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12 bugbites, used furniture, hard-to-search bedroom... help!

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  1. skatie1

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Jun 17 2018 11:39:02
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    Below is my scenario... any advice or recommendations welcome... Mostly I don't know what kind of monitoring or inspecting I should pursue at this point... I just want to be sure if I have them and eradicate them, or be sure enough that I don't that I can get back to my normal life and cleaning out my house ASAP without worrying about spreading bugs.

    So, last week I found myself the victim of many bugbites to lower legs, with suspicious timing relative to used furniture purchase (which chair obviously came from pet-owning home judging by fur)... details and timeline below. No physical evidence of bedbugs yet tho.

    I live in a condo with sprinklers and am afraid heat treatment might not be feasible. I have a *lot* of stuff and bagging/cleaning everything would be such a significant time cost it's not even funny. Setting my bed up with climbups under the legs even feels overwhelming because of how my bed is set up... not impossible, but... ugh... also I have a metal bed frame with like, open screw holes... and you can't see inside the hollow legs so...

    I've considered paying for a K9 inspection, because there are literally so many possible hiding spots in my bedroom that I'm not sure how you could inspect them all without taking so many things out or moving so many things around... and like the bed frame, not sure all of them are even visible...
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    Pertinent recent events:
    -Sat May 26... thrift shopping with sister, picked up a few small items including a framed picture, nothing upholstered, saw no evidence of bugs.

    -Tues May 29 - was in a weird mood and bought a secondhand upholstered chair at a vintage furniture place, without thoroughly inspecting, and just decided "it's probably fine" (never again).

    -Friday June 8- take nephew to park for three hours in afternoon. Spend a significant amount of time sitting on shady, slightly moist grass crawling with ants, in loose pants and short socks. We were brushing ants off ourselves for sure. Sister confirms some of the local parks have ants that will bite you.

    -Saturday June 9 - the chair had been wrapped in plastic furniture wrap in my garage awaiting a good cleaning/vacuuming, because it had pet hair on it and I'm allergic (again, why did I buy this chair???). Unwrapped the chair and vacuumed. Emptied the vacuum cannister and rinsed the cup but of course then took it back in the house. Chair still in the garage. Also that day put old mattress in garage and got new mattress, a futon mattress, which was vacuum wrapped and rolled (picked it up at the store, didn't come in a delivery truck direct to me). (Also of note, I had been sleeping on an air mattress on top of the old mattress cuz old mattress was too hard.) Worked out and got very sweaty (mosquito magnet much?) then went walking around dinnertime in short socks and culottes. I live on a canyon in San Diego and there are mosquitoes that have bit me while out before, tho I don't know if they are typically out as early as I was walking and it's very rare.

    -Sunday June 10 - Went to botanic garden in afternoon in loose pants and short socks... there were shady areas and water features so could have been mosquitos there, but it was 3 pm.

    -Tuesday June 12 - in passing notice some spots near my ankle, think nothing of it until Weds

    -Weds June 13 - Realize I have a lot of bug bites on my legs, all knee level or lower (and I'm barely 5 feet so knee level's not that high off the ground). I counted 12... some were random but there was a small cluster of three on one ankle, and a slightly crooked line of three mid calf on the other leg.

    -Friday - Find one more probable bite on my knee.
    --------------------------------------
    I've inspected myself for bites elsewhere but don't notice anything. I have really fair skin and tend to get red bumps or break out in certain areas so that can be confusing, but I can generally tell a bug bite (I think). Also I don't necessarily tend to react immediately that I know of (like I'm pretty sure I get a delayed reaction to mosquito bites, and they never itch unless they get scratched or rubbed accidentally... then they do but even so, I don't get massive itching.)

    I went in the garage with a UV flashlight and inspected the chair. I'd already vacuumed it and hadn't seen anything when vacuuming. It's one of those ones with the button-tufting too so I looked in all the button-dimples as best I could. I still need to try to inspect under the cloth cover on the bottom. Nothing so far tho.

    I UV flashlight inspected my mattress and bed area. Nothing. But I have a metal bed frame with open screw holes and hollow legs so it's impossible to check everything. Also the mattress is too heavy for me to move much myself. I did look along the edges of the wood slats on which it rests. Also looked at a couple other areas in the house.

    I wondered about fleas too, esp given the location of my bites. Sister does have a dog and rabbit also, and I spend a lot of time there, but not as much the last week cuz the kids have been sick and as far as I know her animals don't have fleas. But I know they could have been in the grass at the park too. I usually wear long socks and loose pants when the weather is cool, which it actually has been lately in San Diego, except for those few days on the weekend. And I know fleas don't bite through fabric.

    I also don't know what to do with the chair I bought... shortly before the bites started I'd decided to return it anyway (or rather, sell it back to them, because the place doesn't take returns but will buy back for 35% of what you paid, oh yay)... but I hadn't returned it yet. And now I'm like, oh dear, what's going on... this is very frustrating timing because I was just about to start trying to clean out and get rid of some of the "too much stuff" I have...). I just want to get rid of the chair but now I feel stuck.


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