Hitchhikers from infested apartment?(9 posts)
I previously had a bed bug infestation a year ago. The infestation was a nightmare... The cause? My neighbor had a bad infestation. He decided to set off a bug bomb - which made them scatter to my apartment! They immediately because to feast upon my flesh, making me absolutely miserable. Luckily, I kicked 'em with the help of an exterminator and I've been bed bug free for about a year.
Unfortunately, I visited a friend with bed bugs on Sunday evening. I wasn't aware he had them until I'd been sitting on his couch for 2 hours chatting away. I decided to examine a book on the floor, and to my horror, two dead bed bugs fell out. We finished our conversation in about an hour and I departed, freaked out and itching.
Once I got home, I examined my clothes but DID NOT bag them. Stupid, right? I suppose I was in denial. I did place my purse in the freezer. I removed my purse from the freezer Monday morning, inspected the enclosed items and discarded of the purse promptly.
After doing this Monday morning (yesterday), I then noticed five quarter-size welts on my right leg. They are definitely bed bug bites. There's also a tiny one on my hand that I noticed this morning - but it could've been there yesterday... It's tiny and doesn't itch as much.
I then moved my bed away from the wall. My mattress/box springs are still encased in a plastic cover, as are my pillows (they've been this way for a year). I repaired any tiny rips I found in the cover - removed my all bedding, clothing, etc and washed and dryed. I examined my bed/surrounding area and couldn't find anything.
My question: Is it possible that I carried bugs home from my friend's infested apartment? Does this happen frequently? Can they travel on the clothing that you're wearing? My understanding was that they bite and run away... But I'm paranoid because I've previously had them.
Or did I just get bitten at my friend's apartment?
I'm absolutely terrified of getting these bugs again. I woke this morning without any fresh bites - but I'm aware they take breaks between feeding. I'm totally freaked out and I don't know if I should tear apart my apartment (yet).
A response is greatly appreciated. I've tried to find literature on traveling bed bugs but to no avail...
I would just launder the clothes you wore, inspect the shoes and clean your living space thoroughly. You were probably just bit there. If you get another bite, you should take further steps. (Yes, it's possible to bring them with you, by accident, but your job is simply to monitor at this point. And clean, perhaps. If it were me, I would definitely clean.)
The faqs in the travel section may help you if in the future you are concerned about exposure.
Thank you hopelessnomo for your reply. I'm hoping I get lucky. As mentioned before I threw my purse in the freezer right away but didn't isolate the clothing I was wearing. The following morning I bagged all the bedding, clothes, etc and gave 'em a good washing. I also inspected the bed and did major dustbusting around the bed/area.
I'm crossing my fingers that I don't get reinfested and that the bed bugs dined on me whilst at my pal's place and didn't come home with me for dessert!
My bites would first appear as just flat welts with no color and the next day they would become red welts. Think about how long it took you to react during your infestation. I've gone so far as to mark my bites with permanent marker so I could keep track of them for a few days and know if any new ones appeared.
Good idea about the marker. I already took some photos and marked on a calendar. After going thru an infestation last year... I'm ready for war! It seems the ones on my legs appeared overnight... I only just noticed the tiny one on my thumb this today (it doesn't itch much, but appears to be a bite). Hoping I recieved the thumb bite at the pal's infested apartment too...
What luck! Can't stop worrying.
Of course the impolite question of the day is what's with the infested friend? Hasn't got a clue yet? You should be kind and explain!
Good afternoon hopelessnomo,
I sent the friend an informative email this morning. He now knows. He said the building had a big infestation a year or so ago. He vacated and only used the apartment for short overnights... Now he's back full-time in the place, moving things around & throwing things out.
My guess is they were reactivated or present all along. He hasn't gotten any bites. The bites on my legs are now as big as quarters...
I'm baffled that I got 5+ bites in a four hour visit. But I was sitting on a possibly infested couch in a fairly dark room... Maybe they were really hungry?
"He hasn't gotten any bites."
Or so he surmises, not having any reactions? If he lives alone and has been staying in that apartment, even if only occasionally, you can be sure that bedbugs have been biting him. Sadly, that he is not allergic is probably the reason that you were exposed in this way. Please suggest to him competent professional treatment, as soon as it can be arranged. This treatment should not be handled privately; the building management has to be notified. Should his apartment or any other apartments in the building continue to have infestations, controlling them in one apartment will not be a permanent solution.
And hang in there, ok?
Lots of people are not allergic. Some think it may even be the majority, though I don't think this has been studied.
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