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Does one mean more?

(5 posts)
  1. Concerned4567

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 20:34:35
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    Hi all, I returned from a trip a few days ago. I put my bag down in my bedroom.

    Two days later around 5p, I caught an adult bedbug running across my comforter. There were/are no other bugs, I pulled all bedding apart, inspected with a flashlight, and have seen no signs. I am at a loss; did I pick this up or have I had an infestation? What do I do to make a determination?

    Nine months ago, I had an incident in Europe where I woke up with bugs crawling across and all around. This was a 4 star hotel, but I didn't check before I laid down. The hotel cleaned everything we brought, including luggage. Immediately upon return, I laundered, dry cleaned, and froze everything. The experience was rather traumatizing, so I've been compulsive about checking whenever I change sheets or am in a hotel. I saw no signs a my recent stay, either, and the hotel was one of the few that had not been reported to the bedbug registry or claims on forums.

    An exterminator is coming to check. Unless they find an infestation that I was unable to locate, I anticipate that they will identify the smashed bug I kept and recommend fumigation whether there is otherwise visible evidence or not.

    Does this sound like a fluke or more likely that one means more? I did not get bites in Europe, so I am not certain they'd show if i've have had a recent or ongoing infestation in my home. I have seen nothing to indicate a problem thus far. Additionally, I washed everything on and surrounding the bed when I found the bug. I did not dust or vacuum around the bed yet at the suggestion of the exterminator scheduled to come.

    Must I fumigate? Has anyone had success with traps and mattress encasements? Is anyone aware of the fastest way to identify if bugs are present in case they multiply down the road? Everything I read online is a horror story. I don't want to go through unneccessary hassle and expense, but prevention of an infestation (if i dont have one) is my highest priority. Any advice on what this situation sounds like would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 21:21:25
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    You can utilize bed bug monitors for detection and long term surveillance.

    A passive monitor like the BB Alert Passive is good for a year.

    An active monitor like Bedbug Beacon is an inexpensive CO2 producing monitor that produces CO2 to attract bed bugs into a monitor well.

    Encasing your box springs is more critical than the mattress... Box springs are a common harborage.

    How did you identify the specimen that you captured?

  3. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 21:27:33
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    I'm not an expert. A lot of hotels and individuals use passive monitoring as an early warning system. There is some controversy about barriers (mattress encasements, climbups and other barriers, etc) can cause dispersal.

    Your PCO doesn't want you doing too much to disturb the area. They often are in boxsprings (which people do encase). David Cain has an article on optomizing the bed if you choose not to do barriers.
    I can find it and copy it if you wish or you can search optomization.

    The FAQS on this website are great. You can post a picture of the bug to get a 2nd opinion. Label the post as identification in the tags.

    There is also controversy about the effectiveness of dogs, although the good ones will tell you that it is not considered a bedbug infestation until there is visual confirmation.

    That said, a lot of people do bug moats or climbups, encasements, etc. Listen to your PCO on that issue and you can check his protocols here.

    As I said, I'm not an expert and have only had a scare not an infestation.

    Good luck!

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    = TAOT
  4. Concerned4567

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 23:03:24
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    Thank you both for your responses. I haven't 100% identified it, bu it looks exactly like the pics I've seen and when I killed it, its entrails were dark and smelled musky. I will wait for the exterminator to confirm. I did order a CO2 trap that is supposed to be effective for a period of time, but i will definitely look into the BB Alert, as well. I guess I am wondering if fumigation is a good idea to do up front or if monitoring for them is okay. I wouldnt want it to get worse. theyareoutthere, you mentioned a scare, but no infestation; did you find something that turned out not to be a bedbug or did you have a small incident that was controllable? If so, what worked for you? Thanks again, I still have some research to do in addition to the exterminator's recommendation.

  5. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jul 27 2012 23:26:02
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    I went on a trip to someplace warm and when I got home, I was covered in what looked like bites. If you read the bite primer (the 2nd section in green above comments), you can't diagnose from bites.

    Of course, I tried to. There were three legs of the trip. I tore my place apart. It was made worse since there had been discussions in my field and in the media on how people get bedbugs on trips...it's a longer story than that..but I had bedbugs on my mind and I'm OCD. It ended up that I got some sort of bites on the trip (there were mosquitos too) and that..when I got stressed..I then broke into hives..so all in all...not a good experience. In the middle of it, I found some sort of dried bug in my purse that I ran throught the dryer every night. Of course, I didn't keep the bug.

    If I had had bedbugs, I did most things wrong. I did have protocols for suitcases..they don't come inside. Other than that, I began compulsively cleaning just to feel better. Bottom line, it was probably a blessing since I got to this site, have a packtite, etc. I had some weird habits before because of allergies, and a lot of allergy protocols are similar to BB protocols.

    I haven't been through the trauma of your European trip. I just keep telling me the skeeters and brown recluse spiders and African killer bees are more dangerous. But, I haven't lived through it like you (in terms of seeing them). Don't focus on that....when I get stressed..I focus on what I can do and that I'm solving it...not on what happened in the past.


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