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Newbie here--just a few questions!!!

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  1. justaquestion

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    Joined: Jul '11
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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jul 18 2011 6:25:17
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    Hi all,

    First off--THANK YOU for any help! I sincerely appreciate it.

    I've been reading all day about bed bugs and other bugs. I'll try and keep this concise...

    I've been in my house for about 4 years. I have 2 dogs, I don't ever travel, and have been very cautious about keeping things that come into the house clean (washing anything washable before setting it down, inspecting and wiping down containers, and even opening/inspecting all packages in the bathtub). I'm sort of paranoid, mostly because years ago I lived in an apartment building INFESTED with roaches. I successfully got rid of them during my move into this house by tossing most of my furniture, inspecting every single DVD case, bagging everything, etc. but I guess the "ick" factor never left.

    So... Last summer I found a few carpet beetles crawling around behind shelves in the bathroom. Upon further inspection, I found a few of the hairy little larvae too. I scooped them all up, inspected, cleaned, etc.

    Then I found more in the dog treats which I keep on their own shelf near the back door. Tossed the treats, inspected, cleaned.

    Then I found another set of bugs/larvae in the living room on a canvas.

    Long story short--I hadn't seen any more of those little rascals until recently. The last week I've been doing major spring cleaning. I've thrown away tons of old/broken furniture (lamps, side tables, baskets, etc.), 4 garbage bags of clothing, and other clutter. I moved furniture for the first time in a long time, got up on a ladder and scrubbed fixtures and washed curtains, etc. In the process I've unearthed loads of carpet beetles and larvae (mostly dead/dried up, but a few live larvae). I know to vacuum them up, clean, and I've been spreading DE or Borax around. However, the last week (since I've been cleaning), I've also been getting what appear to be bites.

    All of the "bites" are on my torso, all on my back, and mostly near my bra straps (shoulder blades). They are quite small and look identical to flea bites. They typically itch for about 5 minutes and are gone by the next day. They don't appear in clusters, but I've gotten 1-2 every day for the last week, all in that same area.

    I've been paranoid about BBs since the "recent" outbreaks the last couple years so that was the first thing that popped into my head. I'm in a freestanding house with no shared walls with neighbors, but I've also noticed many mattresses out on the sidewalks around here recently, which hasn't helped my paranoia.

    The other issue is one of my dogs gets fleas constantly even with proper grooming and treatments. I check her pretty much every night for fleas in the summer just to make sure she's clean. About 2-3 weeks ago, she became overrun with them overnight and it took several baths and tubes of medication to get rid of them. I obviously threw away her blanket, but she sleeps on my sofa. I inspected but found no fleas (my sofa's black though--hard to spot). During the few days of trying to get rid of her fleas, I got bit quite a lot. I could see the fleas biting me, so I know they were in fact flea bites. I cleaned/vacuumed/sprayed the house and sofa and haven't seen a flea for weeks.

    But now I'm getting these bites again (in the same places the fleas were biting me).

    It would make sense that I missed some fleas, or that new eggs hatched. Everything I've read about carpet beetles would also point to a reaction to their shedded "fur." But I AM FREAKING OUT about BBs!!!

    I got on hand and knee and inspected my bed today--no signs at all of bed bugs. I have a wooden frame with wood slats and a futon-type mattress (padding inside a zipped slip-cover) and a memory foam topper on that. I searched every layer of the bedding and turned up nothing but lint. The wood slats are light-colored and completely clean (nothing that looked like fecal traces or whatever). I did however find a WHOLE LOT of dried up carpet beetle larvae on the floor beneath the bed, a silverfish on the wall, and some empty cobwebs.

    I have never been "bit" while in bed--no sensation of biting or itching. I don't wake up with the "bites." Typically I only get itchy or feel crawly sensations when sitting out in the living room on the sofa (which I found more carpet beetles in today). I've never seen a beetle crawling on me though.

    Instead of fighting more with this couch, I'm just going to toss it. I've also decided to quarantine the dogs to their own area in the living room to sleep after this is all figured out.

    I've scheduled an appointment/consultation with an Orkin man for both the beetles and possible fleas, but in the meantime--does it sound possible I have BBs?! I'm mostly concerned because:

    a) My dogs have had fleas a million times and I've gotten bitten, but never weeks after their fleas were gone. Also, I keep getting bites but see no fleas around.

    b) I've had carpet beetles on and off for over a year--have had serious itching before, but never any "bites." The itching was so bad last year that I saw 3 separate dermatologists, all who found absolutely no trace of insects/mites/bites and called it "idiopathic pruritus." Is it possible I'm reacting now just because there are so many carpet beetles suddenly/I've been cleaning and unearthing them the last week?

    Thank you so much for any help, thoughts, comments, etc. You are all a blessing!


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