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Help Assess my Infestation?

(9 posts)
  1. losingmymindhere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 11:31:13
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    Can anyone help me assess my current situation?

    The last bug I found was 6 weeks ago in a climb-up trap under my bed (mid-September). However, I think I have gotten a few bites since then. But, my reactions, if indeed they are bites, are much, much calmer than they were when I first got bites about 3 months ago (my first bite/found bug was early August).

    (2-3 times a week, I find small bumps that are red/itchy, but they have been going away within a a day at longest. When I first got bites in August, they swelled up to 2-3 inches in diameter and lasted for days. The subsequent bites were red and itchy, lasting for weeks, but didn't swell up to the same size.)

    However I live in a tiny apartment and only ever sit on my bed or couch, both of which have interceptors on all legs. I've also had my apartment professionally treated, and I treat my couch, bed and surrounding areas with cy-kick every 10 days.

    It seems to me like if I don't find another bug in 2-3 weeks, I should assume that my "bites" are something else, and consider myself relatively in the clear. Is that insanely wishful thinking? UGH!! I just want my life to go back to normal but I'm afraid that if I relax my grip at all, they'll just come back in full force.

  2. keephopealive

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 11:48:38
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    I've been experiencing mystery bites for over 3 months now and the best advice I can offer is this:

    Invest in some passive monitors/cardboard harborages and possibly some active ones/CO2 traps; this will allow you to monitor for bugs already in your bed/sofa or in unoccupied rooms that the climb ups wouldn't catch.

    In the absence of evidence, the bites may be from something else; reactions to treatments, stress or other insects. That's not to say you can rule out bedbugs given your recent exposure, but if you continue to treat and the bites don't stop it will lead you to question whether you're killing off just enough of the population to keep the numbers down but not enough to eradicate the problem completely, thereby prolonging the uncertainty.

    To my mind, the uncertainty is the worst part as if there is something to fight, at least you can get on and work at resolving the issue, whereas fighting a ghost is only going to drive you mad (as I can testify!)

    I would consider ceasing all treatment and monitoring. If you're checking regularly and monitoring then I highly doubt you'll experience the population explosion you're fearing. From my conversations with good PCOs and entomologists, the signs will in all likelihood present themselves way before that happens.

    Yes, there are exceptional cases where people have them a long time before they notice them but I'd postulate that they are normally statistical outliers.

    I'm forcing myself to live normally and just monitor. Yes, it sucks, but it's the only option that will preserve my sanity.

    Best of luck!

  3. losingmymindhere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 12:13:12
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    Thank you, keephopealive! I appreciate your supportive words. I actually ordered some active monitors yesterday and they should arrive tomorrow. Nervous but hopeful!

    My other big fear is that I could have brought them to my office, so I plan on leaving up my heater and treating everything that comes in/goes out for a bit longer.

  4. keephopealive

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 12:57:58
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    I'd definitely consider some passives on the bed and sofa to ensure those areas are clear.

    The office is a possibility; I'd put a passive monitor on the underside of your office chair too.

    One thing I'm trying to get to grips with is maintaining a balance between caution and hyper-vigilance. I also realized that if symptoms persist in the absence of evidence then I need to mentally decide on a cutoff point after which I will inspect on a regular basis, but not to the extent that it consumes my thoughts too much through the day, as living like that negatively impacts my life.

    The way I see it is if you check thoroughly say, twice a week, then you'll be way ahead of the game if anything were to be discovered.

  5. PicketFences

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 13:43:29
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    You said you live in a small apartment. Is this a problem in your building? Do neighboring units have bed bugs?

  6. losingmymindhere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 17:01:28
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    Thanks for your note, PicketFences!

    From what I've heard, no bed bugs were found in the other apartments. However, I don't know how extensively they investigated, and as we all know, BBs aren't always easy to find.

    Also concerning to me, but the best solution I've come up with is to routinely do a light application of cykick or another residual along the floor/walls that border other apartments, along with DE. Does that sound reasonable/effective?

    AND I'm definitely moving in February because as my alias states, I'm completely losing my mind.

  7. losingmymindhere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 17:11:23
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    Thank you @keephopealive. I'll do that! Do you have any idea of how long it takes a passive monitor to show signs of an infestation? Just wondering, and of course I'm sure it depends on the size and where the monitor is placed.

  8. keephopealive

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Nov 8 2018 17:38:47
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    losingmymindhere - 26 minutes ago  » 
    Thank you @keephopealive. I'll do that! Do you have any idea of how long it takes a passive monitor to show signs of an infestation? Just wondering, and of course I'm sure it depends on the size and where the monitor is placed.

    I think its normally 14 days

  9. loubugs

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Nov 10 2018 15:15:58
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    keephopealive - 1 day ago  » 

    losingmymindhere - 26 minutes ago  » 
    Thank you @keephopealive. I'll do that! Do you have any idea of how long it takes a passive monitor to show signs of an infestation? Just wondering, and of course I'm sure it depends on the size and where the monitor is placed.

    I think its normally 14 days

    Can be right away. Depends on bed bug crawling -- there's no chemical attraction.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.

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