Suspicious of Bed Bugs, but no proof yet...(3 posts)
I have an interesting situation, I hope some of you might be able to help with. Basically my gf went to stay with a friend over Christmas break to see her friends new kid. Apparently last week her friend found out they had Bed Bugs and confirmed that the PCO killed about 4 or 5. So I'm hoping that means that their infestation was small.
Now the reason we're suspicious here is because she left her suitcase in her friends bedroom for about a day (over two months ago). And now she is complaining that she has bites, however when I look at them they just look like a stress rash (which she tends to get because she has a bad anxiety problem). I didn't see any individual marks that look like bites. We also have spiders in our rafters around the house and they bite us occasionally.
Despite all this I still want to take precautions and at least catch one of these things, so I don't cause a panic by telling our landlord about it, if it is indeed a false alarm. Right now we have our metal framed futon (which we sleep on), pulled away from the wall and all furniture/tables/night stand/etc, we did a thorough sweep of the mattress pad (which fortunately doesn't include a box spring), isolated it with a mattress cover (the zipper is nice and tight, so nothing is sneaking through that). Then we washed and dried all of our bedding. Finally we put the legs of the bed in four shatter proof plastic cups, filled the cups about two inches deep with 1/2 cooking oil, and half 71% Alcohol (didn't have any 99% around), and greased the already slippery metal legs with Vaseline. We also just ordered 4 climbup traps, which we will replace the cups with when they arrive
So my question is, if we don't see any dead or caught bugs in these cups (or climbups) within say two weeks, should we feel comfortable, and consider this a false alarm? Or should we still tell our landlord and at least try to get him to pay for one of those BB sniffing dogs? Oh we also have four cats, and they tend to sleep on the bed. BB's don't ride around on small animals like fleas do they? That would make it really hard to isolate things if that were the case. Also I know that BB's will feed on other animals, but wouldn't they try to go for one of us first, and in the process get stuck in our trap?
Thanks very much for any help you guys can offer. This is something I want to find out about asap, before we take the next steps and start bagging/washing/isolating everything.
I've been pouring over this site since Monday and have found a wealth of great advice, so I trust you guys will have some excellent thought for us as well.
Hi. Call a pro and get him to inspect. It will be the best money you've ever spent. $300 for peace of mind. Don't treat for bed bugs until you are SURE you have them. It's a huge pain in the butt, as I'm sure you've surmised by reading this blog. I started getting "bites" in 2007 and called a PCO called Pest Away. They asked me a few questions, determined I had bed bugs, sold me a bunch of bug spray, had me bag up everything in my bedroom, and sprayed my apartment. They didn't inspect before spraying. I'd never actually seen a bug, but I couldn't figure out where else I'd be getting "bites" on my chest and back in the winter. The "bites" kept coming back, however. I sprayed Bedlam all over my bed on occasion throughout 2007, 2008, 2009. I had another PCO come and spray five times in winter 2008-2009. And I had "bites" again this year. I finally called John Furman of Boot a Pest (Killer Queen on bedbugger) and he inspected. The best $300 I ever spent. After years of being absolutely positive that I had bed bugs, I've learned that I never had them. They would have left traces - fecal stains. John found no traces. He said they probably would have bitten exposed skin instead of crawling under my t-shirt to bite my back and chest. John suggested I see a dermatologist. He also mentioned that Victoria Secret is being sued by women who got hives from formaldehyde in their bras. I stopped wearing my Victoria Secret bras and I've been "bite/hive" free for a week.
PCOs should make it their policy to inspect before spraying pesticide all over someone's apartment. I'm sure there are a lot of people like me who make a false diagnosis.
Hey False Alarm,
Good news for some to hear. Thank you! I'm glad I was able to help .... I hope that was it .. and you can move on ... Best of luck to you! KQ
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