, depending on the bite site, may feel like a very fine hot needle. Not really painful actually. Welts, itching, may not always occur.

    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.

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