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

Are there bed bugs in my house or not??

(12 posts)
  1. ses

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 18:38:14
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    So this is a long story.

    I am a college student. I moved into a house with 4 others in September 2017. Soon after we moved in, one of my roommates whose room is in the basement started getting bites. No one else in the house had a problem.

    In late October, another one of my roommates, whose room is upstairs, found a bug on her bed. We called pest control immediately and they identified it as a bed bug. However, when they came and inspected the house, they found absolutely nothing anywhere.

    They placed traps and repeatedly checked back and continued to find no signs of bed bugs: no fecal stains, nothing. He told us that we likely caught a straggler or two, that if they had been in the house when we moved in the house would be overrun with bed bugs by that point.

    We haven't had a problem until the other night, when my roommate found another bug on the couch. None of us have been receiving bites or have otherwise seen any signs of bugs until now, nearly six months later. So what's going on? Why/how is this happening? Should we be concerned?

    Another thing: since its nearing the end of the school year, I'll be moving home in a couple of days. I don't want to bring them home with me if we do have them. I personally have not found any bugs or experienced any bites whatsoever. I was studying on the couch during the day before my roommate found the bug, so now I'm worried I may have brought something down to my room.

    What do I do??? Could they be bat bugs and not bed bugs? We had a bottle fly problem in October before we found the first bug, and continue to find the occasional bottle fly in the house. Could we maybe have bats in the attic or something??

    Please help! This is a weird situation and I'm not sure what to do about it.

  2. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 19:10:46
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    Any chance you still have a bug? If you can share a picture of one, someone here can let you know if it's a bedbug or something else. Shady pest control companies do sometimes lie, a second opinion can't hurt.

    Some people don't react at all to the bites, so it is possible to have them and not know. After this long though, there should be some pretty obvious signs somewhere. I suppose it's possible you brought home a random straggler twice and happened to see them, but that seems pretty unlikely.

    If you want to be super cautious, throw your clothes and stuff in the dryer on high heat before bringing them home and double bag them. That would kill anything inside and keep them "safe"
    I'm not really sure what sort of stuff you're bringing home, but pretty much everything can be treated one way or another. Get another ID on that bug first though, it would be an awful lot of work to do for nothing.

  3. ses

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 19:20:46
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    I'm 99.999999999% sure this is a bed bug. But I'll post the picture anyway.

    The one we found a few nights ago: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FnJCYlAzfQwdQmHyA6PdfvNrwnZCWI83/view?usp=sharing

    The one we found in October: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qv1r-K4CpTBsl_yCF6DZWhz5rAri45XR/view?usp=sharing

  4. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Apr 25 2018 19:44:55
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    Bedbugs and bat bugs are ridiculously hard to tell apart. There are some pros here that can help though, and your picture is very clear. I might suggest turning it over and snapping 1 more picture though if you can (the belly side)

    If they are bed bugs (and I'm not saying they are) don't panic. Seek some advice and read some FAQs here before you do ANYTHING. I panicked and made some avoidable mistakes. (mostly throwing out a ton of stuff that I could have easily treated) live and learn huh? lol

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 3:30:17
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    ses - 8 hours ago  » 
    I'm 99.999999999% sure this is a bed bug. But I'll post the picture anyway.
    The one we found a few nights ago:
    The one we found in October:

    First is an adult female and second is a nymph. Looks most like common bed bug compared to bat bug. Both buts have not recently fed. In this situation, bed bugs can be from neighbors. They probably are from previous tenant. The monitors will help. What type are they? There is still an issue, so the PCO has to come back and search. Since you'll be moving back home, you have to isolate your belongings. Clothes, fabrics, can be put into the dryer for a cycle then bag up. Look at FAQs here. There should be additional input from other long term posters, professionals here soon.

    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.
  6. ses

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 9:37:23
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    Okay, thanks for the info.
    How do I go about cleaning non-fabrics? I have a ukulele, plants, alarm clocks, makeup, etc.
    I live in Canada and I don’t have a lot of money.

  7. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 12:52:10
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    Most of those items can be treated in an air tight bin with nuvan pest strips. I've been told home depot carries them in Canada, I ordered mine online though. They're not very expensive. They are very dangerous though if not used properly, so read the label and follow ALL instructions. I'm sure your plants won't survive that. I have absolutely no idea how someone could treat a plant. I'd probably just trash those and buy new ones unless there's some serious sentimental value there. As far as I know the only reliable methods for killing BBs are poison and extreme temperatures, a plant will survive neither. I suppose you could spray it down with DE, many people do that in their gardens to keep bugs off...but DE works slowly and is not 100% effective. I think you'd be taking a small chance with the plants, you'll have to decide whether that's worth it. I'd maybe suggest wiping down the makeup stuff with alcohol and just carefully inspecting it. I wouldn't want to put that on my face after it sits in a bin with poison.

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 13:06:26
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    Bugsareicky - 13 minutes ago  » 
    Most of those items can be treated in an air tight bin with nuvan pest strips. I've been told home depot carries them in Canada, I ordered mine online though. They're not very expensive. They are very dangerous though if not used properly, so read the label and follow ALL instructions. I'm sure your plants won't survive that. I have absolutely no idea how someone could treat a plant. I'd probably just trash those and buy new ones unless there's some serious sentimental value there. As far as I know the only reliable methods for killing BBs are poison and extreme temperatures, a plant will survive neither. I suppose you could spray it down with DE, many people do that in their gardens to keep bugs off...but DE works slowly and is not 100% effective. I think you'd be taking a small chance with the plants, you'll have to decide whether that's worth it. I'd maybe suggest wiping down the makeup stuff with alcohol and just carefully inspecting it. I wouldn't want to put that on my face after it sits in a bin with poison.

    Just look at objects, plants. Bed bugs at all stages aren't invisible. Look at some of my pictures for help https://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/

  9. LittleRin

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 13:49:07
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    I would honestly trash whatever you're not super attached to and can replace later. As much as it sucks having to throw things away, it's WAY less awful then bringing the bed bugs to your parents' home and them having to pay a lot of money for repeat bed bug chemicals or heat treatments. When I moved, I trashed almost all of my furniture.

    I would trash your alarm clock if it was close to your bed. If it was far away and your infestation seems small - there's less of a chance the bed bugs may have crawled in there as they don't typically like to infest electronics unless the infestation is bad or they're close to the bed / left directly on the bed (like a laptop left on the mattress). However, that does not mean there is zero risk. You can get some canned air to blow into openings and see if anything is startled out. Or you can use a hairdryer at high heat aimed at the device to see if anything tries to escape. (Note: This can potentially damage your electronics, so use at your own risk. Also do not try to use a hairdryer to kill bed bugs. It's not effective. ) If anything crawls out, trash it even if you think you got them all to escape. There may be eggs inside.

    With make-up, I just carefully inspected wiped them off with alcohol. Don't use cardboard boxes to move as I've read bed bugs like cardboard unless you have the money to buy a big roll of furniture plastic wrap and plan on wrapping up all your boxes to keep the bed bugs out. Instead buy a big box of large white garbage bags and seal your stuff in those + tape around the opening. If you can afford it - double bag your stuff so you can rip off and discard the outer bag before putting the inner bag in whatever your moving vehicle is. The white of the garbage bags should make it easier to visually spot if a bug is clinging to one of your bags. You can also spray down the outside of these bags with 91% rubbing alcohol to act as a contact killer for bugs (though there is some debate on how effective alcohol is, which is why I recommend the double-bagging). Plastic bins are a good option, but might not be in your budget range.

    Depending on how big the plants are, if you're really worried about them and concerned about not being able to spot the bed bugs due to dirt - you can buy new dirt, take the plants outside, rinse them and the pots off completely with a hose and replant them in fresh soil. Once you're sure the plants are bed bug free and have carefully inspected them, you can them in your bathroom as usually bed bugs don't wind up there unless the infestation is pretty bad and they're in your walls. Just be sure to give them a careful re-inspection on the day of your move.

    I would not recommend DE. CimeXa is safer for animals/people and much, much more effective. It also kills bed bugs faster. It's not too expensive, but if you choose to use it, make sure to read the instructions on the label as it can be very, very drying (which is how it kills the bugs.)

  10. ses

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 14:42:13
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone.
    Here’s my planned course of action. Let me know what you think.
    I have yet to see any sign of infestation in my room, so I know that if they are in my room, it can’t be severe.
    I’m going to leave as many of my belongings as I possibly can here and only bring what I absolutely need to my parents home. I’ll dry anything fabric on high heat and immediately put them in a garbage bag, then double bag it.
    Anything that isn’t fabric, I’ll spray with rubbing alcohol and carefully inspect for any signs of BBs.
    I have an agenda that I must bring home with me. I’m thinking, since I can’t spray this or dry it, I’ll put it in a freezer bag and freeze it for 4 days? This is what I’ve heard works.
    I’m a little concerned about my laptop, though, as it’s been on my bed. I can’t throw it out, can’t freeze it or dry it. Could maybe spray it? If I blowdry it and don’t see anything, should I be okay?
    Thanks again for all of your advice.

  11. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Apr 26 2018 18:17:50
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    I'd try for a pack of the nuvan pest strips, they're not pricey. These could be used for your agenda and laptop. Freezing is apparently not that reliable. It takes really cold temperatures for a long time. It's got to be -16°C or colder, and you can only start counting days when the center of the object hits that temp. I know when it comes to heating items, books are a pain. They take forever to get to temp. You obviously can't subject a laptop to that, so the strips would be needed anyway if you want to be 100% safe.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Apr 29 2018 19:21:34
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    Spraying items with rubbing alcohol does not kill bed bugs unless you see and spray the bed bugs directly. Heat and DDVP (e.g. Nuvan) are more reliable. The Useful Tools page should help with these and other methods of decon.

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

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