Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed Bug Treatment

Found one bed bug

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  1. peperr1094

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 11:17:30
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    I went to Atlantic City about a week and a half ago, and recently noticed a bite on my arm, a welt and it was itchy...thought nothing of it.

    Then, a couple days later, I have two huge welts that are also itchy, so i freaked out and started looking bug bites up. They looked like an allergic reaction to bedbug bites. I came home yesterday after doing some research, and pulled my sheets from my mattress and discovered a bug. I caught it, and looked online for pictures, and it is a bed bug. I did some more research and i hope its a male bed bug. Could there be more? I searched my mattress and only found one. I also didnt find any fecal matter or any other stains on my mattress.

    I live in an apt. building, so i have called the landlord and am waiting to hear back. I also called a bed bug extermination company to ask some more questions. What should i do? I have already bagged all my bedding, and will be washing all my clothes in hot water...should i wash alll my clothes? even the ones i didnt bring to atlantic city? (Note...i have not washed my clothes from ac yet..lazy i know)

    Not sure what else I can do, and if i should be worried about more. Can you be lucky enough to only have one bed bug?

  2. peperr1094

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 11:25:24
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    I also had a feather mattress over my mattress...should i throw that out too?

  3. rs1971

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 11:42:25
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    If you can post a clear picture of the bug you found on photobucket, one of the experts here can confirm that it's a bed bug and identify its gender.

    -rs1971

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 12:32:16
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    Peperr1094,

    Finding a bug that *may be* a bed bug is, indeed, a super scary experience.

    But before you panic any more, keep the following facts in mind.

    1. While it may look like a bed bug, there are many other bugs that look like bed bugs. The best bet is to have your identification confirmed by someone who knows their stuff. If you can take a good digital photo of it (preferably with something in the photo next to it for scale) and post it here, the folks who are experts on identification may be able to give you an independent opinion to confirm or allay your fears. People often mistake many, many other bugs for bed bugs.

    2. Keep that bug. Don't smush it. Don't flush it. Hang onto it. One of the hardest parts of dealing with a bed bug infestation for some people is finding a sample to confirm it.

    3. It's important to understand why many (though not all) PCOs ask people to bag.

    Bed bugs like to harbor in places close to where we sleep. In m infestation, I had bed bugs haboring in clean sheets I had folded up and sitting on the end of the bed. To help speed along the removal of infestations with the use of chemical treatments, many PCOs ask people to wash (preferably in hot water) and dry on high heat as many fabric items in the home as can stand that kind of treatment. Those items are then removed from the dryer and immediately put into sealed plastic bags.

    Heat kills bed bugs and their eggs. It's not the washing or the sealing that kills them; it's the heat. Putting items that you're sure have been debugged and de-egged means fewer hiding places for the bugs.

    So if you want to get started on something while you're waiting, doing laundry and sealing clean and dry laundry into air-tight plastic bags is something you can do while you're waiting.

    But.

    Many PCOs would advise you NOT to start massive cleaning before your place is inspected. Good PCOs know where the bugs are most likely to hide if they are undisturbed. Keeping the bugs relatively undisturbed can make the infestation slightly easier to treat. So even though it seems really illogical, it's a good idea not to ruffle things up too much until after the PCO has been in to inspect.

    4. That said, I would absolutely wash and dry as many of your clothes from Atlantic City as you can, as soon as possible. If the luggage you used was something that can be washed and dried, I would wash and dry that too (like a duffle bag. Obviously, a hard-sided suitcase can't be.) If you were exposed to bed bugs in Atlantic City, they may have hitched a ride home on your clothes from the hotel

    Remember, it's the heat that kills more than the washing.

    With any clothes--ones from your place or from AC,--if they're clean, you can just dry them rather than washing them first. It's the heat from the dryer that does the best job of killing. We generally tell people to heat items up in the dryer so that the items are dry and hot, and then run the dryer at heat for 20 minutes after that to be safe.

    If you dry dirty clothes, you will set in stains and odors, so I don't advice just drying dirty items. But unworn, clean, non-odiforous items can absolutely just be dried and then put into sealed plastic bags.

    5. I wouldn't throw anything out until you get a PCO in to inspect and see what the situation is. I've seen a lot of bed bug sufferers who threw out stuff that they later regretted throwing out because it turned out that the didn't need to. I've seen very few people who months later said that they really wished they'd disposed of a certain item sooner. Most people overreact and get rid of expensive stuff that could be saved during treatment--or throw stuff out before they have conclusive proof that they have bed bugs. Not the other way around.

    Also, if you're disposing of items with bed bugs--esp. if you live in a multi-unit building, you have to dispose of items carefully to avoid spreading the bugs around. It sounds like you're still just learning about bed bugs, and I would definitely wait until you've got a little more info under your belt so that you can dispose of what needs disposing in ways that don't lead to regret or accidentally making the problem worse.

    Hang in there. While it's scary and a lot of the stuff you're supposed to do doesn't make a lot of intuitive sense, bed bugs can be beaten.

  5. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 12:33:05
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    They're really good at hiding, so you would have to have been very lucky to find the one and only bug. That said, I hope you were.

    I like low humidity. Some people say it's useless. Others like this one make claims that I think are too strong to be credible. Low humidity is no magic bullet. It will not kill adult bugs outright. It may shorten the length of time they can go without feeding. It won't kill nymphs if there are a enough bugs around to clump together. It may encourage bugs to clump together so that the problem doesn't spread, but that's speculation. It may make eggs fail to hatch, or nymphs die when they molt, if they don't have a cluster of bugs to hang out in.

    If you have a dehumidifier, it costs almost nothing to crank it up all the way for a while. If you don't, there's not enough evidence to justify the expense as a general recommendation. My guess is that it is worth it, and will wind up in the recommendations eventually. But that's just my guess and I'm not an expert.

    If you live far enough north (or at altitude), as long as the cool weather holds you can dehumidify just as well simply by opening one window in each room a tiny fraction of an inch.

    Then there's temperature, another not-a-magic-bullet. Any temperature we can tolerate, they can too. But it does affect them somewhat, and every little edge counts. They grow and breed more slowly when it's cool. When it's warm, their metabolism is faster so they don't live quite as long, hidden among your bagged stuff. If low humidity works at all, it theoretically ought to work better if you turn the temperature up a notch.

    I wouldn't throw anything out until hearing more, beyond what ought to be thrown out anyway as part of general de-cluttering. Anything you do throw out, of course, needs the usual precautions to make sure you don't infest anyone else.

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 12:44:25
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    It is true that full blown infestations are generally very good at hiding. As a result, statistically, Peperr1074, chances are that if you find one, there are more somewhere else.

    But

    (and it's an important but)

    if you were exposed somewhere else and just brought a hitchhiker or two home (which is possible and possibly even likely), the bugs may not have yet felt the need to go hide super deeply yet.

    I strongly suspect I picked my infestation up at a hotel.

    I also found ample evidence in my room that the bugs were largely harboring in some clean sheets sitting on the foot of the bed on the side I didn't sleep on, under the pillow on the side of the bed I didn't sleep on, on the edge of the mattress, and on the drapes that touched the headboard then.

    I didn't find them hiding far away.

    I suspect part of that is that I was traveling a lot and I didn't disturb things much in the room. (I hadn't changed my sheets as often as I normally would because it was like a week home and then a week traveling.)

    The single most effective thing you can do to speed up the full removal of a bed bug infestation is to get a good PCO who knows bed bugs in to treat your place from the get go.

    The less you disturb the bugs' habitat, the easier it'll be for a good PCO to see what's going on and treat effectively from the get go.

    I don't want to give you false hope; chances are that it's more likely that it's not just one.

    On the other hand, if you've caught the infestation early--if it's even bed bugs. I won't feel confident about that until your sample is looked at by a pro or by Spideyjg (who isn't a prof, but might as well be when it comes to identification of bed bugs).

    If you've caught the infestation early, and they bugs have remained largely undisturbed, and they're bed bugs, than it's possible that you did catch the lone hitch hiker.

    The only way to find out what situation you're dealing with and resolve it quickly and effectively, though, is to keep things relatively undisturbed until you can get a good pro in to inspect and assess the full situation.

  7. peperr1094

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 14:18:17
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    ok. so so far all i have done is put all my bedding and couch cover in bags, and vacummed. The only thing i have disposed of is garbage and I dumped what i had vacummed in a bag and disposed it.

    I still have the bug contained. I have uploaded pics. I hope they are clear enough for identification. I was hoping there werent any others, but i know thats highly unlikely, and if theres one, theres bound to be more.

    I will be washign my laundry tho in hot water, and putting them in the dryer. Is there a reason why I should be placing them in bags afterwards?

    I called my landlord and they said they would get back to me by end of day....so if nothing happens for at least another day, what should i do? Should i sleep on the couch? I checked the couch also, and did not find any evidence. Should i get double sided sticky tape and place them on the seams of the bed and couch?

    I am hoping i have caught the infestation early, if it is a bed bug. It sure looks like one. Hopeing its not a female!

    [Photo links removed due to privacy concerns.]

  8. peperr1094

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 14:23:34
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    I did check my sheets, pillows and mattress for signs of feces, and stains but have found nothing. maybe it isnt a bed bug??

  9. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 14:40:02
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    I'm with almost everything those before me wrote. You will likely be able to save your mattress and the feather top (and with a competent pco, most of your stuff).

    So if you want to get started on something while you're waiting, doing laundry and sealing clean and dry laundry into air-tight plastic bags is something you can do while you're waiting.

    I would only do the wholesale wash/dry/bag thing if that's a requirement of your pco. I would focus on your travel items and those things immediately on/near your bed or couch. And be careful not to track BB all over your home.

    Please read our excellent FAQ.

    And get an ID, hopefully negative.

    Hang in there. We'll get you through this.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  10. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 15:37:19
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    I'm not qualified to make anything but a guess, but it looks like a bedbug to me. I'll guess an adult male.

    The advice I've heard all says keep sleeping in your bed: moving to a couch will make the bugs go somewhere they'll be harder to find.

    As for sticky tape -- not on the bed, maybe on the sofa. If they're not in the sofa and some randomly wander to it, tape might make them go hide in one of the other usual places a good PCO will know to look, instead of infesting a hard-to-inspect piece of furniture. If they get blocked by something sticky on their regular commute, they may spread to who-knows-where. If there's a place you always set your stuff down every time you come home, that's a candidate for double-sided tape so that any wandering bugs will be less likely to find their way into stuff from which they could infest someone else. But with a very light infestation, a better defense is probably just don't disturb them so they won't wander.

  11. rs1971

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 15:42:44
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    [Photo links removed due to privacy concerns.]

    I'm not one of the experts though I agree that it sure does look like a bed bug and probably is. The picture is good though so surely one of the entos will be along to give you the gender. If they haven't checked in by the end of the day you may want to start a new thread with the pictures and a title that indicates that you're looking for in identification. All of that said, unless the type in the background is really big, I do wonder if the specimen is large enough to be an adult. Maybe it's a nymph? Generally it's a good idea to include a coin in the photo for reference. Good luck!

    -rs1971

  12. spideyjg

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 16:20:14
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    Adult BB. Likely male in the top photo.

    Jim

  13. peperr1094

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 16:25:39
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    in reading all the above, people are saying to be careful to not track he BB elsewhere. Does this mean i need to be confined to my apt until treatment is completed? Should i not go to work?

  14. cilecto

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 16:31:29
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    P. It means if you have items in your bedroom, don't transfer them to another room (except to launder).

    Also, check your private messages (link in upper left of your screen).

  15. peperr1094

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Mar 30 2011 19:27:17
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    ahh. ok. I was freaking out before. Thanks for all the info everyone. Im a little less freaked out. May need to knock myself out to sleep tonight, but im less worried. I have done all i can until the professional comes.

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Mar 31 2011 0:18:12
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    peperr1094,

    Please see your private messages! There's a link in the sidebar near the top, where you log in.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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