Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Bite primer - information on bites and reactions

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  1. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Feb 3 2009 16:09:16
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    Bed Bug Bites

    Preface
    It is important to understand that the variables involved in the development of a bite response are vast and many. Therefore it is really not possible to diagnose an infestation of bed bugs from bite symptoms / morphology alone. This document aims to outline a few of the variables that have been seen in recent years. It must also be stressed that not every bites you have will defiantly be from a bed bug, if you get a single lone bite and nothing for months and months it may just be a something unrelated to bed bugs.

    Will you react at all?

    Some people never respond to the bites, they can live unaware of the fact that they have bed bugs until they seen one or find the signs that they have been present. It is believed that this figure is as high as 60% of all exposed people and accounts for the main reason why some people seem to get bitten while a partner in the same bed is bite free.

    This is the most common reason for an infestation going undetected in a hotel room, if no-one complains it may not get detected for a very long time.

    When will you respond?

    Some people respond immediately upon contact with a bed bug while others can take up to 14 days to develop a reaction. This is very much a factor of your own immune system and if your body perceives it as a threat. It is not uncommon for someone to respond quickly after a previous encounter with bed bugs as the body learns that bite response can be a good early warning signal. The more severe the reaction to bed bugs the faster the response will occur.

    Are some bites more severe?

    Yes some people have an extreme reaction to bed bugs and develop what is termed a bullion eruption, a severe reaction which swells and appears to be like a blister while others report nothing more than a red area that fades after a few minutes. You may also find that you skin responds differently in different parts of the body, as a rule try to avoid bites on the hands, feet and face as they tend to react the most. If you develop bites that develop into blisters within a few minutes seek medical attention immediately.

    Sometimes the bites itch and sometimes they don’t, why is that?

    Again our bodies respond in different ways at different times. Bites are more likely to itch if you are over heated such as in a warm bath or shower, during exercise or in a warm car. They can also itch more if your skin is dry or exposed to harsh conditions. You should avoid over chlorinated water such as swimming pools and body lotions with alcohol in them.

    It is not uncommon for people to report increased itching after an encounter with bed bugs, the skin just seems to become more sensitive to things.

    How long will a bite last?

    The duration of a bite will depend mainly on your bodies ability to heal itself, if a cut or nick would heal quickly then you are more likely to have bites that clear quickly. If you scratch a bite then it effectively becomes an open wound on your skin and is susceptible to secondary infections, if left unscratched a bed bug bite from a normal reaction will usually heal without an scaring. If you have bullion / blister type reactions seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    Does the environment play a role?

    Yes it can play a significant role. The more polluted the environment the more likely you are to react to bites. This is because a bite is basically a small puncture wound in the skin, just the same as a cut or scratch will react more in a polluted environment due to your bodies immune response the same will occur with a bite. It has even been reported by numerous people that a change in environment or regular travel pattern has coincided with a sudden response to bites and the uncovering of some advances infestations.

    Is stress a factor?

    Yes the more stress you are under the more likely you are to respond to bites. It’s really your bodies way of telling you mind that something is wrong and that you need to stop and look for the cause of the problem. Although it is difficult to not obsess over bed bugs when you have a problem but it can play a massive role in some peoples infestations.

    I know I don’t have bed bugs but I keep getting bites

    It may be that your body is still reacting to something in the environment or it could be that something else is actually causing the problem. Some people with prolonged exposure to bed bugs develop a sensitivity to the material that makes up their skins, chitin. As this is a common component of most insect skins you can become hyper sensitive to it, almost as if you body wants an early warning signal for potential infestations. The problem is that this is a common material and can even be used as a filler for food products and supplements (non insect derived of course) but taking products containing chitin can result in bite like reactions. It is also possible that other insects such as pscocids can start a bite like reaction even though they do not generally walk on people.

    My old bites seem to flare up from time to time

    Again environment, stress and many factors can result in an old bite flaring up. I have even seen some people just think about bed bugs and bites appear.

    I have read about bites appearing in threes but I usually only get ones or two’s, why is that?

    Although some people report the classic “breakfast, lunch and dinner” bite patterns it is not something that everyone gets. Although there is no scientific data on the subject it is safe to assume that if a bed bug is able to get enough food from a single piercing then it will not feed again and will return to its refugia to digest the meal. If it is unable to get a full meal due to blood clotting, difficult skin to penetrate or some other factor then it may need to pierce the skin again. In which case it is safe to assume that it is likely to bite again in a close cluster. In the numerous feeding experiments I have conducted I am yet to witness more than a single piercing event from a single bed bug during a feed.

    I sometimes feel a pin prick like sensation can that be bed bugs?

    Generally people report that bed bug bites cannot be felt and it is certainly my experience from feeding in the lab. However I have noticed that when I have spent time in heavily infested locations I often get a needling sensation on my skin for hours afterwards, I have also noticed it in properties where inappropriately high levels of insecticide have been applied or where layers of insecticide have been applied without any removal. It is unlikely that any prickling sensations are directly due to bed bugs but it can form part of your bodies early warning signs of them being present. In some exceptional circumstances people have used this response as a quick evaluation of if an area has bed bugs, it does not replace a thorough inspection but I have seen it used to encourage further inspection to eventually find samples.

    After treating for bed bugs my skin felt a little “crawlie and tingley” why is that?

    Some people who are more sensitive to chemicals report this as a symptom of exposure. This is one of the main reasons why appropriate protective equipment must be worn, especially with store bought products.
    Prolonged feelings of things crawling on your skin can be a symptom of other medical conditions and should be discussed with a medical professional if it persists for more than a few days.

    How can I tell what type of reaction I get to bed bugs?

    Although this is not something that we would recommend the only way to establish exactly what you reaction is involved performing a series of experiments comparing the difference between known bed bug bites on your skin and small punctures made with a blood sampling needle. You should not attempt this if you have a more aggressive or irritating bite response.

    I keep getting bitten but can’t find any signs of bed bugs, why is that?

    Unfortunately bites alone does not equate to bed bugs, there are far too many other things that could be an issue to think this way. If you keep getting bitten and can’t find any signs then you need to consider other possibilities. I would suggest that if you get to 20 bites a night or 50 bites in total and cannot find any faecal traces then it is unlikely to be bed bugs if you feel you have searched everywhere.

    Things that are known to make your bite reaction worse:

    Getting over heated such as a hot bath, shower or exercise. If you need to maintain a good exercise regime switch to swimming in low chlorinated water and definitely not sea water.

    Dry skin either through exposure to the elements or dry air, try to keep well moisturised and hydrated.

    Excessive application of body creams that contain alcohol, strong colours or fragrances.

    Exposure to high levels of environmental pollution, often associated with areas of high hydro carbon pollution such as air ports.

    This is a working document, please do not repeat post elsewhere but link back to this page as I will continue to edit it as the source.

    Please feel free to post comments or further questions below.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  2. eatingmealive

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Feb 3 2009 20:29:29
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    Thanks David!

  3. brooklynbite

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Feb 3 2009 20:42:00
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    Thank you *so* much for putting in the time to put this together!

  4. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Feb 3 2009 20:59:05
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    Thank you David. Excellent post!!!

  5. eatenalivenh

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Tue Feb 3 2009 21:21:22
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    Wonderful thank you! I feel like I understand my bites better now. I have noticed that when bitten on certain more sensitive ares such as my hands and face that the bites are noticeable when I wake up while bites in less sensitive areas take longer to appear for me, this help me to put that into perspective.

  6. brooklynbite

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Feb 4 2009 12:46:41
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    This is the first morning, since our PCO treatment last Thursday, that I have not woken up with new spots. The PCO said that while they have pretty good results with minro infestations with one treatment (in terms of not having to do a follow up) to expect to keep getting bitten for up to about 5 days as the bugs die off.

    I have noticed that my bites since the treatment (if they are indeed new and not delayed) look a bit different. They are "punier" for lack of a better descriptor - more faint, and gone in about a day.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

  7. spideyjg

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed Feb 4 2009 14:46:15
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    Some info on “spider bites” that may apply here especially in the first article.

    http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/spidermyth/myths/asleep.html

    http://spiders.ucr.edu/necrotic.html

    http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/content/full/17/3/220

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Story?id=2320020

    Basically “spider bites” is another misnomer for mysterious skin conditions that appear on people.

    As David's excellent article points out skin reactions can be caused by a host of conditions and, although not mentioned in this thread, I often see posts referring to “spider bites” but the facts don't play out as this being common.

    Jim

  8. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Feb 5 2009 14:36:46
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    For reason I cant edit the post at the top but I wanted to include a new section.

    Things that are known to make your bite reaction worse:

    Getting over heated such as a hot bath, shower or exercise. If you need to maintain a good exercise regime switch to swimming in low chlorinated water and definitely not sea water.

    Dry skin either through exposure to the elements or dry air, try to keep well moisturised and hydrated.

    Excessive application of body creams that contain alcohol, strong colours or fragrances.

    Exposure to high levels of environmental pollution, often associated with areas of high hydro carbon pollution such as air ports.

    More edits once it is unlocked.

    David

  9. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Feb 5 2009 15:46:49
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    RE: that last addendum . . .

    Other than the strongly scented or alcohol-based lotions, I was 3 for 4 of that last list, living, like I do in arid southern California, having my infestation in the summer, and preferring really hot showers while living near the biggest port in the country. To say nothing of my frequent travel by air, and living within 30 miles of 3 airports (the nearest of which is less than 6 miles away).

    This may explain in large part why I reacted to strongly to the bites when, at least as a teenager, I only had an average to just slightly above average allergic reaction to other biting insects (mosquitos and deer flies).

    As always, thanks for the info.

  10. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Feb 5 2009 16:43:19
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  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Feb 5 2009 23:11:43
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    Hi David,
    I've added your edits above.

    It might be good to add this to the FAQs. What do you think?

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  12. hoo2677

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Feb 6 2009 3:07:18
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    Wasn't sure where to post this one. Talks about various chemical treatments (residuals) and studies with you know who...

    http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/0022-0493(2006)99%5B2080%3ALEOIPE%5D2.0.CO%3B2?prevSearch=all:%20keyword:

  13. mangycur

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sun Feb 15 2009 19:45:05
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    I think this would be a great addition to the FAQs. I just wanted to add that in my personal experience, I apparantly developed a tolerance for bed bug bites. Don't know if you want to add a paragraph about that phenomenon. Basically, when I first got bed bugs I was waking up with very itchy bites that took a few days to disappear. Last time I had a confirmed bed bug siting, I wasn't noticing any bites whatsoever, but I found 7 live bugs in my bed one morning. My best guess is that my immune system has decided that bed bugs aren't really a health threat to me so why bother alerting? On the one hand this is a bummer, because if I still have them, I don't have an alert system. (I am doing monthly inspections of my bedroom to look for signs of them.) On the other hand, at least I'm sleeping.

  14. punaisedelit

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Feb 18 2012 20:35:37
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    I'm bumping this to ask a question: can bites take the form of small bruises? I found a small black-greenish bruise under my armpit this morning, right on a vein, and another one on my shoulder, also on a vein.

  15. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Feb 19 2012 0:13:26
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    Hi punaisedelit,

    I have never seen single bite manifest as bruises or anything that could be described as bruise like. The only thing close to a bruise that I have ever seen caused by bedbugs is currently on my left forearm but that is from feeding thousands (3,000 - 5,000) bedbugs in the same place week after week.

    I cant 100% rule it out for the variability reasons outlines int he primer but I would classify it as extremely unlikely.

    David

    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
  16. punaisedelit

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Feb 19 2012 8:56:53
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    Thanks a lot David!

  17. exercizegurl

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 20 2012 18:35:57
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    Hi

    I am a 22 year old woman with bed bug bites (I think) that are almost about 2 or 3 years old. I totally forgot about them and thought they would heal but sadly they are still here. I have searched the website for a week finding remedies for old bed bug bites and I even tried the aspirin remedy but it didn't work. Please do you have any advice for old bed bug bites or are they permanent? The bites are a red dot and are red around it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!

    Thanks in Advance

  18. loubugs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Feb 20 2012 19:19:09
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    "Yes some people have an extreme reaction to bed bugs and develop what is termed a bullion eruption, a severe reaction which swells and appears to be like a blister while others report nothing more than a red area that fades after a few minutes."

    Just wanted to post a correction. The term is actually bullous, not bullion. Haven't been reading some of the posts often enough to respond more quickly.
    I can post some of my personal reactions to my flickr account to clarify some points.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  19. lagirl31

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Feb 21 2012 19:36:37
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    Thanks, David!

    In my initial infestation last year, I noticed that I had two distinct bite reactions. Most of the time I would react instantly to bites. They would be itchy so quickly that I would wake up and could often catch the bug that bit me. My partner was the same way. At the same time, I would sometimes have bites that didn't itch at all in the beginning, but would appear as very clear red dot clusters. They would itch mildly after a day or two. I never figured out what accounted for the two different types of reactions, but I wondered if it was the individual bug.

    Interestingly, we are now in our second infestation and neither of us has shown any bite reactions at all, even though we must getting bitten (there are fecal stains on our sheets, so it's clear that the bugs are getting fed). I'm not sure if we've stopped reacting entirely (both of us, suddenly) or if these particular bugs, which I think might all be from a single pregnant female that strayed into our apartment, are not inducing a bite reaction.

    It's nice not to be itchy but I did appreciate having two reactors in the house. It was a nice early warning system. Luckily we were still doing monthly inspections and checking our bed linens so we caught the re-infestation despite the lack of bites.

  20. DreDay17

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Mar 18 2012 22:45:12
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    Bumping for a response to the post above as I think it may hold some value.

  21. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Mar 19 2012 6:23:31
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    Hi lagirl31,

    Unfortunately this simply highlights the unreliability and variability in bite responses. You cant draw sensible conclusions from a sample set of one and literally need thousands if not tens of thousands of data points to make it appropriate to draw conclusions about the wider population from.

    People have changing and differing responses to bedbug bites, they are not always the same, I have seen some increase while others decrease with time and exposure.

    Its the key reason why I always say don't focus on the bites focus on the facts.

    David

  22. newtactics

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Mar 21 2012 6:57:44
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    David - superb addition to a great resource, thanks!

    Nobugs - so glad you put this as a sticky, I think it'll help a lot of peope!

    I just wanted to add that sometimes marks can be left on the skin that look like tiny pin pricks, and whilst it can be tempting to panic and think they are fresh (they are after all a breaking of the skin) an expert has previously stated in the forums that these are from old bites. I'm sorry I can't remember who said that or find the post.

    Also, I personally actually react quite well to salt water and find it helps - I guess there are exceptions to any rule, but I can not agree more that stress and lack of sleep can bring back very old skin reactions, as can diet.

  23. benmiles2012

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Mar 21 2012 17:44:10
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    Bed Bugs at Sara Lee Claryville KY

  24. newtactics

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Mar 22 2012 8:04:56
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    Quick 'tip' for anyone suffering from post bb itchiness:

    I use washing powder for very sensitive skin, and even this in small doses. This helps a lot with shirts/t-shirts/boxers etc which I don't get very dirty...

    I do however was my socks separately using normal liquid or powder...LOL!

  25. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Mar 22 2012 11:14:29
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    benmiles2012 - 17 hours ago  » 
    Bed Bugs at Sara Lee Claryville KY

    Ben,
    If you're trying to report bed bugs at an infested location, that's not really somwthig the forum does. Please consider posting at the Bed Bug Registry instead.

  26. BedBugsLoveSweetBlood

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Apr 6 2012 20:00:48
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    My bites are the boullous type...VERY itchy and painful... I have busted skin several times and had to go on antibiotics because of secondary infection that looked a lot like ringworm.

    My question is, what is the medical professional going to give me? Is there some sort of medication that will prevent or treat the blisters? I also have a bad habit of popping the blisters, I know that can't be good, but man is it hard not to! Once I do I immediately put sanitizer or tea tree oil on the wound.

    Another comment... I also get the flare ups from old bites. Very annoying, as sometimes I don't remember where bites were and go crazy thinking they r new bites. Which, I still think I have bugs even tho I haven't caught one in over a week.

    Great post tho, appreciate this information very much.

  27. loubugs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Apr 8 2012 13:54:03
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    I can post some of my personal reactions to my flickr account to clarify some points.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/4918202369/in/set-72157615326967164
    Here's an image taken hours after the initial feeding where there are many bites on my hand. Look through the other images, too.

  28. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Apr 9 2012 11:21:53
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    BedBugsLoveSweetBlood - 2 days ago  » 
    My bites are the boullous type...VERY itchy and painful... I have busted skin several times and had to go on antibiotics because of secondary infection that looked a lot like ringworm.

    Please be very careful, this type of reaction is not common, I have only seen it a handful of times and if you have not already done so you need to seek specialist medical advice ideally from a dermatologist. Until such times its best to avoid where possible being bitten which the most efficacious way I can think of doing is with a protective netting arrangement like this NightSafe product.

    http://www.mattresssafe.com/NiteSafe-sup-TM-sup-Sleep-System-p/ns-tent.htm

    Only medical professionals are qualified to help with such matters and as such I can only offer general advice but it will prime you to chat with a medical professional.

    BedBugsLoveSweetBlood - 2 days ago  » 
    My question is, what is the medical professional going to give me?

    They can help give you advice and products that will help you cope through this issue. If left unscratched which I know is hard there is a much lower risk of any scaring and long term effect of them. The advice elements can help as much as the medicines.

    BedBugsLoveSweetBlood - 2 days ago  » 
    Is there some sort of medication that will prevent or treat the blisters?

    There are medical ways of suppressing your immune response to this type of bite which aim at stopping your body from responding. Although it can help in symptom relief it is best to deal with the cause as quickly and efficiently as possible. As soon as you get no more bites the sooner the reaction can be brought under control. Where I am not normally considered a massive fan of the concept of isolation I am about to start testing some new treatment options incorporating this type of tent isolation in situations where reactions are high. It will take a few months before sensible data is available but I am not known for publicly acknowledging I am testing something unless I have a good idea that it will work.

    BedBugsLoveSweetBlood - 2 days ago  » 
    I also have a bad habit of popping the blisters, I know that can't be good, but man is it hard not to! Once I do I immediately put sanitizer or tea tree oil on the wound.

    This you should stop as soon as possible. I would say wear cotton glove liners to avoid scratching but it is likley that the high alcohol sanitizer is doing more harm than good, they tend to dry skin too much and don't get me started on what they can do at a cellular level. I find a general purpose antibiotic healing cream the sort that you can get over the counter is about the best symptom relief you can get. I have a small personal supply collected while traveling as the idea brand is not available in the UK. I am sorry I can't name a brand but in this specific case you are likley to been systemic medication rather than topical.

    BedBugsLoveSweetBlood - 2 days ago  » 
    Another comment... I also get the flare ups from old bites. Very annoying, as sometimes I don't remember where bites were and go crazy thinking they r new bites. Which, I still think I have bugs even tho I haven't caught one in over a week.
    Great post tho, appreciate this information very much.

    The only three solid pointers I can add to that and maybe the next version of the document is that I know dry heat, high air pollution and stress are all issues in resurfacing old bites. The best advice I give people is to view it as like a barometer and a way of their body telling them something. It may be that its too hot, too dry or too polluted or that something has kick started your immune system and its still got a tendency to remind you. I know at least one person who this reaction lead to a career at the high end of bedbug detection and screening. I would even go as far as to say I would trust their feeling on a room as within 15 seconds they would declare even a single bedbug in a room leaving me the next 10 to take the room apart and find it. The only down side is that like a smellier or perfume developer the sense only really remains clear from residual for 120 minutes or 5 exposures. Its a narrow working day at best but you get genius work while they are fresh and a lot of complaining when they start to slow and have to do things the more traditional finger tip inspection, its certainly less invasive.

    Thanks for the feedback, its nice to know it has helped. I will bump the primer to closer to the top of my editing work and will try and find a visual way to display things, maybe as an embeddable PDF or will poke our host into finding a way to link the visuals with the text.

    The whole area is certainly a subject that needs more medical research and more clear medical communication as reactions that are at the more extreme end of the spectrum will increase in numbers as the issue spreads and understanding the causes and the symptoms better would be a great first step towards that.

    David

  29. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Apr 10 2012 1:07:03
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    We can easily move this into a FAQ, David, and include any photos you like.

  30. BedBugsLoveSweetBlood

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Apr 10 2012 15:34:37
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    Thank you so much! I wont pop them anymore, and just put neosporin on the wounds. They are healing slowly, and are still quite red.

    Havent got any new bites for a few days. (holding my breath)

    Another point which might be helpful for your research- I live in NYC... and have a high-stress job working with the addicted and homeless population.

    Thank you again... VERY helpful information here.

  31. ShelaghDB

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    loubugs - 2 weeks ago  » 

    I can post some of my personal reactions to my flickr account to clarify some points.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/4918202369/in/set-72157615326967164
    Here's an image taken hours after the initial feeding where there are many bites on my hand. Look through the other images, too.

    You couldn't pay me enough money in the world to let those things on me as you let them crawl on you........ ;-(

    You are a brave man!!

  32. Going Mental

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun May 13 2012 20:19:34
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    hi there
    thanks for the post this is very helpful especially the part about the red pin pricks--I have alot of these on my forearms chest and bra area. I had a dog confirm no bugs 2 days ago but I am still itching like crazy and trying to figure out which bite marks are new and which ones are old. How long do you think it will take for the itching to go down?
    Another question-- I know that dog has confirmed no BBs but I still can't relax. Is it premature to take clothes out of ziploc bags and discontinue my dryer routine?
    Another thing-when I wake up in the morning I am never itchy. The itchiness only starts mid afternoon and continues until I get into bed. Hmmmm? Any ideas

    Thanks again--it is so helpful to be able to share

  33. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon May 14 2012 8:43:42
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    Going Mental - 12 hours ago  » 
    hi there
    thanks for the post this is very helpful especially the part about the red pin pricks--I have alot of these on my forearms chest and bra area. I had a dog confirm no bugs 2 days ago but I am still itching like crazy and trying to figure out which bite marks are new and which ones are old. How long do you think it will take for the itching to go down?

    Copied from the top of this thread:

    How long will a bite last?

    The duration of a bite will depend mainly on your bodies ability to heal itself, if a cut or nick would heal quickly then you are more likely to have bites that clear quickly. If you scratch a bite then it effectively becomes an open wound on your skin and is susceptible to secondary infections, if left unscratched a bed bug bite from a normal reaction will usually heal without an scaring. If you have bullion / blister type reactions seek medical attention as soon as possible.

    Going Mental - 12 hours ago  » 
    Another question-- I know that dog has confirmed no BBs but I still can't relax. Is it premature to take clothes out of ziploc bags and discontinue my dryer routine?

    The dog has technically not confirmed anything other than it could not detected bedbugs. To confirm something you have to be 100% sure and therefore that could only be done via visual inspection.

    Going Mental - 12 hours ago  » 
    Another thing-when I wake up in the morning I am never itchy. The itchiness only starts mid afternoon and continues until I get into bed. Hmmmm? Any ideas
    Thanks again--it is so helpful to be able to share

    Also copied from the top of the thread:

    Does the environment play a role?

    Yes it can play a significant role. The more polluted the environment the more likely you are to react to bites. This is because a bite is basically a small puncture wound in the skin, just the same as a cut or scratch will react more in a polluted environment due to your bodies immune response the same will occur with a bite. It has even been reported by numerous people that a change in environment or regular travel pattern has coincided with a sudden response to bites and the uncovering of some advances infestations.

    Regards,

    David

  34. bed-bugscouk

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    Tue May 15 2012 12:34:38
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    Just realised today that the section that relates to this on my site had slipped out of the site during an upgrade. I have put it back now and the direct link is:

    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/bedbugbites.html

    The gallery shows some of the ranges of reactions that occur and illustrates why bite diagnostic is a fools errand.

    David

  35. vermontbedbugs

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    Sat May 26 2012 21:19:48
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    boullous type - I was thinking that was the reaction I had, until I saw the picture! Mine was way worse. It went from the size of a mosquito bite to my whole forearm was untouchable, the skin was on the verge of opening! I don't know why I am so upset we have them again.

  36. bed-bugscouk

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    Sun May 27 2012 9:56:47
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    Hi vermontbedbugs,

    Yes that is more accurately an anaphylactic reaction which I hope you are receiving medical attention for as you may need immune suppressing to avoid such issues becoming more serious.

    Having bedbugs once is bad enough but twice can be shattering because it shows that no matter what you did to resolve the case you had you have again come into contact with it.

    Checking when you travel and taking precaution is the obvious first line of defence but education of all adjoining neighbours, friends and colleagues is equally important.

    Sorry to hear you are going through it again though.

    David

  37. vermontbedbugs

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    Tue May 29 2012 9:59:10
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    David,
    I had a doctor tell me just to keep benadryl on me and if I get bit take 2! I asked if I should have an epi-pen, but she didn't really think it was needed! I am so afraid to go to bed because of this. They are contained in one bedroom upstairs from mine right now and I check my bed, walls, ceilling every night to look for activity - I told my husband if they move downstairs I will be moving out.

  38. loubugs

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    Wed May 30 2012 13:02:26
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    boullous type - I was thinking that was the reaction I had, until I saw the picture! Mine was way worse. It went from the size of a mosquito bite to my whole forearm was untouchable, the skin was on the verge of opening!

    Actually bullous is the correct spelling.
    Yes that is more accurately an anaphylactic reaction ...."

    I wouldn't say that this is an anaphylactic reaction just because of the blistering. I have fed them for over 15 years and when I feed them for 20 minutes in one place, I will have bullous reaction in many places on the feeding site. If I feed them for less time, there is almost not blistering.

    Online definition of anaphylaxis
    The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction may occur within seconds of exposure or be delayed 15 to 30 minutes, or even an hour or more after exposure (typical of reactions to aspirin and similar drugs). Early symptoms are often related to the skin and include flushing (warmth and redness of the skin),
    itching (often in the groin or armpits), hives.
    These symptoms are often accompanied by a feeling of "impending doom," anxiety, sometimes a rapid, irregular pulse.
    Frequently following the above symptoms, throat and tongue swelling results in hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty breathing.
    Symptoms of rhinitis (hay fever) or asthma may occur, causing a runny nose;
    sneezing, and wheezing, which may worsen the breathing difficulty;
    vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps may develop.
    About 25% of the time, the mediators flooding the bloodstream cause a generalized opening of capillaries (tiny blood vessels) which results in a drop in blood pressure,
    lightheadedness,
    even loss of consciousness.

  39. theyareoutthere

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    Mon Jun 11 2012 2:10:56
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    Just a quick FYI, I had skin tags and a few moles removed throughout my body this week. Most were on the body but a few were on the neck and chest in a 3-4 line formation. Interesting to see people's reactions. My hairdresser asked me about it, cautiously, or so it seemed. There seemed to be relief on his face with my explanation.

    They
    Are
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    = TAOT
  40. getthemout

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    Wed Jun 13 2012 5:06:02
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    So I'm 95% sure I have bedbugs and I am in the process of cleaning up my apartment to get PCO to come in. I wish I could just do it now but you can barely walk from room to room my place is such a mess so I am doing this as quickly as possible, but I was just wondering...
    Do bed bugs affect pets? I'm worried about my cat, I can deal with the bites as annoying as they are and the lack of sleep I get cause of them, I can handle it, I just want to make sure the bugs won't hurt her cause she's my baby so I want to take her to the vet asap if I need too.
    Does anyone know if they bite animals or just humans? She used to have a bunch of scabs on her back so I thought maybe she was getting bitten, but they went away about a week ago so maybe they were something else.

  41. Nicole120

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    Thu Jul 12 2012 23:21:42
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    "Getting over heated such as a hot bath, shower or exercise. If you need to maintain a good exercise regime switch to swimming in low chlorinated water and definitely not sea water." I like to stay active, but currently am covered in BB bites, a lot of which have swelled up. Can I visit my gym & do low-impact activity? Been taking Benedryl Hoping they go away & don't scar!

  42. DianaL

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    Fri Jul 20 2012 13:29:55
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    My experience is that the fattier my skin is, the more piercings I get. On my hips and flabby upper arm areas, I often get massively multiple white bumps – up to 100. But on non fatty skin ( ie forearm, fingers, chest and neck ), I get only 2-3 bites. I’ve never been bitten on my quite fatty stomach or breasts.

    Before I realized that my laptop was bed bug central, I was using my computer away from home. I felt some discomfort on neck and hip—a little itchy. I was wearing a loose short dress. Shortly afterward, I went into a chlorinated pool and that’s when they flared up into many angry welts.

    See photos of hips and upper arm ( with comparisons to other peoples established bed bug bites ) at: flickr.com/photos/diana_l/

  43. DianaL

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    Fri Jul 20 2012 13:55:53
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    Do bed bugs affect pets? I'm worried about my cat, I can deal with the bites as annoying as they are and the lack of sleep I get cause of them, I can handle it, I just want to make sure the bugs won't hurt her cause she's my baby so I want to take her to the vet asap if I need too.
    Does anyone know if they bite animals or just humans? She used to have a bunch of scabs on her back so I thought maybe she was getting bitten, but they went away about a week ago so maybe they were something else.

    I've read that if you starve your bed bugs by wearing protective clothing , they will attack any warm blooded animal. I've been doing battle for 5 weeks and wear protective coverings and put my new mattress on a very slippery large painters tarp .

    Unfortunetly, I can't protect my cat. I have found two red laceration type scrapes close to her eyes. She has a bloody discharge from her eyes that is probably an attractant and there is nothing I can do for her.
    Your vet would probably have as much trouble identifying or helping your cat since Drs for humans can't help or identify ( except with allergy meds and cream).

    Good Luck. It's so hard to watch our beloved pets get hurt, but how do you keep a cat from walking on the floor?

  44. Nobugsonme

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    Fri Jul 20 2012 19:31:13
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    DianaL,

    Bed bugs would rather bite you than your cat. Of course, if they can't get to you, they will feed on other animals. A flea/tick treatment for cats may help your cat, but they aren't labeled for or proven to prevent or kill bed bugs. A vet may be able to advise you further.

    Are you getting bed bug treatment for your home? Bed bug aren't normally found in electronics, -- what did you see? The good news is they can be treated and eliminated.

  45. amethyst

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    Thu Jul 26 2012 9:02:49
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    [i] Hello to one and all,
    Personally speaking I DO NOT believe there is ANY way to get rid of these bed bugs, as we've tried various 'sprays', my nephew bought (2) of the over $100 'Protect A Bed' mattress covers, which hasn't helped yet (they seem to actually bring the bugs rather than get rid of them), and I know folks who've gone to professionals (we don't have $3-$4,000 to pay) only to have the bugs "RETURN".

    Something is very wrong when you open 'sealed' items and find 'bed bugs' already in the packages (this is especially true of 'toilet tissue'), and I believe the 'infestation' is only getting worse (I took my mom to the hospital and there are on the 'emergency room' blankets, were 'tiny red bed bugs' crawling on my mom's blanket, when I pointed this out to the nurse, she looked at me like I was crazy and said that wasn't possible but when I found one near the 'exam rooms' I knew I was right.).

    Not to slander any one particular group, but I'm beginning to wonder if this really did start out as an 'international' thing (but supposedly we've had bed bugs for many years, going way back although I don't ever remember seeing them, 'they' claim that the 'black dots' we used to see behind 'picture frames' and other items were indeed dead bed bugs.), as we're being told or did America have them all along? Any way, I'm so tired of being bitten, I really wish someone could find a way to get rid of them once and for ALL (and we could have PROOF that that solution really worked, and did NOT bring them back).

  46. bed-bugscouk

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    Thu Jul 26 2012 14:12:17
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    Hi amethyst,

    Ideally you need to start a new thread when you change subject so that people don't get confused or don't find your request for help because they may have already read this information.

    There are many products that can kill bedbugs from DE to Steam to insecticides. They often have their niche applications but sadly as you have found out much of what is sold online is not effective and can spread the issue.

    However the key thing is that no product can stop bedbugs being brought into your home or arriving from an infested neighbour which is why addressing the source of the issue is so important.

    With regards mattress encasements as you have also found out at significant cost they don't stop you getting bedbugs. The only encasements which potential add any value are base encasements to either entrap bedbugs or remove refugia (where they hide). You may want to look at the advertising claims on the product and make a complaint if you feel it was mis-sold to you.

    If you look at the FAQ's for this site you will see a lot of information on self treatment which although not an ideal way of dealing with bedbugs is the only solution for some people. If you want to battle them then it starts with learning about them and not relying on the advise on a bottle.

    If you start a new thread I am sure people will help with more advice.

    David

  47. jessika

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Aug 19 2012 17:28:30
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    I was bit in Las vegas (Bally's) in June and I had huge itchy bites . The itchiness lasted definately over a week and the bites stayed about a month ! (they faded very slowly over the month) and looked so nasty I could not show my legs for a month! when they finally got to be light where I couldnt see them again, I was bit again ! (I carried them home). The new bites took alomost a month again to fade. They are now so faded that only I can tell they are there and they all left bruises after they faded.. those bites were nasty

  48. Nobugsonme

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    Thu Aug 23 2012 12:41:58
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    Max@moscreative - 23 minutes ago  » 
    Being in the extermination business, I find your article to be a real value to those who are suffering from a bed bug problem. I find I lot people out there being taken advantage of in there attempt to get rid of bed bugs by spending their hard earn money on things that will not work.
    The best way to get rid of bed bug is to use a professional. Check out our page for additional information here is a link to our Beg Bug Prep sheet (link deleted by admin)

    Max,
    Your links have been deleted.

    If Rest Assured in Baltimore wants to advertise on Bedbugger.com, they should pay for ads.

    Please read our policy about advertising in forum posts. You can contact me with any questions.

  49. hopenobugshere

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    Mon Sep 17 2012 20:20:20
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    This forum has been incredibly helpful but also depressing. Every time I think that I might not have bedbugs, I read something about variations in experiences and bite reactions that convinces me that I do have (one or) them.

    On 7/21 I had lunch with a friend who told me he had been treated for bedbugs (later I found the 3rd and last treatment had only been the day before). 8 days later I had bites. From the 2s and 3s, the extreme itchiness, and some that were blisters, plus my known "exposure", I assumed bedbugs.

    Over a 3-1/2 wk period I was bitten on 7 different dates---3--5 bites each time. I encased the mattress, pillows, bagged all the bedding and laundry, the files and books around the bed unit, & the picture frames (I'm an artist) in the drawers (captains bed).

    Then no bites for 16 days that I know about. Started hoping. Then 2 miniscule, non-itchy ones and one itchy one appeared same evening 9/9.

    For all kinds of neurotic reasons, events of the past 6 years, as well as that I've been working at home for 40 years, my apartment is wall-to-wall books, files, supplies and stuff. So 2 different top companies don't even want to come--they feel they can't inspect with so much clutter. I've been working frantically for weeks trying to get downsized enough to have an inspection.

    I had notified management 8/31 of the situation and that I would have to deal with it because I'm allergic to fumes and can't use their poison guys. So they're worried too.

    Have glue boards and rolled and unrolled tape around the bed----nothing. Have not seen a bedbug, skin, blood spot, fecal spots or eggs. Using flashlight and magnifier.

    QUESTION: If there were many bugs, wouldn't I get bitten constantly ? Instead of once a week or less ? Wouldn't I have seen something ? So worried that while I'm trying to downsize, problem may be spreading to other apartments. Reached the time point (2 mos since "exposure") where eggs could have matured and mated here---could have a population explosion any minute.

    Of course, according to this forum and the last bites (if they were BB), maybe I am getting bitten but not reacting. Not looking for absolution, but just going nuts with uncertainty. But it does seem like BBs. Could it be just one ??

  50. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Sep 18 2012 2:05:01
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    Hopenobugshere,

    There are now inexpensive passive bed bug monitors which should work better than glue traps and tape as a detection method.

    It's depressing to think about getting bed bugs if you have clutter, but if you confirm the problem, you can decide what to do.

    You can't confirm it from skin reactions.

  51. hopenobugshere

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    Tue Sep 18 2012 13:40:52
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    I have a captain's bed, not a bed with legs, so those circular things won't work. Are you referring to the ones that give off warmth and Co2 ?

    Sorry, I'm new to finding things here----I should just search the site I guess.

    But about the possible infestation----after 2 mos, shouldn't I be seeing some evidence ? Shouldn't there be many bugs by now ?

    Thanks so much.

  52. hopenobugshere

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    Tue Sep 18 2012 14:18:47
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    I have a captain's bed, not a bed with legs, so those circular things won't work. I looked at the pictures of the flat one----looks like corrugated cardboard w/ plastic top ! Gad, I could make one of those. Can't find a video that works, will keep looking.

    But about the possible infestation----after 2 mos, shouldn't I be seeing some evidence ? Shouldn't there be many bugs by now ?

    Thanks so much.

  53. Nobugsonme

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    Tue Sep 18 2012 15:10:14
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    We have links to FAQs about various types of monitors in the Useful Stuff page (see link at top of this page).

    There will be evidence -- especially fecal stains-- but people sometimes don't see bed bugs right away. Note that a captain's bed like yours gives them a lot of places to hide.

  54. hopenobugshere

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    Tue Sep 18 2012 22:49:51
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    I didn't realize 2 months was "right away". I thought it was a long time to not deal with it, or not to see anything, and worry that my delay risks others. Trying to clear clutter for dog inspection.

    Haven't found anything. No stains, blood or brown, no eggs, no skins, no bugs.

    I did take everything out of the 3 bed drawers, bagged linens and bedding for dryer heat treatments, and bagged the other 2 drawers-ful of picture frames for close inspection outdoors (or I'll just leave em bagged for 2 years).

    I also spackled all the cracks, spaces and seams in the drawers and bed structure and the little bookcase above the bed (the books are bagged too). But there's still 2 other bookcases on that 18' wall. And 2 trunks. It's a nightmare !

    I guess I'll just keep working. Thanks for your help.

  55. theyareoutthere

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    Mon Sep 24 2012 3:56:20
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    Passives may be a good idea since it would work with a captain's bed. Two months would be relatively early, depending on temperature and other breeding conditions, if I understand right.

  56. Nobugsonme

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    Mon Sep 24 2012 23:44:49
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    hopenobugshere - 6 days ago  » 
    I didn't realize 2 months was "right away". I thought it was a long time to not deal with it, or not to see anything, and worry that my delay risks others. .

    There should be SIGNS right away (from day one) but you need to know how to find them. After two months, I would think there would be fecal stains that you could find with some searching.

    When I said you might not see bed bugs themselves right away -- yes, some people might be bitten for two months and not actually see bed bugs. That's because they prefer to bite when you're fast asleep, then they scurry off to hide. They hide well.

    Seeing them wandering about in daylight is usually a sign of a more advanced problem (or perhaps one which is being mishandled).

    TAOT's suggestion of a passive monitor is a good one because it can streamline the inspection process. Set it up and inspect it, rather than looking everywhere.

  57. hopenobugshere

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    Mon Oct 8 2012 0:09:17
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    I looked at the passive monitor online and as I said, it looked like just corrugated cardboard (the little spaces providing the living quarters) and a white "skirt" to make spotting skins and feces easier than on floors. I don't see that this has any advantage over the white areas on the glue traps. But I made one----glued a piece of corrugated on a piece of white poster board and left it on the floor near the head of the bed.

    Nothing on any of them, nor the rolled duct tape, flapping mailing tape, white sheets or pale pillowcases. The last big, obvious bites I experienced showed up 8/23. On 9/9 I noticed 3 very small bumps, only one itched slightly. Either different cause or lesser reaction. Nothing since then.

    Even during the 3-week period when I was experiencing large welts, blister types and some groups, there were no spots on my sheets----but maybe I didn't notice. They were only maybe 3 bites at a time, 4--10 days apart. Then I encased the mattress and 5 pillows and bagged surrounding books and drawer contents. No visible bites for 17 days after that. And now nothing since 9/9.

    I often do my inspections at 2 or 3 a.m. and since the drawers are out of the bed, I use a big mirror and flashlight to check under there. But there are still a million places they could be----files, books, bookcase soffets. I keep opening trunks, sorting thru stacks of supplies, etc. Nothing. I didn't think I'd see bugs wandering during the day, but thought I'd find a nest. 2-1/2 mos after exposure, there should be a colony somewhere.

    The "looking everywhere" is to downsize & de-clutter enough for inspection, not just to find bugs.

    I'd like to go to a lab and get bitten to see if I've stopped reacting or am actually not getting bitten any more. Tho maybe a new bug would cause a reaction that a resident bug stopped causing ?? If I reacted with welts and severe itching to a lab bedbug, I guess I'd think whatever was biting me here is bagged or gone.

  58. bed-bugscouk

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    Mon Oct 8 2012 5:58:27
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    Hi,

    There is a lot more to the design and the materials than the simplicity of the design conveys otherwise I would never have been granted two patents on the method and the device.

    It is not the same as a glue board because glue boards are designed to immobilize insects and can cause alarm pheromone release.

    However this is about as far as I am willing to debate this issue as I prefer to keep on the positive side rather than wasting my time posting like this.

    David

  59. hopenobugshere

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    Mon Oct 8 2012 12:14:47
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    Sorry. Glad for your success for your product. I did see the chart on top for timing inspections. I'm sure for many people the monitor's a great help. For myself, a crafty person with lots of materials here, putting together the corrugated for nest area and the skirt for spotting evidence was not difficult. There are probably other characteristics of your product I'm missing that add advantages for the user.

    I didn't mean the glueboards for any solution, just to spot at least one bug.

  60. bed-bugscouk

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    Tue Oct 9 2012 4:18:07
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    hopenobugshere - 15 hours ago  » 
    There are probably other characteristics of your product I'm missing that add advantages for the user.

    What you have is at best our day 1 prototype that then went into 18 months of optimisation for detection ease and efficiency. The final product being what is currently sold.

    It is not about making it easy for the user its all about how bedbugs behave and interact with materials. You can be as skilled and crafty as you want but this is all about the bedbugs and what they want to do.

    I cant stop people making things and having a go but I certainly cant advise people as to why they will not be optimal and how we got around the basic issues we encountered.

    David

  61. Canuck

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    Tue Oct 9 2012 10:36:48
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    hopenobugshere - you mentioned you would like to

    I'd like to go to a lab and get bitten
    - if you have any K9 services in your area - ask them, as they should have live bugs for training purposes. Sheree

    Sheree Swindle / certified K9-assisted bed bug inspector
  62. hopenobugshere

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    Wed Oct 10 2012 11:14:29
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    Thanks Sheree, that's a thought. If they won't do it, they might know who will. The de-cluttering is taking so long the whole thing is making me nuts. Knowing one way or the other about bug reaction would at least answer that one question.

  63. Canuck

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    Wed Oct 10 2012 20:15:08
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    We get the occasional client that wants to know if they are a reactor or not. Mind you not many - suitable activity with Halloween approaching :lol:. Sheree

  64. hopenobugshere

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    Wed Oct 17 2012 18:00:57
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    Before I try Sheree's suggestion of checking with the K-9 people, does anyone know specifically of a place in NYC or within 4 hours travel where you can get bitten* as a test for continued reaction ?

    Sounds insane, but it's 2 months since I had large super-itchy or blister bites, and about 5 weeks since I had 3 tiny non itchy bumps. Nothing since and still finding no evidence anywhere.

    It's taking me forever to try to go thru 40 years of work-at-home stuff to get it so a dog and handler can walk around. Worry that there's colonies here somewhere. There's still a million hiding places.

    * I wonder how safe that is ? like, who did this bug bite before me !

  65. lucibug

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 18 2012 10:40:04
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    This thread has been really helpful. Thank you everyone!

    My question is this, is it safe to assume that bed bug bites typically should have a puncture hole in the middle? I've had the really itchy ones in the beginning. After the PCO came, once a week I would get very small raised bumps-1-2 on my body. I know its been said that bites aren't the best way of determining whether bugs still exist, but it really stirs up old fears everytime one appears.

    It's been just over 2 months since the PCO came and did their two sprays.

  66. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Oct 19 2012 14:54:19
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    hopenobugs,

    I've seen it mentioned that you can react differently to different populations of bed bugs. So a bite test isn't necessarily going to tell you what you want to know.

    Lucibug,

    I have seen people mention seeing such marks but I don't think this is true as a rule.

    In both cases, passive monitors (eg BBAlert Passive) may tell you more about whether you still have bed bugs than skin reactions.

  67. bettyel

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Oct 22 2012 15:09:38
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    Getting bitten every 3-4 days with either one single bite or a line of 3 for 2 months but no blood or fecal stains. Had dog sniff for bedbugs and he showed some interest near headboard but did not really "alert". Can the bite caused by the hairs of the carpet beetle larva cause the same 3 bites in a line that bedbugs bites can cause? Found 1 carpet beetle larva at baseboard near head of bed. Also will sleeping in a turtleneck and nylon tights with socks pulled over them discourage bedbug if have one?

  68. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 25 2012 23:00:02
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    bettyel,

    The "three in a row" idea is not really accurate for bed bugs. It can happen, but is not the rule.

    Since David has rewritten this post, please continue discussion in this thread.


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