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Odd Circumstances - ton of bites one night, then nothing [now: success story]

(9 posts)
  1. abcde12345

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 15 2013 16:25:23
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    This is the fact pattern of what happened:
    - Sunday 11/10 - spent most of the day out and about. Had a leisurely morning, then took my car from an attended garage (I park it in a attended NYC garage) and drove out to Brooklyn to spend some time at a restaurant/bar with some friends. While I was there, my girlfriend and I laid our coats on top of a wooden barrel next to the table (potential site of contamination)
    - Later that afternoon, I got in the car with gf, and drove in heavy traffic for an hour and change to Queens to pick up some others and some stuff from a store. We then drove back to the city, unloaded the car and brought the purchased items up to my apartment (second potential contamination site)
    - We left and took a taxi to dinner- GF and I came back to my apt and hung out in the living room a bit, then went to bed.
    - Monday 11/11 - I woke up with several bites around the inside of my upper arm (about 1-2 inches from elbow, one on my lower arm about 2-3 inches from my elbow, and another group around the outside of my upper arm. Girlfriend had no bites. I knew from prior research that these groupings of bites were symptomatic of bed bugs, so I started my research. Because of their location and some unwise scratching, they started to become inflamed and swollen such that it was hard for me to actually count the number of bites. That night, I applied some hydrocortizone cream, which did away with some of the swelling, this allowed me to count 11 on the inside of my upper arm and three on the outside, with a single bite on the lower arm. Later in the week, due to abrasion between my shirt and the bites, blisters started to form and one of the bites on my upper arm appeared to perhaps contain three small bites spaced a few millimeters apart. I did a search around the mattress (a TempurPedic Cloud) and box spring (a TempurPedic Bunkie Board - i.e. very low profile of 3 inches) - didn't see anything, no bugs, fecal spots, etc.
    - Tuesday 11/12 - Woke up, no bites (me or gf) - checked again, both once I got home from work at 10pm, then midnight, and then when I randomly woke up at 5am. Nothing found.
    - Wednesday 11/13 - Woke up in am, no bites (me only, gf at her place) - checked around again, also when I woke at 4am. Nothing found with cursory check.
    - Thursday 11/14 - Woke up, no bites (me only, gf at her place) - checked around again, this time I woke at 3am, and again at 5am (yup, losing sleep) and each time did a cursory check.

    Question is - is this common? Most cases I have been reading about here are several bites a night consistently, versus a large number (in my case 15-18 in one shot), then nothing for the subsequent 4 nights. Perhaps the bugs are in my car - although at all times in the car my coat was on and my arms completely covered - one would think that if they were in the car they would bite the lower half of my body. I admit my checking around my bed and bunkie board were not as thorough as it could have been - I actually emailed killerqueen's company to see if I could hire them to do a check of my apt and car, and if something is found to perform the prep services (bagging, packing, disinfecting etc) before whatever company my building management uses for pest control comes by to fix the issue (and in the case of my car, to do the actual pest control work).

  2. ITortureBugs4Revenge

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Nov 15 2013 20:33:42
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    biting several times in one night is common bedbug behavior, as mosquitoes are generally inactive at this time of year and spiders will rarely bite anywhere near as many times as you mention, but even a single bedbug will commonly bite several times in one feeding. As for you not getting any bites for the next few nights, that is also common, especially if the infestation is very early in its beginning and made up of only a very few bugs, as bedbugs normally feed only about once every 4 nights or so. Yes, bedbugs can live in cars, at least as long as people get in the car regularly and stay inside long enough for the bugs to feed. It is still too early to tell what the problem really is, but from what you say it does sound like bedbugs. Good luck and please post any new info you come up with.

    .....I am NOT an expert.....

    Any advice i give here is based solely on my own personal experiences in dealing with bedbugs & other household vermin.
  3. Disgusted2

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Nov 16 2013 16:11:54
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    Have you tried putting bed bug proof zippered mattress protectors on your mattresses, and similar zippered protectors on your pillows, and putting little plastic cups under each bed post and filling them with vegetable oil? And moving your bed away from the wall, and making sure sheets don't touch the ground or the wall or any other furniture, etc., ?

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Nov 16 2013 16:56:16
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    Hi,

    The bite pattern is not indicative of bedbugs.

    Please read the bite primer in the green stickies and then the FAQ's on confirming bedbugs through:

    • Live samples
    • Cast skins
    • Fractal traces

    If non of the signs are present it's likely that it's not bedbugs.

    It is also important to understand that unless you actually know what you are doing and talking about its best not to offer advice because at times what you say to people can delay or mask the issue.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  5. abcde12345

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Nov 16 2013 19:08:27
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    I appreciate all input here. I was looking for people to say "yes that happened to me," or experts to tell me otherwise. It appears as if this pattern is possible.

    I am actually not doing any of the initial steps outlined by Disgusted2 quite yet (other than inspecting and looking around) - I actually am trying to pinpoint two things (1) if indeed I do have a bedbug issue and (2) if the issue is originating from my car. I know car infestations are uncommon, but as I mentioned I keep mine in an attended NYC garage (i.e. one that has a group of attendants who move the cars around as people need access to them). I rent in a doorman high rise building managed by a large company that operates many similar buildings in NYC - i.e. one that will not fight me to give me treatment, so cost is a secondary consideration and I will be enlisting professional help as soon as I am reasonably sure there is an issue - and the way I have come up with to do this is to (1) see if bites continue and (2) keep looking for bugs. Trying to be a good tenant - and to not "yell 'fire' in a crowded theater".

    So my plan of action is:
    - Stay away from car for another week.
    - If no more bites and no sightings for another week, then cautiously declare "all clear" - at least in my apt.
    - If I find a bug in my apt - tell building management and begin remediation.
    - If I continue to get bites, tell building management and get inspection / remediation.
    - Car is another story - still not quite sure how to get that inspected, have been doing research and can't seem to turn up anyone that does car inspections. I can only imagine how difficult that is, given the multitude of nooks and crannies in the car. Perhaps using one of the passive monitors? My saving grace on the car front is that none of my three passengers last Sunday have had any issues.

    A couple questions for the experts here:
    - Anyone know of a way to inspect a car for bedbugs?
    - Any experts in the NYC area that have seen infestations of cars and/or attended parking garages? - The usual response to people saying infestations do not happen in cars is because bedbugs try to seek out food and live hosts in order to feed. However, how would these bedbugs escape from the car to do so? Wouldn't they just wait for the next guy to come in and feed/hitch a ride? My garage does typically leave the driver side window open (to prevent accidental lockouts), but the attendants are in and out of the cars to move them around (although since I have not used mine in some time, its likely its sitting in the back of the garage at this point).

    So far, I am still bite free since waking up on Monday morning with a ton of bites all in one localized area. Will update as time goes on.

  6. abcde12345

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Nov 18 2013 15:45:49
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    Latest update:

    Looks like I have a problem. I still have no additional bites, but in my inspections this weekend I swatted at a small black bug on the underside of my bunkie board, bagged it, and reported to my building's management this morning. Super thought it looked like a bed bug, but something was off, so he called pest control (Bell Environmental) who came to look at it and confirmed that it was a bed bug. They went into my apartment and inspected the bed, mattress, bunkie board, etc, but could not find any other signs of bed bugs. I have also been bite free for a week. Nevertheless, building protocol is to treat the apartment as if infested (unsure if their protocol is to treat neighbors as well in a light case such as mine) so PCO will be requesting I prep and scheduling a visit.

    I also talked to him about my concern that my car was the source of the infestation, due to the number of garage attendants that drive it to re-position as needed, and the fact that I had a large number of bites on Sunday after I used my car for the day. He said he would be happy to treat the car too, though he though it was unlikely that one of the attendants would have brought a bed bug from home all the way to my car and deposited it there. Want to hear what the pros think - is it worth treating my car, and any way (other than the passive monitors) to detect/prove presence of bed bugs and find a new garage/use as evidence to get a waiver of my garage lease termination. I use my car at most each weekend, so I think it does spend most of its time parked in the back of the garage rather than being shuttled around, but I do not know.

    Am dreading the prep process - this is going to be a pain, and don't really have the free time for this (first world problem, I know). Anyone work with prep firms in NYC area (servicing Manhattan) that can perhaps help me speed up the process?

    Thanks...wish me luck!

  7. abcde12345

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Jun 6 2014 19:37:58
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    Might as well close the loop - my landlord hired an exterminator, and I opted into the prep help service. I also had a dog inspect my car - it was clear. After two CO2 treatments, and they left some chemical treatment with dust in the outlets. They also used the ddvp strips in my sealed closets to further treat hanging clothes. After living out of bags for a month, everything looked clear. Now, 6 months later - its all clear. Check one for the success stories...

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jun 7 2014 1:33:46
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    Thanks for the follow up, moving this to the success stories category.

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

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sat Jun 7 2014 8:36:16
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    Congrats! And thanks for the follow up.

    They
    Are
    Out
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    = TAOT

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