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Advice - when to call PCO back for retreatment of heat treatment

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  1. bedbugged88

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Aug 23 2014 16:12:40
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    Please read to the bottom of why I think I've gotten a reinfestation or the heat treatment didn't work. But I can't find proof.

    Long story short, came back from a trip from Portland with some "hitchhikers". At first I thought it was just mosquito bites - as I have really bad reactions to them, but I was waking up at 3am - feeling things crawl on me incessently and itches that appear in the middle of the night. this was every day for a week. I have a 4mth old baby so I frequently wake up in the middle of the night to feed.

    Because we are renting the top 2 floors of an old house with another tenant in the basement, we decided to get a heat treatment. The PCO at first didn't believe me because there were no fecal matter etc until he found molts in the corners of the boxspring. We signed up for a heat treatment for the top two floors and he assured me he would spray all the baseboards to prevent the bedbugs from going into the basement suite and even gave us a 3 mth guarantee. The basement tenant was away for the summer so we couldn't easily contact them to coordinate a heat treament. Well $1600 and a day later. We thought we were in the clear.

    Sunday - Jul 27 - Heat treatment of house and chemical spray in car (had to sleep in the living room due to the extreme heat wave and the treatment) - no bites

    ... 1 week passes with blissful sleep, with some minor hives

    Sunday - Aug 3- finding 1-2 bites a night and even on the baby but can't find proof on the bed. But I do find a bed bug molted skin in the bathroom on the bath mat (even tho it's a brand new bath mat)

    Thursday - Aug 7 - called PCO about the skin asking what to do - he recommended putting on bed protectors because 1 or 2 may have survived. And said the skin was probably from before the treatment.

    Friday - Aug 8 - my bed protectors arrived by mail and we put them on - we also put on climbups on the bed to try and find proof

    ... 1 week passes no bites in bed but started feeling crawling on my feet/legs on the couch - still no proof in the bed and start spreading DE everywhere

    ... 1 week passes find a single bedbug egg on a hairbrush in the bathroom - I don't know if it was there before or after the treatment. I squish it and flush it down the drain in a panic. I know I should have saved it. I know it was a BB egg because it was sticky, white, sized like a grain of rice, but with two black dots as eyes at one end.

    Thurs- Aug 21 still no official bites in bed, but it's getting cold and we finally turn on the forced air heating. Which suspiciously is also 5 days after I had found that bed bug egg, I develop a huge rash
    from sitting on the couch during the day. My baby and I spend a lot of time on the couch.

    Friday - Aug 22 I get 2 bites on the foot and 3 on the leg during the day. And now I'm getting welts/bites at 3am too on my arm and my neck. Though they are small and itchy, and they disappear by the time I wake up with no puncture mark.

    Things that make me suspicious -

    1. 1. we had a box of VHS tapes that we didn't have heat treated, and the PCO did not do a chemical treatment. Only realized later that it was CARDBOARD.
    2. 2. I'm diabetic, so I had a lot of vitamins and medicines that I could freeze or heat. Again not treated. This was before I knew about the alcohol spray
    3. 3. Most of the items were overturned and heated, drawers pulled out - BUT the leather couch bottom cushions are sewn in so you couldn't pull them out.
    4. 4. And there were some boxes that weren't overturned - which I tried to deal with later.
    5. 5. I had bags of makeup that I also removed, but again wasn't treated and was brought back into the house.
    6. 6. We had cleaned/bagged clothes in the middle of the dining room, with hardwood floors. But while cleaning, I discovered one of them had a hole in the bottom and I found some dead BBs. What if some got into the bag!

    The problem is we still can't find proof. Not in any of the passive traps - glue traps (sorry didn't get David Cain's BB traps) or active traps. We do/did have carpet beatles. I know their hair can cause similar welts.

    My husband is at his wits end with me and my precautions and hives. And he doesn't feel or get impacted by the bites. I can't find proof of bites on him.

    What do I do now? Wait until I have irrefutable proof that it wasn't from before the treatment? How do you even know? And what if the BB are in the force air heating vents?

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 24 2014 2:43:19
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    Could you post photos of one of your cast skins and of your egg?

    A bed bug egg would be much smaller than a grain of rice so this must be something else.

    Bed bugs with no signs of fecal stains does not sound right; I want to make sure your PCO did not misdiagnose the cast skins.

    In other words, if the problem was something other than bed bugs, heat treatment wouldn't work. It's worth ruling that possibility out.

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

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 24 2014 5:36:08
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    find a single bedbug egg on a hairbrush in the bathroom - I don't know if it was there before or after the treatment. I squish it and flush it down the drain in a panic. I know I should have saved it. I know it was a BB egg because it was sticky, white, sized like a grain of rice, but with two black dots as eyes at one end.

    As was pointed out above, bed bug eggs are 1mm long so that's close to 1/32 inch. A grain of rice is many times larger than that.

    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.
  4. bedbugged88

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 24 2014 13:30:01
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    Hi all.

    Unfortunately I got rid of the egg (too freaked out), but it wasn't the size of a rice kernel, it just had the white and ovalness of. The size was more like the picture of the molt after the heat treatment.

    Please see this link for a picture of the molts before heat treatment.

    And a possible bug.

    And this is the one molt found in the bathroom after heat treatment.

    I also found a bug which looks like the bug picture under the bed after putting on the mattress protectors.

    And after heat treatment, I've found traces of bugs which were dried out/stuck to walls and floors. They were pretty much fried. As soon as I tried to remove them they crumbled. So i do think the heat treatment killed some of them.

    I didn't get bites last night? Just bumps and lots of hives on my arms this morning. There was even a bump on the palm of my hand.

    Another Question:if there's any advice on how to get rid of cardboard safely? I had some cardboard boxes, and think I saw some fecal matter, but no molts.

    I've read alot of the postings, but it just says bag it? do i spray with the iso propyl first? I figure I just have to get rid of all the card board we have in the house.

  5. bedbugged88

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 24 2014 13:33:42
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    doh! Obviously the links to the pictures didn't work.

    Molts before heat treatment

    Bug

    Molt after heat treatment

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Aug 24 2014 14:26:45
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    Those "molts" are not bed bug cast skins. They look carpet-beetle related. Wait for Lou's confirmation. (Lou is an entomologist.).

    Are those the same "molts" the PCO identified as bed bugs? If so, I would call the manager and ask for a refund.

    Also, the bug photo does not look like a bed bug.

  7. bedbugged88

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 25 2014 13:36:24
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    Thanks nobugsome. I'm not sure whether to be relieved or not.

    Carpet Beatles don't bit though right? I still don't know what could explain the actual bites/incision points with swelling around the bite areas.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Aug 25 2014 18:00:47
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    You can't say you have "bites" based on a skin reaction. Some people get a similar reaction from carpet beetle hairs, so addressing the carpet beetles might help, if thee are a lot.

    There are other causes of similar skin reactions. For what it's worth, I believe Lou has said in other threads that an "incision point" is not typical of bed bugs.

    Bottom line is you might have bed bugs but you can't diagnose them from these samples of other insects, nor from skin reactions. Bed bug monitors are inexpensive and might help you rule this out.

    A careful inspection from a good PCO might help. I am not clear on whether these are the same pests your PCO said were bed bugs, but if so, I'd ask them about a refund.

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Aug 26 2014 9:47:10
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    Hi,

    Confirming carpet beetle larval skins and not bedbugs.

    The downside to this is that through the heating process the humidity is reduced in the home which increases the static and causes you to have more "bite like" responses from the hairs on the larval skins.

    Its time to take your shoes and socks off in the home to neutralise the differential and seek a new PCO who actually knows what they are doing. Long term monitoring to confirm bedbugs would also help.

    With regards any eggs int he bathroom that is automatically low probability because female bedbugs lay eggs close to food sources for the survival of the young.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

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  10. bedbugged88

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2014 14:31:03
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    Thanks for all the support and feedback the hives/bites/itchiness has subsided mostly. I'm still going through everything in search of signs.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Sep 4 2014 20:15:40
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    bedbugged88 - 5 hours ago  » 
    Thanks for all the support and feedback the hives/bites/itchiness has subsided mostly. I'm still going through everything in search of signs.

    It's great that your skin reactions are mostly gone.

    Maybe you won't feel the need to look for signs much longer.


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