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

Desperately need help diagnosing my issue. Is it bed bugs? Something worse?

(6 posts)
  1. hitheredan2

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Aug 14 2013 3:39:50
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    Hi everybody,

    This is my first post here (and hopefully my last thread!). I've recently been dealing with a situation that I strongly believe could be bed bugs issue, but I wanted to share all the details on this forum in hopes that someone who has had a similar experience may be able to help. I apologize in advance for the long post, but I want to be as detailed as possible and not waste your time.

    I would also like to note that, in addition to the "signs" of bed bugs, which there have actually been very few of other than the bites, I've also experienced a wide of range of different symptoms that don't necessarily mean I have bed begs. I will detail everything as best I can.

    It all starts about 2 weeks ago when I foolishly bought a second-hand mattress off the internet. I know this isn't a smart thing to do, but money is extremely tight and I took a gamble. Shortly after purchasing the mattress, sure enough, I discovered a couple of what appear to be bite marks on my body. They ranged anywhere from on my forearm to on my stomach and chest, though the majority have been on my stomach.

    Soon after these bites sprouted up (between 5 and 10 at the time) I began to develop overall body itchiness. I want to stress, in both my initial set of bites and newer bites that I will detail in a moment, I never felt itchiness from the bites themselves. I've constantly been itchy since getting this mattress on my back, arms, legs, chest, you name it... but the bites themselves? Just unpleasant to look at. No pain, no itch, no nothing. I've surmised that this may be due to bites that, physically, haven't shown up yet (I hear they can take two weeks). Is this possible? Am I bitten in these spots and the physical markings are yet to show?

    In addition to the itching, I noticed in one particular instance that the arm hair on my left arm randomly sprouted for the heavens. As this happened, my right arm's hair stayed rested. I felt the tingle of an itch on my left arm when this happened (or at least I think I did).

    So, on a limited budget, I go nuts on my room. I disassemble the bed frame, put the mattress aside and clean like I've never cleaned before. I swept and mopped my hardwood bedroom floors. I cleaned underneath the radiator that lines the hardwood floor. I washed my sheets twice and every bit of clothing I've worn or has been in a drawer with clothes I've warn. I washed my pillow cases and blow-dried my pillows. Finally, I purchased Raid bed bug spray and spayed every corner humanly possible. Every inch of my room. Every screw hole. Every... everything.

    Most importantly, I sprayed the insides of this mattress (came with a cover) and sprayed every inch of the outside of it.

    Throughout this process I did not find a single bed bug. I never found the markings of a bed bug on my white sheets (i.e. dark stains from their feces). I did not crush a bed bug at any point and cause blood splotches on my sheet. I thought (and think) it was safe to assume this was bed bugs since I had just purchased a mattress, but could it be someone else? I mean it when I say I searched every corner of my room very thoroughly with a flashlight and for hours at a time.

    To add in another detail... I primarily work nights (7pm to 3am). I get home between 2 and 6am on these nights, and the night of the cleaning, I cleaned from 2am to 10am. Generally speaking, I know bed bugs are out-and-about during this period, and yet, they never made an appearance. On other nights, I've laid in bed, awake, during this period... never spotted anything.

    So anyway, I finished my cleaning, went to sleep and prayed, and for 48 hours my prayers were answered. No new bites and all the itchiness went away. This was a short-lived victory.

    I have since experienced new bites, but I think it's important to note, all of these bites have occurred on either my thighs, buttocks, or stomach area... to be more specific, they all occurred in areas that I intentionally left covered while sleeping to "test the waters" on my other body parts, so to speak. Weird right? My legs, forearms, face... all fine. General itchiness has returned as well, though it less severe now.

    Finally, and this is the worst part.... In the last 2-3 days I have had an awful runny nose, sore throat, cough and watery eyes. I've come to understand these are the symptoms of dust mites. Could that be the problem? If they are, how would that explain the bites? And where the hell is whatever is biting me?

    Here are the potential causes I've managed to come up with. Please feel free to shoot them down, support them, or add your own:

    -Bed bugs
    -Mites
    -Reaction to the Raid spray
    -Fleas maybe?

    I feel very at a loss because in all my searching on the internet, I haven't found anything that matches my specific set of reactions/symptoms. Hopefully someone here can relate and help.

    Again, apologies for the long post and thank you in advance for your help!

  2. Alicew234

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Aug 14 2013 8:33:20
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    Oh my goodness! I know the professionals here will help you and I am brand, brand new to this but let me say Calm Down. It's just bugs. Try to think of them as ants. Just take a breath.
    The other thing I have to say is I found about 12 bugs in one bedroom of my house and I itch all the time now! I think it might be psychological itching (for me, that is. ) And if it were me (if it were I?, no, I think me) If it were me, I'd get rid of that mattress. You are never going to be comfortable on that mattress again.
    I do have a lot of experience with dust mites. They don't bite. They can cause allergy symptoms as you describe but I'd be surprised if you very suddenly developed an allergy right after you purchased a mattress. I'll bet it's the Raid.

  3. Finleyfoo1

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Aug 14 2013 16:28:04
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    I too have been getting unexplained bites. As have 3 other family members. So far we have not found evidence of bed bugs though I keep searching. We used victors flea trap to rule out fleas. I don't know what else it could be.

    I do know that all this reading and thinking about bugs has left me with generalized itchiness. In fact the place that is most itchy is my head and then I was starting to think I have lice. But no sign of that either.

    I think the anxiety and paranoia can cause that feeling of itchiness. But the bites are real. Those are not imagined. I can see them on myself and on the thers in my family.

  4. hitheredan2

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Aug 14 2013 20:16:58
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    The reason I don't think the itchiness is the result of paranoia or anxiety is that I work in a very fast-paced atmosphere (sports media). I'll be engrossed in my work without even a moment to think about... anything... and all of a sudden the itches will come. I will not be preoccupied with my bed issues when it happens.

    Additionally, I want to note that the itchiness and sickness only happens at night, and perhaps more importantly, it happens no matter where I am. It does not matter whether I'm in my bed or at the office or on the train. It is not impacted by my mood, preoccupations or environment. It just comes at night and is gone by late-morning.

    UPDATE: I got rid of the mattress and am air-mattressing it now. Result? No new bites, but still itchy right now. The sickness has not arrived (yet!). Hoping it doesn't.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Wed Aug 14 2013 20:35:46
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    Finally, and this is the worst part.... In the last 2-3 days I have had an awful runny nose, sore throat, cough and watery eyes. I've come to understand these are the symptoms of dust mites.

    That seems possible and I understand dust mites can cause itching for some, if you're allergic to them, however, I note you were itchy for two weeks and have had the other symptoms for only 2-3 days.

    Is RAID labeled to be sprayed on the outside of a mattress?!? It's important to use products per label instructions.

    We have heard of people reacting to pesticides so that seems possible.

    Stress may also cause itching and skin reactions.

    I suggest you consider some kind of bed bug monitors (FAQ on bed bug monitors) in order to detect any bed bugs if they're present. Tossing the mattress out isn't necessarily going to remove them all if they're there.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  6. Alicew234

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 15 2013 15:39:23
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    Hitheredan- I sent you a private message. Look to the far right column where it says "Hello Hitheredan" There is a link under there for private messages. Good luck!


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