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First time ever dealing with bed bugs

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  1. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 9 2012 8:58:44
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    OMG this is my worst nightmare!!! I have a phobia of bugs (Recently got into a small car accident because a spider walked onto my steering column) I panic when I see them. I realized on Sunday that we have bed bugs because on Friday night/Saturday my two year old developed strange looking welts on his arms and legs like I had never seen before. He also developed a fever of 104 on Friday night. The hospital didn't not notice the marks and they prescribed an anti biotic. We had been in Cuba a week earlier and I initially thought they were infected mosquito bites. On Sunday I researched the marks online and discovered their source. I realized this had been going on for about a month and had a bit of a nervous break down. I panicked and took all the cloths and bedding from our bedroom down to the basement. On monday I bought a household steamer (having spent hours reading about getting rid of bed bugs) and some DE. I proceeded to begin vacuuming the couch and found two bed bugs! I started shaking and crying right away. On tuesday my mom agreed to help us pay for an exterminator and on Wednesday they came and sprayed the house.
    I am a stay at home mom with a two year old boy. We live on the couch. Yesterday I found a bed bug in his toy box. I started freezing things then I read that doesn't work with house hold freezers. I have been keeping my son strapped in his highchair for hours everyday because I am afraid of him getting bitten. Im afraid to go out because I don't want to spread this in my community. (we live in the country) My house has been very cluttered and I have been cleaning and organizing and washing things and there is still so much to do and I am afraid that my life will be taken hostage by these monsters for months. I cant live like this. My son naps on the couch every day I dont know what to do with him, I cant change him to go down for a nap in the bed, can I use a sheet on the couch for his naps? will cleaning frantically every day get rid of these things? can i vacuum the couch since its been treated? will DE give my son skin sores? The PCO was saying things that were contradicting things I have read here I dont know who to believe???
    My husband is already getting mad at me for nagging him with a garbage bag and a change of cloths when he gets home and then again before bed, and the PCO said my husband cant sleep on the couch at night any more which he likes to do during the week because he gets up so early. he also likes to nap on the couch when he gets home which I have reluctantly been letting him do because I dont really have any choice what can I say...
    Help....

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 9 2012 13:16:01
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    Many people find bugs they think are bed bugs, which aren't.

    Don't do anything else unless you confirm the problem is bed bugs. Post a closeup photo here of your found bug (directions), and someone can try to confirm the ID.

    Please also read the first four FAQs here carefully.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 9 2012 14:31:38
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    The bugs that I found I sucked into the vacuum then I vacuumed up some DE.(i read somewhere to do this with flea powder but didnt have any) It wasnt the bugs that first alerted me it was the marks on my son. they are fading now but there is no doubt in my mind. I took him back to a walk in clinic on monday before buying the steamer and the dr. (indian) said they look like bed bug bites. I found lots of bed bug feces under the couch when I was cleaning the day before the pco came. I am not imagining this! This is scary for me but my main concern is my son. The side effects of bb bites in small children is a fever and difficulty breathing which he exhibited on the weekend when the bites first appeared.
    I did try to trap a bug for the pco to see but I only had green painters tape and it escaped. I wish someone would tell me I was wrong and its potato bugs or something but Im not an ignorant farm girl I grew up in the city and only moved here when my son was born.
    I want desperately to deal with this as fast as possible because we spend most of our time in the living room on the couch and since im a stay at home we have no where else to go really and I cant keep strapping my son in the high chair and playing pvr"d episodes of sesame street over and over again while im cleaning the house constantly.
    I think Im alergic to their leavings as well and so is my son cuz I tried to lie down with him yesterday for 15 minutes on the couch and was itchy right away and he was twitching and wincing in his sleep (something I have only seen him do since we got back from cuba)
    I am pretty sure this infestation came from my husbands friend btw. He spent a weekend here about a month ago. To let you know what type of person he is, he showed up on a Friday uninvited, he spent the whole weekend in the same clothes without brushing or washing anything, and in the end he was asked to leave by my husband on Sunday afternoon. He spent the entire time laying down on one of our two full sized micro suede sofas. This is the only place where I actually found any bugs! There is no infestation in my comunity that I know of ( i live in a town 1 hr west of toronto) but there has been a massive problem in toronto for almost three years, and I know this person hangs out at peoples houses in the city and actually changes his cloths once or twice a week!
    based on all this info would you still question if Im sure its bed bugs??
    I need to know if its ok to spend time on the couch in between visits from the pco, and if I can vaccume the couch in between visits (the couch was treated) and if I put down a sheet can my son and husband nap there during the day? Im sure its just as bad for people who go to work too, but I am trapped in the house with these monsters and my baby and I feel like Im living in a nightmare...

  4. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 9 2012 15:15:00
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    also wondering do bed bugs go up high onto upper book shelves? what about the bathroom? will steaming rooms that werent treated by the pco disrupt the treatment in the other rooms?
    I really need some advice...
    Dont think its bat bugs and I'm definitely not imagining this

  5. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 9 2012 19:47:11
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    If no one has positively identified your bugs, then I think you still should do that if possible. Doctors can't diagnose bed bugs from a skin reaction or ther reactions, no matter where they come from. You just want to know for sure because you want the treatment to be appropriate.

    Can you describe the feces that you said you found? What do they look like?

    You have to ask your PCO whether steaming anything in the same rooms treated will affect his treatment. As for rooms he hasn't treated, steaming there is probably okay.

    If you do have bed bugs it's possible they came from the friend, but also possible you got them from neighbors or exposure in your community. If you live an hour from Toronto, I don't doubt others in your town have bed bugs too. It's a very common problem.

    Finally, a 104 fever and trouble breathing does not sound like a typical bed bug bite reaction in a child.

  6. mindoverbbs

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jun 10 2012 12:20:56
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    Hi first timer,

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

    So am I correct that your PCO treated your home without any form of positive ID, such as live bugs, cast skins, or confirmed fecal stains? Did he just treat the couch or did he treat other areas in the home?

    I'm a bit confused on the timeline. Did your son first developed the skin reactions before you left for your trip to Cuba or after you got home?

    >> "I found lots of bed bug feces under the couch when I was cleaning the day before the pco came. I am not imagining this!"

    Nobody thinks you are imagining this. But people on here will better know how to help you once your situation is confirmed.

    Perhaps in the absence of bugs you can post photos of the feces you found. There are one or two guys on this forum who can ID fecal stains from photos.

    Good luck to you. Hope you get it sorted soon.

    Mindover

  7. seca46

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Jun 10 2012 14:49:05
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    It can be very frustrating when you know you have bed bugs and no one believes you and your family won't take it seriously. Same problem here. I finally found one almost two months after the first bites on my son - it is extremely tiny and I can't believe I actually found it. But I'm keeping very safe so no one can question me again. And this after two negative checks by a PC bug-sniffing k9! My son and I both have very bad reactions to them. However, trouble breathing is not one I'm familiar with. We have been cleaning a lot and vacuuming, but that doesn't seem to help - they are very small and crafty. Right now we have mattress encasements on all the beds, climb-up interceptors, and we are living out of giant ziplock bags. PC coming on Monday - I have no idea what to do, so I'm going to do everything possible regardless of cost, because we can't go on like this. I do know that treating only one room is not enough - I'm now sure that we have them in the living room, bathroom, and both bedrooms. And it's still nearly impossible to find even a tiny sign of them - and I have thirty bites!

  8. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jun 11 2012 9:45:51
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    Ok, thanks to the people who replied, I have been feeling very depressed anxious and over whelmed. The PCO did treat my house without any actual confirmation I just told him my experience. He did the two bed rooms, the hallway and the living room, Im not sure if he did the bathroom I have to call today and ask.
    The day after he left I found one bug in the bottom of my sons toy box, I bagged all the bigger toys and bleached all the small ones and the box itself....this was on thursday. Every day since I have been checking the bed and behind the couches for evidence and had not found any until yesterday.
    We went to a church pic nick yesterday and in a rush to leave I accidentally left one of the bags with my sons cloths wide open and my husband left all of his bags open. I have a white mattress protector and I have been using it without any sheets to be able to spot evidence and I have been putting all the bedding in the dryer every day before bed. When we got home last night I saw traces of what I believe to be fecal matter tacked all over the bed.
    The look like little pepper flakes, just like the ones I found under the couch the day before the PCO came. I took all the bedding down to the dryer and put a sheet on the couch for my son to sleep while the bedding was in the dryer. He was twitching and wincing in his sleep which is something he has only done when sleeping on the couch since this problem has started.
    Later I found a tiny barely visible bug in the kitchen sink. An hour after I put my son to bed I checked on him and found a bug crawling near him and I caught it on a piece of card bored and tried to take a pic but it was to small to be clear. Later still, I got into the shower and found one in the tub! This one was much bigger, I took a pic again but it is still blurry. In the morning I pulled the blanked up around my son and a bug skin fell out of the blanket! Horrifying!
    These bugs that I found yesterday looked different than the ones I found last week because they are much smaller. They were a dark brown oblong oval. Sleek shiny bodies no fur so not bat bugs. When I touched them with the card bored they tucked their legs and antennas under their bodies and played dead till they thought it was safe to start moving again. I dropped the one from the bed and it disappeard into a towel on the floor very quickly.
    Sound like bed bugs?
    I think they are starting to come up through the drains because on the first day I realized we have them I panicked and took all the dirty laundry down to the basement. Before the pco came I did like 12 loads in the dryer and still had more to go, but he told me that it has to be for an hour and I only did them for 20 min each cuz I read thats ok on several sources. Now I have been re doing the same loads for days and our basement is packed with storage and clutter, I dont know how to cope with this I have no one to help me and I feel totally over whelmed....

  9. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jun 11 2012 10:11:58
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    Also is it possible to deal with this problem without buying a mattress/box spring encasement?

  10. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jun 11 2012 18:40:39
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    K I spoke with someone today that i met in cuba and she told me she found a huge cockroach in her appartment minutes after opening her suitcase. I have seen cockroaches in toronto before and they were small and light colored. These bugs I found last night...Im not sure they were bed bugs they were long with a thinner than what ive seen bed bugs to look like. They were so tiny i couldnt tell. Im freaking out right now. I never thought roaches bite but I just looked it up and they do! i described the bugs i found last night above. I would post a pic but they are blurry all u can see is a dark speck. Can someone tell me if the bug I described sound like a bed bugs behavior Please????

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jun 11 2012 21:57:53
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    seca46 - 1 day ago  » 
    It can be very frustrating when you know you have bed bugs and no one believes you and your family won't take it seriously. Same problem here. I finally found one almost two months after the first bites on my son - it is extremely tiny and I can't believe I actually found it. But I'm keeping very safe so no one can question me again.

    Seca46,

    Perhaps you are misunderstanding the intent of our questions. It's not that we don't "believe" someone has bed bugs.

    When people ask to see samples or photos to confirm a bed bug ID, it is because they want to help you or the other poster. If the insect is "extremely tiny," it may not be a bed bug. If it's not a bed bug, finding out what it is may help you get appropriate treatment.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jun 11 2012 22:05:30
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    first timer - 12 hours ago  » 
    When we got home last night I saw traces of what I believe to be fecal matter tacked all over the bed.
    The look like little pepper flakes, just like the ones I found under the couch the day before the PCO came.

    First timer,

    It does not sound like you found bed bug feces. Bed bug feces don't look like pepper flakes. It's not easy to pick them up or move them.

    On fabric, they can look like you took a black or dark rusty brown sharpie (liquid marker) and dotted it on the fabric.

    On a solid surface like wood or metal, they can look like little raised black dots of paint.

    If the material you're finding is like pepper flakes, it may have come from anther pest. Fleas produce feces like that, from what I gather. And you don't have to have pets to get fleas. There may be other possibilities also.

    These bugs that I found yesterday looked different than the ones I found last week because they are much smaller. They were a dark brown oblong oval. Sleek shiny bodies no fur so not bat bugs. When I touched them with the card bored they tucked their legs and antennas under their bodies and played dead till they thought it was safe to start moving again. I dropped the one from the bed and it disappeard into a towel on the floor very quickly.
    Sound like bed bugs?

    Bed bugs do not look so much like an oval, and their bodies have a distinctive pattern.

    There are some photos of bed bugs and fecal stains and other signs here.

    If you can post photos of the bug and feces you found, some of the experts here can try to help you by IDing them. Getting an ID will help you solve the problem.

  13. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jun 12 2012 10:02:45
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    What can I do to try and trap the bugs... whatever they are? At this point I have already paid close to six hundred dollars to a company to treat this infestation and I bought a house hold steamer so unfortunately paying someone to come identify the issue is out of the question.

  14. paranoid BB freak

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jun 12 2012 12:13:56
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    Not that I am any sort of expert, but everything you describe, in my opinion, sounds like roaches. Your son's trouble breathing (studies show increased breathing problems and asthma in homes with roaches), the pepper flake feces, finding them in the sink, coming up through the drains....all roach behaviour, not bed bugs. They are treated in different manners, you MUST get an ID on the bugs before doing anything else, as Nobugs has recommended to you several times. Bed bugs and roach treatment use different approaches, different chemicals, baits vs no baiting, etc etc.

  15. ShelaghDB

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jun 12 2012 23:09:27
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    I dont understand her finding BB in the kitchen sink, or in the bathtub? Those aren't typical of BB are they? Again I am thinking of cockroaches????!!!!!

    As for your husbands friend from Toronto. HE may not be clean or change his clothes often but that dirt hasn't anything to do with BedBugs, unlike cockroaches that do.

    I live in Toronto and I believe my next door neighbour might have had them but no one I know has them.
    The only time I would be concerned about someone such as your husbands friend is if he were either a crack addict or lives in public social housing.
    They are rampant in these places for several reasons. One, crack houses tend to almost always have bed bugs. It goes with the territory and since many are in multi-level apartment buildings, once they get in, unless a whole building is treated, they hop from one apartment to the next although not every one gets them. But in social housing projects, you are also dealing with people that are mentally ill, hoarders for one and many of these people that are ill, won't let exterminators into their units. Its getting to the point, that these buildings are now looking to evict those with hoarding issues.

    But just because the friend is dirty, doesn't change hs clothes often, etc, doesn't mean he will be bringing bugs to you but on the other hand, if he is like that and lives in the shelter system, I might consider him a possible source BUT you will need know for sure, and, that is even IF you have bed bugs. You might have something different like cock roaches, etc??

    But don't unfairly blame this fellow just because he's from Toronto for millions of people walk around the city every day that have never seen one.

  16. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jun 13 2012 8:42:12
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    The only time I would be concerned about someone such as your husbands friend is if he were either a crack addict or lives in public social housing.

    Would it count if he was a cokehead? he lives in Mississauga with his parents but does drugs and I know he grabs drugs from dealers in Toronto and sometimes hangs out there...I wouldn't just accuse random people from Toronto because that's where they live. My sister lives in an apartment in Toronto and she's never had any bugs. I feel that I have a good reason to suspect this person because of their habits. They may have brought a different bug from bed bugs but I think he brought something because the only place I found any actual bugs is the couch where he slept all weekend (night and day)
    I wish I had thought to take pictures of those bugs I found because they did look different from the ones I found in the sink. I haven't seen any yet since the PCO was here except the ones I found in the kitchen sink and bathtub on Sunday which were definitely not bedbugs. If they were roaches I would be seeing them every day no?
    Im trying to figure something out to try and trap something if there is anything anymore. Maybe Im just being paranoid and spent 600 bucks on nothing...I don't know if I want that to be true or not...

  17. Louise

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jun 13 2012 9:42:33
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    Hey, first timer.

    Sorry you're here...although this is the best place to be if you have bed bugs.

    I think (and really, really hope) it's possible that you don't have bed bugs. There are some incredibly gifted experts on this forum who can ID the bugs you're finding, so if you can take a clear picture (or even scan them with your computer scanner) and post it, it would be a great way to confirm what pest(s) are plaguing you.

    In reading your post, I'm wondering if you've considered woodlice? I only ask because I recently inspected a friends' boxspring for bedbugs and found a large number of dead woodlice (it had been in her basement, so that may be why). They don't bite, as far as I know, so they wouldn't explain the marks on your son. Does anyone else have bite-like marks? Is your son getting new bites, or was it only with the fever that he had them?

    Another thought is that if your husband's friend doesn't change his clothes often and hangs our in less-than-sanitary places, perhaps it's body lice? (The thought gives me the heebie-jeebies too, but I think I'd take body lice over bed bugs, if I had to choose.) I think someone mentioned fleas as well as another possiblity.

    Also, I'd really recommend you read the FAQ on this site about DE. You really don't want to be using this stuff (or vacuuming it up) without taking the proper precautions.

    Keep us posted on how things are going.

    Louise

  18. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jun 13 2012 12:12:07
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    Thanks Louise, Ill check that stuff out...

  19. first timer

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jun 13 2012 12:28:24
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    Oh ya, also about the bites. My son has no new bites since the initial ones. I have been keeping him off the couches and putting all the bedding in the dryer every day so that could be why. My husband has never had any bites that we can see but from what Ive read it seems that some people are unaffected by bbs. I did get some bites that I initially thought were mosquito bites around the same time as my son but no new ones for me either.


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