My crazy story. What to do! Solutions? New to Forum... Thanks!(3 posts)
Hi. Thanks much for this forum. I've been following for a few weeks and would be grateful for input re: my situation. Here's the story: In early March 2012 a friend visited. He slept in the guest room where I'd been sleeping up to the day of his arrival. The night he left I returned to the room. The next morning I received a few welty, itchy bites - five in a row on my forearm – plus one on my leg. My friend reported that he has not had any bites (apparently not allergic). I checked the hotels he'd stayed in before his visit; only the last (in Utah) had guest reports of bedbugs. They claim not to have any in his room, and the last guest complaint I found online was November 2011. I continued to get bites for two weeks skipping a night here and there. I searched the bed (mattress, box spring, metal frame); no sign of bugs, black spots, blood stains. I've not yet taken the wall apart. I bought Victor Insect (sticky) Traps, put Alka Seltzer on a sponge in a pan on a heating pad, and put dishes with water under the bed legs, and BedBug detectors under two corners of the mattress -- still no sign of BBs. Bites continue.
Two weeks after my first bites, at the end of March, I traveled out of state for 4 weeks (careful not to take anything from the "affected" room), during which time all my bites healed, no new ones. I returned to Colorado the 3rd week of April. No bugs on the sticky sheets. No bites the first night. The bites started again, 3 to 7 a night. Since then I was away twice for 3 to 5 nights – I never get bites when away from the house. As soon as I return I get bites almost every night – legs, arms, shoulder, armpit, eye lid, under my jaw.
I've never received any type of bites in five years of living in this house until the night my friend left, so it does seem that they arrived with his suitcases. They are only in the room in which he stayed (where I continue to sleep so they hopefully don't spread). The bites start in the morning fairly benign and get increasingly itchy during the day and last for several days fairly intense. Over the last few weeks, the reaction is getting more intense. A few mornings ago I got three large cluster bites on my shoulder (back muscle), at least an inch each, plus others. Yesterday, a bite on my arm that has swollen and is at least a couple inches wide. They are all either in a line or roughish cluster. The look, pattern and consistency seem to suggest this is bedbugs.
I still see no sign of the bugs. I itch all day and don't sleep well at night for the itching and waking with flashlight in hand (I so sympathize with all of you!). I've order 10 lbs of food grade PermaGuard diatomaceous earth, sprayers, etc. I'll order the mattress and box spring covers. I continue to check the other traps and inspect the bed, but haven't started opening up the walls yet. I'll do that when I get the DE.
My problem: the "affected" room also serves as my office and storage room. There are hundreds of books, papers, files, boxes with stored items. The rest of my house is just as packed with things plus a roomful of items I'm storing from my mom's estate. The house is 2000+ sf plus a rental studio (my housemate has not yet been affected). I've read much of this site and others and it seems that all items have to be treated, clothes washed, thrown out.... I can't even begin to imagine doing this or doing it successfully.
1) Does this sound/look like bedbugs?
2) Does the entire house need to be taken apart - with the Diatomaceous Earth spread around -- or just to affected room? Is this intended to get rid of them for good over time? How do I know if they've traveled?
3) I’ve called two local pest control companies including one with a dog? One works with pesticides, the other heat. The heat company has the dog and guarantees their work for 45 days. The pesticide fellow (very nice and knowledgeable) does a complimentary inspection; the dog inspector charges $250 and supports the guarantee. Is there general consensus as any processes that might work? The stories I've read on these blogs don't sound promising. Also, I'm adverse to toxic pesticides so the idea of them coating my house freaks me out.
4) I'm a bit confused in the reading of all the tips and if they eliminate the problem or simply make it more tolerable. I understand how to protect the bed, but am afraid the bugs will then travel to other parts of the house. I'm not sure how comprehensive the personal (i.e. not with a professional company) needs to be to be affective. Does every book, box, item of clothing, wallboard, outlet need to be treated?
5) I have down blankets and other items (dry cleanable clothes) which either can't be washed or won't hold up in hot water. Am I right in assuming they must be tossed? There are no clothes in the affected room but should I assume that the clothes in other rooms should be treated? This will cost a fortune, won't it? Crazy....
6) If I use the pest control company, should I apply all the other treatments too.
I know this post is lengthy and that the answers are probably in various forms on this site. I think my brain’s getting fuzzy with bad sleep and itchy-disease so I appreciate any comments/suggestions. I’ll be happy to share my experience if I go with the professional company.
Best wishes to all!
(I have bite photos but don't see where to post them.)
I can't help you but go sign up at http://www.photobucket.com and then upload your photos there and the put the links to each photo here
Claire, so sorry you are experiencing this.
I am no expert, there are many on this site and I am sure one will offer advice soon
One thing I do know, is there is NO way to tell what it may have been through bite marks.
Keep a written record of the bites, no need to post pics of them though.
Othe evidence, like fecal, blood smears, cast skins, if you find them, would be valuable pics to share.
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