Need advice! Husband's best friend is infested.(5 posts)
Hello! We have been battling a bb infestation since early November and this forum has been incredibly informative, reassuring, and helpful! We've had the final of our 3 pesticide treatments, had our couch steam-cleaned, covered our mattress and box-spring (for prevention, we never had any in our bed), treated all of our clothing and belongings, etc., etc. I HOPE that we have eradicated them in our apartment, but won't find out for sure until the bb-sniffing dog comes on January 7.
Anyway, we recently traveled home for the Christmas holiday to Ohio (we live in the DC area). While we were there, we stayed at my husband's best friend's apartment and slept in his bed. The next day, my arms and legs started itching, and then the tell-tale large red itchy bumps appeared! I had 13 bites on my calves, feet, and forearms. (Prior to this, I had not had a bed bug bite in over a month, and even then, I never had more than 3-4 at one time.) I panicked, of course, and immediately concluded that the friend had bed bugs. (My husband did not have any bites or bite reactions, but he didn't in our apartment either.) My husband reluctantly called his friend to inform him of my bites and suggest that he may have bed bugs in his apartment. The friend got defensive and denied this possibility, based on the fact that he and his girlfriend have never been bitten or suffered any rashes. He does not have any plans to get his apartment inspected and I doubt he has even searched his bed for signs of bugs.
What do I do?????? I want to say to this friend that he can't come visit us unless he has his place inspected and treated. This friend is planning to come visit us within the next few months. (We got him an airline gift card for Christmas!) My husband doesn't want to tell him this, and we got into a huge multi-day fight over this during the holidays. But I cannot fathom letting him come to our apartment if he has bed bugs, because almost undoubtedly will bring them with him. The bed bug treatment process for our apartment was a nightmare, causing a huge amount of stress, time, and money. I can't bare to think of having to go through that again. I'm open to any and all advice!
One final thought: The only other possible (yet I think unlikely) explanation that there could be for these bites is that they are flea bites from the friend's roomate's cat. The cat has been kept downstairs in the basement 24 hours a day for the last 2 years (this is certainly abuse and another topic all to itself, but nevermind that for now). I went in the basement, sat on a step, and petted this cat for awhile. She climbed in my lap and rubbed against me. I was wearing jeans and knee-socks at the time. (I mention this b/c some of the bites were on the tops of my feet and calves.) I suppose it's possible that the cat has fleas, that a flea jumped on me, traveled with me upstairs, and then bit me while I was in bed (after removing my socks). Thoughts? The bites are completely consistent with the bed bug bites I've had in the past, but I've never had flea bites, so I don't know.
Thank you for your help!
I forgot to add that it's possible that this friend is the one that brought bed bugs into our apartment in the first place. (This is impossible to prove, of course.) He visited last July, right after we bought our new couch, which he slept on and sat his suitcases on. (Our couch is what was infested.) It's also possible, of course, that our couch was infested when we bought it, even though it was brand new. And, it's possible that our couch was infested when we bought it and he got bed bugs from our apartment and took them back with him. Who knows? Just thought I would add this tidbit.
I am sorry to hear that you are suffering more anxiety after all you have been through.
Whenever I visit a sibling or another friend, who collective own 5 cats and 3 dogs, I return home to find bites around my ankles and lower legs. Since neither of them show any signs of bedbugs, I have discounted these bites when I try to figure out if i am still being bitten by bedbugs. In fact, I think I probably always got flea bites when I visited these people and never noticed much until now. My skin is so dry around my feet and ankles that they itch anyway. I am always playing with their animals when i am there. Although fleas typically bites around the ankles and calves, it is not inconceivable that they could land on your arms as well.
It seems like if you acquired the bugs from this friend in July, they would have to be seeing some signs of them by now. Even if they are not reactors, it would seem that something out of the ordinary would have become apparent without any treatment. Either they are in denial, or they may not have them.
But if it were me, I would just tell them that the trauma and stress in your life right now is too great to be taking any chances. Unfortunately, this situation sometimes calls for distancing until you can be sure. Have them stay in a hotel, and meet them for dinner and such. They will still get the benefit of your Christmas gift. Of course, this may mean they don't want to come, but we have to pull out every stop in searching for a source. It's sad, but it's just the way it is.
Thank you for your support, so unsettling! It really has been traumatic that this was brought up again right before the holidays, after I thought that the worst was behind us. It's nice to have support from those who understand!
Given that the bites occurred on areas of my body that were clothed while I was downstairs petting the cat (i.e. my feet and calves), I think that I was bitten while I was sleeping (this is the only time that I wasn't wearing socks). Do you still think it's possible that these were flea bites? After I petted the cat, I laid on his couch and watched a movie, and then went upstairs to bed. Do you think it's possible that the flea(s) stayed on me this whole time and then bit me while I was sleeping? Also, I changed clothes before getting into bed, so how would the flea have stayed on me?
I don't really know. But I think most people ARE clothed when fleas bite them. Seems to happen sitting around watching TV. I don't know if fleas really travel around with people to bite them--it seems like they just do their thing wherever they find you. Maybe there is a flea expert here!
i hope you don't see any new bites, and can find a way to deal with your friends. Despite my best efforts not to carry bugs with me, I have worried that a loved one could start thinking they have them, and assume I am the source. If that happens, I am prepared to have them tell me they would prefer that I don't come to their homes for a while. It will hurt, but i really don't see what else I could expect. Same with your friends.
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