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Found 2 fleas, doesn't rule out bb though right?

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  1. helsbels

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 15 2012 7:21:09
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    I have found several bites around my ankles/feet for about a week now which seem to be overnight, though not sure how long it takes for a reaction & been looking for the critter ever since. I went to see our nurse she thought fleas, though I have no pets, not in contact with anyone who has pets. Was convinced of bb even though found no evidence. Anyway today I found 2 fleas (long, thin, black tiny) which seemed to jump about when I touched them and I found them where I sit on my couch all day most days. Could this be the culprit? Could it still be bb?

  2. Koebner

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 15 2012 8:13:59
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    Yep, fleas are your first port of call for ankle-biting. You don't need pets to get fleas.

    Since you don't have pets, there's no treatment needed there. However, I would suggest visiting a vet to buy a good spray with which to treat your home. Many store-bought products just don't work anymore. You want something with a both a knockdown pesticide & an insect growth regulator to get all the little varmints. Follow the instructions to the letter & make sure to get decluttered before spraying.

  3. helsbels

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 15 2012 8:27:29
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    Trouble is I can't afford to buy anything till Thursday (on benefits & have no money) I've vacuumed (emptied bag), got rid of the rug I had on the floor by my feet & haven't seen any since and am now washing bedding, clothes etc. I read the post you started and know I would love it to just be fleas, but what diseases can they spread and would I know by now if I'd caught anything? (my paranoia & fear is never ending right now)

  4. Koebner

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 15 2012 9:04:45
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    You're in the UK, yes? If yes, I'm not sure why you're worrying about fleas as disease vectors. AFAIK, the only thing they can vector to humans over here is worms, & unless you get an itchy bum some ways down the line from now, I wouldn't worry about that either. In some other countries fleas are much more of a concern, because of their ability to transmit murine typhus & bubonic plague, but neither of those diseases are endemic to the UK.

    Hope that has you breathing a little easier.

    Waiting til Thurs is not going to leave you knee-deep in the little blighters, but do budget to spend around £20. That's no joke on benefits, I know, but in pest control of any kind, it always works out cheapest to frontload your costs.

    However, if you're in social housing, do call your landlords on Monday & see if they can help - some housing associations etc, do still offer flea treatment for free.

    I don't wholly understand when you say you "emptied the bag" emptying a cylinder is fine but I'd go for replacing the paper bags, rather than just emptying them, if those are what you mean. Vacuum should be emptied outside into a plastic binbag, knotted securely & shoved straight into the bin.

    You mentioned in another thread that there's a lot of clutter in your home. Wave it goodbye. I know you've been meaning to get around to that Big Clean we all promise ourselves when things start to get a little sketchy on the home management front, but this is your moment to come over all of a Domestic God/dess & get the place straight & tidy & to throw out all those things that might-come-in-handy but never do. You know it makes sense.

  5. helsbels

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 15 2012 9:14:47
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    Yes I'm in the UK, I just read on another thread about someone being happy they had fleas rather than bed bugs and mentioning fleas carrying disease. You have put my mind at rest on that front thank you.
    I meant the cylinder on my vacuum sorry I wasn't very clear.

  6. scaredy cat

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 3:05:37
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    Koebner - 18 hours ago  » 
    Yep, fleas are your first port of call for ankle-biting. You don't need pets to get fleas.
    Since you don't have pets, there's no treatment needed there. However, I would suggest visiting a vet to buy a good spray with which to treat your home. Many store-bought products just don't work anymore. You want something with a both a knockdown pesticide & an insect growth regulator to get all the little varmints. Follow the instructions to the letter & make sure to get de-cluttered before spraying.

    hey Koebner, why did you suggest de-cluttering before spraying? I think I may have a flea problem too, but I live in NY and have no pets too. I usually get bitten on my feet and ankles and very few bites on my forearm and lower back. the only thing that makes me believe it may not be fleas is that I get bitten when sleeping even if I slept during daylight hours. however, in the past few days, I have been bitten twice on my mid leg while awake. I never feel anything crawling on me though. I also found a dead bug that was light brown and looked more like a flea than a bed bug-it was in the bottom of my box spring.

    Please tell me how clutter can cause a flea problem.

  7. Koebner

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 3:17:56
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    Clutter doesn't cause a flea problem - fleas cause a flea problem - they don't arise ex nihilo because someone leaves kipple on the floor.

    However, lots of clutter does mean lots of places where fleas can be hanging out & laying eggs without you knowing. I once saw a house where the occupants were plagued to distraction by fleas, despite several treatments over 3 months. Unfortunately, one of their many, many bags of clutter contained a forgotten avocado.

    The warmth of the avocado's decomposition & the newspapers & magazines that comprised the rest of the bag's contents had turned into a perfect flea maternity ward. The bag positively seethed with the little blighters when we finally discovered it under a good deal of other clutter.

    Decluttering removes pest harbourages, makes inspection easier & more successful &, if you use a fleaspray, you need for there to be as few places as possible where fleas can avoid the treatment.

  8. scaredy cat

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 3:27:29
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    thanks Koebner. btw r u a pco? the things that you said sounds like you may be a pro. if so, is it possible for a flea to bite mostly when you are sleeping? Most of my bites are on my feet and ankles and I notice them once I awaken. I have gotten 2 bites recently while awake but did not feel anything crawling on me. I also saw what appeared to be a dead brown flea in my box spring after I applied steam to the box spring because I believe I may have bed bugs.

    If you are a professional, your help is greatly appreciated.

  9. Koebner

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 4:17:48
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    You think you may have BBs? Have you checked this site's FAQs? There are excellent pics of bed bugs there & linked from there that should help you to identify BBs if that's what you're finding; http://bedbugger.com/faqs/

    Next time you find anything suspect, take a pic & post it in a new thread asking for ID; we have not just pro PCOs here but doctors of entomology who can ID pretty much any creepy-crawlie provided there's enough detail in the image. Instructions for embedding images in posts here; http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/test-13

    Yes, fleas can bite anytime, but depending on your immune system's response, bite reactions can take a little while to develop, so when you feel the itch or see the welt isn't always when you've just been bitten.

    I'm not a pro but I got asked to help the people with the flea problem because they were neighbours. They're disabled so keeping the place straight wasn't easy for them.

    Their LL was ponying up for treatment but they weren't getting anywhere, so they asked me for help simply because I've always had pets, so they assumed I'd had experience with fleas, or at least preventing fleas. I was able to find the flea ground zero & get the place straight enough for treatment to work. I also got them in touch with Social Services & they were able to get a few hours of domestic support each week so the clutter problem wouldn't get so bad in future.

    On BBs, I wound up being The Bug Lady when I lived in an area where infestation rates rival anything you've heard of in New York. Most of my neighbours were recent immigrants with poor English & all were on very low incomes, there were also a lot of sick & disabled people in the community - there's nothing like chronic illness or disability for pauperising a person. All those things (not understanding legal systems, unfamiliarity with local authorities, communication problems, poor health, poverty, etc) militate against people getting adequate treatment early in their BB problems

    My BB infestation arose because my neighbours were using bug bombs to control a long-established BB problem. I was one of the very few people in the area with internet access at home, so my neighbours didn't even have ready access to good sites like this to get info on BBs. It fell to me to do the legwork to get them better treatment. Because I spoke up about the problem, other people started asking me for info. It's true, I got a certain amount of stigma at first too, but boo-hoo to that. I'd rather be bug-free than beloved.

    While I was fighting for appropriate treatment, it became stunningly clear how little people knew about BBs, including City authorities & landlords, so I just stayed with it.

    I was working in drugs outreach back when AIDS first reared its ugly head. That's made me pragmatic - we have to deal with where people are with their problems, not sit on our hands until they're easier to deal with. It also means that I'm used to dealing with "yucky" stuff - talking about BBs is easy when you've spent a lot of time chatting to street prostitutes about exactly what constitutes safe sex, or you've taken a few homeless junkies to get their abcesses drained.

  10. helsbels

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 5:41:08
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    I have checked my bedding etc & found nothing. I've washed bedding, clothing in 80 degree wash, but don't have a dryer. I haven't been bitten in the last 2 days but day 1 I slept in my bed for about 4-5 hrs with my light on at about 4:00am. Day 2 I slept (dozed) on my sofa as all my bedding was being washed. I've put new bedding on and am constantly checking for anything. I suppose all I can do is go to bed as normal and see if I get bit.

  11. Koebner

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 6:09:07
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    Fleas can & will bite you in bed so at this stage, don't freak & assume you've got bed bugs if you get bitten in bed.

    Try not to get too stressed. Easy to say, I know but stress tends to make skin problems of any kind worse. If you can get out of the flat & do something you enjoy, even if it's just a walk in the park to catch the last whiff of this year's roses, it will do you more good than sitting indoors worrying what, if anything, is biting you.

  12. helsbels

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 6:16:13
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    Thanks Koebner. It's kinda scary knowing how easily I must have brought in the fleas as all I did on the days leading up to getting bitten were going on a bus & shopping in a big department store, so if that's where they're from I'm going to be so weary every time I go out that I'll be bringing something back home with me again.

  13. Koebner

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Sep 16 2012 6:24:57
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    Again, don't freak out. 2012 has been an unusual bumper year for fleas in the UK.


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