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Carpet beetles? Carpets?

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  1. friendhasbb

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 2 2010 16:26:28
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    PCO#2 came again today to inspect our climbups and glue traps. Again, he found no evidence of bed bugs. However he did find evidence of carpet beetles (larvae I think) in the dust under the sleep sofa. Previously, I had found what looked like a dead bug with many legs or perhaps many hairs. Now I think it was a carpet beetle larva.

    Could this be the source of what looked and felt like itchy bed bug bites on our legs and torsos? (But then, how to explain PCO#1 who came with a dog that alerted at the LR sofa and in 2 BRs?).

    If it is carpet beetles, do we just vacuum like crazy, or do we exterminate? PCO#2 said "it's only a carpet beetle" and didn't seem interested in exterminating. It wasn't until I returned to this forum and saw that people can have allergic reactions that resemble bed bug bites that I wondered about extermination.

    In any case, whether bed bugs or carpet beetles, how do we treat the 9x12 area rugs (oriental and machine-made oriental design, both woolen; shag and low pile "commercial", all synthetic) in our hardwood floor 1915 house? It's time that they got cleaned anyway. Can we just have a carpet cleaning company come and take them away to be cleaned, maybe tossing out the rug pads? Any special treatment to kill either bed bugs or carpet beetles?

  2. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Nov 2 2010 17:51:41
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    Good question about the persian carpet. My persian carpet is still packed away. I haven't had the courage to put it back down and i miss it. The livingroom floor looks rather bare without it.

    I guess a good cleaning would do, but i have a feeling that it contains a bunch of larvae hairs. i packed it away before i got my new vacuum with hepa filter. Perhaps i should cover myself up really well...put on a face mask and take it out to the terrace where i can vacuum it well. Then shake it out of the balcony and then beat it with and then vacuum it again. Then maybe even shampoo it...dry it...vacuum it again...

    maybe....

    (i'm one who gets horrible skin reactions to the larvae hairs)

  3. mightbebedbugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 2:56:14
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    I too have found (at least what the internet's google images have indicated) what appear to be carpet beetles. I am a little confused as to whether or not they bite. I've read "no" but I have found no eggs or larva or adult bed bugs in my room. I put tape around my bed this evening in prep for bed and almost immediately found a tiny hairy bug (resembling a carpet beetle) on it. I first became concerned about bed bugs close to one week ago when I woke up with about 10 little pimple like itchy marks on my torso. I went to the doctor who said they looked like bug bites. Since then I have been going absolutely crazy trying to catch one to ID it as bed bugs. I don't know if the little black specs are really enough to go by as any bug could be the cause for that.

    As far as your question about carpeting, I would vacuum both sides-dispose of the contents, vacuum again-dispose of the contents, then steam it. That should be sufficient, but I know that bug infestations are so damn difficult to free oneself from.

    Best of luck! Let me know if you find out anything about carpet beetles as I may be facing the same challenge.

  4. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 5:35:40
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    Hi,

    For all your carpet beetle question needs see here:

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

    No they technically do not bite but the hairs can induce a "bite like" reaction.

    If you find non of the usual BB signs (live samples, cast skins or faecal traces) and all you find is carpet beetles I would suggest that you initially deal with the carpet beetles in case that resolves the issue completely regardless of what the dog wags at.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  5. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 10:27:50
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    thanks again David for that information......and i just want to say:

    CARPET BEETLES, THEIR LARVAE AND THE LARVAE HAIRS SUCK SO BAD...I JUST HAAAAATE THEM SO FREAKIN' MUCH!

    thank you.

  6. ItchyGrandma

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 19:10:10
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    I'm in the midst of carpet beetle mania, too, now...but only after a friend's husband (an exterminator) confirmed that the bugs I found were definitely NOT bed bugs (from a sample I kept.) Turns out its carpet beetles - and I think I might have more than one type. This is after a solid month of my going off the deep end ripping my house apart, throwing out my bed and favorite chair, and spending a fortune on an expensive steam cleaner, tons of plastic bags, interceptor trays, a packtite, and a pesticide kit! Not too sorry about that though - the bed was very old, the chair had gotten kind of shabby, and from what I'm now reading, most of what I've done to fight bed bugs will be effective in eliminating the carpet beetles - not to mention creating an environment that will hopefully be bed-bug preventive. I work in a government building, and feel like it's only a matter of time before I'm exposed to the opportunity to unwittingly really bring one home! Actually, I haven't seen a live thing other than small household spiders since I started, so I think the couple little spots where I found a dead beetle (and some of the "pepper") may be old/dead attempts at infestation. But I only bought my house two years ago, so I'm taking the view that where there's smoke.....

    Frustrating things is though, that even though I now know I don't have bed bugs, I can't stop itching. The one single bite I got back in September, which at first I thought was a bad mosquito bite - then I found the bug that was actually a tiny beetle larvae - and then the next day my neighbor told me about her family finding bed bugs at her elderly parent's home, I just wigged and jumped to conclusions. My mother and sister (different states) both feel certain that the bite I received was spider bite, as both of them had experienced them this summer- and heaven knows I've found lots of little spiders.

    Now I'm wondering if I'm having a reaction to the presence of beetles, or am I just obsessed and can't calm down. All day long at work, it's all I can think about, and I'm constantly itching here and there and checking my shoes, ankles, pant legs, undie wasteband, collar, neck, hair line. I'm going nuts!! This has been a month.... Meanwhile, I'm still steaming, working my way through my house in and around my crazy work schedule. Bedroom is sanitized to a fair-thee-well, and unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I over-used (quantity-wise) the Cyzmic & Gentrol mix (when I thought I had bed bugs). Was VERY careful about mixing directions - and only made half a sprayer full, given the square footage for a gallon -- but somehow wounding up using the whole half-gallon in my bedroom (just lower walls, window sills, and painted it very careful around doorways). I still haven't moved back into the room, and have had the windows cracked open & fan on - it's been two weeks since I sprayed. Hope to move my guest room bed in there this weekend and start living in it. On to the living room, where I found the "variegated" dead beetle.)

    I'm very disappointed at the prospect that these things may bite, from what I've read here. Aargh - why does it seem like the year of pestilence!! Thank goodness since it turned cold, at least I'm not seeing any stinkbugs now! I've pretty much drained my savings account, am tired beyond belief, and feel like I'm utterly OCD now. My office is having a work retreat at a city hotel next week for three days, and I'm in a absolute state about having to sleep in a hotel room. I may just not sleep - may go down to my car for a couple hours shut-eye.

    One really big thing I keep thinking about is -- one huge result of my bed bug "scare" is that I don't think I care if I ever buy another THING to put in my house again. I'm completely turned off by retail stores - my stomach just turns thinking about furniture, knick-knacks or home decor or any kind of STUFF - and I used to love nothing more than spend a couple weekend hours browsing. Now I seem to want to pitch everything I pick up in my house. If so many people are going through this, what is the impact to retail sales right now, and to the landfills in general! And this on top of an already-hurting economy. But for myself, I'm just so skeezed out I don't even care - and that's not usually how I am. I just ache thinking about all the folks who ARE actually fighting chronic bed bug infestations (and getting bitten steadily) - and am praying for them all. Realize there's few who are making out big time - the bed bug supply folks (thank God for them, though) and plastic bag manufacturers! Wish I'd bought stock!

  7. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 19:35:38
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    Steam kills them and pesticides and the packtite. I used all for my cbs. As for the hairs..well, I just tell my 5 year old to keep her body off the rug!

  8. friendhasbb

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 21:59:31
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    Do carpet beetles bite? Or do they just cause allergic reactions that look like bites? Actually, if the allergic reaction looks like a bite and itches like a bite, maybe it doesn't matter much whether it's really a bite or just an allergy.

    In any case, are they less awful than bed bugs, and if so how? Do they infest a house? Are they easier to get rid of than BBs? Do they multiply less quickly? Do they hitchhike on people?

    One concern I have is that vacuuming and decluttering seems recommended if one is pretty sure the problem is carpet beetles, but if the problem turns out to be bedbugs, we hear that vacuuming and decluttering may destroy the evidence and spread the problem.

    Since I'm still not sure what the problem is, I'm in a quandry.

    "Two years ago my friend had bedbugs; now perhaps it's me."

  9. friendhasbb

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Nov 3 2010 22:38:28
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    p.s. When we thought we had bedbugs (and it's still possible we do have them) we thought our son might have brought them with him when he visited from another state, since he travels much more than we do, and he experienced bite-like reactions to something at the same time we did (a week and a half after he went back home). He rents the first floor of a two-family house; the building is over 100 years old and not well maintained - there are many openings around and under doors and windows where winter drafts blow in and summer bugs crawl in. Could carpet beetles have hitchhiked on his clothes or in his luggage to our place? After we (hubby & I) thought our bites were from BBs son thought his were too. He got an exterminator to spray but without real evidence. He's been sleeping elsewhere for the last couple of weeks due to stress at work and the need to meet deadlines, so he hasn't had anymore "bites" (or whatever the welts were).

  10. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 8:55:39
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    So PackTiting will kill the carpet beetles and the larvae but that's not going to rid your clothing, sofa, carpet and other things that you touch of the dreaded larvae HAIRS. Those hairs are the things that cause the skin reaction that seems alot like bb skin reactions. They cause welts and itching and they make you miserable.

    It is not a bite..it is an allergic reaction to the hairs and some have reported that the hairs can shoot towards to the skin by static electricity causing a little puncture wound of the skin.

    So unless you find a way to get rid of the hairs that can stay behind in your sofa, pillows, clothing, etc., you're going to continue to have a skin reaction to them if you're the sensitive type.

    I steamed by sofa and pillows and sofas but that did not solve my problem. It now seems solved in the living room after i put those sofasafe covers on the sofas. But recently i have seen little carpet beetle larvae in the bedroom near my closet so i have to make time (today or tomorrow) to get in there...pull everything out and vacuum and packtite everything to kill the carpet beetle in there. There must be a carpet beelte in the since i have the larvae....

    I hate them with all my soul.

    Also, i suggest not shaking things out or causing the hairs to get airborn. they're very light i think and can land on places that were not having hairs before. You don't want to spread them around...

  11. NewBlood

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 9:19:21
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    Hey friendhasbb,

    It took me a while to convince myself that carpet beetles were the source of my weird 'bites' but they are indeed the culprit. Let's see if I can answer some of your questions...

    Do Carpet Beetles Bite? Or do they cause allergic reactions that look like bites? I think they eat dead material (dead insects and the like), fibers, pollen, etc. The larvae eat fibers - like those in your carpet. They don't bite you though - I don't believe their able to do so at all. Its the hairs on their little larvae bodies that you're reacting too (if it is them). The hairs can be microscopic - and dead larvae (or their leftover shells when they molt) can send the hairs into the atmosphere of your home. Taking a Vacuum alone to the issue may make things worse as you'll send LOTS of these hairs flying all over the place.

    Actually, if the allergic reaction looks like a bite and itches like a bite, maybe it doesn't matter much whether it's really a bite or just an allergy. Ha ha ha! That's a good way of looking at it - in my case though it made a big difference because I was obsessed that it was bed bugs biting me (because of positive dog alerts without evidence) however. If they weren't bites then man... that would have saved me quite a bit of money!

    In any case, are they less awful than bed bugs, and if so how? Do they infest a house? Are they easier to get rid of than BBs? Do they multiply less quickly? Do they hitchhike on people? I would imagine that bed bugs are far worse than carpet beetles. You don't have insects crawling hungrily on you are night poking you with their mouths and prodding you for blood. They don't have the stigma that bed bugs have as well - I find that more people are less likely to run away screaming from carpet beetles than from bed bugs. I would imagine that if uncontrolled they can infest a house like any other insect.

    I believe they are easier to eliminate as well (and cheaper - which is the important thing) but I have come to like my little fuzzy woolie bears. As for multiplying less quickly - I am not a entomologist but I think carpet beetles would multiply faster. A single female can lay over 100 eggs at once (I think) and they hatch in about two weeks. A single bed bug female will produce about 2-5 eggs each day and they hatch in a week or two as well. So.. 100 eggs hatching compared to 28-70. Still - all of those bed bugs are going to be hungry and looking for you. The carpet beetles just want to eat fibers (but again - their hairs will make you react). The 'thing' I imagine is that if you have multiple females laying eggs. Finally - carpet beetles don't REALLY want to be inside your house because theirs not too much for them to eat in there. Bed bugs WANT to be near you.

    As for hitchhiking on people - I think they are similar to bed bugs. If they get on YOU it's a mistake or confused bug. You carry them out by accident. I carried one or two out by accident once because I found easily over 100 (must have been like 400 or more) carpet beetle larvae in the back of my car one day. All of them eating the other dead larvae and old 'stuff' I had in my trunk.

    One concern I have is that vacuuming and decluttering seems recommended if one is pretty sure the problem is carpet beetles, but if the problem turns out to be bedbugs, we hear that vacuuming and decluttering may destroy the evidence and spread the problem.

    I think what the 'problem' is with any cleaning with bed bugs is that if you suspect them but haven't found them you want to have an inspection to locate them. Cleaning would scatter them to the far reaches of the home (maybe) which would make locating them very difficult. Cleaning with Carpet beetles may actually make the situation worse as well - in so much that you will be spreading the hairs everywhere during the cleaning (especially if you vacuum often) due to how the hairs interact with your body. The carpet beetle larvae are actually kinda tough to find even if you're looking for the little guys - but they are less... flat... then bed bugs and can't hide in the same places because of that.

    Anyway I hope this answers some of your questions. I was relieved when I finally convinced myself it was carpet beetles and not bed bugs as the source of my 'bites', but I was out $1,500 for treatment (more if I include all the cleaning I did) - threw out all my furniture and I bought a home (so add another $7,000 to the mix). I did exactly what you SHOULDN'T do: panic. I did the panicking for everyone so you don't have to.

    Lastly - as someone who treated without evidence I want to stress that you may get no relief whatsoever from your problem. I didn't - I spent months in frustration not understanding where the bed bugs were (I didn't have them) and why the PCO I hired couldn't stop the bites (it was because I never had them). You may fall into a similar... funk. So remember that it may not be bed bugs - and if you're finding lots of carpet beetles it may be them. Find evidence of the bed bugs then destroy them if they are present -> I would recommend one of the alerts presented on this site (the Alert that BBcoukHome created or the Bed Bug Beacon) although I haven't used them I've heard good things about them.

    Good luck friendhasbb, I hope it's just carpet beetles!

  12. friendhasbb

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 9:56:50
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    Deedle and NewBlood, thanks so much for your replies.

    Deedle - I forget - did you ever actually have BBs or did it turn out the whole problem was carpet beetles? hence your name ??

    NewBlood, We also had a BB sniffing dog (brought by PCO#1). Dog alerted in 3 locations and that sent a wave of panic through me! I found one dead bug in our BR that might have been a carpet beetle but I threw it out because it didn't look like a bed bug (now I know - save all evidence!). I found another beside our sofa that I saved and showed to PCO#2 when he came back to inspect again (nothing in the Climbups, nothing in the glue traps, nothing visible on the sofabed).

    We have not had treatment from either PCO. PCO#1 says dog is 98% accurate and they're happy to spot treat in our LR, BR and a 2nd BR (but we question their lack of physical inspection by humans and question spot treating). PCO#2 says there's no evidence of BBs and doesn't want to treat.

    We ordered a Bed Bug Beacon CO2 monitor and hope it will give us some peace of mind re BBs.

    We have a vacuum with a Hepa filter and hope it will help if our problem is carpet beetles.

    Thinking of ordering a Sofasafe to hopefully help with either type of bug, and to allow us to have guests for Thanksgiving. Not sure how to deal with 2 other upholstered chairs (though my husband has been regularly sitting on them for past month with no problem.)

    We are no longer getting any bite like reactions (last 2 weeks or so). I'm thinking of telling my brother & his wife and a couple of friends who always come for Thanksgiving exactly what the story is (dog alerted but PCO#2 says there's no evidence; we're no longer getting bites, could be carpet beetles) and let them decide for themselves whether to come. I will probably urge them not to bring handbags and to wear washable clothes which they put in the machine as soon as they get home.

  13. ItchyGrandma

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 14:45:04
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    DeedleBeetle, NewBlood, and Freindhasbb: Thanks so much for your posts. And I apologize for my long vent yesterday evening. Looking at it now, I guess I'm just so relieved to find this string. It's not like you can talk to anyone and everyone about this stuff, if they haven't gone through it. NewBlood- totally related to your post - and laughed about you coming to like your "fuzzy wooly bears." Frankly, if I had not been aware of the whole BB ruccus, and had just found this small, fairly innocuous bug a year or so ago, I'd have thought it was kinda cute, and just whisked it into a vacuum or trash without a thought. I feel like I've seen them before in the past but haven't given it a thought. But now, I'm here at work, itching and "prickling" all over again. Everytime I look, there's nothing - but it is that sensation of a hair "pricking" my skin.

    Since I found out what they were, I've also been debating whether to leave on the sofa-safe (yes I did that too!) Since there's no longer the issue of shutting them off from their required food source, as with bbs, I'm concerned that I might just be closing them up with everything they need to profligate -- nice sofa stuffing fiber. I DID dust the couch with DME before closing it up, so I'm hoping that will be sufficient. There's a niggling side of me that hasn't quite gotten over the bb nervousness, so I'm sort of leaving it alone for now, I guess.

    It's just hard to imagine, because I'm 52 (had my birthday in the middle of all this drama - totally lost the pleasure of any celebration), that I haven't been exposed aplenty to these things in the past. They like pollen and garden flowers, so surely they are fairly ubiguitous household critters, and I've lived in lots of different houses and apartments over the years - several quite old. And yet now all of a sudden I'm reacting. Thinking about it, in September when I had the one bad bite that I thought was mosquito, I also had little areas of tiny, innocuous little mini-bite-like bumps where the skin was sensitized and a bit itchy, but settled down quickly with some calming lotion. Have had this recently on my fingers, hands, and wrists but have chalked it up to dry skin, use of too many cleansers recently, not to mention pesticides, and the switch to heat at work. But it's strange that it's kind of localized. But who knows - maybe it is this "hair" thing. GOOD GRIEF!!

    Meanwhile, my new jar of food-grade DME came yesterday, and I went and got cedar shavings at PetSmart (2.99 a bag). Going to stuff some little net jewelry gift bags that I saved with the shavings and hang them in with my winter coats, and possibly with some rugs that I have folded, stacked and stored - and will use the food-grade DME pretty much everywhere I have fabrics stored. I WAS (no longer!) a bit of an antiques-collector - particularly like vintage linens, and have a couple quilts made by a great grandmother that I cherish. I can't really wash them in hot water, and don't want them kept in plastic for fear of mold. Not even sure the packtite is a good idea, it's so delicate. So I'm just going to get pretty liberal with DME. Thinking of cutting some lightweight scrap cotton that I have (from thin old pilloscases) and folding DME into that, and layering sort of cotton "envelopes" of it between the folds of the quilt, and under a piece of drawer paper at the bottom of the nice zip-up fabric boxes I store them in. I don't want to use the baited or pyrethrins-spiked DME for this - or anything that I would brush against. I found my one live bug on my box spring (which totally set off my bb panic), another dead one under the bed in a box where I stored an antique doll, and then another dead one, with it's "schmutz," in a plastic storage bin in my closet where I kept some "wish-they-still-fit" clothes. Still wishing, but no longer keeping....

    And JEEZ - just found another patch of little bumps - behind my ear! I'm really wondering how psychosomatic this is...

  14. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 14:59:47
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    i've been "deedle" since i was about 3 or 4 when i insisted on wearing only one shoe. ...looked like a boy...hence "deedle, deedle dumpling, my son john, went to bed with his stockings on -- one shoe off and one shoe on...etc"

    i only tacked "beetle" on for a name on this web site because it rhymed with deedle and it was insect related

    yes i had confirmed bedbugs..only two did i find spaced months apart...but yes, they were, indeed, in my place.

    i also had (have) carpet beetle larvae....i think they caused their hairs caused the major part of my skin reactions.

  15. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 15:15:31
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    Does anyone get a "sting" like response? sometimes when I'm walking on my carpet, i get a "sting" and it really hurts for a few minutes.

    i don't seem to be getting terrible itchies from my cb. I get hives and bumps and once in a while "pimple like bump" by my forehead at the scalp. I'm hoping it's just cbs, but whenever i'm by my laptop now, i feel something biting my feet or my fingers instantly. I looked inside my mouse thinking maybe nymphs might be hiding in there, but i see (with a loupe) small thread like (really super thin) white things in there. they don't appear to be moving. but something is up. i'm afraid to come by the laptop area now.

  16. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 16:21:39
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    yes...sometimes i will get a little sting or pin prick feeling

    and something i find that helps....like when i was covering the sofas the other week and i knew those hairs would be flying around a bit. As soon as i was finished, i hopped right in the shower...not to bathe...but to rinse my skin off.

  17. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 16:34:11
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    Yes, I do that too but usually after i've showered and i didn't go straight to sleep, i make sure i go back in for a rinse just before i hit dreamland.

    My stings really hurt though and lasts for minutes sometimes. maybe i should jump in shower as soon as i get the sting.

  18. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 4 2010 17:01:42
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    i don't think that would hurt although i think that by the time you feel that sting, the hair has already made contact with your skin...

    i'm not sure how all that works but when i take that rinse shower, i don't use soap and i use cool water. i don't scrub anything...just rinse from face down, front and back.

  19. NewBlood

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    Fri Nov 5 2010 9:56:45
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    NewBlood, We also had a BB sniffing dog (brought by PCO#1). Dog alerted in 3 locations and that sent a wave of panic through me! I found one dead bug in our BR that might have been a carpet beetle but I threw it out because it didn't look like a bed bug (now I know - save all evidence!). I found another beside our sofa that I saved and showed to PCO#2 when he came back to inspect again (nothing in the Climbups, nothing in the glue traps, nothing visible on the sofabed).

    That sounds similar to what happened to me - in my situation they didn't find any evidence but did look for them. I found a few things that I thought might have been bed bugs - but upon microscope identification they turned out to be carpet beetle bits, specs of dirt, or other random things. I did find a few carapace bits that looked exactly like the bed bug 'ribbed back' as it were - but when I examined one of my carpet beetles I discovered they too had the same markings. One really should find a REAL bed bug or bed bug shell to be sure it is indeed bed bugs.

    I'm also glad that you haven't found anything - in so much that that may mean you don't actually have these things!

    We have not had treatment from either PCO. PCO#1 says dog is 98% accurate and they're happy to spot treat in our LR, BR and a 2nd BR (but we question their lack of physical inspection by humans and question spot treating). PCO#2 says there's no evidence of BBs and doesn't want to treat.

    I wouldn't trust PCO#1 - especially if they never bothered to look for the bed bugs to begin with. Fear is an effective tool of management - don't be feared into doing something or spending money when there's no evidence of them! Dogs are very useful tools for finding them but the results need to be followed up with a visual inspection because dogs have bad days just like humans and the %age of accuracy can be far less than 98%. I really like hearing that PCO#2 won't treat without evidence -> that is the type of PCO I would hire in the future. MUST find them or proof of them!!

    We ordered a Bed Bug Beacon CO2 monitor and hope it will give us some peace of mind re BBs.We have a vacuum with a Hepa filter and hope it will help if our problem is carpet beetles.Thinking of ordering a Sofasafe to hopefully help with either type of bug, and to allow us to have guests for Thanksgiving. Not sure how to deal with 2 other upholstered chairs (though my husband has been regularly sitting on them for past month with no problem.)
    We are no longer getting any bite like reactions (last 2 weeks or so). I'm thinking of telling my brother & his wife and a couple of friends who always come for Thanksgiving exactly what the story is (dog alerted but PCO#2 says there's no evidence; we're no longer getting bites, could be carpet beetles) and let them decide for themselves whether to come. I will probably urge them not to bring handbags and to wear washable clothes which they put in the machine as soon as they get home.

    That sounds good to me as well! It's reasonable to take precautions if you have a bed bug scare - but don't "go crazy" as it were (like I did) because it's really difficult to back out of "crazy" once you start. Now if you DO find them you can go about destroying them! But until you find them - especially when you are finding other things that could be the culprit. Good luck friendhasbb!

  20. chicagoallergygirl

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 12:19:15
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    ItchyGrandma, if it makes you feel any better, I'm going through the exact same feelings you are right now. I'm dealing with a BB scare that I am now thinking may actually be carpet beetles, as I found four CB larvae in my nightstand last night and have seen no signs of BBs.

    I feel like I am just constantly itching and checking my skin for new welts and I wonder if it's psychosomatic (my boyfriend certainly thinks so!) because I've just been going insane over this. I've spent a sh*tload of money on top-of-the-line mattress encasements, climbups, DE, cleaning supplies, laundry, and more garbage bags than I ever want to see again in my life. (If it turns out I bought all that stuff and didn't need to, I'm going to become violently ill.) I too used to really enjoy secondhand shopping and garage-saling and I can't imagine doing either again.

    And you are right -- it's a hard thing to talk about! I can't even talk to my best friend about it because I'm working for her part-time and I don't want her to start freaking that I'm bringing bugs into the office.

  21. ItchyGrandma

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 12:29:40
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    "but don't "go crazy" as it were (like I did) because it's really difficult to back out of "crazy" once you start."

    NewBlood - Amen! I'm hoping I can get myself pulled all the way back from the ledge. On the issue of the "pricks" or "sting" sensations - I've been showering morning and night - long hot showers. Used to do just one a day. I think the resulting dry skin is just making it all worse. I will say - Johnson's Calming Lotion is really helpful - I think there are some others on the market as well, though haven't tried those. Or Miracle of Aloe - I think it has baking soda or something slightly powdery in it that seems to help. Also - I think this is just a mental thing, but after I realized the ridiculously simply theory behind those expensive little plastic interceptor trays (talc powder!), I started coating any exposed skin with baby powder before I went to bed, thinking it would interfere with a bb's ability to "set" itself to bite. Of course, I thought I HAD them at that point and mentally could've sworn I did. But regardless, the powder really did help calm me down. I even gently rubbed it in around my hairline and behind my ears before hitting the pillow to sleep. Plus it has a nice soothing baby smell. I'd recommend it to anyone in the bb jitter zone.

  22. ItchyGrandma

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Nov 5 2010 12:37:50
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    Chicagoallergygirl - Thanks so much for your post. I hate the expression that misery loves company, but it really DOES help to know you're not alone when you're out there in orbit. I'm right there with you on the cost - and all those plastic bags. I have two Trader Joes bags full of the XXL Ziploc hefties sitting in my dining room that I'm wondering if I'll ever used. I should have got more of the next size down. As for the garbage bags that I tied everything up in to take down to my washer - I get sick thinking of the sheer waste. Thank God at least for recycling. Not that it wasn't important to do, but it all just feels so wasteful. And my ELECTRIC BILL this month after all of the washing and drying! OUCH! I haven't even paid it yet - have to wait another paycheck! AARGH!


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