Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Tales of Bed Bug Woe

I'm new...and exhausted! [also: is it bat bugs?]

(3 posts)
  1. canadianbugger1

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Jun 26 2014 9:40:00
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    SO my boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment in February of 2014..and I almost immediately began getting bitten by bed bugs. Of course, for the first month or so, I tried to deny the fact that it was bed bugs out of sheer terror. We had both come from bed-bug free private residences and hadn't picked up any second-hand furniture. The landlord assured us that the building was bed bug free, which made sense considering its a walk up (with only 10 tennants).

    After a month, I began checking my bedframe and mattress. I eventually found a live adult bed bug in a space between my bed frame and wooden slats. To this day, I have not found any shedding/skin, eggs, feces, etc...only the live adult bug here and there. We immediately called our super who arranged for a spraying.

    To accompany the spraying, we got rid of most of the 'decor'ish items in the apartment and drastically reduced the amount of clothing we kept in our closets and dresser, even double bagging them in white bags for a time. We pulled the bed as far out from the wall and adjoining furniture as possible. Recently, we purchased both pillow and mattress encasements.

    It's now been over 5 months since this problem began, and we appear to have gotten no where.

    We have had the apartment sprayed a total of 4 times (pesticide given the smell when we get home), with another round of sprayings on the way. We have spent hundreds of dollars (that we don't really have) laundering our clothing, bedlinens, curtains, etc. At this point, we are exhausted.

    I'll let you know the current situation, in case anyone has any advice...

    1. We continue to only see one adult (dark, fully grown) bed bug (as confirmed by the countless hours of google research I have done) at any given time. We may have seen a nymph (smaller, whitish) a couple of months back, but no more sightings since, and no eggs/feces/skin, etc.

    2. I am getting extreme reactions to the bites (swelling to almost 1 inch, extremely itchy, permanent scars after months), whereas my boyfriend who shares a bed with me every night has had no reaction.

    3. Our landlord has not told us of any other unit being sprayed for bed bugs. We also recently had a cockroach infestation from the unit below us, and a number of units were sprayed for that, but I don't know if any other units have experienced bed bugs or preventive sprayings.

    4. Most of June 2014 was bite-free. I noticed a bite around 5 pm on Tuesday June 17, because it was so itchy (I had stopped the practise of constantly checking my body for redness in the mornings). It usually takes my body some time for the bite to swell and become itchy, usually doing so after dark. My bites usually only occur every 3-7 days. They mostly come individually, but I have experienced pairs of bites before.

    5. Both of the individual bugs we have seen in the last week have come out of the woodwork, literally. Our building is quite old, and there are plenty of cracks, crevices, and hiding spots. We told our super that we think they are hiding in the walls, but the most she did was get some people in to quickly caulk the baseboards.

    6. When I called the super again this week, she told me that the exterminators demanded we catch a live bug for them to see, presumably thinking that I had gone crazy and that it was not possible bed bugs had continued to propagate after four sprayings. At this point, I am extremely frustrated. Not only am I still receiving bites and seeing the pests occasionally crawling on the walls, but my landlord and pest control company are convinced the problem is not bed bugs.

    My boyfriend and I have been saving for a new bed, and we finally have enough money to do so. We will be purchasing a simple wooden platform bed from IKEA (unfinished, light wood; simple headboard) to replace the massive bedframe we have now. We will be making or purchasing the Climbup interceptors before sleeping in the bed the first time. As I stated previously, we have already covered the mattress and pillows with bed-bug encasements. Ensuring the sheets don't touch the floor and the bed doesn't touch any walls or other furniture will also be a priorty.

    At this point though, I'm scared that after investing all this money on a new bed, we will still experience bed bugs. I have seen suggestions to dust the floor/cracks with various substances (DE, talc, etc) but we have a kitten who I am afraid will be hurt in doing so. I also don't know if I should demand our super get other apartments sprayed or not, as the bugs could be coming from them.

    PLEASE give me some advice as to additional next steps!

    EDIT: I'm now seeing posts about "bat bugs"...how can I tell the difference??

  2. endless_nightmare

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    Joined: Apr '12
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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jun 28 2014 3:05:07
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    Hello, I noticed your post down there and saw that no one had addressed it. So I'll give it a go, it's a bit long for a first post but we have seen longer.

    Perhaps a pro PCO will respond as well so my response will bump your post up in hopes of that.

    To this day, I have not found any shedding/skin, eggs, feces, etc...only the live adult bug here and there.

    OK, so I think perhaps the approach in your case would be to "reset" your living space so that you can properly figure out what the deal is.

    First things first, you need to have an expert IDing the bug(s) you saw.... I know you are convinced that they are bed bugs, and it may be that they are, but very often people come to the forum with issues of long infestations and in turns out it isn't bed bugs.

    1-) Take a good picture of the bug, and post it on a separate thread asking for an ID, a pro PCO and/or entomologist will respond and tell you what the deal is....

    she told me that the exterminators demanded we catch a live bug for them to see,

    this is common and normally no treatment should take place unless you have that

    I still receiving bites and seeing the pests occasionally crawling on the walls,

    well then you should be able to catch one quite easily if you see them on the walls, so go back to 1-) and post it here

    (swelling to almost 1 inch, extremely itchy, permanent scars after months)

    that's for a doctor to see, if it's that serious you she really go see a doctor if you haven't yet

    My boyfriend and I have been saving for a new bed

    buying a new bed will not get rid of your problem (if it is bed bugs), even if you isolate it and put the legs in climb ups the bed bugs will eventually make their way into the new bed, so you state before that money is tight, why not wait until you get the all clear....

    suggestions to dust the floor/cracks with various substances

    talc does not kill bed bugs it's only used in climb ups to trap them there or make it harder for them to climb out

    if I had a kitten I would also be worried about DE, it is quite safe when used properly but it can be a breathing hazard, so I'm not sure if it would be OK for a kitten

    what's the name of the kitten?

    I think the situation breaks down like this:

    - maybe it's not bed bugs
    - maybe it is and they are coming from another unit
    - maybe it's a local source type of infestation

    Proper ID should be performed, the other units should be inspected

    I'd hold off the treatments until this is done

    A passive monitor could be placed to help you detect fecal and cast skins or live bugs in your bed

    "bat bugs"...how can I tell the difference

    only an expert can tell you that

    To this day, I have not found any shedding/skin, eggs, feces, etc

    This is somewhat of a red flag for me, especially in a 5 months period, it would really surprise me that you have a bed bug infestation

    hoping an expert will chime in and that you'll soon figure this out

    Andrea
    not a PCO
    Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy/Volunteer
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Jun 30 2014 0:10:18
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    I am not an expert.

    Note that if a bed bug is biting once every 3-7 days, it might be just one bed bug. (However, it's possible someone else is being bitten and not reacting. It's also possible you're having skin reactions but bed bugs are no longer present.)

    Each time the bed bug feeds, it will defecate. Do you find bed bug fecal stains in your bed (or upholstered furniture)? If bed bugs are biting you in bed, there should be a new fecal stain in or near the area, each time. They are a lot easier to find than sighting an actual bed bug.

    If you're not finding fecal stains (and you're looking actively and know what to look for), then this might be a sign there's a "closely related species" to blame (bat bugs or bird bugs).

    I believe another sign is finding bed bugs on the wall (though I think this can happen in other circumstances).

    If you have bats or birds nesting in or on your home, or they have been and recently left, I would be very concerned that these might be a closely related species.

    Note that pest techs who come to treat your home may have no experience recognizing bat bugs or bird bugs, since they look a lot like bed bugs. If you have a sample, you can post a photo or detailed scan from a flatbed scanner here and an expert can comment. Some PCOs have an entomologist. Again, the presence of bats or birds or abandoned nests raises a loud warning bell.

    Do you have bed bug monitors? If not, these may be more reliable than using skin reactions to determine if bed bugs are present, or waiting for a "sighting" since those can be so few and far between. Bed bug monitors will help determine if bed bugs are present.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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