Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Bed bug bites, skin, etc.

Extreme bites

(5 posts)
  1. UKBB

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Mar 7 2012 14:23:52
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    Hello,

    I would like to tell you all about my BB story, which I am sure is quite unusual.

    Nowhere on the net have I come across a comparable story (unless we are talking about people that are living in absolutely infested places and get hundreds of bites a night which I have come across on the net just once!).

    Last year in July I started noticing bites on one leg only (that leg also has a large parch of eczema, which when really inflammed is more like an open wound- sounds nasty but I have to live with it). My bedroom somehow became infested with bedbugs and they only ever bit the leg where there is the eczema patch. Maybe they were particularly attracted to it due to the scent of blood/ raw skin).

    The eczema is actually the result of a severe case of histamine intolerance, so it sometimes calms down and sometimes flares up, breaking the skin open on that leg.

    Now, I did gain control of the BB situation very quickly and never got bitten again. However, the bites themselves are so very extreme that I am wondering if I was dealing with a special kind of BB.

    They say that BBs do not transmit diseases (although I have found a report that they do transmit the very dangerous, life threatening MRSA bug), nor do they cause allergies.

    It bugs me (no pun intended) that governments do not class BBs as a pest and will not intervene. You have to sort out the problem yourself (at least here in Europe). Given the above MRSA issue I think that this is a dangerous thing as I believe that BBs are very much a dangerous pest, worse than rats and many other disease carrying pests.

    Anyway, I counted well over 250 bites on my calf alone. This happened over a period of 3 days (before I finally got rid of the bugs). The severity of the bites ranged from small to very large. In fact, one morning I woke up and my left ankle was swollen to the size of a baby fist. I was practically handicapped for 2 days and could not walk! I had to lie to friends and relatives that I had sprained my ankle because it was that extreme (and I did not want to tell them that I had BBs).

    These were definitely BBs. I know it as i have had to deal with BBs on 2 separate occasions (in hotels) before and studied symptoms a great deal. They were Breakfast, lunch and dinner bites.

    My ankle was extremely painful due to the sever swelling. However, after 3 days it got a lot better. i have no idea how a BB could cause this sort of severe inflammation! has anyone ever heard of anything like that?

    Now the really disturbing thing is: it's been 7 months since those bites and my leg is still extremely itchy, many bites are still swollen (hard lumps now) and the whole shin and calf still looks like a nasty mess.

    The only explanation I have is that since bites cause raised local histamine levels, and I do have high histamine levels anyway, it could be that those bites just take an extremely long time to heal, as the histanine takes a long time to be broken down.

    I have not consulted a doctor as all they would do is give you topical steroids and you should not take them for too long. Anyway, i tried steroids and they helped a little but even after a week of use the bites were still very visible and simply won't disappear quickly.

    My leg has healed a lot since last summer, but there are still many very stubborn bites.

    So, what kind of BBs were those, i ask myself! Some kind of mutation, to cause this kind of lengthy suffering!!??

  2. UKBB

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Mar 7 2012 14:50:58
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    Update to my post:
    Just looked at flea bites online and they do look similar do BB bites, so no longer sure what it was. However, it's worth noting that as soon as I noticed the bites, as a first measure I covered myself up at night, socks etc and did not leave any skin uncovered, except the face. If it had been fleas they could have easily bitten my face though. But then so could BBs if it was them.

    The other thing is: I did have a mouse infestation in the floor boards directly under the room I kept being bitten, so maybe it was fleas after all. But why do those bites refuse to heal 9or at least take months to go away?) That is just not normal!

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Mar 7 2012 15:56:13
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    Hi UKBB,

    Bed bugs most certainly are a pest and I have not heard of any governments not recognizing them as such.

    What governments have been slow to recognize is their public health importance, but even there they seem to be catching up. The WHO focused on them in a chapter of its book The Public Health Significance of Urban Pests in 2008 (you can download it here).

    I am curious whether you verified these suspected bites were caused by bed bugs-- it doesn't sound like you did. (The only way to be sure is if you see bed bugs or their visual signs).

    I'm also curious what you did to get rid of them. It's hard work eliminating bed bugs so I would be surprised if it did not take the assistance of someone experienced with bed bugs, some pesticides, or other extreme methods. If you did some cleaning or sprayed something over-the-counter without really knowing where they all are, it would be difficult to get rid of them. If they did go away without much trouble, it probably was not bed bugs.

    Maybe it was fleas. And it is of course possible you were bitten by bed bugs or fleas somewhere besides your home (bed bug bites can take a while to appear).

    Other skin problems can also cause reactions which look like bed bug bites.

    I know you don't want to see a doctor, but the condition sounds kind of serious and since you mention concerns about MRSA, I would personally get it looked at. It does not sound in any way typical (and though bed bug bites are never really "typical", they also should not be anywhere near as extreme, nor should you be having trouble 9 months later).

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

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Mar 7 2012 16:57:26
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    Hi Nobugsonme,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Well, no. I guess I never verified the BB theory- since I never found any trace of even one, nor any tell tale signs such as fecies etc. I checked very thoroughly.

    I used a combination of methods in an 'extreme escalation attack'; approach. I used the smoke bombs and then the spray ('Protector C') by Agropharm. It did the trick big time. I did not enter the room for 2 days after the smoke bombs and then sprayed the room with over 2 liters of pesticide. Then I did not enter the room again for 10 days and re-applied the spray. I repeated that a third time and never had a problem again. A good way of stopping the spread of any crawling bugs is to use that spray to cover door frames and walls next to those doors as well as the floor. Although they can sometimes crawl through the walls if there are holes etc, if you do not have holes or any crevices, then this will do the trick.

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Mar 8 2012 0:12:22
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    Well, I am not a pest management professional, but I understand bombs don't work well for bed bugs. They're apt to spread them in the structure rather than kill them all off. So you might well have had them come back if it was bed bugs.


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