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FIVE TREATMENTS & TWO MONTHS LATER - still no improvement in bites.....

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  1. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 13:59:08
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    I am so beyond desperate but i'll try to keep it short. I'm in NYC, my apt has been treated FIVE TIMES at steady two week consistencies, in a span of two months - and i have almost never gone a day without[u] a bite.

    It begins: Found a bed bug crawling up my bedroom wall one night on August 20th.... caught it.... killed it.... and it was fed. Had my first exterminator treatment three days later. And in the span of those three days, woke up with tons of bites all over body. that was my first (and last) bug sighting and first introduction into bites. I have been treated twice by one company - and then three times by a different company (who i think is better). After the first company / first two treatments, i think they did nothing but scatter & multiply. I was still getting bites EVERY day, just not tons of them like those first inital three days. Maybe a couple of bites every day. It should also be noted that the first exterminator (and every one after that) - said that i did NOT have a large infestation. And each exterminator never saw any bed bugs, alive or dead. After the first treatment, i saw maybe one or two tiny dead (red) nymphs on edge of my bed, and had one bug bite me in my ear (which i think came from my cell phone) - but other than that, saw no bugs, day or night. I had also suspected they had moved on to my couch (because i felt like i was being bit while sitting on it during the day & evening) - so i got rid of my couch, after the second treatment.

    Fast forward to now (end of October) - FIVE treatments later, and i am still getting bites every day that show up, with no improvement. But this is the strange / terrible part - i never, NEVER see a bug.... or even a sign of a bug. Neither have the exterminators. No black spots, no poop, no blood, no shells and no bugs - since that one & only i captured on August 20th. They are not in my matress because it is TRIPLE encased. My bed is a wood platform with wood drawers, but all exterminators have taken it completely apart every time, found nothing, and sprayed it to death. I have slept with the bedroom light ON every night since August 20th. I get up at least 4 times throughout the night (my crazy cat wakes me up) and each time, i dart to the head of the bed, behind the bed, lift up the mattress, nothing. This is at 1:30 am, 3am, 4am, etc. I never see anything. Yet every day, i have NEW bites. The only time i had a -slight- improvement was right after the 4th treatment (about 3 weeks ago) - i went one weekend, about 3 days, without new bites, as far as i could tell. I thought i might be on a roll - but no, there they were, didn't last. And before anyone asks, no, my cat does not have fleas (i wish) - she is strictly an indoor cat. She's very fluffy and i've been checking her.... and besides, you would see fleas. and.... fleas dont bite you on the ass..... and mouth..... etc. All my bedding is gone, i only have the WHITE matress cover, one WHITE sheet, and two pillows both with WHITE encasements. Everything bare minimum.

    Why I am now panicked is.... the good exterminator who i really liked came back this weekend and treated.... treatment #5 if you count the first company also. He was shocked that i was still getting bites..... he REALLY went heavy on the sprays this time..... but said that after this, if it doesn't work, there is not much more they can do. (!) He also mentioned that it's possible i could be one of those people in the small percentages - who has BB's that are RESISTANT to treatment. He says they have a very high success rate, even in Manhattan, usually can knock them out in two treatments, so is very surprised that i still had no improvment. He also did point out that it is unusual that there are no SIGNS of the bugs. He said by now, usually they see the signs & activity - spots, marks, poops, etc. He then wrote on his notes to the landlord, that the cracks & holes in the wood floors need to be sealed up. (fyi - although i cannot prove it, that's where i think they are and are hiding - in the floors, and not the furniture). He scheduled ONE MORE treatment for two weeks from now, and they are sending the owner of the company then for the job - to inspect my place.... but it almost sounded like the end of the line. I should also mention that a little over two weeks ago, i finally bought some Diatenacious Earth, and i have been blushing it around the perimeters of the room on the wood floors, around the sides of my wood platform bed, and anywhere i see cracks in the floors. Still, no improvement in bites. And now, i think because i have been getting bit for so long, i notice that my bites are not the same. The don't look as severe / noticable as the initial bites - and these do not last as long, these seems to go away in about two days, where the other ones took a while and left some scars (tiny red dots). FYI - my bites are always like a round circle or slight welt, with a prick mark in the middle. Forgot to mention that with my have the bb issue, they recently sprayed (although minimally) my neighbor next door, and apts above & below me, who apparently do not have bb's.

    Tomorrow i am going to a Dermatologist just because i am so desperate..... i'm not one of those people who will be deluded by wishful thinking (i know dr's often misdiagnose what is actually bed bites) - but i want them to perhaps test me for scabies (?) or see if they can biopsy something (if somethng is still there). Anything. On Thursday, i am also going to an Allergist, again, just because i am desperate..... maybe they can test me for some things.

    Has anyone had a similar case such as mine - two months like this, constant bites, but NO SIGNS of bugs except the one initial sighting??..... and no improvment at all ?!? [b] The exterminator who did treatment #4, i could tell, thought i was exagerrating / mistaking my bites and then later i found out he told my neighbor in the apt next to mine that "there were no bed bugs in my apt". I know enough to know that just because you dont see bed bugs, does NOT mean they are not there. But no signs either??...... I cannot afford to move, i have no where to go, and if i did i would have to give up everything i own - but i also cannot continue to live like this. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Frantic in NYC

  2. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:15:44
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    Do you still have the captured bug?

    Something is fishy that there are no signs whatsoever with such a high rate of bites.

  3. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:19:32
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    Hi,

    Firstly please don't spam the boards with multiple threads, although you think it gets attention it actually puts people off wanting to help you, after all we give our free time to help so a little patience and courtesy will go a long way, show it and you will get it paid back.

    If what you have described is actually an ongoing bedbug case its actually very rare and highly unlikely for one simple reason. Every time a bedbug bites it needs to defecate before the next meal, therefore to have an ongoing case for that long and not be able to find signs such as:

    • Live samples
    • Cast skins
    • Faecal traces

    Is not really biologically feasible.

    However it is not unusual for someone to react to a bedbug issue with increased anxiety and stress which can trigger other underlying issues such a heat bumps and sensitivity to other issues such as dust mites or allergens.

    I personally would suggest that you back off the treatment plan, ask the dermatologist to do a test against a general allergy panel and possibly consider a mild antihistamine or at least discuss it with your doctor.

    This type of situation is by no means common but it is something that I have seen many times over the years and yes the apparent failure of treatments without a correct diagnose exhilarates it and creates a very nasty feedback loop.

    I would ask the pest control service provider if they have an entomologist who can come and inspect thoroughly or ask them about monitoring to confirm signs.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about pro
  4. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:21:35
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    I do not..... i did save it initially for the checker / dog guy..... and the first exterminator - they both confirmed it was a bed bug. It was an adult, fairly big and it squirted out blood when i tapped him.

    But why - how do you mean fishy? Meaning that you think it's possible my bites are not from bb's - or you think they have a genius hiding place?

    thanks for responding....

  5. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:23:08
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    Sorry you're going through this.
    Yes, my situation is similar. I found 2 live bugs out in the open, after we'd been away for 3 nights/days in a row.
    I've had numerous bites and welts, pretty much mostly on my wrists, forearms, face, & neck - which is consistent with getting bitten at night in my sleep.
    But after meticulous searching of the entire apt, all my belongings, and repeatedly checking everything, I've yet to ever find any more bugs, nor any fecal stains, blood smears, harborages, castings... nothing.
    No signs of them.
    And I too am living a minimalist situation. Everything is in bags - I mean everything. Books, flashlights, magazines, clothes. The only things not in bags are basically kitchen stuff like pots & pans & dishes. There's nothing stored in any furniture. Furniture is pulled out from the walls. Bedding is washed & checked regularly, mattress & box spring are double encased. There's no pictures on the wall anymore. I use my cell phone as an alarm clock, and that's kept inside a plastic ziplock bag in the bedroom. All switch plates are removed.
    There's nowhere for these beasts to hide. And I've found nothing.

    But in my case the answer is clear. They are residing in the walls somewhere. And they only come out to bite.
    I believe this because I've since found out that the 1st infestation in the bldg occurred in the apt directly below mine some months ago, and the maintenance man used fogger bug bombs in that apt - which is known to send the bugs through the walls in a bldg.
    It's the only explanation.

  6. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:24:49
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    I think Guru Cain explains it better than I could about why it is fishy that it's (still) a bedbug problem.

    You mentioned a dog guy... did they hit to any area and confirm with a visual inspection following the positive indication?

    I'd agree with David Cain. Back off treatment, let 30 days go by, see what happens, and bring in a dog at the 30-day mark to sniff (I have been told they won't expose dogs to treated area for at least 30 days).

  7. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:31:45
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    laststrawsue - 7 minutes ago  » 
    But in my case the answer is clear. They are residing in the walls somewhere. And they only come out to bite.
    It's the only explanation.

    Have you tried installing a bb passive alert to give them a harborage nearby so that you can confirm?

  8. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:34:11
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    Oh yes, I should've mentioned that's a distinct difference in my situation - I've never had a dog inspection. My landlord sure won't pay for one, and I'm not even sure if there's any that work in my area.

  9. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:36:47
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    Straw:

    Just seems weird that they wouldn't take to the bb passive..

    Try climbups to isolate the bed legs and catch them in their advance?

  10. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:38:07
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    Well, i think that's what's going to happen anyway but..... then how do we explain all the bites?? They have NEVER stopped for even a week..... and even now, they are still somtimes "double" bites - meaning in two's.... (isn't that a tell tale sign?) - and also sometimes single bites.....

    Re: the dog - this is how it went.... every three months in our builiding, we get quarterly checks with the dog. I have always been clear, for the first year and three months that i have lived there. I found the (live) bed bug on a saturday night, the dog came on sunday afternoon.... he made his rounds..... did the sniff..... paid a little more attention to one area on the right side of my platform bed.... but didnt really bark or go crazy. Then, for the next three days, i woke up COVERED in bites.... i must have had a hundred. So after that, i no longer had faith in that dog. My point being, he barely reacted..... (it was more like his handler was gearing him toward it) - but yet in that time i had god knows how many bugs biting me in the span of those early three days. I used to believe in the dog, but after that, now i'm not so sure.

    You dont think it's a possibility similar to the one someone posted above - that they could be hiding in the walls? I am not imagining these bites, they are here and they are constant.

    thank you all.

  11. OhNoes

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:43:22
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    There was a recent post on the forum regarding delayed reaction to bites. It very well could be a delayed reaction.

    Personally, I use climbups on my bed legs. They have worked and caught one adult and one nymph between my first and second treatments... nothing in them since then.

    The thing is, you can have a bite on you, or two (geometry factoid, two points are always in a line with one-another), but that doesn't mean they are BB bites.

    The thing is, you can't diagnose the bug based on the bite (with a few exceptions such as ticks and certain spiders).

    I hate to say it (because I am also anxiety-central re these things), but, you need to either wait and see, or get a passive monitor.

    Other option is this, take a vacation for a few days and put something like the BB Beacon on your bed. If they are actually coming out, they will find it and get trapped. That said, I'm skeptical that it is still BBs.

  12. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 14:48:27
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    dwjrnyc - 3 minutes ago  » 
    Well, i think that's what's going to happen anyway but..... then how do we explain all the bites?? They have NEVER stopped for even a week..... and even now, they are still somtimes "double" bites - meaning in two's.... (isn't that a tell tale sign?) - and also sometimes single bites.....

    No, not accurate see here:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/bite-primer-information-on-bites-and-reactions

    dwjrnyc - 3 minutes ago  » 
    You dont think it's a possibility similar to the one someone posted above - that they could be hiding in the walls? I am not imagining these bites, they are here and they are constant.
    thank you all.

    When bedbugs pass between units people often refer to them being in the walls, this is about as likely as you having a colony of tooth fairies in the walls. Bedbugs pass between units down conduits or gaps around pipes and connections. As utility pipes tend to run up and down buildings this explains when vertical spread is often easier for a bedbug fleeing a smoke bomb than horizontal. This is why the 1920's housing reformation that occurred focused a lot of sealing units and using appropriate building specifications (see Clarke 1926 for the prime example a text book written on this very subject). As buildings have had structural changes away for centralised heating and hot water there are often large gaps around pipes and sometimes holes where pipes used to be. Sealing these off can help mitigate the risk of transferring bedbugs.

    I think there may be a link between these two situations in terms of the reactions rather than the assumption that they are living in the walls.

    David

  13. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 15:26:47
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    Firstly, thank you all for the multiple responses.

    Yes, I am aware of the whole delayed reaction to bites factor.... but 30 days? 60 days? That seems extreme. For example, last night, i came home, and had new irritant / itching sensations, and low and behold.... there were marks / new bites (?) - on my butt cheeks (sorry) - in several places. The day before on my stomach / sides.... and then this morning (new) on my legs. Prior to that, i had bites often near the corners of my mouth, on my face, and once on my bottom lip - two pricks, like someone drilled a hole there. Those are the ones i couldn't bare to think about.

    Our building is pretty old (but nice) - and in my apartment, i do have a large pipe that run from ceiling to floor. One inside my walk-in closet - which is off my bedroom, and the other in the bathroom. There is definitely 'space' around those pipes, at top or bottom. Also, the worst instance of cracks, holes, gaps in floor - is by the radiator in my bedroom. (this is where i suspected the bugs were hiding / coming from). Hopefully, this is what they are going to patch up on Saturday.

    I'd love to take a vacation but cannot right now for multiple reasons - and i'm afraid to go stay with anyone in fear of bringing something. Also, with this current pending situation, i dont have anyone i normally would ask to take care of my cat.

    I am going to order a Passive Monitor today. Is one enough, or so people use several in different places? And would you say they are reliable? Meaning, with all the space / furniture, what would make the but want to climb into that? (is there something in it that attracts the bb?) I've also thought about the Active Monitor or BB Beacon - but i dont think i could do it.... again, have no where to stay and wouldn't want to leave my cat alone there, in that situation. I have read that although bb's do not like hair and don't prefer pets, that they will bite them if a human is not around & they are looking to feed.

    Also, like the other poster, ALL of my stuff is currently inside large plastic zip lock bags.... (in my bathroom). My clothes (what little clothes i have in the apt), my bag that i use every day, the couple of pairs of shoes i have, towels, laptop, etc. The other 70% of my clothes, shoes & bags (which are expensive and fancy) are hostage in my storage unit, all sealed up in big, plastic garment bags. Along with a million picture frames (which were kept in the drawers under my bed) - also sealed up in the plastic garment bags.... in my storage unit which is two blocks away. I also have a Hot Shot strip hanging in the unit.

    Thanks again.

  14. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 15:36:28
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    PS - this is one thing i forgot to mention..... one friday night, about 3 weeks ago, i did go away to Atlantic City, just overnight. i was extremely careful with my clothes, packing, bag, etc. I slept well.... and then the next day (saturday) got up and after making a few stops, we began our journey home. I was back in NYC to my apartment around 4pm. And running in & out during the evening..... That day, i did NOT have any new bites on me. (normally i would)

    Come Sunday, the next day/evening - after being back home & sleeping in my bed the night before, - new bite shows up. (again, this fed my fears & suspicions)

  15. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 16:11:48
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    I, the originator of the thread, "One reader's opinion on delayed reactions," believe it's entirely possible your reactions can be 60 days delayed. I know a lot of people are skeptical about this, and still quote the "9 days," but I think too little research has been done on the matter and we know that everyone reacts differently. One interesting thing to mention - that has kept me from going crazy two months into my own waiting game - is in an American Journal of Medicine report, a controlled bite caused the host to go into anaphalactic shock, and then swelled up again eight months later! I think this is important because it was a controlled study, so the researcher knew exactly when and where the bite occured. It doesn't seem possible, right? But, in my situation, I still have bite scars that are at least 3 months old that still swell up and itch. So if that's possible, who can be absolutely certain that reactions can't be delayed a few months or more? I imagine it's not common, but at this point, I don't think we can say it's impossible.

    Another thing to add here is, you mentioned these "new" bites seem a little different than the old ones. I, too have experienced that. In my own situation, I have wondered if these "new" bites are really a stress-related response. Many have reported bed bugs bites causing new skin irritations, while those who host have said their bites have not changed over time. It's difficult to really know for certain because everyone reacts differently. That's why we can't use bites to really determine if they're gone.

    I know this is very frustrating, but you have to keep looking for evidence and I think passive monitors are an excellent tool for this.

  16. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 16:24:07
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    Thank you, BugsMustDie.

    i do know that everyone reacts differently, and that people's reactions can change over time. I for one, do not get the big red welts that some others do. Mine are a dry, extremely itchy area that is a round circle, like a white bump, with a red pin prick in the middle. Now, whatever they are, sometimes they are that.... sometimes they are similar but just a bump with a mark in the middle, sometimes a tiny red dot and sometimes brown dot. And now they are lighter.... and they heal / disappear faster. My older ones from the inital bb bites in August, i still have those little scars. Tiny red dots. One of my PCO's told me that he also does NOT get the welts.... and that people's reactions change over time (this is what i was afraid of). And also , he has NO reaction at all. (he used to let them feed of him at work during testing, etc). I have also read numerous counts about how a good majority of people have no reaction at all.

    I'm going to buy a Passive Monitor - do i need more than one?

    Thank you & i wish you well and best of luck.

  17. BugsMustDie

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 16:34:00
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    I think it's reasonable to have one for each piece of furniture you spend a lot of time relaxing on. I have one for my bed and another for my couch. Best to you also

  18. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 16:36:06
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    BugsMustDie - 22 minutes ago  » 
    I, the originator of the thread, "One reader's opinion on delayed reactions," believe it's entirely possible your reactions can be 60 days delayed. I know a lot of people are skeptical about this, and still quote the "9 days," but I think too little research has been done on the matter and we know that everyone reacts differently. .

    Lou Sorkin actually corrected that 9 day thing to 19 this weekend. There's clearly a lot of disagreement and it makes sense because each person's system reacts differently.

  19. scaredpea

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 20:41:26
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    When bedbugs pass between units people often refer to them being in the walls, this is about as likely as you having a colony of tooth fairies in the walls.
    David

    hey David, so are you essentially saying that from your experience bedbugs won't likely live/harbour/next in walls, but they'll only use them as passage ways? even in situations where they might have retreated into walls because of either a fogger or renovations or poor treatment, that they won't settle in the walls but will still move back into a room in furniture or something like that (frames etc.) once the disruption in the room is over. is there a reason they don't live in walls over furniture? walls seem so much safer for them than furniture where they can be discovered

    just curious

    and yes, I'm still here once in a while still no explanation for the regular and now increasing pin-prick bites on my kids so i keep checking all my resources for new information

  20. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 21:25:31
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    dwjrnyc has anyone suggested what's bothering you could be some sort of mite such as a bird mite, much smaller and harder to see than bb's.

  21. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 25 2011 22:55:36
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    Hello jrbtnyc,

    No, no one has suggested that.... not sure how one would catch a bird mite. (?) But i am not imagining the marks / itching.... they are popping up everywhere. a whitish circle, with a dot/prick mark in the middle., in all sorts of places. And now some of the marks are just red. Tomorrow i am going to a dermatologist, although i'm not sure what they'll do / say. And thursday i am going to an allergist.... just because i feel so desperate. But i felt a little better after reading this board today..... i hope it's not false hope though.

  22. JulieH

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 26 2011 1:19:11
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    dwjrnyc - 2 hours ago  » 
    Hello jrbtnyc,
    No, no one has suggested that.... not sure how one would catch a bird mite. (?) But i am not imagining the marks / itching

    STOP !! Just wanted to warn you to NOT go to birdmites.org and read all about their weird version of what bird mites are - these people definatley have something but it's not bird mites. If there is an abandoned nest nearby, and it had mites, the mites might move over to the next available thing - you - an bite. Same thing with rodent mites. They cannot reproduce with human blood though and will eventually die off if their regular host is not around. When I discovered mites on my cat (they ended up being soil mites though no one can explain why so many ended up on my cat) I naturally assumed bird/rodent mites and went off to the intenet to research this and fell on birdmites.org and absolutely FREAKED !!! I was seriously panicked... The info they give there has nothing to do with actual bird mites and is anecdotal. These people are seeing things, claim the mites lay eggs in their eyes and nose and all kinds of weird things. I'm not saying whatever they have doesn't do that - I am saying they don't have *bird mites*. They've adopted the name 'bird mite' to self diagnose a mysterious ailement and it's freaking people out who legitimately HAVE bird mites... I've seen the same people claim it was carpet beetles to (burrowing in their scalp and laying eggs that tunnel under their skin...)

  23. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 26 2011 8:35:15
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    Oh boy... So the bed bugs can't be in my walls?
    It was the Terminex guy who told me they were in the walls.
    Admittedly, the Terminex guy did not seem very knowledgeable...
    But since there's no sign of them in my bedroom, yet I know I'm being bitten in my bed and I've found one on the bed... it seemed like a plausible explanation.
    At this point there really is nowhere they can be in the room.

    But if that's a load of bull, I really want more info on why, and some alternative explanation.

    I'm really sorry if I've mistakenly spread misinformation akin to faeries and ghosts and aliens from outer space.

    And I'd really like some more tips on where to look for them.
    But I'm a renter, so dismantling the baseboard or ripping up carpeting is NOT an option. And that's the only thing I can think that might be left to find some sign of them.

    No, I haven't gotten a passive monitor.
    Only because I know they've been in here (have found them, have gotten bitten), and I plan to move, so it almost seems pointless to spend my limited funds that way...
    So my strategy is to just follow the Terminex instructions regarding the apartment. Protect my stuff, and do my best to move without them, following the lead of some of the success stories people have described about moving without them.

  24. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 26 2011 10:22:40
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    Drive by points:

    1. You cannot use Climb Ups and BB Alert Passive on the same piece of furniture. In that case, more does not equal better.

    2. I had an undetected bed bug infestation for at least 6 weeks before I figured out what was going on (it was warm, I have a cat, and I assumed that it was mosquitos or fleas until the saw the buggers). Despite that, I *never* had bites in a row --that pattern that so many people associate with bed bugs. Some people with bed bugs have that pattern of bites; some like me never do.

    3. It's possible that you had bed bugs and another pest and got rid of the bed bugs. If that's the case, the other pest might also be causing bites and that might be the problem now.

    One of the big challenges is that to a certain extent, bed bugs are a bit like the pest control version of a diagnosis of exclusion. Here's what I mean by that: in a medical diagnosis of exclusion, you have to go through a boatload of tests to find out what the person has. You test for everything testable and end up with a diagnosis because your symptoms match Disease X which has no diagnostic test because you've ruled out Diseases A through V which do.

    Bed bugs can be found by really skilled and educated people. If an infestation is there long enough, there will be identifiable signs: fecal matter, cast skins, or live bugs and/or eggs. However, not all of us can find them early on in an infestation.

    I didn't have time to read your whole story, but if you'd really had only bed bugs for this whole time, there would be signs that you could see.

    As a result, at this point, I would start trying to rule out other causes of your current bites while you continue to search for evidence weekly (but not more often) in your own residence. Searching more often is only likely to increase your anxiety level and won't add anything positive to the process of figuring out what's going on. Other causes include carpet beetles or *being bitten by bed bugs somewhere other than your home.*

    Bites are not conclusive proof. Two months in, you'd be seeing bugs or fecal matter in your home if you had an infestation in your home.

    Ruling out other pests or other sources of exposure might help give you more peace of mind. Immediately post-infestation, it's entirely too easy to see the possibility for bed bugs to be absolutely anywhere, and for a lot of people it takes a while post infestation to come back from Bed bug DEFCON 1.

  25. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Oct 26 2011 12:47:47
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    scaredpea - 15 hours ago  » 

    When bedbugs pass between units people often refer to them being in the walls, this is about as likely as you having a colony of tooth fairies in the walls.
    David

    hey David, so are you essentially saying that from your experience bedbugs won't likely live/harbour/next in walls, but they'll only use them as passage ways? even in situations where they might have retreated into walls because of either a fogger or renovations or poor treatment, that they won't settle in the walls but will still move back into a room in furniture or something like that (frames etc.) once the disruption in the room is over. is there a reason they don't live in walls over furniture? walls seem so much safer for them than furniture where they can be discovered
    just curious
    and yes, I'm still here once in a while still no explanation for the regular and now increasing pin-prick bites on my kids so i keep checking all my resources for new information

    In short yes, I have never seen bedbugs only occupy walls or areas away from beds and you know I have seen a fair few cases in my time. They prefer like most creatures to occupy areas closer to a source of food and only spread / fan out once they have exhausted those area.

    The only exception to this, which I only include for technical accuracy is if you live in a row or terraced home where I have seen neighbours from a few houses away drive bedbugs into the floor cavity where they will happily feed from mice. The mice then took them down the street and they popped up in other peoples homes.

    The reason they don't live in walls is that they prefer to be close to a source of food particularly the females laying eggs as the new born's are more likley to be killed through physical damage on wall type materials.

    Hope that explains in more detail.

    David

  26. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Oct 27 2011 8:42:40
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    Hmm, I'm not sure what to make of this at all.
    On the one hand, I'd like to believe that the bites that have shown up in the past couple of weeks are latent eruptions from old bites, and that there's no actual bugs around biting me anymore. Or that my bite symptoms are simply some other skin condition.

    On the other hand... I live in what's essentially an attic apt. And I've heard at times in the past there have been cases of mice, squirrels, & bats having gotten into bldg. These animals, if they were present inside the walls, would likely not show themselves inside my apt, simply because I have 2 cats who would love to get their paws on them.

    There's a space about 3-4ft wide that goes along the outside of the bldg, between the wall of my bedroom & living room to the point where the living room turns to a dormer that juts out.
    I know this because there's a small door that opens into it, in the back of my living room closet.
    I've never gone in there, as there's not an actual floor in there. I've always kept this little door shut & blocked because the cats have been at times WILD to get into there. (Our cats don't generally like closed doors so it could be just intense curiosity, or it could be they know something's in there. No way to know for sure.)
    I'm wondering now if it would be worth getting in there to check bedroom wall from that side inside that space.

    Once I knew the infestation started in the apt directly below mine. And once I didn't find any evidence in the bedroom of bed bugs, in the bed, in my belongings or furniture, nor behind any wall plates... except for one bed bug on the bed after I'd been away for a few days/nights...

    It was easy to believe the Terminix guy's suggestion that they were in the walls. It just made sense that they came up from the apt below, took up residence behind the wall, & started coming through say a crevice or crack present where the wall meets the floor - which is obscured from my view by wooden skirting board and an electric heat baseboard... and which is literally perhaps 2 feet (or less) from my bed, which has no legs, the box spring is on the floor.

    If they took up residence there in that wall space after the maintenance man had fogger bombed the apt below, why would they have any reason not to stay there if it's so close to my bed & they can easily go back & forth quickly?

    Believe me, I would like nothing better than to learn that I've just been an hysterical person over-reacting to finding 2 bed bugs in my apt after knowing the unit below was infested & fogger bombed. I would like nothing better than to be told that there's no bed bugs in any of my belongings hiding because I didn't find any evidence.
    But everything I've read is sort of cautionary to the contrary.

  27. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Oct 28 2011 12:22:39
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    I totally understand what you mean, Last Straw Sue. I would LOVE to believe the opinions on here, that were posted re: my two month situation.... but i still have my doubts.

    To continue.... i did go to a Dermatologist on Wesneday - what a total waste of time. Aside from having a totally awful bedside manner (and not being very knowledgable in general) - she bascially did nothing. She didn't want to cut my skin/take a sample off me, (i had a new bite on me that showed up) - because she said since it was so small and healing, the lab would likely not get anything from it. She also said that because it was two or three marks in a linear direction, she thought is was probably a BB bite. She didn't do anything kind of testing off an allergy panel, etc -- she only verbally concluded that i do NOT have scabies, by asking me questions in an almost antagonistic way. Duhh, i didnt think i had scabies either.

    Thursday, i went to an allergist - who to the contrary, was wonderful. He listened completely and asked me a hundred questions.... and was also knowledgeable about BB's. I explained that in the very beginning i had tons of bites.... both double/triple/linear and sometimes singular bites, that were bad and took a while to heal. Then i told him that after being exterminated several times, there was an improvement but that i have almost never gone a day without a bite.... and that the bites now were more often singular bites..... and not as prominent and healing much quicker. Just from guesswork and elimination, at first he thought that perhaps the newer marks might be a reaction to the bites.... but then had doubts later on - and i was able to show him something on my leg (two or three marks - which he thought might be by a BB). Regardless, he took blood and was doing three kinds of test..... i forget what they were for exactly, because i could not pronounce on of the terms. (mytosis? myscosis?).

    Today is friday, this morning, i woke up to get ready for work, and my knee area was itchy.... well, i see two of three little red marks / pricks near each other.... and cannot help but think...... what else could it be? I would LOVE to believe that because there's little to no evidence, it cant be a BB bite.... but i feel the same as you LastStrawSue - i dont want to be naive and delude myself into a false security.

    Also, one last question to the experts..... regarding the signs / specs / poop - can you please describe exactly what that might look like? My white mattress cover & white sheet, as of late, are usually clear & clean. The past couple of days, a few times, i did see tiny, tiny black specs (like nearly microscopic, smaller than a pepper spec) - and wondered/worries what they were..... in other words, i didnt see them there in the morning when i got up, but they were there later on..... I licked my finger and then tried to "squash" it - nothing happened, nothing smeared...... it then just stuck to my finger and i flushed down the toilet. Does this mean i'm in the clear? I should note that in the beginnning when my BB / string of bites was discovered, i was finding a lot of that on my sheets during the days..... black & red (but very small)..... it later seemed to stop / improve.

    Thank you all.

  28. laststrawsue

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 10:42:55
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    As an update. A week late, and on the wrong day than I was told... Terminix showed up for the 2nd treatment.
    This technician seemed knowledgeable. More knowledgeable than the 1st technician, and way way more knowledgeable than the sales rep / inspector who'd originally came.

    He looked inside the wall in the closet. He said that this type of area is NOT an area where bed bugs would have an easy time harboring, and it's not a place they would want to.
    Which is exactly what bed-bugscouk/David said earlier in this thread.

    Also, like bed-bugscouk/David, he said that while bed bugs likely have come up from the apt below, through the walls, they would not actually be nesting there in the walls.

    And, he, like bed-bugscouk/David, said that if I've gone weeks with everything bagged, no place for them to hide, inspecting constantly, and finding absolutely no harborages, signs, fecal matter, castings, etc... It's a pretty clear indication that they have not been harboring inside my apt... and it's more likely that the 2 bed bugs found, and the bites I'd gotten, were from "stragglers" that had made their way up from the apt below after they were dispersed by foggers used down in that unit.

    I still wonder if they were harboring deep inside the air conditioner in the bedroom - so far inside the air conditioner that no signs can be seen on the outside of the air conditioner.
    We've since quadruple contractor bagged it, and it's in a closet sealed up tight with duct tape & plastic.
    I wouldn't take that, or anything else untreated with unseen areas where they could've nested, into a new home...

    But I am coming to the conclusion that we may have never had an active infestation inside my apt, despite having found 2 bugs 2 months ago, and bites over the course of 2 months.

    The Terminix technician did a thorough inspection himself. I watched him... and he sure seemed to know where to look. Inspecting the joints of the wood furniture, inspecting the bed frame, along the baseboards, etc.

    He did say he'd spray along the baseboards in the bedroom, & anywhere there could be cracks in there where more stragglers could make their way up through.
    But he said that unless he finds the actual infestation where they ARE harboring, and is able to treat that... then I may continue to get straggler bed bugs coming from wherever they've come from before.

    There's no proper or reasonable communication in this building, as some of my neighbors don't speak English, or if they do, they're children without the ability of adult communication.
    So there's no way to know if this guy found an infestation, treated it, or what's going on. My landlord has a vested interest in the problem NOT existing, and he's a crazy person and a known liar, so I can't ask him what the verdict or result of the exterminator was, because I couldn't trust he'd tell me the truth anyway. And Terminix won't talk to me, because I'm not the customer, the landlord is...

    So I have no confidence that the problem is gone for good, and for a myriad of reasons, I'm planning on moving anyway. And will take every precaution just as if I had a serious infestation - just to be safe, and for my peace of mind.

    Maybe a lot of my precautions have been totally unnecessary, I don't know.
    Maybe a lot of the welts I've had have not been bed bug bites at all, I don't know.

    It's a lot of not knowing. And a bad situation altogether.

    I can't speak for anyone else's situation... But it's just very frustrating NOT KNOWING.

  29. dwjrnyc

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 31 2011 11:00:23
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    Oh Last Straw Sue, I understand completely and am sorry abour your situation. Are you definitely going to move? Re: the Terminex guy, especially if you thought he was knowledgeable and you liked him - i think he WOULD tell you about the neighbors or whatever, if you asked him. If they are nice, they will have sympathy and tell you. I actually started crying (two different times) when two of the exterminators came to my place and they were very kind / sympathetic.

    I have been just like you.... terrified.... living like they are present everywhere and just not seeing them, etc. The little clothes i have left in my possession are shoved into plastic ziplock bags all over my bathroom and it is just awful and exhausting. The laundry/constant dryer after wearing something (even as simple as pajamas) is exhausting. This morning, our building manager sent up her contractor to look at my apt, so i can show them where there are cracks in the wood floors and holes around the apt / heat pipes, etc. They seemed really good / thorough and are going to do this job on Wednesdday morning, so i feel a little better about that. He said that aside from that, he will also do a perimeter around all the edges and kind of seal up..... Currently, i have tons of Diteanious Earth everywhere so will have to vacuum / wipe that up before they come.

    On Saturday is when the PCO is coming again, possibly for the last time (which i'm afraid of). They are sending the owner of the company, and he is going to do an "inspection". And possibly treat one more time, but not sure about that. I am praying that the marks/pricks/bumps/itching will just freakin disappear and cease for good. One thing i noticed this weekend - on Saturday night, I slept at my parents house in another borough because i had a party there. (i was extremely careful about what i brought, what i wore and even sealing up all my stuff while in there house overnight). Well, i slept there at my dad's on saturday night..... wore his pajamas..... got up yesterday..... went back home to NYC in the afternoon...... and noticed that yesterday and last night - i did NOT have any new bites or marks. Ughhhhhhhh. As much as i'd like to believe, that does not convince me that there are no bb's in my apartment (just the opposite).

    I am still afraid and just want my old life back. To lounge, to relax, to wear and show off all of my nice clothes in a relaxed manner, and not even have to worry that something is in them or will get on them. Also, the allergist will call me end of this week for some of my blood results, but i'm not expecting anything earth shattering.

    Thanks for this forum.


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