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

bedbugs, fleas or something else??

(12 posts)
  1. So Mad

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2014 1:06:49
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    Over a month ago, I got a couple of bites on my legs and 3 on my stomach. The bites started off pink but then progressed to angry dark red w/in 1 - 2 days. They were itchy but itchiness went away when I ignored it. I didn't get any other bites until 1 1/2 week later. After that, I was getting bites daily. The bites were / are concentrated on my feet, ankles and legs, but I would get one on my back and my arm. I saw my doctor who said that they are insect bites. I continued to get bites and reported to my apartment manager. Manager wasn't very helpful and couldn't get an exterminator to determine the problem for another week.

    Dewey Pest Control was able to come out right away. I showed the exterminator my bites who said that they are most likely from fleas. I showed him a dead specimen I had in a ziplock and had it analyze to confirm that it was a flea.

    I again notified the Manager who stated that they only thing she can do is fog the place but since it's the weekend, it will have to wait until Monday. Since I couldn't afford the treatment, I bought flea and bed bug fogger and did it myself with Manager approval. This was on Nov. 7th.

    It was about a week later that I got another bite on my foot and a day later, another on my other foot. I bought the Raid flea room and carpet spray as well as Raid flea and bedbug spray and sprayed my carpet, around my bed and washed all my linens again.

    Nov. 25 I noticed a couple of bites on my legs started off pink but now dark red. I also got a bite on my upper right arm but it's not dark red. Nov. 26, I noticed a bite on my lower left arm.

    I'm going to call my Manager on Monday 12/1 to let her know but please help me figure out if I have fleas, bedbugs or both.

    I still use Raid to spray my carpet and vacuum about twice a week.

  2. Freaked Fighter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2014 11:23:13
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    I am by far no expert but am currently fighting bed bugs, I also have a dog and a cat. It seems to me you are in a process of elimination situation. Do you have pets and are they spot-treated? This is essential not only for your pets but you, too. Fleas just love me for some reason (a doctor once told me it had something to do with the iron in my blood but I'm not too sure about that). If I were you I would stop bombing just in case you do have bed bugs; this is the worst thing you could do, it will just make them run and hide, only to emerge again when they get hungry (as my daughter found out after numerous warnings from me, being educated by this forum). But, what does Mom know? I think it takes quite awhile to actually figure out Mom just may know a thing or two, especially when her bugs came back with a vengeance. All from bombing.
    Make sure you read the faqs on detection for bed bugs and start looking. There are also short videos you can watch about detection located on the right side of this page. If I were in your shoes, I would order a couple Passive Monitors and properly install them (the inventor is extremely helpful). You can find them from the ads at the right. If it turns out you do have bed bugs (you will see their identifying signs on/around the Monitors) they may resolve the issue by a treatment called TbyPMS, especially if you are in the early stages of a bed bug infestation.

    Use the search function in the upper right of this page and read the faqs to learn as much as you can about these little demons. Even if it turns out to be something else, you will be knowledgeable about bed bugs, which I think everyone should be anyway.

    If it does turn out to be bed bugs or what you think are bed bugs make sure you get a picture of one and post it in a thread with the title "ID, please" so the real experts can identify it for you. I learned this through experience as I knew what they were but didn't know there are different species with different protocols for eradication. Pictures are very important!

    You came to the right place to help you with this. It was surprising to me to find so many others in my same situation. And the kknowledge the experts in the field is incredible and they are so giving in sharing that knowledge. And the support from all in the forum absolutely outstanding!

    Hopefully, it turns out to be fleas (the search will actually bring you to a flea-trap), but if not and the worse-case scenario happens, we are all here to help...well we're here to help no matter what your buggy is.

    Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes.

    NOT AN EXPERT but a survivor, twice. Read all the green stickies above, learn everything you can, and listen to the expert advice and your nightmare will end. You too can survive this!
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2014 12:57:40
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    We have a FAQ on fleas which has the do it yourself flea trap that I think Freaked Fighter was referring to. That should help you determine if you have fleas.

    Bed bug monitors (FAQ) are not expensive and can help you determine if you have bed bugs.

    Yes-- bug bombs (foggers) are a very bad idea if it is bed bugs, so please don't do that again until you've confirmed fleas. Even then, I suspect foggers may not be the best approach to treatment. You can look for posts by P Bello for advice on that or start a new thread once you have a visual confirmation of your pest.

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

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2014 13:01:11
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    Yes, what Nobugs said!

  5. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 27 2014 15:05:50
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    I would expect that a tech from Dewey (in California) would be able to confirm fleas if you showed them a specimen.

    Some comments for your consideration:

    > You MUST first confirm it is fleas. This can be done by using a self fashioned flea trap which is simple and easy to do with stuff available around the house. You can also wear knee high white athletic socks with a tight weave and walk around the house. You will then readily see fleas jump onto the white socks and climb up onto your legs.

    > If it is fleas they are not too difficult to eliminate on a DIY fashion if you simply do the right things.

    > Thorough vacuuming can eliminate many fleas but you need to either seal and/or dispose of the vacuum bag such that none escape.

    Note that fleas MUST have an animal to feed on in order to maintain a long term infestation. Pets, squirrels, raccoons, opossums and other such vertebrate pests which may be present can support a problematic flea infestation.

    Hope this helps ! pjb

  6. So Mad

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2014 21:48:28
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    Thanks to everyone who responded to my post.

    The exterminator from Dewey Pest Control did confirm that the dead specimen was a flea. I do not have any pets but I live in a downstairs apartment and there are stray cats in the compound. I bought a flea trap for my apartment. It's been 5 days and no fleas have been caught. I got another bite on my foot Saturday 11/29/2014 and another on the same foot Tuesday 12/2/2014.

    I caught another specimen that I believe to be a flea. I have a neighbor who works for Dewey and has agreed to spray my apartment this weekend. In the meantime, I sprayed my carpet with salt and baking soda. I've also bought a bigger vacuum with better suction and vacuumed yesterday and today. If the spray that my neighbor is going to do doesn't work, I'm calling a PCO with a dog to see if maybe I have bed bugs on top of fleas??

    I'm waiting for my order of bed bugs monitor. I have my bed on the carpet and will be buying a bed frame to so that it doesn't touch the carpet. I also but encasement on my box spring and mattress. I'm probably going to buy one for my futon bed as well.

    Anything else that you guys can recommend?

  7. So Mad

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2014 22:26:21
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    How do I post pictures on here?

    BTW - I called my apartment manager...again, wasn't helpful. She said she doesn't know what else to do because in her 30 years of being a manager, hasn't come across a this level of problem and no one has complained from my compound.

  8. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2014 0:18:56
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    @So Mad:
    I think your manager is full of flea poop.

    I'm not an expert just a dumb struggling bed bugger like every body else.
  9. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2014 0:19:14
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    Instructions for posting a photo.. Glad you could confirm fleas. That's the most important step.

    Did I miss something? Why do you think it's not just fleas when you have at least one confirmed sample?

    I am not clear on whether your neighbor is a licensed pesticide applicator. Just working for a PCO is not necessarily enough. And when you're renting, getting treatment done on your own can be problematic.

    However, if landlords are responsible for treating pest problems in your state, city or county, there may be ways to get the local officials to make this happen.

  10. So Mad

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Dec 6 2014 20:33:17
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    I thought that flea bites are smaller than bed bug bites and fleas bite constantly rather than sporadic with bed bugs. I get 1 to 2 - 3 bites every 3 - 4 days varying in sizes. This morning, I noticed a nickle size bite on my foot and a small one on my ankle. How are the fleas getting on my bed to bite me?? This afternoon, while in school, I noticed a small one on my wrist...is it a delayed reaction to a bed bug bite? Is it possible to have fleas and bed bugs at the same time?

    My neighbor is a licensed PCO and we've arranged for him to spray tomorrow. I'm hoping that this will clear up my problem. I've been vacuuming and spraying salt & baking soda everywhere since Tuesday and still got three bites today.

    I have been dealing with this for close to two months and I'm tired. I just want this to be over.

  11. P Bello

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat Dec 6 2014 23:06:16
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    Dear somad,

    Have you placed any flea traps to determine the areas of highest activity?

    What about pets or animals?

    pjb

  12. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 7 2014 4:56:11
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    As someone with more experience in fleas than bb, trust me, they can easily get on your clothes or blankets.

    Are you sure you're bring bitten at home?


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