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Bed bug behavior questions and bug ID, please help.

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  1. ony15

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Sep 22 2015 17:50:55
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    THIS IS A PUZZLER AND LONG, BUT PLEASE HELP! EXPERT WOULD BE GREAT! Three years ago, I was in a house that had bed bugs (early infestation) and I went through all of the treatments, though my room was not found to be infected. I have not had any contact with bed bugs since, and have lived in a different apartment since then. I recently moved to a new apartment 8/1/15, and I am very cautious to prevent bed bugs, so I keep the ClimpUp traps on my bed legs and have a mattress encasement (not the same bed from the infested house because it was not mine). I check the traps periodically, and a few weeks ago I found little bugs and got really scared, but took them to a bio professor at my school who identified them as booklice. The first bug I found in the traps were in the inner well because it had dust in it, so I replaced them with new ones, but this scared me because I realized the traps had not been effective because of the dust. I also found more during the day on baseboards and 1 in the bathroom, about 20 total.

    HOWEVER, I have had some bites that seem to happen at night or I find them the next day and they itch really bad and sometimes swell, and if so, the swelling goes down in a couple of hours. Other times, I have a intense itch out of nowhere that doesn't have an apparent bump, but after itching, I can feel the bump and the scratching creates raw skin over that part. The itching is mostly on my inner forearms, left top of my calf, and once on my stomach. I easily get allergic reactions so I'm still considering that, but I think some were bites. My skin reactions began with intense head itching, but I was not found to have lice, then my skin started itching, and then I seemed to find some bites, but not sure what is related. My head has since mostly stopped itching.

    **A couple of nights ago I was checking the traps and accidentally found an even tinier bug than the booklice only because my magnifier/flashlight ran over it and I saw it moving. I let it crawl on me, but it did not bite and I have kept it in a little travel container and it is still alive three days later. This tinier bug did not seem to have a neck but it is too small to see any other detail even under the magnifying glass, so I don't know if this is a booklice nymph or something else, or my fear of a bed bug nymph. So...QUESTION: Will bed bug nymphs feed on your hand/arm if you let them crawl on you? This bug was a pale yellowish-clear.

    I have found 2 more of the tiny bugs in the traps today, and let another crawl on me, but it did not bite/feed. And I found it at the top of the trap well, which it shouldn't be able to get to because I just replaced the traps. My apartment is a half level below ground, so will more bugs come in because of that? If so, what kinds? I cannot find all of this info online--I've tried. I have found a lot of spiders, and big ones at that, but I thought the bites were too often for it to be from a spider, and once again, they shouldn't be able to get up the traps (nothing from my bed touches the ground and is not against the wall).

    Also, at what point in the life cycle do bed bugs start to turn brown when they have already digested food and have no blood in them? I have checked my mattress covers and have not seen any fecal stains or bugs, and I eventually checked the mattress and box springs because I am so confused, and even tore off some of the bottom fabric of the box spring and did not see anything, so I am confused as to what could be biting me. I also checked my dresser drawers (over and under) and have not found anything.

    Last info, My apartment exterminator sprayed for spiders and the apartment has no history of bed bugs, but I can never actually speak to the exterminators to ask about these things because they always come when I am not here, and seem to not have face-to-face contact with residents.

    Thank you for your help and insight!

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 23 2015 7:40:08
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    Smaller than book lice? Sounds like it's something other than a bed bug.
    I have fed them on my hands and arms, but only after a bit of coaxing.

  3. ony15

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 23 2015 11:21:08
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    Yes, smaller than booklice but I wasn't sure if bed bug nymphs would be smaller than booklice if they're first instar and when they would begin to turn brown.

    What do you mean by coaxing? I let them crawl on my hand/arm for 5-10 min. but they never fed. One was right over my inner arm where the veins are visible and didn't feed. Any idea of what else could be biting me? I haven't gotten any since they sprayed (knock on wood) but I am scared of covering up a problem. Idk if spiders would bite that often and if these tiny bugs got to the top of the new ClimbUp trap, could they be bed bugs?

  4. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 23 2015 13:03:55
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    Best to post a few photos.

  5. ony15

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 23 2015 16:41:42
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    I haven't been able to get a good picture of the really small ones because they are so small and move too fast, but if I see more I will try.

    If I continue to see these bugs and they are harmless, great. But I need some way of making sure in the future and I thought seeing if they feed by letting them crawl on me might work but I'm not sure if they would feed by me by doing this given it's in the light and I'm obviously moving more than when sleeping, so can you share your experience with how you did this or how/why they needed to be coaxed? I would greatly appreciate the insight.


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