What the heck is going on here???? Help please!(5 posts)
Ok, I am so confused and really just need some opinions. I can't ask my friends because I don't want to freak them!
I've been getting random bites, on and off, since August. yes, 3 months. I protected my mattress and did a huge search but saw no signs. My husband has never had any bites.
In early September, they found a bedbug at my work. I figured that I'd been getting my bites at work. Came home, did a crazy search that lasted like 5 hours (pulling everything apart, off the walls, magnifying glass & flashlight etc), didn't find anything, so felt better. They did two exterminations at work and the dogs have now cleared our office. .......... But I am still getting bites! and on places that aren't always exposed at work.
My bites are spaced out with days or weeks in between bites and never seem to increase in intensity. Which is why I'm SO confused!!!! I know you can't diagnose based on bites... but in case a description helps: the bites are always individual, look just like mosquito bites but are much brighter red and last for a week or two. Basically I think they look like bedbug bites but I only seem to get them randomly and only about 1 at a time.
Also, we do have carpet beetles at home. I found a lot in my bb search. Sometimes I hope I'm reacting to them..... I'm a runner and often sit on the floor and use a foam roller to stretch my calves.... 80% of my bites have been on my lower legs and I did find a carpet beetle on the foam roller once and rolling does create static electricity (& my husband who doesn't use the foam roller has no bites)..... but then I think I'm grasping at straws. After all, bbs were at my work. and I do sometimes get bites that are not on my legs. ah! Also, I have never had a bite on my torso... mostly only legs & sometimes arms.
It's literally driving me crazy. I can't handle it. I ordered some climbups (although if the bugs are in the bed, why would they come down?)
I'm going to list the pattern of my bites below. Can you guys tell me if you think it's bbs???/ PLEASE PLEASE give me your opinions! Thanks so much!
-- this morning -- woke up with 2-3 bites! first time I've ever woken up with bites & multiple. 1 on foot, 1 on arm, 1 on neck/chin (not positive that that one is a bite)
--- yesterday -- 1 bite on calf
--- NO BITES for 16 days
--- 1 bite forearm
--- NO BITES for 7 days
--- 2 bites on calf
-- NO BITES for 3 days
--- 2 bites, one on each foot
--- NO BITES for 2 days
--- 1 bite calf
--- NO BITES for 15 days
--- 1 bite forearm
--- 1 bite face? (unsure about this one)
--- NOT BITES for 6 days
-- 1 bite back
(and it continues in a similar pattern all the way back to the beginning of August, 3 months ago)
PLEASE HELP!! Give me your opinions please. I respect them so much. Thank you!
You might also look into passive monitors for your home. If the bugs aren't settled into someplace inside the protected bed, then they may decide to set up shop in the monitors if you have bed bugs at home. My understanding of the monitors is that that's how they work; the monitors offer a perfect harborage to the bugs, so if you place them on the bed and couch, it's like dropping the bugs dream home into their laps, so they're very likely to show up there.
It's also possible that you are reacting to carpet beetles since you know you have those.
You likely had carpet beetles while there were bed bugs at work, so it's hard to sort out whether the bites you got during that period were from one or both pests. (Keeping in mind of course that the carpet beetle reactions would have looked and itched like bites but technically aren't really bites).
If you live in a city that has good PCOs who know their way around bed bugs, if you're really still super anxious, you could hire a bed bug knowledgeable PCO to come out and do a thorough inspection. I'm fairly confident in my bed bug detection skills now, but that's largely because I got an infestation and had it for about 6 weeks before I realized it was bed bugs (since this was over 2.5 years ago, very few people where I live talked about bed bugs then, so I blamed fleas and mosquitos until I saw the bugs). I had bed bugs in all stages of life that I could see and inspect up close and personal in easy to find places; while my home was being set up for treatment, the PCO who knew bed bugs best walked me through the process of inspecting a suitcase, all the way down to the level of me holding up bits of stuff and saying "This is too big to be an egg, right?" and so on.
Not many people who haven't had the chance to look at a lot of bed bug stuff up close and personal are likely to feel that confident in their inspection abilities.
(Incidentally, that's also the reason I'm still here on the boards more than 2.5 years after my infestation was successfully treated. I use the photo posting about identification and the ongoing conversations about new developments in the field to keep up to date.)
I also think that a good dog/handler team can be a great resource. I've been a little hesitant to suggest them lately because the anecdotes on the boards here suggest that there's been an uptick in the number of bad dog/handler teams out there. A good team means that the handler will confirm a positive hit by the dog with visual inspection on the part of the human. If you can find a rec here or from one of the professionals here for someone in your area that has a good team, that would be another possibility.
If you're considering hiring a pro--either a PCO or a dog/handler team--I would definitely NOT just go out in a panic and call the first person you see. A good, experienced professional can help narrow the problem down very quickly. A bad professional is not going to do anything to assuage your anxiety even if you're clear--both because some bad pros are just out for the money, but also when you're anxious if you think the pro is bad or not knowledgeable enough, once you sense that, you're not going to trust that his or her assessment is any better than yours.
Last but not least, do you live in a single family home? How do you get to and from work? Are there any other places you go regularly or (based on your time line) a few times a week or every week that might also have bed bugs?
Sometimes when a person is getting bed bug bites (which I'm not saying these definitely are since every person's response to bites is different), it's because they're being bitten intermittently by bugs from an adjacent unit in a multiple unit building and/or because they are being bitten somewhere other than home. You've ruled out work, but are there other places that might also be the culprit?
I hope some of that information helps. I know it's frustrating not knowing. Hands down, that is one of the worst parts of dealing with a bed bug scare--whether it turns out to be bed bugs or not.
Since your workplace had bed bugs and got treated perhaps others in the workplace also suspect that they brought them home too. Maybe (big maybe, but worth a try) you could get them to pay for a dog to inspect your home like they did in the workplace or even split the cost with you.
Thanks guys for writing back! I really appreciate it!
Myworstfear, I WISH we could do that! They already made it clear to us, when it was first confirmed, that they can't pay for anyone's inspection or treatment because it can't be proved whether the infestation started at work or at that person's home, ya know? Totally stinks.
Buggy, thanks for your thoughts. I've read some of your other posts and you are so calming, so thanks, I appreciate it. I am thinking that maybe we should hire a good pro to come in and look (thankfully, or actually maybe not thankfully, I live in NYC so there are options)... but then I worry that because things are so spaced out, that it's a light infestation and that there is not enough evidence for the pro to find. So, he'll come and clear our place but we'll keep getting bites.... and then my husband, who already thinks I'm nutso over this, won't want me to hire another inspection later. Ahh, I dunno. In answer to your question, my routine is pretty similar --- subway to/from work, work, gym, that's about it most of the time, but yes, we are connected to another building. I live in an attached brownstone with neighbors on either side and below me. Do you think they could be migrating over?
Do you think that the time between bites seems too long? Or do you think I just have lazy bugs? (trying to have a sense of humor about it, although it really just makes me want to cry)
Exactly my situation, in fact my first 2 posting ask the same question "WHERE ARE THEY!!!"
I had the Thermapure treatment on September 7th. After getting bites for about 3 weeks, I had what they considered a light infestation (i'd seen only one dead bug and they only found a few after the treatment). I decided to bite the bullet and pay for it because they promised it'd be a one time deal, no major prep required. The bites never really stopped.
The treatment had a one month warranty which proved useless as I was never able to find a bug. They require a bug in order to retreat. I had 3 pest control companies come and do an inspection and they found nothing. They all told me that if I'm getting bitten this much I'd see signs of the bugs by now. Yet I see nothing, no fecal stains, no blood on sheets or clothing, no casings, nothing.
This has been an incredibly stressing and exhausting ordeal, not only financially, but emotionally and mentally. I don't feel like being in my place which I loved prior to this. I'd rather drive 80 miles every weekend to stay at my boyfriend's. I dream about bugs, about spreading bugs, about getting bugs.
I'm going to a dermatologist on Tuesday, not sure if he'd be able to tell me anything of help, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
The crazy thing is (and you have to admit, it's pretty crazy!) I hope he tells me I have crabs or scabbies, because those I can see and treat. God! isn't that a horrible thought?! but I'm so tired of this, and I really can't talk to anyone of my friends about it. BF thinks I'm nut too!
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