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Just found a bed bug under my shirt... Advice needed

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  1. rus264

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Dec 8 2015 20:39:49
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    So, I'm freaking out.

    In early September my boyfriend stayed at my apartment (we are long-distance). He had a bed bug problem he was unaware of at the time until he got back home and found bites all over his torso and then began seeing bugs. He subsequently treated his house. I had a bug sniffing dog come and get a positive hit on a piece of furniture in my room. I threw out the furniture (it was an Ottoman) and had a PCO come and inspect the room. They didn't find anything and said the dog hit was likely a false positive. I then encased my mattress and box spring and put climb-ups on my bed legs and sticky traps around the bed. Two months went by. Didn't find anything. No bugs, skins, fecal... so I figured I was fine. You can find the thread describing that process here:

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/my-saga-still-dont-know-for-sure

    After treating heavily with DE for a month, bagging/heating all his things, etc., my boyfriend thought he'd gotten rid of the bugs. He came and visited me in early November after he hadn't had any bites or bug sightings for four weeks; prior to that, he was only seeing nymphs for a week as the last eggs (presumably) hatched. Just in case, we had him put all his things into the dryer for 45 minutes before he entered my house, except for his shoes, wallet, and phone, which we sprayed down with rubbing alcohol.

    I didn't have any trouble after that either. I then went to his house for Thanksgiving (again, treating all my things in the dryer or with alcohol upon returning home, except for a couple of books, which I couldn't really do anything about...). At no point since September has he seen a bug. However, I was just sitting in the library at my university and took off my wool sweater to find a bed bug (I know what they look like by now; I saw live ones in a jar that the PCO had who came to do the dog inspection) on my undershirt. It was alive. I grabbed it and flushed it down the toilet after snapping a couple of pictures.

    Now I am HORRIFIED, disgusted, and don't know what to do. I've been out of the house all day and was sitting in a coffee shop for a few hours and then my school library for a few hours. Could it have just been sitting in there not biting? Is it common for them to hang out on people? I also have a fantasy that there's some bizarre coincidence and one climbed on me at the coffee shop, though I know that's very unlikely...

    My most important question is this... since I probably have an infestation... How long would it take for one to develop from a single egg-laying female? Is this an issue I may potentially have had for months? Or something new, from the Thanksgiving visit? How likely is it that I'll keep finding them on my clothes?

    I am doing my finals for school and am terrified. I don't have time to deal with an infestation this week... Can someone give me any comfort or advice? I'm going to call the PCO tomorrow...

    ETA: I know it was probably stupid to see my boyfriend at all after he had only gotten rid of bugs four weeks before, but I was kind of at a loss as to how to deal with the situation. I wasn't going to break up with him... and I know that there's nothing I can do right now, but any responses would be really helpful... How likely is it that a hitchhiker bug created an infestation in a couple of weeks?

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 6:04:21
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    I had a bug sniffing dog come and get a positive hit on a piece of furniture in my room. I threw out the furniture (it was an Ottoman) and had a PCO come and inspect the room. They didn't find anything and said the dog hit was likely a false positive.
    Did they search the piece or did they just go by the alert? There's no way to say it was a false positive if, at least, a search wasn't conducted.
    At no point since September has he seen a bug. However, I was just sitting in the library at my university and took off my wool sweater to find a bed bug (I know what they look like by now; I saw live ones in a jar that the PCO had who came to do the dog inspection) on my undershirt. It was alive. I grabbed it and flushed it down the toilet after snapping a couple of pictures.Could it have just been sitting in there not biting? Is it common for them to hang out on people?
    Too bad you didn't post a picture. An adult bug? Had the sweater been in a closet, in a dresser drawer? A place where there had been no treatment. They really don't hang out on you but could have been on the sweater that had been stored and once you wore it, the bug began investigating the warm surroundings. You didn't mention if it was plump or flat.
    My most important question is this... since I probably have an infestation... How long would it take for one to develop from a single egg-laying female? Is this an issue I may potentially have had for months? Or something new, from the Thanksgiving visit? How likely is it that I'll keep finding them on my clothes?
    It could be that there was one that had escaped insecticide application since it was in clothing that was stored or it had crawled around since treatment and hadn't contacted insecticide or not had contacted it during application. Could be more than one. You should check the surroundings of where you stored the sweater prior to wearing it. You don't have any bed bug monitors? Hatching is temperature dependent (as is their whole life) and 7-14 days on average is required for normal temperature development. Did the PCO give you any paperwork and instructions? Treatment include follow-up visits?

    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.
  3. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 9:42:33
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    Don't forget, adult females are the first to wander out of infected locations. I was at an apartment complex last week, and the tenant found one single adult female bedbug while sitting next to the couch. We couldn't find any evidence elsewhere. Maybe you got it from the coffee shop. Is there soft upholstered furniture there?

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  4. rus264

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 11:34:41
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    Hi, thank you both for responding!!

    Lou, just to be clear, I never had treatment done. I had a PCO with a dog (not my landlord's company) come and get that one hit. This was back in September, after the initial scare. The dog owner did a visual inspection of the furniture and didn't find anything. Then I had a SECOND PCO (my landlord's) come without a dog and inspect the whole room, the bed, etc., also in September. He didn't find anything either and recommended monitoring with climb-ups, passive traps, and sticky traps, which I've been doing ever since. So I NEVER had a confirmed infestation in my apartment, nor did I ever have treatment. I was only told to monitor, and didn't catch anything in the monitors for the 3+ months since the initial scare.

    However, over the last week, after my recent visit with my S.O., I saw a few tiny dark stains on my sheet near my pillow. I wrote them off as mascara or something else and didn't think much of it. Then this happened... So I really don't know. I don't think I've had them since September because of the lack of signs.

    The bug I found on me yesterday was extremely flat/skinny. If it came from my home, it would have been on me for 7 hours or so before I saw it. Perhaps it was in my coat or backpack and began to crawl into my clothes because it was hungry. I am attaching pictures here. Actually, I'm not totally sure whether it was even alive or not... I squished it between the paper towel and my fingers, but I'm not sure that it was moving before that, either. I was in kind of a panic. Below is a link to two pictures of it.

    http://imgur.com/a/x1raV

    The sweater I was wearing was, I think, one that I had brought to my boyfriend's house. Maybe it was one I'd picked up at the boyfriends house but killed in the dryer? Can't seem to find bugs anywhere else near where the sweater was stored (in my closet).

    Jim, the coffee shop has upholstered chairs, one of which I was sitting on for a few hours.

    I guess I'm just wondering, if I was exposed a few weeks ago when my boyfriend came to visit again, or on Thanksgiving, how bad would the infestation would have gotten by now? Would I be able to afford putting off inspection for a few days while my roommates and I finish our finals?

  5. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 11:47:44
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    Looks like an adult male. Between 7-14 days would be enough time to find confirming signs if they were in your bedroom.

  6. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 15:26:12
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    Yes, an adult, very hungry, male bed bug. Possibly could have come from upholstered chairs in coffee shop and not from your home. Keep monitoring.

  7. rus264

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 15:55:47
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    Thanks both for the confirmation... I also called a PCO and they said they'd come in with a dog early next week and do a full-house inspection.

    One question: I have a metal bedframe-- very bare-bones; just a metal rectangle w/ wheels that snaps together; my queen box spring rests on top of it. I looked around the perimeter with a flashlight and kind of pulled the encasements around a bit looking for fecal that might be on or around where the bed sits in the frame. Everything looked clean. But I can't lift both mattress and box spring to look the frame over fully without putting them on the ground, which I would rather not do just now in case something crawls onto them. Am I correct in understanding they don't like metal much? Or is there a good chance they'd be wedged in there? Better to pick up both mattress and box spring and put them on the ground and go through the metal frame with alcohol/flashlight? Or leave things as is? Bed is isolated and, from what I can see, encasements look totally clean, but of course it's not isolated anymore if there are bugs on the frame.

    It looks like this, but without the center bar.

    https://secure.img1.wfrcdn.com/lf/79/hash/24398/11380990/1/Traditional%2BMetal%2BBed%2BFrame.jpg

    Thanks...

  8. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Dec 9 2015 16:15:39
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    Pay close attention to the locations right above the legs of the bed.

  9. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 10 2015 1:16:40
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    Thanks, Lou and Jim. Good luck Rus264.

    They
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    = TAOT
  10. rus264

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Thu Dec 10 2015 18:07:03
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    Yes, thanks Lou and Jim for the information!! No bugs in the frame that I can see-- I managed to lift the box spring to look in the place where the bed rests. Nothing in the climb-ups, no bites yet.

    I'm surprised that the bugs may have managed to get through my dryer/rubbing alcohol protocol... I know they're not smart, but they seem to get awfully lucky sometimes


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