Can't See or Find Bugs???(5 posts)
It has been since October that I was covered in 150 bed bug bites from a motel, and since then I have been convinced some have come home with me. Unfortunately because I was bitten so badly the first time, it is hard to tell if I am still being bit.. the "bites" are smaller and itch mildly for a day or two. Some areas of my body don't itch at all when bit (face/neck). I assume that 1-2 bites a day would react differently to 150 bites in one night!
Since October I have not seen one bug (dead or alive). Other than the "bites" my only indication that there were bed bugs was some black specs in my bed (similar to the "pepper-flake" feces people have described)... My PCO has treated 5 times, but I still experience what I believe to be bites, and he refuses to come back and spray until I find a bug. I tried tape, sticky bug catchers, searching furniture and mattress seams, and waking up at 4am to check the bed. Can't find anything.
I assumed that my infestation never reached a high level, since the house was sprayed many times... and I have since applied DE to the areas where I seemed to be bitten the most. So I figured it wasn't weird that I couldn't see/find any. they only come out when I'm sleeping right? Unless its a heavy infestation. Anyway.. to my problem/question:
I have ordered a bed bug dog to come and sniff out the house, but the truth is I cannot afford it, and was hoping the "bites" would stop appearing this week and I could hold off for a while until I have some more money to waste on bed bugs... or hope that they were gone. The truth is I have no proof that they were ever there. Maybe my bites are caused from something else right? But what? Seems too coincidental... and other people in my house have experienced strange bumps, so we were all convinced. We have found other bugs, but no bed bugs. My dad pulled a bug from the back of his head, but he squished it too much that we couldn't analyze it.. then lost it before we could have it looked at professionally. So there is a chance that we found one, but then lost it.
Is it normal to not see any bugs in 9 months? Especially if the infestation is well controlled?
Should I just hope they were never there and its all in my head, or suck it up and go broke for the rest of the month for peace of mind?
Any special tricks to finding them?
In my experience, they were not that hard to see. I even saw two in daylight. It's possible you're getting bites from something else, or getting a stress rash. Everything I've heard/read said bites are not a solid indicator, and you should be looking for other signs. Are you seeing shed skins?
not really... i used to find black hard specs in the sheets which I thought were fecal droppings, but other than that, nothing... the "bites" are not mosquito bites, sometimes very itchy, sometimes not at all... and I never experienced this before the bed bug incident, so it seems too coincidental. However, my skin was quite traumatized after the encounter with them at the motel (over 150 bites)... and I have many allergies, so I accept the possibility that my skin is reacting to something else. The bed bug dog is coming tomorrow, so that should help a lot... fingers crossed.
natalie - 3 days ago »
In my experience, they were not that hard to see. I even saw two in daylight.
Seeing two in daylight is a sign you have a lot of bed bugs (or in some cases, they may have been disturbed and brought out by certain kinds of treatment).
Bed bugs are not "hard to see" in the sense that they are not microscopic, but they are "hard to see" in the sense that they prefer to hide well, and come out and bite you when you are resting.
I agree, however, that in 9 months, there should be evidence of fecal spotting and you might also find cast skins. And if YOU can't find them, an experienced PCO who knows bed bugs and is taking the time to search carefully (which many do not do) should be able to. Did the PCO actually look for signs? Demanding you present an actual bug is not that great, I have to say.
Another question: how often are you bitten and at what frequency? You talk about one or two bites a day. Has it been so all along? Or have the bites steadily increased in number?
1-2 bites a day suggests you have at least seven bed bugs, since they normally bite around once a week (this varies depending on temperatures). But over time, we'd expect the number to multiply a lot.
The bites were about one a day, but with allergies and other common skin irritations, it's sort of hard to say really... as for the PCO, I don't believe she ever did a thorough inspection. I asked her once if she had seen anything during the first three visit she made, and she said no... but she was never at the house for very long (an hour tops), and it's a five bedroom, 3 level home. The preparation required for this company was minimal compared to other companies... ex. they did not request that I remove electrical outlet covers, or paintings/pictures on the walls (I read other companies were requesting this). No real inspection was done. That being said... the first time I called the company was the day after I broke out in 150 bites from the motel, and I asked them to come and do a "just-in-case-I-brought-any-home" spray. So when I called the second time and claimed I was being bitten, it was just assumed by both parties that I had brought some home, and the bugs weren't killed by the first spray, so I needed a good thorough treatment.
Anyway... we had the bed bug dog here today, which was an interesting experience. Most of the house was cleared, except for my mattress in my room, and one of my brother's beds (oddly enough, the bed he doesn't sleep in) got a "secondary response" meaning that the dog was sensing something old/dead, or just cast skin/fecal matter. That bedding probably hadn't been washed since the last spray in late March, so I have done that, and sprayed both his beds with rubbing alcohol. My mattress got a full response... but once the mattress and box spring were removed, the dog searched my room again, and cleared my room. needless to say its time for a new mattress. So fingers crossed that the house is clear for good now. I'm still going to reapply DE (I had to vacuum it all up for the dog) in all the bedrooms and living rooms. The PCO with the dog explained that he's confident the problem has been resolved because if it were a big problem (or ever had been) the dog would have alerted to more areas (dead bugs in the walls/ mattresses). So it appears that the company who treated my house did a pretty good job at keeping them from spreading. I'm sure I could have vacuumed and washed my sheets more often as well, and done more on my end overall.
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