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ABSOLUTELY A BED BUG - BUT NO BITES!

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  1. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 17:28:22
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    First of all, I am a biologist. That means it's pretty easy for me to positively ID some things. That doesn't mean that I'm not as creeped out as the next person.

    Yesterday night, I was in my recliner, in my library, working at my computer, when I noticed a "watermelon seed" moving on my blouse. I captured it, popped it into alcohol. When I came to work this morning, I used a dichotomous key - alas, NOT a book louse - and then another one I got online. Not only is this positively and absolutely a bed bug, I can even tell you that it is an adult, and FEMALE.

    Here's the punch line: I have NO bites. I don't think I've had an insect bite in more than a year.

    I bought my current home last October. There has been absolutely no indication of bed bugs. Ants - plenty of them - but nothing more.

    HERE'S THE QUESTION: is it possible that I carried a single female in yesterday, or shortly before, and that now she's dead? A friend advises me to make sure this is not the case before I call in help.

    What do you think of the odds?

    By the way, this site is just what I needed. I could be a quivering, neurotic blob of jelly by now, but the site has information, real people, normalization - and some really useful humor. Thanks to everybody.

  2. rs1971

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 17:36:07
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    It's possible that you brought a single bed bug home with you. It's also possible (and probably more likely) that you or someone else in the home is being bitten but are non-reactors to the bites.

    -rs1971

  3. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 18:08:13
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    The PCO experts will probably be on tomorrow, but reading the FAQs can be a start. Maybe think about buying a passive monitor for the chair and the bed(s).

    It can just be a stray.

    They
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    = TAOT
  4. blargg

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 21:53:10
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    Where did the recliner come from?

  5. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 22:23:42
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    I would say, you have a bug and you'll have to choose your treatment. Take the weekend. Read the faqs. Grab a flashlight and a magnifier and look for signs, or get a professional into inspect. I'm cheap and willing to work like a maniac to accomplish stuff. If you have the ability, hire a good PCO to do the searching. It will be easier and less disruptive.

    Either way, if you haven't look yet, that needs to be the next step, a methodical search for traces. I would consider monitoring if you don't find the infestation after that. You have a bed bug, and they're like a trauma-tastic inbred Brady Bunch. They usually aren't alone and yet it does happen, but you have to eliminate the possibility of infestation first.

  6. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 22:38:11
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    Dear bambi,

    Have you checked your specimen to be sre it's not a bat bug?

    It is not that uncommon that people may not react to bed bug bites so, as pointed out by the folks above, you may be a non-reactor.

    Please refer to the resources pages available here on this site and psot whatever questions you may have.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  7. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 0:53:28
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    rs1971: I know you are right. It's possible that it's a stray, but chances are against it. In spite of my preliminary inspecting revealing NOTHING, I know the odds are not great. But I'm still sort of in denial.

    theyareoutthere: I've ordered the bed leg traps. I'm getting rid of the recliner. I've bought shrink wrap and a ton of duck tape to seal it. I'm trying to figure out how to get it taken away.

    blargg: I've had the chair for about six years. It belonged to my ex-sister-in-law's husband (now deceased), then my other ex-sister-in-law. This is the first sign of trouble.

    ashamedandscratching: I pulled my bed apart (adjacent room): absolutely no sign. I have a powerful LED flashlight and a magnifying glass. I found a tiny wiggler on the windowsill next to the recliner (we're back in the library now). I popped it into a jar with some alcohol and drove to my lab - and couldn't find it! The alcohol had leaked out. I spent 1.5 hours looking through the jar and the surrounding bag before I gave up. It might have been a tiny spider. Other than that, there's absolutely nothing I could find on the recliner or in either room.

    Pbello: yes, I made sure it wasn't a bat bug - or a swallow bug, or a poultry bug. Keying it out was actually sort of fun. I'll try to remember that while I'm doing clean-up.

    All: I've already ordered some Precor. Logic? At a minimum, I had an adult female, and she could well have laid some eggs, n'est pas? I also contacted a PCO that has featured dogs in the past. They aren't using them much anymore - wonder why? I will try to get them to come out tomorrow and give me their opinion.

    I have three weeks before I start teaching again. This was supposed to be the first day of my VERY badly needed vacation. But it looks like I'll spend it baking books and doing laundry. Hey, I just got a Miele rotary iron. NOTHING could live going through that thing.

  8. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 6:01:47
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    Dear bambi,

    I would not recommend precor for bed bug control. Fleas yes, bed bugs no.

    Good luck, hope this helps ! paul b.

  9. djames1921

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 7:18:05
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    Bambi,

    I would not on the taxonomic key for your identification of it not being a bat bug. When I take samples in to our local entomology taxonomist they use sample comparisons to determine which it is because they have been wrong before when they use characteristics commonly found in keys such as hair lengths, etc. If you have been completely thorough in your inspection, I would guess that you either found the lone bed bug, or you have bat bugs. Check the outside perimeter for signs of bat droppings and get your sample positively id'd by an entomologist with a collection. One last question, is your house freestanding or does it share walls with others?

  10. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 8:09:08
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    You can place specimens on a scanner to obtain a good resolution for images that can be linked here on the forum

  11. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 9:40:33
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    Okay, I'll get a pic of the thing and post it here. It's in my school office right now so I'll have to wait until I go in.

    What do you think of this possibility? There are a couple of birds that appear to have a nest in the rain gutter over my library. I heard them (?) thumping around for many weeks before I saw anything there; I wondered what was causing the noise.

    Could they have carried in a bug - whatever it is? And even if it is a bed bug, could they have carried it, and could its descendants then decide I was a preferred host?

    This is all occurring on the second floor of my house, which would make removing birds (assuming that's what is thumping) all the more difficult.

    We DO have a local bat problem. An entire shopping center was shut down for months because of it.

    Okay, enough speculation. Time for some real evidence.

    I found some possible dogs for hire in a city about an hour away. Do you think it would be worthwhile to try and get them down here?

  12. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 10:11:40
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    Dear bambi,

    QUestions & comments:

    > Where are you located?

    > What kind of birds?

    > Bats? At your own house too? How do you know for sure? (Note, bats can enter through smaller gaps than folks might think. They usually enter and are associated with areas along the roof line/soffet/facia/roof vents/gable end vents, etc. Over time their activity will leave "rub marks" or "grease marks" on the surfaces adjacent to the entry-exit point so, look for that too.)

    > Birds can be associated with both bat bugs and bed bugs do to certain circumstances.

    > Please refer to my post today titled somthing like "Bed Bugs, Mites & Professionalism" as this information may relate to you and help you to avoid additional problems too.

    > I look forward to seeing your photo(s).

    Hope this helps, have a great day ! paul b.

  13. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 11:04:59
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    Stockton, California.

    No, I actually haven't seen any bats. The very idea didn't even occur to me until this bug thing came down Wednesday night. All I know is that I've heard thumping in that direction along my roof line over my library, and once I saw a couple of birds there, seemingly sitting in the rain gutter.

    Off to my work office! I hope to find my camera there and will send a pic if I do.

    I have a call out about some dogs. I wonder if they can pick up bat or bird bug scents . . .

  14. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 11:58:18
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    You could try an active monitor like the BB Beacon... both species are attracted to CO2.

    If you are going to pay a premium price for a K9 inspection... Be sure to ask if they will perform a thorough visual inspection to confirm any K9 alerts.

    My BedBugDog will alert for bat bugs, but there is no published research on the subject... Ask the handler about their experience with locating bat bugs... if your specimens are identified as bat bugs.

  15. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 13:20:23
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    I have a couple of jpg's. How do I post them?

  16. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 13:27:53
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    Bambi

    Here is a link to detailed instructions on posting your photos
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/test-13

  17. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 20 2012 13:33:24
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    [code]http://www.flickr.com/photos/bambi_bug/7610803464/in/photostream

  18. bambi

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 12:51:37
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    Howdy, all,

    I just want to thank all of you strangers. In a world that often feels full of human evil, it is really inspiring to encounter people like you who provide so much help to others so selflessly. I will try to pay it forward.

    I do want to say a bit about what I've learned in the process of doing online research: there's a lot of information based on speculation, at a minimum. Even on the scientific front - and I'm a scientist who teaches students how to evaluate "scientific information" - there are many "facts" that were actually handed down, generation after generation, and when they are tracked back to their sources, it appears that there is little or no evidence. Even the stuff that appears to be based on modern research often turns out to be the findings of only a single experiment. This kind of evidence would never be accepted in medicine.

    Even information about species is fraught with contradiction. I now have 60 slides of images and information I collected online, to try to see if my bug might be atypical, considering its proximity to a bird or bat colony. I've found lots of inconsistencies. Worse, I got the impression that most PCO's aren't going to know - or care - about the specific details, and sometimes that could affect treatment.

    Example: Cimex hemipterus appears to be a lot more common than thought - and I read something online that claimed that heat treatments won't work. Is this real? What's the evidence? If it's real, are we distinguishing between hemipterus and lectularius before we treat? (Good luck on this one!) Do PCO's know about this?

    I've decided that the bird or bat colony in the eaves above my library has got to go, regardless of the actual Cimex species. The birds or bats could be a reservoir, no matter what the critter is, and the proximity to my only specimen is notable.

  19. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jul 21 2012 12:58:14
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    Good luck, Bambi! Loubugs is a famous entomologist if you want to PM him and send him a sample and pictures. Others have done that. I believe his name is Lou Sorkin.

  20. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 8:40:49
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    I went back to see what anyone had said here, but I do hope you reach out to Lou Sorkin. He's loubugs. He's also the chief bedbug wrangler in charge at the Museum of Natural History. This is his area of expertise and he may be able to help you wade through the research and misinformation online about your pet bloodsuckers.

  21. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 8:51:12
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    Bambi's closeups are now posted in this thread. I suggest continuing the discussion there, and hopefully an entomologist can confirm the ID as a bed bug vs. bat bug, swallow bug, etc.

    Go here, please!
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/more-pics#post-144057

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

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