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Was: MORAL SUPPORT, Now: problem solved (not bed bugs)

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  1. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat May 19 2012 16:44:14
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    Ext #1: Told me I had eggs in my bedframe. Gave me a bedbug prep sheet filled with falsities.
    Did prep, didn't get bit for almost a week. Got bit the day before ext came back.
    Dried pillows, one had 10 blood stains on it. Also blood stains on my comforter and in my encasement after first treatment of bare box spring.
    He did 3 chemical treatments in pretty quick succession (like a week apart).
    1: Suspend SC
    2: Bedlam & Gentrol
    3: Phantom

    During 2nd treatment HE asked ME if I was sure it was bedbugs. He suggested it could be spider mites, which don't bite humans. When, after the 3rd treatment, I thought I saw a bedbug, he told me he could not come over every time I saw a bug. I hired a bedbug specialist. It was not a bedbug.

    Ext #2:
    Said he felt 50/50 that I had bedbugs, but would do the treatment if I desired, since ext #1 said that I did. He said since the first ext sprayed sooo many chemicals, there was no way to track down whatever is biting me, because they are in hiding. We did a 3 part treatment.
    1: Heat & natural insecticide
    2. Dusting DE

    He started suspecting I do not have bedbugs by the 2nd treatment and suggested bringing over a bedbug to bite me. I agreed. WOW. The bites were SO DIFFERENT. I am now very convinced that I do not/did not have bedbugs ever.

    But WHAT DO I HAVE? I still do not know. I have been trying to track down, ID, etc. for almost a week and a half and have not been able to find anything that is a bug that would bite me. The entomologists I have been taking stuff to think I am crazy.

    I have read up a lot on mites, and it seems to fit. My bites look just like the rat mite bite photos on the Internet, though I'm now getting more and more worried that it is bird mites. However, I spoke to a PCO who specializes in bird mites and he said that they would not leave blood stains. He said the only thing that would leave blood stains are bedbugs. But I KNOW I do not/did not have bedbugs! So I am baffled...

    I am also just psychologically hitting a major wall. I know that suicide is not the answer, HOWEVER, I do not think I can keep living like this. I was maybe going to move in a month, but after I disclosed that I have some sorta unidentified biting thing, my possible future roommates opted to take somebody else. I am expecting to be completely homeless in a month due to this problem (my lease runs out and current roommates are leaving). I also am starting to feel suspicious that they are at my work, my friend's house, and that they are starting to attack my innerds.

    I slept at a friend's house and woke up with "test bites" (red marks, but don't itch). I didn't discover them til after I was at work, but I told myself to calm down, that they were probably not on me, etc. The next night I went straight to an event from work and at 10:30pm I started getting bit like crazy all of a sudden. It was like it was at the VERY beginning of my infestation.

    I really, really do not know what to do about all of this, and nobody has found any bugs in any of my samples. Nobody seems to know anything about these potential problems. When I thought I had bedbugs, people were SO supportive, but as soon as it was some mysterious thing, support waned immensely. Nobody knew what to say or do or how to help and many of my friends still don't know I am having a problem. I need help. Help.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat May 19 2012 16:54:52
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    Dear brooklyn,

    You are not alone and I see too may of these cases.

    However, the basic biological facts are what they are:

    > here is really NO ectoparasite that cannot be seen by the unaided eye.
    > even mites, although tiny, dare I say teenie weenie, are visible provided you have decent near sighted vision.
    > some folks say "scabbies" however, they are mites that burrow into your skin. (note that on a dog we call them mange and I'm sure you don't appear to be a mangie mutt, right ? ! )

    This said, there are things that can cause bite like reactions.

    Have you tried setting sticky traps, light traps and other such traps in an effort to see what may get caught?

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  3. edtt

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat May 19 2012 20:38:48
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    hello Brooklyn,
    what a mess for you!
    sounds like you have had so many different people involved, giving you different information.
    how frustrating, I do hope that you have family or friends that you feel will support you.
    please talk to those around you and if you need prefessional mental health support, do so.
    suffering in silence and not reaching out can be very damaging to you and those around you.
    I do hope your situtation gets brighter.

  4. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat May 19 2012 21:32:59
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    I have glue traps set up and I have been doing the hot water under a red lightbolb thing. There are really tiny white things in the water this morning, but they could just be skin or dust particles, I don't know. I am hesitant to bring anything back to the entomologists if I'm not sure they are creatures, because they already think I am wackadoo... it's like the boy who cried wolf at this point.

    A few key friends know, but I'm afraid of causing people to withdraw from me in fear that I may "give them something". Whatever this is, it doesn't seem to be contagious... I've been leaning on my closest friends a bit too much and I have a therapist but she is on VACATION. Great timing, right?

    P Bello, what are some examples of things that cause bite-like reactions? Is there a post on here you could link me to? I am going to the dermatologist this week to get a biopsy of a bite to verify that they are bites. That won't tell me what is biting me; it will just verify whether or not I have creatures. I felt like the blood stains verified that for me, but it's been almost a month and a half since then.

  5. mlandri1

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat May 19 2012 22:19:20
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    Dear brooklyn,

    I'm so sorry you're going through all this. As someone who did have bedbugs, and is now in a near-constant state of paranoia about every tiny itch or moving insect I see -- I understand.

    Based on the absence of any bug evidence, and what sounds like an extremely high stress level, I would be willing to bet that many of your reactions now anyway are psychosomatic.

    I promise. I don't say this to be dismissive at all. I get psychosomatic reactions ALL the time, and I know they are very real and terribly upsetting. But feeling like they are inside you, "getting bit" while out at an event -- those are such extreme situations and so unusual they are likely driven by your fear and uncertainty.

    I would spend all your time and effort on seeing a dermatologist and calming yourself down. A dermatologist should be able to tell you whether you are having bites or a rash of some kind -- if it's the latter, you may have an environmental allergy, or it may be psychosomatic. But overall, try to breathe deeply and remind yourself on a regular basis what you HAVE seen and what you DO know for sure. Staying grounded in those facts will help you from spiraling into panic.

    Again, I say all this as someone who has been there, and has the utmost sympathy. Keep us posted.

  6. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun May 20 2012 7:52:58
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    Thank you. To my defense on the innerds kick, I got a couple of bites on my nose the other night, right by my nostril, so I started feeling worried. When I got home that night, as soon as I opened the door, something flew into my mouth. I suppose it could have been a dust particle or something, but that seems like a strange coincidence to me.

    The bites I got at a friend's house are very real and look very much like the bites I was getting at the very beginning of my infestation. Red marks. I've heard them described as "test bites". When I was getting them at the beginning of my infestation, I was awake and they'd feel like a pinch.

    I understand how worry can cause psychosymatic reactions, but after staying at a friend's house, I was totally not worried. I was really glad to have gotten a good night's sleep and assumed that I wouldn't have any bites on me. When I found three (the things that looked like "test bites"), that is when I got worried. She has since laundered everything in the communal areas, vacuumed the couches, sweeped, mopped, etc. I sprayed down my chair at work with 91% alcohol, as well the floorboards under my desk, just to be safe.

    OK, maybe this all DOES make me sound crazy. But when I got home from getting bit that one night I was out, I got bit around my ankles when I got home as I was vacuuming. Those marks are still there as well and still itch. I guess it just doesn't seem to add up to me. Things have been OK since then (knock on wood), but I am still nervous about going back to my friend's house.

  7. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun May 20 2012 10:01:34
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    Dear brooklyn,

    I am NOT a medical doctor however, some of the suspected causes for bite reactions may include: static electricity, laundry detergent, auto-immune system responses, previous experience, certain insect larvae body parts (i.e. carpet beetle larvae), small biting arthropods & insects (mites, fleas, thrips, bed bugs, ticks, chiggers, etc.), paper fibers and other things.

    Unfortunately, many medical doctors, likely most, are not trained in medical entomology nor can "insect bites" be easily diagnosed or identified which may be due to the size of the culprit alone (remember, this ain't "Jaws" where Hooper can measure the bite radius and tooth size in the flesh to figure out it's a great white).

    It's "muddy water" at best but you need to be calm, logical and persistent in your quest to find answers.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  8. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue May 22 2012 20:37:01
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    I had an investigation tonight by a bird mite specialist. Based on my bites, symptoms, and story, he feels that I have bird mites that are biting me, and also living on the rodents in the walls. In all of my endless research and readings, I have not come across anything that indicates that bird mites are happy to feed on rodents and vice versa... eesh.

    He suspects that I did NOT pick up mites on my trip, but that I brought them WITH me on my trip, and because there was not a suitable host present, they started biting me (and, because they're so loyal, continue to do so, even in the presence of more suitable hosts). Since they were in MY stuff, it makes sense that they were content biting me and no one else.

    He says that since we live in a large apt building, the only way to control the situation is to get rid of allll the mice, which could take foreverrr and/or never really happen. He told me he could treat with pesticides, but that it would be a waste of money, because they'd be back in 45 days, since the mice will still be here. I said that I've been thinking about moving and he said that that is my absolute best shot at solace. He said to get the hell out of here. Run, don't walk.

    This has been such a fucking nightmare. This story seems statistically preposterous, but I do believe him that I have bird mites who are biting the rodents, because I felt pinches at the beginning, which is attributed to bird mites and not rodent mites. We did not find any evidence of birds on the premises whatsoever, but I have heard mice in the walls and have found droppings. Also he basically told me to move out instead of getting treatment, so I don't think he'd have any motivation to lie to me about this stuff (no money in it for him).

    Anyway, I very seriously hope we are reaching the end to this very traumatic chapter of my life and that I can find peace someday soon.

  9. KillerQueen

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue May 22 2012 21:57:48
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    It still sounds like you have been scammed, scammed some more, and scammed again.

    Bird mites? You would have evidence of them and a bird problem. I would place my bet you don't have bird mites. Rodent mites, possible, but again you should find evidence of them also.

    About two years ago I did an inspection for a woman in Brooklyn who was told she had bed bugs, ("confirmed by NY's most famous/best K9") again and again the dog continued to hit inside her home. She underwent bed bug treatments for 5 months with little to no relief. She never found a bed bug during the 5 months despite all the bites (27 in one night alone - the night before she called me) I told her don't waste your money on me with an inspection, you don't have bed bugs. She insisted I come for an inspection. Guess what - zero evidence to suggest she ever had a bed bug problem.

    A dermatologist (most of them are horrible from my experience) told her they were bed bug bites. This is what prompted her to have a K9 inspection and started her into her nightmare. All it did was validate her fears. A bad inspection!

    While I was there she told me she felt like she was being bitten right then and there on her arm. She looked down and didn't see anything but I looked and noticed a 1/2mm little critter. I picked up the glue monitors that were tossed all over the house to catch the "bed bugs" and found more stuck on the traps. What were they? -rodent mites. The house was crawling with them from a past rodent (rat) problem next door in the attached home. The rodent problem was solved but nothing was done to remove nesting material or possibly dead rodents in the walls.

    Now -- bedbugger people - don't share this with everyone but I did her mite treatment for her because she didn't trust anyone else to help her. She begged me for the most part really. I had enough experience with mites to know how to hit them and end this for her so I said ok. Basically nailed it down on the first visit but did make two visits to be sure. Not a hard treatment at all if you know what our doing. Most all pest control is a cake walk really ... if you're dedicated and have passion for what you do.

    It doesn't sound like you have truly been dealing with "specialists" or honest people for that matter. I would do more research and monitor yourself for mites ... it's not that difficult to find evidence.

    Best of luck!!

  10. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue May 22 2012 22:08:09
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    Folks,

    As KQ points out above, the simple fact remains that if you're actually being bitten by an ecto-parasite then there will be physical evidence present.

    There are NO mystery bugs that can't be eventually found if present.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  11. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue May 22 2012 22:42:56
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    What do you suggest for catching mites? I have had glue traps down for a week and a half and I still have not caught them. However, when I was emptying out the vacuum cleaner last night, I finally saw one. It was white and round and incredibly tiny. It was impossible to find after that, because it was so small. Does this sound accurate to mites?

    Can people make suggestions for "non-scammers" who do these jobs and/or investigations in NYC? Also, is it possible to feel a rodent mite bite? This guy said only bird mite bites feel like a pinch (I felt the "pinch" each time for the first month or so of my problem) and that I wouldn't feel a rodent mite bite me. Also, what evidence do you have that this recent person was scamming me? He seemed to be the most honest of the bunch, actually, telling me to move, rather than charging me up the wazoo to do a treatment, and told me how to treat my stuff myself, rather than paying him to do an expensive thing with all my belongings.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue May 22 2012 23:57:37
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    I sent you a PM.

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

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue May 22 2012 23:57:52
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    Sticky traps, two sided tape, etc.

    Look at images of mites online so you can see what you're looking for.

    Generally, mites need a suitable host to survive for extended periods.

    You can also isolate your bed using a variety of items that block pest access.

    Vacuum thoroughly and treat the vacuum and/or bag therein as needed.

    If this has been traced to a previous rodent infestation, it may be necessary to treat all utility penetrations and wall voids with a suitable dust.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  14. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed May 23 2012 8:17:23
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    Where do I put the two sided tape for best results? I've been vacuuming, laundering my clothes, all of my belongings are in bags inside boxes, etc.

  15. P Bello

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed May 23 2012 11:39:49
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    If the critters you have are biting mites, then they are attracted to an animal and possibly you.

    As such, you can place the two sided tape such that the area where you are is encircled.

    Iff this is your bed, first assure that the bed and area within "the circle" is bug free prior to placing the tape and/or sticky traps.

    If you have these critters present you should catch some within 24 to 48 hours.

    If you're still in doubt, contact KQ and have him visit your place.

    Hope this helps ! paul b.

  16. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed May 23 2012 18:33:43
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    Which sticky traps do you recommend/where do I get them? And if double-sided tape, is the yellow Scotch kind good enough? Put it around bed posts after using a lint roller on bed? Thanks.

  17. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2012 11:19:16
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    Deleted at user's request.

  18. brooklyn_bites

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Aug 9 2012 18:31:54
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    Long story abridged: We think I had atypical scabies. Scabies treatment solved my problem, though I also moved beforehand, so we can't be 100% sure. However, I saw one under magnification attached to my hand that looked more like a scabies mite than another type of biting mite, and I was the only one having a problem, and it seemed to not just be isolated to my home, so... most likely atypical scabies.

    For those going through something similar, my symptoms were pinprick sensations which immediately turned into pimple-looking reactions or tiny bloodred lacerations that looked like tiny slits (different depending on location on my body). The reactions began under and around my chest and eventually moved to the crook of my lower back and sometimes on my shoulders and arms. The pimple-looking reactions itched at the onset, then would scab over over time and the scab would eventually come off in the shower. These reactions stayed on my skin and took about 4 weeks to individually heal. Overall, the pattern I experienced was 3 weeks of hell, 2 days of nothing, 3 weeks of worse hell, 2 days of nothing. I went through several of these cycles before getting any answers or resolution.

    My advice is to see a dermatologist before seeking pest control advice. If your dermatologist doesn't have any idea what your problem could be, be sure to explain your symptoms in great detail, and if they still don't know, seek a better dermatologist. If you have bedbugs, you generally won't feel them (at least, they will certainly not feel like a pinprick) but, more importantly, you will eventually see a bedbug or evidence of them. People make them sound really elusive, but they are not that elusive. They leave evidence and if they are not leaving evidence, your problem is not serious enough to pay for a pest controller, as thorough decluttering, cleaning with 91% alcohol, and diligent cleansing of linens and clothing can solve an early infestation. Thanks for everyone's advice and support during this hellish period of my life. Keep up the good fight.


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