Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Psychological and Health problems caused by bed bugs (besides bites)
is it possible that they are biting me while I clean?(18 posts)
I feel like I am carrying them around as I clean, and they might even be biting me.
Do they actually walk around with you, or would they rather be off the skin (and away from the dinner table), when we are in motion?
Probably just losing my mind. No?
Iirc, they prefer to be off you when not feeding. Bites are initially painless, reactions delayed. I think the creepy crawly being bitten feeling is "normal" when in a BB crisis.
Depends how bad your infestation is. The stress of having bugs can induce a creeping sensation on or under the skin that feels just like insects crawling on you (formication). As Cilecto says, bite responses can be delayed, so you may simply be feeling in the day bites that you received on the night. However, in really bad cases, yes, you can have the little wretches in your clothes & if peckish, they will feed.
I had a period of nightmare-level infestation & did actually find them attacking me at all hours of the day & night. You'd need a large population of hungry bugs to get to that point though.
Providing you're doing all the usual laundry protocols & keeping your clothes in sealed bags before you put them on, you should probably consider first the possibility of stress-induced formication & delayed bite response. Especially if you're not finding BBs or fecal traces in your clothes.
Just to confir, bedbugs will take an opportunistic feed if they are hungry or if there are significant numbers (I would say 2000+) in which case you will see a lot of faecal trace signs.
If you have not found any of the signs below and seem to get an increase in skin reactions when you are cleaning it can actually help diagnose what is causing the problem, if this is the case with you read below:
- Live samples
- Cast skins
- Faecal traces
If you don't seem any confirming signs and get an increase in reactions when cleaning it can be a confirming sign of an allergic reaction to carpet beetle hairs. The explanation is a bit of an odd one but please follow it through. The reaction caused by carpet beetle hairs is as a result of them embedding in your skin, this most commonly occurs as an electrostatic interaction between the hair and you (all organic materials have the ability to charge a charge and just like magnets the two items can become attractive to each other). The hair leaves a fine hole in the skin which reacts to the atmosphere int he same way that a cut or scratch will often become inflamed. In the case of the hairs the hole is round so the reaction / swelling occurs as a circle which gives it the appearance of being an insect bite when it is not actually a bite.
The reason for the increase during cleaning is that all cleaners others than central vacuuming solutions rely upon an electromagnetic motor. The side effect of leaving your vacuum cleaner running as you work is that it continually "throws out" static charges. These can if present charge up the hairs causing them to become attractive and the circle of the problem completes.
The solution is to avoid shoes, socks and slippers in the house to keep you grounded and to lightly mist the floor area with distilled water (boiled in kettle and allowed to cool) to neutralise the static.
Hope that helps.
Bed Bugs Limited
I would think the static from a vacuum cleaner would come from the spinning brush and other points of friction between different materials, not from the electric motor. The voltages involved in static electricity are orders of magnitude higher than those used in an electric motor. Not that it matters, though: either way the solution would be the same.
Yes technically it is the brushes in the motor but the effect is the same.
I will now take 2 days off to consider my technical shame.
Ah, the brush in the motor. I don't know whether that would do it or not. I was thinking of the brush on the bottom of the vacuum cleaner that beats the carpet.
Given that I have observed the effect in situations where the cleaner head has no beating bar I think we are back to the brushes in the motor.
I had better get back to my vacation.
Wow... you guys are fantastic. What a community.
Yeah, this is not what I... think.... is that kind of infestation... I am, at this point, blaming this one on my mental state.
I have a question...
I live in Denver, and it's very dry here. There's always a lot of static. And the apartment I live in now has been the worst for static that I've ever lived in. Occasional shocks, and any clothes I have that are polyester are always sticking to me or themselves.
I went over my apartment with a new HEPA vacuum with crevice tool and a flashlight for 5 hours, and found a few more signs of carpet beetles.
Would the carpet beetle hairs allergy/problem be worse in a very static charged environment such as mine?
I would love to be able to give a clear answer but the best I can give is highly likely that an increase in static levels and activity would increase reactions caused by carpet beetles larval hairs. The HEPA filter will help to remove the signs but it needs to be done with something in place to also stop the build up of static.
Simple solution don't wear socks of shoes for a few days and see if it resolves.
I don't want to hear of anyone walking around with copper bands around their ankles, alien probes or tin foil hats the simple act of not wearing shoes and socks will suffice. It also can be improved with the use of tapes in either the anti climb or stick to varieties.
If you cant find confirming signs of bedbugs such as:
- Live samples
- Cast skins
- Faecal traces
Then give it a go, loose the shoes and stuff the socks you have literally nothing to loose.
Catch it quick because I am thinking of bottling the idea and through the special process of our wiffle mix making it test data exempt although we are still testing the market for a buy price.
OK back to the serious side. The reason I cant be 100% certain is that neither I nor anyone else seems to have done enough research on the medical reasons why some people respond the to hairs of carpet beetles and the vast majority of people don't. I have seen more people have this issue post bedbugs but that is most likely statistically screwed by the fact that I only tend to meet people with bedbug related problems (apart from when they let me out on occasional weekend).
Hope that helps.
In accordance with the AUP and FTC I must declare that I may have a future interest in the process of wiffle mixing and a potential product called wiffle domestid quick kill but at present they remain only in my furtive imagination
Thank you, David, for making my very itchy self laugh
I appreciate both your humorous writing, and the knowledge that you take the time to share here.
No copper bands or tinfoil hats here, but the static is bad enough in my apartment that I always keep a can of "Static Guard" on hand, and I actually got one of these a few years ago:
I have BBAlert Passive in place at the head of my bed now (for 2 days), and no signs so far.
It's pretty darn weird to think these holes in my skin could be from statically charged insect hairs, but in the absence of any other signs, I'm definitely considering it. Consider the shoes and socks gone...and I will also be trying the distilled water thing...
Well its not so expensive as to be a waste of money but I suspect it will go down as a frivolous spend.
I have a rather expensive static meter which I keep in the same category. It looks very impressive but when you start taking readings its a kooky box with a dial at best.
Glad you saw the humour as it was intended, we tend to get a little shell shocked on the front line and I tend to think that humour is as important as a sense of perspective. I know from some of the international text messages I get that some of our loyal readers looking forward to the ping of a raspberry or other smart phone for the latest comment.
I have no data to say they work every time but the bowl type air purifiers which effectively wash the air seem to be a good thing to try as well. If you dont know what I mean PM me because I am blowed if I am going to give them free PR before they sign me up for the bedbug special edition (where the leaf patterned top is replaced with Cimex).
I hope the laughter brings a smile and with it less irritation.
Could these effects occur in an environment with a lot of static but no carpet beetles?
Sorry for not replying yesterday was a busy one.
In short yes, carpet are not the essential part of the equation.
If you think you need the following:
- Items to cause irritation - we focus on carpet beetle larval hairs today but similar issues have been reported with paper shards and some synthetic fibers (most commonly called paper mites or cable mites
- Person who builds up the static attraction charge - most commonly caused through rubbing of socks and shoes (cotton socks and leather soles on the shoes will help reduce this but barefoot is simplest)
- Person who reacts to the hairs / environment when the holes left by the hairs are present
As I have said before there has been little to no research in the area so I cant point to a list of studies.
I first noticed it heavily in about 2007 when I had a string of out of London cases that reported treatment by the local pest controller only worked for 3 days them they got bitten again. I eventually put this down to the ions in the spray temporarily neutralising the pockets of static.
Hope that helps.
I am wondering whether I have reacted to carpet beetle hairs or something similar while cleaning. It happened twice. Once in between bed bug treatments before an inspection by a dog found nothing. In this case I had been vacuuming my couch, had the vacuum tub running over my shoulder and I got what felt like three stinging bites on my neck and scalp. The second time, was a week ago after the dog inspection. I was emptying plastic garbage bags full of carefully laundered linens and an hour and a half later had this stinging red patch (not round) on 2/3rds the inside of my forearm starting at my elbow. Having been through a relatively mild bed bug infestation (we only ever found one bed bug) that was complicated by the presence of spider beetles, this second stinging patch freaked me out. I have climb-up monitors beneath my bed and passive cardboard monitors on the base of my bed, sofas, etc. I check them daily and have found nothing. It has been 6.5 weeks since the last cryonite treatment and 3.5 weeks since the dog from a reputable company found nothing. I have very sensitive skin. Last night I woke around 3 am with an itchy spot with no bite marks on by lower leg. This probably isn't the same thing as what happened when cleaning previously It was completely gone by the time I woke up at 7 am.
I'm still fairly new to all this, but I'm suffering from a pretty bad case of the bb mental paranoia for sure. Some of the things I've found are when cleaning, are some of the things I'm using to clean "drying" or irritating to skin? Also knowing that my skin is sensitive anyway, dust and dirt and sweat etc. has always been an irritant..only now that I'm hypersensitive, it's a lot worse. Also in the beginning I had SEVERE bites. I found that using calamine lotion and a product I found at CVS called "Itch-X" worked WONDERS in both stopping the itch (the Itch-X was like a miracle for me!) and in healing up the bites really quickly, but because I was using them so often, it resulted in drying my skin out pretty badly. So now I don't have bites like I did, but I do have very dry skin and the resulting itch sets my bb anxiety off. I'm now only using the itch x if I have a new bite that bothers me at work. The calamine lotion I use at night if needed. Also trying to rehydrate with lots of water and trying to apply my regular lotions at lot more to ease the self induced dryness.
Another thing to think about is you might be a delayed reactor (I think someone else mentioned it too). In the beginning I was finding that I didn't actually SEE or feel itching bites until mid day at work! I even thought maybe it was WORK where the bugs were. I've not found any traces of bugs fecal stains, casings etc on ANY of my clothes at any point. What I think it is, is that I'm a delayed reactor to the bites. Not sure if it's a matter of hours or days though.
The idea of having to fight against bb AND another pest is awfully tough to think about!!
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