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Infestation with little to NO signs

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  1. ParanoidNewbie

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Wed Oct 4 2017 9:48:59
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    Hello - I would like to start by saying I know I am long winded, but please bear with me.

    About a mth ago one of my daughters found a bed bug crawling out of her folder after school. We immediately took her bookbag outside to inspect and found 5 bed bugs of various stages of life. We figured the pests came home in her school book as we found a dead one between a page in the back of the book and had never seen any in our house prior to that evening. The following morning she woke up with several bites on her arm. So I washed and dried her bedding and checked the beds in their rooms. I didn't find any signs.

    The next day we found two nymphs on the head rest in my car and I thought okay well they might have fallen off her bookbag the day before. Later that evening we found a nymph on our couch and another adult bed bug on her binder from the previous day I had her leave home to make it easier to check her stuff after school. Again I figured maybe I just didn't check her school book good enough because the binding is a hard place to check or that maybe something hid in the metal part of her binder.

    The following day I called an exterminator who came out to our house and looked for the telltale signs. He didn't find any and I told him of what we had experienced to that pt. He told me not to worry because they might have just come home from school, but keep an eye out and monitor the situation. He said rubbing alcohol could kill the buggers and to call him if we saw anything else. Later that afternoon we picked the kids up from school and found two on the outside of my daughters bookbag. I freaked and called the exterminator back out. He left 4 traps and told us to monitor the issue.

    We had two days without any sightings (the weekend) and thought we were safe until another one of our daughters at a different school came home with one on her bookbag. We called the exterminator. He came out the following morning. We did a thorough check in the house where those 2 girls kept their bookbags as at this point we figured our house was the common denominator. In front of a bookcase behind a carpet shampooer I borrowed a week earlier we found several eggs, a few castings, and a few newly hatched bugs. My husband got out the tweezers, his flashlight, and a couple of ziplock bags. Up to this point we found one casting and no other signs other than the live bugs. The next day the exterminator sprayed in the living room and the adjoining area and we scheduled the heat treatment. Later that night we got out our rainbow vacuum to suck up the rest of what we could find and we found a few more living adults that we moving extremely slowly and were a bit twitchy.

    Two days later I was doing another check of our daughters room (washing/ drying bedding). We had never seen signs in there, but figured why not keep looking. After we checked all of my oldest daughters bedding and place her box spring in an encasement (her mattress had been in one since we purchased it 8 mths earlier), I was putting her bed skirt on when I saw an adult bug on the bedding we had just checked. Two days earlier when the exterminator sprayed I stupidly moved the dog crate into our kitchen before checking it and we figured that one must have hitched a ride and transferred to the bedding after I checked it before I went to put it back on the bed. We called the exterminator he came back out and sprayed the girls room. We are still assuming the main issue resides in the living room.

    We made it 10 days without new bites or sightings and had the heat treatment on the entire house excluding the basement, which they sprayed the rafters with a residual spray (the same spray he had sprayed in the other rooms).

    We thought we were safe, but still kept looking just in case. We had the heat treat on a Monday and on the following Friday we saw an adult in our living room. It was moving slow, but alive nonetheless. I called our exterminator back out. He said placed a trap where we saw it and said to keep monitoring the situation. Yesterday (1 week after heat treatment) I saw a very small red bug crawling on the arm. I rolled it with my finger and it left a red line, but it was too small to tell. If it was a bed bug, it had to have just hatched. I called the exterminator out again and he left a can of PT Alpine Flea & Bed Bug spray to use even though he himself was unsure whether or not the bug I saw was a bed bug or something off of our 6 mth old puppy. He has told me that if we continue ones or twos here or there they will reheat treat our house.

    The exterminator said we don't have signs because it is a recent issue, but I cannot help but wonder how did they get into my house. Could my step daughter brought them with her when she moved here 3 mths before our first sighting. Did we get them when we went out of state to pick up our dog. Did we pick them up from my dad's house when we visited him a few weeks before the first sighting when the dog all of a sudden started to have a hive like reaction to something that has subsided since we started treating for these pests. Was it my mom's house when we borrowed the shampooer. Or was it the text book from the school in the bookbag we saw the original bugs come out of.

    I'm scared that there may be more and that I will never feel safe in our home again especially since we aren't sure how they got into our house to begin with.

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Wed Oct 4 2017 10:25:37
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    Coming in on books, makes me think the ID may have been incorrect. Please post an image of what bugs you are finding and we'll work this out.

    HVAC/Locksmith/Bed Bug Control for a non-profit homeless shelter and long term veteran housing.
  3. loubugs

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Wed Oct 4 2017 12:20:56
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    ParanoidNewbie:
    "The exterminator said we don't have signs because it is a recent issue, but I cannot help but wonder how did they get into my house. Could my step daughter brought them with her when she moved here 3 mths before our first sighting. Did we get them when we went out of state to pick up our dog. Did we pick them up from my dad's house when we visited him a few weeks before the first sighting when the dog all of a sudden started to have a hive like reaction to something that has subsided since we started treating for these pests. Was it my mom's house when we borrowed the shampooer. Or was it the text book from the school in the bookbag we saw the original bugs come out of."
    A picture will help. The answer to all the questions could be yes. It could be one or all. You had called the exterminator, but did you contact the school? Your daughter who came in 3 months ago. Is she attending school? Was at camp? Dad's house? Mom's? You could examine Mom's & Dad's.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  4. ParanoidNewbie

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Wed Oct 4 2017 17:04:11
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    I'm not sure how to post a picture nor have I been able to take a good picture, but the adults we have found are definitely BB mostly adult males and a few females. I compared them to pictures online and saved most in ziplock bags to show the exterminator.

    Yes, I contacted the school immediately. They had an issue with them over at least the last two years that I'm aware of. I have 2 kids that attend that school, which happens to be the high school. The school told me that they heat treated the books that had not been passed out before I called and inspected them, but didn't find any BB or evidence. However, about a wk after the first sighting in our house the school sent a letter home with the students in a classroom that mine are not in because they found one in class. One of those kids posted the letter on social media, which is how I found out they found one in a classroom.

    I asked all of our kids if they've ever seen one before after we had killed the first adult BB, the one who just moved in said yes and my oldest said she had 2 yrs ago at the high school. The one who just moved in said she had a friend who had them, but she wasn't allowed at that friend's house and that her mother's best friend had had them a couple of yrs. ago. Three days ago we found out that the mother's best friend has them currently and has thrown out a mattress. The mother's best friend has 3 kids who have frequently visit and spent several nights at the house that our daughter moved from.

    Everyone I talk to about our BB issue (school, CC coaches, family members houses we've visited, the former household our daughter lived, etc.) say they have no signs and haven't seen BB. I'm paranoid though because we didn't see any signs until we saw bugs and we haven't seen any signs except by the bookcase in our living room after we saw the first BB and we started pulling our house apart.

    When she first moved here she slept in the living room on our futon couch until we bought her a bed, which we immediately put in an encasement. Side note: I have a cat who in the past would pee on everything and with having so many kids I've learned to use encasements on everything I can to make cleaning easier. Before this issue the only thing that didn't have an encasement was my one daughters box spring. When our daughter moved in her bags were next to the bookcase for a few days. My 2 sons slept in the living room on the floor next to the bookcase where we found the only evidence (eggs, castings, and newly hatched BB), which is next to the dogs crate. I've been sleeping on the futon couch in the living room since she has had her bed.

  5. ParanoidNewbie

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Wed Oct 4 2017 17:14:03
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    The daughter who just moved in is at the middle school. The one who brought home the bookbag that the first bug was found attends the high school.

    All other bugs were found on the outside of the bookbags and by the one bookcase in the living room. The bookcase was bought new about 2 yrs. ago.

    I have the 2 at the high school, 2 at the middle school, and 1 in elementary school.

  6. Mawiwala

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Thu Oct 5 2017 3:45:49
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    Could be from everywhere of those sources. I don't believe someone here can identify the source.

  7. loubugs

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Thu Oct 5 2017 6:10:45
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    You have many variables and equally viable explanations for the infestations. It can definitely be from one or all of the sources mentioned. A DNA/molecular analysis of all the bugs would show if they are from the same or different populations. It's an interesting investigation, but would require live bugs from all the places to see which ones are living in your home. As far as you're concerned, you just want them out!

  8. SumGirl

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    Posted 2 weeks ago
    Sat Oct 7 2017 20:29:37
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    I think you might want to get a bed bug sniffing dog in. And as sad as it is, if possible, refuse to let your kids go to friend's places, as well as put their book bags in plastic bags as soon as they get into the car, and only allow them to take out school books, which they would need to inspect carefully.

    Best of luck!

  9. ParanoidNewbie

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed Oct 11 2017 12:36:28
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    It has been 2 wks. since our heat treatment and 10 days since we saw the last BB, which was moving extremely slow. I'm guessing the one we saw post heat treatment was moving so slow because the spray or heat damaged it as the ones we first saw were faster moving. IDK. I wake up a few times every night and check the living room (ground zero in our house) and haven't seen anything. We have no new bites (at least on our known BB reactors), but I'm still drying my pillows, blanket, and sheet every couple of days.

    We check bookbags daily now and probably always will. When the kids are home they only open their bookbags long enough to get
    what they need out and close them backup. For most part we throw our clothes into the washer then dryer to try to prevent reintroducing them into our house.

    I have bought DE, but haven't spread any. Is DE an effective way to kill any if there are any left in the house or any that may hitchhike in the future?


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