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Bedbugs, or am I going insane?? Please help!!!

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  1. nervebundle

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 4 2012 0:11:14
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    I've always had a latent fear of bedbugs, but have done a pretty good job of not acting upon it in a disproportionate/irrational way in recent years. A few weeks ago my nonchalance was shattered when I saw a bug a few millimeters in length biting the inside of my arm while I was sitting on my bed. Stupidly enough I brushed it away in panic and thus will never know if it was a bedbug or not. This first mystery bug didn't immediately leave a bump, but instead a reddish streak that looked like a small hickey; the hickey later turned into a bump. I don't know if this is relevant, maybe someone has some insight here...(please give me your insight if you have any!!!!)...Of course, after this incident I searched my memory/my body and suspected that the couple of red bumps on my stomach that I had at first dismissed as pimples (thought I was going through a second, weirder adolescence?) were, in fact, bites.

    Over the next week or so I got into the habit of holding nightly, fifteen minute long vigils in front of my (exposed) box spring in hopes/in deathly fear of seeing another bug. One day I saw what from a few inches away appeared to be a small, grey SPECK on my box spring. My neuroses told me to lean closer to inspect, so I did, but before I could do my due diligence the speck DISAPPEARED INTO MY BOX SPRING. Now, being fairly paranoid about bedbugs and other things that could potentially appear as specks, I know that specks sometimes seem like they're moving when they're not, particularly when you kind of want them to move but at the same time are terrified that they'll move, and I get that...I really do. But I really did think (do think?) I saw this particular speck disappear into my box spring. I promptly freaked out and called an exterminator the very next day to do a visual inspection, which turned up...nothing. Although the inspectors definitely weren't as thorough as I would've liked - they looked at my box spring, my sheets, and kind of looked at my mattress (which is encased in a cover). They also looked at my couch. Nothing.

    A few weeks later, I kept waking up with rows of bites in my armpits and a bit lower down. I also saw a line on my stomach. I had the exterminators put in fancy, bedbug pheromone-emitting monitors next to my bed (ew) - two weeks later and they have turned up nothing. But I STILL keep finding suspicious bumps on my body, some of them in lines of two or three. I also woke up a couple of times with blood on the back of my T-shirt where there were no blemishes on my back, and I once found a streak of blood on top my blanket in a strange spot, where I don't usually sleep. Sometimes I see "peppery" black flakes associated with bedbug droppings, but I am unconvinced they're not just foot dirt or something else.

    Not knowing whether I'm losing my mind/overreacting or if there is actually an issue is making me a walking basketcase. Even worse, I can't get a good night's sleep in my bed - I've resorted to sleeping on the couch in my living room just so I don't wake up at 4am (the internet says that's when the bugs bite) whimpering and swatting at myself. I've still found some new bites ("bites"??), though, despite the distance I've kept from my own bed. Navigating my apartment has become an exercise in obsessive, paranoid logic - should I put my flip flops near a sweatshirt that was at one point near my bed and never washed, and run the risk of my flip flops "contracting" bedbugs? Or MAYBE the FLIP FLOPS are the culprits, and the bedbugs will leap from them to the sweatshirt, and maybe then to the flip flops of an innocent, unsuspecting passerby??

    If anyone has any words of wisdom, I would be so, so grateful. If I first saw this mystery bug almost a month ago, would I know if I was infested by now? Suggestions for conquering my anxiety? Any input is welcome.


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