Bed bugs and Christmas; the blasted 55-day rule

by nobugsonme on December 25, 2007 · 5 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it.

And a special shout out to mangycur whose bed bugs unfortunately popped out on the 53rd day after they were last sighted, reminding us of the “55-day rule.”

(If you remember, the 55-day rule refers to the period of time Rich Cooper suggests you need to be free of bites and sightings of bed bugs in order to consider yourself free of them; the relevant article is no longer online, but we quoted the reference to the 55-day rule here).

mangycur wrote om the forums:

I have had 53 days with no signs of bugs, no bites, no nothing. I am very allergic to their bites so I felt confident that if there were any around, I would know. Last night at a party, I actually told my best friend, “They’re gone. It’s over. If there were any left I would know.”

I started leaving my purse and shoes out, and tossing my coat on a table. I was ready to move on.

Last night a full grown, unfed bed bug crawled out of my couch. Merry [expletive deleted] Christmas! LOL

It actually suggests 55 days without seeing bed bugs may not suffice–I note with some horror that mangycur does react to bites. Or did in the past, anyway. What if it took three or ten or twenty days more to see that bed bug?

mangycur’s story comes only the next day after a reader asked how a non-allergic person can be sure bed bugs are gone.

mangycur, May your New Year be better than this one.

Although we celebrate Thanksgiving in November here in the US, I feel every holiday is a time to give thanks. And I’m truly thankful for all of you.

Admin update (11/2015): experts on our forums now suggest that it may not take as long as 55 days to be sure you’re free of bed bugs.  This is in part because more options are available for monitoring these days.

1 Winston O. Buggy December 27, 2007 at 9:57 am

There is also the chance that a new bed bug may have been introduced.
One of the things we have found is that sometimes there is an external
reservoir. What this means is that someone may continually come in contact
with bed bugs and has a high risk of reintroducing them. Or they may continue high risk behavior. We have had this with other pests like fleas for meter readers. Examples for cimex might be friends, boy/girl friends, home attendants, case
workers and others who may come in contact with bb occupationally.

2 nobugsonme December 27, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Winston, this is possible.
It’s also very possible in multi-unit buildings that a neighbor sent them over.

So this “re-introduction” can come secondhand, if a neighbor had been cleared and then was reexposed. Or if the neighbor was never cleared to begin with… shudder.

3 Winston O. Buggy December 27, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Absolutely in a multi unit the possibility always exists. Moving along pipes and wires,
free space, hallways, laundry rooms and visiting neighbors. But not always the case.
Each case varies obviously, you need to create a target assessment and then lower your profile. It would be fascinating to get an actuarial to work on this.

4 melany band June 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm

i moved in to this place dec2009. noticed my kids where getting bites alot called the landlord and they sent out the pest control. he said flea looks like the last renters had a dog so they sprayed. still bites and sprayed again 3 times for fleas. the last spray my son got sick and slept on the couch woke up in head to toe with these bites again looked over the couch and saw bedbugs this is now 4 months after i moved in had the pest control come back in only in the living room nothing at all in any of the beds crib anything. they came to start spraying for bed bugs when i got home 8 hrs later i saw them climbing on the wall 3 weeks later another spray after this one i saw 3 bugs on the couch looking very closely. after the 3rd spray i threw the couch away and have not seen a bit or a bedbug now for 8 weeks to the date. everything still put away (DVD,s ordiments ect) clothes all in bags still i am so scared to take everything out this ruined my life i go to bed at 10 sleeping with a flashlight and i think actually falls asleep around 2-3 does anyone know how i can find out if they are gone for good i am a single mom with 4 kids and this is not easy to live like this since they have only been seen in my living room i make my kids change their close every time they leave the living room so they don’t spread i check beds every night and still have no living room furniture and have no idea how to get any even. i heard there is a dog that can sniff out bedbugs but dont know if he comes to london ontario.. How long will this go on for???????

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