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Bat Bug Specific Questions

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  1. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Dec 28 2018 15:15:57
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    Please- any one with bat bug experience!!

    So this post has been a long time coming. My partner and I moved into a townhouse in May and I noticed an odor. Everyone told me it was nothing, just the house smell since it wasn’t lived in for a few months. Evertuslly my partner noticed things that looked like bed bugs, but it didn’t make any sense because they weren’t biting anyone in the house and they were mostly being found dead or in the bathtub (direct vent to the attic). She found some in the bedroom and called a PCT. The PCT stated that bats could be an option, and behold- our attic was FULL of bats and guano. Like so much guano. Bats were excluded, Guano was removed, insulation was taken out and new was put in, dust was sprinkled in the attic and the upstairs. A month later; we start noticing more. Turns out the bats came back because landlords did a crappy job with the soffit work. Bats were excluded again, more guano was removed, insulation was removed again and more was blown in and more dust (not sure what kind) was sprinkled in the attic. Soffits were repaired completely and well this time. We didn’t see ANY bugs for about 5 weeks and I check thoroughly and daily. Then we started seeing a few bugs once a week, and now we are 3 months out and see bugs every few days. They have weird patterns such as them coming out in the guest room when no one has been over in that room for weeks, but very few in the room we are in. We have had upwards of a dozen guests and no one has been bit/reacted and our pets show no signs of excess itching. Mix of nymphs and adults, most are dead along the baseboards, some are alive but just barely. But there’s obviously enough life in them/enough of them period to keep coming out. I had our PCT reinspect the attic: he saw no more bats or bugs and that since there are no more bats, it can take up to a year/1.5 years for them to completely die and to not worry since we are mostly seeing dead or mostly dead ones. He also planted the idea that maybe we could ALSO be getting bed bugs from a neighbor, but again the behavior doesn’t make any sense at all and the population was directly correlated to if we had bats (he regretted planting that seed in my head). I get that, but I am so so sick of finding bugs every few days and my question is: is it normal to still see them 3 months after the bats were wxcluded/dust was put down/new insulation was blown in the attic? I am not an anxious person at all but this has been killing me. I can’t stop thinking about it, I’m scared to have my family visit me, and I just want them out. A second opinion said that he could fog the attic and do a crack and crevice treatment but I can’t put any more money down right now. I have a DE based powder along all upstairs baseboards.

    Do I just have to put up with finding one every few days while the population dies off? Why are there still nymphs? Please help.

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Dec 28 2018 16:04:02
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    A really odd thing about bat bugs is that they require the blood of the bat to aid in reproduction, so if they truly are bat bugs they must be feeding on live bats. If you're finding nymphs they had to have come from a parent that fed on a bat. The growth rate could be delayed without a host for regular feeding, and if they are similar to bed bugs an unfed nymph can survive up to six or eight weeks without a blood meal. And again, I've only tested this on bed bugs, but a female with a blood meal is able to lay a clutch of eggs several times after only mating once. In my lab at least seventy nymphs hatched after a single mating as long as I kept feeding the bed bug after each clutch of eggs.
    As long as there are no more bats then you have a finite amount of bat bugs to deal with.

  3. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Dec 28 2018 16:21:49
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    Thank you for the response, BigDummy! You echoed what my PCT said which is, they will eventually die off without the bats which helps ease my minds. They have double confirmed no bats. It’s just mostly bizarre that I went over a month without seeing them, and now it’s every few days. The nymphs are well past their 8 weeks (it’s been about 13 now) so I’m wondering why they are still showing up? Hopefully they go away soon, but I’ve been told that I’ll probably see them for another few months. They were IDed as batbugs due to circumstances: huge bat colony, finding bugs on the guano/nesting site, behavior, and frequency of bugs correlating with bat presence.

  4. BigDummy

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Fri Dec 28 2018 16:26:55
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    There are four stages before adulthood, and they are able to grow with human blood, just not reproduce successfully, so the nymphs could be around far longer than eight weeks if they are able to feed on a mammal. But again, there are a finite amount, no new eggs will hatch, eventually they will all die out. So really it's just about your comfort level and convenience at this point, the problem cannot grow larger.

    The issue of timing, why you saw nothing for a month and now seeing them on a regular basis, could be that the bat bugs were initially fed, then after waiting and no bats returned they finally left their refuge in search of a host.

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 9:25:41
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    batbugs01 - 18 hours ago  » 
    Please- any one with bat bug experience!!
    We didn’t see ANY bugs for about 5 weeks and I check thoroughly and daily. Then we started seeing a few bugs once a week, and now we are 3 months out and see bugs every few days. They have weird patterns such as them coming out in the guest room when no one has been over in that room for weeks, but very few in the room we are in. We have had upwards of a dozen guests and no one has been bit/reacted and our pets show no signs of excess itching. Mix of nymphs and adults, most are dead along the baseboards, some are alive but just barely. But there’s obviously enough life in them/enough of them period to keep coming out. I had our PCT reinspect the attic: he saw no more bats or bugs and that since there are no more bats, it can take up to a year/1.5 years for them to completely die and to not worry since we are mostly seeing dead or mostly dead ones. He also planted the idea that maybe we could ALSO be getting bed bugs from a neighbor, but again the behavior doesn’t make any sense at all and the population was directly correlated to if we had bats (he regretted planting that seed in my head). I get that, but I am so so sick of finding bugs every few days and my question is: is it normal to still see them 3 months after the bats were wxcluded/dust was put down/new insulation was blown in the attic? I am not an anxious person at all but this has been killing me. I can’t stop thinking about it, I’m scared to have my family visit me, and I just want them out. A second opinion said that he could fog the attic and do a crack and crevice treatment but I can’t put any more money down right now. I have a DE based powder along all upstairs baseboards.
    Do I just have to put up with finding one every few days while the population dies off? Why are there still nymphs? Please help.

    Even though bed bugs and bat bugs can live a long time without a blood meal, if there are any hosts whatsoever, they will find them. The bugs are searching and coming into contact with the dusts or other insecticides applied. You'd be better off with Cimexa dust instead of DE. DE has some crystalline silica; Cimexa does not. Vacuuming up DE finally ruins the vacuum cleaner and if not filtered properly will blow the dust around the house. Have you collected any of the bugs? A proper ID is better than guessing.

    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. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 9:28:26
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    BigDummy - 16 hours ago  » 
    There are four stages before adulthood, and they are able to grow with human blood, just not reproduce successfully, so the nymphs could be around far longer than eight weeks if they are able to feed on a mammal. But again, there are a finite amount, no new eggs will hatch, eventually they will all die out. So really it's just about your comfort level and convenience at this point, the problem cannot grow larger.
    The issue of timing, why you saw nothing for a month and now seeing them on a regular basis, could be that the bat bugs were initially fed, then after waiting and no bats returned they finally left their refuge in search of a host.

    4 stages or 5 stages? Nymphs?
    I received a male and female bat bug from one of the posters on here from NM. I fed them and had both feed on me. She deposited 2 eggs and these hatched. Unfortunately, the male died. 2 nymphs crawled about and both crawled on me, but only 1 fed. I'm not sure if she will produce any more eggs. I'll try feeding all 3 to see if anything else transpires.

  7. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 13:43:21
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    loubugs - 4 hours ago  » 

    BigDummy - 16 hours ago  » 
    There are four stages before adulthood, and they are able to grow with human blood, just not reproduce successfully, so the nymphs could be around far longer than eight weeks if they are able to feed on a mammal. But again, there are a finite amount, no new eggs will hatch, eventually they will all die out. So really it's just about your comfort level and convenience at this point, the problem cannot grow larger.
    The issue of timing, why you saw nothing for a month and now seeing them on a regular basis, could be that the bat bugs were initially fed, then after waiting and no bats returned they finally left their refuge in search of a host.

    4 stages or 5 stages? Nymphs?
    I received a male and female bat bug from one of the posters on here from NM. I fed them and had both feed on me. She deposited 2 eggs and these hatched. Unfortunately, the male died. 2 nymphs crawled about and both crawled on me, but only 1 fed. I'm not sure if she will produce any more eggs. I'll try feeding all 3 to see if anything else transpires.

    I will try and stop worrying as much, but I am skeptical about them reproducing. We have never noticed any bites on us, pets, and no house guests reported bites or itching. I wish our PCT did a real ID at the beginning but he said there was no reason to when all the signs pointed to bat bugs/they were seen exclusively on the bats. Unfortunately no pics. I have tried but I can’t get a close up. Are you saying they can still potentially be reproducing? Do you know when I should actually start worrying if there was something wrong as opposed to the remaining bat bugs dying off? I’m just so worn out from putting so much energy into them when no one else seems to think it’s an issue. Thank you both so much for the reply!

  8. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 15:01:41
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    batbugs01 - 1 hour ago  » 

    loubugs - 4 hours ago  » 

    BigDummy - 16 hours ago  » 
    There are four stages before adulthood, and they are able to grow with human blood, just not reproduce successfully, so the nymphs could be around far longer than eight weeks if they are able to feed on a mammal. But again, there are a finite amount, no new eggs will hatch, eventually they will all die out. So really it's just about your comfort level and convenience at this point, the problem cannot grow larger.
    The issue of timing, why you saw nothing for a month and now seeing them on a regular basis, could be that the bat bugs were initially fed, then after waiting and no bats returned they finally left their refuge in search of a host.

    4 stages or 5 stages? Nymphs?
    I received a male and female bat bug from one of the posters on here from NM. I fed them and had both feed on me. She deposited 2 eggs and these hatched. Unfortunately, the male died. 2 nymphs crawled about and both crawled on me, but only 1 fed. I'm not sure if she will produce any more eggs. I'll try feeding all 3 to see if anything else transpires.

    I will try and stop worrying as much, but I am skeptical about them reproducing. We have never noticed any bites on us, pets, and no house guests reported bites or itching. I wish our PCT did a real ID at the beginning but he said there was no reason to when all the signs pointed to bat bugs/they were seen exclusively on the bats. Unfortunately no pics. I have tried but I can’t get a close up. Are you saying they can still potentially be reproducing? Do you know when I should actually start worrying if there was something wrong as opposed to the remaining bat bugs dying off? I’m just so worn out from putting so much energy into them when no one else seems to think it’s an issue. Thank you both so much for the reply!

    Take a picture anyway. Use lined or graph paper so autofocus works better. Set phone/camera to highest resolution and largest picture size. Leave on a hosting site like Flickr, Imgur, etc. and link to posting here. The bugs haven't been retained?

  9. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 15:22:45
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    Loubugs- none have been retained since the original ones that were sent to the PCT in May. If/when I find another one, I will take a picture and upload it. Is it possible that I can keep seeing these bat bugs for up to a year due to the life spans?

  10. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 15:29:59
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    I forgot I had this picture. Not good quality or lighting but I’ll try and get a better one next time.

    https://m.imgur.com/PMOXOD0

  11. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 16:08:02
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    Hi,

    I would strongly advise that you run an active monitor such as the Bed Bug Beacon in the loft area to trap out the insects before they make it into the home.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  12. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 16:08:02
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    Hi,

    I would strongly advise that you run an active monitor such as the Bed Bug Beacon in the loft area to trap out the insects before they make it into the home.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  13. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 17:46:00
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    batbugs01 - 2 hours ago  » 
    I forgot I had this picture. Not good quality or lighting but I’ll try and get a better one next time.

    A nymph, but can't say much else about species determination from that picture.

  14. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Dec 29 2018 17:47:11
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    batbugs01 - 2 hours ago  » 
    I forgot I had this picture. Not good quality or lighting but I’ll try and get a better one next time.

    A nymph, but can't say much else about species determination from that picture. Need to use monitors. David's suggestion is a good one.

  15. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Mon Dec 31 2018 20:44:46
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    The monitor in the attic is a good idea, I will definitely get one and update any pictures. One final question: since the population is finite, how long would you say I should be seeing the bat bugs? Could it be upwards of their 1.5 year lifespan? Thank you!

  16. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Jan 6 2019 20:35:22
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    loubugs - 1 week ago  » 

    batbugs01 - 2 hours ago  » 
    I forgot I had this picture. Not good quality or lighting but I’ll try and get a better one next time.

    A nymph, but can't say much else about species determination from that picture.

    It’s been 10 days, the longest in a while and we just found another. Didn’t get the good quality because of the rush of the picture/my partner just wanting it gone. We just spoke about how we haven’t seen one in a while and I’m so done with it. I have no idea how long I’m supposed to be stressed in my own home for. It was alive and in the bathtub, under the attic vent.

    https://m.imgur.com/account/mmm1402/images/mJqI0jd

  17. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Jan 6 2019 20:40:10
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    Also worth noting: the last 3-4 that we have found have all been nymphs. Not sure if they haven’t fed or if still somehow new ones are being born.

  18. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Mon Jan 7 2019 7:46:30
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    The link to pictures didn't work

  19. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Mon Jan 7 2019 14:08:26
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    loubugs - 6 hours ago  » 
    The link to pictures didn't work

    http://imgur.com/mJqI0jd

    I hope this one works

  20. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Mon Jan 7 2019 21:49:22
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    batbugs01 - 7 hours ago  » 

    loubugs - 6 hours ago  » 
    The link to pictures didn't work

    I hope this one works

    Yes, worked. Difficult to say from the picture about its identity being that it's a nymph. It would be better to ID from the specimen.

  21. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Jan 8 2019 7:16:21
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    loubugs - 9 hours ago  » 

    batbugs01 - 7 hours ago  » 

    loubugs - 6 hours ago  » 
    The link to pictures didn't work

    I hope this one works

    Yes, worked. Difficult to say from the picture about its identity being that it's a nymph. It would be better to ID from the specimen.

    Found yet another one this morning in the bathtub, this one was an adult. Got a pic:
    http://imgur.com/9P2F3vj

  22. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Jan 8 2019 8:37:39
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    batbugs01 - 1 hour ago  » 

    loubugs - 9 hours ago  » 

    batbugs01 - 7 hours ago  » 

    loubugs - 6 hours ago  » 
    The link to pictures didn't work

    I hope this one works

    Yes, worked. Difficult to say from the picture about its identity being that it's a nymph. It would be better to ID from the specimen.

    Found yet another one this morning in the bathtub, this one was an adult. Got a pic:

    It's a female. It's a good picture, but zooming in is still a problem in seeing the length of the pronotal setae. They look a bit long, but not 100% sure. Please collect as many specimens as possible and I can examine them.

  23. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Jan 8 2019 9:14:59
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    Thanks loubugs! As I find more, I will take pics in different lighting and post them here.

    I just got off the phone with a second opinion who re-peaked my anxiety. He said that since we are in a townhome, no treatment would be fully effective unless all of the surrounding homes are checked. I get where he is coming from and agree, but even then that doesn’t mean they will do treatment. He hinted at the fact that the only thing we can do is move if we want to be rid of them. It makes me feel like it’s even further out of our control, and that no matter what we do, they can potentially always be coming from these other homes. We are renters, so we can move but I really really like the house and location. Is it really as hopeless as he makes it sound if the other neighbors don’t do anything about a potential infestation?

  24. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Jan 8 2019 10:49:11
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    I offered. You need a correct ID of the insect in question. Knowing ID, insect biology, natural history, would be known in order to fix problem. You had a big infestation of bats and cleanout. Was there an insect cleanout? Treatment of only (your) living space is futile if roost area is full of bugs. Bat roosts have to be dealt with properly. Treatment regimes have to be fitted to the pest species problem. Surrounding townhouses need to be examined - that's part of the infestation/roosting area if it had not been cleaned out properly the first time. Since bed and bat bugs crawl around, they can easily find places in which to harbor that can easily be overlooked by casual inspection.

  25. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Jan 8 2019 11:41:22
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    I will keep taking better pics of the bugs as I find them Though the stress comes from the fact that neighboring houses won’t necessarily be treated. We had attic insulation removed and new insulation put it, and the attic itself was dusted and all guano was removed. Our original PCT said they are probably in the walls and they are coming down and being killed by the insecticide and to not worry. But seeing bugs constantly after months doesn’t beg me to think “don’t worry” and with the added complication of not having control of our neighbors, I am not sure of what to actually move forward doing other than just collecting the ones that we see in the tub or along the baseboards using monitors. Weirdly enough, we haven’t seen any in the master bed, the only place people actually sleep or live in in about 3 weeks. We have mostly been seeing them in the guest bed and the bathtub.

  26. BigDummy

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Tue Jan 8 2019 13:01:24
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    loubugs - 1 week ago  » 

    BigDummy - 16 hours ago  » 
    There are four stages before adulthood,

    4 stages or 5 stages? Nymphs?

    Damn it, and I'm the one that rails about consistency...
    Egg
    Nymph
    Adult

    Five developmental stages of nymph.

  27. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Wed Jan 9 2019 7:56:14
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    Saw what had to be a 1st or 2nd (leaning towards 1st) instar nymph in the bathtub again today. So weird that I’ve seen none in the actual bedrooms recently. But the nymph being so young must mean they are finding some way to reproduce. With all of the PCT in my area telling me different things, I am just feeling like we are going to have to move when the lease is up even though I don’t want to. I don’t know how eggs keep hatching with no bats, no bites on us, our guests or the cat? I’m going to give it another 2 months before I officially “give up” and I will send loubugs the next adult picture I can get.

  28. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Wed Jan 9 2019 8:29:49
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    Hi,

    If you were running an active monitor in the area the bats roosted you would most likely not be seeing them in your bathroom at this stage.

    David

  29. loubugs

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Wed Jan 9 2019 11:01:46
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    batbugs01 - 3 hours ago  » 
    Saw what had to be a 1st or 2nd (leaning towards 1st) instar nymph in the bathtub again today. So weird that I’ve seen none in the actual bedrooms recently. But the nymph being so young must mean they are finding some way to reproduce. With all of the PCT in my area telling me different things, I am just feeling like we are going to have to move when the lease is up even though I don’t want to. I don’t know how eggs keep hatching with no bats, no bites on us, our guests or the cat? I’m going to give it another 2 months before I officially “give up” and I will send loubugs the next adult picture I can get.

    If you collect the specimens, you can send me them.

  30. batbugs01

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Wed Jan 9 2019 13:39:40
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    bed-bugscouk - 5 hours ago  » 
    Hi,
    If you were running an active monitor in the area the bats roosted you would most likely not be seeing them in your bathroom at this stage.
    David

    I am actually in the process of buying one right now! Had to wait for a paycheck. I’m sure that will help, my biggest concern is just how more of them are being hatched? Will work on not just taking pictures, but sending a sample to loubugs. Thank you all.


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