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No Bites, No Bugs -- BedBug Refugee Still Itching!

(5 posts)
  1. thefayth

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 1 2008 18:26:00
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    Hi! I've been a member here ever since I suspected my 3 month sublet had bedbugs. I'm going to try and give as much information so perhaps someone can give me some advice?

    I'm allergic to a ton of stuff including grass, trees, flowers and bugs. So it made sense that my allergic reaction to bedbugs was severe.

    Moved into 3 month sublet 10/1/2007 and on 10/2/2007 I had large red welts rising on back, arms, legs and waist. Welts started small like mosquito bites, then became large golf ball sized things that wept clear liquid. No itching meds could help, but lavender scented baby oil decreased the bites if I applied it as soon as I stepped in the house...and drenched myself with it.

    I complained immediately to my landlord, aka my other roommate. He thought I had something wrong with my skin as he had no bites and had never seen a bug. He did tell me that one person had been bitten bad while sleeping on the couch, but it had never happened again so they thought nothing of it. Nor did they think anything of getting all their furniture of the streets in Astoria, Queens!

    After a month of bites, roommate inspected room and amongst clutter found 100's of bugs swarming the electrical sockets. So a PCO came out and did the apt, but only ours not the apt below. The first week was great no bites, and then they came for me. I looked down at 8pm one night, and there the bedbug was sucking directly from my skin. I flicked at it and it ran up the bed; I screamed and said screw it. I took one bag of clothes that night to a hotel, washed it in the bathtub with hot water and saw no bugs. I stayed in hotel for a week and then went back for 8 bags of clothes. Tossed TV, TIVO, Electrical equipment, bed and bedding as well. Triple bagged keepsakes of photos and papers and left them on the balcony of a friend for winter. I went straight to laundry and changed into new clothes, walked away from BB central with the clothes and into a new sublet. Once there I kept feeling like I was being bit, but there were no bites of any kind. No redness, no bites. Still I moved again, just to be sure. Clothes went back to laundry and I arrived at new place with one new suitcase. Time in BB Central = 2 months, time in last apt = 2 months. New apt where I live now = 1st month. I've looked at the mattress, no discoloration no bugs, no cast skins in apt that I have found.

    My Question: Could someone with severe allergic reaction have that reaction go away? Could I now be a person who doesnt think they're being bit but am? Or is it more likely that I have a lingering allergic reaction and may need to avoid shellfish to never feel itching again? THANKS SO MUCH FOR LISTENING AND ANY ADVICE!

  2. lil_bit_obsessed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Apr 1 2008 21:58:02
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    hi thefayth, when you say that you are still itching, do you mean that you are itching but that you don't have anything that looks like the initial bite?

    hopelessnomo posted this fantastic link the other day, an excerpt from the bedbug handbook, on how to inspect beds...
    http://www.pctonline.com/articles/article.asp?MagID=1&ID=3146&IssueID=240

    it might be worthwhile to read this carefully and do another inspection. if you still find nothing, maybe consider seeing a dermatologist and/or allergist? you could also consider hiring a bedbug dog to check out your new place, just to be safe.

    it's hard to know after moving if the itchyness is new bites, or old bites still reacting. i still have lingering reactions two months after moving out of my old apartment, even though a bedbug dog has been through my new apartment and did not find any bugs here. i'm really hoping that what i'm experiencing is just a lingering reaction. that having been said, it's probably not a good idea to let down your guard until you have explored all possible avenues (good careful inspection, dermatologist perhaps?, bedbug dog?) for answers.

    hope this helps...

  3. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Apr 2 2008 0:52:26
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    >Once there I kept feeling like I was being bit, but there were no bites of any kind. No redness, no bites.

    thefayth - Given what you've said, my opinion is that there is a decent possibility your mind and body are playing tricks on you, particularly when you say that you feel like you're being bit but are not seeing bite marks. First, someone who's such a strong reactor as you should be seeing something, I would think, if you've got fresh bites. Second, after exposure to bedbugs, it is not uncommon to have false sensations of being bitten or something crawling on you. A lot of people have difficulty determining when or if their problem is really resolved - hard to let yourself believe sometimes.

  4. fightorflight

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Apr 2 2008 0:55:28
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    I guess I should add for your benefit that 4 months after I turned tail and ran - taking less even than you - I am still itching and seeing bite marks.

  5. thefayth

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Apr 2 2008 14:36:03
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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I've checked the bed and still nothing, so I think I might be clean. From what I read I'm supposed to be a type of BB barometer because every bite I had swelled up, weeped and left a scar. Nothing of that kind at all, but I just wanted to check with the folks here too in case it was possible that nymphs or eggs would have less of an allergic reaction than the bites I'd gotten before. Was thinking I might have brought some that werent grown yet, or my allergic reaction had disappeared. It makes more sense that I'm still dealing with the psychological ramifications of an infestation. It's just not fun, and I hope we can eradicate these pests sooner than later.


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