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

I thought I was o.k. until I bought a magnifying glass!

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  1. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 13:15:38
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    I notices a few small spots on my bed sheets. I went out and bought a magnifying glass. The spots were blood, with a very fine 1/2" streak, leading away from the spots. Looking elsewhere on the sheets, I found bed bug skins. They are not recognizable without the magnification. Now I've been using the magnifying glass each morning and each morning I've been finding very small blood spots. Nothing is in my climb-ups and husband and I have no bites. This morning a did have a pea-sized bruise on my wrist. I think it could be a bite, as I've never had a bruise that small before. Anyway, I highly recommend a magnifying glass for those of you that are searching. It's amazing what you may find.

  2. Jenn28

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 17:24:18
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    Toledo,

    That's a good idea, I should pick one up and play detective on my bed sometime too. That's intersting considering that there are nothing in your climb-ups and no bites. Good to know!!

  3. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 18:58:30
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    My pco says the spots are "black"...is that what you see? Did you react to bites in the past?

  4. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 20:57:07
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    Now this post freaks me out. I was under the impression that you could see the blood spots and you could see the shed skins. Back to sleepless nights in NYC again.

  5. noanestheticNYC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 21:26:27
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    Add a powerful flashlight (e.g. maglight) to your magnifying glass (OED grade) and look again in your climb-ups.

  6. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 21:30:03
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    oh no...this is scaring me.

  7. SearchandDestroy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 9 2010 21:54:52
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    Do I have to?

  8. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 0:58:39
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    Someone told me recently that they watched a tv show about bedbugs - they showed a woman's bed and everything looked just fine. They took a piece of tape, put a strip down across the sheets, and then showed what came up on it - apparently it was quite frightening what the tape brought up that the eye did not see...........

  9. Jenn28

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 1:28:45
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    sssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I have to sleep tonight LOL! Will get a magnifying glass soon!

  10. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 8:04:19
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    Make sure the magnifying glass is at least 5X power, as opposed to 2X or 3X. Look at any little spot you see, or better yet, feel. If you feel anything on your fitted sheet, take a look at it. I found some very small "white rice" looking things that may be shed skin, too. Nothing is black. Most of the skins I've found have been very light orange-colored, as it's the nymphs that shed. The blood spots don't look red until you use a magnifying glass.

    I was reacting to bites a few months ago, but not now.

    noanesthetic.....You're idea about using the magnifying glass on the climb-ups is a good one. I hadn't done that yet, and yes, good light is key finding them.

    My husband was calling me "obsessive" last week. Not anymore!

  11. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 12:17:56
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    I use the magnifying glass with flashlight combo and it helps alot but what I really want at this point in my sad life is a microscope! (You know your life sucks when...........). Well, first a Packtite, then a microscope........ Hope Santa is listening.

    It would be nice to win the lotto so could just leave the whole house for 18 months...........(and could buy all new so not bringing any with......)

    Do you know what I do with paper items that I need to take to/from work for instance? I rolling pin them. Does anyone else do this? Or have another idea? I find it works best if sing this song: "This s the way we squash our bugs, squash our bugs, squash our bugs, this is the way we squash our bugs, early in the morning!"

  12. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 12:22:50
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    yepp...it's bad...i'm also looking at a microscope....i should be saving up for my two month vacation, but i'm seriously considering a microscope...

  13. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 12:31:04
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    Sorry to double post - but back to the 'sheets' topic - I think I found my first blood smear in my sheets yesterday, and I have a few spots that I thinks are feces in my sheets (going to test those as soon as can get a blood test kit) and I have some little grayish 'swishy'marks in my sheets - don't know what they are exactly. But anyways it was starting to look like I was finally starting to get the actual evidence of the bedbugs I think I have.

    But yesterday - and well, today, till 4am - I steamed my bed and boxspring and mattress and I couldn't find any eggs or skins or bugs or poops. Oh, maybe one teeny thing that might be an egg, but since only one, probably not.

    What should I make of this? Have a few items of furniture in the room left to check but have checked them before inside and out and couldn't find anything. With flashlight and magnifying glass........

    It is kind of good - is it possible I don't have them? It is kind of bad - where are they, and if not bedbugs, WHAT is BITING me?

    Really looking forward to testing the spots on my sheets - that will be a big answer. (That tip from Killer Queen - to buy a 'presumptive blood test kit' - tells you if something is blood or maybe if has blood in it - not sure - as feces are basically excreted blood that means if the test is positive that the spot is blood then you know you have bedbugs). I think other people on the site already knew about that test, but I wasn't sure what the references to 'testing' on the forums meant. Thank-you so much again, Killer Queen.

    P.S. Going to ask in separate thread if anyone has bought those in Canada..............

  14. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 12:32:11
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    Ha ha - my post so long that you brought up the microscope before I finished mine Deedle!
    Maybe a new product line for USBedbugs..............

  15. loubugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 18:23:09
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    arrowheadforensics.com
    http://www.crime-scene.com/store/serology.shtml
    Phenolphthalein Presumptive Blood Test Kit
    is a place where you can get the kit and that's the kit that I purchased. Performs multiple tests, bulk bottles.
    If you have a bug that's full, you can squish it and then put the reagents on it to see the pink color. And that way you know the test, the unknown, and the positive reaction. If you capture with a napkin, then the napkin will have a blood blot on it with the bug within.
    Of course for smears or dots on sheets, you can use a q-tip moistened with alcohol to capture them and then use the phenolphthalein and the hydrogen peroxide on it.
    I've uploaded to flickr.com some images of spotting on paper and test reactions.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/lou_bugs_pix/2121937839/in/set-72157615326557466/

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  16. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 10 2010 18:57:28
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    Thank-you Lou! WIll definitely check that out!
    No bugs (found) so can't do the squish test.

    I normally 'relocate' the spiders in my house and pick worms off the dry sidewalk to put in the dirt (if no one is looking ha ha) - but I could so TOTALLY squash a bedbug!!

  17. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 11 2010 6:49:59
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    I'm not understanding the need for this test kit. Maybe my situation is different. Of course it's blood on the sheets. What else could it be? Over the course of one week, we found a total of at least 5 spots, on both sides of the bed.

  18. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 11 2010 7:38:52
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    A good magnifying glass is available from Radio shack. It has two LED on the back below the lens so it illuminates what you are looking at. Its about $12

  19. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 11 2010 9:00:14
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    We ought to get Lou and the rest of our specialists T-shirts that say:

    BSI

    (Bug Scene Investigator)

  20. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Oct 11 2010 10:44:00
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    Loubugs -
    Phoned the company above - they ship to Canada but only for large orders. Ordered a kit from Connecticut Valley Biological Services - they are in US but were willing to ship to me.

    Thanks.

  21. NewBlood

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 13:37:48
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    DeedleBeetle - 2 days ago  » 
    yepp...it's bad...i'm also looking at a microscope....i should be saving up for my two month vacation, but i'm seriously considering a microscope...

    I bought a magnifying glass and microscope from Radio Shack when I began to suspect bed bugs. I think the micro was 100x magnification and the mag was 5x (I think) and total they cost me... I think maybe $55.00 or so.

  22. bbugophobic

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 18:09:43
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    We actually have a microscope. My oldest son is a science buff. Alas, I'm too afraid to look.

  23. Sleepless in NYC

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 18:24:35
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    Not really understanding the blood test. what if it's a scratch from yourself, will it still test positive? or what if it's your pet's blood, will it still test positive?

  24. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 18:30:32
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    hmmm..i was looking at a microscope that costs about $400 because i expect to use it alot in the future for my artwork. I looked at some of the little inexpensive ones...i think they look like fun if your out and about and want to examine something. The one i'm looking at has 40x-2000x magnification, is triscopic (so that the camera has it's own eyepiece and i can use the bionocular scopes at the same time the camera puts the image on the computer screen without having to go back and forth and refocusing. Also, it has a mechanical stage is i think is absolutely necessary if you really want to enjoy looking at something without jerking your specimin or slide around by hand.

    i think i'm going to get it...

    but i really AM afraid to see what i find around here.

    I want to ask the Toledo, NoAnestheticNYC and 123Buggs...Did you guys have a heavy infestation? I think 123 was getting bites or some kind of skin reaction without finding any actual critters....why would Toledo be finding so many eggs actually on top of the bed sheets?

  25. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 19:02:31
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    I don't think my infestation is that bad. A dog actually cleared my room a month ago. He marked in my daughter's room, but I already told him that I had found them there. I have never seen an adult bed bug. I have found at least 6 nymphs in my daughter's room. It looks like I finally caught one in my climb-ups. I've also found cast skins on my bed sheet and small blood spots. All of these things have been really small. That's why I felt the need to suggest a magnifying glass.

  26. kannon_bosatsu

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 19:07:54
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    Yet another thing to add to the 2010 Fight the Bedbugs tally. We have a UV light for detecting hidden cat pee and we 're going to try to use that along with a magnifying glass to find cast skins. We haven't been bitten - as far as we know - or seen a bug in over 8 days but we believe in constant vigilance!

  27. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 19:10:12
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    But Toledo...if you're finding cast skins in your bed...then doesn't that mean that there are bbs around the bed area?

  28. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 19:18:18
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    Yes, it does mean there are bed bugs. I have to decide if I want to do another single room heat treatment or a whole upstairs pesticide treatment.

  29. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 19:21:33
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    oh...you have a private home? Good luck!

  30. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 19:48:01
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    Yes and my own private collection of bed bugs! No one else to blame and no one else to pay for treatments.

  31. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Oct 12 2010 23:44:54
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    Deedle -
    Yeah - I'm still in the stage that think have bedbugs because a) had definite 8 day exposure in a hotel room confirmed to have bbs b) have bites, rashy spots and itchy spots c) dog alerted in multiple places in my house .............

    however........ I have found no live bbs, no cast skins, no eggs (though I'm sure I could miss those very easily).............only possible feces and blood smears in my sheets and a few other possible spots........

    so Toledo - the point of the blood tests -
    - if I test my spots in my sheets and none of those test positive for blood, then I will dare to hope I don't have bedbugs............
    -if the spots are positive I guess it won't definitively mean I have bedbugs (could be fleas, skin irritations etc.) but won't be able to rule them out (I will be back to thinking I probably have them.............).

    Today I found this, which I think I might order (Canadian but I'm sure easy to find in US as well):
    http://www.escience.ca/genSci/RENDER/1/1002/1006/10358.html

    Thought it would be super handy for roaming around hotel rooms, also. Doesn't it look great for the price? I'm going to get the 50x one - I wonder how much can see with 50x? (Probably more than I want to...........)

  32. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 14:53:44
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    Flashlights -
    I just bought a set of 3 little flashlights from Costco ($20) and they are great! So bright! They are in a gray and red package and are called "High Intensity Tactical LED" - 160 lumens, low btty indicator, small but way brighter than the 3 large flashlights I have been using, high/low beam, water resistant, shockproof etc. They came with 9 batteries, too.

    I like the "tactical" part - cause I feel like I'm in a war with them........

  33. bug-tired

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 16:24:33
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    The smallest nymph CAN be seen with the naked eye - but it may depend on the eye. For example, if you need reading glasses, you may need your reading glasses to see them. I've been checking my climbups for weeks and only found one. I took them off to clean and repowder them today and noticed a speck I had missed - when I looked closely, sure enough - it was a dead nymph.

    I thought the new pics of the life cycle on the site were really good - but they are still too big. None of the pics I see online seem to do justice to how really tiny these things are.

  34. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 16:57:12
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    Yes, I admit I wear reading glasses. But those white eggs, or the first shed skins, are white and impossible to see on white sheets. Am I the only one finding these? My PCO picked them up yesterday and will have their "bug expert" get back with me on a positive i.d. As far as the small reddish brown spots on my sheets, I can only assume one thing. There simply are no other explanations.

  35. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 17:01:03
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    Loubuggs just put up a new video today...look and see...the bbs are soooooo tiny...no wonder nobody can see them easily...

  36. spideyjg

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 21:01:33
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    For eye training go into a garden and search the plants for aphids. Some can be as small as BB nymphs and move about as fast.

    Since they are also a true bug, Hemiptera order, they have some physical resemblances to BBs

    If you can spot them, your vision is sharp enough.

    Jim

  37. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Oct 16 2010 22:14:25
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    Toledo: I went out and bought a magnifying glass. The spots were blood, with a very fine 1/2" streak, leading away from the spots. Looking elsewhere on the sheets, I found bed bug skins.
    -----------
    Playing devil's advocate, how do you know for sure that they are bed bug skins, especially when you needed a magnifying glass to see them? Did you have then identified by an expert? We've had people here fairly certain of dead bugs (and skins) that were big enough to identify without a magnifying glass -- only to be told later by one of our resident experts that what they found wasn't bed bug related at all.

    Also wouldn't one eventually find full-sized bed bugs in climb-ups (or other capturing devices) assuming an infestation? At least that's my understanding after reading a study where climb-ups were used to monitor infestations within an apartment house.

    So, I guess what I'm getting at is that while magnification has its obvious benefits, the downside is that it may also produce a lot of false alarms to the untrained eye which includes most of us here.

    Richard

  38. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 8:40:43
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    Where is loubug's video?

    I gathered all my little samples and sent them with my PCO on Friday to get their opinion. I would love to be wrong on this, believe me!

  39. 123bugs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Oct 17 2010 10:31:38
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    It is in this thread:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/creationism-destructionism-or-bed-bugs-wtf

    I pm'd Lou and asked him to ask Nobugs to put it in the FAQs with the photos as is so great.

    Nobugs - what do you think?
    It would be great if a still shot from the video could be put in the photo pages too.

    At the beginning of this when I would feel like I got a bite I often could find a little white thing where I felt the bite - they didn't look like bugs - but now after looking at that video I think they may have been. I am disturbed.


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