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

how do i know for sure?

(11 posts)
  1. bugged up north

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jan 12 2012 22:05:53
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    In late september (three and a half months ago), my partner and i both noticed some bites on our lower backs - clusters of three flat, itchy red bites. I had about four episodes over about two weeks, and my partner had two. once we clued in we panicked, washed all the linens and blankets and clothes near the bed, vaccummed the bedrooms carefully, bagged the bed and box spring in bed bug bags, and washed down the baseboards near the beds. We also put double sided tape around the legs of the beds - which we have never caught anything on.

    We haven't had the same obvious bites since, and i thought by some miracle we had managed to deal with the problem. But now i'm not so sure.

    In december i noticed the cat was scratching like mad. put double sided tape all around and inside the sofa where she often sleeps and replaced it regularly for about two weeks. we didn't catch anything. i took her to the vet and they determined that she did seem to have fleas (flea dirt in her fur), so we treated her for fleas but she is still scratching.

    With visitors and visiting over Christmas, i was really concerned and so we hired an inspector from Abell to come and inspect the house. He found 'no evidence at all'. but he really only checked our bed, the sofa and living room chairs, and my son's crib. No baseboards or other corners. Still, i was very relieved.

    However, lately i've noticed very small, red, pimple-like bumps on my son's face and body (he's 2.5), and occasionally on me - but nothing at all like i had in sept. I am completely paranoid at this point and feel like i'm going to go insane from the uncertainty. We have been washing and drying all our clothes on hot for months, and i have tried to vaccuum the living areas carefully at least a couple of times a week. i feel like we are being held hostage by something that may not even exist!

    How do i know for sure? would these things get stuck to double sided tape on the beds if they were moving up and down the legs?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jan 12 2012 22:35:53
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    Dear bugged,

    Is your cat an "inside" or "outside" cat?

    From the information you provided I doubt that we can conclude that bed bugs are the problem. However, it is reasonable to suspect that you have an ongoing flea problem.

    As a licensed professional since 1976 I've completed countless flea jobs over the years. My experience and observations has been that at the significant majority of those homes where flea infestations were the problem that cats were the underlying reason.

    If there was a bed bug problem there would be physical evedence present.

    As stated above, I suspect fleas. You may place flea traps to confirm the presence of fleas.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  3. bugged up north

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jan 12 2012 23:11:22
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    thank you.
    the cat is mostly indoors, but goes out on a leash for short periods in the warmer months. it is cold here now, and well past flea season, although i don't suppose that would affect them inside.

    my concern is that the first bites in september seemed to be such classic bedbug bites, that i was quite certain that must be the cause. we had been travelling a fair bit and staying in hotels in late august and early sept. These new marks are very different, but they seem to show up in the morning on my son and mostly on his face and legs - they also seem to inflame a bit when he has a warm bath. is that typical of fleas too?

    is it possible that bedbugs could have been living in a house for 3.5 months undetected and with little or no bitting? i know everyone reacts differently to the bites, but could the response be so different on the same people over such a short time (my partner hasn't noticed anything at all on him.)

    thanks again. i really appreciate the feedback.

  4. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 0:01:15
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    Dear bugged,

    It may be best to check with your pediatrician on the various skin lesions you're seeing on your son.

    Yes, it is possible that BBs may exist for such extended periods of time.

    Remember that we're looking for physical evidence of BBs as bite reactions alone are not enough to provide positive assurance.

    As such, it would be a good idea to conduct a thorough inspection for the telltale signs of bed bugs.

    Let us know if any other questions.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  5. diesel

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 0:11:52
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    Read through the FAQ's and also study in detail what you are looking for when you inspect. Many people look for bugs only, they will leave fecal signs, and cast skins as well. Stay vigilant as well. You may consider buying passive monitors or climb ups as well. Stay calm but remain vigilant as well. A couple of other things to consider, is do you live in an apartment or own a home? In multi-housing units, you may have a neighbor that has them, and does not know it, or knows and has not informed you. Kids get marks all of the time, and have little bumps, it actually very typical. My 3 year old and all of my kids for the most part have Keratosis pilaris. There are many pictures of this online. Hang in there and post questions and pictures if you find anything so the experts can tell you. This site is blessed, as we have so many experts from all over the world here. Some of the biggest name bed bug experts frequent this site an answer questions. P Bello is an entomologist t and has been in the bug business since before I was born, so listen to his advice. You can buy flea traps that you plug in at night that can catch fleas, this might help. Also, I am not an expert but 3 1/2 months is a long time, and by then you would in most cases have a pretty bad problem on your hands, and should have multiple obvious signs.

  6. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 0:31:15
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    Yes, it is a long time without visibile evidence which is why things don't seem to add up to be bed bugs.

    However, it is impossible to correctly diagnose and assess these situations long distance and via the keyboard. A Bugplane to go see these situations quickly would be great.

    This is why it is prudent to visit the pediatrician and also conduct thorough inspections.

    paul b.

  7. diesel

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 0:42:17
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    Paul, that is it.......You, KQ, Lou, Effe Ci, David, Spidey and all of the countless experts on here need to get a bed bug plane and go around the country identifying bugs and doing inspections. It could be like a celebrity bed bug tour Charge a fee, do some conferences, perform inspections, you guys would be a hit. I would pay the fee. The fee from Italy and the UK might be a little extreme though, but it would be worth it.

  8. Louise

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 10:12:04
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    "Paul, that is it.......You, KQ, Lou, Effe Ci, David, Spidey and all of the countless experts on here need to get a bed bug plane and go around the country identifying bugs and doing inspections. It could be like a celebrity bed bug tour Charge a fee, do some conferences, perform inspections, you guys would be a hit. I would pay the fee. The fee from Italy and the UK might be a little extreme though, but it would be worth it.

    A transporter a la Star Trek would be so much easier and faster...

  9. bedbugsuptown

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 21:43:12
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    A transporter a la Star Trek would be so much easier and faster...

    The faithful believe Padre Pio received the gift of bilocation. Perhaps diesel should try prayer.

  10. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jan 13 2012 21:50:47
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    Everybody had good points and hope it helps. BBUptown...glad to see you back! Please be sure to vote for Star Wars or Star Trek on the off topic thread. Has everything returned to normal at your home? Please do post a success story for us when you have time! Take care
    Signed, a BBUptown Fan (but not stalker)

    They
    Are
    Out
    There
    = TAOT
  11. bugged up north

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jan 14 2012 16:16:54
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    Thank you all. i love the idea of a traveling road show. i'm sure many of us would appreciate a visit!! I have ordered some climb ups and will look into flea traps. I will hold my breath and keep my eyes open and hope your optimism is justified! i don't know why, but i just have this feeling of uneasiness...
    thanks again. this forum is great.


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