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I think I spread bugs to my family, and the guilt and pain is unbearable. Help.

(4 posts)
  1. BuggedInCO

    Joined: Aug '17
    Posts: 10


    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Aug 17 2018 14:43:17

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    I posted the other day in a different forum, but a couple things changed and I don't know if it was the best place to post. Very long story with details is below the break, but the short story is that I am so terrified that I might have spread bed bugs to my grandmother's house after living with her for a month.

    I was in between places, the old place being my twice-infested unit (thanks, neighbor who bug bombed and sent them to my place) and I'm moving out of state tomorrow. Grandma has been caring for my sick Grandpa, and they live in a house that is WAY too big...which makes the possibility of a large-scale treatment, or my grandfather getting bit, or my grandmother not sleeping (she already has trouble sleeping) is really almost too much to bear. I am physically sick about it.

    I called an exterminator who will inspect the room I stayed in tomorrow. I'd turned that room upside down three times in the past week and a half, in response to a suspicious bite that's about 4 or 5 days old. Couldn't find a thing, so now I'm doubly concerned that the PCO won't necessarily be able to find anything either, which he was gracious and honest about that possibility.


    Hi everyone,

    Long story short: I've dealt with bed bugs twice in the past year, finding out after the second infestation that my entire apartment building had a problem. Heat-treated each time, threw lots of stuff out as I am moving out of state anyway. I had to move out of the apt sooner than I'd planned, as my landlord had sold my place - so I've been living with my Grandma for a month before I move to New York on Saturday. I've been paranoid and vigilant all month long, vacuuming and tearing the bed apart, and found nothing suspect until a few days ago when I discovered suspicious bites on my leg.

    My grandparents have a gigantic, three-story home with multiple rooms/bedrooms, beds, and a ton of other furniture. My grandpa is ill and my grandma is doing her best to take care of him; my absolute worst nightmare is to have saddled them with this horrible problem just days before I leave the state. Could these bites be from ANYTHING else? They are alarming because they are consistent with bites I've had in the past, but I've torn everything apart in the room I'm sleeping in and have found no other signs.


    I first learned I had bed bugs in my one-bedroom apartment/condo just over a year ago, after months of chalking up my itchy welts to skin allergies. It was terrible, of course - I found harborages, decluttered, vacuumed/steamed, and seemingly almost eradicated them on my own...but I eventually had to opt for a heat treatment in Sept. 2017. By the time I'd gotten the treatment, I was finding bed bugs in my bathtub every other day or so.

    Things were fine for about six months, until I woke up one morning with probably about 10-20 bites on my leg. I was heartbroken. For a month I couldn't find any signs of the bugs, but I knew I was getting bitten. Finally, I saw one on my blanket in I think May or June of 2018. After doing some sleuthing and talking to my neighbors, I discovered that apparently the building had had a problem for YEARS which is INFURIATING!!! Bugs were entering my apartment through the piping from my downstairs neighbor, who kept sending them up to me with DIY fogging and other treatments.

    I had my second heat treatment a couple weeks before I moved out in mid-July of this year. In the weeks leading up to and after the treatment, I had ordered Temprid and (properly) sprayed my apartment at weekly intervals, along with my suitcases, hoping to keep more bugs coming in my apartment from elsewhere. Everything I've brought with me was treated, and there were no harborages or infestation signs on any of the items after I inspected them.

    Still, I found a bug here and there after treatment 2, which concerned me because it was more than the one straggler I found after my first heat treatment last year. This is the part that's driving me nuts, because I don't know if these bugs were stragglers, new bugs from the neighbor, or whether the heat treatment had failed. But I had no choice but to get out of there.

    ANYWAY! Thank you for sticking around if you are still here. My questions are:

    1) Is a month too long to first see bites if I brought bugs with me to a new location?

    2) Is there anything else that could cause bites like this? While I haven't seen any signs of bed bugs, there are a ton of spiders around here and I see them every day.

    3) What can I do to help prepare and protect my grandparents? What should I tell them? This is so awful!

    Though I'm moving soon, I'll be back next month for a wedding; I hope with all of my heart there won't be a problem, but I'll at least be here a few days to help deal with it if necessary. Thank you all so much!

  2. thirdusername

    Joined: Oct '17
    Posts: 800


    Posted 1 year ago
    Fri Aug 17 2018 23:25:49

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    Did you EVER have previous bites in the same location on your leg as the new bites?
    It's possible for old bites to react again.

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  3. chicago1994

    Joined: Aug '18
    Posts: 15


    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat Aug 18 2018 9:23:16

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    Hey there, I'm sorry that you're going through this. I understand the guilt feeling and it is unbearable.

    Have you inspected your grandparents' room and other parts of the home? You might feel more at ease if the entire house is inspected. If your grandparents ask questions, simply tell them that you've had a recent run in with bed bugs and have not seen any signs in their home, but that you're bringing in an expert to make absolute sure that they're not there. As scary as it is to tell them the truth, it might be necessary so the situation is handled promptly and doesn't get too far out of control.

  4. mcsmcs

    Joined: Jun '10
    Posts: 322


    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun Aug 19 2018 16:59:17

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    Anyone can get them and anyone can spread them. So although there is a stigma and although I agree with you I would feel awful if I spread them, realistically they are excellent hitchhikers and the best we can do is our best. If they spread, that's because they're excellent at doing so.

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