how do you know?!(19 posts)
About two and a half months ago I unknowingly stayed in a home that was severely infested with bed bugs. I did not notice the 15-20 bites until the next day after I had left, but I showered and thoroughly checked myself as soon as I got home. A couple of weeks later the occupant of the infested dwelling briefly entered my home but stayed in the front room. Ever since I have been EXTREMELY paranoid about a potential infestation of my own. Periodically I have checked vigorously in all the places I have read that they hide and found no bugs, feces, or "blood trails". After awhile I thought I was safe, but then 3 weeks ago I discovered a single bite on the back of my arm that resembled those I received around New Years. My paranoia returned full force and I renewed my search, but again found nothing. I received no more bites until today, when I found one on my ankle that looked like the others and one on my thigh that did not look the others but itches. I've read that they tend to bite in a pattern, and they did when I was confirmedly bitten, but these two bites weeks apart are isolated. Now I am terrified and keep imagining things crawling on me, sucking my blood. What do I do? What does this sound like?
If there was a bed bug in your home, it would bite about once a week, give or take. Do you live with others who might have been bitten at other times?
It's possible you were bit outside the home (bites can take a while to appear) or there is some other cause.
Passive monitors might help (see the FAQs on monitors in the Useful Stuff page).
No I live alone. If one somehow got into my home do I have to worry about more assuming the original bug wasn't pregnant? I've read they can live up to a year without feeding. I feel like the fear of bed bugs is taking over my life. I'm afraid to have people over in case they get bitten.
The thing is, while bed bugs can live a very long time without feeding, they won't choose not to feed if they have access to you. I am not an expert but it doesn't make sense based on what we know about bed bugs that they would be there and not bite you for so long.
I would implement some monitors and try and verify the problem. If you did have a bedbug or two, you might even catch them that way.
Consider other possible causes which may be present at home or other places you've been, and try not to panic.
So for a little while after posting this I kind of calmed down. But this morning I woke up with another bite. It is identical to the confirmed bites I recieved while staying in the infested dwelling a few months ago and I am once again catatonic. It is one bite in the center of my forearm. Does this pattern indicate that I have only one bug somewhere? So far I have recieved about 1-2 bites a month. I can't move until May at the earliest and I tried the dry ice technique for a few days and got nothing.
Well, assuming you onlyu have one BB, if it bit you and got a meal last night it will not be attracted to the CO2 trap for a while when it needs another meal.
However, if there's multiple critters present then we'd expact that each is on it's own individual feeding cycle/timing such that a properly placed and set up trap would be expected to attract/catch live BBs that may be present.
All this said, if you're getting bites then the simple math indicates that there must be fecal stains.
Are you finding fecal stains? Are you finding shed skins? Are you finding any of the telltale signs of bed bugs other than your bites?
Hope this helps ! paul b.
see that's the thing. other than the fact that I know I was in an infested dwelling, and the fact that I have been recieving one bite every few weeks, there are no signs, no fecal trails, dead bugs, skins, anything like that. It's so confusing and unnerving!
Let me get this straight: you had two suspected bites in a 2.5 month period spaced three weeks apart, but then more bites the day after the second bite?
(a) these were bed bug bites, and
(b) they occurred in your home (and not somewhere else you'd been), and
(c) there weren't any additional instances of bites that you did not react to (or bites someone else in the home sustained and did not react to), then there might be a very small number of fecal stains.
Perhaps one of the experts can clarify for us: does a bed bug poop just once per feeding?
If so, it seems like you might easily miss 2-3 fecal stains..
A bed bug monitor like the BBAlert Passive (see this FAQ) might help you give any bed bugs present an attractive harborage. That might sound counterintuitive, but remember you need to determine if they're there in your home and this should give you a better shot of seeing bed bugs or fecal stains than looking all over for them.
I understand you tried a dry ice monitor. As Paul said these would take time. If you really had one bed bug feeding every three weeks, he's not going to be attracted to a monitor (which simulates a human breathing) until he wants to feed again.
Also, keep in mind that a CO2 active monitor is going to be competing with the human in the room and the human will likely win. These monitors will probably also do better when you are not present in the room as an alternate option.
So after my last post, nothing. No bites, no signs. (Although it's worth noting that for the most part I've been sleeping on my sofa). Then just now, it happened. I was packing stuff up to move and discovered one bed bug in my bed. This is the only bug I have definitively located (or even found physical traces of) in my roughly 4 months of paranoia that I had them.
Now, I am moving across the state in one week and my primary concern/fear is taking any others with me when I move.
I'm junking my bed and sofa, and the only furniture I'm taking with me is a futon that's been in my attic since before the scare, a desk and wooden chairs that have no upholstery, I had planning on taking the small set of drawers that functions as my bed side table, but now I'm paranoid that it's somehow infested.
Tips for moving and not taking any bugs with you?
Do you have a picture of the bug?
Are you certain it s a bb?
Just a suggestion, as getting confirmation is important an there are man experts here th Gould id it for you.
i should have taken a picture, i was so freaked out i crushed it to a pulp. My landlord sucks and is impossible to get ahold of, but I guess it's worth paying for it myself.
Do you still have the squished bug?
Somebody still might b able to id it.....
Set your camera on micro and get a close up.
Word of caution, never treat without confirmation.
Bites r not enough to treat, you could have a pco come in or a canine unit for an inspection.
We have been dealing with bites too, no proof, although we think it may be fleas, not completely convinced yet.
Waiting and not knowing is very hard to do, I understand completely
Is the furniture you are throwing away good stuff?
One method of getting rid of bed bugs when you move is to have a pod or moving truck treated with heat treatment or Vikane gas fumigation. You treat almost everything you own, removing almost all of the risk (and the remaining risk should be manageable).
One or both of these treatments are available in many places in North America (not sure where you are). It's not cheap but may be in comparison to replacing lots of stuff, let alone getting treatments in the new place, etc. And it's not always that expensive, now it's getting more common.
It's a lot to do over one bed bug who may or may not have friends. If you did need treatment in the new home, it might not be such a big expensive deal if you really did have a small problem.
Have you had the bed bug identified by anyone else?
It seems possible something bit you somewhere besides your home (fleas, bed bugs, etc.) and you found another kind of bug.
yeah my budget is pretty tight with moving to another city, I decided not to move any furniture, I'm just putting all mine in my neighbor's yard sale this weekend so I'm just taking what will fit in my camry. I didn't have the bug identified professionally, but it looked like ones I've seen and it was in my bed. I've tried to check my clothes, sheets, luggage, etc meticulously but I know they're sneaky. God all I want is to not be afraid that I have them hiding somewhere, especially in my new home!
It sounds like you aren't sure if you have them or not. But for goodness sakes please don't put possibly infested furniture in a yardsale. If you do have them someone could purchase the furniture and take bedbugs home to there house.
Yes. Sorry, but if you're abandoning furniture because you think it might carry bed bugs to your new home, then please don't sell it at a yard sale.
No I'm not putting my bed or anything upholstered in! Just a desk, table, some wooden chairs, etc. I was just saying I wasn't taking furniture so it wouldn't be practical for me to get one of those moving pods with the heat treatment since i'm not getting a u-haul or anything. I'm just leaving my couch and bed, I stopped sleeping on my bed forever ago anyway.
Bed bugs can hide in regular furniture too -- I was told that's more likely with a severe infestation, but I wouldn't take chances if you think you might have bed bugs. Think of it this way: If you knew a desk had come from an apartment with a bed bug problem, would you buy it?
This is why I avoid thrift shops, yard sales, and swaps like the plague.
I mean I don't think I have anything near a "severe infestation", if I have them at all it would be only a couple, wouldn't I have noticed any traces/received more bites since my scare has been going on for 5 months? I haven't had a suspected BB bite in almost 2 months.
I dunno, maybe you're right, I'll just leave all my furniture here for my landlord to deal with-since none of my calls about bed bugs were returned.
You must log in to post.