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Passive Monitors and Bites

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  1. houston

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Aug 2 2017 1:49:30
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    I have been religiously reading this website for a couple weeks now and it has been extremely informative and comforting (sometimes terrifying!).

    I have a couple questions/need a little peace of mind.

    I will try to tell me story as quickly as possible.

    About 2 weeks ago I was at the park in LA and noticed 2 bites on my leg. I thought this was strange because I have lived in LA for over a year and not had a single bug bite. A few days later a got a couple more bites and then a couple more. I freaked out and decided it was bed bugs. I search my bed and box spring but found no signs of fecal matter, bugs or eggs. So finally I decide I'm being crazy and I don't have bed bugs.

    No joke 30 min after this, I find a live adult bed bug crawling on my bed skirt. There is no doubt in my mind it was a bed bug. Not only did a PCO confirm, this thing was like a best in show bed bug. I'm talking cover of bed bug magazine bed bug.

    Anyway, called management company immediately and they had an inspector out the next day. The inspector was not great. He was probably 16 years old and I assume it was his summer job. He was a total sweetheart but not particularly experienced. He found no sings of them either but suggested chemical treatment to be safe, which I agree with.

    I am currently waiting for the other units to be inspected on Monday (1 week from now) (management is going with a different PCO). After the other units are inspected, they will schedule the treatments.

    I live in a junior one bedroom (meaning separate living room and bedroom but no walls/doors between them). I have seen no signs of them since that first sighting. I have inspected books, clothes, knick knacks and haven't found anything. Also my apartment is old and is essentially one giant crack in a wall. There is a good quarter inch between every wall and the floor and countless other cracks and crevices, so there's plenty of places they could theoretically be that I can't see.

    My main concerns/questions are the following:

    1. I haven't "isolated" the bed completely. I've just put climb-ups on the legs of the bed. I haven't found anything in them (well I caught a silverfish and couple spiders). I have been bit at least 3 times since I put them on (about a week ago). My question is if I haven't seen them in the passive monitors, but I'm still being bitten does that mean they're isolated to the bed? If they're in the bed, I assume they're in the box spring.

    2. My second question is how do you not let the bites drive you crazy? It's not the bites themselves that bother me. (I'm not trying to devalue that feeling for other people. I know people can have very severe reactions and the idea of being bit can be extremely violating which I completely understand). For me, it is the implication of the bites thats hard. I find my self scrutinizing every bump and/or red mark on my body. Some I'm sure are bites and some not so much. So when I feel an itch on my foot while driving, I go crazy thinking they're in my car (which I know is a possibility). But I also know that its common to have delayed reactions.

    Today I was reading on a chair I never sit on, you know, one of those decorative chairs. I had thoroughly steamed it with an industrial steamer and put climp-ups on it a week ago, just to be safe even though I have probably sat on this chair 3 times in a year. Anyway, while I'm reading (in clean clothes too), I notice a bump on my thigh, I kind of fuss with it and it flares up like a bug bite. So now I'm like "is nowhere safe??? I can't even read a book on a decorative chair without being bitten??" But I also no it could be a delayed reaction from the night before.

    Any insight, advice or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

    This post is way longer than I originally set out, but writing it down has actually been very cathartic. Thanks to everyone on this site for providing a space for questions, stories and information.

  2. Livingagain

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Aug 2 2017 8:43:49
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    Have you been washing all your bedding a couple times a week? Because that's the only thing that will kill them on your bed. Were there treatments done to your bed? Sadly, the bed bugs can make it past Climb ups, anyway. They need to be painstakingly maintained with talc, and your covers can't touch the wall or floor even while you sleep ( you can use safety pins).

    Because of the effectiveness, or lack thereof, I would encourage your insistance that any treatment to include multiple methods (not just spray). Dust (Cimexa is a favorite) should be used to increase the likelihood of success, IMO. And make sure you're making efforts not to spread, because you don't want to get them back again after you're clear.

    The bite flaring up while you're on the chair doesn't really mean anything. Bites regularly show up after they happen. Also, when I didn't even have bed bugs, but was afraid I did, I would touch and obsess over bumps and they would get itchy and I would think they were bites. Go with physical evidence.

  3. houston

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Wed Aug 2 2017 22:27:43
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    Hi Livingagain,

    My apartment hasn't been treated yet. I was mostly using the climb-ups to try to monitor if the bugs were trying to leave the bed or if they were coming from somewhere else to get on the bed. Is this counter-productive?

    I am very careful not to let sheets, blankets, etc. touch the floor. I have only been using one small blanket and the bed does not touch the wall.

  4. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Aug 3 2017 4:47:26
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    Hi,

    I am not a fan of isolating beds for reasons above and many others but I am also less of a fan of treating without proof.

    If you have gone 21 days with Passive Monitoring an isolated bed its not likely that the bed bugs are in your home.

    I am also far too familiar, particularly in those who are expressing anxiety and stress to encounter heightened sensitivity in those exposed to bed bugs. This can lead to symptoms with non insect related causes. This should be considered before you consider trteating for something you have not confirmed.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    I am happy to answer questions in public but will not reply to message sent directly or via my company / social media. I am here to help everyone and not just one case at a time.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC 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 pro
  5. Livingagain

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Aug 3 2017 8:50:24
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    David helps TONS of people on this site, so he probably reads pretty quickly and may have missed that your bed bugs are confirmed. My point was just that, you can't assume they're in the chair from bites while you're in the chair.

    Some people say that Climb ups can help you know where the bugs are coming from. Maybe it would stop them from spreading from the beds. IDK. But like I said, they aren't 100%. Some people put dust (Cimexa) in the Climbups to try to kill the bugs if they pass through. I'm not sure that that's good to do, but I've heard of a lot of people doing it.

    I hope you're on schedule to get a really competent PCO. (And one that uses more than one means of killing.)

    Good luck! It all REALLY sucks, but it's a part of life now, unfortunately, so we all need to learn how to incorporate this reality into our life You can do it! Many people have, especially our great grandparents, who had fewer tools than we do. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger!!

  6. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Aug 3 2017 9:02:40
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    Hi,

    I had picked up on that.

    I am also aware that a single bed bug is most effectively treated through monitoring and removal of it when its in its harbourage, combined with manual removal during inspection. It is not unheard of for someone to inspect and in doing do miss and disturb the single bed bug so that it is found shortly after.

    This scenario is more accurately described as an introduction of bed bugs as opposed to an infestation but as the terminology is not specific enough infestations = 1+.

    While I appreciate you advice is well meaning it is counter intuitive to what I have come to realise through 15+ years of being a pest controller.

    David

  7. houston

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    Posted 2 years ago
    Thu Aug 3 2017 16:55:08
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    Hi all,

    I just want to clarify my question.

    I'm pretty positive that I have more than one bug bc I was bitten about 4-6 times in a week before I found the bug and 4-6 times in a week after I found it. Like I said before, I'm not sure that all of them are bites but I'm sure at least half are.

    The bed is not completely isolated. I don't have a mattress encasement and I have not taken apart the box spring to try to kill them (I think they are hiding inside the hollow of the box spring). The bed is separated from the walls, etc. so there is no way for the bugs to get onto or out of the bed without crawling on the legs.

    I have placed climp-ups on the bed because I wanted to be a little proactive and see if they were trying to get on or off the bed. I wanted to see if they are only in the bed or are in other parts of my apartment to try to gauge the size and scope of the infestation.

    I know the possible problems with isolating the bed completely (i.e. spreading the infestation somewhere else.) I also know that climb-ups are not supposed to be used as treatment, but only monitoring.

    So I guess my question is using the climb-ups at this stage, counter productive, informative/helpful or useless?


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