Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Psychological and Health problems caused by bed bugs (besides bites)

almost a year later and still sort of freaking out about bedbugs

(15 posts)
  1. bugcrazy1

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Aug 15 2017 15:26:44
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    So last fall I found out I had bed bugs. I got treatment, and the problem was gone until i found a few bugs about 1.5 months later. My PCO was sure i was bringing them in (not entirely sure if this is true or not). Anyways, I had a another treatment, and then they inspected again and said they didn't recommend another treatment (so maybe they weren't living in my house and I did bring them in...).

    But then I had to move out of my house about 2 weeks after the treatment. I basically only brought my clothes, and washed and dried them of course. I would freak out at every spot on my skin, thinking its a bed bug bite. i would inspect my bedding almost every other day, but didn't find a bed bug. Sometimes i would feel fine but the thing is some of my bumps did look like bed bug bites to me. its hard to tell though because i couldn't tell that the small blemishes on my skin last time were bed bug bites- they usually were small red dots.

    Now, I moved all my stuff out of the old house (throwing away mattress and a lot of furniture) and moved into a new apartment (i have been living with my parents previously, not to avoid bedbugs but for a career opportunity located nearby). I'm excited to live in a new apartment, which is very nice, and not to be afraid of bed bugs since there isn't the ambiguous situation of whether they are gone or not. But then, the next morning i found several large mosquito bite looking bumps on my ankle! how can this not freak me out! I keep telling my self they must be mosquito bites or even flea bites (either could be a possibility) but it is hard. I put some improvised climb up interceptors beneath my bed, so I guess i will see if they are from bed bugs or not.

    I don't want bed bugs of course- the treatment is a terrible experience. But I also want to know ASAP if i do have bed bugs so I can start treatment. If I do have them though, they are very hard to find and I feel like though if my friends saw what Im doing to try to find bed bugs they would think Ive gone insane.

    I need to just calm down and accept my fate whether it will be another round of bedbug treatment or not, but its the waiting that is making me crazy

  2. Tim m

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Aug 15 2017 15:54:29
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    I can only speak on behalf of myself but it never went away for me I had them in 2011. I was always worried and now I'm dealing with them again.

  3. bugcrazy1

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Aug 15 2017 17:06:23
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    Oh no Tim! Was hoping to not hear that!

  4. Tim m

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Aug 15 2017 17:30:31
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    It's crazy how a small parasite can consume your everyday life. Don't get me wrong it did get somewhat better after the first issue in 2011. But for the first year or so I didn't like company coming over I almost never let my kids stay over at friends houses. Now I'm not as stressed out this time because I know what I'm dealing with. Must be just bad luck I think I worried so much that they found me lol. This time I'm taking care of the issue the rite way first time was a mess I spent money on cheap so called bed bug killers tossed out so much furniture. I guess it's the price I pay for living in a multi unit complex.

  5. bugcrazy1

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Aug 15 2017 17:49:44
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    well i feel the same way about treatment- if i have them, I'll call a PCO, and go through all the steps. What i can't stand is where I am in this sort of limbo where I'm not sure if I'm being paranoid, or not. And if I am not, I feel a sense of dread for when I finally (hopefully not) find a bed bug and have to call tell my new landlord to call a PCO and tell my roomate and then go through the whole thing.

    I want to move on, but I also want to catch them ASAP if they are here. I'm being pulled so many ways.

  6. bugcrazy1

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Aug 17 2017 17:06:52
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    Im pretty sure im just getting eaten alive by mosquitos:

    Ive been getting bites every day it seems. Since I havent been geting bites before then it wouod be weird to start getting them everyday

    Ive been out in the evening alot and I live in green area in a city so its perfect for mosquitos

    Neighbors have been complaining about mosquitos as well

    I dont react badly to mosquito bites so never really notice them, but in my paniced state I inspect my skin too closely.

    Im of course keeping monitors and will be vigilent in general but will stop panicing

  7. AfraidtoKnow

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Aug 18 2017 20:44:09
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    Just wanted to chime in and tell you - you are not alone! I feel the same way and not sure if I will ever stop, although my level of neuroses has fluctuated over time. Maybe it will be better one day if I ever live in a single family home, plus not in a major city. At least I'll know the chances are reduced or more easily controlled.
    Hope you just have mosquitoes! x

  8. bugcrazy1

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Aug 19 2017 21:16:33
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    Thanks AfraidtoKnow. Ive seen no signs so far. I guess only time will tell but the rational side of my brain says mosquito bites are more likely. The other side of me is a little worried, but im staying calm.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Aug 20 2017 11:30:16
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    If you have bed bugs, there will be fecal stains. You can call a PCO and get an inspection. They defecate nearby every time they feed, and in the absence of fecal stains, your skin reactions are likely from another cause.

    I understand the anxiety. However, while they hide well, bed bugs can't hide their fecal stains. That should be reassuring.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  10. ljlo2011

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Aug 20 2017 16:18:41
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    Sorry to hop in on this post- but I'm in the same situation. I don't know that I'll ever be convinced they are gone. Despite finding no signs, clear passive monitors and interceptors, and no fecal stains that I can find on my white sheets- plus being cleared by a dog 2 weeks after tossing my bed (the dog initially alerted on my bed only.) I've been sleeping on an air mattress for about a month now since we tossed our bed. New bed is being delivered Tuesday, and this am after being away on vacation all last week, and returning yesterday, I woke up with a bite near the back of my knee this morning. My rational brain says mosquito bite- but my irrational brain has taken over. How close to you do they usually defecate? Would I likely still see a fecal stain of it were just one straggler nymph? I'm driving myself and my family crazy.

    More freaked bc from the very start of this in March even my PCO wasn't able to find any signs. It started when I got 2 welts on my arms, and then the next day found a dead adult in my bed. Even after that I only ever saw 1 1st stage nymph in an interceptor. I've had 3 treatments, the dog has come out twice, and done countless other things.

    I don't know that I'm ever going to feel normal again, and I'm mentally exhausted.

  11. Suzanne

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon Aug 21 2017 22:27:11
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    Hey all,
    I hope it's ok that I chime in. I had BBs in august of 2013....4 years ago and I still struggle with the searching and anxiety. They definitely changed my life but I am way more cautious as I'm sure you all Are so I feel like being aware has lowered my risk somewhat. Take comfort in that. I too immediately think any bump itch or spot on my skin is definitely bb. I have an amazing group
    Of friends who look at pictures I send them, they kindly look, tsk tsk and then
    Comfort me and I feel better. They've seen some of my personal regions when I'm in panic mode and unceremoniously thrust a bump at them and ask their opinion. Lmao.

    There is a little voice in the back
    Of my head that thinks " I thought my bites were mosquito bites back in 2013 and they weren't". Maybe that's the issue w me, that I figured, living in the south, that it was just mosquitoes. I ask my friends now when I get a bite or there's a blood or black spot on my sheet, what a "normal" lol Person would immediately think. I've somehow lost the ability to
    Not jump to the bed bug conclusion.

    Now, with that being said my hypervigilance and lack
    Of a better word, obsession, has gotten much better. I no longer toss my bed as often-i can comfortably inspect once every few weeks as some professionals have advised. I resist the impulse to search my couch like I used to....partially bc I'm lazy; but mostly bc no one sleeps on the couch and there are certainly two warm bodies in the house (I live in a tiny house-all one floor) they could find.

    I recently couldn't take it anymore and have started intense therapy that aligns with phobias and ptsd. I still slip - I posted today for goodness' sake. I used to be a daily poster and reader as well. I've had to wean myself from reading about them. I think it feeds it for me.

    These are thoughts I tell myself when I start slipping into old habits:
    Is the "bite" in a location that was covered by clothes while I was sleeping? Most likely not BB.
    Is it crazy itchy? Probably not bb as the itch i experienced was so intense it was distracting.
    Have I seen any fecal? I take comfort in knowing that most times fecal leaves a stain behind so anything I can brush off my sheets most likely isn't bb related.

    I recently had to sleep in a bed at a friend's for two nights who clearly had bed bugs. I didn't die, wilt or succumb to anything more than putting on my super cautious cape and do everything I learned on this site to prevent bringing them home. Full Proof? Nope. Better than having no knowledge at all? Absolutely.

    It gets better. Be gentle with yourselves.

  12. Elaine

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 7 2017 12:15:07
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    I am staying with my mother and struggling with an infestation in my car -- see post 'bed bugs in my car' ---ordered Nuvan strips today / need to get climbups -- terrified of any itch-- and writing or even thinking about bugs makes my old rashes itch and get red. I've had a couple of bites since I came here, am freaked out about infecting my mom's house, we are treating the bedroom, I had the couches and chairs in the LR inspected today, yesterday I tore up her bed and dried everything, I had all of her quilts dry cleaned and sealed in plastic bags, I leave all of my clothes and personal items in the garage and change there when I get home and lately I've started using baby wipes on my legs and feet before I go inside. Also cleaning shoes / sandals daily. I have to change clothes twice on the days that I work. Once when I get to work and once when I get home. Nothing that I wear can be worn again, I don't have many clothes since I have bought everything new since leaving my apartment, and I have to use a laundromat, spending 1.50 per dryer load and I don't even know if all of the dryers there are effective (hot enough).

    venting

    so my problem is the anxiety and namely getting therapy:

    with an active infestation (car) how do you go to a therapist's office? and what if you are paranoid (even if you change clothes -- ) about infecting their office? isn't that counter-productive?

  13. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 7 2017 18:26:47
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    Tim m - 3 weeks ago  » 
    I can only speak on behalf of myself but it never went away for me I had them in 2011. I was always worried and now I'm dealing with them again.

    It sounds like you have a new bed bug problem, if it's confirmed to be bed bugs, Tim. If you had bed bugs for six straight years, you wouldn't have been just worried. You'd have been overrun and the problem would have been visually obvious.

  14. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 7 2017 18:39:58
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    Elaine - 6 hours ago  » so my problem is the anxiety and namely getting therapy:
    with an active infestation (car) how do you go to a therapist's office? and what if you are paranoid (even if you change clothes -- ) about infecting their office? isn't that counter-productive?

    I would call the therapist. Discuss the situation with him/her.

    The therapist may be able to help you assess whether your really have bed bugs at this time or are being anxious. In your other thread, Big Dummy suggested some good reasons why he thinks that you don't have bed bugs right now.

    Either way, a therapist may also be able to treat you by phone for the time being. This is not uncommon, though all may not offer it.

  15. bug_runner

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Mon Oct 8 2018 15:24:14
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    This is my first entry so I just want to say THANK YOU to anyone who's written for the site. Bedbugs may have caused major damage to my life but thanks to this site they did not completely destroy me. Having them was a totally isolating experience and without entries like these it would be hard to tell if my thoughts were at all justified.

    It's been a year since I had them in my room and car. I used Nuvan Strips in my car for three weeks in the hot month of August before moving. My landlord supposedly took care of the bugs in the house before the next tenants moved in. My car hasn't worked since around that time. Today I re-entered the car to clean it with a mix of distilled water and baking soda (alkaline water) to help break down any Nuvan Strip poison that could possibly have remained.

    I saw a few tiny red bugs crawling around that were probably not Bedbugs but a few adult Bedbugs that were not moving. I cut the leg off one and crushed the butt of another and they remained stiff. I was surprised that they still had legs and still looked somewhat plump and red. I put the Bedbugs in an empty water gallon container right in the middle and left it in my car. In a month maybe I'll check to see if they tried to move? I tossed the clothes I was wearing in a garbage bag and into the dumpster right away and took a crazy shower.

    One year later and I still freak out here and there. At one point I was feeling itchy and so was my girlfriend. We had a bump or two which freaked me out so I encased the bed and pillows in Bedbug covers under the bedding. I didn't really want to spend the money but I also knew that I wouldn't be able to relax unless I did it. That did put me at ease. I was feeling pretty stressed until I was reading these stories. Seeing the bugs even if they were dead was very triggering. At least I know I'm not crazy or alone, it's just a hard thing to get over.


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