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

Bug/Fecal Matter ID Request + Our Lovely Story...

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  1. serenitynow86

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 4:41:48
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    Hello all,

    I've been reading these forums obsessively over the last few days. It has pretty much consumed my life since I learned we may have bed bugs.

    I'm a pretty clean person as is my wife. We live in a condo on the 10th floor of a high rise with about 30 floors total. As far as we know and to the best of our knowledge, there have been no other reports of bed bugs in this building. Since the building is relatively new (less than 5 years old) I believe building code would suggest there are firewalls between all of the units so I do not think we got them from the neighbours. I have been doing a lot of traveling this year for work and leisure, therefore I feel I am responsible for bringing these suckers in.

    About a month ago, my wife and I went out for breakfast. We overheard the person sitting in the booth behind her about their problem with bed bugs. Fast forward to that evening, my wife had little bites all over her. We basically assumed we were being paranoid and it was maybe a small case of swimmers itch (she went swimming in a public pool after our outing).

    Fast forward about one month.

    We had both been out of town for the weekend. She came home a night before myself and woke up the next day with 10+ bites!!! Again, she went swimming the day before in a lake but didn't notice anything until the morning after (she's pretty confident they weren't there the night before).

    At this point, I'm 3,000 miles away from home and I'm scouring these forums in preparation for what may lay ahead when I arrived home.

    When I got home I started hunting for signs and found the following (my apologies for the high resolution):

    http://i.imgur.com/t5LyDQv.jpg

    I immediately compared it with pictures online of bed bugs and am 99.9% confident this is a shell of a bed bug.

    Panic occured. We searched the room top to bottom and found absolutely no other signs besides these potential bed bug feces blotches on our roll down window covers:

    NOTE: All three pictures are of the same spot, just under different lighting conditions. The window covers are made of a weaved vinyl type material.

    http://i.imgur.com/X154DbV.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/khvUszi.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/E1nJRNJ.jpg

    So far our plan of attack has been to quarantine LITERALLY everything in the room. We essentially took the whole bed apart and found nothing. We are currently going through one bag of laundry at a time, washing and drying on high heat.

    I put down a layer of DE in the room. Probably more than I should have in hindsight, but I was in panic mode. I used gloves and we don't enter the room without masks at this time still.

    I siliconed and used expanding spray foam in areas where I felt they could possibly hide even though there was nothing there. We threw away any clutter that we felt held no value to us anyway.

    We found NO OTHER SIGNS of bed bugs anywhere, (besides one nymph that we weren't able to accurately identify, because it was so small and we really just couldn't make out what it was as it was laying on the carpet and clearly not alive/moving).

    We're still going through cooking our clothes but to this point we haven't found a live bugger and it's driving me nuts. I almost wish I just found a little cluster of them somewhere so I could destroy them and have SOME peace of mind that they're not still out there.

    I taped the electrical outlets shut for now since we're not sleeping in the room...if they ARE in the outlets, I don't want them coming out of the room and into other parts of our apartment. (I've inspected the rest of the apartment as well and have found no signs).

    We also used a "bed bug killer" spray we purchased from Home Depot liberally along the bottom of the baseboards just in case there was something we couldn't see below them.

    We keep the door closed on our bedroom. I put down a strip of double sided painters tape, then followed it up with super sticky Gorilla brand duct tape. This stuff is ridiculously strong by the way...I'd be very surprised if the bed bugs made it over it.

    Currently, we're sleeping in our second bedroom. No bites so far and no signs of bed bugs in either our living room or our second bedroom. Couches seem fine and the second bedroom seems fine. Keep in mind our apartment is fairly small (less than 1000 sq ft).

    I rented a fairly powerful steam cleaner and tomorrow we're going to dismantle the window shades and steam the whole room/carpet/mattress etcetera etcetera! FUN FUN FUN. (Shoot me now, please.)

    I'm also going to be picking up a Packtite and using it on my luggage every time I come home from traveling now.

    ANYWAY, back to my original questions:
    1) Could one of you professionals confirm from my photographs that we have bed bugs?
    2) Is it possible that we only have one bed bug?
    3) How come the shell that I found doesn't look like the pictures of bed bug casings/sheddings but more like an actual bed bug shell?
    4) Our bed has two posts (this bed exactly: http://i.imgur.com/6eW4dB2.jpg ), are there any traps that can be used for these types of beds? If not, any suggestions before I go buy a 4 post bed tomorrow?

    Thank you in advance for your help! Looking forward to having the wife and I back into our normal living conditions. This website has been a great resource!

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 5:35:21
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    Hi,

    The fragment is 100% not bedbugs and certainly not a cast skin which are always paper thin and translucent.

    I would advise you stop any treatment plans until you can confirm you actually have bedbugs.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) 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 products.
  3. serenitynow86

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 5:55:47
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    bed-bugscouk - 17 minutes ago  » 
    Hi,
    The fragment is 100% not bedbugs and certainly not a cast skin which are always paper thin and translucent.
    I would advise you stop any treatment plans until you can confirm you actually have bedbugs.
    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    Really? It almost definitely looks like the back of a bed bug to me. I'm not trying to disagree with you here but could you elaborate on how you know that is not the back "shell" of a bed bug?

    It almost definitely looks like a fragment of a bed bug. The way the lines go across, the curvature at the edge of the fragment, the density towards the center...etc. I've done a side by side here:

    http://i.imgur.com/U6zMNpj.jpg

    What about the possible fecal matter on the window covers?

    Thank you so much for your quick reply!

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 7:28:14
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    Hi,

    Yes really.

    For 1 bedbugs do not break up like that when they die, and although the colouring appears right to you it is all wrong to me. I have 12 years of looking at bedbugs under my belt and to me this is closer tot he images you will find of "headless ladybugs" which many have mistaken for bedbugs in the past.

    I am not certain whats the other marks by the window are but they are not bedbug related.

    Feel free to check out my others posts and read a little more about who I am if you need confidence in my ID abilities.

    David

  5. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 10:53:59
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    Dear serenitynow86,

    I am not a pest professional nor an expert in bed bugs. However, I did have a “few” thoughts upon reading your post:

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    . . . I've been reading these forums obsessively over the last few days. It has pretty much consumed my life since I learned we may have bed bugs.

    Knowledge is power, so basically that’s a good thing! However, when you state that you have been “reading these forums obsessively” . . . I hope you are not just reading the “threads” and that started with, or at least have read, the FAQs . . . that is where A LOT of useful information can be found!

    FAQs: http://bedbugger.com/faqs/

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    . . . We live in a condo on the 10th floor of a high rise with about 30 floors total. As far as we know and to the best of our knowledge, there have been no other reports of bed bugs in this building.

    Never assume that because you have not heard of any reports, that they are not there. A lot of people do not report problems and try to treat them themselves. Also, there have been several/many posters convinced they brought bed bugs into their building only to later find that there was another unit heavily infested and that their bed bugs came from adjoining units. This is simply an FYI because YOU/we have not even confirmed you have bed bugs!!

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    Fast forward to that evening, my wife had little bites all over her. We basically assumed we were being paranoid and it was maybe a small case of swimmers itch (she went swimming in a public pool after our outing). . . Fast forward about one month. We had both been out of town for the weekend. She came home a night before myself and woke up the next day with 10+ bites!!! Again, she went swimming the day before in a lake but didn't notice anything until the morning after (she's pretty confident they weren't there the night before).

    Ok, your wife is experiencing skin reactions and this has been going on for over a month. The first incidence you state she “had little bites all over her.” The second incidence you state she “woke up the next day with 10+ bites.” You have scoured your bedroom and found no evidence. Bed bugs defecate (i.e. poop) every time they feed. . . . so if she was covered in bites on one occasion and then 10+ bites on the second occasion, there should be some evidence to find if it was bed bugs.

    Some additional thoughts regarding this: (1) The first incident may not be connected to the second incident; (2) bed bugs are not going to go a month between feedings if food (You or Your Wife) are available; (3) skin reactions are skin reactions and can have many causes; they can be used as an indication that something is going on but they can never be used to confirm bed bugs; (4) if on the OFF CHANCE that this is bed bugs (again are we only talking two incidences of “bites” . . . a month apart?), she could be getting bit outside the home (you said she was out of town right before the second incident) (bed bug bites can have a delayed reaction for several days). However, right now that doesn’t seem very likely from what you have described.

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    When I got home I started hunting for signs and found the following (my apologies for the high resolution):
    http://i.imgur.com/t5LyDQv.jpg
    I immediately compared it with pictures online of bed bugs and am 99.9% confident this is a shell of a bed bug.

    I looked at your photo and, although I am NOT an expert/professional as stated, even I could tell it was not a bed bug shed skin. I think you might be confusing things when you say you were “confident this is a shell.” I think you mean cast skin of a bed bug. It is definitely not a cast skin (as David Cain an expert has already told you). I personally could not have told you if it was an actual “piece” of a dead bed bug because I can see where you would think it looks like one. However, again, David Cain has also already told you it’s not a piece of a dead bed bug. (There are A LOT of bugs – and pieces of bugs – that look similar to bed bugs! And pieces make it harder to ID . . . but you have an expert ID.)

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    Panic occured. . . .
    So far our plan of attack has been to quarantine LITERALLY everything in the room. We essentially took the whole bed apart and found nothing. We are currently going through one bag of laundry at a time, washing and drying on high heat.
    I put down a layer of DE in the room. Probably more than I should have in hindsight, but I was in panic mode. I used gloves and we don't enter the room without masks at this time still.
    I siliconed and used expanding spray foam in areas where I felt they could possibly hide even though there was nothing there. We threw away any clutter that we felt held no value to us anyway.
    We found NO OTHER SIGNS of bed bugs anywhere, . . . We're still going through cooking our clothes but to this point we haven't found a live bugger and it's driving me nuts. . . . I taped the electrical outlets shut for now since we're not sleeping in the room...if they ARE in the outlets, I don't want them coming out of the room and into other parts of our apartment. (I've inspected the rest of the apartment as well and have found no signs).
    We also used a "bed bug killer" spray we purchased from Home Depot liberally along the bottom of the baseboards just in case there was something we couldn't see below them.
    We keep the door closed on our bedroom. I put down a strip of double sided painters tape, then followed it up with super sticky Gorilla brand duct tape. This stuff is ridiculously strong by the way...I'd be very surprised if the bed bugs made it over it. . . .I rented a fairly powerful steam cleaner and tomorrow we're going to dismantle the window shades and steam the whole room/carpet/mattress etcetera etcetera! FUN FUN FUN. (Shoot me now, please.)

    OH MY!!!!!!! I understand you are panicking and maybe want to be proactive . . . BUT THAT IS AN AWFUL LOT OF WORK FOR AN UNCONFIRMED INFESTATION!!!! Take a step back please!!! You said you have searched and searched and searched. It has been stated that the “evidence” you have found is not bed bug related at all! If it will give you peace of mind . . . you might think about getting a professional inspection (although in my opinion that’s not even warranted at this point).

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    We searched the room top to bottom and found absolutely no other signs besides these potential bed bug feces blotches on our roll down window covers:
    NOTE: All three pictures are of the same spot, just under different lighting conditions. The window covers are made of a weaved vinyl type material.
    http://i.imgur.com/X154DbV.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/khvUszi.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/E1nJRNJ.jpg

    David has advised that the spots are not bed bug related (and he is certainly an expert regarding bed bug poop). (They kinda look like they could be fly or spider “droppings” to me. . . but I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about in that regard!) There is a product called Bed Bug Blue used to confirm bed bug feces. I tell you this not to try to sell you something (as I do not benefit in anyway in any sale), but merely to let you know there are tools out there. If you do decide to purchase some and if you click on the ad at the right side of the page, a small amount gets paid to the site to keep it going.

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    I'm also going to be picking up a Packtite and using it on my luggage every time I come home from traveling now.

    There is nothing wrong with that!!! And just as important (or more so) is to check your hotel room(s) BEFORE spending the night there. There are videos available on the site that show you how to check your hotel room! VERY IMPORTANT!

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    1) Could one of you professionals confirm from my photographs that we have bed bugs?

    It has been confirmed that based on the photographs you submitted, that you do not.

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    2) Is it possible that we only have one bed bug?

    Yes, if you had bed bugs (which you probably don’t) it would be possible that there is only one. It would still leave evidence and I don’t think it would leave 10+ “bites” in one night.

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    3) How come the shell that I found doesn't look like the pictures of bed bug casings/sheddings but more like an actual bed bug shell?

    Because it’s not a bed bug cast skin. At the most it might have been “possible” that it was a piece of a dead bed bug . . . but that theory has already been debunked by a bed bug expert.

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    4) Our bed has two posts (this bed exactly: http://i.imgur.com/6eW4dB2.jpg ), are there any traps that can be used for these types of beds? If not, any suggestions before I go buy a 4 post bed tomorrow?
    Thank you in advance for your help! Looking forward to having the wife and I back into our normal living conditions.

    There is either a FAQ on monitors or a section on monitors under the “Useful Tools” tab. Sorry, I can’t remember where it is . . . but something you may want to look into.

    serenitynow86 - 4 hours ago  » 
    This website has been a great resource!

    I agree! I think this site rocks!!

    Whew! Sorry so long!! I think I need a cigarette now! (Just kidding I don’t smoke.) BUT . . . take a deep breath . . . take a step back . . . read the FAQs . . . and at this point just arm yourself with knowledge as it does not “seem” like you have bed bugs from everything you have said and the “evidence” you have found!

    Dear serenitynow86 . . . You can’t kill what isn’t there, no matter how hard you try!! Deep breath, step back!

  6. pistonengine08

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 11:04:51
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    "There is nothing wrong with that!!! And just as important (or more so) is to check your hotel room(s) BEFORE spending the night there. There are videos available on the site that shows you how to check your hotel room! VERY IMPORTANT!"

    I've scoured the site pretty good but must have missed this. Can you point the way?

  7. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 12:18:20
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    pistonengine08 - 1 hour ago  » 
    I've scoured the site pretty good but must have missed this. Can you point the way?

    Here is a link to one of the videos by David Cain:

    http://bedbugger.com/2006/10/19/faq-how-can-i-avoid-bedbugs-while-traveling/

    There is also another video to the right of the page under “related videos” entitled “Bed Bug Inspection Tips” that touches on it briefly. (I don’t think I can post a link (I tried)).

    NOTE(S) TO MODERATOR NOBUGS:

    (1) I went to this post wherein you state there is a video on how to check your hotel room (the link was entitled “CBC video”) . . . the Link doesn’t work anymore. Didn’t know if it was something you wanted to look into and if it could be fixed: http://bedbugger.com/2007/07/31/bed-bugs-in-hotels-how-to-report-and-check-up-on-bed-bug-infestations/

    (2) Is there a way to “link” to the “related videos” on the side when someone asks about a specific one?

  8. serenitynow86

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 12:48:10
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    Thank you all for your detailed responses!

    David: I have faith in your abilities and experience for sure! As you can imagine however for someone in my situation, paranoia takes over (probably more than normal for someone like myself) and as you can see from the picture, it definitely LOOKS like a piece of bed bug to an untrained eye.

    I've also Google image searched "headless lady bug" and they look nothing like the little piece I found.

    AbsolutelyFreaking: I have read A LOT of documentation. Pretty much everything in the FAQ's, watched hours of videos on YouTube, even down to researching the products I bought right down to a chemical level so I know what I'm dealing with from a personal health standpoint. I've essentially lost my mind.

    At this point, we've come too far and are going to continue cleaning the bedroom/apartment anyway. I still cant figure out what that piece of shell or whatever it is could be...to me it still looks like a bed bug fragment from stage 4 or 5 in this picture:

    http://bedbugger.files.wordpress.com/2006/10/common_bed_bug_lifecycle.jpg

    We've allotted the weekend for this as it is and to be honest, why not! At least we can clean now with a little more peace of mind.

    Once we put the room back together I will update this thread if we start getting bit again.

    Thank you all for you insight! Hopefully we're bed bug free...fingers crossed at this point!

  9. AbsolutelyFreaking

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 12:54:45
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    Good Luck! Fingers crossed! . . . and please just keep in mind that skin reactions are not confirmation . . . merely a possible indication that something is going on . . . as skin reaction can be caused by many, many things!

    But on the plus side, surely you will have the cleanest unit in your whole building after this weekend!

  10. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 13:44:51
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    Hi,

    While it looks generally bedbug like the gradient on the pigmentation as it passes towards the edges means it is not, 100%. If you look at any bedbug image the colour is always uniform.

    Keep cleaning and looking for signs but this and skin reactions do not confirm bedbugs.

    David

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Sep 13 2014 15:40:53
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    AbsolutelyFreaking - 3 hours ago  » 

    NOTE(S) TO MODERATOR NOBUGS:
    (1) I went to this post wherein you state there is a video on how to check your hotel room (the link was entitled “CBC video”) . . . the Link doesn’t work anymore. Didn’t know if it was something you wanted to look into and if it could be fixed: http://bedbugger.com/2007/07/31/bed-bugs-in-hotels-how-to-report-and-check-up-on-bed-bug-infestations/

    I scoured the CBC site previously trying to find a new link for this and came up trumps. (You or someone previously reported the link on another FAQ and I removed it there; unfortunately, it was used multiple times-- so thanks for pointing it out again! It's replaced with the link to the FAQ with David's video above.)

    (2) Is there a way to “link” to the “related videos” on the side when someone asks about a specific one?

    No. That won't work.

    However, there is a workaround, I can create some new pages with no sidebars and post single videos on them and we can link to those. (The video provider prohibits more than one video box on a page.) Will work on that.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  12. serenitynow86

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Sep 17 2014 16:48:07
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    Woke up with a bite on my wrist area. Definitely wasn't there last night...still no signs of bed bugs other than what was posted above.

    bed-bugscouk: I know you said it's 100% not a bed bug, but this looks almost identical to the piece I posted earlier:

    (bottom right specimen)


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