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How much caution is too much caution for a potentially phantom infestation?

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  1. getemouttahere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed Dec 4 2019 17:31:10
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    Hi all,

    Bit of a weird Q here, more etiquette than anything else, but who else to turn to but the experts?

    Background: Was not bedbug savvy three weeks ago. Both my spouse & I got bit overnight last night at a vacation home (to be specific, the morning we checked out is the morning the bites showed up). Panicked, did a check of the room for BBs. Based on what I know now I wouldn't call the check competent, let alone thorough; didn't find anything.

    Brought everything home in bags. Inspected them. Found a single bug crawling inside one of the pockets of my luggage, which at the time I thought was a bedbug but honestly who the heck knows (again: wasn't savvy enough to save it). Threw clothes/shoes into the dryer or dry cleaner, etc. Put 'em all in bags.

    That was two weeks ago. Since then, I've had the following:

    - Spouse had a couple of bite-ish things on their face.
    - I had a couple of bite-ish things on my shoulder.
    - I found an infestation of carpet beetles under my bed. Vacuumed that all up, so I may have gotten rid of some BB evidence without thinking about it -- rug's at the dry cleaner.
    - Jumping into the shower yesterday, what appeared to be multiple insects came off me. (I had worn the clothes I wore the night before into the bathroom.) They sorta looked like bedbugs? A couple washed away, so hard to say; I managed to snag one intending to post it here but accidentally squished it (truly I suck at this) -- if it helps, when I took it out of the shower, it basically looked like a bedbug's abdomen without any other body parts. It did not squirt blood when I squished it but definitely left a streak on the bottom of the tub.

    - But: I've done visuals and found nothing.
    - I've also had two separate k9s out to the house. The first k9 was kinda cursory (and forgot to charge me? let's hope, friends) but the second one, who came today, did a competent visual (based on the FAQs here) in addition to having the dog. Both inspections were negative.

    I've got passive monitors in the mail and will continue to monitor when they arrive.

    Sorry to be longwinded, but I feel like that's all necessary to get to the actual Q, which is this: Knowing the above -- and without any confirmed live bugs, fecal, or shed skins -- is it uncool to simply continue to monitor and go back to life as normal in the meantime? Without living out of bags or drying everything we wear out of the house?

    The extenuating circumstance here is that, without getting into personal detail, my spouse has gone through the worst emotional ringer of their life the last few months. Their anxiety and exhaustion were already 10/10 before a BB scare. They're working on that separately, ofc, but I'd really like to be able to tell them, "Hey, let's put our stuff back, work on decluttering, and just keep an eye on the passives."

    But if I shouldn't, feel free to tell me that.

    Thanks, friends!

  2. getemouttahere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed Dec 4 2019 17:33:40
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    Hi friends,

    This is the shorter version of a post I typed up and then promptly lost! Sorry if it's a bit cursory -- it's a somewhat odd bedbug etiquette Q.

    My spouse and I got bit at a vacation home. Definitely BBs. Came home 15 days ago. Since then:

    -- I found one bug that I thought at the time was a BB, but not 100% sure, in one of the interior components of my luggage when we got home. (Was not savvy enough at the time to save it.)
    -- Dried what could be dried, inspected everything else (mostly shoes).
    -- Spouse has gotten two bite-ish marks on their face.
    -- I've gotten two bite-ish marks on my neck.
    -- Saw bugs in the shower yesterday, presumably from my own body -- the only thing I was able to salvage was a black kinda thing shaped like a bedbug's abdomen, but without any of the other parts of a BB. It was kinda gooey when I accidentally squished it, but I dunno if it was 'bloody.' (Also, can BBs just fall apart like that?)
    -- Found a carpet beetle problem in the rug under our bed. Didn't find any BBs/molts.

    And:

    -- Nothing turning up in my own visuals.
    -- Two k9s, two separate companies, have given no alerts. Both were from well-reviewed local companies that had a financial incentive to treat if they found something.

    I've got passive monitors in the mail and will obviously keep an eye on this. But my question is: as we passively monitor, with suspicion but no confirmed signs of BBs (and I guess two k9 negatives), is it ridiculous to go about life -- unbag things, keep decluttering, not dry everything we're wearing out of the house?

    Not asking to be selfish. I have a spouse who's (without getting into details) been through a frankly unfair amount of horrible life stuff lately, and it's hard to overstate how much not having to do those things for a bit would be a huge emotional lift for them.

    But I don't want to be a menace to society, either!

    Thank you. Appreciate this forum -- it's a great source of info on an internet that is, well, not.

  3. getemouttahere

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Wed Dec 4 2019 21:19:24
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    (edit here: sorry for double post! i am clearly not cut out for forums)


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