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Bite locations: any thoughts on why this happens?

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  1. ughseriously

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Dec 16 2009 23:02:25
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    My bugs are very weirdly specific about where they like to bite me. Back when I realized I had an infestation, I used to wear a spaghetti strap tank top and shorts to sleep. The majority of my bites at that point were on my right elbow and immediately above, the tops of my breasts, and my upper thighs. That makes sense, as those areas were constantly exposed.

    Ever since I identified the problem, I've been covering up my chest and thighs in sweatshirts and sweatpants, because the idea of bugs crawling on my tender areas and feeding there really grosses me out. Almost as much as the thought of them crawling on my face, although I also wear an eye mask to sleep to discourage the nightmare of eyelid feeding that some of you have experienced.

    But! The only places I continue to get new bites post-treatment are places I take great care to cover now: my upper arms and, still, my chest and my thighs. I have not had one single bite on my hands, feet, or forearms - and those are the areas I leave constantly exposed now. I thought that these little jerks just want to feed and go hide. Any ideas on why they don't just bite the skin I leave out for them and go?

  2. freakedoutandbroke

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Dec 16 2009 23:15:55
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    Good question... since my second treatment I have had a bite on my jaw, my wrist, and (weirdest) my butt. The latter was not exposed .

  3. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 10:36:14
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    Are you sure that you are dealing with bed bugs? Have you found specimens?

    Dr. Potter presented a study that basically showed a tendency for bugs to bite exposed areas, but bite activity on all parts of the body, covered or not was also observed.

    The pattern that you are experiencing would seem to be more consistent with other potential sources. Maybe a lingering reaction that keeps flaring up.

  4. ughseriously

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 11:52:15
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    Doug,

    Yes, I have found one live specimen in my room, which was confirmed by a few PCOs as a bedbug. Multiple dead adults were found in the apartment above me during inspection.

    I'd wondered if it could be some sort of flareup, since it seems just too odd that after a couple of months dealing with this, I'd have absolutely nothing on my hands or feet.

    I thought a flareup would mean that my old bites in their exact old locations would pop up again? These new bites I'm experiencing are welts that I've definitely never had before. Please correct me if I'm wrong; I'd love to have a little shred of hope that I am not getting new bites in such great numbers now.

  5. soscared

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 12:46:10
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    Really??? they will bite UNDER clothes? How (and why) do they get in? How often do they do this versus biting exposed skin?
    Not good news.

  6. buggedout16

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 13:13:19
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    I can't help you, but wonder the same thing. I seem to get bit on my back and upper chest the most, pretty much exclusively; I sleep in a T-shirt and long pants, so most of my arms, and my feet, neck and face are all exposed. I know they can crawl in tight spaces so it seems like it would be pretty easy for them to get in there; and probably on most people, less hair there than on say, arms and legs? I dunno... just thinking out loud. Whatever, it's pretty gross.

  7. noway

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 17:42:37
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    ughseriously- this sounds SO familiar! My husband and I have been getting "mystery bites" since late September. (No evidence of BBs, but intensely itchy bites that looks like those of BBs.) I get bitten over and over again on the backs of my thighs, my backside, and my lower back/waistline area. I've never been bitten on the front of my body. My husband gets bitten on his chest, stomach and lower legs. We both sleep covered up in socks, sweat pants, long sleeves. We have never been bitten on our exposed hands. faces, necks... What could this be?

  8. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 20:14:13
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    I'm not answering any particular post here, just reminding folks (myself included) of two things: 1. bite reactions change over time due to your immune system either getting used to the bites (immunity) or over-reaction (immune suppression); 2) since bites present after the actual biting takes place (usually hours) some of us may be getting bitten when we are not asleep, and that may explain why covered areas have bites. Last weekend I passed out mid-day for an hour, without all my coverings; I think I was bit on my thigh.

  9. noway

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 20:35:57
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    Bait - That's an interesting reminder about the immune response changing over time.. as for when the bites occur - my covered areas are covered when I'm awake and asleep!! (it's COLD here )Thanks for your comments

  10. ughseriously

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 21:31:50
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    bait,

    My covered areas are always covered as well. I used to spend a lot of time lounging around on my bed in a tank top, even in the dead of winter, but those days are gone.

    One thought I just had: maybe they head for the center of my body because those areas are completely covered, so it's darker and they feel safer, being primarily nocturnal? My bedroom doesn't really get pitch black since it faces the street and I've been leaving a nightlight on so I can immediately kill anything, should I happen to wake up during the night.

    The hair idea is a good one, buggedout, although I kind of wonder why they don't stop to bite my neck or stomach first on the way down or up my shirt. These things are so odd. I'd like to be able to observe their behavior and get a sense of how they "think"...just not while they're feeding off of me, plz.

    And, freakedout: some of my first clusters of bites were right on my butt, too. Looks real gross out in public, discreetly trying to scratch back there.

  11. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 22:12:45
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    We on this board are also looking into the use of glycerin in health and beauty products. The little we know is that glycerin is attractive to bed bugs. Are you using creams/lotions in the areas you get bites?

  12. ughseriously

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 22:35:40
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    Ha, I do use creams and lotions....only on my forearms and hands! Which are bite free and have been for a while. Odd bugs.

  13. freakedoutandbroke

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Dec 17 2009 23:26:24
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    Didn't know that about glyceryn... lame, since having moved to NM my skin is dry and itchy all the time, and lotion helps. I will have to make sure my lotions don't contain that. Maybe the butt-bites will go away then. LOL

  14. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 18 2009 7:01:58
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    I am not sure that giving up glycerin will do anything to reduce the number of bites that a person may experience... that question was not evaluated in this study. The study looked at 78 different substances by observing the distance a bed bug traveled in the Y tube apparatus.

    We need to be careful about extrapolating from preliminary results of these kind of studies. This is good research, but there is no current evidence that eliminating glycerin will make any difference in biting frequency for a given individual. That is not the question that was being investigated.

    A prominent researcher pointed out that the Y tube was heated & that heat is a known attractant.

    This research is important, but preliminary. It will stimulate more studies ... that will ultimately answer questions like whether personal product use affects bed bug behavior. A hungry bed bug is a very determined creature... there are many factors at work here.

  15. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 18 2009 7:08:22
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    UghSeriously,

    Do you sleep on your right side?

    In other words... can you relate your sleep position to the pattern of bites?

    The presence of bed bugs pretty much eliminates my hypothesis that other sources are an issue here.

    You might want to take digital photos to track the bite pattern... easier to see which marks are new vs old.

    A lot of bed bug behavior is not well understood... Bed bugs tend to be highly opportunistic in their choice of bite locations.

  16. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 18 2009 8:25:08
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    [A lot of bed bug behavior is not well understood...

    Something we can all agree on!

  17. ughseriously

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 18 2009 10:36:56
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    Doug,

    I sleep pretty exclusively on my left side. I isolated my bed for peace of mind after treatment, though I figured that since there's a big hole over the piping in my ceiling coming from the primarily infested apartment, they'll be entering from above anyway and will probably just drop down on me once they realize they can't get me from below.

    So maybe I have so many on my right side because they're dropping and landing on it from above, and then going under my sleeve there.

  18. wchicago

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Dec 18 2009 15:07:05
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    hi ugh.
    maybe spackle the hole in your ceiling? i had to use spackle on my ceiling around the ceiling fan cuz the gaps were too big for caulk. you can get a wire mesh to put under the spackle that helps it hold -often it will even come in the kit with the spackle, but if not, you can buy it super cheaply at any hardware store.
    and sympathies! my bites in bed always seemed to be on my back <under clothes> but i think thats also because, for some odd reason, my back reacts much more strongly than my arms after being bitten, so it could be i noticed the ones on my back much more than the ones other places <because the reactions on my arms were so mild -but ones on my back and chest and shoulders would blister>. maybe check your arms for non-itchy pinpricks, and you'll find out you're getting bitten there too <but i hope not!>.
    best of luck

  19. bedbuggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sat Dec 19 2009 1:18:02
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    Just to add to this post, there is the phenomenon of Urticaria. Do your bites show up and then go away?
    A common location for hives is the chest, neck, and arms (maybe thighs?)

    Bedbugs ruin your skin and you will need to treat it well when you're ready to recover.

    I noticed a weird thing which was that the bits were often symmetrical (like on on my shoulder and one in the exact spot on my left shoulder.) This always freaked me out a bit and added to the horrible mystical qualities of my infestation.

  20. megan.orange

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 20 2009 0:15:54
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    Happens to me also. I got one on my butt the other night and I was wearing thick sweats to bed. During the summer though they were all over my feet and my hands. Really, I think it's whatever is there when they get to you.

  21. megan.orange

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 20 2009 0:17:20
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    Also, a lot of times people get allergic reactions to their bites. I do, I have to play "is it a hive, or a bite?"

  22. bait

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 20 2009 2:44:26
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    Yes Yes Yes to Bedbuggery. The bites will be on the same body part, same spot even, on both sides of the body. Now that's weird. I don't even think the scientists are aware of this Bcuz the lab BBs are really not wild and have different behaviors than field BBs.

    It makes me think they go "hunting" in pairs, and then split up when they find "food". Damn!

  23. jessicaps

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Dec 20 2009 2:52:50
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    I also have crazy reactions to my bites. Although mine are very random and never more than two or three spots a week... I am convinced that a month ago when my eyelid swelled shut that it was from a bite, although the doctor thought otherwise. He also thought my allergic reaction to bites on my arm was " a fish parasite from the ocean in Honduras" when I went on a cruise.. crazy right. This was before I ever found a bug so I hoped he was right (it beat the alternative), LOL.

  24. bedbuggery

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Jun 10 2010 3:32:26
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    WTF is going on that a doctor has to formulate a theory like that out of bedbugs? Are there NO medical documents or journals on them? Or are OUR modern bedbugs doing things to our bodies that they have never done in history? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON:?!!!!!!!

  25. saw two of them

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Thu Jun 10 2010 17:00:33
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    bait - 5 months ago  » 
    I'm not answering any particular post here, just reminding folks (myself included) of two things: 1. bite reactions change over time due to your immune system either getting used to the bites (immunity) or over-reaction (immune suppression); 2) since bites present after the actual biting takes place (usually hours) some of us may be getting bitten when we are not asleep, and that may explain why covered areas have bites. Last weekend I passed out mid-day for an hour, without all my coverings; I think I was bit on my thigh.

    Hi, so does that mean that if a person who reacted to the bites can get immunized to it? Because my mom and I had problems with BB in March, we reacted to it, and after self-treatment we haven't been getting any bites so I was wondering is it possible that we got immunized to the bites instead of actually getting rid of it? I'm very worried because my mom just told me that see saw something in the basement and killed it but she wasn't 100% sure it was BBs, we live in the apartment above the basement. I'm very scared that our self-treatment actually spreaded the bugs because the only reason, we didn't call a PCO to help our was because of 1) it cost too much, we don't have that kind of money and 2) the elderlys live in the basement , they are very stubborn and they wouldn't admit anything, they think the house is sparklingly "clean" "bug free".


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