Found a bed bug and starting to panic(11 posts)
Hello all. The other night I was in bed reading and I saw this bug on the bed. I didn't think anything of it. We occasionally get bugs in the house. We have a lot of trees in our backyard and it seems like we have a lot of bugs too. Anyway, I had my husband get it because I have a problem with bugs and he flushed it down the toilet. The next day, he was looking up bed bugs online because he thought it looked like one. So, then I started to worry...maybe it was a bed bug! So, we went upstairs and looked all around our mattress. We have a water bed, so it was hard to lift up the mattress to see all around it, but we really didn't see any signs of anything.
A few days passed and nothing. Then last night, we got into bed and I saw something crawling. This time, I caught it and kept it. It looks like a bed bug (not quite an adult yet). I immediately had to get out of the bed and I've been awake since. I stayed up ALL night because I'm freaked out. How can I possibly get back in the bed knowing there are bugs?!?!
I tried to take a picture of it, but it's so small, my camera won't take a clear shot. We have not had any bites (that we are aware of) and we've only seen those 2 bugs and nothing else. I know people say to look for blood stains on the pillow or sheet, but that's hard for me because I have psoriasis and it's bad right now, and sometimes I bleed and leave a stain. It's hard to tell if I left the stain or if I squished a bb in the middle of the night.
I've been trying to research what we need to do and it all seems so overwhelming. We have 2 kids ages 8 and 6. I'm not sure how to handle things with them. Do they have to change before they come downstairs in case they bring any bugs with them? I just don't even know where to begin...and I'm so tired and afraid to lie down. I tried to lie down in the our guest room, but just couldn't do it. I'm so scared.
While doing all this research, my only "hope" is that it's actually a bat bug. We had bats hanging out in our attic for several years now. Not actually in the attic, but you can see them. Anyway, we had some guys come out and clean up the guano and fix the screen and get rid of the one bat that was still there (they apparently leave in the winter). And I'm wondering if we had bat bugs up there and now that the bats are gone, they are coming downstairs for their food (i've read that that is what they do sometimes)
I guess I need to find an entomologist to identify this bug. Do most pest places have an entomologist on staff? Where would I find one?
Sorry for the rambling and thanks for any advice.
Here's the FAQ on how to get your bug identified; http://bedbugger.com/2010/01/25/bed-bug-or-not-bed-bug/
If you can get a pic, there are people here who can probably identify the bug for you. Try using an ordinary magnifying glass between your camera lens & the bug, or even reading glasses. Or look for a macro setting on your camera - the symbol's often a flower. You need to find the right distance at which the camera can focus - probably around about 10 - 15cm.
If you have a psoriatic reaction to insect bites, look out for any change in the presentation of your psoriasis. A BB infestation can easily be mistaken for "raindrop psoriasis" & you may find that you are getting psoriasis in new places. If you do have BBs + psoriasis, you are at increased risk for secondary infection, so you need to manage your psoriasis carefully until the infestation is cleared. If your skin gets bad & you don't already use the calcipotrol with steroid ointments, they can be very helpful during a BB problem.
Sorry, that should have read, "calcipotriol", not "calcipotrol".
I was able to take a picture of my bug. It's not the greatest. I don't have a magnifying glass, so this is as good as it gets. http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m75/dean1120/bedbug1.jpg
We did go out of town last month and stayed in a hotel one night. It's possible we brought something back with us. I remember checking the beds as good as I could and didn't find anything in the hotel room.
I called a couple places but as it's Sunday, no one is working. I guess I'm wondering if there is anything I should be doing while I wait. Washing clothes? Vacuuming? I don't want to disturb anything and make the bugs spread. I'm not sure where the problem is to begin with (most likely in my bedroom since that's where I found the guy) but I'm worried it may spread to the sofa downstairs. My sons have been in my bed once or twice lately (early morning, when they just get up, and once the other night when the one had a bad dream). What if they brought one or two back to their room? What if it originated in their room and they brought it in to mine? What if they just brought one or two downstairs to the sofa because they just come down in their pjs?!?!
Oh and here's something else.... I was supposed to be going on vacation next week. Now I'm wondering if I should. Would I be bringing these pests with me wherever I go? I'm supposed to carpool with some people. I don't want my critters getting into their luggage!
Purely an amateur opinion - I'm neither a PCO nor an entomologist - but sorry, yes, that looks like a BB to me. Try comparing it with these; http://bedbugger.com/photos-of-bed-bugs-and-signs-of-bed-bugs/
Before you start panicking, read the other FAQs on this site. It's some of the most accurate & reliable advice you'll find & covers just about everything from finding a PCO to stopping BBs hitch-hiking with you outside the house.
Sorry it is a bed bug
While you're waiting, begin reading FAQs on the website here. There's a lot of good information included in those FAQs.
The thing with bed bugs is that there's a lot of information to get under your belt before you're fully ready to start doing effective battle. And there are a lot of things that we can't answer in absolutes.
For example, if there are bed bugs in either your or your children's beds, can the kids moving from the beds to the couch transport bugs? Technically, the answer is that yes, those actions might transport bugs, but that doesn't mean that they did.
Bed bugs, for example, don't harbor on their hosts like fleas do. So it's possible that if they're bed or bat bugs (and I should add that I'm not the best IDer on the site, but the photo looks likely to be a bed bug or a bat bug to me; however, I'd wait until one of the pros weighs in), then if they are harboring in or near the beds, that you could get a hitch hiker among the clothes on you or your kids.
But it's also possible that you won't.
The best thing you can do while waiting to get the bug identified is to start working your way through the FAQs on the site. As I said, there's a wealth of information in there, and what I found to be the hardest part of bed bugs was prioritizing which things to do first, which pieces of information about bugs were most important, and trying to apply those fact to my situation.
Since the most effective way to rid your home of an infestation is to hire an experienced professional from the get go, and since you haven't hear back from pest control professionals in your area, you have a great opportunity to get up to speed on the education part before you start talking to pros.
Also, get some sleep. If your significant other is able to stand sleeping in the bed but you're not, as long as he's willing to stay there, then you're okay sleeping somewhere else. Somebody needs to be available to be food in the bed, but it doesn't have to be more than one person per bed.
Fighting bed or bat bugs is more a marathon than a sprint, and it's really hard to complete that marathon when you haven't slept.
Hang in there. Read the FAQs, and feel free to come back and ask specific questions about them. I don't want this to sound like a brush off, but there's a lot in them that I think you'll find useful. We'll be a lot more helpful if your questions are slightly more focused, and my sense is that reading the FAQs will give you more focused questions.
Sorry I just read your full post. With the sample you have and greater magnification you will be able to id it as a bed bug or a bat bug. Save the sample and bring in to an entomologist or try and get a picture with higher magnification. The photo should magnify the head and the pronotum just behind the head, the length of the hairs on the pronotum are the key to a positive id.
So, I left messages with a few pest people and someone actually called back. I was surprised since it's Sunday. I talked with the guy about the situation. He's coming out tomorrow. He didn't think it was going to be a bed bug because we haven't had any bites, but just now as I was putting my boys to bed I noticed a few spots on them. Not sure if they are bed bug bites or other bites. I really should try to sleep, but I'm terrified. So, I started looking around our bed and saw this small hole in the side. We have a waterbed and the sides are this leather covered foam ( I don't know how else to describe it). Anyway, with the flashlight I can see there is something in the hole. At first I thought it was just pieces of the fabric but looking closer it looks like it may be a bed bug shell. I hope this guy that comes tomorrow knows what he's doing. He seemed nice on the phone and talked about different treatments out there, but that they did an application treatment. I just hope they really get in there and treat our room as well as my boys rooms.
For anyone that has had treatment done...how does it work? Do they search and try to find all hiding places in the room? Do they spray only those places where they see activity or will they treat the entire room? Should I expect them to look at all bedrooms upstairs? There are times when my hubby would go down to the spare room when he couldn't sleep. It's possible he brought something down there. It would make sense to have them look around right? I don't want to go crazy with this, but I also don't want to do it half ass. I got lucky seeing this bug. Just because we haven't seen one in the other rooms doesn't mean they're not there. My boys have dark blue sheets. I tried to look for stains of any kind, but couldn't find any. Hopefully this guy tomorrow will be a little more thorough then I was.
My husband is on his way home from the Masters. Lucky man knew someone who had an extra ticket. Maybe I'll fall asleep on the couch. I'm terrified the bugs will find me. I just can't relax. Any tips?
Babydoll. Please excuse my brevity.
Treatment protocols vary somewhat, but it seems that many pros focus on sleeping and seating areas, but throughout the house. Pros may use a combination of vacuum, liquid chemicals, dusts, possibly high-temperature steam. Some pros want you to touch and move nothing, others give you a list of instructions on what to move, what to launder and what to bag. Do not assume. If you have time and want to get a comprehensive overview of industry best practices, please review this guide: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Bed_Bug_Manual_v1_full_reduce_326605_7.pdf
A good practice is to keep sleeping where you have been, to keep frm attracting bugs to new areas.
Also good practice. Sleeping clothes where you sleep, house clothes for around the house, outside clothes for outside. We have a faq to follow that could help you prepare for your trip: http://bedbugger.com/faqs/travel/
And please read all the FAQ.
And regarding the panic. It's normal. Most of us have gone through this. That's why we're here. If I may try to help, let me share something a PCO rep told me: Yes, BB infestations get worse over time, but not a lot has changed today that you've seen a bug from yesterday when you did not know it was there. Not a lot will change overnight. You'll get organized over the next few days and you'll lick this. Ask for help, from us and from the pros.
As I say, we've got your back.
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