World exclusive: Bitten by bed bugs on purpose! (Part 3)

by S on April 20, 2007 · 77 comments

in bed bug bites, bed bug research, information and help, other causes of itching, photos, signs and symptoms of bed bugs

Editor’s note from Nobugsonme: As promised, the much-anticipated third part of S’s and G’s Bitefest 2007. You can click on any of the photos to open the photo on, then click “all sizes” to see it at its largest. If you missed part one, it’s here. Part two is here. We promise to keep you posted as these bites develop.


By 3 pm on the second day, the two bites were fully swelled and majorly itchy.


Waaaaaay itchier than the “bites” I’ve been feeling for the past two months. This is definitely making me doubt myself, in the weirdest way – was it all a joke? It’s hard to pin down exactly when my “really itchy” bites stopped and my “less itchy” bites began, but it was probably at least two months ago. Were the past two months all “phantom bites?”

I don’t know the answer to this. For example, there was one time back in January when I saw a nymph run across my hand. I looked down because I felt a hot itch on my knuckle, and then I saw the bed bug. So I’d say that was a “confirmed bite.” That bite itched, for sure, but not like these. It swelled up for about two days, and then it faded to a small pink non-itchy bump on my knuckle.

Perhaps that bug was interrupted halfway through its bite, and that’s why the bite never got huge. Or perhaps different locations on the body elicit different bite responses. Last year, when we first had bed bugs (for about two weeks in April 06) I had bites all up the inside of my arm, in similar locations to these new test bites. And those were just as big and itchy as these. So maybe the inside of your forearm is just a particularly sensitive, reactive location, and your knuckle, not so much.

Either way, these bites are raging. They itch all day and night. There is definitely a difference. I know you guys know. It’s the kind of itch where you want to chew your own arm off.

By 11 am on the third day, I’d say the adult bite is slightly larger.


But the nymph bite is still far larger than any of my recent “bites.” All the skin around the adult bite is pink, in like a 2-inch circle. They are both swelled like crazy, and they both itch like mad. It makes me wonder, does the bites’ proximity to each other make a difference? I am not about to go back for another Bite Fest, but the new questions I’d love to answer are:

1. Does the length of time the bug takes, make a difference? What if it only feeds for say, 5 or 10 seconds?

2. Does the location on the body make a difference?

3. Does bites’ proximity to each other make a difference?

I know this sounds like a long shot, but the only way I could see that I’m still getting actual, new bites, is if bed bugs (adult or nymph) are biting me for like five seconds, on “tough” parts of my body, and not near each other. I guess they could be biting me for five seconds while I sit on the couch, but I don’t feel like my face and neck are “tougher” than my inner arm.

And still, zero reaction to the cast skin.
I’m continuing to monitor that arm as well as the rest of my body. So far, incidentally, nothing on the rest of my body either.

So my initial conclusion is that while I’m NOT hypersensitive to chitin, I’m also NOT currently being bit by bedbugs. What is my skin doing? I have no freaking idea. But hey. As long as it’s not new bed bugs, I’m fine.

Last night, for the first time in four months, I experienced a brief moment – maybe ten seconds – where I actually accepted that this might be over. I was putting my bag into a ziploc as I came in the door, and I pictured not doing that. The feeling went away, sadly, almost right away! But this feeling rushed over me that for the first time, I actually believed that this might indeed be over.

Baby steps.

These are the marks S has gotten on her skin for the last 2-3 months before Bitefest began. She now thinks they were “bites” (in our parlance here at, “bites” are marks someone is not sure are actual bites from bed bugs).


Editor’s note
from Nobugsonme:

I actually started composing S a long email on Wednesday, posing just some of those questions she notes above. And I did not send it–deciding to wait and comment after the last installment. While I hope very much that S is bed bug-free, I do want us to be skeptical about the conclusions that can be drawn from this limited experiment.

What I think S and G proved was this:

(a) G can be bitten and not react (at least for three days), and

(b) S reacts the same to nymph and adult bites (at least on her arm), and

(c) Nymph bites and adult bites, at least sometimes, look the same.

I know my conclusions will seem stingy to many, but if we want solid information, we need more research to be done.

Remember, S said a few weeks ago she wants to keep people from getting caught up in “groupthink,” the sharing of incorrect information among members of a group until everyone believes it? One fact that was becoming gospel among many bed bug sufferers around the internet was that nymph bites are small and adult bites are large. I was always skeptical of this idea, since we just did not have any proof. I am immensely grateful that S tested and shattered that belief. Doesn’t mean they can’t be different sizes in different circumstances, mind you, but on S’s arm, this week, they were not. That’s quite a nugget of information.

As S says above, “…perhaps different locations on the body elicit different bite responses.” In my own experience, I know this to be true. I have not undergone testing, but I am fairly certain. Bites on my face always looked the same: less swollen, looking like pimples but with a distinct bedbuggy itchiness that set them apart. Nevertheless, they never itched like bites on my back, shoulders, or elsewhere. They often faded quickly. Those on my toes were always tiny, but again, characteristically itchy.

It’s possible that length of time you were bitten may matter, that distance between bites may matter (both possibilities S also posits), that even variables such as your own immune system, the degree of histamine reaction at that time or to that bug’s saliva, even how dry your skin is, or how much water you drank in the day, all of this may be a variable. I am sure there are other factors that are possible. My point is, we don’t know: this is the tip of the iceberg.

I think S is probably bed bug free as she suggests. I just don’t think she can rule out that the other marks in the composite photo were from bed bugs. Both possibilities can co-exist at the same time, in the form of bed bugs who just hadn’t crossed the poison yet when they bit her–they could now be dead, though they bit her. That’s my hypothesis, but we won’t get to test it. Let’s hope all S’s and G’s only future bed bug bites, if any, are by choice– “from a can,” if you will.

Thanks again to S. and G for sharing this amazing experience, and for the nugget of wisdom we’ve gotten from it.
Thanks also to our readers, for coming back to parts two and three!

1 wantmyskinback April 20, 2007 at 9:45 am

Hi S, G, NBugs, and everyone. Again…this is great information.
S, These little white welts, that are shown in the photos that Nobugs posted at the end of your 3rd installment — I think that there might be a connection, in that your body developed too many histimines from being shocked by the assault of repeated bites and now flares up at any slight touch or scratch…It’s also hypersensitive due to the stress of what you went through. The skin is the largest ORGAN in our bodies, and our mental and emotional state can always be detected on our skin— it is clear to me that the “bites” were an after effect. They will go away…

2 Bugalina April 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

I think there is something to be said for the fact that the bugs that bit S were allowed to stay on her as long as they wanted..( an all you can eat buffet!) ..If the person moves during sleep the bugs stop sucking and move onto another site..this is what occurs with the , breakfast lunch dinner, bite pattern…The more blood they suck from a location would logically cause a greater reaction..I know S who already deserves top nomination into the Bed Bug Hall of Fame, is not going back for more torture but it would be informative to see what would happen if the biting bug were agitated and made to stop..and observe the behavior and the bite reaction… someone said that their facial bites were smaller and did not itch as much…This is what happened to me. Thank you S…

3 willow-the-wisp April 20, 2007 at 10:38 am

Well all above postulates seems plausible in the entire part three thread. S., I am just so amazed at how you can even think straight enough to pose such sound ideas while still so itchy. I don’t know what is planned next, but if you were to eventually take measures to reduce the swelling and the itching, that too could become part of this experiment: A) does a cool compress help? B) Does rubbing the exact opposite side of the body decrease the itching at all? (Nursing Science has proven this likely.) C) Will one topical help better than another? And D); What about follow up on oral meds?

I can relate totally to the feeling that … for just a little while I’ve felt … I am bed bug free.

4 hopelessnomo April 20, 2007 at 11:52 am

Congratulations, S., for this extraordinary adventure, and heartfelt thanks. (Thanks to G. as well of course. Although I must say, this is S. we’re talking about, right? so being nice and sweet and supportive to S. has to be a un-difficult, yes G.?)

I really hope this is the beginning of the end of your bedbug troubles.

The other variable that might affect how angry and itchy bites get is how many other bites the body is contending with at the same time, perhaps.

I have a question for S., how long after the bites did they begin to itch? I know you said they itched the morning after, but was the experiment early in the previous day? If you’d received these bites in the course of a night, you might have started feeling them itching when? In the late afternoon?

Thanks for your courage, S.

5 S April 20, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Thanks guys. I’ll try to respond to all these questions.

We were bit at around 5 pm on Monday. They started itching by 7 am Tuesday. So that’s 14 hours later.

By the third day (Wednesday) they were so itchy I could barely concentrate on work. I wanted to saw my arm off at the elbow. I ended up buying Benadryl, or actually the CVS substitute for Benadryl Allergy, which is an antihistamine. The label says nothing about skin itch, it says it’s for runny noses and stuff, but when I told the pharmacist I had some itchy bug bites, that’s what she recommended.

I do think the pills help, at least a little. The two bites itched NONSTOP all day Wednesday, but then Thursday I took the Benadryl and they calmed down a bit. Four hours later, they were back to full itch, so I took it again.

Willow, I tried scratching my opposite arm in the same spot, and no, it didn’t cause my bites to feel any different. My arm is so itchy, though, that even when I lightly rub the OTHER SIDE of it (the outside of my forearm) it feels good.

I haven’t tried cold, though I do remember using ice the first time around. It helped me before, but it’s temporary.

I tried putting hydrocortisone cream on them on Tuesday night, and just touching them with my finger felt so insanely good, and left me wanting so much more, that I decided it was a bad idea to even touch them at all.

There have been a few moments of weakness, where I’ve allowed myself to lightly rub my wrist, just around the edge of the adult bite. Oh man. I know you guys know. I imagine this is what it feels like to be addicted to a drug. You just crave the touch so badly.

These are SO MUCH WORSE than what I’ve had recently! Hooray!! (It seems so perverted to feel this way, but I do!)

WMSB, I am obviously now wondering if any or all of those old “bites” were not new bites, but some type of skin reaction. I have further evidence against this now, as Wednesday night I found a small pink itchy bump on my chest, in what I believe was a new location (never had a bite there before). And Thursday night, two more small ones showed up on my neck, including one in a place where I KNOW I was bit before. When I was finding things like these, two months ago, I was counting them as new bites. Because I’ve never had pimples on my chest or neck before.

These new bumps further lead me to believe that they are skin reactions, flaring up because of my recent, actual bites. What I don’t get is why these reactions have lasted so long since my initial infestation (this is why I thought that maybe some were indeed new bites, causing the reactions to keep flaring up again and again – prolonging the end).

But I’ve definitely had nothing this big since December.

Bugalina, I do think there may be something to be said for “length of feeding time.” I’m not sure if I want to test it, or even how to (do we kill the bug? Scoop it up after ten seconds?). But I agree that it’s another theory worth testing. We still plan to finish steaming our couch this weekend, just to be extra sure there’s nothing in it (the reason being, the couch could be a place where a bug might bite for just a few seconds before I move).

Finally, as you guys can see, the adult bite is a little bigger now than the nymph bite. They itch the same, and they both have the same dark pink skin welts, but the adult bite has more pink skin around it than the nymph.

I still don’t think that nymph, if it fed for 3 minutes, could give me a teeny tiny bite. I mean, this bite is still huge and mad itchy. But then again, it had three minutes and its bite is right near an adult bite. So maybe a nymph, feeding for a few seconds on its own, could elicit a tiny response in the skin.

Then my only question is, why haven’t the nymphs grown up?

So, I think they are gone. Well, 85% of me thinks they are gone. (It was 50% for a loooong time, then it was 75%. This test has bumped me to 85%. One day, it’ll be 100%).

6 wantmyskinback April 20, 2007 at 3:39 pm

S, there is going to be a part of you, and Bugalina can attest to this—- that will always think there is one or two bugs lurking around you— but try if you can— to ignore that little voice in your head that is trying to scare you into thinking that…. and just proceed with caution. Try and live normally, but with the changes you’ve made, as you adapt to your new life “aware” of bedbugs. That’s what I’m doing. And man o man, I pray for you and me and everyone who thinks they are 85% bug free like we think we are—that we REALLY ARE, and that we never have to face this again…

Or at least if we do have to face it—by then we’ll have better supplies to fight them with…

7 hymenoptera April 20, 2007 at 5:05 pm

I am a firm believer in research and certainly one of the earliest and most basic
forms is observation. If you look at old literature on any pest you certainly
find the results of observation. However I also have learned to appreciate
scientific methodology which requires strict guidelines for repeatable basically
consistent results to arrive at valid conclusions. Unfortunately these principals don’t always go hand in hand with observation results and “conclusions”. While
you can gain knowledge and lay understanding of bb by the the blood offerings
of S & G a number of variables do exist. When were these bugs last feed, what are the allergy levels of the volunteers, and the histamine levels, are their other factors
at play such as predisposition or acquired resistance. How are other environmental conditions influenced their respective responses. Remember neither of these folks are virgins in terms of bed bug bites. Has humidity changed in the apartment over the past months and of course these bb may be of a different strain than the original bitters. Get the point. While I think this is an admirable literary and educational sacrifice of blood on both their parts (remember G it is only the female mosquito that drinks blood) the true scientific validity of their efforts in terms of reaction is somewhat flawed but again admirable and interesting to follow. I would caution against other folks who may be tempted to emulate S&G and warn them that bed bugs especially nymphs can get loose. Fortunately the PCO who they are dealing with has a protocol to the administered feeding. In other words kids don’t try this at home.

8 nobugsonme April 20, 2007 at 5:18 pm

As I said in my response at the end of S’s post above,

What I think S and G proved was this:

(a) G can be bitten and not react (at least for three days), and

(b) S reacts the same to nymph and adult bites (at least on her arm), and

(c) Nymph bites and adult bites, at least sometimes, look the same.

Nothing else was proven, from a scientific standpoint. and even these bits of information must be qualified as they are in the parentheses after statements (a) and (b) above.

I think it would be great to have more research done, and I think (a) and (b) definitely provide some information (and I’m very grateful for that, to S and G), but I don’t think anyone can say anything definite about the cause of S’s “bites” (or their status as “bites” rather than bites, over the last 2-3 months based on this.

9 hymenoptera April 20, 2007 at 5:23 pm

S did you try caladryl?

10 S April 20, 2007 at 5:43 pm

I tried Caladryl the first time around and it didn’t help. The pharmacist said that oral antihistamines are often more effective than topical ones anyway.

11 Bugalina April 20, 2007 at 6:27 pm thing that passed my mind was..nymph…but what stage was the nymph in ? I would also love to know if G has gotten any reaction after 3 days…It would be nice to have those in the field share some research with us..but I guess there are liabilities and other factors…still a little info regarding bites would be so helpful….I want to thank S again for what she did..

12 willow-the-wisp April 20, 2007 at 6:43 pm

oh my

13 S April 20, 2007 at 6:44 pm

Both our nymphs were first instars. This was their first meal.

G still has no reaction. It’s really amazing – no itch, no mark, no pink.

My right arm is also totally clear, where the cast skin was.

My left arm is nonstop itch-o-rama. The skin around the adult bite has a larger pink area, but the centers of the bites look the same. I’ll send some more photos to Nobugs this weekend, and perhaps write one more follow-up.

14 Bugalina April 20, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Thank you S…It was a first instar..interesting…It upsets me that G has had no reaction…this means that bugs can go undetected !!!!

15 wantmyskinback April 20, 2007 at 7:14 pm

It’s obvious then that a wife can be bitten while a husband is not showing signs–or vice versa. But the question still remains, do women attract the bugs more than men, in general???

16 wantmyskinback April 20, 2007 at 7:22 pm

QUESTION FOR hymenoptera: Why does it matter when the bugs were last fed?

17 James Buggles April 20, 2007 at 8:20 pm

S, how did you get your bedbugs in the first place? We need more data in this area as well. Prevention is always better than treatment.

18 willow-the-wisp April 20, 2007 at 10:25 pm

This is the ultimate question for the entomologists we need to have answered as succinctly as possible:I thought this was really important and so I put it here:
ya nowsue me 😉

Do temperate bed bugs go through any types of menopause/impotence whereupon they do not or can not mate and or lay viable eggs?

Please list these conditions for us

God bless you scientists
With this answer–we have yet another type of “tool”
(s, g, I wrote an hour long page and 1/2 but it got accidentlay cut).

So I went into the forums to relaxandI saw all sorts of stuff, this confusion about genetics and breeding and the like–and I started it.

19 Jessinchicago April 20, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Hey All. Long time no type, huh? S., I wanted to applaud your courageous efforts. I know it must have been so hard to face your fears like this, and I’m amazed at your bravery. And G., too, of course! What a trooper.

I’ve been pondering the results of your experiment and comparing them to my own experiences, and the one thing I can say with certainty is that this proves how UNCERTAIN we will always be about different reactions to bites, I think. I can’t help but believe that this proves that we all need to focus on the tangibles when dealing with bedbugs. By that, I mean evidence like actual bugs, skin sheddings, spots on sheets and poo (especially when we are able to use water or another liquid to break down the poo and see that it’s actually dried blood and not lint). I know there are a couple people here who have never seen evidence, and for you, I feel terrible. But this experiment goes to show that bites, or what look like bites or could possibly be bites, cannot be solely relied upon to determine whether or not a bedbug infestation exists. And, in the vast majority of cases, evidence accompanies bites.

That said, bites are usually the first sign for most people, and so of course they should not be ignored. But in cases where bedbugs previously existed but probably have been exterminated (ie two or more treatments by a trained and competent professional AND if in a multi-unit dwelling, the adjacent apartments inspected and treated if necessary) then tangible evidence is probably a much better indicator than things that look like bites. This is in some part due to the fact that some people tend to become hypervigilant- meaning we inspect ourselves like we never have before, and we become more prone to strong emotional reactions when we see something that we might never have noticed had we not been through the bedbug nightmare. Sometimes, this is good, but when we’re trying like hell to figure out whether or not we’ve conquered an infestation, I think we need to be cautious when using bites as a determining factor.

One more thing and I’m done, I promise. Although I think we can reasonably assume that S. is bedbug free, I agree with Nobugs and Hymenoptera that there are probably many factors that determine how our skin reacts to bites. The only way for S. to determine what those factors are, for her, and to determine whether or not her recent “bites” were something other than bites, is to literally catch the bugs in the act of biting her at random intervals, so that all factors can be accounted for, which is, of course, impossible. Again, I want to stress that it’s reasonable to assume S. is bedbug free, and this is because she has had absolutely no new evidence of bedbugs at all, save these bumps on her skin, which, in all fairness, do not fit the pattern of bedbugs at all.

Sorry this was long. I’ve been on a therapist-recommended hiatus from the blog, but I thought this experiment was definitely worthy of a visit back. Take care everyone.

Smiles from Chicago.


20 nobugsonme April 21, 2007 at 12:28 am

Hey Jess,
We missed you!!!! Thanks for the prescient comments. Really good points there.

Bugalina– Sean and Lou have shared their experiences with bites, which I appreciate very much, and I hope other professionals will too. S pointed out that Sean had written on his site about his nymph and adult bites being the same size. And of course, Lou shared his mega-bite photos (you know, the little dinner parties he hosts via a vial on his arm–everyone eats at once. Ugh!)

WMSB–Really good Q: do women attract bed bugs more, or do men get bitten, but women react to bites more? (Or do women talk about it more?) Maybe all of these are true, or maybe some. I think G’s experience casts serious doubt on whether people who think they’re not being bitten are right. Maybe the bed bug community assumed this segment was unbitten when actually, they just don’t react.

Oh, the icky icky massive research studies it would take to find out…

Thanks again everyone for what’s continuing to be a really fascinating and useful conversation. And S and G, our heroes–thanks again.

21 nobugsonme April 21, 2007 at 1:50 am

Oh, and then I was just editing the bite photo page. Remember travelbug, who got bed bugs in Argentina?

The caption to one of travelbug’s photos mentions bigger bites that did not itch:


So yet another phenomenon that hasn’t come up in this conversation: visible bites but no itching.

22 Bugalina April 21, 2007 at 11:01 am

Nobugs, I was going to comment about that…visible bites with no itch.. I took a look at those photos and it left me with a feeling of disgust that this bug isn’t being recognized as a serious health issue. These people have been mauled by a bug…and not enough is being done to eradicate it…another conundrum surrounding the bites and this bug…visible bites with no itch..

23 S April 21, 2007 at 11:50 am

Hey James, we don’t know where our bedbugs came from originally. Neither of us had traveled and we hadn’t brought any new furniture into the house. We have lots of friends who travel for work, and we are assuming that some friend brought them over in their coat. But really, we have no idea.

I agree that prevention is best, but I don’t believe we could have prevented it even if we’d been reading Bedbugger religiously. We didn’t do anything “wrong” by bedbug standards. The only takeaway that I’m adopting, with regard to visitors, is to not let anyone put their coats on our bed. We have a coat rack and we moved it even closer to the front door.

However, that was the first time we got bedbugs. It was last April, one year ago. We sent our down comforter and pillows to the drycleaner, and the problem stopped. Then, in December, we decided to start using that comforter again. (It had sat in an unsealed plastic drycleaning bag in our office closet for 6 months). I was bit 3 times within an hour of using the comforter. So, the bedbug(s) most likely went dormant during/after/because of the drycleaning, and then just sat tight for six months.

The moral there – drycleaning will not kill bedbugs, if they are in something puffy and insulated like a down comforter. (I still think drycleaning works for normal clothes).

Jess, I agree that ideally, bites alone would not be used as evidence. We had evidence during the first two months (blood smears, 1 dead adult and 2 live nymphs). But we haven’t had evidence in a long time. I would show my PCO photos of my bites, and he would say “Well, yeah, that looks like a bite,” so he’d continue to treat. But even I knew these bites were different, not as itchy or big.

The question that remains is simply, WHAT WAS MY SKIN DOING? This morning I woke up with another weird thing that I would have previously classified as a bite. A white dot on my face, with pink skin around it. Didn’t itch, but looked swelled. WHAT IS THAT? I have never had things like this before.

I feel confident that it’s not a new bite, but I wish there was a name for this condition… like Post-Bedbug Hypersensitivity. It’s not chitin; at least the test tells me it’s not. It’s not papular urticaria; that is mostly in children and shouldn’t last this long. It’s just like a systemic, randomly located, lengthy and persistent series of decreasingly-severe skin reactions. (They have gotten less and less itchy, and less and less big, over time). What is it? I’d love to know. But I don’t think it’s new bites because a) they aren’t anything like my new, real bites and b) I have no evidence.

24 willow-the-wisp April 21, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Q … If the white bumps had been decreasingly itchy, I’m asking if, since the new, two controlled bites, has this new “Post-Bedbug Hypersensitivity” bump on your face itch MORE, or is it larger of the same decreasing severity as last few “bites” you had BEFORE the new bed bug bites at the PCO’s office?

( Maybe it will take a few days to answer that. And yes, I’m suggesting that if it is worse then it would be more likely due to SOMETHING about the bed bugs …. If it is the same or less in severity, then I’m suggesting it is likely to have to do with something else—guesses that’s all. I’m only trying to help you sort it all out.

25 S April 21, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Hey Willow,

It’s a good question. On Wednesday night (about 48 hours after the test bites), a “bite” showed up on my chest. It seemed like it was in a new place, and it itched.

I’d say that on a scale of 1 to 10, if the test bites are a 10, then this new thing on my chest was a 7. And that is MORE than I’d been having recently. So I blamed the new bites.

During the month of December, everything I had was either a 10 or an 8. January, mostly 8’s. (Still really itchy, and very sensitive to clothing, but a bit smaller).

February, maybe some 5’s and 6’s. March, they were like 2’s and 3’s, but with a couple 6’s. The 2’s really weirded me out, because they looked swollen, but their itches were so faint.

This morning I woke up with what I’d consider to be a 1. It was right above my upper lip, a white dot surrounded by pink skin, but with almost no itch. I’ve had a bunch of 1’s recently, too. So I don’t know – I think the test bites may have caused a resurgence, but the intensity of the “bites” is on an overall, long slow downward slope.

26 wantmyskinback April 21, 2007 at 10:56 pm

S, I hate to say this, as you know I suffer from a similar problem as you do… but tonight as I sat and ate my hamburger, I itched the side of my neck innocently. While doing that, I noticed a small welt forming. It stopped itching, and the little welt is still there. It LOOKS like a bite. A lone single bite.

This has been happening to me for weeks. In very odd places, all over my upper body. Like, one on my chest. Or one on my cheek, or one behind my ear, and now one on my neck. I just looked at it, and it is small and round, and has the appearance of looking like a tiny mosquito bite. I do not see a red dot in the center of it. But I have bad vision, so who knows. If I could angle the camera towards that side of my neck I’d photograph it. We’ll see if I have the stamina in a bit…

Now you don’t know me and I don’t know you, but we both know we both had bed bugs, and we both know we are both getting these “bites”.

I am totally stumped. And completely disturbed by this phenomenon. AND I REALLY WISH A DERMATOLOGIST WOULD JOIN THIS BLOG AND HELP US OUT HERE.

27 nobugsonme April 21, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Sorry WMSB.

I don’t think most dermatologists can help. Look at this recent post, which mentions two things: a story about a bed bug researcher who showed a roomful of doctors photos of skin problems (they could not identify the bed bug bites) and another article which talks about a conference presentation on dermatologists misdiagnosing bed bug bites.

Though Parakeets had a doc trained overseas who could ID them, my doc from the Middle East could not.

Your doc on the UES who can ID them, fascinates me. Why can’t mine, just down at the other end of Park Ave.? Maybe people from a more ritzy neighborhood are treated better than those in a midtown HMO.

28 willow-the-wisp April 21, 2007 at 11:22 pm

NBOM–I tend to disagree:
With respect to your assessment of S. . .
And as S. is now the sole subject of my further discussion (sorry G) I herewith point out the following discrepancies in this diametrical opposed position you are taking:
a) My observation of the nymph bite response appeared a tad smaller, yet since it fed for APX. 1/3 the amount of time–it could narrow down that whole venue of thought as to whether nymph bites are smaller because they take less time or because there is less of an allergic reaction due to many factors. (S, herself; made some such reference to the adult bite being more noticeable.) Why—only an entomologist and allergist might decipher.
I also noted a nominal pinkish raised mound with the Adult bite but had not seen this in the photo of the nymph bit on day one.
Please recheck and assess those photos. In day one you may note a small raised doo-hicky-like mound as if it were an initial response. (It can be easily seen near the central but lower border of the drawn circle. My observations based on these pictures compared to today’s pictures show an estimated 25% greater flare up and subsequent immune reaction.
And then—on your last point, long term exposure to any chemical and hot bath and drying agents coupled with long term stressors, whereupon the person has a lack of control will eventually lead to a thinner, thus more sensitive response to anything. I am not saying S.’s skin will never repair itself—I am suggesting the not knowing is a likely cause of perhaps at least the mainstay of her current reactions before the bites with her “Bites”.
Catecholamine’s are very often found in such people under such prolonged periods of stress and so thus “the stress bumps idea” cannot be ruled out indeed it may be father more expected to be some of … but not all of the case here as seen in S.’s continued skin conditions.
There are people who are just naturally more immune or reactive to all sorts of things. For now we can safely assume that just the presence of bed bugs is high on that list.

I know of several people who develop tolerance over allergies and I am a prime example.
Allergies can often change. S., keep pulling on the skin on the other side of your arm.

In conclusion I therefore say that steaming the couch to the utmost is imperative and I’d donate my time to helping out, but since G., already a proven and supportive chap will more than likely be helping you steam–is doubtful my services will be required.

Q. Has a diary been kept of the “bites” over a long period of time? If so—I ask–do they correspond in any way to your menstrual cycles. Is here any period of say a week each month when the bites do seem to have lessened? (Estrogen and testosterones—along wit other hormones and the catecholamine’s—have all been proven to alter the breadth and depth of the skin—speaking somewhat generally here. So, if such a diary had been logged, could S., find some more solace at least for herself should she look back and find any correlations. The Estrus cycle cannot be denied nor can the levels of testosterone as they pertain to skin—the latter of which is said to make a man’s skin generally slightly thicker. Again—women tend to have a higher fat deposit content compared to muscular content—This sexual difference of skin/fat/muscle has only been touched on briefly yet might add to more descriptive sex tests as they pertain to the bites in men and women—overall.
Why do this??? Cures can very often be found when discrepancies arise in reactions to any substance. Studying these discrepancies (in this case sex) is/are always yet further musts as science goes and as bed bugs really go away.
But for now S and G your off the hook–go steam the couch!

29 nobugsonme April 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Your comment just posted because it was stuck in the spam filter. Not sure why the system thought it was spam, but perhaps the length. Normally, rescued spam posts in the order it was written, but I figured no one would see it so I dated it as if it was just written.

In any case, I had trouble following you 100%–I was not sure exactly what you were disageeing with from my post.

Also, I have heard some women speculate that the itching was worse during “that time of the month”

30 wantmyskinback April 21, 2007 at 11:31 pm

WOW WILLOW! The connection to the menstruation is fascinating…
Nobugs…my derm can’t actually identify the bites, but she says she treats at least one bb victim a day. She is on the upper east side, and she’s part of my health plan! yeah baby. so it only costs me a co-pay to see her. Tomorrow the biopsy stitch is removed (2 full weeks later and still no results).
I truly do not know what is occuring with me either. I’m in a similar situation as S and it’s very frustrating.

31 willow-the-wisp April 22, 2007 at 12:38 am

NBOM–I think you made a statement (just above Hymenoptera’s statement with regards to not much new had been learned. And you said both bites appeared the same in immune response in my reviewing the pictures then–and I’m sleepy now and can’t go back there
–I had noticed that this was not quite the case–Day one pictures showed differences–the adult had left a little pink mound and the nymph bite did not–and day two, the nymph bite showed a smaller immune response than the adults. Day two reactions seemed almost the same but the nymph bite reaction was indeed slightly smaller and slightly less inflamed—at least in digital pic. As I observed. This all had to do with your disclaiming different sized bed bugs not causing different sized bites. I refer, here, to the bite higher up on her forearm as being the nymph bite–That’s all. And we did make some headway with the fact that a new posit now exists for more thought on does the area bitten cause a different reaction? And this was not even part of the study—it was an unexpected outcome.
Had my comment above, originally posted directly under Hymenoptera’s, where S’s post landed in its stead—it would have been clearer. So I say I think more was proven than you had originally stated, refuting your comment that not a whole lot more was learned (no quotes). Still I consider it a fairly valid CASE STUDY EXPERIMENT.
If folk can remember back to the beginnings of psychology (a soft science comparatively speaking, to this type of rigorous scientific investigation)–we must remember that Freud built many of his theories from case studies. Though mostly debunked today, Freud is still considered a major pioneer of Modern Psychology. Had it not been for him Karen Horney and Carl Jung might never have existed to name a few.

Briefly re sex–as a woman’s menstruation actually occurs there is a drop in estrogen which alters (increases) the ratio of female testosterone to female estrogen. Having said that–it may totally throw everything off whack. So it might have more to do with the amount of water a body retains, and health and level of stress. To have a period is a stressful event. I’m not being funny. Pleasant dreams fellow bed buggers!

32 willow-the-wisp April 22, 2007 at 12:39 am

also–I had left the psot sit in the quenue for 1/2 hour so that may be why I was SPAMMED! 🙁

33 willow-the-wisp April 22, 2007 at 6:25 am

test I left this tread open as it was slept for 5 1/2 hours and I awoke itchy all over–more than I had in a week.

New bites or auto sugestion or is it my other spring allergies? I should not be having this as I took the Atarax before 7 hours ago.
Sounds hysterical–doesn’t feel hysterical–feels like my skin is very sensitive like a babies.
Oh hell–at least S. has gotten some answers. if I have been bitten again I’ll know in a day. There will be swelling at the bite area–over and above the overal itchy scratchy feel I’m having. My whole body–and I have those little occasional pins and needle things …
On S.’s scale of 1 to 10 Overall, for me, it’s a 7 or an 8–but my 10 was NEVER NEAR S.’s 10.

34 willow-the-wisp April 22, 2007 at 6:27 am

My 10 compared to S.’s 10 would be like a 5

35 willow-the-wisp April 22, 2007 at 7:36 am

Here it is 430 am. Still itching … I did some research and sent nobugs an email that includes a link to a site that lists many causes of itching not discussed in this thread. I could not post the link as it is from a pest control seller–ask NBOM for the link if you want it, but it includes everything from all sorts of little mites to paper and printing ink–found in offices.

36 S April 22, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Hey guys,

Willow, I have been keeping a very detailed schedule of my bites. I’ll try to break it down a bit, and summarize.

I counted up the bites I had each week. I didn’t discriminate between bites and “bites.”

The weeks go like this: 4,4,1,1,1,1,1,5,4,7,7,9,7,3,3,1,5,6,3,7,4.

The weeks when I had my period are every 4th one, and so they are 1,5,9,1,7. I don’t think there was any particular correlation between more bites and that time of month. Though I wouldn’t doubt it in others. The only correlation I noticed was one month, when I did have my period, an old bite on my breast flared up. I knew it was old, it was like months old and I remembered its particularly invasive location, but it flared up probably b/c your body changes slightly during that time.

WMSB, mine are the same way. Lone bumps that itch and look like bug bites. Mine are in the same places as yours, too – cheek, neck, chest. All upper body. Have you noticed yours changing in any way? Are they getting larger or smaller?

I’m about to start steaming the couch. I’ve sat on the couch many times now, but I still feel nervous every time. So, if anything, this will help me mentally.

37 wantmyskinback April 22, 2007 at 2:14 pm

S : the ones on my face disappeared with Proactiv, so I think most of those were acne related. The itch on my neck last night, was a definite single, lone bite. Small, like an apple seed (but round). And it shrunk down when I put the steroid ointment on it, but a little bump is still there. Perplexed and Depressed, but I have my happy face on anyway. It’s really hard to go on sometimes.

38 Doug Summers MS April 22, 2007 at 2:41 pm

There is some good information available on the Bed -Bugs.Co.UK website on bite reactions. This is the link : .

David reports “The juvenile and baby bites tend to be smaller, not whitish but raised red disks, some people would not even notice or feel them.” based on observing over one thousand clients.

Sean reports visiting several doctors that were unable to identify bed bug bites that he created while feeding his colony on the Bed Bug Resource website.

Maybe one of our members can help us recruit additional experts to contribute to a FAQ about bite identification.

Doug Summers MS
MoldDog Environmental

39 S April 22, 2007 at 3:28 pm


Did David observe over one thousand clients BEING BITTEN BY NYMPHS WHILE HE WATCHED? I’m sorry, but while I know that guy has tons of bedbug TREATMENT experience, has he conducted studies on bite reactions of adults versus nymphs? If not, then I still think it’s speculation.

My recent nymph bite was a whitish hard bump. So was my adult bite.

I don’t think I’ve ever had anything that could be described as a “raised red disk,” in four months.

It upsets me when people make generalizations about what bites look like. I have seen probably 20 different bite photos online and no two look alike.

While I respect David’s experience, I don’t think general descriptions of bites can ever be made.

I do agree that perhaps we should write an FAQ about bite identification, but it would go something like this:

Bites can look different depending on the person, the location of the body, the age of the bug, the length of time it spent biting you, the variety of bedbug, the time of year and a variety of other factors we have yet to discover.

Bites can look like flat white islands, swelled pink bumps, hard white bumps, dark red dots, pink patches of skin, pimples, mosquito bites, ant bites, flea bites, scabies, hives and welts.

Bites can itch so badly you would chew your own arm off. Bites can not itch at all.

Bites can show up immediately. Bites can show up 9 days later. Bites can never show up at all.

40 nobugsonme April 22, 2007 at 3:46 pm

S– with all due respect to Doug and David, I have to agree. We have a bed bug bites photos page instead of an identifying bites FAQ for precisely for this reason. People need to see the range of bites (and I only hope more of you will send in photos to be added.)

(The problem of a lack of information is also partly why we don’t yet have a Moving FAQ–I am working on it, but basically, it says, “don’t, and if you do, there’s no way to be sure you won’t take bed bugs.”)

41 Edgie April 22, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Got it. There are a lot of variables around bed bug bites. But for me, I would really like to see S’s continuing bite progress. Can there be a sequel? Do the pinky-puffy rounds, once they calm down, turn, or heal into a small red dot? Or a small scab? S, I appreciate the research that you have posted. I have heard, and read that the bites persist, sometimes for weeks. What do they actually look like later? Or do the bites disappear? Is there a skin puncture that you saw? The “bite mark” is something I have experienced, and the scabish thing or mark stays around for weeks, or longer, and has an itchy sensation. S, will you post some follow-up photos, even if they are not dramatic? Amazing stuff being done here, don’t stop now. PLEASE and Thanks. Edgie in SF.

42 willow-the-wisp April 22, 2007 at 6:06 pm

Hey S. thanks for the #’s. I knew you had mentioned a diary … but I was still in deep battle with the bug, glad I brought it up. Q. What do you or can you recall was going on during all those #1’s? Were you away from town? On meds? Not wearing tweed or wool? Anything at all could help you narrow down this BITE vs. “BITE” thing.
As for me it is allergies I was experiencing last night on top of the BB sensitivity. Each year around this time in SF all the California white oaks and black oaks start blooming. Since they don’t have those trees in NY–where I grew up and lived until 23, well … there’s a point for how one’s skin and immune responses behave when exposed to different “arenas” hey?

43 S April 22, 2007 at 10:53 pm

Hey Willow,

I don’t really know if anything was different during the weeks with 1’s. The first week was after I received one single giant welt (probably the biggest bedbug bite EVER for me – it was like three inches around and purple). Then, almost nothing for a week. (I tended to think that was a mama bite, and then she was off somewhere laying eggs. Ugh).

One was when I was out of town, in Florida – I really don’t think I brought any with me, but on my fourth day at my parents’ house, I found a swelled bite-like bump on my leg. (Totally, utterly freaked out, then nothing for the rest of my 10-day trip).

One was after our third treatment of the bedroom. Nothing notable, except that we were on our third PCO (from the same company) and he was much more thorough than the first two – he dusted inside electrical plates and pulled up all the carpet edges to dust there too.

The next one was weeks and weeks later, after we started spraying the cars. We sprayed the cars once, and I had only 1 “bite” the whole next week. (Needless to say, we continued spraying the cars).

So I don’t know if there was any pattern. I guess they generally started out less-frequent, and got more and more frequent. But I also wonder if they started out being all real bites, and gradually got to be some real bites and some “bites,” until they were all “bites.” The general pattern was just to be less and less itchy.

WMSB, hey, hang in there. It could be a bite, it could not be a bite. If you KNEW FOR A FACT that it was a bite, what would you do? Would you do anything differently? Or would you just worry more? I used to go, “I don’t know if this is a bite, but if it is, there’s nothing else I’d do differently. I’ve already done everything I know.” So I’d just sit tight, knowing that all my defenses were up. But that sitting tight, SUCKS. You want to take action. Is there anything more you can do? (PS, I just spent like two hours steaming another piece of our 4-piece sectional couch…it is slow going but I am being really thorough. Plus, thinking about dormant bugs dying from the 200-degree steam is, well, awesome).

Edgie, I plan on writing another article for Nobugs tomorrow (it’s half done now but I need to upload photos and my camera dock is at work). My bites have definitely changed a bit. I took some pretty good photos so you’ll see. Also, not to put everyone in total suspense, but there’s news from G as well.

44 nobugsonme April 23, 2007 at 12:32 am

S–great news. Looking forward to it. Check your email! 🙂

WMSB–S is right. The truth is, anyone who has some bugs is going to have a LOT more soon, when things heat up. If that doesn’t happen, then maybe you have one single lonely guy who needs a meal every few weeks. If he has friends, they’ll step it up with spring. Yes, that’s bad and I hope it doesn’t happen. But it’s good that if it is going to happen, you’ll know and can act, which is better than the endless waiting to see.

45 Doug Summers MS April 23, 2007 at 9:03 am

I am not familiar with the conditions under which David Cain made his observations about nymph bites. I posted the link because it seemed relevant to the discussion. The article states that it is a working draft. Mr. Cain points out in the article that there is a “massive degree of the variation between individuals.” If you read the whole article I think that you will agree with most of his observations.

Doug Summers MS
MoldDog Environmental

46 Doug Summers MS April 23, 2007 at 10:19 am

Just found another interesting post from Sean Rollo on the Bed Bug Resource site about delayed bite reactions. This is the link:

47 S April 23, 2007 at 10:29 am

Hey Doug,

Thanks for this link! Sean’s writing on his site is very informative. The fact that he had bites flaring back up for up to 8 weeks afterwards is just crazy.

And yeah, sorry for getting upset earlier. I did read David Cain’s whole site, and in the context of the rest of his writing, his generalizations about bites are less misleading. (You only quoted the lines about general bite reactions in your first comment, though, so I worry that someone else might only read your quotes and think this is a fact).

But thanks for helping us figure this out. I am still lacking a definitive answer for “what this is” (the small “bites” that I have experienced for so long), but after my test last week, I feel a little bit better about “what it’s not.”

Still, I spent hours this weekend doing laundry and steaming the couch. I just can’t leave any stone unturned.

48 Doug Summers MS April 23, 2007 at 1:16 pm

I was reluctant to paste the whole article into a post without David Cain’s permission. I think you are absolutely correct in your proposed answer for the FAQ.

There are some published indications that many physicians are unable to accurately identify bed bug bites. Which makes more sense if we consider the wide range of individual variation in the visual presentation of the bite marks?

Your experience illustrates that it can be confusing to even identify different marks on the same individual. Using a photo line up to show examples of a range of bite reactions would likely be superior to trying to make generalized statements about identifying bite marks.

After reading Sean’s account about delayed reactions I am wondering how the body’s overall level of inflammation fits into the equation? One possible inference (from Sean’s post) is that the skin reaction in a given individual can change over time. Obviously, factors like diet, medication use, stress levels, illnesses and exposure to unrelated allergens would need to be quantified before we could even start to evaluate the variables that are related to the actual bite.

Doug Summers MS
MoldDog Environmental

49 wantmyskinback April 23, 2007 at 4:15 pm

This is an excellent observation, thank you Doug. I received my biopsy results S, and they were inconclusive as far as anthropods were concerned. So, at least one of my bumps was not a bug bite. S

he thinks I have foliculitis which causes papules, and I also have hormonally related acne.

The itch and bump on my neck however, was most likely a real bite. SHe thinks it doesn’t HAVE to be from bed bugs, as there are plenty of other insects which bite, particularly the mosquito—and after days of rain and suddenly warm weather, it makes sense.

S, and everyone else, it’s hard after this experience to ever trust my skin again…

Yesterday while I was on a work appointment, the woman who was consulting with my client and I was wearing a sleeveless dress over her very white young skin. On each of her arms I noticed at least ten bites. I didn’t say anything to her, due to possible embarrassment, but it was clear to me what it was…

50 willow-the-wisp April 23, 2007 at 4:32 pm

wmsb–ive seen some of that too! even on hotel employees where I reside. I kept shut up too! I wonder why and or if I should have said something …?

51 S April 23, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Wow, WMSB! Okay, so at least you know SOME of your bites are NOT from bedbugs! Maybe all are from other sources, maybe just some are from other sources. But this is encouraging! This is the first step.

52 wantmyskinback April 23, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Her bites were very obvious, and I actually would love to send her an anonymous email, obviously not from me (maybe from YOU willow? ) letting her know about this site…

53 nobugsonme April 23, 2007 at 7:44 pm

One male Bedbugger told me he discovered the probable source of his bed bugs, when he noticed obvious bite marks all over one of his building’s handymen, who spent time in his apt. before it started.
A great way to spread BBs, by the way…

54 nobugsonme April 23, 2007 at 7:47 pm

ps I once say little postcards for sale that you could give to people. They were very Postmodern: cards to leave on a car saying “It’s mean that you leave your dog in the car on such a hot day!” Or “It’s annoying to everyone in this train, listening to your phone call!” We should have one saying, “I hope I’m wrong, but you appear to have bed bug bites, go to to learn more.” Or, even more urgently, “Someone in your building has bed bugs. You might have them too, and you might not even know it. Go to…”

55 wantmyskinback April 23, 2007 at 9:14 pm

Good idea about the “cards”. Funny, odd coincidence—- I once found such a card under my windshield wiper, from an apartment painter. There was a prayer on the back. And I did hire the guy to paint someone else’s apartment !!!

56 willow-the-wisp April 23, 2007 at 9:44 pm

y ME wmsb. She “mite” track my computer and hunt me down, Maybe whaT she’s got is “GENETIC”

57 Samatha August 21, 2007 at 10:39 pm

Hi, I encountered bedbugs while touring in Italy. I assume they have the tropical species there. And am still working hard to get rid of them at home. The bites I got while in Italy were very big, very itchy, swollen and took 2 months to fade almost out of sight. The exact ones on my face cleared up nice but then flared up just as bad as to begin with, but didn’t last as long the 2nd time. I used hydrocortisone cream and claritin oral. And I assume some other bites on my body flared up a 2nd or 3rd time as well. I had so many bites it was difficult to tell if old ones or new ones after I got home. The ones I think are new ones at home, they don’t last as long. Also I get big welts not red and seem to not have a bite in them and they clear up in just a few hours.
I don’t know what these are? I’ve only seen one adult bug (I assume was a bbug since I’ve never seen a bug like it before) that was stuck in the double stick carpet tape that I have around the perimeter sides of my bed. And it was somewhat different looking than all the bbugs photos posted online. Have seen a couple of what I think are baby ones. I never find any upon looking for them, but out of no where they appear like ontop bathroom counter. Does anyone have a photo of the tropical bedbug? Or know if the termite killer Vikane is available. I read that it is more affective in killing bedbugs. Samatha

58 nobugsonme August 21, 2007 at 11:53 pm


I don’t think you would be able to distinguish between different types of bed bug (tropical or otherwise) and I suspect the same species are in Italy and where you live. (Where are you, anyway?) We have FAQs on Vikane and reading the FAQ and comments will give you a lot of information. We also have many FAQs with photos. And I suspect you start here:

And see if any of the photos or other signs look familiar.

How long since you came home from Italy? You might try conventional treatments first since they are much cheaper than Vikane, though if your infestation is bad, that is a good option. Professional thermal or freezing treatments are available in some areas.

59 Samatha August 22, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Hi, According to a book at library there is a slight difference in tropical bedbugs but didn’t show it’s photo. I was just curious. I live in colorado. I don’t think there are native species of bedbugs in Colorado. In my 60 yrs the only mention of bedbugs was from a southern state back in 1930. I’ve read that bedbugs were wiped out by the 1950s. But now they are back because DDT is no longer used. I’ve been back from Italy for 3 months. I have been spraying with unscented Lambda-Cyhalothrin. But it’s a very weak concentration. If I could see any to spray directly it probably would kill them but I can’t find any.

60 nobugsonme August 23, 2007 at 12:40 am

Yes, I know there’s a slight difference, but I don’t think laypeople could spot it, or that it affects your treatment plan.

Bed bugs were not native to the US but were brought here centuries ago from Europe. Before you were born, bed bugs were common.

They never entirely died out in the US according to some entomologists, but they were almost unheard of from after World War II (when pesticides containing DDT were invented) until about 1999. (DDT was banned in the US in the early 70’s, but it took the bed bugs almost 3 decades to come back, due to a variety of factors.) They have steadily increased from 1999 until now, when we are seeing a serious epidemic.

I am not an expert on pesticides, but I suggest you do not self-treat. It is very difficult to treat bed bugs, and you really need an experienced professional who knows bed bugs. They are hard to find, but there should be some there, and of course, national chains (while not necessarily the best options) will have some contacts elsewhere who know about bed bugs, even if they haven’t seen any cases. Read our FAQs and you’ll find more information there.

61 nobugsonme August 23, 2007 at 12:42 am

ps in response to your earlier question, in Colorado, you can probably find someone to do a Vikane treatment. Dow says 3x as much vikane is needed for bed bugs as termites, so the PCO needs to know you have bed bugs and treat for them specifically. Thermal and Cryogenic treatments may also be available as previously stated.

62 Samatha August 23, 2007 at 11:20 am

Hi, If I had a photo of the tropical bedbug Cimex Hemipterus it might tell me if the bug stuck in the dble stick carpet tape was a bedbug or not. Just for future reference if nothing else. I did call the Orkin co. 3 weeks after I got home but the young man looked for 2 seconds under the mattress and said he didn’t think I had any bbugs. He said maybe I brought back from my tour a bug that is not native to this area. I said yes, a tropical bedbug! He said his co. doesn’t spray unless they find evidence of bbugs. He said he did a big job at a hotel in Moab, Utah the previous month and he said it was very hard work. So, maybe he just didn’t want the work in all the summer heat or something????? I think he indicated that what they spray with is one of the many formulations of permethrins. I’m not sure tho.
I do spray cracks and perimeters and the laundry, bagging and vacuming etc etc because it didn’t seem right to let the bugs go untill there was a infestation big enough for the orkin man to find. I know I had bbugs in Italy so I doubt that a different type of insect/bug came home with me. Probably some of my skin bumps/itching are old bites, but I’m pretty sure some are new and I’ve smashed a couple of tiny tiny ones that look similiar to the online photos of baby ones.
So, I’m sure I’ve still got a problemo. What is a Vikane treatment like? I don’t know anything about it, except it kills termites and kills bbugs better or ?

63 nobugsonme August 23, 2007 at 11:48 am

You need to read our FAQs. They are extensive and cover your questions about Vikane, doing your own pest control, getting professional treatment, and what bed bugs look like. They took hundreds and hundreds of hours to write. Please spend some time there and if you have other questions, or follow-up questions, you can come to the forums But I beg you to read the FAQs more thoroughly first.

64 hopelessnomo August 23, 2007 at 11:57 am

I think entomologists use identification keys to distinguish between Cimex lectularius (common bedbug) and Cimex hemipterus (tropical bedbug). What Nobugs means is that to your untrained eye this may be a difficult task. (Googling will bring up several images, as well as documents that indicate that they’re difficult to tell apart.)

There are bedbugs in Colorado, Samatha, make no mistake. You can and, in my opinion, should consult another PCO.

Your comment that you have been spraying Lambda-Cyhalothrin but that “it’s a very weak concentration” suggests that you probably don’t have enough information to use pesticides yourself. Are you using proper protective gear? I’m not trying to alarm you, but it’s really in your best interest to get professional help.

There is a Vikane faq in the FAQs. Good luck.

65 Samatha August 24, 2007 at 2:24 pm

lambda cyhalothrin is a premixed pyrethroid ester insecticide sold at all hardware stores and walmart. I wore a mask. Yes, it’ll prob only kill a bbug if sprayed right on it. I can see the bbug in the tape is diff than online photos and yet very similar, but must not be a bbug. I know there are bbugs in CO. Forsure in recent years. I said I don’t think there was ever a native species to CO. I thot. maybe vikane was a spray for termites but now I had time to look it up and find it’s the gas used for full termite program. Thanks

66 Anne October 30, 2007 at 11:54 am

Hi All,

Do I undertsand well, that it might happen that after you were bitten by bedbugs there might appear “dummy” bites on your skin not directly caused by bedbugs. I mean that you might find new bites even if you were not bitten by bedbugs again?


67 nobugsonme October 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm

I do not think so, Anne, if the new “bites” are in new places where you had not ever been bitten. (I use “bites” in quotation marks to distinguish apparent “bites” from actual bites.

In this thread on, which Doug links to above, Sean described bites reappearing (I gather this was in the SAME spot).

I did not take this to mean that new “bites” appeared in new locations where he had never been bitten before.

68 Anne October 31, 2007 at 6:06 am

Nobugsonme, thanks for your answer!

This sounds really bad! This might either mean that I have new bites, which might mean that I have bedbug at home (quite disappointing), or that some of the bites I got in a hostel appearred or swelled only after 4-5 days.

I wonder how much time does it take for a bedbug brought eventually in a house to find the bed and start to bite the person living there? After how much time can you realize that you brought in a bedbug in your house?

69 nobugsonme October 31, 2007 at 7:31 pm

It is hard to say. Sean’s thread (see link in my comment yesterday, above) also says that he was bitten for a long time before he reacted. While he was talking about a situation in which the cumulative effect of bites over time led to many itchy marks appearing all at once, one can also imagine it is possible that being bit by fewer bugs less often might cause less of an effect on you. (I am speculating, but if some people don’t react initially until they have lots of bites, maybe this can also happen even if you reacted before?)

if you brought one or two bed bugs home, and they bit once a week each, you might not notice the new bites right away. Sorry there are no definite answers as this has not been thoroughly researched. Some of the literature says that people may react up to 9 days after being bitten. I suspect many people react much sooner.

If you have further questions or want to discuss this further, you might want to go on the forums. Click the blue bug at the top right of this page. I am wondering whether you took any precautions after coming home from the hostel.

70 November 3, 2007 at 2:12 pm

New here. A great topic. My problem is that it appears that I am getting almost no reaction from a bite. I will find 3 pin pricks (red) verysmall, usually 2 or 3 in a row, mostly on the inside of the arm, just below the elbow joint. Sometimes these disappear by the end of the day, sometimes they are visible for several days. If you didn’t know for sure that there were bugs somewhere, you wouldn’t even notice this. No itching. A huge problem, because I am not sure if they are still in the bed frame and mattress. Have done a lot of work on isolating the bed.

Another problem, after reading all the info here, I could have been bitten days ago.

Yesterday I sat in a new sofa chair in the LR for the first time in weeks, and one hour later, found a small white weal under my armpit (not itchy). The sofa has been steamed twice, and also has had lots of vacuuming. Did the bite come while sleeping on bed, or in the sofa chair? Was it actually a bite?

Almost I wish I was getting a stronger reaction. Are these pin pricks my paranoia–I have found skin casts, and also have seen nymphs. My question is: How many readers are just getting these small red pin pricks? Any comment greatly appreciated as I am totally dumbfounded.

71 Anne November 8, 2007 at 9:48 am

Nobugsonme, I started a new thread under forums with the subject ‘Do I have bedgugs?’
Thanks for your feedback!

72 Anne November 8, 2007 at 9:53 am

Anonymous, I think this thread is for a different topic. You should raise your question under the forums. I am also new and I figured this after a few days.

73 November 8, 2007 at 10:00 am

Sorry, I can see what you mean. Can I delete it?

74 Anne November 8, 2007 at 10:14 am

I don’t think you should delete it, just start a new topic on the forum as I did. 🙂
I have just started the one with the subject: Do I have Bedbugs.

BTW. I also saw these pin pritch type of bites on me. At least I see these things and I suspect they are bites.

75 lil_bit_obsessed December 3, 2007 at 10:11 am

here’s a crazy thought… (sorry if this is already posted, i only had time to read about half the thread)

is it possible that these smaller bites, or hives, can be a reaction to the chemicals sprayed in the house? i have only had one big bite, and everything else has been itty bitty small like pimples ever since. i have not been sprayed, but my skin is unusually sensitive. could be histamine. for others, could it be a reaction to the PCO chemicals?

76 IWearTheScarletBB December 27, 2007 at 11:44 pm

I see that this thread has covered menstrual cycles. Horribly grossed out and wonder if BB are attracted to this!…not so much in the hormone fluctuating way, but more literally. I can not even fathom finding one “there”!!!!!!!

77 db July 12, 2008 at 4:09 am

i know this is an old thread, but i think i am having a similar problem to S. i had bedbugs back in the fall in an apt in nyc. i moved away and did not have any more bites until early june when i stayed at a hostel in prague. i was bit pretty bad then over the course of 5 nights thinking it was mosquitoes until the morning i left when i saw the owner spraying the hostel beds with bed bug spray. i just hoped i didnt bring them home with me. all of my bedbug bites (when i know for a fact they were bedbugs) have been big, red and extremely itchy. when i started getting small bites when i got home (about 2 weeks after the hostel), i sprayed all around, took apart furniture, sprayed behind outlet plates, etc. etc. but never actually saw any bedbugs or traces of bedbugs like blood stains. the new bites are tiny and not nearly as itchy. they are mostly lone bites but i have had a few near each other. i canno imagine what they are from. i want to know if its bedbugs and for a while i figured they were nymphs, but after seeing S’ post with similar reactions o adult and nymph, i wonder if my “bites” are bites at all…

was there ever any conclusion to S’ small bites? did they go away? were they bedbugs? another bug?

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