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Contradictory Reactions to Bed Bug Bites

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  1. SlightlyParanoid

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 10 2011 18:15:35
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    Hi as my username implys, I'm a little concerned that I may have bed bugs again. I had them once two years ago and had a bad reaction to their bites (huge itchy welts that hurt after awhile), but have been rid of them since that time. I know that you can't diagnose bed bugs on bites alone, but lately I've been getting these odd red marks that look like bites, every so often. Usually it's just one mark, (in a different spot each time, usually on my arm). It's not itchy, it doesn't hurt, and it's not raised at all, but I seem to have gotten one regularly every 4-5 days, for the past 3 weeks. I know this sounds ludicris, but I was emotionally scarred after my first experience with bed bugs, and I'd like to catch them early, if that is indeed the situation. I was just wondering, has had contradictory reactions to bites? Does this pattern sound like bed bugs? Normally I wouldn't think anything of this, but it's just that the "bites" have been occuring regularly.

    I've searched my apartment and I haven't been able to find any of the typical bed bug signs (blood spots, skin casts, feces, the actual bugs themselves or their eggs). I guess I should clarify that I don't spend much time outdoors and work in an office without windows, so I doubt that they are mosquitos bites. Also, I don't spend much time in my apartment; usually just to eat dinner and sleep on week nights. I tend to stay at my boyfriends on the weekends. I have found some carpet beetle casks, so perhaps the red marks are from them? Does anyone know of anything else that would cause red spots like this?

  2. SlightlyParanoid

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 10 2011 18:45:41
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    Oh, I meant to mention that since it's been so hot lately, I've been sleeping in shorts and a tank. It doesn't seem to make sense that I'd just get one bite, with all of that exposed skin. Guess I'm just looking for some reassurance!

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 10 2011 22:53:32
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    You won't know if you have bed bugs unless evidence is found (bed bugs, cast skins or fecal traces).

    In order to find such definitive evidence (if it's out there) I strongly recommend employing some monitors -- you might try passive ones like the BBAlert Passive, and an active one like the Bed Bug Beacon. You can read about monitors here.

    BBAlert Passives provide an attractive harborage, and you check the front regularly for fecal stains (signs bed bugs have been on it). The Beacons actively attract bed bugs using C02, and it's recommended to run them for a couple of weeks in order to have a better chance of catching a sample (because you, sleeping in your bed, are competing with the Beacon for the bed bug's attention).

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

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jun 10 2011 22:55:52
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    SlightlyParanoid - 4 hours ago  » 
    Oh, I meant to mention that since it's been so hot lately, I've been sleeping in shorts and a tank. It doesn't seem to make sense that I'd just get one bite, with all of that exposed skin. Guess I'm just looking for some reassurance!

    If it's bed bugs, then they bite about once a week or so. It's possible to have one or two and get bites about every 4-5 days as you describe, but suspected bites may have another cause (see previous message).

  5. SlightlyParanoid

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jun 11 2011 7:40:51
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    Thank you Nobugsonme, I'll try one of those (or a combination!) I don't think I knew about them the last time.

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Jun 11 2011 13:07:55
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    You might not have known about them last time because they didn't exist last time.

    A lot of the tools we have now in the bed bug battle are kind of new.

    Mostly I'm just saying that so you don't feel like you were missing vital info. I had bed bugs three years ago, and the BBAlert and Packtite both, among other things, all new since then.

    I'll cross my fingers for you that it's good bed bug free news.

  7. djang

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Aug 22 2012 15:26:54
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    @slightparanoid - I have a set of facts that are almost identical to yours. Would be interested to know how your situation resolved.

    I also had them 2 yrs ago at a different apt, severe reaction to every bite, so bad that I had to get prescription strength cortisone to put on my skin, the type that comes with a lengthy and frightening warning label. Now recently (this week) I've been getting bites that don't itch, and barely swell up at all. Ever since my last (highly traumatic) experience with bed bugs, I've become one of those super-paranoid people who has their box spring and mattress permanently encased, with those plastic bed bug traps (that I check regularly) under my bed legs (which I also grease with vaseline). I've torn everything apart and found zero signs, and I should prob also add that these bites are occurring almost exclusively on my feet/ankles.

    Several months after my initial bb bout, they came back (probably from a neighboring unit), and I got bit by a mosquito outside the same day that a bb bite showed up. I observed that the bb bite swelled up and had red streaks extending out from where i scratched it, whereas the mosquito one faded relatively fast. Of course, I moved out of that unit and havent had problems since.

    I am aware that no visual signs means nothing because they are mean little fuckers who hide within walls and stuff. However, I am paranoid that maybe my body's reaction to them changed somehow, and that now my own physical "warning sign" as to what is a bb bite and what isn't doesn't work anymore. Does anybody know if that is possible? For your immune system response to change so drastically?

    I've read that chiggers like to bite ankles because of the thin skin there, but those are supposed to be "intensely" itchy whereas mine almost literally never itch at all.

    If anyone has any ideas, greatly appreciated.

  8. DreDay17

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 23 2012 0:18:07
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    Everyone is different and reactions very. To my understanding notes on you ankles mean the potential of fleas. Remember you have to verify you have bed bugs before pointing to it.

    If you catch a bug have it verfied by a licensed professional or entomologist(hope I spelled it right)

    Posting a pic here of the bugs you see can lead to a Id. If you don't see any bugs and have inspected you apartment. Then there is a chance that it is coming from your neighbors. Moving from one apartment to the other without proper methods taken will only spread any infestation.

  9. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 23 2012 4:43:54
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    Ankle biters? Dre's suggestion is sensible. Try running a flea trap. You don't need pets to get fleas - ask any biggish pest controller & they'll tell you they have to treat plenty of pet-free offices etc for fleas.

    Responses to bites aren't universal, so the chiggers thing is inaccurate & they're still a possibility. Bite responses are the response of your own individual immune system. About the only exception is horse flies because they slash the skin instead of piercing it, so there's a larger trauma, though I'm willing to believe that someowhere out there, there's a lucky soul who barely reacts to horsefly attacks. Just wish it was me.

  10. miserableone

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Aug 24 2012 9:52:38
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    I had the same question....can one person react differently on the same part of the body to BB bites from the same infestation?? Once a bad reactor always a bad reactor??

  11. miserableone

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Aug 24 2012 14:15:51
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    anyone?

  12. Koebner

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Aug 25 2012 6:11:31
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    Try reading the Bite Primer in the green stickies section at the top of the forums.


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