I have just been in this house a few months and am pretty sure there are bed bugs. I have bites on upper body/neck/shoulders. Have seen zero bugs. I am not sure if I brought them in after travelling and staying in many motels...or if they were here or came with some furniture I was given..i suppose it does not really matter.
I am moving next week and have already packed.
I also have pets and now wonder if my car is infested and how can I keep the dogs who are in and out of the car daily from transferring bugs. I absolutely cannot manage the expense of treating the car now.
If I am checking belongings and see no adults or bugs ..is that item ok??
I am going to do all my laundry in HOT HOT and pack it in plastic. Throw a couple of things in the freezer. and when I get to the other end and unpack..do like wise with all items not looked after here.
If I do not see bedbugs on my tempurpedic type mattress top (foam) or pillow..are thy safe?
what about other good pillows?
I am getting new furniture and not taking any from here.
I hope this is enough.
any added thoughts? thank you
Bed bug infestations in cars are surprisingly rare. I *think* I got bed bugs from a hotel stay in March 2008. I live in a very small apartment complex (under 8 units total) that doesn't have laundry on site. That means that I have to drive all my laundry to a laundromat.
I didn't discover that I had bed bugs until June 2008. During the intervening 3 months, my laundry regularly hung out in the car going to and from the laundromat. My car never got infested.
Nobody is quite sure *why* cars are so unlikely to get infested. I suspect it's that we're not usually in cars for long stretches of time when we're sleeping, and bed bugs like to harbor in places where they'll be close to food that is deeply asleep for long stretches of time.
In other words, if you take the basic precautions outlined in the FAQs on how not to spread bed bugs, chances are that the car will be safe.
Secondly, bed bugs don't harbor on their hosts. So the bed bugs are likely not to hang out on the dogs. If you're really concerned about the dogs spreading any bugs, you might have the dogs bathed on the day you move from where you live now on the way to the new place.
However, there's nothing in your story that suggests to me that bed bugs are the most likely cause. (or that they aren't. What I'm trying to say at this point is that there's no enough data to tell, really.) Bites can be caused by any number of insects: fleas, carpet beetles (which don't bite, but whose larvae's hair like things cause bite like responses), and so on.
So here's the bad news.
If you do have bed bugs, particularly if you haven't found where they are harboring, it it almost impossible to move without taking them with you. Bed bugs are badly named. They don't all live in beds. They like to harbor somewhere close to where we sleep. They may well not be in the mattress. But they might be in the bed frame. The might be inside an electrical outlet near the bed.
I do not say this to suggest that you should jettison all your belongings. We regularly hear story after story of someone who discovers that he or she has bed bugs, throws out all kinds of stuff, and then gets treated and realizes that all those things thrown out didn't need to be trashed.
In fact, throwing out items can make a bed bug infestation *harder* to treat. If you live in a multi-unit building and you toss out furniture that had bed bugs, other people might see what looks like nice furniture in the dump area and bring it back into the building, spreading the infestation into more units, making the overall infestation harder to treat.
It sounds from your description like you're already planning to move and you can't do much about that timeline. By all means, inspect all your furniture closely before the move to minimize chances of bringing any hitchhikers with you, but I would strongly suggest monitoring when you get to the new place. I would consider using passive bed bug monitors and plug in flea monitors when you get to the new place so that you can see exactly what's behind the bites and whether any of those critters have come along with you.
If you discover either, you can take appropriate steps. Carpet beetles can be eradicated through self-treatement and lots of cleaning. Fleas can be eradicated by flea treating the dogs (in most cases).
If you discover that you have bed bugs, the best and most cost effective way to get rid of them is to get a professional with experience treating bed bugs in to treat them as soon as possible. Self-treatment--especially foggers and DE alone, can make the bed bug infestation worse and can be dangerous to your health if proper precautions are not taken.
I know you were hoping for reassurance that your plan would eliminate all of them, but bed bug eggs are very hard to kill. The first stages of bed bugs are also very small and are translucent unless they've fed. Bed bugs are masters of stealth; they hide very effectively. For those reasons, it can be very difficult to move without bringing them with you *if* you have them.
However, if you have them, you should be seeing signs beyond bites alone: cast skins, fecal matter, or the bugs and eggs themselves. It sounds like you haven't seen any of those. In that case, I would rule out other pets while monitoring for bed bugs. Once you find out what pest you have, you can get the proper treatment for that pest.
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