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

Getting bitten by something invisible

(23 posts)
  1. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 14:20:01
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I live in Brooklyn, NY and have been getting bitten every night or so for a few weeks. My original scare was immediately bed bugs, so I bit the bullet and called Orkin to come check it out. I know that Orkin/Terminix are hated due to their price gouging and treatment of employees, but I was in a bind and did it anyways.

    They came out and thoroughly searched the room, but found no bed bugs. What they did find looked like a dead flea. It was odd because we had no pets and no carpets and I had never seen any live or jumping ones. My management company paid for them to treat the room. I recently moved to a new place, and am still getting bitten. I found two more bugs that had jumped into a glass of wine I left out over night, but three different exterminators were positive it wasn't fleas, largely due to the large, visible wings. I'd be more skeptical, but all three exterminators came to the same conclusion that they were drain flies (without my prompting, of course).

    One exterminator claimed my bites/itches were an allergic reaction to something, which I haven't ruled out and am seeing an allergist and dermatologist soon. Another stated it was an american spider beetle, which he found a few of, but I read here that they don't bite.

    I'd be concerned that it's bed bugs, but the exterminators all thoroughly inspected for them. There are a few blood spots on my sheets, but those largely align with where I've been scratching at the bites/itches. We found no eggs, no shells, no black and white refuse on sheets. There are a few tiny white specs, but they appear to be more dandruff than anything, and without the black "pepper" type specks, it seemed to be not bed bugs.

    I've already taken the scabies treatment as one dermatologist suggested it couldn't hurt, so I've ruled that out. Are there any other mystery invisible bugs out there that could be biting me? Is it just a bad allergic reaction?

  2. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 14:34:38
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I would also add that when I moved, I left my mattress. I warned the incoming roommate that I'd ben getting bitten by something, but he didn't seem to care. He hasn't had any bites in 6 weeks. My new roommates also have no bites.

    I know it's not uncommon for them to pick just one room, but it would seem odd to me that I'd have bugs if they targeted my old room and my new room, but none of my roommates in either situation, including the one who is now living in my old space. That said, I *was* finding the salt and pepper specs on my sheets at that time when waking up. I wasn't finding blood stains at the time, though I am now. I remain pretty sure that the blood spots I find now are due to my scratching.

  3. bugged-cdn

    senior member
    Joined: Jul '14
    Posts: 640

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 14:55:00
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Low level infestations are difficult to detect. At the time of our first encounter with these dastardly pests, we did not see any bugs, skins, or fecal stains despite thorough inspections. All I knew was I was getting bitten every few days.

    Our neighbor had bed bugs and we were required to undergo treatment as well. The PCO said he did not see anything and we wouldn't require a second treatment... until I told him about the bites. Then he ordered a second treatment.

    We had encased the mattress after the first treatment and over the next few months a lot of fecal staining was deposited from inside the encasement.

    So I never found them, the PCO didn't see them, but they were there, in or on the mattress.

  4. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 15:01:43
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Isn't it odd though if that was the scenario that the new tenant in my old room is using the same mattress and isn't getting bitten? And that my new roommates never got bitten?

    I guess it can't hurt to get an encasement for the mattress and it should help let me know if I have them, but for the amount of bites and itches I get all over, it doesn't seem like it'd be a low-level thing.

  5. frightened

    oldtimer
    Joined: Feb '16
    Posts: 799

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 15:55:20
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I am not an expert but I know that a significant amount of people do not react to bedbug bites so it is poosiblecthat the new occupant of your old room may not notice that they are being bitten.
    When you moved did you wash and dry all your clothes and sheets etc on a high temperature and pack them in ziplock bags immediately? If not you may have brought whatever was biting you with you. Same applies to packing up footwear, book, rucksacks.
    In e meantime perhaps the allergy tests may reveal the source of your problem.

  6. bugged-cdn

    senior member
    Joined: Jul '14
    Posts: 640

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 15:58:00
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Estimates are that roughly 30% of people don't react to bed bugs. My husband was probably being bitten too but he never showed any signs. Someone posted this weekend that they only realized they had a pretty major infestation when they went away for a few days and their son was full of bites after sleeping in their bed.

  7. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 16:00:52
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Yes. I washed everything on very high heat in the washer, and same through the dryer. I didn't have zip-lock bags, but did use tied up and air-tight bags. I washed everything twice, threw away ALL bedding. I threw out all sheets and blankets and bought a new set. All non-washable clothes went to the dry cleaners.

    I suppose it is possible that something made it through, but it does seem VERY unlikely given how careful I was. I also think that given the prevalence of salt and pepper specs before the move, and the lack of any now, it makes no sense.

  8. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 16:07:23
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I hope I'm not coming off as one of those people who asked for advice and is refusing to accept it, but given how cautious I was, that none of the 5 people (old place was 4 bedroom, new place is 3) I've shared a living space with have been bitten, the guy sleeping on my mattress isn't bitten, and that I've had three different exterminators do a pretty thorough check, I can't fathom it would be bed bugs. Is it possible it's some kind of mite?

  9. frightened

    oldtimer
    Joined: Feb '16
    Posts: 799

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 16:14:30
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Why would the mite travel with you if you had washed and heat dried all your clothes etc? If it was scabies you would see the tunelling on your skin and apparently scabies is very itchy.

  10. bugged-cdn

    senior member
    Joined: Jul '14
    Posts: 640

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 16:18:47
    #



    Login to Send PM

    It's possible you don't have them, and I sincerely hope you don't!!

    I never thought in a million years I'd have bed bugs but we did in fact have an infestation without us ever seeing a single bed bug. I only saw a dead one that had crawled into a sticky trap in the hours after our first treatment. This time around though, I have already caught two live ones

  11. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 16:30:17
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I genuinely don't know why the mite would have traveled with me, but I don't know why bed bugs would either, particularly without the fecal matter, eggs, shells, live bugs, dead bugs, or any signs or affirmative discoveries from multiple exterminators.

  12. BigDummy

    oldtimer
    Joined: Dec '13
    Posts: 4,542

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2016 16:39:07
    #



    Login to Send PM

    With the amount of skin irritations and a lack of any bed bug evidence I would not buy a mattress cover, just spending money on a guess is not a plan.
    I would look to things like detergents, soaps and other irritants that you may have developed an allergy to. I was fine most of my life, then a few years back developed pretty severe allergies to pollens, grasses and weeds.

  13. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,255

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 2 2016 0:27:32
    #



    Login to Send PM

    "We found no eggs, no shells, no black and white refuse on sheets. There are a few tiny white specs, but they appear to be more dandruff than anything, and without the black "pepper" type specks, it seemed to be not bed bugs."

    Just an FYI-- "black pepper specks on sheets" aren't bed bugs either.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  14. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 2 2016 9:35:10
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I'd thought those were. To me it had always been described as the salt and pepper specks were fecal matter and eggs. Maybe that's just the association with fleas? For what it's worth, I would still expect to have seen some shells, fecal matter, eggs or other evidence at some point given the three PCOs.

  15. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,255

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 2 2016 23:22:04
    #



    Login to Send PM

    frank9 - 13 hours ago  » 
    I'd thought those were. To me it had always been described as the salt and pepper specks were fecal matter and eggs. Maybe that's just the association with fleas? For what it's worth, I would still expect to have seen some shells, fecal matter, eggs or other evidence at some point given the three PCOs.

    It may be fleas, but black pepper flakes are not bed bug fecal. That's been confirmed by many experts here.

    You should definitely see fecal stains. Passive bed bug monitors (see our bed bug monitors FAQ) are inexpensive and may give peace of mind.

    We have a flea FAQ with a DIY trap for ruling them out.

    Parasitic mites (rodent or bird) can sometimes be caught on glue traps left in the area where they are coming from, for example, on a windowsill for bird mites.

    But more to the point, are there rodents or birds nesting in or (in the case of birds) on your home or have here been some which died or left?

  16. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 3 2016 9:22:41
    #



    Login to Send PM

    I've placed bed bug monitors, consulted the flea FAQ, and I've had fleas before so I'm familiar with their MO. I've set traps and ruled out fleas.

    I have glue traps down for mites and other crawlers.

    None of them have caught anything, which is why I'm still cautious it may be bed bugs, because I'm aware they can sometimes avoid detection even through all the monitoring and checking for fecal matter/blood spots.

    I'm seeing a dermatologist soon and hoping to find out that this is an allergic or chemical reaction.

  17. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,255

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Aug 3 2016 22:22:31
    #



    Login to Send PM

    But more to the point, are there rodents or birds nesting in or (in the case of birds) on your home or have here been some which died or left?

    Bat or bird bugs are closely related to bed bugs and might be the problem. Worth considering this question.

  18. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2016 13:43:51
    #



    Login to Send PM

    GOD. I've gotta say, trying to operate this website is kind of infuriating. Every time I type something out and am about to post, it just sort of freezes.

    ANYWAYS. I have a few questions. First, what's the difference between a PCO and an exterminator?

    Second, what's the chance it's carpet beetles? If I had an allergic reaction to them, wouldn't it explain why I'm getting itchy and my roommates are not?

    It's possible it's some other biting bug (bat or bird bugs), but I would assume again that I'd see some kind of traces of them, no? We have no birds or pets or rodents in the building to my knowledge, but it's always possible. It's a brand new building, so it should be fine, and I'd assume that the treatments would have killed them anyways?

    How do I monitor for carpet beetles, bat bugs, bird bugs, etc? Would an exterminator have found signs?

    The dermatologist was adamant that given the apartment's been treated five times and that we have no carpeting or pets, I'd either be free of bugs, or have seen them by now. He gave me some creams and suggested I return in two weeks for a biopsy and blood test if the creams don't work. He looked at the rashes/itches/bites and said they didn't seem consistent with bites, but that it's always possible my skin reacted differently.

  19. BigDummy

    oldtimer
    Joined: Dec '13
    Posts: 4,542

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2016 13:58:08
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Read up on carpet beetle hair irritations:

    Looky Here

  20. frank9

    newbite
    Joined: Aug '16
    Posts: 13

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2016 14:30:24
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Noting that it takes years of exposure to the hair to develop sensitivity makes me think it's not that. Alright, I'll continue to monitor for bed bugs and will wait for the dermatologist to see if it's allergic.

  21. Montrealer2

    junior member
    Joined: Jun '15
    Posts: 87

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2016 16:12:50
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Frank9, I'm dealing with a similar situation: BBs last year, PCO and my own post-treatment, but being bitten by heaven knows what since. Likely fleas, despite frequent vacuuming plus a bout of flea-spraying. Bites are not the same skin patterns/constant itchiness as last year, and as usual no signs of BBs - live, dead or exoskeletons. I also wrapped the mattress when I noticed light black-mould-looking stains, but these may be due to the wet spray not drying and other moisture/mould issues. DE everywhere, tossing a bunch of furniture when I move in a few weeks, etc...
    I also suspect mites, but again, what I have seen - little black specks and solid tiny-tiny black rocks/deposits everywhere - does not seem to fit as mite evidence. Still searching. Still getting tiny red welts/bites (and feeling the pin-prick occasionally).
    In any case, I have no real info for you, but just wanted to let you know I feel your pain and hope you figure out the source and get relief soon!

  22. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,255

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2016 19:48:34
    #



    Login to Send PM

    frank9 - 6 hours ago  » 
    GOD. I've gotta say, trying to operate this website is kind of infuriating. Every time I type something out and am about to post, it just sort of freezes.

    Sorry you're having trouble. No one else has reported anything like this.

    If you can email me and give me a bit more info, I will try to troubleshoot this for you. It may help to know what kind of computer or other device and browser (and browser version) you're using, and links to specific posts where this happened with (or times, if the post didn't work), and any other info you can provide about what occurred, what happened next (did your post go through?) etc.

    This is the best way to email me: http://Bedbugger.com/about/contact

  23. Nobugsonme

    your host
    Joined: Mar '07
    Posts: 22,255

    offline

    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2016 19:58:12
    #



    Login to Send PM

    Frank9 wrote,

    ANYWAYS. I have a few questions. First, what's the difference between a PCO and an exterminator?

    Same thing. We're told they don't like the latter term anymore. Pest control operator is usually a company (PCO), and pest management professional is an individual (PMP). Though often they're used interchangeably here.

    Second, what's the chance it's carpet beetles? If I had an allergic reaction to them, wouldn't it explain why I'm getting itchy and my roommates are not?

    I don't think anyone can tell you the odds on that.

    Lots of people don't react to bed bug bites or don't react right away. The guy who had your bed may be a nonreactor. Other roommates also, or maybe they didn't have them in their beds yet.


    It's possible it's some other biting bug (bat or bird bugs), but I would assume again that I'd see some kind of traces of them, no? We have no birds or pets or rodents in the building to my knowledge, but it's always possible. It's a brand new building, so it should be fine, and I'd assume that the treatments would have killed them anyways?

    One expert here has said that bat/bird bugs don't always leave fecal traces in the same spots bed bugs do. That was one reason I asked.

    Bed bug treatments won't necessarily get rid of bird/bat bugs because you need to remove the bird or bat nest.


    How do I monitor for carpet beetles, bat bugs, bird bugs, etc? Would an exterminator have found signs?

    People often find carpet beetles or their cast skins. See answer about the others above.

    That said, if the PCO did not do a careful job, or you keep a very tidy home, s/he might not have seen carpet beetle evidence.

    If s/he did not do a close inspection, s/he may not have found bed bug evidence either.

    I am not clear on how long you e suspected bed bugs-- how long did you suspect them in the old place, and how long in the new one?

    If it's weeks, then the evidence may be hard to detect.


    The dermatologist was adamant that given the apartment's been treated five times and that we have no carpeting or pets, I'd either be free of bugs, or have seen them by now. He gave me some creams and suggested I return in two weeks for a biopsy and blood test if the creams don't work. He looked at the rashes/itches/bites and said they didn't seem consistent with bites, but that it's always possible my skin reacted differently.

    See above about how long you've had them.

    Finally, have you explored whether it could be bed bugs or something else biting at work or elsewhere?

    Bed bug bite reactions can take hours, days, or a week or more to appear. You may notice them in the morning, but it may not mean they happened the previous night.


RSS feed for this topic


Reply

You must log in to post.

294,649 posts in 49,518 topics over 153 months by 21,698 of 22,141 members. Latest: carterscott, ohkayiguess, shawnpayne1982