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

Can't tell if it's acne or bed bug bites. Very paranoid and stressed

(16 posts)
  1. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 22:22:15
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    To put it shortly, I went to NYC with 2 friends. Saw a bug clinging on friend's shirt while walking outside but was clear-ish and the size of an adult BB, although I believe they are supposed to be brownish. Also saw a bug on me when I woke up, but I was groggy and the lights were on. I believe it was not bc it was pretty big, may have had wings, and was making so much movement. I easily swatted it away. But again, I was pretty groggy and BBs can bite when there's light.

    To put it succinctly, I have been noticing red bumps in my chest/ shoulder/ back area, but they look like pimples and I am acne prone in those areas. They do not itch at all. Only weird thing is one bump on/ under my sternum bone which is kind of weird, and one on my belly. Oddly enough, my twin bro lives with me and he has been getting pimples on his sternum bone too but he is even more acne prone than I am.

    Today I've notice like 6 dark red/ blackish scabbish marks on my spinal area. THIS was definitely weird, but idk whether they are just some weird rash or bites??

    I have checked my bedding and bed, my brother air mattress, and I have not seen any fecal matter, cast skins, or live bugs. Any steps I can take? I'm extremely stressed bc I have to move in to my new apartment soon. My mom and brother just think I'm paranoid (which I am, I admit), but I just feel lost and stressed. My friends have been over, but I feel I have no evidence to support the claim of bed bugs. I've told one, but she though I was paranoid.

    Extra info:

    I sleep with my shirt off (I'm male), and my blanket covers usually my whole body and most of my chest area. My arms stick out. I sleep either on my chest or on my sides. Haven't seen anything when I check randomly. Nothing on my face, arms, and hands

    My 2 friends who went to NYC with me have not seen anything since the trip.

    My mom reacts to bed bugs and she hasn't reacted to anything whenever she rode in my car, visited my apt (although for a short time), or when I visited home with my belongings (did put them in my car bagged in the hot Alabama sun).

    NYC trip was like a little over a month ago. Went to SF and LA but the places i stayed I checked for bugs and didn't see anything. I didn't check for long tho. 2 friends didn't notice anything.

    After the NYC trip, I did leave my belongings lying in my apt for 2 hours before bagging them up and either washing them or putting it in my car.

    PLease, ANY words of wisdom would be great!

  2. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:01:18
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    You could always try some monitors to see if you have any activity ..
    FYI bedbugs have no problem going under or over the covers to feed, they don't seem to like going under your clothing tho unlike fleas & other biters.

  3. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:08:25
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    Thank you for your response. Is there any monitors you would recommend? I can buy that tm. I also plan to clean my apartment thoroughly as well.

    It's annoying bc everything is not so black and white with not only the nature of bed bugs but also my situation. Like did a bed bug crawl out of my stuff within the 2 hrs they were sitting around? Is it acne or a bed bug bite (or even any other bug)? It's best if I see one so I can plan accordingly.

  4. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:10:57
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    You could also check for beetle activity , because they are often found to be a cause of skin irritation
    from the larva hair that act like bite reactions. justa thought.

  5. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:15:07
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    This link will explain the different types of monitors for you..active,passive and so forth.
    http://bedbugger.com/2009/04/23/bed-bug-monitors/

    There are DIY flea monitors using a lamp and dish of water with a few drops of soap to rule out fleas too.

  6. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:17:57
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    ItsJustABug - 28 seconds ago  » 
    You could also check for beetle activity , because they are often found to be a cause of skin irritation
    from the larva hair that act like bite reactions. justa thought.

    Hmm I will, although I have seen only 1 tiny beetle throughout my lease here.

    I do see some fruit flies/ gnats, and roaches, but both not common enough for me to think they are of concern.

    Possible that the stress is making me break out and also doing outdoor activities recently, but the marks on my spinal area do not look like pimples since they are flat (if anything, pimples that have been scratched off and is healing with previous scabbing.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/vtosv02q0sl3a1p/2015-07-13%2016.30.56.jpg?dl=0

    Weird. I may have had something like this in the past? Most likely not. I never really pay attention to my acne in my chest/ back area. A lot of this I feel is perhaps noticing something that has alwyas been there or is common. Still, this is a weird enough markings to take notice

  7. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:29:03
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    That is why skin reactions are so hard to say what it is ,clean & inspect and wait , if there are bb's they will make them self's known before too long if you look for sings and find none then monitor is about the best thing to can do & enjoy your life stress free..

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Jul 13 2015 23:29:12
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    To put it shortly, I went to NYC with 2 friends. Saw a bug clinging on friend's shirt while walking outside but was clear-ish and the size of an adult BB, although I believe they are supposed to be brownish.

    That's right. An adult bed bug would not be clearish.

    The only bed bug which would be transparent in color is an unfed first instar nymph. They're 1mm long or 1/32 inch long. (Have a look at the ruler to see how small this would be if you are not sure.) It sounds like this is NOT what you saw.


    Also saw a bug on me when I woke up, but I was groggy and the lights were on. I believe it was not bc it was pretty big, may have had wings, and was making so much movement. I easily swatted it away. But again, I was pretty groggy and BBs can bite when there's light.

    Bed bugs have "wing pads" but not wings per se, and don't fly.

    The best thing you can do is explore other possible causes (acne, mosquitos, etc.) and learn how to recognize signs of bed bugs.

    If you have bed bugs, you will have fecal stains. Look for them. It sounds like you have and none are present.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  9. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 14 2015 0:14:35
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    Thanks for your responses! I feel better now. I will buy the passive monitors tm, and I will clean my place thoroughly while inspecting with a magnifying glass and light. Will update tomorrow. Feels good to have a plan.

    Good to know that the bug on my friend was not a BB. I looked up it and told my friend only that early nymph is clear, and couldn't be that big. I still was worried that I may have missed something tho. Will check one more time for fecal stains. If BBs are biting me this frequently, I'd assume fecal stains should be more readily available.

    Thanks y'all. Just feels better to talk to people about this rather than being dismissed for being paranoid, haha. Hopefully I am being paranoid tho lol

  10. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Jul 14 2015 0:21:07
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    There are bedbugs and headbugs the later is harder to find ,lol..good luck and its more then likely you have a sweat rash

  11. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2015 10:09:00
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    Cleaning my place up atm. Found these stain, are they fecal stains or blood marks? The pillow itself is pretty old and they may have honestly been there the whole time. The mark on the yellow stripe is the inside of my pillow case and I got it last summer.

    The ones on my pillow itself is really really tiny. Put my thumb in there for reference.

    Inside of my pillow case:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4p4sqi5e6zygz12/2015-07-15%2010.02.32.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/g2nbzyndamzw5k6/2015-07-15%2010.02.21.jpg?dl=0

    Pillow:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/wosdrgixcgkp8xj/2015-07-15%2010.00.46.jpg?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/sqy8q9i8lj6zbkb/2015-07-15%2010.01.04.jpg?dl=0

    I'm afraid the one on my pillow case may be a ureic stain, hence the lighter color. The ones on the pillow is iffy, simply bc the pillow is old and has marks...but not sure if I've seen these before

    Thanks. No sign if eggs or the classic looking fecal stains (permanent marker streaks or dots)

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2015 15:53:19
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    I am not an expert but I don't think you can ID fecal stains if they've been washed out. None of this looks like obvious fecal to me. You're looking for something dark if it's fresh.

  13. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2015 16:51:53
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    Nobugsonme - 51 minutes ago  » 
    I am not an expert but I don't think you can ID fecal stains if they've been washed out. None of this looks like obvious fecal to me. You're looking for something dark if it's fresh.

    Yeah I didn't see anything else. Checked my mattress cover, blankets, the mattress itself, and inside the mattress and everything is clean. There is one splotch of black on my mattress but it seems way too big to be fecal (looks like someone spilled ink rather than dots and streaks) and doesn't look like the pictures on this site, and it may have been there before. Checked my bro's air mattress and checked the sofa cushions and I don't see anything.

    One thing to note is the last 2 nights I've been wearing a shirt. One of those nights I woke up at 12 am, 2, and 6 am and quickly shined a light on my bed and I didn't see anything. Also, I got red marks on my chest still, which implies that perhaps it is just acne or heat marks (I played basketball the day before). Or just stress. Feel better though, thanks you guys! I will still be on the lookout but I'm much more relaxed now

  14. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2015 19:08:53
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    Cool cucumber, it's not uncommon for eczema to show up on chest skin. Anything can flare it up. Is the skin raised in a large patch (like the whole area is sensitized)? In my case, it was bug bites--but I've had heat flare up the same area as well. It also looked like pimples, then like a rash, then the whole area if skin thickened up so badly I was afraid if it peeled, I'd need a skin graft. (It really did get that bad).

    I used cortisone creme, and an antihistamine. I hope yours clears up. While I know I had bed bugs at that point in time, it's possible the eczema just found a hot spot. It may also have exacerbated skin reactions elsewhere, so maybe not all my bites were what I thought they were.

    This is my eczema, early on:
    https://www.flickr.com/gp/133896048@N08/ZcKGd3

    I'm not an expert just a dumb struggling bed bugger like every body else.
  15. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2015 19:47:36
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    @ coolcucumber91
    Here is a old fashion trick you might consider giving a try.
    When you shower use white distilled vinegar as a body per-rinse it kills bacteria that can add trouble to some acne prone areas. It also kills body odor causing bacteria.
    I used to get night sweats & heat rash on back of head ,neck & shoulders an that seem to clear it up in a snap.
    If it don't work it cost you a couple dollars at most . Just don't ever get it in your eyes, burns like hell, lol .

  16. coolcucumber91

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Wed Jul 15 2015 21:47:54
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    robinsmom - 2 hours ago  » 
    Cool cucumber, it's not uncommon for eczema to show up on chest skin. Anything can flare it up. Is the skin raised in a large patch (like the whole area is sensitized)? In my case, it was bug bites--but I've had heat flare up the same area as well. It also looked like pimples, then like a rash, then the whole area if skin thickened up so badly I was afraid if it peeled, I'd need a skin graft. (It really did get that bad).
    I used cortisone creme, and an antihistamine. I hope yours clears up. While I know I had bed bugs at that point in time, it's possible the eczema just found a hot spot. It may also have exacerbated skin reactions elsewhere, so maybe not all my bites were what I thought they were.
    This is my eczema, early on:
    https://www.flickr.com/gp/133896048@N08/ZcKGd3

    Thanks for the info. Nah my skin isn't splotchy really, just all pimples (or potentially, bites). I went home today (bed bug free) and I slept in my bed for a quick nap. Woke up, did miscellaneous activities. Just looked in the mirror now and there are quite a lot of pimples/ bites on my shoulder, chest, and back. Perhaps I'm just breaking out now bc of the stress, bad diet, and very humid weather. My home is bed bug free (or else, my mom would be reacting badly). My belongings were all downstairs so I'm pretty sure I didn't get bitten. There were little flies outside today tho.

    I will check my bed tho just in case. I think it's just a bad break out imo. Will try ItsJustABug's idea. It was looking better whenever I was putting sacyclic acid on my back and chest.

    Honestly, if I didn't think I had any chance of bed bugs, I would just be looking at the mirror and saying "meh, it'll go away." I really wouldn't think it's anything out of the ordinary. Wish bed bug bites looked the same on everyone lol. This is driving me slightly nuts


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