Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

Unhappy Discovery.

(13 posts)
  1. tiredofbugbites

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 10:51:50
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    Hi There,

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Shortly after we moved into a new apartment, I started ending up with major, itchy bug bites--but usually only when (or shortly after) I was sitting on the sofa in the livingroom.

    Eventually I did start actually seeing the occasional small reddish-brown bug crawling on the sofa and/or me. Sometimes during the day, sometimes at night. Not sure what it is, but after happening upon this site, I'm hoping someone here may be able to identify it. (I, of course, am scared that they probably are bedbugs, though I'm surprised I'm not actually seeing them in my bedroom.

    Most of the ones I'd seen were just under an 1/8th of a inch long (and I kept freaking out before I could catch one to photograph), but this morning I found a teeny baby one crawling on me (which freaks me out even more), and I held it together long enough to tape it down. (Apologies for the extra debris on the tape--I live with a cat, so there's always stray cat hairs around.)

    Here it is: What is This???

    Please let it be something other than a bed bug.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 11:06:40
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    Hi tired..

    looks like a bb to me...so sorry to say that...

    now, i'm not an expert and others here are and they'll weigh in...but if my life was on the line and i had to hazard a guess to save my life? i'd say bedbug.

    ugh! (Gosh, i hope i'm wrong like i normally am)

  3. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 11:08:01
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    and by the way...it looks like this bug has been feeding.

  4. LVK9

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 11:14:49
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    Unfortunately It's a bed bug.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 19:41:26
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    Bed bug nymph, pale body color, and some digested blood can be seen in it.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult in all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology.
  6. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Jul 11 2010 19:52:04
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    Shortly after we moved into a new apartment, I started ending up with major, itchy bug bites--but usually only when (or shortly after) I was sitting on the sofa in the livingroom.
    Eventually I did start actually seeing the occasional small reddish-brown bug crawling on the sofa and/or me. Sometimes during the day, sometimes at night. Not sure what it is, but after happening upon this site, I'm hoping someone here may be able to identify it. (I, of course, am scared that they probably are bedbugs, though I'm surprised I'm not actually seeing them in my bedroom.

    Just wanted to point out from your post that a bed bug isn't an insect that is restricted to a bed and isn't necessarily nocturnal as you have learned. The reddish brown insect sound like an adult bug and would have been larger than the picture that you supplied. It appears that your specimen is not an extremely young nymph (a first instar nymph) such as what would have hatched from an egg, so you have even smaller insects to locate. First instars that have not yet fed would be around 1/32 inch long and pale with no dark areas inside them.

    If you didn't have bed bugs in your original apartment, the one you just moved into must have them and they began infesting your couch, possibly because you stay on it during their feeding times. Maybe previous tenants had a schedule similar to yours and your husbands.

  7. tiredofbugbites

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 12 2010 6:54:44
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    Oy.

    loubugs, thanks for the additional information.

  8. Jimmy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 13 2010 11:41:48
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    Yes, this is a bed bug.

    Bed bugs don’t just live in beds, they live anywhere where they can feed (which is usually a bed because they tend to come out at night and therefore can feed on a sleeping person).

    Bed bugs hide away in the deepest, darkest cracks where you can’t see them. Inside beds, around the edge of carpets near beds, in bedside cabinets, in lamp fittings… they will live anywhere and generally only come out when you’re asleep.

    In your case, they seem to be living in (or near) your couch, so instead of feeding at night when you’re asleep, they’re likely feeding opportunistically whenever they can get food.

    Bed bugs generally breed in one room and don’t tend to spread from room to room unless you happen to move something between rooms that they’re living in. Or unless you have a major infestation. Bed bugs don’t generally travel more than about 10 feet from where they live to get their food (you). They’re no point in them living in rooms where they can’t feed, and they very rarely infect bathrooms or kitchens for that reason.

    The good news for you is that if they ARE only in your living room (and not in your bedroom, as you suspect) then your life will be a lot easier than most people who suffer from them. You can get your living room treated without having to sleep in there with the chemicals. It also means you don’t have to worry about them biting you while you’re asleep, which causes a lot of people a lot of worry and is quite unpleasant.

    I would recommend getting a pest control officer in to advise you on what to do, and in the meantime staying out of the living room.

    But also, there are a few basic things you should know at this stage:

    • Do not throw your couch away! (Not yet, anyway.) It’s possible that they only live in the couch, but quite unlikely. Especially given the fact that they were probably living in the room when you moved in. If you immediately replace the couch (like many people replace their beds) the bugs will just move back into the new one, because they’re still living in the room around the couch.

    • From this point onwards, you must treat your living room as an infected room, and take great care what you take in and out of that room. Anything in that room (particularly furniture) is potentially carrying bed bugs. Remember that they are experts at hiding. They’re flat, and thin enough to crawl in the tiniest of cracks and crevices. They are also almost see-through when they haven’t eaten so very hard to see. They can also crawl up high and are sometimes found in light fittings on the ceiling. Everything in that room will, at some stage, need to be either cleaned, thrown away, or declared safe by your pest control officer. Otherwise you will just be spreading the problem, which is the worst thing you can do.

    • If you go in that room, be aware that a bug could crawl onto you and you could take it into another room (which would be a disaster). It’s normally not likely to happen with a regular infection because bed bugs generally come out at night (usually late into the night, a few hours before sunrise). However, in your case, they are having to feed in the day due to it being your living room, which puts you at a greater risk of them crawling on you and you taking them into another room. So I’d be very careful about this if I were you and just not go in there. I’d set up a makeshift living room in some other room for the time being, using different furnature and a different TV.

    • Bed bugs only eat you. They don’t feed on food like many other pests, so it has nothing at all to do with cleanliness.

    • Bed can survive without food for months (maybe up to 18 months in some cases), however, they can only breed/reproduce if they’re feeding (on you). I believe they need one meal for each of their 5 life cycle stages, so unless they’re eating you, they can’t continue to multiply.

    • To a large degree, you can detect where they’re living by their droppings. They look like dark brown/black ink spots. Although A) You can’t always find them because where they live is not always accessible (could be inside furnature). and B) Just because a piece of furnature is free of droppings doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be treated as infected. They can be hiding on anything (although it’s generally in the darker crevices away from light, so they’re less likely to live in, say, a mobile phone you keep on top of the sofa. And more likely to live in something tucked away behind something or on the floor.

    • BEd bugs arne’t intelligent and they don’t see humans and recognise them like we recognise things. They only act on instinct, like moths to a flame. They can detect our body heat, and our breath, and the sound of a sleeping human, and they’re drawn to that.

    • When a pest control officer sprays a room, it’s often necessary to draw them out to poison them which involves letting the person carry on sleeping in the room (as the person is the bait). In the case of a room like a living room, it’s sometimes an idea to put something hot/warm in the room overnight like a heater to draw them out, as they’re drawn to the body heat.

    • Don’t let your pets in that room!

    That’s all I can think of right now. The main thing I suppose is not to panic because when you know a few things about them you can feel more empowered. Most of all: if they can’t feed, they can’t breed. They need you to survive, so if they can be isolated from you, you can eradicate them.

  9. Bed Bug Epidemic

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 13 2010 12:02:26
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    sorry to chime in...
    the worst thing you can do is move out of the infected area.
    they will absolutely follow you, somehow.

    I just went through this.

    Unfortunately, you should stay IN the infected area and OUT of uninfected areas. so not to spread. Making it easier for you to treat.

    I had only in bedrooms. Living room is three floors down on the other side of the house. over a month later and guess what...
    they're in my couch where we are sleeping now.

  10. Jimmy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 13 2010 13:13:54
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    The above poster advises that you stay in the infected area and keep out of uninfected areas.

    I disagree, for 5 reasons:

    1. First of all, no one can stay out of uninfected areas! A person can’t live in one room alone. So that is impractical.

    2. Staying in the infested area is generally advisable when it’s a bedroom because of cross- contamination: people tend to take things into the other room (bedding, clothing) that may have eggs on it and infest another room, so the problem starts all over again. But in this person’s case it’s a living room. If you avoid the living room and use another room instead, and you’re strict about not taking anything out of (or into) the infested room, then contamination isn’t an issue.

    3. Bedrooms tend to be close together so if you move next door to where you were sleeping, there’s a higher chance of them following you next door. But with a living room there’s likely much more distance between that room and other living/sleeping areas, so less likely they will migrate if left alone.

    4. Finally, in a bedroom the bugs tend to come out when you’re asleep, eat, then go back to their hiding place, meaning they’re less likely to be physically on you when you get up and leave the room in the morning. But in this person’s case, they were crawling around on the sofa at all times of the day, and therefore there’s a much higher chance of the bugs being physically on them when they left the room. I just would not want to go in there.

    5. The other reason people say not to move rooms is that once you’ve sprayed the poison, you need to draw them out and act as bait so they will come out and be poisoned. While this still applies to a living room, and you would ideally draw them out by inhabiting the room, I think the risk is too great of them crawling on you and being taken into another room. So I would advise using some kind of heater as bait (someone told me even something like a hot water bottle will do the trick).

    Some points to remember:

    A) The number one reason for bed bugs to spread between rooms is by being carried from room to room, either on furnature, clothes, or people. The best thing to do is not to take anything from room to room (including yourself).

    B) Bugs generally tend to stay in one room and can happily survive for months without feeding, just waiting for you to return.

    C) Bugs don’t crawl very far to find food. You only generally find them within 10 feet of where they get their food (normally the bed), possibly up to 20 feet at most. They live near where they eat. They have no reason to move farther afield, unless you move them

    D) Bed bugs don’t “go looking for food” at night. If there’s a human nearby they can detect that (by our body heat, our movement, our breath, and our sleeping noises) and will crawl to it. But if they can’t sense you, they won’t come looking for you. Generally speaking, they only feed if there is food nearby.

    By the way, I’m not a professional. This is just information I’ve learnt for myself. Since I had bed bugs last year, I’ve done a lot of reading about them, have a fair bit of experience now, and have spoken to pest control officers about them at length.

  11. Ratorja

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 13 2010 15:47:06
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    Wow, I haven't see so much conflicting information in one thread. Our bed bugs started on our couch, but since we didn't use it very often, they moved into our bedroom as well. It's the same thing as if you move from your bed to sleeping on the couch; they WILL eventually follow you for food.

  12. bugnut

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 13 2010 17:56:23
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    Jimmy -

    How did you get rid of them?

  13. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 13 2010 18:40:26
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    so Jimmy...when i assumed that what caused my skin reaction two weeks ago in the livingroom (where i had seen carpet beetle larvae before treatment) was the hairs of the cp larvae that remained on the fabric of the sofa cushions and pillows,....i could have been wrong? It could have been bbs causing the skin reaction? In other words for the prior 45 days or so when i did not go much into the livingroom and when i did not at all sit on the sofa and during which time i suffered absolutely no skin reactions, the bbs would not have sought me out in the bedroom?

    I was feeling so comfortable and confident assuming that bbs (if any were in the livingroom) would have certainly found me in the bedroom if they were hungry..It's not that far from the living room but it's more than 25 feet, for sure...(i'm really bad at distances and stuff like that)...bbs' won't go that far looking for a meal?

    ...maybe i should have gotten that second treatment after all....


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