Found 1 bed bug in bag 2 days after trip - advice please?(5 posts)
Apologies in advance that this is kind of long - I want to be really clear about my situation:
My husband and I just returned from a weekend trip, during which time we stayed at a hostel. I noticed some strange dark bits on the sheets while we were there and worried about bed bugs, but we didn't feel any bites, and my husband felt I was just being paranoid (of course :OP). When we got home, I insisted that we put everything from our trip in the back room (farthest from our bedroom) until I could wash everything. The next day, my husband started carrying around the backpack he used for our trip, and has left it in the living room
Today (2 days after we returned), I found out through Tripadvisor that people have recently contracted bedbugs through the hostel we stayed at. I carefully examined my empty backpack, and found a large, live bedbug hiding in the lining (definitely a bedbug - looks exactly like the pictures, and I've seen them before, as a friend once had an infestation)!
So, how aggressively do I need to deal with this situation? Other than my husband's backpack, nothing had been out of that back room, and his backpack has only been in one spot in the living room. I'm planning on bringing all of our clothes that we wore on that vacation to a laundromat, washing them, and drying them for a long time. After reading this site's FAQ on diatemaceous earth, I plan on sprinkling some of the food-grade version of that around the back room and the living room (I planned on using DE for an ant problem anyway). Does this reaction seem adequate to the situation, or should I already be on the phone with an exterminator? Any advice would be appreciated - I'm really freaked out!
Do you know if you were bitten while you were away? I am assuming that if there were bed bugs in the room you stayed in, you probably were bitten. However, not everyone reacts to bed bug bites, and even in the people that do react, it can take up to 10 days before the bite "appears". I think what you plan to do sounds like a good start, but if I were you, I'd get the passive alerts that you stick on your bed. That way if there are more bed bugs than just the one you found, they would end up in the passive alert. Also, keep in mind that the bed bug you found might have been a pregnant female, which would have been busy laying eggs. Eggs take up to 10 or 14 days to hatch (experts please chime in!) so you also have to worry and be vigil for those. Read the FAQ's on this website as it will give you loads of information about what you can do. Hopefully you only brought that one unpregnant bed bug home! As for the strange bits on the hostel bed, many of us on this forum travel with flashlights and magnifying glasses for just that very reason. ; )
Thanks, MyWorstFear, I'll definitely check out the passive alerts. And no, neither of us have any signs of bites at this time. I'm grateful to have learned that the bites can take so long to show up; now if they do show up a few days from now I won't be 10x more freaked out. :O)
I'm guessing (hoping!) that the one I found in my backpack has just been hanging out there, as I haven't moved my backpack, except to empty it, since I got home - that way, even if it did lay eggs, they'll be killed in the dryer tonight. My bigger concern is my husband's backpack - if there had been a "stowaway" in there, is it likely it (or they - shudder) would have been annoyed by being carried around, and have relocated? And if so, do bed bugs generally travel very far in a night?
I'm not sure about whether the bugs would be annoyed by being carried around and thus would relocate. Good question though, and maybe one of the experts will see it and answer that. I do know that they say a pregnant female bed bug will look for a place away from other males (something to do with the way bed bugs have sex) so they'll leave her alone. When your husband was carrying around his backpack, did he just carry it around in the house, or take it outside as well. If the latter, is it possible he picked up the bed bug from someplace else after you got home? I'm not sure how far the bugs will travel in one night to find you. They don't eat every day either. I would definitely go into the room with all your stuff from the trip and bag it in plastic until you can treat it by washing and drying on hot etc. That way if they haven't ventured out of your stuff, you can contain it. Check into the forum bcause there's a lot of good information and people here. This forum totally saved my sanity!
I read a reputable resource that said they will travel up to 100 feet in search of food - I think it was a VA Tech. study.
In my own experience, my luggage never made it near my bedroom. It stayed downstairs in my dining room and the bugs still found my bed. Now, I was busy at the time (we normally keep luggage in the attic and I don't go up in the attic if I don't have to), so it sat downstairs for about 2 weeks - clothes were washed & dried, but the actual suitcase was not put away. Thank goodness I never brought the thing up there. I would be super paranoid that some of them established a home in my attic. When we learned we had the bugs, I tossed it in the trash - it had wheels so I couldn't just put it in the dryer.
Now if your bugs didn't get hungry in the two days, it's possible they laid low in the backpack and you were able to kill them before they could eat or lay eggs inside your home. Let's hope that's the case
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