Exhaustion after Being Bitten, Food For Thought!(21 posts)
I am a CPO and Bed Bug Researcher in Florida, I have been researching and raising colonies of BBs for quite a long time after my first encounter with them seven years ago.
I have a Bed Bug Dog and as part of the upkeep of the training I feed vials of BBs for the dog to search. The reason that I let these bugs feed on me is because my Dog is trained to find Bed Bugs that feed on humans. Some companies keep live BBs and feed them on a rabbit or rat or any other animal but there is little research that is done to find out if this changes the smell of the insect or their feces. The research that I have done myself points to the fact that it does not, because my dog will alert to insects that have been fed on animals or humans. However, when I offer a service to the public I want to be sure that my dog is searching for BBS that are feeding on humans, and that there is little variable or room for error. This brings me to my research observation. After feeding a vial of Bed Bugs containing about 30 insects the normal reactions start in about 3 hours and become very itchy and red over the next day and continue for about a week. Starting on the First day after feeding, I am almost overwhelmed with a feeling of exhaustion that last for and average of 3 to 4 days. I have performed many tests on the exhaustion theory and end up with the same results each time. I have even refrained from feeding the BBs for a 3 week period and as soon as I feed again, here comes the exhaustion. It is so very noticeable that I find myself yawning all day, Have no energy, and find myself taking naps in the middle of the day. After the 3 to 4 days the effect wears off and I am back to normal. My age has little to do with it for I am 35 years old and always on the go. In all my Bed Bug treatments and Detections, the usual response that I get from the homeowner or renter that are dealing with Bed Bugs, aside from the obvious itchy bites, is that they are Tired! I know that this could be from many psycho somatic factors such as not sleeping because something is eating them as well as all of the other symptoms that go along with not sleeping. But as for me, my bites are controlled. There is not loss of sleep associated with the bites because the insects are not in my bed, there is no feeling of helplessness or lack of knowledge do to relying on a Pest Control Company to get rid of them. My bites are completely controlled, and the same results are present “Exhaustion”. I have ruled out anemia on my part for the amount of blood given to the insects is not great in amount. I am very interested in your reader’s opinions as to this phenomenon. My personal opinion that along with the anti-coagulant and anesthetic there is a chemical or reaction of the two chemicals that when injected as the bite occurs it is designed to make the host want to sleep more. It only stands to reason, that if the host is exhausted and wants to sleep more, than there is more time for the insects to feed. I would also be interested in knowing if some of these animals that are subject to Bed Bug bites sleep more after being bitten. I have not ruled out that this is only my reaction to the bites, but the majority of Bed Bug Victims that I have personally surveyed; tell me a story of complete exhaustion after multiple bites. Literally Food For Thought!
I just spoke with another young man today who has been dealing with BB bites and he has described a feeling of overwhelming tiredness. He thinks it it from the bugs as well. I am interested to know of how many others.
I feel that the overwhelming tiredness comes from the lack of sleep for fear of being bug food. And the fact that there is so much to do and so little time to do everything that I was just exhausted all day. I have 4 kids of my own and ran an at home daycare at the height of our infestation and the cleaning and laundry and the constant searching for bugs is what I thought was wearing me down. Once I moved away from the bugs, my whole outlook on life changed. I was happy again and I could actually enjoy my kids. I smiled more and for the first time in 9 months, I was dreaming. It was a dramatic change in my behavior and my daycare mommies could tell right away. I am still bug free and still "sleeping like a baby!!" speaking of which, good night!
I can understand your standpoint on sooo much to do and so little time, The worry factor is so high as well as the work involved. But something further on my part, as well as being tired I too become very irritable with my wife and children for 3 to 4 days after feeding the insects. But after 3 to 4 days pass, I am my old chipper self again, and it too is very noticeable. The young man that I spoke with today got eaten at a friends house that he had stayed two nights. He told me that he slept through both nights and after he left his bites started to present. He is not dealing with insects at his own house but his feeling of tired is still present. My only question is aside from the state of mind and workload that you were in, is there a possibility that the injection from the bugs may in some minor way alter your state of mind to be irritable and be overly tired? I am not trying to project any symptoms upon you, that may not have been present, but I am trying to gather data as to it being a possibility or simply my reations to the insect. I am Thankful that you are still Bug Free and I Pray that it stays that way.........Thank-you very much for you Post....
I personally do not feel like the bugs were to blame. Maybe in the beginning when we didn't know what was biting us or haven't found out how bad the infestation was. I do know that after we moved into the apartment, my kids were routinely late for school. I couldn't get them up inthe morning, or myself for that matter. My husband and I were always getting letters about how bad it is to be late. My husband did not sleep at night, he started staying up all night and watch over us then would sleep when we were awake. He still will sit up until 2 or 3 a.m. but will eventually go to bed. It takes alot of time to get the pychological mind-f**k out of your head after dealing with these bugs.
Is is possible to milk a bed bug so as to collect the chemical and analyze it?
They do this with snakes.
In all of my research and watching these insect under a microscope, the stylus is so small but I think there is a possibility. I am in the process of trial and error of just that. milking a bedbug. Using heat and an small empty vial covered with a pig intestine also known better as a hotdog covering. It acts as a permeable membrane that bed bugs will pierce in order to draw blood. No success at collecting the injection cocktail at this point but working on it.
Bedbugfinders, your research is really interesting. Those of us who are engaged in the battle against these pests are naturally exhausted, not just because of stress, but because of the physical labor the whole process entails, but I've often wondered whether there's a physiological component, too.
Your training and ability to control when you're bitten puts you in a much better position than those of us with infestations to figure out whether bed bugs bites cause physical exhaustion.
In my case, I could not say for sure. But I certainly am tired. Unlike many other sufferers, I sleep well at night, even knowing I am probably being bitten. I always thought the fatigue was due to all the protocols and prep/treatment work (we are self-treating), and perhaps even more so, the stress associated with both dealing with this issue and doubting we will ever be rid of it (going on SEVEN months now).
Aside from the chronic fatigue, I have noticed other changes in my body, such as weight gain, acne, and flaking scalp. Again, I assumed it was the stress. I am just not myself.
Please keep us informed of your findings.
Thank you for all of your responses, One of my Dog handlers has agreed to feed a vial of Bed Bugs to take away some of my bite burdens. He, Like myself does not have an infestation and is under no stress associated with the daunting task of treatments. He is in his early 30's and in great physical condition with no prior health issues, Therefore he will act as a great test subject, and a good sport as well. He is very dedicated to helping me research and at least scratch the surface "no pun intended" of an insect that is still clouded in much mystery. He fed the BBs at 7:00 pm tonight and we'll monitor his bites and see if he feels any lack of energy over the next few days. I'll keep everyone posted. Again, Thanks to all that have responded!
The First day after feeding the BB's, My dog Handler has no visible signs of being bitten. He fed the insects around his ankle and has not even the first red mark. He has stated that he is slightly more tired than normal but no serious or drastic changes. I will post as days progress....
I am highly allergic to all bug bites, but... after two weeks of getting bitten, not only did I feel tired, I also had a low grade fever. Almost all my bites are healed, I'm feeling better but still tired and my low grade fever is now up & down. I took my temp when I woke up this morning and it was normal, first time in weeks! These things did a number to my body and I am still recovering from them. Sprayed the bedroom twice, got rid of the mattress and no bites in 5 whole days!
I learned at a bedbug conference that when they study bedbugs in graduate school, the the graduate entomology students have to let the bedbugs feed off of them! I doubt similar findings to yours could be noticed in the graduate programs, though, since graduate students are ALWAYS tired (in my experience).
The question you raised would be fascinating to address since the amount of saliva or whatever bedbugs inject would have to be minute and a somewhat "natural" substance. With the insomnia in the US, it could make the discoverer of this sleep-aid a fortune. However, the only thing I've heard associated with bedbugs is NOT being able to sleep. The itching alone is horrendous.
Keep up the ideas and the research. I believe the bedbug breakthrough will come from people like you and us, those of us in the field, not those in the labs, since we are so observant and we're out there with the enemy on a daily basis.
My Dog handler that allowed the bugs to feed on him two days ago has just now started to get a small red area around the bite location. Still no remarkable exhaustion, just a slight tired feeling. I personally feel that with more feedings his symptoms will present more quickly as mine did with repeat feedings. Back when I first started to feed them, My symptoms did not present for some time, but as I fed them more often, and to the present time when I feed them, my bite areas become red and slightly inflamed immediately. The itchiness still takes about 2 days to present, but the feeling of being overly tired becomes evident by the next morning. I will continue to post results with more feedings. Thanks to all for your experiences and taking the time to post your individual findings, and thank you to "parakeets" for your kind words, I agree that our research will generate more findings on the insects, and aside from the labs, "We" being all people having an infestation and those professionals that are in the trenches so to speak play the most major role in finding answers to the numerous questions about these creatures. Could you imagine if Bed Bugs actually cured insomnia, The irony would write itself.
Well my handler has fed them multople times and the red, raised , itchy tell tale signs are very vivid. He discribes a sloght feeling of being tired, but nothing to make a firm basis. We both expect that if there is some exhaustion with the feeding of these insects, it will come with time and more feedings. I'll post more as we feed more.
I realize that you base your size of the insect opinion on experience, but here's the thing. One Bed Bug will bite around five seperate times for a single feeding. This means that the one insect will inject you with an numbing agent and an anti-coagulant mixture five times into your blood stream. Now add this to being bitten by around 15 Bed Bugs at a time, bitting 5 times per bug. Now you have 75 injection sites on your body that all have been injected with these toxins. If you base your opinions on size, in the insect world, size doesn't matter! Take a Black Widow Spider, She contains enough venom to kill an average size man, or a Brown Recluse, one bite of this arachnid and your flesh and muscle will turn to liquid and rot away from the bone. So for me, it's not the size of the insect, it's the chemicals that are injected into the bloodstream that matters. I have interviewed many Bed Bug victims that have have experienced these same exhaustion symptoms as well as my ongoing test where I feed these insect at intervals and at different amounts to see if the effects vary. Just recently I hadn't fed the insects for about a month, I fed them 4 days ago and the results are exactly the same, I have a small headache in the top and back of my head and am so tired I took a day off to get over it. Take into account that I feed on average 15 to 30 Bed Bugs at a time, so my effects may be more significant than most but I am sure of the reaction that is specific to me, and many others. Also keep in mind that some people never even show a simple sign that they had been bitten at all, but most people on this site do react. These reactions are what prompts them to find help and to let thier story be heard. I can't find many people willing to sign up for a trial to have bed bugs feed on them just to find out their reaction, that is why I do it myself. My Findings are just facts that stem from my own research on myself, I am sure there are different reactions for different people so I take their responses into account for my findings. Trying to be as objective as possible.
I thank you for your input, and thank everyone who has listed there opinions and story on this thread. This is the kind of research that will get the unknown answers brought to light....Thank you Bedbugfinders
What would be interesting is if doctors or dermatologist were to look at your blood before and after a feeding to see if the anesthetic and anti-coagulants were identifiable to create a blood test that could determine BB bites.
It must take the body time to break that stuff down and eliminate it.
From a nursing perspective - and not to say that there's no merit in the sedative qualities of some potential chemical presence - but the exhaustion is quite possibly an immune system response.
As someone mentioned, a low grade fever came on after being bitten several times. In addition, the allergic effects that people suffer with the red/raised/itchy bite marks indicate an immune response. Not everyone reacts the same way, but the immune system is always responding to the threat in some way.
Look at it this way: When you get sick, you get tired. It's from the illness, yes... but also from your immune system working to fight the illness.
You can be exposed to strep throat and every actually contract it or show symptoms of infection, but your immune system detects the presence of the bacteria and goes to work fighting it off. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
I'd be more inclined to think that what you are experiencing with exhaustion is the immune response to the foreign chemical/substance injected when you're bitten. Sort of in the same way that accupuncture can leave you feeling mellow and dozy - it's not just the relaxation that accompanies it, it's your body and your blood and lymph being stimulated by the invasion.
Formerly Bugged - 36 seconds ago » You can be exposed to strep throat and NEVER actually contract it or show symptoms of infection,
Very Good perpective of the biological exhaustion response. This is the best description of one possiblity for the reaction. As I have stated in the past, I have interviewed many people about the exhaustion and about 75% express some form of being tired. It very well may be a general symptom of the body's immune system response. As for the other 25% Their immune system may react to the foreign substance in a different way. Thank you for a different perspective. We may never know for sure. Only research will break it down over time. Thanks again...Bedbugfinders
I just moved into a new place - and a week later I've got 600+ bites, they showed up about a 4 days after I first slept in the new place, and while it seems that the worst of it is over as I'm not sleeping in that room any longer, I am completely exhausted as well. 2-3 Naps a day and I don't feel like doing anything, can't really motivate myself, and I'm usually a very active person.
I reckon that the effects of exhaustion come primarily from the body trying to fight off the bedbug's saliva, and to move whatever they inject into the bile system / liver / what have you for elimination from the body.
Just my 2c though. But Still.... this stinks, luckily the exterminators are coming tomorrow. Let's hope they get everything.
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