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... saw one instar, WILL I GET INFESTED :'(? or am i already?

(9 posts)
  1. howdoiwin

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 9 2011 6:22:35
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    Greetings, all,

    First, great care goes out to all of you, and thank you for all the informative posts.

    I've been sleepless ever since I was staying up one night on my laptop, in bed, with the covers pulled up to my chin when I suddenly saw a "red speck" crawl by across the part of my covers near my chin. GREATEFFINGGATSBY$%!(*$#!*%(*$*%($*%*$(#*%, I crushed that thing fast because I knew exactly what it was from pictures I'd seen on news coverage about bedbugs. It was a 3rd instar bedbug, with a spot of red in its tummy. (Guessing the "age" but sure about the bedbug identification.) OHDEARGOD. Panic set in, along with fear and the deepest dread. And at that point I didn't even know exactly how dire situations with bedbugs could get - how hard they are to get rid of...

    I haven't been able to sleep (save for a few naps during the day) since that night. I've been on Google and this forum and all over the internet in search of information but nearly paralyzed from action until today about how to properly begin... and very much hoping I'd caught the SINGLE offender, although I know how low the chances of that are.

    As for how this might've come to be, I'd been hanging out with a friend about 1.5 weeks ago - who, it turns out, had a SERIOUS infestation - one that this person had NOT seemed to be trying to control and instead had been keeping a secret from everyone until now, when their landlord came around and found them. (They had not wanted to admit to their landlord - and therefore kept it a secret from everyone.) I really don't want to blame this person but even though we'd hung out in a public place, I'd taken off my jacket, scarf, and hangbag and laid them down and my friend ended up SITTING ON MY JACKET AND SCARF AND LEANING ON MY HANDBAG for a good 2 hours while we were talking. Looking back, I so wish I'd known and could've taken action right then by bagging and washing and/or heating my clothes and handbag and items inside instead of LAYING MY JACKET AND HANDBAG ON MY BED as soon as I got home, as per my habit of many years...

    So, I think I know the answer but does seeing that instar mean I will get infested? What are the chances do you think? I'm pegging mine at 99.99% and it's making me want to cry... My head is wrought with worry all hours of the day...

    Thinking about it all, and the possible fight ahead of me, fills me with so much dread... How do you all stay so strong??? And do you think I will get infested - or that I am already???

    Thank you so much for reading and/ or responding. Take care, all, and great power to all in their fights or recovery.

  2. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 9 2011 9:25:16
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    Well the good news is, if it was a bed bug you saw and you really just picked it/them up 1.5 weeks ago, if you have an infestation, it should be very light and easy to manage. Have you checked for other signs - fecal spots, blood or cast skins? In an early infestation, these signs may be difficult to find, but not impossible. Spend some time reading the FAQs and if at all possible, do your homework, find a reputable PCO and have them come inspect. - Best

  3. howdoiwin

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 9 2011 11:22:09
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    Bugsmustdie,

    I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment in your choice of username.

    And I thank you very much for your reply - it helps me feel just that much less alone in all this. There's no one for me to really talk about it with. Not even the friend because A) I don't want to cause a rift by placing blame on them and talk about it all the time (the way my brain thinks about it all the time), and also, B) I don't want to exacerbate THEIR own stress over this nightmare with my own worrying aloud so I do keep it all inside and it festers in my head like I imagine the begs are festering wherever in my home (I HOPE NOT!). I imagine all the places there could be eggs - in the tiny crevices in the hardwood flooring, in all the shoes I'd worn before I'd found out that I was in danger of this, in any of the many books and papers, in my underthings, on my very self, on the seats of the subway or cushion-y seats at restaurants or cafes, etc...

    I really hope I'm just overreacting and that there won't be an infestation (hopefullest thinking!) because recently life took a turn for a scary worst in another area of my life and that started my anxiety & depression disorder in the first place.

    I've taken precautions but now I feel like the infestation is just going to take place ON TOP of the precautions - i.e., on top of the mattress cover, on top of or around the sealed bags of clothing (and therefore can fall off on the way to do the laundry)... Should I have waited before doing all these things??? There are still a lot of things to deal with - books and shoes, mostly but frankly, if it's best practice, I wouldn't mind doing without.

    I am so sorry I talked your ear off in this post; I'm just a bundle of nerves these days and this sent me way over the edge. Thank you for the advice and for reaching out with even just those words of concerns and well wishes. The FAQs and all the posts here (and elsewhere on the internet) have definitely been very informative - albeit with "bad news" instead of good. They sound like the hardiest things I have ever heard of! I had only an inkling of what the deal with bedbugs was before.

    I send nothing but good wishes your way as well! And hope that we will all get to enjoy all else in life and the prospect of a bedbug-free future!

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 9 2011 19:20:24
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    Even if you think you're sure of your identification, can you post a photo?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. howdoiwin

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 9 2011 22:26:46
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    Nobugsonme,

    Unfortunately/ fortunately, I squashed the crap - erm, blood - out of the thing :(. But from pictures I'd seen before, and the hundreds more I've been looking at (want to know what to look for) during the past while and the timing of it (apparent age of the nymph corresponds with when I would've picked up bedbug(s) and/ or eggs with my friend), I am 99.99% sure :'(.

    Thank you for a spot of hope though, although I'm definitely not hopeful on this part of my life :(. I guess I will just have to wait it out and see... It is 12 degrees C (54 degrees F) where I am and I know this may extend their development time quite a bit...

    Sending well wishes and thank you for responding to me...!

  6. rs1971

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Oct 9 2011 23:11:02
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    If you can identify a bed bug nymph having previously seen just a few television spots with 9,999 out of 10,000 certainty that's pretty good. You are a natural entomologist. I've been reading this site almost daily for 9 months and have looked at 100s of photos of bed bug specimens and 100s of photos that people have posted here for identification and I couldn't come even close to that kind of certainty.

    Did you make this identification before or after you learned about your friend's infestation?

    -rs1971

  7. howdoiwin

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 10 2011 0:15:53
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    rs1971,

    After. This is all very recent. I can't believe how nonchalant I was about the possibility of this before. I hope to gosh that the suggestion in your message is right - that it's not - and that I am oh so wrong. That would truly make me the happiest girl in the world. I leave the .01% for a possibility of a miracle but I get sick even glancing at the crevices and cracks in my hardwood flooring :'(. I've helped battle a really bad fruit fly infestation and I know this is going to be nothing like that quick victory. What a difference between their life histories (pertaining to biological life cycles) too! Scary.

    I think it helped that it was right up near my face and ambiguity of what it could be was low. Clear-ish (but slightly opaque and beige-ish) around everywhere on its body and limbs except for the spot of red in its "belly." Did not look for the eyes.

    Also wanted to say thank you for your response and that I of course send many well wishes.

    PS- I will definitely be posting a photo if I ever see - and am able to catch another of these little buggers! The sleeplessness should help, I say sarcastically.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 10 2011 2:26:57
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    rs1971 - 3 hours ago  » 
    If you can identify a bed bug nymph having previously seen just a few television spots with 9,999 out of 10,000 certainty that's pretty good. You are a natural entomologist. I've been reading this site almost daily for 9 months and have looked at 100s of photos of bed bug specimens and 100s of photos that people have posted here for identification and I couldn't come even close to that kind of certainty.
    Did you make this identification before or after you learned about your friend's infestation?
    -rs1971

    I have to agree with rs1971.

    You seem pretty sure this is a third instar nymph.

    I have been running the site for 5+ years and could probably tell you if I saw a bed bug or close relative, but not tell you which life stage I saw unless it was a first instar or adult. And that took me a while.

    I would not feel confident that I was sure it was a bed bug as opposed to a bat bug.

    That's not to say you can't be a lot better than I am at identifying bed bugs, but I think it is really worth posting a photo if you see another.

  9. howdoiwin

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Oct 10 2011 5:23:54
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    Nobugsonme & rs1971,

    I definitely will! And my stating that it appeared to be a 3rd instar was as I mentioned a guess on the age but being very sure it was a bedbug :(. I hope somehow it wasn't a bedbug at all and I'm just overreacting... That would be much more preferable.

    I'm trying to plan in my head how to catch it without having to touch it - although I know my finger would be pretty darn good bait/ lure. I was just so scared of it getting away or losing sight of it because it was so small and and invading my privacy bubble (centimeters from my face), not to mention disgusted, that I instinctively just squashed the crap out of it.

    Right now, the anxiety and dread of a battle so big is just consuming me... To be truly honest, I had something else terrible happen in my life recently that I'm still not quite over (anxiety & depression) and I just feel like I don't have the strength or mental and emotional reserves to deal with this too. The seeming insurmountability of it all is getting at me when I already feel defeated.

    Warmest regards and best wishes to all as always.


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