Do I REALLY have BBs????? (from bummedindenver)(15 posts)
Thanks for all the replies in my other post, and greetings (ha!) to my fellow Denver area resident. I started a new thread because I'm having my doubts now, and I want to describe our situatioin to see if you (experts) really truly believe we are dealing with bed bugs. I am baffled by some of the inconsistencies, and I really don't want to have a PCO come in and spray these chemicals if it isn't what I think.
My husband and I were out of town a lot this summer travelling separately and together. On one of his trips, my husband knows he was bitten by what were presumably bed bugs. (Two straight nights of bites on his back and abdomen--in a line on both back and abdomen, very itchy---happened at night in bed...). We are quite certain those were bed bugs. So, there was a definite exposure. But he was very very careful before he came home.
He returned to our home for a few weeks (I was in Europe), before travelling to New York City for several days. From NYC he joined me in Europe for a few weeks. He did not go home between NYC and Europe.
We returned home together. Our home had been unoccupied for about 3 weeks.
I had no bites while I was travelling, and the first night back in my home, I got some bites around my chin. But they weren't all red and welty. They were just kind of bumpy and itchy. I decided it was because there were spiders in my home (we have lots) and our bed had been unoccupied for weeks, so creepy crawly things got in.
After that, I washed the sheets, and pretty much no bites for like a month! Does that make any sense at all????
Then, the bad mattress (hurting our backs) on our bed encouraged us to sleep in the guest bedroom. No bites.
We slept for several weeks in the guest bedroom, no problem. But one night, my husband was keeping me awake so I returned to our regular bed.
In the morning, I had a line of bright bed bites on my neck. Like 4 bites in a line.
They never itched very much (though they did itch somewhat). And I kept asking myself if they could be pimples. But who gets a LINE of pimples on their neck like that after one night in a bed? Nearly 2 weeks later, they are still fairly evident.
That's when I began to suspect bed bugs. But the pattern of biting made no sense. I didn't really believe it, so I returned to the guest bed with my husband.
I washed the sheets of the main bed and moved the mattress pad and sheets to the guest bed. That night, I woke up with my wrist itching terribly and a really obvious, very fresh bite. It looked like a mosquito bite, and by morning, it was essentially invisible. And it didn't really itch anymore. It was like the itching (or bite) woke me up, and there was definitely a bite, but within hours, it was gone.
Then I freaked out. It was like I moved the bedding and got bit, and was then sure it was bed bugs.
I have seen no evidence of them at all. In my searching, I find plenty of evidence of carpet beetles.
After reading everything here, I decided we should move back to the original bed, though it is probably too late if it is bed bugs.
And since then, I do get itchy spots, but they are like the first night home, more white and sort of bumpy and around my chin and jawliine back to my ears. They are scattered, never in a line like that first night. And they don't last long.
So I am really really confused. We don't have pets. So fleas seem really unlikely. And what else would cause a line on my neck???
If it IS bed bugs, I want to start the treatment process immediately (and I am on the schedule).
I don't want to wait until I have a situation way out of control, but some of this makes no sense. We don't seem to be getting bit enough.
Any thoughts? I'd appreciate it.
Yes, I'm in the actual city of Denver. Single family home....I forgot to answer that question.
Who are you using? Do they seem to be good?
You take care!
Hi Bummed...I can only imagine that you're really freaked out...I am no expert, but I can share my experience. Bites on my husband are huge red welts. Bites on my son are non-existent. Bites on me vary...sometimes they are small bumps that may or may not itch. Sometimes they're larger and itch more (especially in the heat) Sometimes there is a single bite, sometimes two or three. OFTEN, they are near an obvious blood vessel. The only way I found the critters was by completely stripping the bed, lifting the mattress onto it's side, and taking a powerful spotlight to the mattress. (They were hiding in a fold of the mattress) (by the way, I'm not suggesting you do this, just wanted you to know that by looking under the bed, there may not be enough light to see) Anyway, it sounds a lot like BB's and if it were me, I would most definitely keep your appointment with the PCO. Your PCO sounds extremely good...if they inspect and don't think there is a problem; hopefully they will advise you properly!! Good Luck!!!
Thank you, thank you Insomnia. At this point, I do think there are BBs but I am the ultimate anti-chemical person. so, the pain of having to spray my house is intense and I am desperately needing to know I am not doing this unnecessarily.
However, I am sitting here scratching some itchy bites on my face as I type. There are bites, I'm getting them in bed. No pets, no fleas. Known exposure to BBs (husband).
We are the kind of people who bought a hemp shower curtain to avoid vinyl, and now we have to spray our house with toxic chemicals. Sigh.
The thing that confuses me is several years ago I stayed in a vacation rental and several days later I got these terrible bites, in lines, oozing (I thought it was shingles because it looked like chicken pox). They itched terribly.
Dermatologist did biopsies and said they were arthropod bites, though they did not tell me what kind. I always assumed those were bed bug bites (the lines). It was a delayed response, perhaps due to a first time exposure. And it never happened again. I freaked about bed bugs all those years ago, threw out the duffel bags we took on that trip, and we never had another problem.
These bites are not even in the same category of intense.
But I get that everything is totally variable.
It sounds to me like BBs are entirely possible, but that you only have a light infestation and the reason you aren't being bitten every night is that an individual BB doesn't need to eat every day. I didn't get bitten every night, either, and my bites were highly variable from sizeable, very itchy welts to a series of small bumps that didn't itch all that much.
Your PCO will inspect before he sprays because he has to know what he's spraying for. If he's a decent PCO, he will probably find the BBs if you have them. If he inspects thoroughly and doesn't find them, he will help you figure out what else it could be. Sounds to me like they may be hiding in your night table or headboard. How carefully have you inspected the bedframe, mattresses and other furniture near where your head lies when you sleep?
Have the PCO come on over - an inspection shouldn't cost you anything.
Thanks buggeroff. Yes, BBS are entirely possible, and I did come to the same conclusion (light infestation). But the other inconsistency is my husband has no bites, and he is the one who reacted to bites this summer.
I'm basing most of the conclusion about BBs on the one night when I woke up with a line of about 4 bites (kind of following a vein) on my neck. Otherwise, I'd suspect a rogue mosquito that we just aren't seeing. If it were not for that one night, and the pattern of bites from that one night, I would not be convinced we have them.
Thanks again for the responses. As you all know, it is nice to have someone to talk to about this. I am not telling any of my friends (at this point) and have been keeping kind of to myself--not inviting anyone over.
"Dermatologist did biopsies and said they were arthropod bites, though they did not tell me what kind." Lou Sorkin, the entomologist, told us this is what you will hear from the doctor if they biopsy a bed bug bite. That's all the data they can get.
If you are both there, bummed, they may choose you over him. If he was alone in the hotel room, they only had him. Also, you may have not reacted for a month both possibly because of the number of bugs present (small) or because they were in the other room and did not seek you out for some reason, or because maybe you had to be bitten a certain amount before it caused a reaction (we've heard this can happen).
You and your husband travel a lot. I would suspect bed bugs and I'd have the home treated. There are some non-chemical treatments: heat, freezing, and ozone (which we don't know much about). Effectiveness and price can vary. Heat is not possible in NYC where I live, but is elsewhere. It must be done professionally, though. In your case, I would go with traditional treatments which are less expensive and you probably will not need many visits. I also am sensitive to chemicals. But the issue here is if you wait, you need many more treatments (more chemicals). Better to be safe and get it over with.
Hello - my APOLOGIES for not being able to post a response today! I HAVE A LOT TO SHARE and will be back here tomorrow to do so...
Thanks so much.
Hey I just saw that there is other people in Denver that have BBs. I thought I was the only one in this forum that was from Denver. Sorry, I got really excited when I saw Denver people! Good luck to you both!
You're not the only ones in Denver, either:
Wow I didn't even hear about that, thanks Nobugsonme. It must have been a small story in the newspaper. I really should write the news stations asking them to do a story about bed bugs and how they are spreading like crazy!
hatebugs and CrazyDenverBugs, I'd like to hear your stories.
At this point, I'm in the do I or don't I stage. Scheduled to start treatment soon, but I'm not 100% sure I have BBs. I don't want to spray if I don't, and there is evidence to support for and against. There was only ONE night of characteristic red bed bugs in a line (about 4 in a 3" line), and other than that, bites occasionally that could be due to mosquitoes. Not sure what to do. I'm sensitive to chemicals, so it is not trivial for me to just "go ahead and do it" if we don't have them. I might end up having a house I can't even live in if I do it.
I so don't know what to do. My husband doesn't know what to tell me because the situation is just not clear cut.
Sigh...that's life, eh?
How about them Rockies?! Sorry just had to add that in, I am excited about the world series!
Bummedindenver, I just graduated college and moved out of my parent's house into my own apartment. 10 days after I moved in I started getting bites. For 8 days I would wake up with new bites on my neck, arms, and legs. I had killed 2 of them on the wall near my bed before I knew what they were. I freak out and told management and of course they blamed me for bringing them in. I didn't have them at my parent's house cuz they don't have them. Plus, my sister moved out the weekend before me to a different complex and she doesn't have them. I didn't use a moving truck or anything I used mine. Management threaten to kick me out and all that drama. Anyways, I just had my second treatment on friday and so far so good. I have been bite free for 17 days now. I did buy some DE, which is something you can try because it is all natural and has no chemical toxins in it. Put some around your bed(on the floor, not in the bed) and on the legs of the bed. The only thing with it is it doesn't kill them instantly. It can take up to 10 days before they die after having contact with it. Best of luck!
Yes--and make sure you read our FAQ on de. The nice guys at dirtworks helped with it.
Thanks for the posts. Well the verdict appears to be in. The PCO wasn't going to do an inspection until the day of treatment. But because I couldn't reconcile the inconsistencies in my mind, I had him come in to do a pre-inspection to help clarify. He seemed to do that when he found what he says are definite signs of shed (?) cases/shells, or whatever you call them.
So it appears that we do have a smallish infestation for sure.
Guess I'm going to go ahead and let them spray poison in my house.
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