Help - what do we do now?(17 posts)
I noticed about 2 months ago that my daughter was getting strange bites - all in a line up her arms or legs. After researching and finding out what to look for, I also found some smeared blood on our sheets and tiny dots of blood on hers. A week later my younger daughter also woke up with bites all over her legs.
I checked both of their beds very well, but didn't find anything. Then I checked our bed and noticed what I think are fecal spots on the plywood platform the mattress sits on.
I had a K9 team in that saw the fecal spots and told me they aren't fecal spots, but actually natural discoloration of the plywood. They looked around (quickly) and told me they saw no signs. But - both of their dogs individually hit on my daughter's bed and chair and our bed.
While de-cluttering I came across a dozen or so nymphs in a book next to my bed and another 6 or so under a newspaper on my bedside table. Well, I think they're nymphs anyway... and I can't imagine how big our problem is if I'm seeing that many.
I scheduled Vikane for next week - for the tune of $9K, and today their PCO came in to do prep work and also thinks that the spots on the platform are natural wood coloring. He took the platform off the bed and didn't see anything and also checked my daughter's bed and didn't see anything. However, since the 2 dogs hit individually, he agrees that we must have BBs.
So here's my question - we don't have any hard evidence of BBs but have lots of circumstantial evidence - blood smears, blood spots, lines of bites, two K9 hits.
Should we just consider ourselves lucky that we found it this early, hoping that means it will go away easily, and move forward with the Vikane?
We're thinking we should take apart our bedframes, which we didn't really want to do for fear of spreading them, but maybe it would be good to know. Is it possible this infestation is so small that chemicals could clear it up quickly?
Note: today, I came across another 10 or 15 of the small off-white bugs in our dining room, under a placemat I had on the buffet table. I've also seen one in my box of junk mail. So - at this point not sure if they're nymphs or book-lice. Can you tell them apart by color? These are tiny cream-colored bugs I'm seeing.
Another note: I'm pregnant with my 3rd, due in about 2 months, and I don't want this 'hanging on' forever. So - maybe even a small infestation is worth treating with Vikane? Also - assuming we'd be doing Vikane, only my husband has been sleeping upstairs (going back and forth between the rooms), so maybe we've already really worsened our situation.
S**T 9 grand. Did you save the nymphs you found and showed it to the PCO that will be treating your place to get a positive ID. I find it questionable that the company would treat without seeing actual bugs / nymphs. Most PCOs won't treat without seeing the bug / nymphs. I save the first bedbug I caught to show the exterminator that treated my place. I wouldn't even trust that they will tell the trust as to what it really is at this point because to me it seems that they just want your money. So why don't you take some picture of the bugs / nymphs you found and post it on this site so one of the experts on here can give you a positive ID. Or send the bugs / nymphs to the expert that identify bugs (I don't know what they are called but I'm sure someone reading this can chime in with the answer).
If you didn't save them then I suggest you look for some more or take that bed apart and start looking for some bugs and start collecting specimens for a positive ID. Just to make sure you even have bedbugs. I would hate to see you waste all that money and it turns out that it's something else that can be treated for a whole lot less. If you are going to move forward with the Vikane then it won't matter so much if you spread them since the Vikane should get them all anyway. I suggest you get a positive ID before moving forward with treatment.
I had some on a piece of tape that the PCO today took home to identify. He initially thought mites or lice because of their coloring, but from the pictures I've seen booklice and nymphs are basically the same color.
The photo album is in a ziploc bag outside, and today there was still at least one live one in it. I put it back in the bag... I could try to take a picture of it and post. Once I put them on the tape it seems to squish them and make it hard to see, not to mention the glare. But they move too fast otherwise... can they still be identified once on the tape?
I don't feel I'm qualified to advise on whether or not to take furniture apart or not. But if you are finding these tiny bugs so easily, what I can suggest is to find some more tape them with clear tape to an index card. Date the card on when and where you found it. Then send the sample to an entomologist for confirmation. Harvard will do it for about $20. You can get the form off their website. Lou Sorkin in NYC can also ID them for you. There also may be a University near you that has an entomologist on site. That would be your best bet for proper indentification.
I'll bank on it that they are Book lice. nervousaboutbedbugs, where are you from ... I can't help but think you are about to be taken for a lot of money & you need to get to the bottom of this.
"Should we just consider ourselves lucky" Not at all!!! Its not a lucky day when people are telling you that you need to spend 9K on a bed bug treatment ... without evidence. Let me know if you would like some help getting to the bottom of your problem.
We live in Connecticut, and would LOVE any help getting to the bottom of this.
Get some pictures and post up here. You need a postive ID of what you are dealing with.
If your house had termites as well as BBs then Vikane would be a good move. However if you just have a moldy spot and psocids breeding there you are getting screwed.
No termites (well subterranean, but none living in the house), and definitely plenty of mold. We live in a 250 year old house with a dank basement and no A/C system. In the summertime everything in this house sweats.
I think we're going to take apart the bed tonight, on plastic, with double sided sticky tape and a spray bottle of alcohol at the ready. I still REALLY believe we have BBs, but need to see at least one bug before we spend all of our money. My kids react to these bites like nothing I've ever seen before - my older has already been on antibiotics twice because of infected bites (from scratching), and that's with benadryl and anti-itch cream on.
Our bad news - assuming these are bed bugs, they're now on the move. My girls had been sleeping downstairs (I know, bad move), with us upstairs. This morning they're both covered in new bites, all in lines.
We have the K9s coming back on Monday, and assuming we don't find anything today, hopefully they'll be able to show us some proof before we Vikane.
Are the kids going to day care, school, or preschool of any sort? And are you sure that they aren't getting bitten by something outside the home?
If you're talking about that kind of money to treat the home, I would probably spring for the extra whatever it costs to hire a good detection dog/handler team and rule out any other places that they may be being bitten if you can't confirm bb in your home.
I would also consider a trip to the dermatologist to rule out any other kinds of skin issues (allergies to detergent/plants).
And see if there's an entomologist in your area who would do bite tests (they put a bed bug on the person to feed in order to confirm whether or not the person reacts to bed bugs or not.)
If your kids do a bite reaction test to bb in a clinical setting but don't react, that's a pretty good way to rule out bed bugs in the home a bit more conclusively if you can't find any bugs in the home.
Thermal and Vikane are really effective treatments, and everyone here knows I'm a big proponent of them as options to chemical treatment, but on a house that size and in a market where prices for both tend to be higher, that's an awful lot of money to lay out only to find out later that you never had bed bugs in the first place.
We're almost certain the bites are happening at home, but we're also not sure exactly what's going on at our house. Sorry to ramble on, but here goes anyway: both my husband and I have been feeling bitten by something other than bed bugs for the past several weeks... near our couch and computer. We've checked for fleas (all clear). I'm starting to wonder if it could be mouse mites.... we had an exterminator in twice this year for mice, and some definitely died in the walls. I've read they can jump off the mouse and look for someone new to bite. Whatever it is, we can't see it. I've also been finding things that look like segmented pieces of clear/off-white rice. I'd been assuming bed bug casings, but both PCOs say no. I've mainly been finding those near the couch too. So - could our kids be reacting to mites in a more serious way than we do? Still seems odd that they only wake up with bites and don't get them during the day. Also - we did have 2 separate K9s mark the same places when they inspected.
Once my kids are asleep I'll take pictures of the 'nymph/book-lice' and rice-like things and post them. Thanks for all of the advice.
I have to agree with KQ....
Get a proper identification before proceeding with treatment.
I will send a private message with my contact info.
Oddly, I was hoping to find BBs today. We finally pulled apart our bed and our daughter's crib, pulled up the threshold into our closet and looked under the carpet. I guess I was expecting to see something obvious - bugs, casings, poop. Didn't find anything. Forgot to check behind the pictures - next time I venture upstairs I guess that's next.
In the meantime, starting to get really antsy about this Vikane treatment on Friday...
When I had an active bedbug infestation at my apartment me and my mom inspected her bed. We lifted up the mattress and placed it against the wall and inspected it then we lifted the box spring and placed it against the wall as well and inspected that too. We saw nothing, no fecal stains, no blood stains no bbs nothing. My sister came over and few hours later and started inspecting the underside of the box spring where that thin dark material covers the underside of the box spring. She inspected along the edges of the the thin cover and saw the bedbugs guess her eye sight is very good because me and my mom looked at those very places and we didn't see a darn thing. She told me to come and take a look I had to look real hard and I saw them. 2 of them she also saw the eggs she pointed those out to me and I thought they were lint when I inspected the first time. So I took the RAID and sprayed the bedbugs and I began to spray all along the edges and low and behold hundreds I mean hundred of bedbugs emerged from the under the thin cover I guess they were coming up for air. We saw nymphs, teenager and adult bbs they looked at me with their beady little eyes (creepy) OMG we started spraying like crazy. I was afraid to pull back the thin cover out of fear of what I would fine in there so we sprayed the floor a little just incase to catch the ones that fell off a few did. Then we encase mom mattress, box spring, pillows and put fresh clean sheets that had been laundered in hot water then I put the doublesided tape all along the edges of the fitted sheet on the mattress. and we pulled the bed away from the walls. That night she didn't get bit. So anyway my point is that perhaps something was missed during the inspection. DId you use a flash light and magnifying glass? If you haven't put the bed back together you can try to inspect again. Otherwise what you can do is wake up around the time bb are known to feed 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning with your flashlight ready and try to catch them in the act. Gosh I hope you get to the bottom of this I hope you find what is tormenting you and your family. Oh and for the things that look like grains of rice. I saw a picture on this site in one of the post that and they showed a bb egg that looked exactly like a grain of rice. In the picture the egg was placed on top of a penny for to see the size compare to a penny I guess.
Also if you are going to take socals advice on taking the kids to get tested where the bb is placed on the skin to see how they react. try to asked them if they can test on the places you normally see the bites (such as arms or legs) to see if they react the same. From my personal experience I reacted differently depending on where they bit me. If they bit me on my arms I would develop an angry itchy, burning rash that spread a few inches in each direction. If they bit me on my thighs, butt, back it looked like a mosquito bite but itched so much more intensely and the bit / itch lasted for about 3 weeks. Good Luck with everything.
An update - I was able to convince KillerQueen to come inspect our house, luckily we are in driving distance. He pulled apart the beds and cribs, pulled up the carpet, looked at the couch... didn't find anything. We've delayed the Vikane treatment and will all be moving back upstairs.
We think there might be something else going on - fleas, mites? We'll be setting out traps and hoping to figure it out.
Praying that it wasn't bed bugs after all... I wonder how long before I'll sleep well again.
this is good news NABB. I think this is a wise approach and monitoring for fleas and/or other insects is good. Maybe some climb up monitors wouldn't hurt either.
Either way, in the next week after monitoring you should hopefully have your answer. And still have some $$ in the bank for other emergencies that can pop up for we never know what can break down being a home owner!
Glad I was able to help.
Full tank of gas and tolls ............................................$70.00
Driving 280 miles for 6 hours..................................Brutal
Saving you from the false positive and 9K for a bed bug treatment you don't need .... PRICELESS!
KQ: If my current gig doesn't work out, I'm gonna come over and be your apprentice. When I dealt with the situation at mom and dad's a year ago, two leading NYC PCOs offered us off-premise Vikane at $8K. One based on a phone conversation and my report of finding a single bug, other based on same, plus a dog that barked a lot, but whose handler could not corroborate with any specimens. One day soon, I'll share the full story. No wonder people are DIYing.
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