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One bedbug in dorm room, couple bites

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  1. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 21:20:24
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    As in the title - I moved in 5 days ago to a dorm room. Two days ago I found what seemed to be a bed bug crawling up the wall near the foot area. It was maybe 20cm up the wall, and I saw it at 12am at night. I think I saw it because I was on my phone, lying facing the foot area (opposite to the way I'd usually sleep). It looked similar to this picture.

    I examined it for a good minute or minute and a half and noticed that it was pretty stationary, it was using its antennae to "feel" around very actively, but was moving very little. Its back was oval shaped, but NOT apple-seed shaped - it did not look extremely fat and round like the female bed bug in this picture. It looked closer to the male. It was coloured a dark brown, and its head was much smaller than its body, like pin sized. I can't remember whether I saw ridges on its back or not.

    I panicked and tried to kill it afterwards with a paper towel, but was too hasty and ended up making it lose its "grip" on the wall and it fell on the carpeted floor. I couldn't find it afterwards.

    Yesterday, the night I found the bed bug, I woke up with three raised bumps, kind of like smaller mosquito bites. They were really itchy, but after the swelling went down, I saw little scabs in the shapes of small circles (like a bite mark) in the middle of where the bites used to be. They were in a cluster of three. Today I woke up with a bite on my upper arm, the same arm that had the first three bites.

    My question is what should I do?? I'm afraid to tell anyone - so far I've just told my mom, and I live with three other roommates too (apartment style, so we all have our own rooms but share a living space/kitchen) because I'm afraid of what they'll think... Or maybe I'm just being too paranoid... I don't really know anymore.

    (Posted this again since my other post didn't go through. Apologize if this was a double-post.)

  2. Myworstnightmare

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 21:24:03
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    I would tell the dorm advisor or whatever they are called now. The school should call someone out to inspect. If it's in your room it could be in others as well. Not everyone reacts to bites so it can go unnoticed and become more of a problem. The sooner you act the better!

  3. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:29:21
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    I agree with all of the above.

    Also, are any of the roommates bedrooms attached to yours? I know some apartment style rooms are connected, while others have a bathroom or living area between each room for better privacy. If connected, it's possible the other roomies could be the ones that brought them in, or another apartment in the building is very infested and they're now traveling. Especially since you've just lived in- if the building has been empty all summer long, wherever they originated from no longer had a food supply, and the bugs have gone in search of bodies.

    Regardless, please do tell the dorm supervisor. They should have someone come out. Based on some spelling, I gather you're U.K., so dust options are limited, but you can get Diatomaceous Earth, and dusting the room/bed with it would help. Also, a mattress encasement. A passive monitor is roughly £20, and can also help you to see what is going on.

    Good luck, and try to sleep! You won't study well without sleep.

    "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras" Theodore Woodward

    I am, by no means, a pro. I'm simply a person that has had unfortunate luck, and somehow acquired the little guys.
    Any/all 'advice' I have to share is based on my own personal history and/or things I've read from the professionals on this site.
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  4. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:30:52
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    Myworstnightmare - 1 hour ago  » 
    I would tell the dorm advisor or whatever they are called now. The school should call someone out to inspect. If it's in your room it could be in others as well. Not everyone reacts to bites so it can go unnoticed and become more of a problem. The sooner you act the better!

    Yes, you're absolutely right. I know it's what I need to do... I just needed someone to give me a push I guess. Even when I've told my mother about it, she still doesn't believe me, so I've been kind of unsure if I'm just being too paranoid about this.

    The only thing I'm worried about, though, is that an extermination company will come in, try to look for signs of bedbugs and tell me that I'm imagining it since there aren't any huge signs of infestations... Even though I've only been here like 5 days. This is honestly not how I wanted my first year at university to go. But yeah, I'll get myself psyched up to tell my roommates first and then make the call. Thanks for responding (:

  5. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:44:46
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    Instead of flat out asking... maybe make it more quizzical? 'I saw the weirdest looking bug in my room the other day! Have you guys seen any weird bugs?'

    Might break the ice a little.

  6. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:46:19
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    psychologically_messed_up - 3 minutes ago  » 
    I agree with all of the above.
    Also, are any of the roommates bedrooms attached to yours? I know some apartment style rooms are connected, while others have a bathroom or living area between each room for better privacy. If connected, it's possible the other roomies could be the ones that brought them in, or another apartment in the building is very infested and they're now traveling. Especially since you've just lived in- if the building has been empty all summer long, wherever they originated from no longer had a food supply, and the bugs have gone in search of bodies.
    Regardless, please do tell the dorm supervisor. They should have someone come out. Based on some spelling, I gather you're U.K., so dust options are limited, but you can get Diatomaceous Earth, and dusting the room/bed with it would help. Also, a mattress encasement. A passive monitor is roughly £20, and can also help you to see what is going on.
    Good luck, and try to sleep! You won't study well without sleep.

    @Psychologically_messed_up

    You're almost right - I'm from Canada, we're a little confusing cause we're like mix of the US and England. I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference though.

    And I never thought about the fact that it could have originated from someone else, or another place in the dorm - all I felt was immense guilt at having possibly brought a bed bug in. I share a wall with my other roommate, while the other one is about two meters (like 6 feet) away, right in front of us. The other roommate is further away.

    I'm starting to think about this more clearly though, so I'm glad you decided to post and I'll definitely tell the residence people about it tomorrow.

  7. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:52:42
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    psychologically_messed_up - 2 minutes ago  » 
    Instead of flat out asking... maybe make it more quizzical? 'I saw the weirdest looking bug in my room the other day! Have you guys seen any weird bugs?'
    Might break the ice a little.

    That's a great idea, thanks. I really appreciate you trying to make this whole thing easier. I know I'm making a big deal out of just telling someone, but I'm already an anxious first-year and this made me feel off the charts paranoid, lol. I feel a lot better about talking w/ my roommates about this and the dorm supervisor as well.

  8. Myworstnightmare

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:58:36
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    I would be really surprised if you brought it in. They can live a long time without feeding. And now that students are back they are looking for a meal. I hope the school takes care of it promptly. My youngest daughter got bites for three weeks before I figured out what was going on. Plus we were gone for a week of vacation. My advice is to not delay.

  9. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Fri Sep 8 2017 22:59:39
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    You're welcome, and don't worry, everyone here on this site understands! The stigma attached to BB's is awful, and really, horribly incorrect! There's absolutely nothing about them that says 'ew you're a gross, dirty human being'. You simply had a touch of bad luck and happen to have warm blood running through your veins, so they like you. It can, and does, happen to any, regardless of social status or how many zeros are in your bank account! I promise, you'll get through it and all will work out!

    Please don't wait too long... if it is, in fact, bed bugs, they can multiply fast. The sooner you get a handle on the situation, the easier it will be to take care of.

  10. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Sat Sep 9 2017 0:11:07
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    @Myworstnightmare

    Oh no, I can't imagine the stress you guys were under trying to figure out what was causing those bites. These pests sure are sneaky, and they're such good hiders, no wonder it's so common to have such intense feelings of anxiety when having them.

    And I will definitely heed that advice, I'm not waiting any longer - tomorrow at 9am I'm making that call for sure.

    @Psychologically_Messed_Up

    That really is true - I think if I had only one wish, it'd be to get rid of bedbugs - they cause way too much anxiety and stress for being a couple centimeters big. It's only been here 3 days so far so hopefully they are able to send someone out soon! I'll do my best to update with news when that happens.

  11. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Tue Sep 12 2017 0:40:34
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    Update

    Just called Maintenance, they will be sending someone over tomorrow. Quicker response than I expected, especially since I called quite late in the evening (service desk is open 24/7). They took the situation quite seriously and asked questions such as when I'd seen it, if my roommates had seen bugs/gotten bitten, when I'd started to get bites, etc. They will call to update me tomorrow after the pest control comes and takes a look.

    I'd meant to call two days ago, but came down with a cold and spent most of the time sleeping in my infested bed. Funnily enough, for those two days of the weekend I didn't get any bites at all, probably due to the fact that I "rearranged" the bed looking for bedbugs. It was a nice reprieve anyways.

    Tomorrow morning I'll call again (as per their request, if I had more questions) to ask about guidelines for visiting/visitors, what methods they'll use for inspection, previous cases of bedbugs in the dorms, and who would be responsible for paying for costs of inspection/treatment. Will update with more answers.

  12. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Tue Sep 12 2017 3:49:21
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    Glad to hear they listen and asked the right questions and have someone ready to call for you!!

    As to the bites- bed bugs only feed once a week or so. If you've only got a few, or hopefully just that one, well.... anyway, it all sounds good!!

    Let us all know what they say/do!!

  13. ohnoo

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Tue Sep 12 2017 20:29:53
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    Update #2

    Pest control came and took apart all the sheets on the bed and, according to the dorm maintenance, they looked all around the room as well. I was not here to see what they did so I'll just have to take their word for it. (Although they didn't take the covers entirely off the bed nor did they take the duvet cover off the duvet, so I'm not sure how thorough that was) They didn't find any signs of bugs, nor staining or "dots" from feces.

    They've asked me to get the bites checked out by health services, as it's possible it could be something else. I get about a bite a night so I guess I'll look forward to my daily "bite" tonight. It's kind of funny, I actually pull the covers off my upper torso and leave my arm out so the bug will bite on that rather than my face or neck - it'll also be easier to show to health services, lol.

    I've asked what to do if I continue to receive bites despite pest control not finding anything, and they've just asked me to keep an eye out to see if I find more bugs and "cross that bridge when we get there".

    Although it isn't too reassuring considering the fact that I was getting bites beforehand... Just because pest control has come to inspect the room doesn't mean the bites are going to go away. Guess we'll wait and see whether it's nothing, like a random bug, or if the infestation gets worse and it'll turn out to be a bed bug. In the meantime I want to visit my family but am not sure if it's "safe"...

    Also! I've become aware of the existence of bat bugs, apparently they are practically identical in shape, size, colour, behaviour, etc. to bed bugs, however it is thought they need a bat host to reproduce, and the only way you can tell the difference between the two is because their microscopic "hairs" are longer than a bed bug's. I'm crossing my fingers that this turns out to be the case. (Also, 20 minutes away from here a grad student set up a study about recording the calls of bats and interpreting them. So given that... it may be possible.

    In the meantime I'll see about getting one of those passive monitors and/or climb up interceptors.

  14. psychologically_messed_up

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Tue Sep 12 2017 20:41:54
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    ohnoo - 10 minutes ago  » 
    Also, 20 minutes away from here a grad student set up a study about recording the calls of bats and interpreting them. So given that... it may be possible.

    Bats would need to be on/in your building for the bugs to get in your room.

    Also, in Canada, look for packtite branded passive monitors as they're the original. All others are knockoffs.


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