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2 pro inspections say no bb, but climb-up interceptors say otherwise

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  1. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 23 2017 22:44:12
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    Hello all,

    I've been a lurker on this forum off and on for over 5yrs and have found the info shared here extremely helpful. Now it's my turn to post; looking forward to getting feedback on this curious case.

    A little background on my previous experience... 5 years ago we had a scare but were extremely lucky to avoid having a problem. Our son returned from a trip visiting relatives with "mosquito bites" all over his arms and legs. But I thought the bites in threes suspicious and found this forum during a half-hearted Google search that quickly turned to panic.

    Two months later I found one, flat-looking, adult bed bug crawling along the wall of my bedroom early one morning. It was positively identified by a licensed pest control company, who brought a dog and followed with 2 techs that thoroughly inspected all furniture throughout the house. They found zero other evidence and felt fairly confident that I found a lone bed bug. But just to be certain they recommended encasing mattresses, using climb-up interceptors, and keeping a "watchful eye". Ha! Anyone here knows...it's more like hyper-vigilance, often turning to full-on paranoia.

    But, eventually, (after about a year) we finally relaxed becaused we never had any other evidence/occurrence. I learned a great deal that year and happily went on to educate friends and family about how to avoid bb and what to look out for...

    When we moved to our new home 2 yrs ago, I was perhaps a bit too far removed from our close encounter that I didn't encase our new mattresses (but we did forgo their delivery service) and I tossed our old climb-up interceptors.

    Fast forward to last month, specifically 3/10/17. I found a live, plump, adult bed bug floating in the water dish of our son's pet in his bedroom. It was crazy. I almost didn't believe my eyes. I drained the water and ziplocked the bug. I quickly set out inspecting our son's sheets/mattress/box spring and did the same for our room and guest room (we had guests that stayed 1 week and left on 2/18/17. I did not find any other bugs or evidence. No fecal stains, no molted skins, no eggs. And I LOOKED. And looked some more the next day in the daylight. I also inspected and cleaned his pet's cage.

    3 days later, on a Monday, I had a reputable detection-only company come with their dogs (trained in Florida). They positively identified the one bug I had found, but their dogs failed to hit on anything after inspecting every room in our house, including closets, at my insistence (not their recommendation). I even posed the hypothetical "what if" that one bug laid eggs...? After their inspection they felt confident enough that they offered to return in 2 weeks, free of charge, if I needed further proof to allay my fears.

    I just couldn't believe we would be lucky enough...twice.

    By the following Friday, 3/17, and one week after finding the plump bed bug, I found the telltale 3 bites on my arm.

    I called detection-only company and their theory was that my bites could be the delayed response to the one bug I found. They said I could certainly move forward with a pest control company, since I still had my ziplocked bug, OR continue to monitor for activity.

    After calling a few recommended (licensed) companies we decided to have a second inspection by a company with one of their techs that specializes in in bed bug detection.

    His 2 hour inspection, on 3/23/17 turned up the same thing: nothing. No other bugs/molted skins/fecal stains/eggs. Nada. He used a magnifying glass with a light on everything including box springs, bed frames, and paintings on walls. He recommended we monitor and keep him posted, but concurred with dog inspection company that my bites were likely a delayed response to the one bug I found.

    We remained cautiously optimistic, but encased all 3 mattresses/box springs and placed climb-up interceptors on each; moving beds away from walls and tucking bedding tightly, much to my family's chagrin. We even placed our son's pet on a table and used climb-up interceptors.

    About 2 weeks later I find one flat-looking adult bed bug in a climb-up interceptor in our room. <crap>

    A week after that, I find another flat-looking adult bed bug in an interceptor under our son's bed.

    Then this morning, more than a week after the last one, I found another flat-looking adult bed bug in an interceptor in our room.

    Still NO OTHER EVIDENCE.

    Now what???

    Estimate for heat treating our 5 bedroom house is approximately 4k.

    Is it foolish to proceed as is, hoping we're preventing them from establishing themselves? I know climb-up interceptors are not made to treat and are not fool-proof in preventing an infestation, but detection-only company (off-the-record) advised that we could continue to be vigilant and assume the encasements and interceptors are doing their job, provided we don't have bites and still find no other evidence.

    I'm willing to try this method, with an understanding of the risks, but want to get the thoughts of others here...

    Thanks for reading.

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 23 2017 23:09:21
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    I am not an expert.

    That said, your thread made me think about some possibilities.

    One is that you are repeatedly being exposed to bed bugs in the current home.

    Is your house attached to any others? If so, it's possible that your neighbors are sending them in one by one. Ideally, you will talk to them, perhaps with a pro present to provide information.

    If not, you have to consider whether they are being brought in by a family member. It's possible they are at someone's work/job/daycare/friend or relative's home and that they're being brought in. (Others may not react to bites, so they may not even be aware.) It would make sense that the bed bugs first head to the nearest bed currently in use, and get caught in Climbups.

    Bird or bat bugs are possible and many pest techs don't know how to ID them (vs. their close cousin bed bugs) so posting a good photo of your sample here for ID may help an expert here rule that out. Consider whether bats or birds have been nesting in or on the home.

    There may be other possibilities.

    I would not rush into heat treatment with this sort of situation. I can't comment on whether you should have another kind of treatment now, or wait, but if you go for one, there are cheaper options which can work well (and honestly, heat is not only very expensive but can leave survivors). Heat plus dust or residual is becoming standard for those who do heat for this reason. That said, I think it's overkill-- if you need treatment now, you don't need heat.

    You do need to figure out where they're coming from, since they seem to be coming in repeatedly.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 23 2017 23:22:15
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    This is very helpful. Thank you.

    I definitely do not want to rush to treat, mainly because I've considered the possibility that they're being reintroduced. We've considered many, many possibilities but haven't come up with anything concrete.

    Our house is not attached to others, but homes are quite close.

    We haven't had any other visitors except for my mother who comes once a week, but hasn't been staying over in light of our situation. I checked my parent's bed...I didn't find anything.

    Puzzling.

    I'll post photo soon.

  4. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 23 2017 23:38:27
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    [img][/img]

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 1:41:07
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    You may need a closer photo to rule out bat and bird bugs.

    Here is a post with some tips on that:
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/test-13

  6. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 2:04:14
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    Yes, thank you. After looking up their differences, I can certainly see why a better image is necessary.

    I really appreciate your thoughts and feel a bit of detective work in the direction of bat bugs is warranted. We live in a subdivision in the hills...there are definitely bats around, and birds nesting on our house.

    Also, both the PCO and the detection company were completely baffled by my discovery of the 1st bug in pet's water dish; both felt it was not typical bed bug behavior/location.

    My son also pointed out that we have been spending a lot of time at a local Panera Bread this past month so that I can get some work done on my laptop while he does homework. We spent hours there some days in a booth with his backpack/my purse. I remember now that no matter where we sat at this particular location, I would often get a whiff of what seemed somewhat like B.O. emanating from the booth. PCO recently described the smell of a bad infestation as similar to a sweet, musty B.O. smell...just some thoughts.

    I'll work on taking a photo using tips you linked.

    Again, THANK YOU!

  7. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 2:33:29
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    Rookie mistake. I realize now the issue with my previous post.

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 5:14:01
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    Any of the collected bugs saved?

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  9. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 9:17:37
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    Yes, I have 2 saved.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 11:53:25
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    This hit the spam folder-- it's now restored above, but since it's key information, I am quoting it here so no one misses it.

    Birds nesting on the house suggests you need an entomologost like Lou to look at the sample.

    Fascinatedbybbs - 9 hours ago  » 
    Yes, thank you. After looking up their differences, I can certainly see why a better image is necessary.
    I really appreciate your thoughts and feel a bit of detective work in the direction of bat bugs is warranted. We live in a subdivision in the hills...there are definitely bats around, and birds nesting on our house.
    Also, both the PCO and the detection company were completely baffled by my discovery of the 1st bug in pet's water dish; both felt it was not typical bed bug behavior/location.
    My son also pointed out that we have been spending a lot of time at a local Panera Bread this past month so that I can get some work done on my laptop while he does homework. We spent hours there some days in a booth with his backpack/my purse. I remember now that no matter where we sat at this particular location, I would often get a whiff of what seemed somewhat like B.O. emanating from the booth. PCO recently described the smell of a bad infestation as similar to a sweet, musty B.O. smell...just some thoughts.
    I'll work on taking a photo using tips you linked.
    Again, THANK YOU!

  11. Fascinatedbybbs

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 13:05:10
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    I am SO glad I posted here before proceeding with treatment. I appreciate the value of this forum as a resource.

    I really needed to "talk this out" because I'm trying to keep a clear head amongst all the advice...I know that reading threads within this forum has made me much stronger and more astute over the years. I can approach this more calmly and rationally compared my initial fear-inducing encounter 5 yrs ago.

    Thanks for your responses. I will pm Lou.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Mon Apr 24 2017 14:11:21
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    Good luck and keep us posted!

  13. NewBug

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Apr 27 2017 21:39:44
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    I have a somewhat related situation, but not as extensive yet. I found a dead adult BB on my foot after taking my shoes off last week in my apartment. I didn't even think and immediately flushed it in the toilet. I had stayed at a friend's place (that wasn't very clean had a cat, roaches and definitely needed a new mattress...I know BB can even be in clean places) the night before so figured I may have picked it up from there. For some reason before I went to sleep when coming back I felt like I had to shower so I had laid in bed with no clothes on for not even 5 minutes and showered. Once I found the dead BB the next day, I threw the clothes I wore with the same shoes the night before in the tub and ran them under hot water. I flipped my mattress and checked everything but had no signs. A couple of days later I decided to shake my clothes out in the tub and another adult dead bug fell out of my pants. I may have seen nymphs/instars but they were so tiny it was hard to tell. I kept this one and called Terminix the next day. They were supposed to come that day(saturday) but never showed so said they'd be there Monday. Inspector shows up Monday and I give him my shpeal. I showed him the sample and he confirms but cannot find any other signs of BB in my room (he only inspected my room not my roommates or downstairs that has no furniture). He checked my mattress, windows, baseboards, walls, I request he look in the closet and nothing. He did say just because he saw no signs doesn't mean they weren't there, understandable. I even showed him yellow crusties i found in an stuffed orca whale that had a hole in its fin and he dismissed it saying it could be something else like a spider. His inspection took maybe 20-30 minutes at best and he recommend that we monitor and if we continued to get bites or found another bug in the next couple of weeks to do heat treatment. He said they could be old or moved in from an adjoining unit. What I'm concerned about is that after he examined the place I cleaned and threw away my sample without even thinking. We didn't go through our landlord (it was a free consult) and thought about telling them anyway, but without evidence what would getting another inspection from a different PCO do if there's no evidence? I'm not sure how comfortable I am waiting for the problem to get bigger if there is one. I even enquired about traps or anything he could give us and he said that it wouldn't do much, but I felt like even putting them to track would do something?

    I'm just coming back from somewhat dealing with carpet beatles in the last couple of months from my old place (moved in with this friend who lived here with someone else for 2 years in Dec) and now possibly having BB is making me anxious again. I know there's not much I could do but still...verbalizing in a way helps. I don't want to feel like I can't go see or stay the night at friends and it's upsetting that I can't entertain guests. Any advice is appreciated.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Sun Apr 30 2017 2:13:12
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    NewBug,
    Please copy your post to a new thread for feedback.
    Thanks!


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