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Lots of intial bites but no new ones--no evidence of BBs

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  1. bxu123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 24 2011 0:43:16
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    Hi.

    About 2 weeks ago I noticed 20(!) bites on my abdomen that I'm pretty certain are BB bites (lots in a row, and clustered). The bites hurt more than they itched, but they itch a little now that they're starting to heal.

    For about a week, I wasn't sure what they were so I didn't really do anything about it. I have now started to vacuum and declutter my apartment, but I haven't turned up any evidence of bedbugs--no bugs live or dead, no spots on my sheets, no fecal stains anywhere. I inspected my mattress, box springs, and bed frame and didn't find anything. I've also checked my living room chair and sofa, but didn't see anything.

    If I'm right about the time I was bitten, I haven't got any new bites for 12 days. Is it possible I could have been bitten somewhere else? I haven't slept anywhere but my bed, with the occasional nap on my chair. The only place I can think where I could have been bitten would be the workout facility in my apartment complex.

    My other thought is that one could have migrated from another apartment in my building.

    I'm really not sure what to do. I think I'll call an exterminator to do an inspection. Who knows if they will find anything.

    Any ideas on what I should do next? I'm kind of freaking out right now and could use some guidance.

    Thanks!

  2. bxu123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 24 2011 11:06:53
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    Another night with no new bites. I'm confused how I could have so many bites the first time and none after that(?). Any ideas?

    Anyway, I ordered a passive detector, so maybe that will help one way or another.

  3. bxu123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2011 8:34:23
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    I had a K9 inspector come by this morning. The dog alerted on my bed and the guy found a couple of spots on my box spring and a couple more spots on one of my pillows. He searched around the bed and in the box springs, but couldn't find any live bugs. He said I probably have a very light infestation. I've still only been bitten the one time two weeks ago.

    He gave me the names of a couple PCOs, but I'm not sure what I should do. I live in an apartment, so I think I should talk to the rental office first, but they might not do anything since there were no live bugs, but I don't want to wait until the infestation gets worse. I could hire my own PCO (assuming the LL let's me), but that wouldn't address any of the other units.

    I'm really freaking now, so any advice would be really appreciated!

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2011 12:08:51
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    It may be the landlord's responsibility to treat, depending where you live.

    Note that a dog alert without any confirmation does not mean much. We don't know if it really found bed bugs or not. We also don't know of the dog in particular alerts to cast skins or dead bed bugs. Our FAQ on canines follows experts like Mike Potter who recommend visual confirmations of dog alerts.

    The pattern you describe could have been from being bitten all at once by multiple bugs. if this is the case, they would continue biting you if they were in your home, at least once a week each.

    In some cases, people have been bitten over a period of time but did not react initially, then reacted all at once to previous bites. This is unusual but seems to happen to some. (I think it happened to me, though I did not know it was possible until an entomologist here who feeds a bed bug colony -- I believe it was Sean Rollo-- said it happened to him.)

    It's possible, if the first scenario above is true, that you were bitten outside your home.

    If the second scenario is true, it's possible you had a bed bug or two at home which bit for weeks without any iitial reaction, and and perhaps you killed them off in your cleaning.

    I'd withhold judgment for now, and implement the BbAlert Passive you ordered. I don't think you necessarily have them in your home right now, so you might hold off on talking to the landlord. Be extra vigilant searching for signs when outside the home, as it's fully possible you were bitten somewhere else.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  5. bxu123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2011 12:18:28
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    I talked to the rental office, and they are going to have Orkin search the entire building to see if they can find the source. That's good, but I kind of wish it was someone other than Orkin.

    The whole situation is weird. I don't go out of the house without my shirt on, so I don't know how I would have gotten bit there, and I'm not getting in my apt now. Of course, I can't sleep past 3:00 am now, so maybe I'm spooking the bugs!

    Thanks for the reply!

  6. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2011 12:39:17
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    My general sense of Orkin (or Terminex or any other really big pest control firm) is that they are not necessarily any better or worse than any other pest control firm overall. As with any very large company with local officers under different management, some offices have given great service while others have given poor service. I wouldn't write them off just because they're a big company any more than I would totally be convinced they'd be great just because they're a big company.

    Your last post mentions that since you're not sleeping past 3, maybe you're spooking the bugs.

    It is true that beg bugs generally prefer to feed earlier in the morning--as in in the wee hours around, say, 2 or 3 or 4 am.

    However, it's not because that's when their buggy hunger mechanisms are set. It's not an internal clock. Bed bugs instead prefer to feed whenever their food is least likely to see the bugs feeding. We know this because shift workers who sleep during the day and work at night will generally have a bed bug population that feeds at whatever time of the day the food source (i.e., us) is least likely to be active.

    As a result, if you become active at 3 am, the bugs will shift their feeding time accordingly.

    I agree that passive monitors are a good idea. If I were you, I might also want to rule other things out. Since a dog alert without visual confirmation isn't conclusive proof, I would want more concrete proof of bed bugs before going through treatment.

    Are you in a position to be able to go see either a primary care doc or a dermatologist to rule out dermatological issues? I don't normally suggest that for run of the mill bites, and it is entirely possible that you're seeing a delayed reaction to bites as the posters above suggest, but precisely because it's not a particularly typical pattern, if it's not a financial hardship to see a doc just to rule out dermatological issues like scabies, I might want to do that too.

  7. bxu123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2011 13:25:12
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    Here is a picture of my bites:

    Bites

    Sorry for my less than impressive abs. Anyway, the patterns look very linear (BB-like) to me.

    I'll try to make an appointment with my Dr tomorrow.

    Thanks!

  8. bxu123

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jul 26 2011 15:18:04
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    I talked to an independent PCO and the Orkin guy who came to my appartment. Both said that I probably don't have BBs and I should adopt a wait and see approach to the issue. It's suspicious that I haven't been bitten in two weeks, and that points to it's either not BBs or I was bitten somewhere else (just like you guys said). I will start using the passive monitor when I receive it.

    I made an appointment to get my bites looked at by a Dr. tomorrow.

    I guess I'm in a holding pattern now.

    Thanks for your help!!

  9. jal111

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Dec 19 2011 5:27:49
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    Hi bxu123

    I'm in exactly the same situation as you. I have a cluster of bites from about a week ago which looks very similar to yours, but absolutely no sign of the bugs anywhere and no bites since. We've also been setting traps, and inspecting the bed at 3am with a torch.

    I was wondering how you got on? Did you determine whether you had them in the end?

    Thanks for posting all this too.

  10. jal111

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Dec 20 2011 16:54:41
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    I found this on google and thought I have exactly the same situation, but there's no conclusion as to what the problem was.

    In my case I have Shingles and not bed bugs. If you have a rash like the picture below then you might have shingles too so you should go and see your doctor instead.


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