Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Stress or bites???

(7 posts)
  1. noruega

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Apr 11 2011 16:44:14
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    At the end of last week, I woke up to numerous tiny red itchy bumps all over my body. There doesn't seem to be a distinct pattern to them. I have never gotten them before, and they total about 50-60 of them, if not more. My first thought is bedbugs, so I searched all over my bed, under the mattress, the headboard, seams, box spring, and there is no evidence that I can find. No blood or fecal matter as well. My partner doesn't have anything, neither does my infant who sleeps in my room.

    I am under tremendous stress because I just learned my mother has advanced cancer, so it may be from stress, but a few bumps pop up each day. The first day was the worst, now there are very few bumps. Is it possible to just wake up with that many "bites" out of nowhere, and have no evidence of it? What should I do? I know most PCO's want evidence first, but if by chance it is bedbugs I don't want to become infested with my baby here!

    By the way, I live in Queens in a two family apartment building.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Apr 11 2011 20:15:14
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    noruega - 3 hours ago  » 
    At the end of last week, I woke up to numerous tiny red itchy bumps all over my body. There doesn't seem to be a distinct pattern to them. I have never gotten them before, and they total about 50-60 of them, if not more. My first thought is bedbugs, so I searched all over my bed, under the mattress, the headboard, seams, box spring, and there is no evidence that I can find. No blood or fecal matter as well. My partner doesn't have anything, neither does my infant who sleeps in my room.
    I am under tremendous stress because I just learned my mother has advanced cancer, so it may be from stress, but a few bumps pop up each day. The first day was the worst, now there are very few bumps. Is it possible to just wake up with that many "bites" out of nowhere, and have no evidence of it?

    Hi noruega,

    First, I am really sorry to hear about your mother's illness. It is true that this may be stress related or have other causes. More on ruling those out in a moment.

    In some cases, getting a lot of bed bug bites all at once means you were bitten by a whole lot of bed bugs. This happens when people sleep somewhere new, like a new apartment or hotel with a serious problem.

    However, if there were a lot of bed bugs -- enough to cause a whole lot of bites seemingly all at once -- then, without any treatment, you would expect to get the same amount of bites and more in the same time period in days and weeks after this. (Each bed bug is going to bite about once a week.) In your case, the subsequent bites have been fewer in number.

    I had a similar experience. In the course of a few days, I seemed to be covered in bites, seemingly out of the blue. After that, I got more bites, but they did not come in such numbers.

    In my case, I believe that I was bitten for a while by a smaller number of bed bugs, and that I did not react at first, and then reacted all at once to bites sustained over some time. Subsequently, I continued getting bites, but not as many all at once, presumably because there were never a lot of bed bugs present. Once triggered, the allergic reactions appeared as new bites occurred. That's my understanding, anyway.

    We don't know a lot about bed bug bites, but most people -- if they react allergically to bed bug bites at all -- seem to react to each bite as it occurs (albeit with a delay anywhere from hours to a week or so).

    And so I did not understand the scenario I described above was possible until an entomologist and PCO here (I seem to recall it was Sean Rollo of The Bed Bug Resource) who feeds a colony of bed bugs for research purposes mentioned that he did not react for a while and then reacted to multiple episodes of being bitten all at once.

    I am saying this is possible in your case (and having family members not react to bed bug bites is not unusual and does not mean they are not also being bitten).

    That said, it is fully possible there are other causes and you need to rule them out.

    If you are renting, you should tell your landlord and they should hire a PCO to inspect and treat if needed. (The new laws which just went into effect say they also have to have the other unit inspected and treated if necessary.)

    If you're an owner, I recommend a PCO be brought in to inspect both units thoroughly. (The other unit may also have occupants who do not react, or who may simply be unaware of the problem or mistake it for something else.)

    You should read this FAQ and can use detection methods described in its final section to confirm bed bugs. If money's tight, and you're the party responsible for costs, you may want to start with this. But if you have had that many bites, there should be signs a PCO can spot on careful inspection, and that may be the wisest move.

    (I am the admin and I also sent you an email about another matter, so please check the email listed in your profile! Thanks!)

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. noruega

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Apr 12 2011 9:55:03
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    Thank you for your response. I am going insane, I have been up since 3 am this morning, trying to look for signs, and I couldn't go back to sleep. I keep checking my baby for marks, and I don't believe I see anything. I am SO scared for it to be bed bugs, we can't afford the treatment, and my landlords are such nice people, I would hate to make them responsible for it. I don't think there are any new spots on me. With everything else going on in my life, this is the last thing I need. I am praying it is coming from stress or some kind of allergic reaction.

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Apr 13 2011 2:01:40
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    noruega - 16 hours ago  » 
    I am SO scared for it to be bed bugs, we can't afford the treatment, and my landlords are such nice people, I would hate to make them responsible for it.

    I am sympathetic to the landlords, but the law says they are responsible -- and if it is bed bugs, they (or whomever lives in the other unit) may actually have a problem of their own they aren't even aware of.

    The bed bugs may even have come from the other unit, so don't be too quick to assume you've "brought" them there.

    I would recommend getting a pro in to search. If you can't, then the Comprehensive Guides section of the Resources page has a lot of good materials with information on how to search for signs. If you do find anything, don't clean the evidence away or move stuff around -- you need the professionals to see it so they know where harborages are and can verify the problem is bed bugs.

    Keeping a log of new suspected bites and where and when they appear is a good idea, to help you assess if you're still getting new ones.

  5. noruega

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Apr 13 2011 15:38:37
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    I definitely see your point. I haven't gotten any new marks in a couple of days, and I searched some more for evidence and have not found a thing yet. If I get any more of what appears to be bites or see any evidence, I will call in a pro. I won't chance it getting even worse! And I will definitely let my landlords know of what is going on...

  6. noruega

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Apr 21 2011 9:20:18
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    So, it's been two weeks since the itchy bumps have happened, and still no sign of BB's. However, I am getting a tiny itchy bump on the inside of my feet every other day or so. I have a dog, so I'm starting to suspect fleas. At least, that's what I'm hoping for. Baby still has no marks, neither does my partner. No fecal matter, blood stains or cast skins that I can see around. I never in a million years thought I would pray for fleas.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Apr 21 2011 15:22:14
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    I hope it is fleas!

    Plug-in flea trap? Dog flea preventive/treatment (Advantage, Revolution, etc.)?


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