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Advice needed; Bites/Spots since October after structural heat tx w residual

(4 posts)
  1. stoptheitch

    Joined: Dec '15
    Posts: 2


    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 3 2015 9:31:25

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    Hi all, my household has been plagued with mystery bites for 6 to 8 weeks. Below is the short story of events and then a very long timeline; any suggestions for how to move forward to get an answer or what the possibilities are would be much appreciated. This situation has been extremely stressful for all of us.

    Oct ducts were cleaned; one dead mouse found and was cleaned out.


    August/Sept –partner travels; no bed bug precautions taken.
    2nd week October – bites begin on me
    3rd week October – find bug think is bed bug; find large blood splotch on childs pjs and small bite on child
    4th week October – whole house structural heat treatment with residual chemical dust (single family home); stay at parents for 5 nights continued spots/bites
    1st week November – set up BEEP two nights in a row at home : no bugs caught; go home; wake up to hot spots on neck, bites continue, blood trail on pillow;
    3rd week November – chemical treatment; PCO indicates a 1 single bed bug was seen but was vacuumed up so no picture and no evidence besides the PCO saying something.
    3rd week November – heat treatment PCO arrives for inspection finds nothing; no castings, no fecal, no bugs; we leave to stay at parents (of note: partner is staying in house in our bed to be the bait).
    4th week November to today (12 days): I continue to wake up each morning with bites/spots. My eldest has what appears to be a bite on his neck, and two on his hands. The ‘bite’ on his neck disappeared in less than 24hrs.
    First week of December: second chemical treatment is planned.

    Oct Second October weekend- I got one bite/spot on my neck
    Mid week - a few more bites/spot on my neck
    October- thorough search of bed and box springs and head board, areas around bed. Mattress and box springs were encased. Childs bed also encased as precaution.

    Onwards – each morning woke up to more bites/spots; probably 3-6 bites/spots covering my shoulders, neck, and arms each day. My infant has either a rash or bites on his neck.

    Third week of October I was convinced it was bed bugs, as my partner went away in August as well as in October and had placed luggage on our bed and took no precautions regarding bed bugs as we were happily oblivious to this issue.

    Again searched head board (black), bed frame, box springs, and mattress to no avail. Looked around the bed and found bug samples; one was carpet beetle larvae, one red flour beetle, and one bug that to us was a bed bug. We then began frantically searching for treatment; as we have two young children we decided on whole house structural heat treatment with a residual pesticide.

    Two days prior to the treatment, found a bite on my sons neck, and inside his pj shirt was two large blood spots at the neck, and one further down towards his hips. He had slept in our bed.

    End of October the heat treatment was completed. We went to stay at our parents for this, with an infant and young child. We had our cars treated, as well as we stood in front of a propane heater to blow our clothes, shoes, and two wallets and only took clothes that went through the dryer for 2x 40 min cycles on high heat. We only took our sons lovies which went through the dryer. Once we arrived, we all took off our clothes and bagged them to be heated in the dryer for 40 min, then went through a wash cycle on high heat and dryer again. We did bring our wallets, phone and keys in the house. I showered upon getting my children in the house, and my eldest child had their hair washed but not instantly upon arrival. I did not drive my car. As an aside, what are the chances we brought them with us?

    We stayed for 5 nights at my parents, with my partner going to and from work. He only wore clothes from the dryer but upon arriving home from work did not change clothes. I continued to get bites/spots for these 5 nights, with the same patterns of emergence on neck, shoulders and arms.

    We went home the first week of November. The first night there was nothing of note, but the second night I awoke in the night to an itchy, burning feeling on my skin at my neck and there were three ‘bites/spots’. Two mornings later, we found a trail of blood on one of our pillows that looked like there was blood on an insects leg that walked away.

    We of course are/were convinced that they were still there, the structural heat company indicated that we needed to find a live bug and that we should have the initial bug ID’d as a bed bug. We took our samples to an entomologist and was told that the mystery bug was a beetle of some sort but NOT a bed bug; this was confirmed by another completely separate entomologist.

    We went ahead to schedule a chemical treatment (vacuum, steam, then dust/chemical), with the blood and continued bites on myself and the few beginning on our children. The chemical PCO indicated he saw 1 bed bug but it was vacuumed up, so no picture or evidence of bug. Nothing else was indicated.

    We had to have the children out of our house for at least 12 hours, so they were sent to my parents again, but this time, they were bathed and handed to my parents with no clothes to put brand new clothes on in their car. We had planned to bring the children back and stay at our home from the treatment on, as we are aware everyone should be in their beds, but the stress and anxiety were taking a toll on me and our life, so my partner sent me to my parents as well. I showered upon leaving, and wore clothes out of the dryer for 40+min, I then took all clothes of and bagged them in my car upon arrival at my parents, showered and put on new clothes from my parents house. I have brought nothing into the house this time. No phone, no keys, nothing. I also do not drive my car.

    Two mornings post this treatment, my partner found blood spots on the pillow. Fresh blood, that was at least 4 large circles of 1.5cm of blood. a lot. Of note, my partner is staying at the house since chemical treatment sleeping in our bed to be bait.

    The first company did an inspection 2 days post the chemical treatment of our bedroom, and found absolutely nothing; no live bug, no fecal, no castings. This was 3 weeks post the first heat treatment, but two days post chemical and us cleaning all bedding. This company is indicating that our problem is carpet beetle larvae hairs; which doesn’t make sense with the blood, and the spots/bites every day.

    Here is the biggest problem: it has been 13 nights since my being home (hence I have been away 13 nights), and I am still breaking out in the spots/bites every morning. EVERY morning. Nothing has changed regarding amount, placement or severity. Is it possible these are STILL delayed reactions? This seems rare to say the least. My infant still has the bites or rash, and my elder child has a few what appear to be bites now appearing (they have been at my parents 15 nights).

    What does this mean? And how do we proceed? Either it is not bed bugs (meaning the bites are something else entirely) or the bed bugs are here or I am having a VERY long delayed reaction!! So how do I go forward? The plan was to go home after the spots/bites disappeared so we had a gauge at home for whether the bed bugs were gone, but now there is no gauge. Plus I may have just left my parents with a very big problem; how do we decipher what is actually happening? Any ideas ?

    I have begun circling my bites/spots, and taking pictures as to where they are, as some I feel could be old ones, but some are most definitely in new places.

    Also I am wondering if you follow all precautions regarding laundering your items and showering, what are the chances, percentage wise, that you can take the bed bugs somewhere?

  2. BigDummy

    Joined: Dec '13
    Posts: 4,631


    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 3 2015 10:21:12

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    Step one: STOP

    Treating without knowing the source of your skin irritations is a waste of money and it will only increase the stress, potentially creating more skin irritations.

    You need to identify what the problem is before you waste any more time and money.

    All bed bugs do not lie in wait for unsuspecting travelers and hitch a ride; it's just something that can happen from time to time. Nothing in your story makes me think bed bugs.

  3. stoptheitch

    Joined: Dec '15
    Posts: 2


    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 3 2015 13:28:38

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    Hi BigDummy

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I do understand that treating before identification is a problem, however when we first began the beetle bug we found was thought by photo to be a bed bug by multiple PCOs so started our treatments.

    I am confused by the comment that nothing says bed bugs as our chemical PCO indicated he found an adult bed bug. As well, we have reactions and blood on our pillows. I can understand it can be something else, but no one is ever able to provide what that could actually be. Any suggestions would be welcomed!!!

    If we begin just monitoring for live bed bugs, fecal or castings, how long would it take for this evidence to build up? 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months?? Do we in this time period take everything out of bags and continue as normal, or do we continue to take all precautions when visiting or heading out of our house?

    Thank you again for responding and taking the time to read about the situation. Your opinion is helpful.

  4. jim danca

    Joined: Jul '15
    Posts: 2,702


    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 3 2015 13:34:31

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    You would see some kind of evidence within 14-21 days if bedbugs are present. Remember, they feed on average once a week. Every time they feed they poop. And usually molt after a feeding. In the lab they may feed multiple times before molting. And when they molt, they advance to the next growth stage.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap

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