Possible single or a few bed bugs - am I proceeding correctly?(7 posts)
First, I would like to thank all regular contributors to this forum and site. It has been very helpful to me to read through all the FAQs and other information.
I'm in the position that I've seen many others here, where I have some bites that I only got while I was in bed, but I have no physical evidence of what's been biting me. Here's a breakdown of what's been going on.
October 8, 2010
I noticed 6 bites in two small clusters about 1-1.5 inch in diameter 5 days after returning from a hotel in Austin. They did not look like how I react to mosquitoes (these 6 bites were smaller and clustered in a way that I'd never had mosquito bites, and in any case, it was October and I hadn't seen any mosquitoes), so given that I'd been away, I immediately feared bed bugs. I washed all the bedding on my bed and dried it thoroughly, and got no more bites for ages until ...
July 16, 2011
I got a very large bite on my inner thigh, at one point up to 2 inches diameter. It looked and felt like a spider bite to me, and I don't remember noticing it after getting out of bed, so I took no action. (I still think this was probably a bite unrelated to the ones I list below, but for completeness, have included it here.)
July 26, 2011
I got 2 bites on my inner thigh (the other one) about 8 mm apart just below my sleep shorts; I noticed small bite bumps at 12:15am after changing into the shorts and going to bed at 11pm, and the bumps were more pronounced by morning. My windows were closed, and I didn't see any mosquitoes. As soon as I could, I washed all bedding on my bed and dried it on high. I also did an inspection of my box spring and mattress (but not a careful frame inspection) and saw no signs of bed bugs (no faecal material, no actual bugs etc.). I felt good until ...
July 31-August 2, 2011
I got 2 bites on my right mid back on July 31, which I noticed first thing in the morning; again, these bites did not look like my mosquito bites, they were smaller. I had plans to sleep elsewhere that night, so didn't do laundry until the next day. I didn't have time to wash all my bedding, just the sheets and pillow cases. That very night (Aug 1-2), having put on the clean sheets, I got another bite on my left mid back, which again, I noticed in the morning. This was when I started to really freak out a little! Again, I didn't have time to do all my bedding; that night, I just stripped my bed of the sheets and mattress pad and bagged them, I put on newly bought sheets but used the same blankets. I also put some unused blankets I had stuffed in a corner into black garbage bags and tighted the bag up tightly, and took a bag of sweaters that had been under my bed and put them in another bag in the basement.
On August 5, I put on bug-proof boxspring and mattress covers, moved my bed away from the wall, tucked my bedding in etc. to isolate my bed. I vacuumed my bed and bedroom thoroughly, including the metal bed frame, under the bed, and all around the edge of bedroom (although not the closet).
In the next few days, I washed all the bedding on my bed, dried all the unused bedding and the sweaters that had been under the bed on high for half an hour. I rebagged the unused bedding and put them back in the corner, and I put the sweaters in my dresser. All was well until ...
August 14, 2011
I got 1 bite on right lower back, noticing a small bite bump at in the afternoon just after putting on a pair of pajama pants from my dresser and getting into bed for a nap. The bump was more pronounced a few hours later, and was just like my previous back bites. In the next couple of days, I rewashed my sheets and pillowcases, though not the blankets (I reasoned that if I had a stray bed bug, it was probably hiding somewhere else anyway).
August 17, 2011 (today)
I put climbup interceptors on my bed legs.
Okay, some other info:
I live in a building with 8 units - 2 on the first floor, 4 on the second (where I am), 2 on the third. My apartment adjoins one other, and there is 1 apartment above and 1 apartment below me. It's an old building, and there are various holes and cracks in all the rooms.
Right now, my main question is:
In your opinion, is it okay that I have not alerted my landlord to the possibility of bed bugs? I really don't want to cause a panic with just the evidence I have. If my climbup interceptors don't catch anything for, say, two months and I don't get any more bites, I think I can rest more easily, right?
But what if I keep getting a bite or two every week or every two weeks, like I have been, but don't catch anything? When would it be wise to ask my landlord to send in a PCO?
Also, as you can see, I'm only doing part of what I would have to do if I really did have bed bugs in terms of laundry, vacuuming etc. I'm busy (isn't everyone?!), and don't want to launder and bag *everything* without more proof that I actually need to.
Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks.
This is all I've gotten in my Climbups so far; doesn't look like a bed bug to me, but I'd love an ID all the same. Thanks.
That isn't a bb
As long as this has been going on, I would assume if you had bed bugs, you would find some kind of evidence by now. But, if you really think you have them, you should have a professional come in to inspect, which means telling your landlord. Part of the reason these things get out of control in apartment buildings is because people are afraid and try to treat them themselves. - Best
BugsMustDie, Thanks for your responses. I realized soon after the post with that photo link that the bug there looked nothing like a bed bug. I've since failed to find anything in my climbups, but have some suspicious fecal-looking stains that I asked about here:
Because, as I mention in that thread, the frequency of bites has suddenly increased to daily the last few nights, I'm more concerned again, and plan to monitor with the BB Alert Passive for a few days.
I appreciate your comment that people being afraid to tell their landlords is because tenants often try unsuccessful methods of self-treatment themselves. I'm definitely not going to self-treat as I know that will at best drive them from my unit to someone else's; am just hoping to have evidence to show my landlord soon from the monitor.
It doesn't sound like bbs based on the time line above. That seems slow to me, but hopefull the bug experts (can't spell the correct word, sorry!) will chime in.
I first noticed more mosquito bites than usual at the end of June this year, by the end of July I was getting bites daily and catching live nymphs on me. I get the feeling that that is not an unexpected timeline for an infestation. Thug this street appears to be the newest front in Astoria for bbs.
Thanks for sharing your timeline, AshamedandScratching - it's helpfu l for me to have comparison points. I was thinking that if I only had one or two to start with, perhaps immature ones, then they could take a few weeks to mature (I believe David Cain said 40-60 days) and start breeding. Best of luck dealing with your infestation; these are challenging battles, but I feel good about defeating these creatures with persistence and knowledge.
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