What comes first? Bites or blood?(5 posts)
Hi, I am new here and hope that I do NOT have bed bugs! I have no tell-tale signs - no bites, no blood stains, no visible bugs or bug debris. I actually have no visible signs of bed bugs at all.
HOWEVER, the reason I am here is because about one month ago I was on a vacation with my cousin. My cousin now has a diagnosed bed bug infestation in her apartment and suspects it originated from our hotel.
Ever since she warned me, I've been on the lookout but so far, so good...
My question is - if we don't know for sure the nasty critters hitch-hiked in our luggage from the hotel, do you think I should spend the time, money, and anxiety with hiring exterminators, bagging everything I own, etc, or wait it out and hope I am ok?
Will exterminators even do the job if there is no evidence?
A good exterminator would NOT do any work on a property unless they found signs of an infestation, these being:
- Faecal traces - "black marks" like felt pen stains
- Live samples - adult or babies all are important
- Cast skins - bed bugs shed their skins when they develop and these can also be a positive identifier
Bites themselves or blood stains on your sheets are actually not the best things to look for as these can be as a result of so many other things.
I would suggest that with a month since the potential exposure event you do a thorough check of the room and the bags that you took with you. Learn all about the signs of bed bugs from the FAQ's here or the gallery on sites like mine.
If you were not in the same room as your cousin then the chances are greater that you have not been exposed if you don't find anything, in which case consider yourself lucky but get into to habit of checking your home once a month. If you were in the same room then the chances of exposure are higher but it still does not mean that you have them.
With the greater risk if the room was shared you may want to consider a scent detection K9 to inspect the property if you are not confident that you have inspected and cleared all areas and surfaces in your bedroom and lounge.
All that aside the research and reading you do through this and other sites will help you all to check hotel rooms in future so that you can detect a problem before you get exposed to it.
Hoping you search and come back as clear, don't forget to keep the thread updated even if its only an OK I am clear in a few weeks or months time.
Good luck hunting.
Bed Bugs Limited
Thank you for your quick response! I must admit reading through everything alternately overwhelms me with the possible amount of work ahead of me but also alleviates some (just some) panic.
Unfortunately, I think I may have spoken too soon about not having any signs... Just about 20 minutes ago I caught this little bugger crawling across my bare mattress. I caught it in some tape to preserve it in case I need to show my landlord and/or an exterminator.
Can you (or anyone else out there) help ID? Is this a bed bug? I can provide some higher resolution photos, I think.
It looked black crawling across the bed but held under light it is brown. It is a bit smushed unfortunately.
View on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/9611798@N08/
No that one is not a bed bug.
I am not sure what it is but I dare say a friendly entomologist will be along before too long to give an opinion.
Yes it can be daunting all the information that is out there about bed bugs which is why this site is such a great resource. The frequently asked questions are one of the best resources available and a great education.
Keep the sample to either show a pest controller or entomologist and keep a record of when and where you found it.
So far so good though, its good not to panic because that is when people tend to do all the wrong things, speed is not as important as getting it right the first time.
We brought BB back from Peru or Equador on a vacation where we were with 24 other friends, including my son and his fiance. Not one single person on that trip got BB but us. We strongly suspect we just got unlucky possibly in a boat cabin, hotel room, or in the baggage compartments of the planes, trains, etc. So, don't freak out! If you have no signs and your friend does, hopefully you escaped the nightmare as all of our companion travelers did!!!!!!!! Good Luck.
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