Seasonal bug problem, or re-introduction?(10 posts)
Last summer, just about this time, I became concerned about bedbugs because my daughter was waking up with lots of bites. They were often in a line, though not close together. I had a K9 out and they alerted to her mattress and chair, but didn't find any evidence. I had a 2nd K9 out who also alerted in her room, though not to her mattress or chair, and also didn't find any evidence. I had KillerQueen out, who told me I had no bugs, but a big mosquito problem.
I couldn't shake the feeling so we shelled out lots of money for thermal remediation. After the first time, the K9s still alerted so we did it again. That was in October. The bites stopped. The seasons changed.
Skip ahead to this summer. By some miracle, we've had almost no mosquitoes. My daughter was bitten one night early in the summer, but I had seen a mosquito in the house so didn't worry about it. Still, I wanted confirmation that everything was truly OK and I could move on from this madness. Against the advice of most everyone, all of whom want me to get on with our lives, I decided I should have the K9s out one more time. I figured if we've had a problem since last October, by June they should definitely be able to find evidence. They cleared the house. That was 4 weeks ago.
Two weeks later both of my daughters woke up with bites. Note: they share a room. They each had 7 or 8 bites. Exactly a week later they woke up with bites again. Not all of the bites showed up in the morning, they were appearing throughout the day as well. My oldest ended up with 7 bites in a line from her palm to her shoulder. Also one on her face. My youngest had 8 across her back (it's hot, she slept shirtless), one on her foot, 2 on her arm. Two days later, a few more bites.
So.... I haven't seen many mosquitoes this year, but I can't discount the possibility. Still - this many bites in one night?
Could we have another biting pest? One that becomes active in hot humid weather? Like I said, our bites last year started at almost exactly the same time.
Could the K9 have introduced bed bugs? The handler mentioned that the day before they were in a place CRAWLING with bugs. I know they don't groom them between. Still, if they did introduce a bug or eggs, what are the odds they'd start to bite both daughters, in different beds, on the same night? And so many bites right away?
Will this paranoia ever end?
Do you have indoor house-plants? Tried to find my old original post to link to no avail, so I'll try to sum up my own situation very briefly:
Son was away on a mission trip and actually was infested with bedbugs badly where he was.
He came home and I was super paranoid about him bringing them with him, particularly since I'd started getting some bites (even some in a line) and thought perhaps my hubby could have separately brought some home from a business trip to Central America the previous summer.
Hubby dismissed me as paranoid, especially after doing multiple thorough searches and finding NO evidence. He wasn't anti-getting pest-control, however did not want to spend money unnecessarily.
I did buy some Nuvan pest strips and upon our son's return promptly put contents of all his luggage into sealed bags containing these strips out in our garage (since February...as a side note I finally opened them YESTERDAY and got a bit paranoid again after finding a dead adult bedbug on his "crossing the Equator" certificate sitting there on the second "s"! At least the sucker was DEAD! ).
As mentioned earlier, I was getting some bites during the spring. The bites I received were in lines (mainly on my arms, with a few "singles" on my lower legs) and took WEEKS to heal (VERY itchy). Hubby is a trouble shooter (comes with his job) and started systematically looking for what could be "Bugging" us. Last year, we'd had an unusually high number of gnats on a plant downstairs and we went through about a month of getting bites but at the time did not correlate it to any "bed bug" possibility because I'd never even heard of bed bugs other than the "good night, sleep tight..."
At any rate, in our case it turned out that we had gnats laying eggs in our plants. Certain types of female gnats will seasonally feed on humans in order to get protein for their eggs. These gnats will sometimes lay their eggs in houseplants.
So, having made the correlation through net searching (and finding gnats on the plants) we put all our indoor plants out on the deck and the problem literally disappeared. No more bites (except the VERY occasional mosquito bite which comes with the territory of living in the south and living near a creek).
I still am paranoid (I'd rather use the term "well-informed" because knowledge IS power on how to deal with known infestations, preventing an infestation, or stopping a small infestation from becoming a major one).
Now I do WEEKLY searches by the baseboards, under the sofa, on the sofa, under sofa cushions, around the seams of cushions, zippers...same thing w/our encased mattress/ boxsprings, checking on, in, and under dresser drawers, etc. All our winter clothing and extra bedding is vaccuum sealed in a hot attic. In my extreme paranoia, I took the opportunity to clean out all our junk in the night stand drawers. I also culled a lot of clothing we didn't really need (saves space and would make dealing with bb's easier, IMO). I also wash the sheets weekly and vacuum thoroughly on and UNDER all beds and seating areas on a weekly basis. Hubby still thinks I'm being OVER paranoid, lol.
OK...enough of me rehashing our problem. Is it possible you have a seasonal problem with gnats? Again, we got bit last year at around the same time and it eventually went away. THIS year, we are pretty confident we found the source. Hubby never contacted a pest control professional, however, so we never identified the type of gnat.
Maybe gnats COULD be your problem. Especially since you live in a humid climate. For peace of mind, you probably want to get a good PCO to come out and inspect because you can't rule OUT bedbugs until you identify another source.
Great read, Paranoid in Ga- I enjoyed that and really good info to now know! Also very happy for you it was not bedbugs.
Hope this helps nervousaboutbedbugs too because I was at a loss with that one. I know good K9 detection can be tricky. I never called to have it done because I don't feel I'd ever trust the results!
That's really a great idea and something I'm going to check out. Last year when this happened we put glue traps down near on computer (both husband and I felt we were being bitten when we sat there but never saw anything). The only thing we caught were gnats, and we didn't think much of it.
Tomorrow I'm going to get more glue traps. If I catch gnats this time I'm going to do more research on them. Oh, please let it be that.
Right now as we speak my daughter has 4 bites going up her leg. A cluster of who knows what on her face. My son has two bites on his arm. It's been hot and humid where we live. A half mile down the road there is a small lake. The back of my property backs the woods. I know w/o even looking right now there are probably at least 4-5 dead various small biting midges in each of their rooms, maybe a small mosquito or two and possibly a biting fly. I clean like a mad person and our house is spotless yet I always find a few of these buggers around.
Saying this to try and calm your nerves. I've been there and it gets better. It's hard to get over the fear and anxiety. It takes time, but one must allow yourself to heal and take a step back whenever possible. In time you will further and further distance yourself. Don't use another k9 service. You have the knowledge now enough that if you were infested or to get infested in the future you could find evidence yourself in no time. For now, take the $$ and spend a nice day out with the family and take lots of pictures. Time goes by so fast not to and there's no getting that precious time back.
The recovery time after having bed bugs is 6 years. Not a fact .. just a number I estimate.
Please understand that when I cleared your house after an inspection ... you did not have bed bugs. I do this everyday, day in and day out going on 5 years now if we count the time with a company I worked for prior to opening my business. I have not had a single person call into my office or hear otherwise that I have missed on an inspection. Have faith in that.
You Do Not Have Bed Bugs!!!! And You Never Did! You have to stop micro-managing you and your kids skin .. You live in the "county" and for the 5 minutes I spent in your driveway I never in my life got bit by so many bugs as did that time.
I don't mean to sound harsh at all .. I just wish you would move away from thinking you have some kind of problem inside your home that needs treatment. Its outdoor pests - getting inside and biting you and the kids.
Please, please, please .. stop worrying.
Paula and KQ -
Thank you both for your replies. You're definitely right about the anxiety. My husband told me yesterday that I need to see someone about this paranoia, and he's right.
The incredible thing is that over the winter I had come to realize that we, in great likelihood, never had the bugs. KQ didn't find any, and he really looked. Even looked at the chair that the K9 alerted to. So why, as my husband asked, did I want K9s out again? Who knows.
Last week I told him that 'Yes, I now agree that we never had them last year. But what if the K9s brought them in this year and now we do have them?'. That was one cold night (in the middle of a heat wave!).
K9's will not be bringing them in ... thats about all the credit I'll give a dog .. doing a man's/woman's job. It's just such a long shot .... I spend more time searching, crawling, and getting into things and have never taken them home with me in five years. That's for both inspection and treatment.
I wish you could see my wife and son right now because they were both in my father in-laws pool yesterday and they have multiple bites from mosquitos and no-seeums.
Trust me ... You are trying to protect you and your family and I respect that. But you will drive yourself crazy and you shouldn't. I would try your best to remove yourself from the world of bed bugs and stop reading about them here or elsewhere. Close this chapter and move onto something positive for you and the kids. You don't need help .. you need closure from what you thought was a nightmare but wasn't.
Best of luck ..... I hope to never see you here again =)
what KillerQueen said.
good luck in ridding your place of mosquitos, gnats, flies and all other summer pests.
hey you know, a friend of mine takes garlic caps everyday and gets less bitten by mosquitoes... when I had fleas (yeah I attract every bloodsucking thing in a mile) i tooke brewer's yeast and it did help (actually my friend uses that for her 2 cats and dog as the only anti flea treatment and even though there's in the country they nver get any).
Maybe you could all take a cocktail of brewer's yeast and garlic every summer (it takes 2 weeks at least to be fully effective) and see if the bites lessen !
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