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New to this, and going a little insane - in Toronto

(10 posts)
  1. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 15 2012 17:37:56
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    Hello all,
    I want to thank you for having this site up, as I've been reading a little bit every day for the past two weeks when my little "issue" began.
    Your site is TREMENDOUSLY helpful, and I want to thank all of the posters from the bottom of my heart for sharing. Bed bug problems are isolating, and psychologically terrifying, and the shame that goes along with it is debilitating. I have felt overwhelmed for the past two weeks now, and cry a little every night with a feeling of helplessness. Thank goodness for all you people that have given the rest of us some sense of normalcy again.

    As for my situation, I am going to give a run down with a list of all that's happened to me lately.

    1 - about 3 weeks ago I had a friend/downstairs neighbour come up to check my computer, and to lend me a couple movies. He brought up his burnt movie DVD carrier binder cases, and placed them on my bed for a short while while I flipped through them.

    2 - I woke up with several (like over 10) small red, very itchy, all rather packed together "bites" on my right inner ankle area the day after, or two days after I can't remember now. The scars are still existant on my ankle, and this has been almost a month since the visit. I immediately thought of my neighbour because I forgot he had had BBs in the summer 2010 or 2011.
    I freaked out because how could I have been so stupid to let them into the house! I totally forgot about his BB problem and haven't seen him in a very long time, and he doesn't come up very often.

    3 - I checked everything in my room for BBs. I ripped my room apart, especially the bed, bedding, box spring, and everything under my bed (unfortunately I have 8 milk crates holding up my bed as it has no legs. It is a new bed [2 years], and I got it as a donation from a church because I am low income, working poor. It was a brand new bed, manufacturally sealed when I got it, I just didn't have a drill to put in the legs, so I got milk crates from my drugstore/grocery store where I work to make it very sturdy. This is 2 years ago at least, so this problem is not from the bed or the crates. I'm just giving this info for the sake of you guys knowing how my bed is set up, and why I can't use BB bed-leg traps). Anyhow, I found nothing. I searched all behind the things on my walls, along my side tables, in the boxes under my bed, which is storage, as I have a very small space to keep all of my belongings in, so I have to make use of EVERY space. I am VERY organized, trying to start my own organizing business (eventually), and can pretty much create the illusion of bliss in my bedroom, with things being hidden, and organized to such an extent that you would have no idea they were even there. So I checked in the outlets, behind posters, in my cat's bed, on my computer chair.. everything I could check. Nothing. I put everything back and thought that maybe it was an isolated bug somewhere from outside, whatever. Worried, but not alarmed as yet.

    4 - Went about a week without nothing new. Great.

    5 - Woke up about June 1st with a huge red welt near my right elbow. It was itchy as hell, and since I'm allergic to everything, I was dying of itch! I wanted to tear it off. Its "scar" is still there two weeks later, as well as the "scars" from the ones on my ankle.

    6 - Woke up a few days later with two giant itchy as hell welts close to my right elbow again, just an inch away from the first one. NOW I AM FREAKING OUT. So I start to research bed bugs, and get more and more overwhelmed. I start sleeping with arm warmers on my arms, and long sleeved shirts. Which I tell you, if I didn't have my room's air conditioner blasting, with summer coming in Toronto.. I would be dying. 30 degree nights are not far away as we've already had some. Ok so no more bites on my arms for at least a night or two.

    7 - A couple days later I wake up and find 3 massively red, huge itchy as usual welts on my right outer leg, near the ankle, exactly opposite from the initial bites I got on the same leg. Ok so NOW I'm paranoid, bordering on going wailing through the streets of Toronto crying for a sane place to rest my head for a few hours. That's it. That was Tuesday this week , the 11th of June, and that's the day I decided to go to war. I went to Canadian Tire, and bought a bed cover (will talk about this later), and came home prepared with money to do all my laundry, and alcohol to spray over everything.

    8 - Laundry: clothes, bedding, cat blankets, towels, pillows, even my stuffed animal. Some needed to be washed, but ALL were in dryer for at least 30 minutes. All put into garbage bags after. Sprayed everything I could with alcohol including the bed and boxspring and even all the crates, vaccuumed everything in sight.. the bed and box spring were done for like half an hour each.. every inch of that thing was sucked up. After about 4 hours of doing all this, I pulled my bed out from the wall, put the bed bug cover on, and slept with one sheet, and one pillow (both were just in the dryer). So I slept like that, and couldn't sleep properly. It was so uncomfortable that I barely got any sleep. I'm used to sleeping in a certain position, and the lack of pillows, and lack of blankets, including the lack of wall that gives me a headboard effect, gave me the most horrible neck and back ache. I barely slept at all, had to go to work. Btw, slept with long sweat pants tucked inside socks, long sleeved sweater, arm warmers up to my fingers. Like a damned little coccoon.

    9 - I don't think I got bit that night, but of course I was waking up with "psychic itchies".. and everything was itchy by then. The bites are, I think, causing my histimine levels to rise, because I am allergic to everything, and have to take a reactine every day of my life to just get by in daily life. Just in case you're wondering, this is most likely not related to rashes/allergic reactions to anything because I have never had this before. I am probably allergic to the bed bugs bites, and am having a severe reaction to them. So my body has just got the HEEBIE JEEBIES all of the time now, like I know many of you experience.

    10 - and almost lastly, I got bit on Wednesday night because I must have pulled my arm warmer down off of my fingers, and the little buggers climbed up my arm underneath it. It was almost a blister.. it was so raised and it felt like two together.. it itched worse than any of the other ones. These bugs must be like.. who do you think you are trying to not feed us?? We'll get you worse the next time! Anyhow, I have covered it with a bandaid which seems to help my itching amazingly. A good bandaid.. don't get a cheap one. This has stayed on since yesterday, which means I haven't scratched it once, and it seems to calm the skin, so I don't want to scratch it, as well as keeping the unsightly disgusting bite private so people don't ask. It's so embarrasing for me.

    Finally, here's how I slept lastnight: pants tucked into my socks, which were pulled halfway up my legs like a little old man, my regular tank top with a long sleeved man's sweater on top, arm warmers underneath the sweater (which btw are just like leg warmers but they have little wholes cut out for your thumbs, I'm sure you've seen them before on little gothy teenagers), and my winter gloves, tucked into the arm warmers. I slept like a freaking hibernating ninja. Covered head to toe in black and under my blanket like my life depended on it. As far as I know, I did NOT get bit lastnight.

    Today, actually exactly while reading a post about bed bugs here on this forum, and specifically about how they sometimes just run about on the floor, my cat was in her little box across the room, and she jumped out and was looking at something. She went to EAT IT, and I noticed RIGHT ON TIME and flew at her to stop her. I got a piece of tape quickly and picked it up. It WAS a bug. Not sure which type, but today we just told our Toronto Housing (social housing) manager about the problem, so they're going to send an inspector on Tuesday. I can show him then. Up until this point, I have not seen one bug, one carcass, one poop, one nymph, one ANYTHING. I actually have been doubting my sanity. My mother and her b/f think that I am crazy because I am very neat and a tiny bit OCD, so if they leave shit around the house I get angry because they are slobs (she is a hoarder), and I am not. The hoarding is balanced by my OCD/organizing abilities so it's not a palace, but the appt is not hoarded like when I grew up.
    Thank goodness that my cat helped with the HUNT!! I was so happy, I gave her some treats after!
    Anyhow... there is my story. Up until now I haven't commented because I didn't have ANY proof. Just itchy red bumps, and lots of mental anguish.
    I think that this bug is a good sign, and I feel relief... at least I'm not insane.
    Btw.. the bug was not moving when I got it.. it just stayed there. Not sure if my cat had anything to do with that, but it would have been gone if she had decided to eat it.. she ate a fly right out of the air one day (EEEW!!! lol)
    I'm pretty sure the bug was already stunned/deadish.

    Thank you again all you great people. For listening. For posting. For coming together to make the problem better. You are all so helpful, and wonderful!! *lots of smiles* M

    I'm sorry about the length of this post, but I also wanted to document what happened to me for the sake of my records.

    Ps.. the bed cover that I bought isn't the right one.. but I couldn't tell in the package. It is just like a SHEET, not an incasement. This is a freaking lie if you're going to call it a "BED BUG SHEET".. and I will be writing the company a harsh worded letter. I spent 30$ that I can't afford on that thing and can't return it because my cat tore a small hole in it when she was fighting the vaccuum.. Stupid stupid! (I covered the hole with a piece of duct tape) I can't return it to the store for that reason, but it was FALSE advertising in the first place, and the company that makes it is gonna hear about it.

  2. 2hawaii

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 16 2012 1:01:20
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    Hi toronto_lady_m , I can see how upset you are and the itches can make it just that much worse. For the itchy welts, have you tired an OTC allergy pill from your local drug store? You might go to a drug store and talk to the pharmacist and see if they can recommend something inexpensive that will help. If can't do that, then there are some alternatives that have worked for me and for many others. 1st there's the old stand by, ice. You could put an ice cube on the welt for a few seconds or a little longer (but not too long lest you damage your skin and create another problem you don't want).
    Also, if you have an ice bag or one of those bags you can freeze (the kind you would use if you had an injury, or arthritis ( most drug stores carry these & no RX is needed) then you can apply that frozen bag to the welt for, I believe it is 10 min. on and 10 min. off. I'm not sure of the exact time length, so you will need to look that up on the internet or call your Dr. and ask. Don't just leave it on your skin because that could very well cause you some serious skin damage and possibly cause that area of skin to die, so be sure to look for more info, if you do this. If you don't have a bag that goes into the freezer you can use on your bites, then you can always use a bag of frozen veggies. Peas work very well for all kinds of injuries and I can see that a small bag of frozen peas would also work well to give you some relief with itching..

    Of course there are non RX OTC(over the counter) creams for the itchies that you can find at any drug store. For some people they work. For me, they don't work, so I've learned other methods that help me. One new idea that I've learned on the internet, that works for me, is to put petroleum jelly on the welt. Any brand of petroleum jelly will do, but most people call it Vaseline. I just apply a good amount to cover the welt and after a few min. it totally stops itching. I was amazed that worked, but I'm so glad it did. I'm sure you can also look up on the internet other home remedies for itchies. It's hard to think clearly when all you can think about is how much you are itching, so it's really important to get that under control ASAP.

  3. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 16 2012 1:49:59
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    Hey 2hawaii,
    Thank you for your kind reply. I will try the cold, and the vaseline (with a bandaid over because that seems to really help me).

    I do however work in a pharmacy as a pharmacy technician, so am very informed about creams etc. I have also been on prescription Reactine for over 8 years now.. every single day of the year I can't survive a day without them. I mean, I cooooould, but it wouldn't be very pretty. I'm allergic to dust, cats, smoke, trees, weeds, grass.. etc etc. Never been stung by a bee (knock on wood), but by the looks of the reactions to these bites.. I don't really want to find out. I am a walking ball of gross if I don't get my allergy pill lol

    The main problem I'm having here is the actual psychological mess that I'm in. right now. I know that everyone is going through it, and no you can't just "think positive" most of the time. I would like to know what people have done to cope. I was actually contemplating sleeping elsewhere, but don't want to cause a problem for anybody else. And I know you can't get away from problems.. they just follow you. I've envisioned myself sleeping on the balcony, in the bathtub, on a bench in the park.. yes yes I know that other problems arise with these situations, but when you're desperate, and going mad with hopelessness.. these things do run across your mind.

    Has anyone else had a problem with them biting your head? I had a rather itchy bump right on the upper nape of the neck (like where your hair line begins on the back of your neck), and trust me, I don't have lice. I have already gone through that psychologically since this all started. I do work in a pharmacy, and I know very well what the symptoms are for lice, and lice do not bite anything other than the head. I'm also informed about Scabies, being in the pharmacy, and have further read up about it on my own, and I have none of those symptoms.

    Has anyone had their pets bitten? I'm concerned about my poor cat. She can't complain about it to me, so I can't know if she's being affected.

    Thank you again
    M

  4. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 16 2012 2:05:32
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    Ps.. not good for a woman who is paranoid about BBs to be surfing the ID pics on this forum... those pics are just disgussssssssssssting..
    I F$*&^%! haaaaaaaaaate bugs! (Except the pretty ones??... hah..ha......)
    *Shiver* I have severe heebie jeebies now, I'm going to log off and let you fine people do what you do best. I will try to take a pic of the bug tomorrow. I wanted to make sure it was dead before I opened up the tape I caught it in.
    *eeeew*... ugh!!! lol
    M

  5. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sat Jun 16 2012 2:20:20
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    Ok last one for tonight I swear...
    from a link in your forum I found this:
    http://e3.group.shef.ac.uk/2010/10/bedbug-image-gallery/

    If that is not enough to make you go screaming into traffic, I don't know what is..

    The good news.. the bug that I found today doesn't look anything like those bugs.... but that doesn't mean I still don't have BBs. I just haven't found the SOBs yet. The bug I found today looks like a little black thing, like an apple seed shape, with teeny little feet dangling out of the bottom. It's about a millimetre and maybe a half squared. What in the hell. I have to post a pic, and I have to wait for the inspector Tuesday.. in the mean time, my mind is clearly running wild. I'm sorry for posting again, but I couldn't find a way to edit my previous post.

    M

  6. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Jun 19 2012 3:08:16
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    I got bit on the cheek today :*( I'm very very very annoyed by this.. as I'm sleeping all covered up, so they have nothing BUT my face and head to go for now... has anyone else got bit on the face? :(

    I'm so frustrated!!! I don't want to sleep here anymore.
    M

  7. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Jun 20 2012 1:23:33
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    Well only one person has commented in this thread other than myself, but I am going to update anyways.

    The inspector came today, and he ripped my bed apart, which I gladly helped him with. Please, do anything, if you can help! He found absolutely no sign of BBs, just as I haven't either. He checked all of the places that I have checked this week.. the bed, the seams, the box spring, the walls, the furniture, the baseboards, the outlets etc etc. Nothing. He gave me 3 sticky tape traps to put out between my box and mattress until next week.

    He also told me that it's probably not BBs. So, if this is true, what in the HELL is biting me, if in fact, I have been covering up while sleeping, and the places that are not covered up at night are the places that I'm being bit? If it were fleas, my cat would be itchy, and I would see the jumping bugs (which he also suggested I look for). If it were scabies I would be bit in the places that are covered up regardless. If it were lice, all the bites would be on my head, and not on my body. Why are the bites only on the exposed parts of my body while I'm sleeping? I don't understand. This is really starting to piss me off.. moving me from crying and hopelessness, to anger and rage.

    Please can someone read the story, and suggest something? I realize that it's a long post, but I've read it over myself, and it's generally easy, and quick to read. I thank you all for your suggestions.
    Ps. I couldn't take a picture of the bug I caught because it got all tangled in the tape when I went to show the inspector. However, it looks like the picture in this post: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/is-this-a-bed-bug-64

    Thank you again!
    M

  8. toronto_lady_m

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Jun 21 2012 3:04:12
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    Today I caught a moth on the bus and let it free, because I couldn't let the poor thing die.. I had to do it.

    However, just after that moment stepping off the bus, I remembered that a few weeks ago we had a small brown bird flying around inside the place I work (a pharmacy, kinda like CVS). Anyhow, I was the one who caught it and let it go outside, and because of the very very VERY difficult time I had of catching it, I had to do it with my bare hands. It would have been too cumbersome to get into the space it landed (behind a large cooler fridge) by using gloves or anything. Anyhow.. I'm started puting this together in my head while at work today, and I am thinking that I might have got some kind of mite from that bird?? Is this possible? I washed my hands almost immediately after letting the bird go.

    Can someone please answer my post? I have many questions in the previous posts, and especially with this new question; I need help!

    M

  9. karen608

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 22 2012 10:23:31
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    Hi M: sorry no one is posting to you. I'm a newbie too but I have lots of positive signs here. Sigh.

    Anyway, birds do carry various mites etc so you may look it up online to get info.
    I am so sorry you are suffering so much. I am too and have a bed with lots of hiding places
    and even though I sprayed two kinds of bed bug stuff, a few sneak out. I just started treating,
    so will do so every two weeks and watch and wait.

    Take some deep breaths. Remember the bites are not going to harm you just aggravate you.
    Learn as much as you can. I take antihistamine first thing in the morning to take swelling out of my bites. I'll pray for you!

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Fri Jun 22 2012 10:37:01
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    Hi Toronto_lady,

    I can't emphasize this enough: skin reactions don't prove you have bed bugs. I know how frustrating that is. You should see a doctor if possible to rule out other issues.

    It's possible to have a VERY early stage bed bug problem, but pretty soon, you should be able to find fecal stains. The inspector, I'd experienced, should be able to do so.

    Fleas are a possibility. There's more than one species. A plugin flea
    Trap is cheap and might help with detection.

    Passive bed bug monitors are also cheap and can help determine if you have bed bugs.

    Remember it is possible you are reacting to bed bug bites which happened elsewhere, like public transportation, a workplace, or theater. Most people experience a delay of hours, days, or even weeks.

    I would not assume a connection with your neighbor coming into your home if he had them as long ago as last summer. If he still has them, you could get them just by living in an attached unit.

    I hope this helps!

    Keep in mind that it helps others respond if you are as brief as possible. It might help to make te questions really obvious (you might bold just the question so it stands out). Nothing wrong with giving details but it can be hard I read a log post and recall what's being asked.

    Please read the FAQs on our site, especially te first four here: http://bedbugger.com/faqs

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

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