K9 Declared Bug Free: What else could it be?(5 posts)
Background: Skip if you just want to hear the bite description:
About a month ago, I had a thermal treatment job done on my apartment. Two weeks ago, I followed up with a K9 inspection from a reputable company that some people on this forum have suggested in the past. The K9 detected bed bugs in my box spring mattress (which is encased in two protect-a-bed encasements), but did not find them anywhere else, and after examining the box spring to make sure there were no tears, he declared me bed-bug free. I have noticed (especially during the weekends when I am home for most of the day) that I still sometimes get bites on my body. The K9 inspector ruled out bed bugs after examining my mattress/box spring for my small apartment, and I'm trying to figure out what could be causing the biting.
The other problem is that I don't really have a clear timeframe of when I was "bed bug free" to assess any difference in bites, as I had a previous K9 inspection from a 3rd reputable company suggested by forum members tell me I was clear of bugs (albeit this was when 90% of my stuff was in ziplock bags, even my furniture was in giant plastic bags and I was still getting bitten). It was during this time that almost all of the apartments in the same building as mine was declared bb free as by this same K9 inspector.
Description of bites/timing:
The funny part is that I've had this problem for a while, but the timing of the bites (a couple around my body every few days) doesn't seem to have changed very much over the past few months. Furthermore, I've noticed that the time between bites seems to get longer when my apartment is left unheated in the cold compared to warmer summer weather. Bites generally not clustered together, but I will sometimes get multiple bites on the same day.
Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions for how to proceed? Should I still suspect bed bugs, or should I look towards other possible insect culprits?
Maybe I missed this, but did you ever have a positive visual identification of bed bugs before the treatment occurred?
Yes. A few months ago I had woken up with bed bugs on me. I killed these suckers and bagged them, and a PCO positively identified these and some other specimen I managed to capture as bed bugs. Unfortunately, this initial PCO did not do a very good job treating my apartment, which led me to try various other methods such as DE and various dusts I ordered online. This did not stop the biting, even after I started bagging most of my loose clothes. After being fed up with this for a while, I finally decided I needed to try the thermal treatment.
I spent the whole weekend after the thermal in my apartment, and it seemed like I was still getting bitten...but I reserved judgement, as some people on these forums have mentioned that you can still get delayed reactions several days afterwards... however, I'm thinking that this may not be the case anymore. I hired the K9 inspections because people have said they are very good at detecting even small infestations, which mine always seemed to be. Could the K9 inspection be wrong? What other types of things could be causing these bites?
The FAQs have a number of specifics about other pests that may cause bites or bite like reactions including carpet beetles and their larvae, fleas, bird mites, and chitin sensitivity--a reaction that we suspect is likely to be made worse by exposure to DE.
Hi Batty, I'm responding because your situation sounds similar to mine except you got to have a dog come through and declare you bug free and we don't have a dog near us where we live. I got bed bugs from a hotel in California near Disneyland in March...right away I found a bug and a shell, (within the week of coming home) and had steam/chemical treatment. This didn't work so we self-treated for a while and then I used all my saved up money ($2300) for thermal treatment in July. I'm staying with my parents while I finish my master's degree and my parents are on a fixed income. My bites are pretty irregular in that they never itch much, just start as a small bump which turns into a huge welt if I scratch it or mess with it. I had a dermatologist do a biopsy and she said she thought it was a hive but I never get hives and have no allegies and found it odd to get one hive every few days in random spots like my legs and back. I read later that biopsies aren't really all that accurate in determining bed bug bites. Thermal guy didn't believe we still had them (he never found a bug during his visual inspections) but I convinced him to come back and reheat in August for an extra $500. Still got welts and from time to time I find the tiny poppy seed like things in my sheets. Only about one tiny one every 4-5 days. They smear if I press it hard into the sheet and if I drop it in peroxide it fizzes up and dissolves. This is the most horrible, frustrating thing I've had to deal with. My thermal guy doesn't believe me anymore, my dad went back to self-treatment with Suspend. I keep thinking there must be just one or two left in the room because I can't find any bugs or shells, just the little black things in bed and the bumps that turn into welts. Once or twice I found tiny black stains on the seams of the sheets. I wish I had a dog that could come check our home but alas, noone here has one. The PCOs won't treat without a bug and I don't want to allow an infestation to grow big enough that I can actually find one.... I am going to pray REALLY hard that you and I are bug free and that there is another explanation for all of this. Keep us posted on the status of your situation...sorry such a long post, just wanted to let you know that there is someone in a very similar sad boat....I will be praying for you!
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