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Advice needed. Bites but no bed bugs. Please help

(8 posts)
  1. bbterrified

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jun 25 2013 16:01:18
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    I live in NY state and I stayed at a hotel on my way to my friends’ house in another state on May 24. 6 days later, I had a series of 4 and 3 red flat “dots” on my left thigh (which was covered up when I slept at the hotel) that itched briefly and then the itching stopped. I freak out thinking bedbugs. My friend thinks they appeared because that was the only day I happened to wear shorts and go running outside. I was not convinced, so a few days later, I went to visit an urgent care facility nearby and the PA there also suspected bedbugs (she had been thru her own episode 3 years ago). Went to see a dermatologist a few days later and he said he didn’t think they were from bed bugs.

    But, based on the info from urgent care, we vacuumed, steamed, cleaned every inch of the room at my friend's house. Put encasements on both mattress and boxspring and I have since had my friend install “climb up” monitors. They have had them installed 2 weeks and nothing yet. I also “detailed” my car – steamed, vacuumed, sprayed. Threw out my luggage, washed and dried all my clothes, packed all my belongings in ziploc plastic bags and drove home to NY. I also called the hotel. Manager said he would investigate -- he“locked down” the room and did a full inspection and no bugs. He also said he had rented the room to 8 people since me and no one else had any problems or called to report anything later. He was very nice and professional and assured me that they deep clean all the rooms once a month.

    I took every precaution coming back home to NY. Stripped naked in the garage, put clean clothes on, then stripped out of those clothes in the house and put those clothes in a plastic bag. Since then I have either put items from my trip in the dryer (if they could go in) or put items in my new Packtite. I have continued to get red bumps that did not itch since arriving home – neck, shoulders, stomach – hubby thought they were acne…doctor thought some just looked like dermatitis. But, since I am now in full blown OCD, panic and depression, I clean our bedroom area inspecting as I go. We live in a very old unconventional space…so it is difficult to inspect. I did not find any bed bugs but I did find quite a few other bugs (including 5 spider beetles?).

    I have a bb alert passive monitor installed on our boxspring. I am the one who used carpet tape at first on the back – so it was installed for one week with the carpet tape on the back installed on top of the boxspring (under the mattress at the head end). I have had a new one installed for 2 days with a more proper install( pillowcase draped between mattress and boxspring -- thank you Mr. David Cain). Nothing…no bugs, no evidence on either monitor. I also ran a bed bug beacon in my car for a few days. Nothing there. I sleep completely covered – pants tucked into socks and shirt tucked into pants. I sleep in mostly white clothing and have put stark white sheets on the bed.

    Today, by mid morning, I have a series of 4 raised red bites on my right ankle – these itch for awhile and then don’t itch any more. I just don’t know what to do anymore! Now, I’m thinking that maybe I picked them up from a hotel stay in NYC ( May 10) and brought them home to my house in NY before I even left for my trip to see my friend – but the first grouping of bites would have been 20 days after that stay. I’m also now starting to think that maybe the used car I bought in January had them and has had them all this time But, we have weeks of time in winter where the temperatures don’t get anywhere above freezing. My husband thinks that I just got the new bites from being out in the yard with our dogs. And as for fleas, all dogs have been on flea meds since April. I have not seen a flea on one of our dogs in 7 years. The bugs in general are bad this season because we had a lot of rain – many mosquitos (have killed several in the house) – but these bites were in a group (each one an inch apart).

    My husband (and everyone else) thinks I’m crazy – he is convinced we do not have bed bugs. I have seen my regular doctor 3 times in the last two weeks and I am currently seeing a psychologist for this issue as well. I am on medication now also (anti-depression and anti-anxiety).

    I was going to have a K9 come in, but I am extremely concerned about a false positive. Any advice is appreciated. Should I have the dog come in and risk a false positive? Or just wait it out with the passive monitors? If I ran the beacon in my car for a few days (the one I detailed), do you think it is ok to drive? I am paralyzed. This has literally taken over my life. I am concerned for my own well being, but even more so concerned about those around me. If anyone has any advice, I would love to hear it. Please help! I feel so alone.

  2. BBorNot2Bs

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Tue Jun 25 2013 22:22:12
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    don't feel alone. i've been experiencing bites for over a year and i have yet to see any kind of bug. i do believe i have bbs. it's scary not having the proof. i nearly drove myself crazy when all of this started. i used to practically sterilize myself before i left the house so no one else would get infected. most of my clothing and other possessions are in plastic bags. i read that bbs can live for a year without eating so i was gonna leave my house for a year. then i read that they can live without a blood meal for five hundred or so days, so now, what do i do. i'm exhausted all the time. the itching is like the worst i've ever encountered. i need to try some of the products mentioned on this forum. i don't want to continue living with this horrible interruption in my forever. i'm encouraged by your efforts to get to the heart of this issue.

  3. bbterrified

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jun 26 2013 7:36:58
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    Thank you for your response BBorNot2Bs. The thing that scares me the most are my cars and as you said carrying them to someone else. Do I continue to live as if I have them? At what point do I just let it go? It's been over a month now.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jun 26 2013 8:42:57
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    Hi,

    I have a lot of faith int he Beacon as a product that we have used many times in complex cases. If you have run the Beacon for 4 or 5 days and its clear then I would be happy to resume as normal with that aspect of life. The reason for this is that the capture rate increases from day 3 onwards and only starts to tail off again after day 5. We tend to think about CO2 in absolute terms as an attractant but the bedbugs senses and interpretation seems to be a lot more subtle.

    Personally given that the skin reactions have occurred in an odd area for bedbugs and that there are no confirming signs I would suggest waiting things through and looking at alternative potential causes.

    In the meantime I am going to suggest a little alternative therapy. The world of bedbugs and suspecting bedbugs is a very small and enclosed one. We tend to focus on small areas and a lot of attention to detail. As such without realizing it we are effectively restricting ourselves to a smaller "box" than usual. I notice this a lot when I am deep into a project or have a run of heavy cases to deal with. As much as anything the strain on your eyes from looking at such much detail can not be discounted in the same way that we can spent too long reading an essentially 2D computer monitor. I therefore have gotten myself into the habit of seeking views and vistas to sit for a while and look at, yes its the good old walk in the park theory. Just 15 minutes sitting on the grass or a bench can really help relax your vision because you can look into the distance and take in a wider picture.

    I was posting in a professional group earlier today (yes as well as this forum there are many "professional only" groups I keep an eye on) about a video which although technically reasonable gave the wrong message in other ways. It focused on up close detail of bugs and infestations to induce fear rather than to encourage understanding. Oddly enough I was the only person who picked up on this but its not my first rodeo as it were.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor.

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  5. bbterrified

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jun 26 2013 12:53:36
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    David,

    Thank you for your very thorough and thoughtful response. It is truly appreciated and yes, very helpful.

    One last piece of info regarding the beacon, my car sat completely unhabited for a week before I even ran the beacon in it. Somehow that gave me extra comfort thinking that after a week if they were actually in my car, they would be looking for a meal sooner rather than later? Maybe wishful thinking on my part.

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jun 26 2013 13:26:48
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    Hi,

    No good logic.

    An active monitor by definition is really only attractive to food seeking bedbugs. The well fed ones tend not to demand feed in the same way as they can do int he lab setting.

    However I am still driven by the better results being day 3+ in all the cases I have dealt with using it.

    One crazy case from last year was a long term infestation which needed to be non chemical for medical reasons. The project took about 20 man hours and a lot of off site decon but the Beacon monitoring for 14 days post clearance showed we only missed 5 of the estimated 35,000 bedbugs present although my warehouse smelt of cooking bedbugs for weeks after.

    After that job I spent a few hours driving to the beach and sat and watched the waves for a while. It was a good chance to reflect on the fact that at the center of the issue was the most colourful and pleasant gentleman you would ever want to meet. A non bite responder of course and having bigger issues in his life at the time, he had focused on them.

    David

  7. bbterrified

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Jun 26 2013 14:07:16
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    Wow! Just wow.... That's amazing. 35,000! Thank you for sharing that story...including the reflection after the fact. Gives me great comfort on many levels. I'm sure others reading the forum will feel the same.

  8. bbterrified

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Jul 12 2013 20:40:51
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    An update on my situation:
    I have had the bb alert passive monitor installed for 14 days and nights (actually -- I have had it installed for 21 days, but during the first 7 the monitor was installed with the 2 sided carpet tape and wasn't in the best location). No evidence on the monitor, no bugs or any other evidence. I have had bites and bumps on occasion still, but the mosquitos are at record levels in our area this summer, and I can hardly leave my house for 60 seconds without several landing on me and my dogs.

    My friend that I stayed with in another state had the climb up interceptor monitors installed for 21 days...nothing.

    I have operated the bedbug beacon in both cars...nothing.

    Based on what I have seen in other posts, I think it is time to lay the issue to rest, yes? (at least as it relates to bed bugs) . Thoughts/advice appreciated.


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