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Could these cast skins be from the same BB? [a: yes]

(2 posts)
  1. laneysings13

    Joined: Jun '17
    Posts: 5


    Posted 10 months ago
    Wed Jul 12 2017 23:10:51

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    Hi everyone. So a little background info for you, which I will try to keep brief. I have had bedbugs since May. It's been kind of a nightmare. Today, however, marked 3 weeks since our last treatment and we had a K9 inspection done, which came up clear, so it seems I may be headed toward freedom.

    Unfortunately, I've not been able to fully rejoice because yesterday, one of my worst nightmares came true. For the majority of my BB battle, I was actually living with my girlfriend. Not necessarily because of the BB, but they certainly were a factor in my extended stay. Once I learned I had bedbugs, however, I became extremely anxious and paranoid about spreading them to her apartment. I bought a PackTite and heated up anything I was transporting from my apartment to hers. I would run my clothes through the dryer, put them on immediately after the cycle, and then leave my apartment as quickly as possible.

    Given that I have been staying with her since May, and we never saw any signs of bugs in her place, we figured we were fine. And then yesterday I came home from work and was trying to tidy up a bit. I somewhat haphazardly picked up a notebook that was lying on the ground, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed something crawling on it. Imagine my overwhelming delight when I spotted the bug and recognized it as an adult male bedbug. It had just been crawling around in broad daylight.

    I panicked, of course. But amidst my anxiety, I couldn't help but feel extremely confused. We had encased her mattress probably 3 or 4 weeks ago. Within that same time frame, there had been four people living in this apartment. None of us ever presented with obvious bites. There were some marks here and there that could have been suspicious in hindsight. But never any bites in clusters. Thanks to my own bedbug battle, I know for certain that I have a very strong allergic reaction to bedbug bites. I haven't experienced anything in my girlfriend's apartment that could compare to the kinds of bites I was getting in my own place.

    Once I did the research and discovered the bug was male, I became hopeful that perhaps he was a lone hitchhiker from my apartment who had been somewhat sporadically feeding off of the different people in the apartment over the last couple of weeks. I know it might be wishful thinking, but apart from constantly monitoring for bites, my paranoia also led me to regularly inspect my girlfriend's bed/mattress in the mornings and at night, and I never saw any visible signs of an infestation.

    Her landlord sent the PCO today (very promptly, thank God), and he did a very thorough inspection of her bed. Her apartment doesn't have a lot of clutter, and she is in the process of moving, so her bed is basically the only piece of furniture in the apartment right now. When he first began inspecting, he didn't find anything, but just as he was about to call it a day, he spotted two cast skins on the inside of the bedframe near the headboard on the side where she sleeps.

    He told her he thought they were all representative of the same phases of life, which would suggest the presence of more than one bedbug. But when I came home later, she had collected the cast skins in the container where we were keeping the carcass of the bedbug I caught yesterday, and when we saw them lined up, I couldn't help but feel that they didn't look like they were all from bedbugs of the same age/phase.

    So that is what brings me here. I am attaching a photo with the two cast skins on the left and the dead bug on the far right to see if anyone can determine whether they are all from different bugs of the same phase or if it's possible they could have come from the same single bug.


    My experience with bedbugs has taught me not to hold out hope for the best. But based on the timeline, I truly believe that if she had an actual infestation, we would be seeing a lot more signs/live bugs, and I know for certain that I, at least, would be reacting to getting bitten much more frequently.

    Also, anyone have any thoughts as to why the adult bedbug would have just been crawling around in the open in the middle of day?

    Regardless of all of this, her PCO seems to really know what he is talking about, so I am actually pretty optimistic. But it sure would be nice if we really were only dealing with one straggler. I was just beginning to think bedbugs were out of my life. But alas.

    Also, she is supposed to be moving by July 31st. Any advice on how to keep her from tracking things to her new place?

    Thanks for suffering through the long post.

  2. bed-bugscouk

    Joined: Apr '07
    Posts: 15,666


    Posted 10 months ago
    Thu Jul 13 2017 4:52:37

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    Yes they could be from the same bed bug developing and if they were all found in close proximity that is also likely to have been the case.

    In some situations the introduction of bed bugs is single and while that is technically an infestation as the term refers when n is greater than or equal to 1 where n is the number of samples in the population. In such cases it can be a dead end population unless other bed bugs are introduced or if its a females capable of laying eggs.

    Assuming that the skins are from the same bed bug you have 2 - 4 weeks worth of occupation there at least and possibly longer.

    While the focus tends to be on the treat the home in this case it may be that a more surgical approach works faster.

    I would suggest as follows:

    • Update your knowledge on bed bugs, so of what you have said has changed
    • Deep cleanse through and prepare the property so its organised and efficient.
    • All occupants take steps to avoid potential introductions of bed bugs.
    • Regular monitoring and inspection to ensure that you can detect and resolve when you cant avoid.

    As you are moving soon I would upgrade that to clean and pack and starting learning to avoid at this location so you don't leave an issue for the next person and that you don't infest another home. Its about treating the cause not the symptoms.

    Ideally you would delay the move to make sure you leave nothing behind for the next person to move into and to that end check your new location in advance of unpacking.

    Hope that makes things a little clearer.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.

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