How does an extremely poor student get rid of bed bugs?(10 posts)
I've been reading a ton of posts on here and it seems almost impossible to get rid of the nasty little buggers. It's really despairing.
My story: My brother visited me in DC on April 18-23. While out at a restaurant I scratched my ear and felt something attached. Pulled it off-it was stuck on pretty good-and screamed when I saw it was a bug (April 21). Next night I got home from the same restaurant and noticed a bug up by my chest when I went to shower. I thought at first they were ticks. A few nights later I woke up covered in what I thought were about 10 mosquito bites. Since then they have spread out to the size of a dime and/or quarter with very red-almost purple-circles with the inner part yellowish like a disappearing bruise and a bite mark in the center. Yeah, I look like I have colored bull eyes all over me. Not pretty. My brother said to find one and give it to an Entomologist. That would be great if I could find one.
My mattress is almost brand new so no rips, but to be safe I used a flash light to look for them, nada. To be safe again, I vacuumed the whole thing, encased it and vacuumed every nook and cranny I could find in my room. I took all my clothes out washed them and then put them in glad bags and didn't bring them back into the house. All books, cd's, personal mementos etc have been bagged and sealed. It's been a week today and I still haven't seen a bug except the two I found on me. Also no feces or skins that I can tell. I'm so paranoid, I'm checking dark lint to make sure it is not feces or skin. Only thing not sealed is my laptop, cell, a few clothes I washed, sheets, a comforter and my brass and cedar trunk. I can't figure out how to seal the trunk completely.
I know everyone says I should contact a PCO but I am a student living at poverty level. I can not afford to pay one. I borrowed some money so I can steam my room and car tomorrow. I am supposed to move in a week to a new room I am renting during summer break. I planned to get rid of literally everything I own except my car and portfolio, but it seems from what I read on here that even if I get rid of all my other stuff -clothes, computer, books, CD's, pictures, mementos and cell-I still might infest my new place. How is that possible? Seriously is there any guaranteed way I can be sure of not infesting my new home short of arriving naked? Even then I might not be safe since the buggers attach to my skin.
I'm really freaked out and overwhelmed. I don't want to toss my portfolio, computer or personal stuff like pictures and gifts but I'm at a loss.
It is strange to me that you had trouble getting the bug off of you - that does not sound like bed bugs. Maybe it's possible these were some kind of ticks. You definitely need to get your bug identified.
In case you were picking them up in the restaurant, I would stop going there! You should notify them of the problem. It is suspicious that you noted the bugs on you in the restaurant both times. I would be especially suspicious if you were sitting in the same vicinity both times.
If at all possible, please do not move until you know what you're dealing with. If these are not bed bugs, it may not be necessary. If it is, you can take the necessary precautions.
Do you have a sample? You can get a bug ID from a reputable pest management firm. I do not know the names of lots of local firms, but Connor's is one whose name has been mentioned here before. Calling a local college's Extension office or entomology dept. and asking them would be another way to get an ID. (Not sure how far from Virginia Tech, but while they don't have an identification service per se they have active bed bug researchers, and their Extension is probably quite good at bed bug ID.)
One other thing:
According to a recent DC news story, it appears that the DC law is that if your unit is the only one in a multi-unit bldg with bed bugs, then you pay for treatment. (See this explanation and links to the source.)
If two or more units have bed bugs, the landlord pays. I would definitely confirm that you HAVE bed bugs first, and then consider talking to neighbors in the building discreetly, to see if they have any itching or have seen any strange bugs lately.
You might also call Gerard Brown of the DC health department. Read this story and the associated links for more on him. He may be able to offer assistance of some kind.
The bite does not sound like a BB bite. Did you really see a bullseye? Cause it's a different bug if that's the case. Here's a pic for reference: http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/bullseye.jpg Apparently this is from a deer tick and the skin condition is called Lyme Disease.
btw, once it's properly identified, it IS possible to self treat with limited cash. You just have to do a lot of research, find a treatment plan if possible and find out what kills them and buy the stuff you need.
yeah, this bullseye rash and the fact that the bugs were somehow stuck to you sounds much more like ticks to me -- i know very little about bedbugs but i've had plenty of experience with ticks... Having to 'pull' it out sounds a lot like what I've had to do with ticks that had only just started feeding and were not deep under the skin yet, and the bullseye rash is one of the most commonly known indicators of tick bites and Lyme... though I've never seen anyone with 10?! have you been out in the woods or in tall grass or in any sort of field-y nature-y area within the past few days? Ticks will often crawl on your for hours or even days before finding a place to settle and feed -- and that ear/hairline area is a place I've definitely had them settle before, and I've definitely come home from hikes and basically been covered in them.
If they do turn out to be ticks, you should go to a doctor immediately to get a test for Lyme, as over the years it can develop nasty side effects but early on can be easily handled with antibiotics.
Can you post a photo or scan of the bug here for us? maybe some folks on this forum can help with ID
Thank you all so much. I though maybe it might be a tick because I had been out wandering around in some state parks, but the back part wasn't swollen. I googled Lyme disease pictures and although it isn't as big as some, it does have a similar look. Yikes. I'll go to the clinic tomorrow and see the Doctor.
My lease is up so I have to move but I did tell my LL and roommates. So far no one else has seen any or been a nighttime snack. I had my brother check his baggage and wash everything, but he hasn't seen anything either.
I'll let y'all know what the Doctor says and if I do finally find the culprit.
Thank you again. I really appreciate the help.
I agree with the other posters. I am glad you are going to see the doctor because Lyme disease can be very debilitating if it goes untreated. I wish the best of luck to you...hopefully it isn't a tick and it isn't a bed bug!
I do not have Lyme disease. Yeah. The Doctor couldn't say if they are bed bug bites as the bites can vary depending on the person. It is definitely an allergic reaction to something. Considering the way I look, I agree.
I called the restaurant where my brother and I went to let them know about the possible bed bugs or ticks.
At this point I am optimistic that I do not have the pests living with me, but I do not want to take the chance so I am going to take the precautions mentioned on here.
On a very positive note. I now know what to look for and have cautioned friends and family about the fallacies associated with bb and how huge the epidemic is.
Thank you once again. I appreciate the advice y'all gave me.
Good luck and keep us posted if there are further developments!
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