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Hi, I'm New and Losing My Mind or: BB's Propensity for Travel

(9 posts)
  1. bugging-out

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Aug 17 2012 20:19:27
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    Greetings all. I've come to understand much about this affliction thanks to the shared stories and wisdom (and strength) in these pages. However, I'm still very confused.

    This is going to be long. Pardon the ramble.

    I understand BB's ability -- and success -- in tracking one down throughout a residence. Co2 sniffing, heat-seeking... I am returned from house-sitting one month in what I believe to have been an infested home. A month of relentless, horror-show mystery bites beneath underwear, on legs, back, torso, etc. Three-in-a-row, howyadoin.

    I built traps under the legs of one bed -- not unlike the talcum powder coming-and-going devices, but with the soap and water solution I’ve seen promoted for catching fleas. Drowned some insects, but no bed bugs.

    All month at this house I never saw any droppings or smears. Never saw a bed bug -- live, dead or shed. I looked. It was somewhat superficial, as I didn’t want to toss their place and go too deeply through their stuff, but I looked.

    I’d told the owners what I thought they had (they'd mentioned a "spider" before leaving), and knew if this was bed bugs they’d have to deal with it in a big way when they returned. In the mean time, I washed clothes hot. Dried hot. Bagged ‘em when not wearing ‘em. Bagged dirty laundry. In fact the only time my gear was exposed was when on me, or going in, or coming from the washer and dryer. After weeks of quietly freaking and riding it out (I’d been watching their dog too, and didn’t want to bail), I began to visualize my exit. I was leaving soon. And I resolved to do so cleanly, without bringing any of these monsters along.

    I inspected my carry-on suitcase. Every stitch. I cut the liner out of it. Packed clothes in the midday sun. Meticulously. Scrutinizing each article -- seams, pockets, every fold and crevice. I was good to go.

    So, to a bit of what has me confused.

    It is my understanding that BBs, when they have a host, will feed every five to seven days. If this is so, then I believe it follows if I were finding new bites (almost) daily for the better part of a month, I was getting bitten by more than one bug.

    Before I learned that changing rooms wasn't the wisest tactic, I did so four times. They always found me. Never had more than two, three night's respite before the new bites appeared. About the new bites: sometimes they’d manifest over breakfast. Sometimes I'd notice a new one at night, while working at the computer, before going to bed. There didn’t seem to be a consistent pattern of when I’d discover one, or when it would bump into being.

    It is also my understanding that people bitten by BBs can take days (sometimes a week or more) to show symptoms of being bitten. So when I discover new bites, I don't know how to know when I received that bite.
    I think I was at this house for about ten days before I began noticing bites, but it may have taken some time before I added things up. So maybe half that?

    And so I traveled home. I landed, unpacked, re-bagged most of my clothes for industrial ice-box freezing. The others went in the dryer. I left the suitcase exposed for a while as well as the clothes I was wearing (in hindsight, that’s the only window I can imagine providing).

    Soon after, the suitcase was in the garage, dusted with D-Earth. I cannot recall if I had itches during travel and that night, but I woke up with new bites.

    It’s been three days. I’ve woken up each morning with new ones.

    So, what can I conclude? Are these delayed reactions to bites I sustained on the west coast? Should I wait more time -- see what happens (while they possibly reproduce)? As many of you know, waiting for anything with these f-ers feels seriously wrong.

    Or are these new bites daily (3-5) immediately on my arrival after an OCD level of prepping and cleaning my small amount of travel items the result of BBs I brought with me. Since the bites are coming in successive days, I would have to assume I brought back multiple bugs, no? That seems unlikely given the level of attention I paid to my gear. And searches here, so far, have yielded zilch.

    Everybody around me thinks I was thorough and this cannot be bed bugs. Of course, I’m of the mind that I didn’t do enough. I would like somehow to know what is their propensity for hitching a ride? Because it is also my understanding that BBs return to their nest after feeding. So, how do they get in one’s stuff? Especially when one is trying very hard to ensure they don’t come in their stuff? It’s almost like they tried. “Let’s drink some of his blood and then...yeah, over there...that’s his suitcase.” At this point I wouldn’t put it past them. Because I certainly tried to get them not to come. Am I giving them powers they don’t have? Or are they truly military-grade agents of doom, and my fears are right where they ought to be?

    Last night I slept in a bed dusted with Diatomaceous Earth, but being bait is grueling, not to mention potentially hazardous. And how long does that stuff take to work? Anyway, woke up with bites! No one understands why I’m so anxious. And borderline depressed. I’m tired. What should my next step be? I don’t want to spread these anywhere else and I want them out of my life. But I fear the opposite: my life’s gone freak-show. All is changed. And they’ll be with me forever.

    Thanks for any thoughts...

  2. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Aug 17 2012 21:20:06
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    Bugging out, from what you've written, bed bugs have never been confirmed in the west coast place? So, it's possible that whatever you are dealing with isn't bed bugs at all. It does sound like you went to a lot of time and trouble to avoid bringing whatever might have been causing your bites. I don't know what to advise you, but I just wanted to tell you to hang in and the experts will be around soon to give you better advice. If I were you, I'd get passive alerts on your bed at home to see if anything goes in there. The inventer posts on this site, and says that if there are bed bugs you should see them in the passives in as little as 24 hours IIRC. Have you seen any carpet beetles around?

  3. Blackheart

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Aug 17 2012 21:24:36
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    Bugging Out: I hear you, but just wanna say something, I've been told since coming here, and it was a few weeks ago I suppose, the bugs would find me, but I was sprayed 2 weeks ago and again this past Wednesday, well they HAVEN'T found me (I moved to my sofa, but I also plastic wrapped it (not comfortable on a hot, humid night) but it seemed to have done the trick, so far, so good, no buggers have sucked me dry at this point, (third spray this coming week).

    I also have a fan blowing on me (mostly aimed at my mouth) and I've heard this MAY help, but something has worked, whether it be spraying or something else, I don't know, but hey, I'm not gonna question it, I'm sooo grateful! I have however dusted DE around the perimeter of my sofa, Whatever I'm not being bitten that I know of,

    Just try what I've mentioned, any port in a storm right?

  4. bugging-out

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Aug 18 2012 8:13:46
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    Plastic wrapped couch and fan directed at the mouth! Blackheart, that is inspired. Here's to your continued success with all modes of battle.

    Another night here with D-Earth dusting the mattress. Have a couple young bites inner thigh but could have missed them the other day (they don't seem brand new), so, inconclusive. No smears or droppings in the powdered bed.

    Myworstfear -- correct, there has never been positive ID or confirmation in west coast house. So I'm still not sure this is bed bugs, but everything other than direct observation points that way. I have not seen any carpet beetles either. Do they feed on people?

  5. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Aug 18 2012 9:50:26
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    The carpet beetles don't feed on people, but the larva have things that look like quills (at least to me, magnified) and they fall off and some people are very sensitive to them, especially when it's very dry
    and static-y. I don't think you'd see the "quill things" with a naked eye. Lots of people come to the forum with mystery itchies, and it turns out to be carpet beetle larva and not bed bugs, which are much much "nicer" than having bed bugs, and also easier to remove.
    Are you still in contact with the west coast people? What are they going to do in their house and have they ever experienced bites? Since whatever it is has probably been going on in their house longer than in your house, it would be helpful if they'd share with you what they are doing/finding.

  6. bugging-out

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Aug 18 2012 15:37:33
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    West coast folks are a couple with a 7 yr old. Dad never had a bite. Mom had mentioned "that spider got me again" before they went on vacation. It wasn't till I started racking up bites that I remembered her saying that. Their daughter hasn't had any. During my time there, dad's father passed through and stayed for a week. He never had any bites.

    They travel a lot and my guess is this either happened recently and was just getting going when I came through, or else the wife is less allergic than I, and it's been going on a while?

    They said they'd keep me abreast of developments. But since all they really had is my testimony, and I'm gone, I wouldn't be surprised if skepticism precluded action in absence of experiencing attacks first hand. TBD.

    I would love for it to be something other than bed bugs. But if it were carpet beetle larva, I wonder how it would remain in contact with me when I've changed beddings, beds, clothes and now coasts...?

    Thanks again

  7. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Aug 18 2012 19:11:00
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    DEfinitely a mystery. Did you wash the clothes or just put them in the dryer? I don't know (I'm not an expert) if putting clothes in a dryer without washing them will do anything for carpet beetles "quilly things" since if it's that, it might make it worse, as in more static-y etc. I'd get the passives (there's a link on this website somewhere) to see what if anything appears in them. Even if it turns out to NOT be bed bugs, the passives are good for a year. If you are like some of us on this website, you'll be a bit paranoid for a while, so having passives helps!

  8. bugging-out

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Aug 19 2012 6:34:22
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    Sounds good. I woke bite-free today, and possibly yesterday. I'll get some passives for the current sleeping situation and update this post when I know something more conclusive either way.

    Thank you...

  9. bugging-out

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Sep 4 2012 11:04:57
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    --------- FOLLOW UP -------------

    It has been 17 days since my last (possibly) new bite, and 21 days since coming back from Los Angeles. To recap: I was getting bitten almost daily for a month while house sitting on west coast. I took every precaution I could aside form throwing out all travel gear, and came back to New York.

    Once here, I noticed what I thought were new bites. After the fourth day, they stopped. Healing began everywhere! I remained quarantined sleeping in a bed laced with DE. I am of the mind that the bites I noticed upon landing were delayed reactions, and I didn't bring any with me back east. Second choice: I brought back one or two, but they were dispatched after early exposure with DE. In either case, I'm fairly hopeful and cautiously confident that I am BB free.


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