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Chimney Swift Bugs? Are you sure?

(7 posts)
  1. mewalker

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 8:14:45
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    Hi there everyone,

    A week ago yesterday, I found some mysterious little white spidery things and a few others with black diamond bottoms crawling on a few wooden art racks that were leaning against the wall in my home office. Curious, I googled their features and saw that they matched with bed bugs! Understandably, I panicked, promptly scheduled an appointment with an exterminator, and got our house sprayed the next day.

    I also found them on our mantle in our dining room. The exterminator was quite confused as to why they'd be hanging out in our home office, on our mantle, and having found none at all in our bedroom (and my boyfriend and I having no bites on our bodies). I noticed soon after that both locations that they were found were right underneath an old chimney and that the little covers that were placed on the holes in the wall where a wood burning stove used to be located had tiny little gaps. A few days later, my boyfriend pointed to those covers and we saw one of those bugs sitting right by it.

    At this point, I was calling exterminators all over my area and even out of state to pick their brains on bugs that look like bed bugs but dont act like them. We had heard birds and bats in our chimney before so a few suggested bat bugs and told me to send a specimen to our state university insect identification lab. I took 2 of the little ones off of the mantle (with the black diamond butts) and a larger dead one that I found in that same home office and sent it to the lab. The lab called back the same day and told me that they are actually Chimney Swift Bugs.

    Well, that's fantastic news!! Other than the fact that I have no idea how to get rid of Chimney Swift Bugs. Our landlord came and caulked around the gaps in that chimney vent two days ago, and last night I found an adult one sitting on our mattress when I came home after washing our sheets! I almost passed out from worry and here I am asking you guys if I should be concerned that I found one there. Should I seek a second opinion on what type of bug it is? I SCOURED our mattress after I saw that bug sitting on it (flipped over the box springs and used a flashlight in every single wooden beam underneath, checked tops, checked entire mattress) and found absolutely nothing.

    THis is really consuming my life right now. I'm trying to decide what the best course of action would be to take. We covered the chimney cracks so all of the bugs that are inside now have nowhere else to go. Will the bed bug spray on the floor kill them eventually? Is it normal that one might find its way on the top of our bare mattress? How should I get rid of these things? Should I seek a second opinion from another lab to make sure this ISNT actually a bed bug?

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 10:09:25
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    Post some clear images so we can see what you're dealing with.
    Don't let this consume your life, they're just insects, of no danger to you.

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 10:13:24
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    Hi,

    Post an image to confirm and if its bat or chimney swift consider using an Active Monitor such as the Bed Bug Beacon int he chimney area to trap out the samples.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    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
  4. mewalker

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 10:16:50
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    Unfortunately the only photos I have currently are crappy cell phone shots that I sent to an exterminator (who said “looks like a bed bug to me”). The entomologist from the lab I sent the samples to didn’t give me any stills or anything. If I can get my hands on another adult, I can try to get a good photo...but aren’t they pretty much identical without a telescope?

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 10:47:22
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    Hi,

    Yes / no.

    Some of us have enhanced vision and as such bat and swallow bugs appear more gritty and golden respectively. So long as the image is clear, which is feasible with a recent iPhone or smartphone it’s possible to tell.

    The PCO should have been suspicious at the lack of faecal and cast skins but I have heard it said that a lot of more rural US cases are not bedbugs but close relatives. You will understand treatment better if you look at http://www.batbugs.com as the process is similar.

    David

  6. mewalker

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 11:25:57
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    Thank you for being willing to help me out. Until I can get another sample, would you mind shedding a little insight on how to go about life after the treatment? My exterminator has been little to no help offering information on how to best manage the situation so treatment will be most effective.

    It's been a week today since we had our house treated with a spray treatment from the exterminator. I took all of our bedding, pillows, and our clothing to the laundromat and dried everything on high heat for about 35 minutes each. The only things I havent done yet are seasonal clothing, which are all being done this weekend. They are currently double bagged with the openings tied and taped shut.

    All of the clothes and towels that we use are in large plastic totes with lids in our downstairs entryway. Once something is worn from the tote, it goes in the laundry basket and not back in the bins. The exterminator said to give it a week and then we could move our clothes back to the closet. Well, after finding that bug on the bed last night, I'm reluctant, but living out of the totes is hell. What would you recommend I do about our clothing? Stay in the totes or should we be ok to hang things in our closet again? My main concern is that, if it IS a dreaded bedbug, I dont want any of these things coming to work with me and becoming an issue.

  7. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Fri Jul 19 2019 12:24:37
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    Hi,

    I would clean up where they have treated in your home as it will be useless and its simply better for it not to be there.

    I am not a huge fan of sealing things off, it rarely works and builds up a false sense of hope which is painful to crash through.

    This is about finding a specialist within range with experience who is willing to come and deal with this. The detail I would need to help you in terms of how it should be done can only be obtained by me being on site.

    You do not need to isolate and wash items, its not bed bugs. Almost all of what applies to bedbugs does not apply to you, do not waste your time doing the usual protocol it will not help you.

    You need to understand that this is more complex than bed bugs and will take longer than you want to resolve, its a marathon not a sprint. If you don't force yourself into that mindset from the start you will burn through your energy.

    You need to live as normally as possible this is not a pest you can easily spread to others and you need to be prepared to understand more about this than your average PCO so you know when you get a good one on the phone.

    Its a fixable issue but there is no easy fix.

    David


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