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cannot breathe, best friend has infestation, am I next?

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  1. cannot breathe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 18 2012 21:51:25
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    Please help me. I cannot breathe. LOL I LOL but I am freaking out and I am trying very hard not to. I can barely sleep!!!

    Friend's mother in law lives in public elderly housing. Went to the ER with a bad rash. Bed bug bites. Turns out the entire building is infested and has been for a long time, the exterminators never saw such a bad case. Friend invites mother in law to stay with her while treatment is being done. I don't know much about BB's at this point but know they spready easily and are difficult to get rid of. I start googling. Horror. Email friend back and advise her to NOT let mother in law stay with her, and give links to the info I have found, explain they easily spread, etc. etc. But she feels bad for mother in law and knows mother in law will be careful (smacking myself up the head at this point, I've met mother in law several times and know that as long as her bottles of booze are protected that is all she will be careful with).

    Now, some weeks later, behold, friend has discovered she has BB's in her house. She saw one crawling up the wall downstairs in the living room. Realized what is was. Horror. Check sons bed. 2 of them. Check her bed. None. Son has bites. She and husband do not. Calls exterminator.

    She has a "mild" case.......but despite her checking, exterminator finds them under her box spring, the sons bed, sofa and 2 cushy chairs in the living room. Said he guess she's had them for 2 months.

    I have not been to her house. She has not been to mine. She picked me up once in her car, we went out for the night. BUT HER SON SLEPT OVER ONCE! (he is friendly with one of my sons).

    We cannot remember if it was before or after mother in law went to stay with her. We are not certain they even came from her. Her other friend discovered she has them as well, they live close to each other and spend time in each other's homes, their son went camping with them for a week. She also has a "mild" infestation", undiscovered until friend found hers. Found in her living room and closet, where some boxes are being stored for her mother, put in there about 2 months ago.

    So we don't know who got them first, who spread to who and quite frankly I don't care LOL! I need to know if I have them too?! I am freaking out!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have read alot online (thank you for this site, it seems to be the best) and I have seen no bed bugs. I have some red dotty marks on my arms that could either be hives (I do have an ongoing issue with hives, it is not uncommon for me to have small hives almost daily), some appear to have one small hole/puncture mark in the middle. itchy.

    Found nothing on either son's beds. But did not take beds apart completely. My bed sheets are cream colored. Found 2 small blood spots, very small amount of blood, a little smeared. I have a Select Comfort bed though, the entire things zips apart, full of tubing and foam, etc. etc. I have not fully taken it apart, not even sure if I can, but they could just crawl in the opening at the top.

    I found one tiny spider dangling from a web when I pulled up one of my pillows. Never read about BB's and webs, please correct me if i am wrong.

    Friday night I was reading in bed, and out of my hair, on to my Kindle fell what I thought at the time was a very small clear spider. I killed it, barely amounted to anything. But now I am afraid it could have been a nymph?

    What are the chances I am infested? What is the incubation time, is it even possible? Unsure of date her son was here, but was at least 8 weeks ago. Would it take that long for me to actually see them? By now wouldn't I see evidence? is what I have seen evidence? Please be gentle with your reply. I am freaking out, I am on the edge.

    I do have a TON of clutter and have started the process of throwing almost everything out, this is how scared I am. Only the essentials are staying. I'm even going to throw out my 200 books, this is how scared I am.

  2. cannot breathe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 18 2012 21:57:49
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    ADDED sorry forgot this part.

    Upon inspection of my younger son's bed, I found what truly appears to be a sesame seed, size of a sesame seed, perhaps a bit smaller, light beiege in color, solid, kind of hard. Oval shaped, with top side appear a littel jagged.

    Prior to this I would have discarded it, now I am worried it's their shell thing they shed?

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jul 18 2012 23:09:18
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    Please try to calm down.

    It sounds like there are two possible times when your family might have been exposed: riding in her car, and when her son slept over.

    Let's take these one by one:

    1. The car: cars rarely get infested. It just doesn't happen often. Even if the car had bed bugs in it, and that is a BIG if and very unlikely, there's a small chance you brought them home in one single trip in the car.

    2: The overnight guest: it's possible for a bed bug to hitch a ride in someone's clothing or stuff. However, while I would not recommend any sleepovers for a while, it doesn't happen every time, not by a long shot.

    From what we hear many people would seem to be exposed over and over and over before finally transporting a bed bug. It does happen but it does not happen all the time.

    With some luck, you are still clear. Try not to worry!

    Don't project what's happened to your friend onto your own situation. She was exposed probably many times, maybe with visits in both directions repeatedly, and would therefore be at a much higher risk.

    I would recommend implementing a monitoring system (passive or pitfall) which you can live with and check weekly just to ease your mind. You can find FAQs for these linked from
    the Useful Stuff page or the FAQs page (read the FAQs pertaining to detection).

    Monitoring is just prudent and should ease your mind.

    Beyond that, I think you are overreacting.

    I would not recommend tossing anything out unless it truly is clutter you don't want or need (like old magazines or junk you've meant to get rid of). Throwing away books is not necessary. If you truly don't want them, since you are in the absence of ANY signs of bed bugs, thEy should be safe to donate.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. cannot breathe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 6:22:02
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    "I think you are overreacting."

    I pray you are correct. Had another night of crappy sleeping, I keep sitting up and turning on the flashlight. I can't imagine what she's going through, KNOWING they are absolutely there. I have an issue with bugs to begin with so this is REALLY creeping me out. Of course it's not helping that I am online for hours at night looking up info, but I had to educate myself on this, to know what to look for, etc.

    I will review the monitorin checklist, thank you. I am still going to check daily, probably for a year or so. LOL. I am breaking out in hives, I know, I need to calm down, even if I do have them. I think that's what bothers me so much, is you can have them.....and not even know it, for a long time

  5. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 6:47:14
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    Not true. An infestation you've had for a couple of months will eventually wander into the light and be seen. It will be just the tip of the iceberg, but you will see the evidence. If you're educating yourself and monitoring, you stand a chance of catching the signs sooner.

  6. cannot breathe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 6:54:09
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    A couple of months IS a long time to me. And that freaks me out, that they could be breeding right now. I cannot tell you how many pieces of lint I have attacked over the past 3 days lol

  7. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 7:27:32
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    It's a lot less than a year.

    I'd keep NoBugs suggestions in mind. The Passive moniter may do you better because you do need less time to feel clear.

  8. cannot breathe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 7:59:41
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    It is, and I have to try to stop thinking like this, I am driving myself crazy. My heart breaks for anyone dealing with this nightmare, I'm not even sure I have them and I am freaking out. I just freaked out over something I saw across the room in the bathroom.....gathered up my courage to inspect it and as I got closer I saw "made in china" it's a label that fell of something. I'm losing it lol Mind over matter I am going to try very hard to push this out of my mind, spend the weekend throwing out everything that isn't necessary and monitor like crazy. Thank you for talking to me about this, I really appreciate everyone's time and this board as well. What a nightmare, why God created such vile creatures I don't know.

  9. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 8:51:34
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    Well, I think you can go ahead and breath.

    In such situations we need to educte ourselves to become aware of what can and needs to be done in order to protect ourselves from an infestation.

    You've been provided with good advice above and there is additional information available to you via the resources here on this website.

    Plus, there are many folks here dedicated to helping you too !

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jul 19 2012 9:08:37
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    cannot breathe - 2 hours ago  » 
    "I think you are overreacting."
    I pray you are correct.

    Until you have actual evidence of some kind, the fact is you are overreacting. You have zero evidence that a bed bug has been brought to your home.

    Moreover, the odds are surely on your side.

    You have to remember many people are exposed to bed bugs every day.

    Social workers and nurses often seem to visit infested homes without precautions for months or even years before they bring one home. It's prudent to take some precautions (per the travel FAQs) if one is in a job like this that includes exposure, or one is traveling. But still, people don't seem to transport a bed bug every time they are exposed, not by a long shot.

    And that's why I would say not to panic based on two possible incidents of exposure.

    The monitoring system I suggested enables
    you to check less often, which -- along with reading less about bed bugs-- may help you calm down.

    Even if someone gets bed bugs, if the problem is detected early (and a monitoring system enables this), it is not such a big deal to get rid of. Understanding this may relieve some anxiety. It's a long, long way from finding a single hitchhiker bug early and getting treatment, to having a problem on the scale of your friend's mother's building.

    I am saying this not to add to your anxiety. I know for myself, thinking about the worst case scenario and how I would deal with it helps relieve anxiety. I hope it does for you too.

  11. cannot breathe

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 21:00:56
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    I'm back. My friend indeed does have bed bugs, but her friend doesn't - they are bird bugs, a bird's nest was found in her chimney and pretty much this is only where these bugs are being found, not in any bedrooms, not in any furniture, etc and no one has bites.

    My friend has had one spraying treatment done. They slept at a hotel that night. I thought they should stay, as bait but she hadn't slept a full night in a week, since they found out. 3 days since the treatment, no new bugs have been seen, but as she said they wait for eggs to hatch (gag). I hope this is not what is happening at my place

    but I am feeling a bit better, as this person as spent far much more time with our mutual friend. I am still on the lookout. I have gone through half my apartment and have thrown out as much as I can. I do not believe I have come across anything suspicious. I will do the other half of the apartment this weekend, fingers crossed. I am preparing for an inspection and treatment, if need be

  12. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 23 2012 21:15:38
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    I only skimmed your post. Have you tried putting on passive monitors on a bed or two, a sofa, etc. That should help with ongoing monitoring if I understand correctly (you can PM Paul Bello or another expert to verify).

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT

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