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How long do bugs stay on you while you're walking?

(11 posts)
  1. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 13:51:45
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    I'm wondering, how do bugs hitchhike? I mean, say I was lolling on a couch, hanging out, and one crawled on my trousers.

    Then, I got up, and walked around my house, would it stay on?
    Then, I got in my car, would it still be on me?

    What if I was taking a walk/run outside, would I be safe to enter someone else's house without tracking the bug in?

    What about walking to a house down the street?

    Maybe these are dumb questions, but I realize I have assumptions about these matters, and I'd rather ask...I assumed these bugs don't like motion too much..so they'd drop off, but then how do we bring them home in the first place? Bags? Luggage? Handbags? Shoes? What's most likely. Any thoughts are appreciated.
    Thanks!
    ~Grateful for Help

  2. bbgirl

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 14:47:21
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    It is possible for bedbugs to unintentionally hitchhike a ride on you when you leave the house. If you read the travel FAQ's it puts forth some procedures that are wise to follow to avoid infesting others while you have an active infestation in your home. It includes washing clothes and drying them on hot temperatures and bagging them until you are ready to wear them. If the infestation is severe you should shower and change into clean clothes right before you leave the house to avoid taking any bugs with you. I wouldn't count on any bugs dropping off of you while you walk.....they are also very likely to get into knapsacks, purses, shoes and other items. Bed bugs don't usually harbor on people but if they happen to be on you looking for a meal when you get up and go they will go with you.

  3. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 15:19:47
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    Thanks, bbgirl. Sorry I wasn't clearer about my questions... I am aware of those great precautions (and the travel FAQ...it's good), and I always use them when leaving my house, more what I was wondering was, if one did hitchhike, say, from a doctor's office, or a movie theatre, or a neighbour...

    what is the behaviour? And, it sounds like you are saying, if they WERE on your clothing, they'd cling on...not drop off in transit (which was my assumption, but interesting to hear from someone else).

    Why I'm wondering is, going forward into my life, when I get rid of these, how worried should I be about people coming into my house from other places, or me returning to my home? I know I can't obsess, and I plan to monitor, but I am just trying to understand the hitchhiking likelihood, whether the biggest threats are outer clothing, shoes, bags, etc. It sounds like, everything can be a likely harbour?

    Thanks again.
    ~GFH

  4. so unsettling

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 15:28:04
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    Actually, they aren't dumb questions, and I am sure many here have wondered the same. No one really knows the answers--not clear why they get into someone's clothes or luggage or napsack or anything really. But I have always suspected that the most likely realize they travel with us, whether from hotels or an infested friend's house or anywhere else--is because they were feeding on us at the point of departure. I can think of no other reason why a bug would actually leave with someone. If a person leaves before they have finished feeding, they will go out the door on the person.

  5. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 15:45:15
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    IIRC, a pregnant female bed bug is looking to get away from the rest of the bed bugs, and thus she looks for a place to hide...thus your luggage that might be sitting on the floor near the bed, etc.

  6. Rosae

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 16:54:40
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    It was winter, March, and I loved wearing fleece shirts. And they loved them too but I had no idea.

    They lived in the seams and survived the washing machine. I remember going to a DIY shop, and about 2 hours later when I came back I went to the kitchen, still wearing my coat, and then suddenly a bed bug jumped out of my sleeve onto the counter. It was an adult but unfed, or at least, not full with blood. I guess my shirt had been its home.

  7. newtactics

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 17:06:39
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    grateful - will we ever go to the movies again?

    I doubt I will.

  8. Rosae

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 17:14:12
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    When I'm standing next to my bed in the bedroom they seem to climb on my shoe, some bite through my sock and some (I guess the adults) crawl up until they find a naked spot. When I move they seem to change position and then bite again.

    I never have seen a bed bug biting though. But often there is no other conclusion. I see a fresh wound with the blood still dripping out, so it can only be a very recent bite.

  9. Grateful for Help

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 17:28:00
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    newtactics - 19 minutes ago  » 
    grateful - will we ever go to the movies again?
    I doubt I will.

    Yes, I will, and in fact have. And I packtite when I get home, and change in the tub. I refuse to let them ruin my life. Period. I figure, this just makes me MORE prepared than I would have been pre-this experience. (on a good day! ) I mean, now I own a Packtite!

  10. bbgirl

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 19:00:34
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    A PCO Effeci noted recently that he works in heavily infested locations almost every day and in three years he has never unintentionally brought any into his home and he doesn't take any precautions! It would seem that the tendancy would be for them not to hitchhike on people. But others have posted that they are sure that they brought them home on their person and in fact felt the bugs on themselves at the time. It's so hard to know how far to go to protect yourself........haven't been able to bring myself to travel again yet. I just still feel that hotels are too risky

  11. prephelpny2011

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Aug 6 2011 11:59:48
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    Thanks for questions and discussion, I'm wondering myself so i can figure out what is appropriate behavior and what is obsessing and overreacting. Seems like we still don't really know how or when they hitchhike but we could be at risk whereever we go, so I'm trying to figure out what are the more high risk places/activities and avoid those and more low risk and keep those in our life. Any suggestions would be most helpful.


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