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My story of potential bed bugs. Expert opinions appreciated

(4 posts)
  1. soooconfused

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 11 2010 8:29:15
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    Hello everyone. Did some traveling 2-3 months ago and started becoming concerned about bed bugs after having a few "bites", but also spent a lot of time outside when traveling. When I got home did some research and found this site and have been scouring it ever since. I started checking bed sheets and turning over mattresses, box springs, night tables and found nothing, other than some potential blood smears on my sheets which were very faint and PCO's did not think was anything to be concerned about. I've had 3 PCO's to my house and all say can't find any evidence of activity and after this much time there would be something. I encased my bed and installed climb-ups 1 1/2 weeks ago. Nothing in climb ups as of yet.

    About 1 1/2 weeks ago my husband took our Halloween decorations out of the cubby hole in my son's room that is used as storage. Ever since that time my son has experienced 4-5 bites on his chest which swelled and have scabs in the middle, one on his neck and two on his back which look different from the ones on his chest. I did find what may or may not have been a fecal spot on my son's sheet the day before the chest bites. When I tried to pick it up it smeared black and when wiped off the only thing remaining was a small brown spot which will not remove after 3 washings. I have now encased my son's bed (before the bites on his neck and back), but the legs are too large for climb ups. I have installed the BB Alert passive monitors on all beds and nothing has come up on those either.

    My main question is was there possibly a lone bed bug hiding in the cubby hole where the luggage is kept and has now been released or did we possibly have other critters (mites) hiding out in our cubby hole and now that my husband has distrubed the area they have come out to attack my son?

    I realize this is a long post and I apologize for that. Any advice would be really appreciated as I don't think I can live with this uncertainty anymore. My husband is in denial there is a problem and won't let me spend money on a canine, as the closest one would have to travel quite a distance with a significant cost. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  2. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 11 2010 10:10:06
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    Sounds like you're proceeding correctly with investigating, inspecting and monitoring -- and no news is always good news. Try and focus on that.

    To further the process, you might want to visit a dermatologist and have them look at the bite marks. While the dermatologist cannot ID a bed bug bite, they can rule out bug bites in general via biopsy.

    You can try and rule out the potential fecal smear with the Phenolphthalein Presumptive Blood Test Kit from Arrowhead Forensics. http://www.arrowheadforensics.com/cgi-crime-scene/sb/productsearch.cgi A negative result will rule out fecal smears.

    To make sure you're placing the BBAlert Passive correctly, you can PM a picture of your son's sleeping set up to David Cain, a member here, and inventor of the BBAlert Passive.

    Also from the "FAQ Page" on Climb-Ups:

    What Can Be Done if Bed Legs are Too Big to Fit in ClimbUp®?

    Spacers or risers can be placed under legs to elevate legs 1½” over ClimbUp®. Commercial bed risers are available and do-it-yourselfers find that 1½” thick wooden blocks or slices of 3” diameter PVC pipe work well.

    As to the dogs, it may be a small price for peace of mind, however make sure they do a very thorough physical inspection to confirm any hits. If not, a false positive will add to your problems, not help them.

    Richard

  3. soooconfused

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 11 2010 10:15:49
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    Thank you for the advice Richard. Would the blood test work after the sheet has been laundered? With the risers for the climb ups, not sure I understand. Would the risers actually hold the legs up over the climb up and not rest in it?

  4. Richard56

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Nov 11 2010 10:24:33
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    Think so. But I would call the manufacturer of the blood kit (see link above) to confirm. You could also double-check with a drop of your own blood (put a drop of you blood on an old pillowcase, wash, dry and then test) after the kit arrives.

    One end of the riser would be in the climb up. The other end would support your bed. If you can't find suitable risers in a store, cut 3" lengths of PVC plastic pipe that you can find in a hardware store.


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