Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Psychological and Health problems caused by bed bugs (besides bites)

In need of support.

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  1. bitethebullet

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 0:19:43
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    Hi again,

    This is my 3rd post to this forum (and I’m not asking for anyone to identify the black dots on my sheets again, because I know it likely won’t happen.)

    I’m here because I’m really, really struggling mentally with the potential infestation of bed bugs traveling back home with us. (My first post is entitled the joys of travel if you’d like to look.) Do any of you out there have any suggestions for coping with the mental pitfalls of waiting to see if you have an infestation? I have literally dismantled everything I can in my apartment, I’m looking with a flashlight 3-4 times a day at my bed and side tables, and I’ve been constantly fighting with my partner because he’s not taking the same precautions as I am. I actually think this whole ordeal could cause a huge problem in my relationship because he’s dealt with my obsessive behaviors from day one. I suffer from PTSD, severe anxiety and depression so this is literally one of the worst kind of situations for me to be in. I previously had a fear of my bed which is related to the PTSD (not bug related) and I’m in a spiral right now.

    I don’t know, I guess I’m just in need of some support. The last 5 days I’ve spent 5+ hours reading stories on the site—hoping to find examples that match mine of the black dots I found and I’m pretty close to having to check into a facility. I’m having intense angry feelings towards my boyfriends cousin who had an INSANE infestation and had no idea. Now I’ve come to find out she’s likely taken her bugs with her to her new apartment because she didn’t take anything I told her seriously. Just picked up and moved in boxes full of newspaper without treating anything. I just don’t know how some people can be so careless, the signs were all there.

    Anyway, this is my rant. I’m off to go look at my entire bedroom again for the 4th time today. Whoop whoop! (Who can’t laugh at an awful juggalo reference? Not this gal.) I hope everyone’s night is going well.

    -bitethebullet

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 0:30:35
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    The best thing I can recommend is good monitors, inspecting weekly, and seeking mental health support. If you suffer from anxiety and depression, you may need support right now because this is a stressful time. Try not to panic. Assume you don’t have them until proven otherwise.

    Regarding your other post. What looks like mascara in an area where you were wearing mascara is probably mascara.

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

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 0:41:54
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    You are right. I think the fact that I’m taking it upon myself to inspect for hours on end is what really is causing me to be triggered. Setting boundaries for how often I check is going to be hard, but worth it in the long run. I recenetly relocated from Austin and left my CBT therapist out there and have been struggling to find one here, so that’s kind of why I’m in this position right now.

    Thank you for suggesting to assume I don’t have them. (Even if I may.) The what if game is huge for me so having someone say that is helpful. Yer an angel! I know y’all can’t be difinative on here but I do respect that most of you have been through this.

    PS. I’m a hair stylist and makeup artists so it’s entirely possible it could be makeup. I sleep with it on frequently like the dingus I am.

  4. Lostinbedbuggery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 6:30:05
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    This so reminds me of myself right now. I'm driving my partner and everyone that knows me crazy with bb knowledge. I check all my spare time. I launder 3 timers a day vacuum, clean vac. Spray temprid daily. I am so certain if I find them in my new place I'll breakdown and need hospitalisation. Everything that touches me I scream. I'm so devestatrd I threw out everything. My landlord won't treat properly so I'm lucky I could move. I'm so scared to have moved them but I took nothing so doubt it. This craziness can only keep them at bay, it can't hurt the bb problem at least but don't forget to try eat, sleep when you can and try look after yourself. It's so easy to go downhill. Good luck.

  5. Pattycake

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 9:56:07
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    David Cain is the expert on BB poop. He is taking some time off from this forum. I hope he will be back on soon. I can totally understand your problem with getting your mate on board. My BF invited his family here not knowing if our problem was real or not. He just kept saying ...we don't have BB. Like that would make me stop searching for them..lol

  6. bitethebullet

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 12:22:41
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    Lost- I would be behaving the same way as you if I had to move because of a delinquent landlord. That seems to be a very large piece to the puzzle when people find out they have them—their landlords won’t help. I too have considered throwing away all of my things (I’ve done it before, it’s a regular habit I have because I don’t like having a lot of stuff), but my boyfriend has emotional attachment to a lot of the things he owns. It’s maddening. But honestly, with how diligent you sound as far as moving and cleaning, I’d bet money on it that you’re okay. It’s amazing how much more than just our physical comfort these little buggers take. I love my home and how it’s set up and find myself starting to hate being here everyday.

    Patty-I can relate! He keeps telling me “we don’t have them, relax.” I wonder, has telling someone to relax ever worked for anyone?!🤔 Lol. Yesterday he brought some shoes inside that I had sealed outside in a bag to throw in the dryer. When I asked him if he’d kept them in the bag he told me he had simply plucked them out of the bag “but wore gloves to carry them” and I about lost it. Gloves don’t stop them from falling off the shoe! *bangs head on the wall*

    At any rate, at least there’s solice in the fact that this seems to pretty much drive everyone crazy and our behaviours are quite common. As Lost said above, taking care of ourselves is key, and I obviously haven’t been doing that. I’ve been having trouble eating and working out which are two things I love to do. 😒

  7. Freakingout948

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 17:24:02
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    Hi bitethebullet and everyone - I’ve been reading these forums for a few weeks now and your post finally inclined me to create my own account and respond. I barely sleep or work out, have lost weight - I am freaking as well because I traveled across the country to visit my military boyfriend and we stayed in a hotel, he had no bites I had about 10-15. Didn’t realize til after the trip - came home and appeared to have a delayed reaction to a few more bites, went to the dr to get on a steroid because of my skins reaction, have had 2 exterminators check and say there is nothing in my place - and have been freaking EVERY DAY that I brought them back with me. I’ve been so obsessive and my boyfriend is so tired of hearing about it because “he has nothing wrong.” He listens to me, but just tells me to be calm. OKAY. This is my worst nightmare and I don’t have advice for you - but I do understand and empathize. Every tiny mark I pretty much scratch into what looks like a bite because I’m so paranoid and don’t know what is what anymore. The waiting is torture.

  8. Freakingout948

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 17:27:16
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    To add- I feel particularly overwhelmed and upset because we are long distance and I feel very alone. I don’t want to bring friends into this (I moved away from family) and it’s daunting thinking about doing the whole extermination process by myself if it gets to that point.

  9. bitethebullet

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 18:23:43
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    Oh boy, it looks like there’s a handful of us going through the same mental stress right now!

    Freaking out—Have you reconsidered opening up to friends at all? Personally I don’t mind telling my pals about what’s going on A) because you need to be able to vent to them and B) after telling them my story, 6 of them came forward and told me they’ve gone through this, but worse. They had full on infestations from neighbors or old furniture they brought in from goodwill. It was shocking to hear how many had been through either a similar scare and comforting to hear that those who had severe problems did get through it. (Logically I should be able to tell myself this also, but no. Haha.)

    I’ve kind of gathered through research that yes, bed bugs travel. Do they always? No. I mean, imagine how many of us have slept with them in hotels throughout our lives and had no idea/didn’t bring them back? One thing I try to remind myself, and I’m not always successful CLEARLY, is that the internet is a really dark place. I had insomnia last year and spent every hour of my life for 6 months googling if I was going to die, desperately searching for someone to have a success story. I never found what I was looking for, but I did start sleeping again. (Everything was pointing to death, btw. Lol) Also, hearing the people in this thread express their similar fears has been helpful (for me anyway).

    Has anyone else reconsidered wearing makeup anymore? I swear, never in my life did I think a few black dots could send me down the rabbit hole! 🤪 Yesterday was a tough one.

  10. Freakingout948

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 18:35:41
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    Yes! I have told a few close friends back at home and two of my coworkers here know what’s going on — mainly I mean I feel alone in that I don’t want to rope them into helping me with the situation because of fear of spreading (bagging everything, washing everything - I don’t have a washer in my unit) - I was even thinking of flying my mom down if I had to do all that but then I figured I was being dramatic. That is very comforting to know that they got through it!! I need to hear stuff like that. I agree, I’ve also read that a lot of people who come on these blogs/forums have extreme situations etc and it can start to look ugly very quickly. Especially since I have no evidence yet! I have had a bite here and there since returning home, but have very sensitive skin to begin with and don’t know if it’s me being me or if it’s a problem.

    That is a very true point, my boyfriend drove back to his barracks, unpacked and went to work and has no issues and I had to fly all the way across the country and am still convinced they came back with me. When being rational, I try to think about that stuff - then I get crazy all over again lol. I always try to take my makeup off before bed, but I have reconsidered wearing dark clothing to bed so that I don’t mistake the lint for stains!!

    It’s comforting to hear others are going through similar situations. We will all be okay regardless, I just wish it wasn’t taking a toll on my mental health. They sure are devil bugs.

  11. bitethebullet

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 18:47:20
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    I don’t think having your mom come would be dramatic, especially if you feel alone. I know if my mom had the money and I ended up having a problem, she’d come help. As far as friends helping, the chances of them spreading through clothing isn’t that large I don’t think. They can always bag their shoes and clothes after if it’s a huge concern. And tell them to leave their jackets and bags behind just in case. If you don’t have any new bites, just try and breathe. Mine took almost 3 weeks to heal and when they were new, they were SUPER itchy. Your skin sounds a lot like mine. It’s a good thing we have reactions, it’s like having our own personal alarm system in place. Oh, and the next time your bf is freaking out about something you don’t find worrisome, remind him to “relax”. 😉

  12. thirdusername

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 21:11:45
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    I also don't have a washer/dryer in my apartment.
    I have considered moving to a place that has hookups.
    I would have to buy the appliances and pay for hydro.
    I probably only have a few BBs left in my place and even though I started with a small infestation it is definitely taking it's toll.
    I have trouble sleeping and every black dot makes me anxious.
    I got a new bed (I was thinking about it before but having BBs influenced me), I encased my mattress, I have interceptors on my bed legs (I read if they get dusty, they may not work. That is annoying since I can't do all the cleaning I want to do each day), I have a white fitted sheet (my top sheet is light green which leaves fluffs so I hate that). I do laundry every week now (it used to be every 2 weeks (single guy)). I too have lost weight. I can't sit in peace, I constantly look around for bugs. Putting on other clothes causes anxiety (even if I know they are bug free, I don't believe it). I discovered I have a lot of moles. I don't go to movies anymore. I wash and dry everything on hot now (I used to try to be more environmentally friendly and washed cold and dried with low heat). As long as I live in apartment, I will always wash/dry on hot. I don't think I am happy with the landlord-supplied PCO but I probably expect too much. I definitely think there is lack of public-awareness. If a person hasn't had BBs or knows someone who has, they probably know nothing.
    I sympathize, BBs are horrible.

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  13. thirdusername

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 21:33:34
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    bitethebullet - 2 hours ago  » 
    the chances of them spreading through clothing isn’t that large I don’t think.

    My $0.01 (CDN :-)) is that risk is of them spreading depends how bad the infestation is.

    http://www.mypmp.net/2015/02/10/shep-erspective-how-big-a-threat-is-one-bed-bug/
    I think I read bad reviews about Rose Pest Control (the author appeared to work there in 2005).

  14. bitethebullet

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 21:49:39
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    Yeah, I’m obviously not an expert either! Which is why I suggest to change clothes if you’re going to help someone with a potential B.B. problem. I’m not letting any friends come over to my apartment until I have this sorted out. My clothes are in clear plastic tubs in the living room but I still check before I leave the house. The amount of work is absurd. The frustrating part is, no matter how many signs point to no infestation, my brain refuses to believe it. 3 weeks home with no bites(we both have severe reactions), no bug sightings, no casings, and only a few specs on my sheets that is probably makeup and the possibility is still driving me nuts. You feel like a hostage. Who knows if the PCO/K9 is going to help my anxieties. Guess I’ll wait and see.

    I totally agree that public awareness is a huge problem. I had no idea until I started googling and ended up here. I just thought “this is obviously something that only happens in care facilities and jails.” Nope. These bugs don’t care who you are or how “clean” you are. I also can’t imagine not having a washer/dryer accessible. Sorry to hear that.

  15. Lostinbedbuggery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Dec 2 2017 23:34:41
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    Bite- I agree the landlord aspect is huge. If only they would have some sense to treat not one but all neighbouring units. They play a huge role in keeping this shit going. I really hope you get through this soon. I'm so hoping I've avoided them coming with me!
    So many of us going through this awful thing at Christmas time I bet we are all spending our Christmas shopping money too. Worst possible timing.

  16. Pattycake

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sun Dec 3 2017 8:18:43
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    When I lived in my apt ,where I was first exposed my landlord told me not to worry because they sprayed the hallways. She also told my upstairs neighbor to put his clothes that were bagged up and his furniture on the deck because the cold would kill them. So yes ,I have to agree the landlords of America are in need of some major BB education.

  17. Lostinbedbuggery

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sun Dec 3 2017 9:47:35
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    Pattycake - 1 hour ago  » 
    When I lived in my apt ,where I was first exposed my landlord told me not to worry because they sprayed the hallways. She also told my upstairs neighbor to put his clothes that were bagged up and his furniture on the deck because the cold would kill them. So yes ,I have to agree the landlords of America are in need of some major BB education.

    The Aussie one star are just as bad. Mine called my clearly infested neighbours problem "head bugs" and a rash! He refused to enter his apartment though :-/
    I feel like where I am in public housing they may get in trouble from the council due to too many reports. I heard in one other place a tenant got such a bad infestation due to a negligent landlord not addressing the problem, the guy got bit so much he became aenimic! He ended up in the local psych ward where the bed bugs followed and needed to be quarantined and his area. So frightening.

  18. Pattycake

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sun Dec 3 2017 10:34:16
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    Wow,that is really extreme. I can understand that the LL are trying to save money and they are not personally responsible for giving BB to people. They are not doing themselves any favors by doing cheap or no treatment. Education education education is the only way. I don't think this will ever stop. To much stigma involved. In the US they treat you like you have the plaque. Its a shameful spot to be in and it shouldn't be.

  19. bitethebullet

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Dec 5 2017 16:40:38
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    Hello everyone,

    So I have some good news. We had the K-9 unit come by (who is also a PCO). She did a thorough inspection of the apartment. We are apparently in the clear as she did not see any signs, fecal, casings, or bed bugs themselves. She put monitors on our bed and told us to keep an eye out but with no bites since we got home she’s almost 100% sure that we didn’t bring them back. She also said IF we did, the thorough cleaning we did, even a week after we had gotten home, most likely killed whatever bug or two that may have slipped through. I’ll continue to monitor but I wanted to post a positive outcome for others to see. When 2 months has gone by I’ll be very relieved. Thanks for all the support, btw.

  20. thirdusername

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Dec 5 2017 20:51:08
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    bitethebullet,
    Great news.

    I am going to stay at my parents for xmas (too far for a day trip).
    I have to take a bus.
    19 days after the 2nd treatment, I found 1 crawling on my pants at my computer desk.
    19 days after my 3rd treatment is the day before I leave.
    Hopefully I don't find any before I leave.
    Every day causes anxiety.
    There is also a family gathering at my brother's after xmas.
    I know I shouldn't think about that until later.
    I feel pressured to see family and this is a horrible time.


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