new to bedbugs... how did this happen and where are they biting me?(5 posts)
So I recently found I have bedbugs. I didn't notice any bites, but some (especially stupid?) bedbugs kept crawling up the bed and up my arm, in broad daylight. Even though I thought "bedbug" was the name of a mythical creature at the time and that these were harmless bugs that had wandered in from outside, I got suspicious enough of this behavior that I traced them back to their hideout all along the sheets, where I found black/smearing spots and cast skins and live bedbugs.
After reading about them, I decided that I must be part of that unknown percentage of people that don't react to bedbug bites. But then I noticed two things that leave me confused about that:
1: I'm often waking up in the morning with a lot (several drops) of dried blood crusted up in my hair on the top of my head. It's only in one spot so far and doesn't itch. The rest of the scalp feels normal and I haven't found anything else in my hair.
2: If at any time I let the hair in my beard scratch against the back of either of my hands, a few colorless raised bumps will appear wherever I scratched in less than a minute. They itch intensely, but go away after 10 minutes or so of leaving them alone. If I don't scratch them first, though, the back of my hands look and feel normal.
I sleep with only my head/face/neck exposed. Under the blanket my hands are also exposed. I don't know how picky bedbugs are about where to bite, or how they choose, but I think they get to my pillow first (since when I go to bed I sometimes find a few of them sitting on top of my pillow waiting for me to lie down) and the very first thing they would see from there when I'm sleeping is the top of my head.
So I guess there are 3 possibilities? Either I have a small remaining infestation and get about 1 bite on top of my head at night, or I have a huge infestation that's biting me hundreds of times on both hands but I don't react until stimulating the surface of the skin above the bites, or I don't react after all and I have both an infestation of totally unknown size and unrelated problems going on with my hands and scalp. Does anyone here know enough to rule out some of those possibilities?
Also, I wish I could figure out where I got these bedbugs from. I don't travel, don't visit hotels, don't visit anybody, don't get visited by anybody, don't live with anybody, don't use public transportation or public facilities, haven't gone anywhere new in ages, haven't bought or brought in any used or new clothes or furniture (or pretty much anything besides food) in ages... it's a total mystery how I got bedbugs, and if they're this easy to get even when I didn't do any of the high-risk things, I wonder how it's possible that most other people don't already have them.
One other thing... before I found the bedbugs but probably after I had them, I was feeling unusually tired and drained of energy most of the time. One day it was so extreme that I woke up after sleeping for 10 hours, ate lunch, took a nap that turned into sleeping for 7 more hours, ate dinner, then an hour or two later I went to bed and slept for another 9 hours, even though I wasn't recovering from sleep deprivation or illness and I had planned to get plenty of work done that day and I almost never take naps. I was so unmotivated to do anything compared to my usual self that I started to worry I might have some sort of parasite, although of course bedbugs didn't cross my mind because I didn't know they existed. It has gotten better since then, so either I mostly got used to the bedbugs, or killing as many as I have so far made a temporary difference, or my newfound bedbug paranoia/insomnia is actually energizing, or it had nothing to do with bedbugs at all. Has anyone else encountered a lack of energy like this when they got bedbugs?
Lethargy as you are experiencing is quite common when the body is under stress. Bed bugs are quite stressful and I can sympathize with you. Many of my best customers went through the same thing so you are not alone in feeling vulnerable.
By nature bed bugs hitchhike from one area to another. If you live in a multifamily dwelling it is possible that they may have come in from the neighbors but this is purely speculation. What we have encountered have been instances where they come in from either your side neighbors, the above neighbor or your below neighbor. It may have come in from a person who came over to your home. They are extremely adept at hiding and traveling so there are so many possibilities.
What I would like to stress to you is the importance of getting it treated. Bed bugs can lay between 2-5 eggs on a daily basis. The population can increase exponentially once they are established so it is very important that you start treating it as soon as possible through a professional exterminator. I would strongly suggest you do not attempt this on your own due to the difficulty in locating where they are hiding. I refer to them at times as trying to exorcise a ghost because you can't see it yet you know they are there.
When choosing a pest control operator you definitely want someone who is fully licensed by the state (ask for a license number) and the technician/applicator that will be performing the service's license number as well. In New Jersey where I am located we are obligated to put our license number and technician/applicator number right on our service orders. You definitely want to avoid any shysters or other nonsense so if they start giving you the runaround or games, hang up and call someone else. This is a serious problem that if caught early can be controlled if not eliminated and you don't have time for scam artists which unfortunately there are many out there.
Once you have the license numbers and proof of insurance, you should ask what kind of approaches will be used to treat. I recommend companies that use a combination of chemical and non-chemical approaches (steam, vacuum, heat, k9 inspections, etc) versus a chemical only company. If you feel comfortable with the company that you have chosen; absolutely, positively without fail follow the preparation protocol they give you and try to reduce clutter as much as possible.
As a PCO my biggest problem is when I go to a customers home and it is cluttered. It is very difficult to work in and manuever sufficiently to get the job done right. Clutter is the enemy, so as much as it can be reduced works best. Reputable companies will treat between 2-5 times sometimes more. They will charge from $250+ per service. If someone tells you they can do it for $100 or less, find someone else because they do not intend to perform the service correctly. I hope all this advice helps and is not overwhelming to you and best of luck with your situation. Peter
not only will the stress make you feel down... BUT if you have a massive infest they could be making you slightly animic if you already have the pre-disposition to it...you really need to get a specialist out to your house this WILL NOT GET BETTER!!!!! also from my readings, bbs dont usually like to feed in hair. they will if there is not a better area to get to, but they dont preffer it...have you checked for body lice or head lice??? they will leave the little redish black flecks that if scratched will be visable on hands or shirts...these are some thoughts...good luck to you and let us know how you are doing with things.
I know it won't just get better on its own, and I've decided not to self-treat it beyond crushing any bedbugs I happen to see. I don't think I should call a PCO yet because my place is so cluttered that it would be a waste of both of our time not to take care of that first. I don't know how uncluttered I can really get it though, since the reason it's so cluttered is that I don't have room to put this stuff anywhere else. I feel like the preparation alone could take months. But I have to try, because I really don't like the idea of losing an exponentially increasing amount of blood every night.
one problem with bed bugs is that get into everything...books, clothes, paintings furniture etc...if you have a bunch of clutter you really need to get a bunch of bags (see info on site or other bbs sites for the right bags) if you have the money, invest in the packtite to treat your books and other things...it worked well for us...i am no expert, but i would think that in a couple months(i would assume you have a fairly bad infest if you are seeing them everywhere) you are going to be really, really bad...have you checked your matress??? have you read the facts and the info stuff on this web site??? did you get matress covers etc??? have you done the things you can do??? have you called a pco to come out and at least give you a quote/advice??? some companys will give a free inspection...so do you live in an apartment complex or a single house??? all of these things are important factors???
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