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pco five times and still getting bitten

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  1. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Nov 16 2007 20:39:00
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    Hi Everyone
    We have been fighting bed bugs for the past 3 months. We got them from the pediatric ward at the hospital. We had no idea that we had them for the first two months. We live in a single dwelling house. I have had my house treated from top to bottom 5 times and we still are getting bitten. Every time the PCO comes to do our house we seem to be ok for 5 or 6 day afterwards. Then the bitting starts up again. We have our boxspring and mattress in proper covers. We got rid of our wood bed and are using a metal frame. All of our clothing is in plastic bags. I can not find the bed bugs!!! I find blood streks on the sheets every morning. My husband and I are at the end of our rope. We have used two differnt PCO companies. We have wall to wall carpeting. Any other suggestions would be very much appreciated.

  2. currentinsomniac

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Nov 16 2007 21:50:58
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    I think many of our BBs were hiding in our boxsprings because the biting lessened after encasing that part. Have you checked for possible holes in your covers? Many of us here have gotten holes in our casings (cheap or expensive) including myself. PCO's will oftentimes accidentally create holes in the casing when they spray (if they are doing your frames/mattresses as they should). Someone posted that they always find holes afterwards and will have a new cover on hand to place over the old one.
    I'd look that possibility over.
    Also what sorts of treatments have the PCO's done in your house? Chemicals used? Methods?
    Time frame of sprayings?

  3. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2007 0:18:43
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    Hi
    The covers are in great shape. no holes. I check often. The first pco used tempo,demand and firmadust. each treatment has been 2 weeks apart. Second pco used tempo, dirone dust, dragnet. I think the treatments cause them to scatter and they finally make their way back to us. I think what I may do is the day before the next treatment is have the carpeting steam cleaned. They must be living there or in the baseboards. I moved my bed into the centre of the room a month or so ago. I plan to keep up the treatments until the rotten little bastards are gone. I have put 3m carpet tape on my bedframe legs. However they still get in the bed. I also think we have them in our vehicle. I wish I could just find where they are hiding.

  4. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2007 5:20:28
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    Fourt

    Keep in mind that you will need to use actual steam to kill bed bugs.

    Sometimes, wet carpet cleaning methods using hot water are described as "steam cleaning". Usually this is a hot water extraction process that does not utilize any actual steam. It is also important to avoid using excessive amounts of water and to dry the carpet & pad thoroughly.

    Steam is a thermal treatment. Direct contact with hot steam kills bed bugs and eggs on contact.

  5. Bugologist

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2007 12:49:14
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    Finding blood streaks on the bed every morning is not bed bugs. Remember, the only way to see blood from a bed bug is to crush one that just fed. The bites, at least from what I've seen, don't bleed. That sounds more like a medical condition (pimples rupturing or something else).

    Most of the time when I hear situations like yours the bed bugs are actually gone and what your reacting to is something other than bed bugs. Maybe it's detergents, pollen, the pesticides, etc... Possibly even the old bites flaring back up. I'm not ruling out bed bugs in fact what's the situation? When was the last time you saw a bug? How often are you being bit? Where on the body? When was the last time the PCO says he saw a bug?

  6. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2007 12:58:00
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    Bugologist, A trusted pco told me that blood spots often are visible because when the bug detaches, the blood leaks. This makes sense to me because of the bug's blood-thinning, anti-coagulating enzyme secretion. I found a pattern of blood spots on my underwear 2 weeks ago that EXACTLY mirrored the breakfast-lunch-dinner bite that appeared on my tummy 6 to 8 hours later.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2007 18:02:14
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    Bugologist,

    Not to discount your experiences as a professional, but bed bug bites can vary a lot in appearance. Most people seem to get welts, but others get bites which bleed and scab over. You can look at the bed bug bites photos page on the main site (click "blog" button below) to see some of the range of bite appearances.

    I cannot say whether the blood on a sheet would be related to a bed bug "leaking" since I do not know much about their mechanics and biology. However, many people who definitely do have bed bugs report seeing blood stains in their beds.

    In my own experience, bites usually did not bleed, but some would bleed and then scab over. I can't tell you what was going on there, but I can tell you it was bed bug-related--at least the initial bleeding (obviously, scabs can later bleed, and that is something different.)

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

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 17 2007 18:11:38
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    Fourt,

    You may have to pull all the carpet up in the bedrooms, because I have found them hiding under the tack strip as well.

  9. bugobsessed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2007 0:08:04
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    In regard to bleeding bites-- my husband and I woke up and caught a bug in mid-bite. (gross. I know.) My husband jumped up suddenly because he felt it. The bug fell off him and he was still bleeding. There was blood on his pillowcase and his shoulder. It was living proof that blood on the sheets is not only from crushing the bugs. Everyone has different reactions.

  10. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2007 0:12:16
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    A few weeks ago I saw a video on youtube. It showed a real bed bug running across the bed. Not to sound gross, but as it ran it seemed to urinate, thus leaveing a red streak. I know it sounds crazy and disgusting but it's true. I find bed bug shells every once in a while, but never any live ones.

  11. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2007 2:00:59
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    I think Nobugs blogged a story with a photo of a bedbug, uh, in that situation, but I'm not going to go find it, no, I could barely stand to look at it the first time.

    I think blood on sheets is an especially well-documented feature of a bedbug infestation among sufferers, here, in the yahoo group and elsewhere. Not everyone gets them but they are indicators. The literature seems to document digested blood on sheets. And Dr. Harlan says in his technical guide that "[a]bout 20% of the time, adult bed bugs and large nymphs will void remains of earlier blood meals while feeding." (I think I've seen one entomologist disagree with that.) I guess we don't have the mechanism down but I'm comfortable saying that blood on sheets is a sign of a possible infestation. No question. And the anecdote from bugobsessed is very compelling, sadly!

    Fourt, I'm sorry for your situation. Sometimes it's just a matter of persisting with treatments, making sure that the treatments are spaced 2 weeks apart, that the applications are thorough, and that the PCO is focused on the problem, and can propose rotating materials if necessary. I would make sure particularly that the bed frame is thoroughly treated during each visit. Are all the usual places taken care of? Did they dust behind switchplates? Treat "up" as well as down? Ceiling fixtures and fans? Around steam pipes and radiators? All rooms in the house? In addition, I will echo what someone said above about the carpet. Carpeting is the devil in my opinion.

    I would have a serious chat with the PCO about how things are working and what can be done to get a result. Hang in there.

  12. Bugologist

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2007 19:42:43
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    I think the bottom line with this one is that we really don't know whether or not bites bleed afterwards or they expunge blood during a meal, etc... As was mentioned, everybody reacts differently so who knows.

    All I know is I hardly every run into blood stains on the sheets and I've been in a lot of situations but I never said that blood stains on the sheets is never from bed bugs. It can happen, in my experiences it isn't as common as you would think.

  13. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2007 19:59:12
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    Thanks for all of the support. I went out and bought a commercial grade garmet steamer. It gets very very hot and produces a very dry steam without any pressure. Im going to use it on my metal bed frame and on the covers over the mattress and boxspring. I think this should kill any eggs and bbs. I think I could probably use it on the carpet too. I found a blood streak on our alarm clock, I carefully opened it and it is full of blood and bb poop. The alarm clock was on the floor for several weeks,since we threw out our night stands and bedroom furniture. Its in a ziplock bag in the garbage. all we have left in our room now is the bed. I will go buy a new alarm clock with batteries and keep it in a clear ziplock bag untill this nightmare is over.

  14. pleasehelp

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sun Nov 18 2007 21:13:41
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    Hi fourt, What brand garment steamer did you buy?

  15. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Nov 19 2007 10:08:24
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    its a jiffy steamer. It gets so hot and it takes wrikles out of your clothes without getting them wet. has anyone else here tried the steam treatment?

  16. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Nov 19 2007 10:36:03
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    Bbs in the alarm clock. That is valuable info because I have read posts by professionals claiming that is highly not likely.
    I think everything is suspect and I believe that they can be just about anywhere. It appears to me that we still understand very little about these bastards but I also suspect that some professionals may be on a gag order supplying info to corporations only.

  17. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Nov 19 2007 10:44:00
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    * Have you thought of hiring a bedbug dog? They can sniff out where the bedbugs are and could be worth it at this point.

    * Have the PCO's treated your ceiling light fixtures and crown molding? That's where my bedbugs were congregating and the PCOs were incorrectly treating as if the infestation was roaches and were spraying along the baseboards.

    * How long did your PCOs inspect? That's almost the most important part of the bedbug treatment.

    * Does any member of your household work or go to school in a place where they could be getting re-infested during the day?

    You have to turn into "CSI Bedbug" because it is more than just spraying, and some PCO's unfortunately just spray.

  18. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Nov 19 2007 13:40:13
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    hi fourt,
    do you have a link to this video on youtube? i'd like to see it.
    dawn

  19. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Nov 19 2007 22:07:18
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    i just went to youtube and typed in bed bugs. Be warned its gross!
    Parakeets
    I think he sprayed the baseboards, what should a good pco do? All that I have in my room is a empty dresser and the bed on a metal frame. The last pco said to repeat treatment in 30 days. The other one I used retreated every 14 days. They did all of the electrical outlets including the light switches.

    I am setting up a crazy little trap up tonight. Its really not a trap but rather a thing to lure them from returning to their hiding spaces. I have 2 pieces of old wood, not very large, I have drilled several shallow holes on one. Then Im going to cover the holes with the other piece of wood. Placing it close to the head of the bed. My theroy is they will check it out on their way back to where ever they are living. And decide this looks like a nice place to hang out and lay eggs. Then when they least expect it, I will lift off the top peice of wood and get them with my handy dandy garment steamer. My husband thinks Im crazy, but I tell him to catch a bed bug you need to think like one. I will let you guys know how this works. I know I will not get ride of a infesation this way. But it may work as a monitoring tool. If this continues I am very tempted to purchase a bb sniffing dog for 10k and start a new business venture.

  20. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 9:05:02
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    fourt--to answer your question about what a good PCO should do--the answer is inspect! A good bedbug PCO will carefully inspect, taking a lot of time, and then spraying where the bedbugs are congretating. If they can't find them and you are being bitten, I presume they spray the typical areas such as electrical outlets, etc.

  21. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 9:58:09
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    fourt,
    took a look at that video on youtube and it's clearly bed bug feces, and not blood to which you refer. the mark that came out of the bed bug is not at all red but rather, black and it's not a line but a smear mark. just wanted to clarify for those who haven't seen the video. i think what we mean by 'blood' needs to be very clear.
    dawn

  22. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 10:52:29
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    fourt,
    What a brilliant idea you have with the wood monitoring invention. I too have thought about building something like that.
    This is a perfect example of ingenuity at its best. How creative!
    Just curious. How much help has your husband given to battling your infestation. If my wife told me that she was doing what you are planning to do I would hug her and look into her eyes and tell her how proud I am of her for caring so much and then take her out for a good dinner. You are a true Bed Bug Warrior.

  23. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 16:02:16
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    Okaaay.

    I didn't want to do this. But, knock yourselves out. (Photo at the very end of the post.)

  24. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 16:30:32
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    looks brown to me. has that been peoples' experience? brown or black spots?

  25. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 16:44:02
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    No, Dawn, red, as in fresh, red blood.

    I just posted that above because you seemed to doubt fourt's report.

    You won't believe that red blood spots are caused by bedbugs until you see a photograph?

  26. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:02:43
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    sorry to say, this not only doesn't look red but the video that fourt refers to is clearly NOT red. it's black. i immediately noticed it upon viewing the video. further to that, almost every entomologist i've spoken with, including lou sorkin, has made it very clear to me the spots are brown or black.

  27. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:04:10
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    Okay, Dawn, feel free to discount the experience of people who have actually had bedbugs anytime.

  28. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:06:25
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    frankly, your tone is a bit disconcerting and quite unfair. i, like others, am trying to help people.

  29. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:07:14
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    in addition, i've spoken with quite a few people who have had them who refer to brown and black spots by the way, including people on this site.

  30. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:07:45
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    Jesus Christ.

  31. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:11:39
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    okay, so what did YOUR spots look like? how big were they. please provide the details and feel free to educate me.

  32. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 17:58:18
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    Mercy.

    In the beginning of my infestation I had, on two occasions, round, fresh blood spots on my clothing and sheets. Sometimes I had no evidence on my sheets. Subsequently, I found evidence on my sheets, dried fecal blood specks, every time I received a bite.

    Not everyone experiences the same signs. Some people only see fecal specks. Some people see fecal specks only sometimes. Others don't see the specks, just blood spots (the dark red/brownish variety you are so obsessed with), and others find, on occasion, red, fresh blood spots. Maybe other people experience yet another combination of signs.

    Thanks for questioning my bona fides! No, don't tell me! I didn't have bedbugs!?

  33. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 18:14:21
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    thanks. were your red fresh blood spots large/small. do you remember the size?

  34. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Tue Nov 20 2007 23:05:48
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    Small, exactly like a round drop of blood.

  35. dawnsimonds2

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Nov 21 2007 10:53:54
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    thanks nomo. did you react to the bites at all?

  36. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Nov 21 2007 11:05:16
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    I do not doubt that blood spots could be different depending on maybe on how fresh or how recent they bite occurred.
    I will tell you one of my experiences. I found a third instar nymph under the edge of an area rug, just hanging and digesting what I guess was a recent meal. I got a piece of blue painters tape and stuck the little bastard. It immediately exploded and all that was left was a dark colored glue like substance which I would guess was my partially or fully digested blood. I have seen black spots both hard specs and soft glue like which would smear, the hard specs would not smear but I could scratch them off of the surface.
    I speculate that the type of surface may have something to do with it but I do not know for a fact. The color in my case was always a very dark color almost the color black tar.

  37. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Wed Nov 21 2007 14:36:33
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    Yes, I reacted to the bites.

  38. angie

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Nov 23 2007 12:23:25
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    In my experience, I have seen both red and black spots. I think it has to do with the age of the blood. The fresh being red and it gets darker after it has been exposed to the air for longer periods of time. We have really dark spots and smears on our walls and then if we kill one after a feed, they smear red. I believe that all those spots are from the bed bugs. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist. They are sneaky and usually don't come out til really early in the a.m. And I also believe that they are in you carpet cuz I know that thats where mine are. I've seen them and I vacuum 4 times a day to help us sleep in peace. Good luck!!

  39. fourt

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Nov 23 2007 13:15:18
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    well my little wood trap worked. found a almost mature bug bed in one of the holes. I steamed it with my garment steamer. It died in a instant. I steamed all of the wood incase there were eggs on it. I have set it up again and will wait and see what else happens.

  40. blearyeyed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Nov 23 2007 19:22:34
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    wow! good work fourt!! i wonder if i should do something similar since i don't have any evidence of BB's in my room. this may be a good tool for those of us who think we have BB's but don't have the obvious signs of them.

  41. (deleted)

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Nov 23 2007 23:59:02
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    Fourt,

    I'm glad you caught a bug, that is I hope you caught it and bagged it and not just killed it. Sometimes it becomes important to save evidence like this when PCOs refuse additional treatments on the grounds that they don't "see" (often without inspecting) any bugs. I hope that's not your particular situation.

    I'm also glad that you realize that a trap is not a reliable method to eradicate bugs. Traps have come up before here in the forums and there is always a bit of apprehension that readers don't come away with the impression that they can DIY a bedbug trap to solve their problems. (So I'm speaking generally here, not just to you.)

    That said, you might be interested to know that your mind came up with a bedbug trap that is remarkably (eerily) similar to an actual 18th century Swedish bedbug trap, a reproduction of which you can see here.

    I spent some time reading U.S. 19th century bedbug trap patents (entertaining!) and one thing I read was something that apparently was common knowledge back when most people knew a thing or two about bedbugs: that they typically enter the bed to feed from the corners. (No, I have found no confirmation in the scientific literature, just what I read.)

    So, until the fabled pheromone traps they keep telling us about are actually developed, and for people who need to find a bedbug asap in order to start treatment, you may want to consider the corners of the bed. Might double-sided tape or a good layer of vaseline in the top corner of the bed, on your side of the bed, trap a bedbug? I don't know and, in general, speculation is something that we hate to do here in the forums. Lots of risk down that path. But the situation of people who have bites and possible signs but no actual bugs, and who don't have successful PCO inspections--like a forum reader who only found the first bedbug a whole 5 months after the onset of bites--is very worrisome, so while I'm ambivalent about the subject of traps, you gotta do what you gotta do. And inventive traps might be better than a lot of other options.

    Worried but hopeful and sending good thoughts your way... (you too, Bleary!)

  42. blearyeyed

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 24 2007 16:44:05
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    thanks, hopelessnomo! still haven't seen anything, but my roommate is still getting bitten. i explained that this was normal since we've only had one PCO visit, so hopefully she can hang tight for a while.... finally getting some sleep, though, so i'll be grateful for that.

  43. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Nov 24 2007 19:40:20
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    Someone mentioned a heating pad, covered with commercial glue traps, with an open can of selzer in the center of the traps, on top of the heating pad, on the bed, in a dark room, at 3 am: heat, carbon dioxide, deepest night, darkness. It might help if you were not in the next room, since they might be attracted to you more strongly.

    If you do not catch a bed bug it does not mean you do not have them, but more people might try it out. (I didn't, so no promises on whether it would work.)


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