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Bed bugs or something else? New, and overwhelmed

(9 posts)
  1. Lucinda

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2014 17:23:43
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    Hello,

    I am new to this forum, and hope that I am doing things right after reading the rules and policies. Please let me know if I missed something.

    What prompted this letter was that the last two mornings I have woken up with my face covered with bites, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It almost looks like a bad case of acne, which I didn’t ever have in my teens. It was actually startling when I looked into the mirror. I haven’t seen bugs other than a bunch of other types; saw a little of what looks like the fecal stains under the bunky board on the outside of the protective encasement… What happened to my face? I don’t break out often, and then maybe 2 or 3, and I must have about 12-15 bites at least. I’m freaking out. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone. And it is taking my tired brain all day to try to figure out how to even post of here, let alone send a photo. I used to be reasonably intelligent, and now I am so sleep deprived it’s scary. I don’t remember what is is like to feel rested.

    Anyway, please bear with me. I’m not firing on all cylinders. The bites on my face prompted me to take the mattress and bunky board off and look under the slats. Under almost all of them, there was “stuff”. I don’t know whether it’s insect-related or mold-related or both, and I’m sure some small bit of it is dust. It would be hard for regular dust to get into those places, since the openings where the ends of the slats go are covered by the slat, then the bunky board, then the mattress, and then the bedding. I am not certain, but I thought I saw something either fly or run very fast into the area where the side of the bed frame connects to the headboard. I am tired, so it may have been my stressed imagination, or not. It was small and I had the impression of brown, but as I said, I don’t know if there actually was something there or not. It could also have been some dust from my moving things around.

    I moved to a new apartment in June, 2014, and I got a new bed, which has only been in the apartment where I live now, and I’ve been here just about 5 months. Prior to that, I lived in a different apartment in the same building where I am now. While I was living in that apartment, I bought a new mattress and box spring, putting bed-bug protective enclosures on both during delivery. The mattress and box spring were on a standard metal frame. I made sure that the frame had no sharp areas to tear the box spring enclosure.

    The new bed that I got in June of this year is supposed to be solid mahogany. Whether it is or not, I don’t know. This bed does not use a box spring, but has wood slats, on which you can put your mattress directly or use a bunky board in between the mattress and the wood slats. The recommendations seemed in favor of the bunky board for ease in making the bed, so I have a bunky board. When I moved, since I didn’t need the box spring, I took the protective encasement off it and put it onto the bunky board. Everything seemed fine with the bed initially, though I did find a crack in one of its posts (it’s a four-poster canopy bed). I called about it and they didn’t call me back as promised, and then I spent many weeks going to doctor appointments, so it wasn’t at the top on my list. I did start to notice the bed seemed to be less sturdy, it kept making cracking-type sounds, and I am about 140 lbs. right now, which is about 10 lbs. more than I usually weigh, though certainly not too much for the bed.

    For some time, I had noticed the ends of the wood slats that I see when making the bed looked a bit odd, but I tried to ignore it. Finally I wanted to check it out. It is not easy for me to move a mattress and bunky board by myself, but I looked at the wood slats one day and was surprised at how bad they looked. I am a detail person, and I know they looked quite different than when the bed was delivered. They are discolored, have holes, long deep black grooves, the ends and some edges look rough, as if just cut with a saw but not sanded. I'm sure they didn't look like that when the bed was delivered and set up. I notice details and I really looked the boards over, and if I had seen anything like what I see now, I would not have accepted the delivery. They are held together with black webbing, and most of the webbing directly next to the slats seems to have some type of brown dirt on it. I don’t know how that got there or what it is.

    In this apartment, I have found many bugs, which I have told management about and they have not responded, other than to send someone to knock loudly on my door early in the morning without any notice, and I sent him away since I wasn’t even dressed. So when I have spoken to the manager since then she said it’s my fault for sending him away. I have seen numerous silverfish, centipedes (large ones, over an inch long), carpenter ants, spiders, small beetles that look like the pictures of some type of flour beetle, confused or not, and larger beetles that I can’t identify. Some type of large caterpillar (larva?) that looked like one of the centipedes but shorter and no legs, and several other insects I can’t identify. I am really freaked out about the bites on my face and wondering what is doing it and where are they coming from? Could they have been in the new bed? (From Crate and Barrel).

    I am fairly certain there is a mold issue but I know it doesn’t bite, but does it attract bugs? I am having respiratory problems and headaches, coughing during the night, and finding pink areas on my pillowcases regularly, roughly in the area where I drool occasionally (sorry) but in the past week or two, maybe five times there has been anything and it’s always pink? Never saw that before. Usually would be yellowish or brownish and lighter in color. The pink is pretty pink.

    I have a difficult situation in that I’m new to an area where I don’t know many people, I haven’t got family nearby and so I’m pretty much on my own with this. I have some fairly significant medical problems which are new in the past couple of years and they are not things that go away. I am in pain regularly and I am very tired basically all the time. I feel the same in the morning as I did when I went to bed as far as fatigue level.

    Do you have any recommendations about the bites? About the rather large bug population? Do you think I have bed bugs? That is upsetting just to type. I feel like a biohazard as it is. Then there is the whole mold issue. How can I get some help with this if my apartment management won’t step up? I just don’t know where to turn, I am really worn down and at wit’s end. Any advice would be most welcome.

    Thanks to anyone who read this very long tale, particularly since I am probably not being very clear at the moment. I am just so tired, thinking is much harder than usual. I hope it makes some degree of sense. I have photos of most everything I’ve seen, so please let me know if you need them.

    My best to all of you, and thanks in advance for any ideas and suggestions.

    Lucinda

  2. tryingalso

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2014 17:37:13
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    Slept anywhere outside your home lately? Had someone sleep over lately? Picked up anything new in terms of furniture in the last few days?

    You can check what the policy is where you live regarding responsibility for resolving infestations. It is likely on your town's website, under the Code or Ordinances. If you can't find it, a call to the town's Dept of Buildings or City Clerk can help you find it. In most places, in multiple-dwelling residences (3 or more units), it's the building owner's responsibility to resolve infestations, not the tenants.

    There are steps on what to do in the event of bed bugs in the FAQ section of this site.

    I also put up some helpful info which I've found on other sites online which isn't on this site, as well as a couple of things I discovered on my own which are helpful at beatingbedbugs.wordpress.com

    For emotions, it is helpful to talk with others, even if just on the phone or internet. I hope everything goes well for you, and that it's something less annoying, like fleas or spiders.

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2014 17:38:26
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    Hi,

    The best thing you can do is post a few pictures to show us what you are seeing and we can advise if they are bedbug related or not.

    Descriptions can be good but to confirm images are the best thing you can provide.

    Nothing you have said makes me immediately think bedbugs which is good but as you will see from the FAQs there are many alternatives for the symptoms you are having.

    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
  4. Lucinda

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2014 18:11:37
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    Lucinda - 45 minutes ago  » 
    Thanks to both of you for your replies.

    All of the bites are on my face, so I don't know how to take a photo that doesn't identify me somehow. Even if I get my neck in part, I have an unusual scar. Ideas?

    Thanks again.

  5. bedbugtakeover

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2014 19:17:44
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    can you take a photo of some of the areas that you think may be mold or is not supposed to be there? Any pics you take and post of your face would not be helpful in determining if you have bedbugs or not. Noone can determine if you have bedbugs by bites alone. Look for confirming evidence. Fecal stains, cast skins, eggs, bugs. Take a look at the FAQ's section. Try to take the photos. There is also a section in the FAQ's to help you post the photos. Good luck!

  6. tryingalso

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 10 2014 19:22:44
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    A dermapathologist (different than a dermatologist) can confirm if they are insect bites - not if they are specifically caused by bed bugs though. And they can help heal your skin. It's just a matter if you want to go that route, if your insurance covers that all. There's other methods to detect bed bugs.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Nov 11 2014 1:58:09
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    Posting a picture of your bites would not help anyway, because no one would be able to tell you they were caused by bed bugs. However, if you see what you think are fecal stains, or bed bugs, post a photo here at an expert can ID them.

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

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Nov 11 2014 8:35:03
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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will post some photos asap. Just found out a dear friend had a heart attack and I will be going to the hospital to be with him and his family today.

    I am really feeling dumb when it comes to using this site, I get an email that tells me there's a message but then I can't to it, at least not on my phone. Is there a "for dummies" guide to this stuff? Hard to tell but I think I have more bites today again, though yesterday I think it was just the ones from the prevous two days. I had said 12-15 and last night I counted them. It's over 30.

    Although it wouldn't be a dermatologist (who I haven't found to be helpful at all, or a dermapathologist, I could go to the clinic today at the hospital to have a doctor look at the bites and maybe give me something to put on them. Do you think it's worthwhile? I know you aren't docotors. But it also creates a record of my seeking medical attention for an issue I believe is related to my apartment. IH ave gone before too, but that was for bites all over me. It's a been a long road. I really would like to find a different road with no bug scenery.

    And no, nothing new recently, either in things in the apartment or in personal care items, no new soap or shampoo etc.

    Thanks again, will be back at some point after I visit my friend and see how I can help.

  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Tue Nov 11 2014 18:42:31
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    We have how to use the forum FAQs, but I am not sure they cover the issue you describe.

    The email you got is because you subscribed to the thread with email notification. I am not sure what kind of phone you have. The link in the email should take you to the thread. This currently works, so I think it may be an issue with the type of phone or software on your end.

    You have the option of adding a thread to your favorites (there's a link at the top), and then going to your profile and clicking the link to view your favorite threads. This is more clunky, but is a workaround if the links in subscription emails are not working.


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