false alarms vs. hard to find bedbugs(17 posts)
A lot of people here seem to be struggling the way I am--we have bites, but aren't sure if it's from bedbugs. Can't find signs of them despite looking. Other oddities, such as irregular biting (not every night), not knowing for _months_ if we have bedbugs, etc.
What I want to know is, of the people who have struggled like this: how many ended up having bedbugs, vs. how many had something else/nothing/false alarm?
(in other words, what's the false negative rate--how worried should we be, when we can't find nymphs/feces/skin/etc., that we really do have bedbugs; or is it truly not bedbugs in the vast majority of the cases, so we shouldn't worry a lot?)
Long-time posters--any guess based on your experience reading our frantic postings?
Those who've had bedbugs: did you struggle to figure out if you had bedbugs, or was it pretty obvious pretty quickly?
This really sucks--because I'm afraid to have friends over, I even was worried while I was dating a guy, about taking him back to my apartment--it'd be like giving him an STD! ("uh, honey, those bites came from my bed...you might want to wash all your clothes and fumigate your apartment") (didn't work out with him, so issue went away, but could come back again!) If I didn't know I had bbs and spread them unknowingly, that'd be one thing; but if I think I might have them, it'd be pretty irresponsible to spread them!
To answer your question ....In my opinion to some its pretty obvious pretty quickly, To others they could sleep with a snapping turtle and not know it.
I went through the bites with no evidence syndrome for 6 months , But treated the whole time and yes it took me 6 months to find one dead bed bug and a very tiny blood stain , I was getting 1-3 bites a week , I would say if you are getting bites and you know how your skin looks and keep tabs and a dated log of bites, you will see a pattern of some kind emerge , Mine was where I was getting bitten BED - COUCH and when I was getting bitten which was at night when I sleep every 3- 4 days , And the bites looked like BB bites 1-2 or 3- bumps and lines Classics BB patterns , If you have the Bites like that and you are getting them at night , There is a good chance you have bb , Some wont agree but the people that think they have them and find out they do is very high , Some people 60% or so dont react to bites then you need an detailed Pro inspection PCO or dog which is not 100% either but close, Bites are just a piece of the puzzle , but a big piece for most
I agree with the above post. I've had this for close to a year and a half. I have a large old house with lots of hiding places. I've been self treating and the bites have pretty much stopped. Good luck.
I just got inspected (and my house is clear--no BBs), so I guess that answers my question above: if there's biting but no other signs (feces, blood), then it's probably not bedbugs.
So next time I won't panic -- the bites are annoying, but a hell of a lot less annoying than bedbugs!
Allinmyhead, I'm really not trying to ruin your party, but I wouldn't get so excited just yet. I hired an inspector to come in and might as well have gambled the $75 away. He found nothing. I was getting bit randomly, and my roommmate assumed we had fleas. I shelled out for a bb dog to get peace of mind, and were given positive ID for bed bugs. I mean, even when the guys were in treating, they found nothing, really.
So there may be no signs, but that doesn't mean there are no bugs. A woman working at a PCO told me how she was being bitten for three months before seeing ANYTHING.
Emmm right, if it was a human inspector they may have missed something. I'd get a dog if possible just to be on the safe side.
all in my head, thank you for asking those questions. i logged on today out of frustration too, at not knowing what the hell is biting me?!? it is really driving me crazy.
i've had red, welt-like "bite" marks for months on my chest/back after having BB treatment in my last place. it's going on 10 months since i moved, and i can't figure out what is going on!! i've recently had my new place inspected by 2 different BB dogs, gotten an all-clear both times. i've been to the dermatologist. i am no closer to an answer. i woke up today with more welt-like marks on my chest. sometimes they're smaller marks, almost like a pimple, and a few in a row, which is worrisome. other times, they're more like a hive/mosquito bite. i regularly feel crawling sensations when sitting at my computer in the evening. sometimes i feel a pinch, like a 'bite', and then there's a red mark. i don't think that's characterisitic of BBs, but not sure!
having gotten the all-clear from two dogs, i keep telling myself, "ok, whatever it is, at least it's not BBs"... but i'm so frustrated at not knowing what it IS, that it's not much relief. part of me is worried that there is still a problem that was overlooked somehow by both dogs. i had hoped that either the DOGS would find something or the DERM would be able to tell me what is making my skin react, but i got neither answer, so now i don't know what to think?!
in the meantime, i keep laundering, cleaning, vacuuming, spraying alcohol, using talc powders/creams/antihistamines... and constantly looking for bugs, looking at dust balls, looking at everything to see if it's a BUG! it is literally driving me crazy. if I KNEW WHAT THE PROBLEM is, at least i'd be able to try to solve it, but so far nothing seems to work and i keep getting the 'mystery' bites.
i'm almost at the point where i'm going to call the dog guy again, pay for another inspection and have him treat the place regardless. but that seems like a giant waste of money if i don't have BBs. plus, if my skin is still reacting to the original treatments i went through (4 of them) i don't want to treat unnecessarily.
WHAT TO DO?! i'd also like to hear from anyone else out there who went through MONTHS of seeing red marks/welts etc... and ended up NOT having bedbugs, but something else. And if it was something else making your skin react, WHAT WAS IT?!?
please help, i am SO beyond frustrated. thanks.
Short answer because I have to go out. No bug is too hard to find! And even if a K9 alerts to an area .. The handler still needs to confirm the "hit" or in my book .. You don't have bed bugs.
I would love to say I had the same situation as Emmm, but 3 months ago I knew I had bedbugs in my furnished apt bc of my bites! Bites were the only symptom.....read my other posts.
My landlord had an exterminator inspect, (who I'm now convinced she paid off to say we didn't have them) bc I was getting bitten, in the linear fashion bedbugs bite-even some of you on this website weren't convinced it was bed bugs.
In March I paid $700 toa dermatologist to find out what the bites were- whose results were inconclusive....About a week later, I found the bed bugs-by then, there were all different stages, and it's been a nightmare! I've paid over $300 already trying to get rid of them bc my landlord won't exterminate. Money down the drain!! I am trying to figure out what to do to try to get my landlord to reimburse me for some of the expenses. This is horrible!!!
All I can do is spray the walls that connect to the other apartments with pesticides made for outdoor lawns and hope the bugs don't find a way around it-it keeps them on the othere side, although for the life of me I can't understand how the neighbors can live with the bugs!
okay, mr. killer queen... i understand you're saying a handler still has to inspect after K9 HIT.
but what if you have two different K9s that get NO hits... and you don't find evidence of BBs (no bloodstains, bugs, feces), but you still keep seeing bites??
how do you FIND what IS biting you, if a dog can't even find it?? if it's not bedbugs, then what is it and where do you look ? how do you get rid of something you can't find? because i see nothing except continued red welt-like marks on my chest...
Sickandtired. I'm sorry you're going through this. No one wants to really believe they're well and truly safe when there's a potential sign still, I totally understand you. I hope it's just a skin issue. If it's bed bugs, I would hope you'd find a sign by now.
KillerQueen - 2 days ago »
No bug is too hard to find!
I disagree with the above statement , It took me 8 months to find 1 yes one dead bed bug and I searched for hours every day for 8 months , Some Bugs are hard to find and no dog or person can find every bed bug that is in a house it almost impossible , If you have just 1 or a few bugs there is a good chance that they will not be found and bites will appear, There is thousands of people that never found a bug and had bites then treatment and the bite stooped, No dog is 100% and I suspect there are faulty at best,
I agree with KQ. Especially if 2 dogs found not "hits" and you have absolutely no other evidence other than bites. That's what happened to me except I had 2 dogs hit all over my apartment. Turns out I had NO bed bugs at all after a thorough inspection. So, I think if the dog is wrong it's more likely to be a false positive rather than a false negative.
You could be being bitten by many things just not bed bugs. In my case, turns out the dogs were alerting to carpet beetles (which can cause a bite like allergic reaction).
I have only seen two nymphs and one adult, one case and about 40 red comet steaks ( some just dots of blood ) on my sheets in over a year. And bites...
Same here, after a slew (7) treatments I'm not seeing bugs. I THINK i see bugs, and I feel like I get nibbled on, find little tiny brown clingy things on my clothes (in my kitchen, right?) this bitey thing doesn't happen anywhere else in my (and forgive the repitition) 416 Sq ft studio condo. Last adult found under bed 5 weeks ago, at 10 AM in the morning. It may have been hiding all this time under one of the flan dishes my bedlegs sit in with Murphy Oil. And, I'll just add, cause it makes me feel good and safe, that I have had no bites in my bed since getting a new bed and isolating it.
But I still HATE LINT (and think we here should form a No Lint Society) Can I also say that i discovered a tip of putting two rubber soft spikey dog toys in the dryer to combat the evil lint monsters. I also freak out NO MORE than two or three times a night pulling the covers back to check. We suffer alike, therefore we understand, there are times when being a little crazy is way better than being all the way crazy. So I indulge this for now, and when it's safe to let down my vigilence, I'll get less crazy (i hope and so do my friends, god bless them for reading up on this and then saying "Holy Shit! I had no idea." I thank them for taking the time to learn and acknowledge that lice this is not.
Sensations in my clothes, face.. But no one can find one now. So, it's the same question...and it's a tough one cause our brains are on trauma mode and what is real has become even more...unsure. (please, Buddhists, I know, I know)
So for fun I happened to be a local garden center and picked up a lighted 30X Microsope. And the bug I was certain I had just wiped up with my finger off my floor.....is bark, or wood or something that's not a bug. Yes, it looks like it has a head, apple seed shaped but too small to tell with my eyes. So under the little light and no bug. Maybe this will help me believe that what I see that are not bugs, are not bugs.
I've become Woody Harilson's character from "A Scanner Darkly."
brilliant topic. same situation. bites but no evidence!
it is getting to me. about to do a full room search for the 2nd time...
My 14 month old daughter slept in an infant carseat (she must be strapped down to fall asleep otherwise she stands and cries for hours and never lays down to sleep). I had her "sleeping only" carseat propped up on her travel lite pack and play (P.N.P) and that's where she slept for naps and nighttime. Anyways, August 29th she had fallen asleep at her normal bedtime and then woke up an hour or two later (unusual). I thought maybe she was hungry. So I got her up and tried to feed her but she wasn't hungry. So I was about to strap her back in so she could fall back to sleep when I noticed a tiny bug. I killed it quickly and inspected it. No clue. Baby roach? Nope, upon internet searching I found that it was in fact a bed bug.. That same week just before i found that first bug, my other daughter who sleeps in the same room had been getting some really itchy bites (half dozen or so suddenly). Also, before I found the first bug my baby had developed a "rash" upon her upper back and sometimes it showed up on arms and legs, but mostly upper back. For a month I thought it was a food allergy and stopped giving her certain foods, milk then introduced them back. And nothing was consistent. Couldn't figure what food it was. Another also, was a bunch of ants that had suddenly developed a liking to her pack n play(P.N.P.). We live in San Diego, we have lots of ants in the summer. Usually near bathrooms or kitchens. I thought, maybe there was a peice of food or candy that had fallen in the P.N.P (within the pile of stuffed animals that resided just under her carseat, but in the pack n play). So I took out all the animals(about three dozen) and threw them on the floor. Nope, no food. The ants persisted, I even tried to spray away the trail. I eventually washed the sheet down there and took apart the bottom, maybe I had missed something. Nothing found, ants still liked her P.N.P. I even took her carseat out of her room and let her sleep in my room while I hunted ants. Long story short, I eventually found a nest of bed bugs in her carseat and P.N.P.. We burned them in our fire pit. Her rash suddenly stopped. I had took the P.N.P. outside Sept. 6th because I had actually lifted the fabric of the carseat to look under and found an adult BB. When it was outside being inspected, I found little nymphs and ants crawling on it. One ant even had a live one in its clutches! The ants were eating baby BBs! I found half dozen adult BBs hiding in the folds of the brown canopy/shade attached to the carseat. I have never been so disturbed! Today, after three weekly treatments with Orkin, our stuff is still outside in clear trash bags on the lawn. I was about to "dry"(AKA heat kill) the last of our clothes, curtains, etc. and opened a bag to find several just hatched BB's and of course, a couple ants. My point: Ants in places where they shouldn't be, could be pointing to BB's. They like water, candy , crumbs, etc. Fabric, not so much, unless bodily fluid is on the fabric. Why did it take me so long to get that infested nest out after I found the first one? She never showed bites. And, I was being hopeful, which served me no good. My advice if you ever have them, is nothing is too extreme. If it seems extreme to bag everything you own outside in bags and buy $100 mattress cover, or throw out the couch, or burn infested items, its not. These bugs are hard to erradicate and nothing is too extreme of a reaction. Isolate your bed if you can do nothing else so you can have peace of mind and sleep.
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