Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

an update-no visual evidence except bites=no bed bugs?

(14 posts)
  1. NeedAValidUserName

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Feb 12 2011 23:11:13
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    So, someone in the house besides me has shown up with a few bites. As usual, though, no one has seen any bed bugs since November on the floors, walls, beds, on the sticky tape, or in the Beacon. We are having the dog come out to sniff again next week, but our PCO pretty much thinks the dogs are Bs without visual evidence.

    Is he correct? If we haven't seen bugs in two months and are only getting bites, is it safe to assume we are BB free without visual evidence like fecal or actual bugs???

    So confused.

  2. Bug Slayer

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Feb 12 2011 23:39:42
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    Im not expert,but if your still getting bites,they are hiding somewhere and attacking you.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 13:06:50
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    NeedAValidUserName,

    If the dogs find an alert, does your handler visually verify it by finding bed bugs? This is a crucial step, according to experts including U of Kentucky bed bug expert Michael Potter, who likes to shout, "Show me the bugs!" That's why we recommend it in our dog FAQ. If your dog handler does not as a matter of routine verify alerts with a visual inspection, then you might consider choosing one that does.

    If someone in the home has new suspected bed bug bite reactions, it may mean the bed bugs are present in the home, but keep in mind that if they are new reactions, it's possible these occurred outside the home -- for example, they could have happened at the same original point of exposure (wherever that was).

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 13:46:22
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    The K9 that our PCO uses does not look for the bugs once the dog alerts.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 14:25:13
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    NeedAValidUserName - 37 minutes ago  » 
    The K9 that our PCO uses does not look for the bugs once the dog alerts.

    Okay, I'm, confused.

    You said your "PCO pretty much thinks the dogs are BS without visual evidence." And you said your PCO chooses the k9 team you're using, the same one that does not visually verify alerts?

    That is a bit inconsistent.

    Does the PCO actually have some connection with the k9 business? If so, why do they do it if they don't believe the results.

    Can you choose another k9 team, one that does verify alerts?

  6. NeedAValidUserName

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 14:42:12
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    The company uses a separate dog service. The lady who schedules my appointments thinks the dogs are gospel. The guy who actually comes and sprays, who has 12 yrs of experience, thinks the dog is bs since he hasn't seen anything.

    I've already paid for this service and I'm out of money. No one there agrees with one another.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 15:54:52
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    NeedaValidUserName,

    That's pretty annoying. Dogs are a big business, and some pest control firms may have arrangements with dog teams. They may be benefitting from referring their clients. And they should not be referring clients to teams that are not effective.

    The actual tech may have good reason for distrusting a dog team, if they are seeing false alerts.

    On the other hand, you would want to know that the tech was doing his own slow and careful inspections. Otherwise, if he is not looking carefully, he might not be justified in saying "I don't see anything."

  8. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 18:59:40
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    K9 alerts must be verified to be reliable... The K9 team is a screening device... The olfactory search helps us identify and define the areas of concern that need to be manually searched.

    An unproductive search does not mean the dog is wrong... Even valid alerts cannot be verified sometimes due to issues like excessive clutter or inaccessible spaces... A competent K9 team should lead us to physical evidence of bed bugs.

    Teams that do not attempt to verify their alerts are skipping a critical quality control practice and (in my opinion) should not be hired by anyone that cares about the accuracy of the inspection... The failure to routinely verify K9 alerts with a visual inspection is a sloppy handling practice that frequently produces unreliable results.

    I work for a K9 company, but I share your PCO's sentiment... K9 teams that make no attempt to verify their identified locations are unreliable.

  9. NeedAValidUserName

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Feb 13 2011 22:09:47
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    I sure wish I had known about this site early on in my infestation. So what I'm left with, basically, is 1. bites that, although they do look different than before our 6 treatments, are confusing us nonetheless 2. A dog that may or may not be able to reliably confirm or deny the presence of bed bugs 3. No visual evidence whatsoever except weekly bites on exposed skin (that we seem to notice during the day....hmmm) 4. A new baby arriving in a month, which means we won't treat with chemicals even if the bugs are somehow confirmed. 5. no money left to deal with this problem anymore.....we have already spent about five thousand dollars all in to fight these little bastards.

    So I suppose we are stuck. I guess its a good sign that we haven't seen any bugs since November, but I'd still like to know one way or the other if we really have these bugs still so we can either a. Move on and get a futon or b. Keep fighting

  10. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Feb 14 2011 8:47:55
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    NeedVailidUserName

    Here are a couple of university based articles about identifying unexplained bite wounds.

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ent58.pdf

    http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3006/

    You might want to consider using a BB Alert Passive monitor for ongoing surveillance... Visual inspections and monitoring for physical evidence are the best approaches for now... Some pests listed in the articles are out of season in cold climates... Check any pets for fleas with a flea comb... You can try glue traps to check for other biting insects.

  11. NeedAValidUserName

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Feb 14 2011 19:01:34
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    Ok...I guess a passive is the next step....my concern with the active is that if the few potential bugs that are left are getting to us, why would they go to the active? I guess that's why they are purported to be better for heavy infestations.

    Since I'm noticing most of these "bites" during the day, and my bed is isolated, wouldn't I at least once see something biting me???? I think I'm getting bitten while I am sitting on the floor playing with my daughter but I never, ever see anything.

  12. NeedAValidUserName

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Feb 14 2011 19:03:42
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    By the way, thank you to Doug and nobugs for your advice. This whole thing is so much less clear cut than I thought it would be.

  13. victimized

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Feb 15 2011 2:28:20
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    I keep finding new bites, or what could be bites, and very frustrated too, just as you are. Not sure what my next move is! The PCO is supposed to come out yet again this Friday because I told them I am still being bit what what the hell, what are they going to treat if we can't find any evidence???

    I see the recommendation to use passive monitors, over and over and over yet how many people ever find anything in them?? I think they are too smart for these things, because they know we put them there and can see we check them. They can smell us.

    There is, apparently, no way of knowing what is a bite or not. Many of my bites happen on places where you'd assume if it was happening when you are awake you'd feel it, like your face or hands! Wouldn't you at least feel something crawling? When I feel anything, and my skin is super sensitive, I immediately rub that area. Maybe squish anything that COULD be there. I am starting to think they bite without actually climbing on you, cause they know you will feel it.

  14. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Feb 15 2011 6:08:55
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    Victimized

    Bed bugs are not that smart... We tend to project human qualities onto them sometimes in an attempt to understand their behavior... Bedbugs are amazing in their natural ability to conceal themselves, locate human hosts, reproduce and spread, but there is no basis to suggest that they reason in a symbolic language like a human.

    Given that we are their food source... bed bugs home in on human scent and CO2... they don't avoid areas where humans make contact... Human presence is the primary attractant for a hungry bed bug.

    Passive monitors are inexpensive when compared to the professional grade active monitors they replaced that cost $600 to $1,000 and required the continual purchases of canned CO2 and scent lures... I recommend visual inspections and passive monitors as a low cost proactive means of monitoring for signs of an infestation.

    I like the Bed Bug Beacon for an affordable active monitor.

    The monitor is a tool... I think monitoring in the location of unverified K9 alerts is a good practice... Few things in the bed bug world are 100%... Monitors are part of the solution.

    Knowledgeable K9 handlers that perform a visual search on any identified location are another valuable tool... Unverified K9 alerts can produce more questions than answers for professionals and consumers.


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