Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

Please answer as much of these questions as you're able to

(9 posts)
  1. ijustwannasleep

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat May 19 2018 13:53:41
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    Hello all! I have been sleep-deprived since March Toward the end of March, I noticed a bug crawling on me. I couldn't see what it was, because I instinctively flung it off of me (stupid). All I know is that it was dark and fast. Later, I noticed bite marks going up my back and onto my shoulder/armpit area. Probably about 6 or so. Anyway, I freaked out and assumed we had bed bugs (I know bite marks don't tell anyone much, but I panicked a bit). We called an exterminator. He couldn't find anything. He said that if there was an infestation, it was very small and they could have been hiding deep in our recliner or futon. So, naturally, I threw all that out lol and decided to shampoo the carpets. I saw no bugs or evidence of them. Almost 2 months later, I still can't find any evidence but am receiving "bites" every day or every other day. So, I've just got a few questions and it would be really helpful if someone could answer them (as many as you are able, please) for me. Thank you in advance

    1. I have a metal bedframe. It is a platform bed, so I do not have a boxspring. Just an encased mattress on a bedframe. I check the sheets nightly and the mattress about once a week or so. Could they be hiding inside of the bedframe? It is very hollow in many spots. Should I take the entire thing apart?

    2. Since there are so many hiding spots, would it be better if I just threw away the bedframe and got my old box spring out of the garage and put them both on the floor? Or would a cheap, very simple bedframe (no headboard or footboard) be better than the floor?

    3. We have black carpet beetles. They hang out everywhere. I have heard that this can cause a bed bug-like reaction. How common is this?

    4. How many bed bugs could we acquire in about a month and a half? I am getting bites every other day to every day. The occurrences are slowly going up. They are usually only single bites.

    5. Should I get a canine to inspect? Are they effective?

    6. If you had mysterious bites, how long did it take you to discover that it was bedbugs (assuming it was)?

    7. Can bed bugs be mistaken for spiders or ticks? I had just sat down in some grass in a very urban area yesterday and felt something on my ankle. When I looked down, something was crawling. It looked like a small angry spider with black legs. I was only sitting for a few minutes. Do ticks latch onto people that quickly? Maybe I was mistaken and it was a bed bug?

    8. What is the consistency of bed bug feces? Does it stick to the surface of sheets or isn't attached in any way? Would it smear very easily? Would it wash out of sheets easily?

    9. I know that bites don't tell much, but I've still gotta ask (sorry!): I have a 9 month old baby and she hasn't really had any bites. She occasionally will have a wheal on her face but then it disappears after an hour and the mark is almost completely gone. Wouldn't a baby react more intensely than an adult? Does that sound more like a flea bite?

    Alright, I think that's about it for now. Thank you to whoever responds! Seriously, I really need some answers. Sorry if I sound crazy. I feel crazy, too

  2. HeavyMetalTeeShirt

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat May 19 2018 15:28:54
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    Whoa, your story is very similar to mine! Single bites only, metal framed platform bed, no evidence on my sheets.. All I can do right now is continue to monitor and take prevention efforts, which it sounds like it where you are also.

    I’m not a pest professional, but this is my third go-round with the infernal beasts, so take my advice fwiw:

    They could hide in the hollow tubing, I think, although it’s not their preferred environment. Our local high school had an infestation in some of the plastic and metal desk chairs, so I know it’s possible. If you can take it apart, do so. Order some cimexa and very lightly dust the inside of the tubes. That way, even if you *don’t* have bbs, you’ll have some built in protection for future exposures—cimexa lasts something like 10 years.

    I think being off the floor is better. Can you get or make climbup interceptors for the legs?

  3. ijustwannasleep

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sat May 19 2018 18:36:41
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    Thanks for replying There were a couple times that I had 3 or 4 bite marks, but that was mainly at the beginning before we threw out our furniture. Now, I usually get single bites and occasionally it's 2 in a row. They don't itch at all. They hurt a little bit if I touch them. They fade pretty quickly. At first, they look like pimples, but they're more soft than pimples (no "head" to them). Do your bites itch at all?

    I can't fall asleep at night anymore. I fall asleep around 3 or 4AM and then have to get up with my daughter around 7AM. I feel things crawling on the back of my neck and in my armpits and arms and when I jump up to see if I can catch something, nothing is there. I feel like I've gone crazy.

    Anyway, I have makeshift interceptors. They are essentially just glass jars placed under the legs of my bed with oil in them. I don't even know if this works. I'm feeling pretty defeated lately.

    My husband and I are going to hopefully take apart the bedframe tomorrow and see if we find anything and we'll thoroughly check the couches and such. I am almost hoping that we find something so that I can just stop wondering. We're considering a bed bug detecting dog, but they're expensive and we are living off of one income since the birth of my daughter.

    Well, the best of luck to you! I really hope that it isn't bed bugs

  4. HeavyMetalTeeShirt

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun May 20 2018 16:41:05
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    Try not to let them get the best of you. They’re really just crawling mosquitoes—but better than mosquitoes because they don’t even carry disease.

    It’s really easy to get freaked out, but it’s not healthy to lose so much sleep, and that’s probably affecting your worry. I had to get a sleep aid because I was up all night with anxiety (and not finding any bugs). Getting proper rest was really helpful in getting my head straight.

    If you can afford the dog, it might be worth it for your peace of mind. Otherwise, watchful waiting. If you do have bugs they will be visible to you eventually—probably sooner rather than later, given your level of attentiveness. Good luck to you!

  5. HeavyMetalTeeShirt

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun May 20 2018 16:41:43
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    Try not to let them get the best of you. They’re really just crawling mosquitoes—but better than mosquitoes because they don’t even carry disease.

    It’s really easy to get freaked out, but it’s not healthy to lose so much sleep, and that’s probably affecting your worry. I had to get a sleep aid because I was up all night with anxiety (and not finding any bugs). Getting proper rest was really helpful in getting my head straight.

    If you can afford the dog, it might be worth it for your peace of mind. Otherwise, watchful waiting. If you do have bugs they will be visible to you eventually—probably sooner rather than later, given your level of attentiveness. Good luck to you!

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Sun May 20 2018 22:20:12
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    If you’re getting a new skin reaction every day or every other day for six weeks, an experienced inspector should be able to find fecal stains. Remember there’s an incentive for the inspector to find them and sell you a treatment. There’s zero incentive to tell you you’re clear if you’re not.

    In the absence of fecal stains, you probably don’t have bed bugs at home. In case they missed something, and for peace of mind, passive bed bug monitors may help.

    If you do have carpet beetles, you may be reacting to those.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. Bugsareicky

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Mon May 21 2018 20:19:07
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    Everyone reacts differently to bites, but with that said, I've had both bedbugs and carpet beetles at different times in my life. For me the marks they leave are identical. I say "marks" because carpet beetles don't actually bite. The larva have hairs that irritate skin like a caterpillar does. It is definitely possible those are your only issue if you've found no bedbugs. I'd focus on getting rid of those and see if the problem goes away. I'd keep the same bed frame and buy a steamer instead. Use it on the bed frame, carpets, floor boards ext. to kill any bugs...plus you can use it forever to steam clean your floors. It's much safer for baby than a bunch of toxic chemicals on a mop, so it's a good investment even if you don't have bedbugs at all. A frame you didn't need would just be wasted money.

  8. ijustwannasleep

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue May 22 2018 13:42:37
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    Thank you to everyone who has responded. This website really is great. I am feeling a bit more reassured, somehow.

    Anyhow, so my husband and I ended up throwing away our complicated bed frame and we got a very simple one that will be easy to check when needed (no hiding spots either!) - no headboard, no footboard. We lassoed up the old box spring outta the garage (and fought off a opossum to get to it ) and threw a new encasement on it. I put jars under the bed's legs (does anyone know if this is just as suitable as store-bought interceptors?) and moved the bed away from the wall.

    I am still receiving bites and whenever my daughter wakes up from a nap she has marks on her skin that fade fairly quickly. Of course, my husband has no marks so he thinks I've gone insane (especially when I squawk at him, "Is that a pimple or a bite?!" half-jokingly, half serious), because he has zero bites.

    We tried to have a canine come and check out our apartment, but apparently because it is an apartment they can't look at it, because they need the owners to call to set it up and pay for it. I am debating about calling our building manager and just telling him/her that we saw one and see if they'll send someone out. That's kinda shitty to do, but...(I have no excuse). I really doubt that they'd pay for a dog, though. They are renowned cheapskates. If a visual inspection was done and nothing was found, I'm sure they'd end that right there (and if I were them, I probably would, too). Has anyone heard of a comapny not being able to check an apartment building because it is not owned by the folks asking it to be checked?

  9. bugged-cdn

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu May 24 2018 17:38:34
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    If you had mysterious bites, how long did it take you to discover that it was bedbugs (assuming it was)?

    It was a few weeks. I would inspect and find nothing. Unbeknownst to us, there was an active BB problem in our building. Came home one day to find a notice about BB and a PCO needing to treat our place.

    Thus began our own little slice of hell.

    We did extensive prep, and two chemical treatments did the trick.

    We were infested again 2 years later and after conflicting inspection reports (and a lot of bites), more prep, failed treatments, we walked away with (barely) the clothes on our backs.


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