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*PLEASE HELP! ARE THEY BED BUGS? OR...

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  1. itchybitchy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 2:08:14
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    My roommate's cat got fleas. The cat must have had them for a while, but we didn't find out til later. There were small cases of members in the house breaking out wit hives. But then it never happened again, and we all concluded the hives were from stress.
    In any case, we washed and dipped and got a collar for the cat. Around the time I spotted the little bug, I was getting bit. Just a bite here and there.
    Now we believe the fleas are gone, but I am still the only one in the house that is still getting bit. We have bombed the house. And I still have itchy bites all over.
    I then thought it could be bed bugs. But i searched, and nothing. =[ Maybe theyre not visible to me. But I think its strange how I've never had them until the cat got fleas. One bump occured and its hard. I have ideas its fleas, bed bugs or chiggers. How can I be sure to treat and clear all options? Is there something to treat for all 3 cases? My skin is broken wher I scratch, and my foot/ ankle is a mess! help please. what could these bites be from?

  2. lieutenantdan

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 13:30:53
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    You experience is similar to many others. At one time we called it Mystery Bites.
    Your guess is as good as mine. Some people will get bit and show reactions of different levels and some will get bit and show no reactions or very little. I also believe that the person who shows reactions now may not later and the person who originally did not show reactions may later display reactions. Also we have speculated that what me may believe to be new bite marks may be old bites now coming into view. It may be up to the immune system's response time. We do not know exactly, we need studies done on this.
    Lou Sorkin had displayed bite reactions in his bites on hand photos that he had never experienced in that exact way before and he feed bed bugs all the time for years.

  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 13:33:56
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    Itchybitchy,

    I'm still pretty new to all this (my fight with BB only started about a month ago), but the consensus seems to be that there's no verifiable way to tell from the appearance of a bite whether it's bed bugs or something else. Everyone's responses to bug bites are different, whether it's mosquitos, fleas, or BB.

    As for the cat, you might have better luck with a topical treatment like Advantage than a flea collar (that's been my experience).

    One comment that I've seen here is that fleas tend to bite more often on ankles than in other places, so if your bites are based there, that may be a mark in the column of "fleas more likely than bed bugs."

    Are you sure that the house isn't also infested with fleas and not just the cat? I know you said you bombed it, but I haven't done battle with fleas before, so I don't know whether one bombing will do that or not. You might try putting the words flea and trap into the search box here and checking the forum for messages about flea traps. If there are fleas in the carpet or the furniture, you probably have a better chance of getting fleas into flea traps to confirm that than you do of finding the actual BB.

    I can tell you that my experience with BB was that they were very consistent about when they bit me. I had the classic bites in a row pattern, and because of insomnia I had before this whole thing started, I often fell asleep in the living room and moved to the bed in the middle of the night. It was perfect timing for the bugs--since they are most active from about 3 to about 5 am. I tended to move into the bed just in time to feed them. BB bites can take a while to "appear" after biting. Some people have reported that their BB don't show up until after they've showered. I think mine did the same thing, but I can't be sure. I can tell you that my personal experience with flea bites was not like that at all.

    When you say "Treat for all three" do you mean things to make the bites stop itching or pesticides to treat for all three in the home? Because in terms of treating the home, I suspect that the answer is no. Most of the chemicals that the PCO used when he treated my place are not labeled for fleas, I don't think.

    If I were you, I'd try some flea traps to see if you can catch any fleas. If you can, start by dealing with that. And then if the bites don't stop, reevaluate the situation. The problem as you point out is that BB can be very hard to find. There are plenty of stories here of people who were pretty sure that they had BB and couldn't catch a live bug to give to a PCO for treatment. As a result, I would do everything possible to rule out fleas first. It's kind of a diagnosis of exclusion approach: I've confirmed that it's not fleas, so the PCO will be more likely to consider BB.

  4. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 13:39:53
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    I also forgot: some people react allergically to coming into contact with the stuff bugs' exoskeletons are made out of. Put chitin into the search box to pull up threads on thattopic as well.

  5. spideyjg

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 25 2008 14:17:23
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    Fleas are a pain to get rid of but pretty easy really.

    First off get a flea comb and comb kitty good on the nape of the neck and near the base of the tail. When mine had fleas they were the first place to find them.

    If you find them, take kitty to the vet to get started on Advantage or some other flea control regimen. Flea collars my vet said are really only good for keeping them off the cat's head.

    It took a few months but keeping the cats on Advantage ended up wiping out fleas in the house.

    Doesn't mean you don't have BBs but eliminating the fleas would make your lives better.

    jim

  6. bunnybedbug

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed May 27 2009 14:36:31
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    My bug nightmare began a month ago. I have had "the classic bites in a row pattern" like buggyinsocal mentioned above. (PCO saw my bites & said: oh yeah, that's BB.) I have also had big welts an inch apart, both on my arms & on my legs. Maybe these are flea bites? All of these started in the same week, after I had been shopping at thrift stores. (Beware!) What's the likelihood that I would have picked up both within a day or two?

    Now my dog has fleas, but I have also seen one bloody "engorged" BB on my pillow, under my pillow case. I get bites in the middle of the night in big patterns, and individual or small groups of bites during the day, even under my clothes. Will the PCO BB treatment kill fleas too?

    Other thoughts or helpful experiences/stories? thanks, bbb

  7. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Wed May 27 2009 15:09:54
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    Hi,

    If you even suspect fleas please only use a plug in flea trap. It is a simple technology that I have found to be amazingly effective and chemical free. Unless you have a persistent problem with flea care and treatment of pets and a few hours or days with a trap down will usually suffice.

    It is also the safest step if you are even vaguely concerned that bed bugs may be an issue as a lot of the classic flea treatments can cause havoc on an infestation pattern. What would have been a simple asses, control, treat becomes and anguished wait for them to settle down again and hopefully not all over the house.

    I would however say that if you have pets and fleas are an issue please remember to rotate the brand of your flea treatment on the 3rd or 4th treatment so you do not encourage resistance to develop. It helps keep one step ahead of Darwin and changes the selective pressures (my god I think I have overdosed on the discovery channel again although I did once do a project that involved reading his text Insectivorous Plants first edition from the summer of 1860 (an amazing text written in fine old English copy on loan from the British Library)).

    Sometimes it is easier to rule things out than to find the subtlest of evidence.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  8. miserableone

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Jun 23 2010 15:02:09
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    I have a question......I found out I had bedbugs 4 months ago. I had 2 treatments by a PCO 3 weeks apart and that seemed to do the trick. I stopped getting bites about a week after the second treatment. Out of nowhere last night a new bite on my leg. How is it possible for the biting to stop and then return a few weeks later? Can they just have been there for weeks and not bite me? I was just starting to sleep a lil and now Im back to being horrified

  9. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Jun 23 2010 15:17:19
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    Hi,

    If you have had a prolonged period of no activity and the problem appears to come back it may be that the source of the infestation has not been discovered. For example the cases of adjoining neighbours or people who work in infected locations bringing more than just paperwork home with them.

    I would advise you to have a thorough inspection for signs of activity beyond bites such as:

    • Faecal traces
    • Live samples
    • Cast skins

    If you find any document them and clean them away so when you next inspect you will know if they are fresh.

    If you are adjoining anyone use information from sites such as this or the information sheets on bedbugbeware.com to get them to check.

    A bite may just be that a bite or reaction and is not considered to be a good diagnostic tool as far as bed bugs are concerned. It indicates that someone needs to be looked at not necessarily that it is bed bugs even if you have recently had them.

    I would also suggest that you try to start new topics rather than bring back an old one, it makes it easier for people in future to search for the keywords of your question rather tan the ones of the original subject.

    David

    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
  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Jun 23 2010 23:17:11
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    miserableone,

    Please do NOT repost messages on multiple threads. It's considered spam.

    Also, in future, please start your own single new thread instead of reviving old threads. You'll actually get more help this way. (Posting to multiple old threads makes everybody open a whole bunch of threads -- and then they see the same message over and over, which is frustrating, and then your replies are all over the forums, instead of in one spot.)

    Please see my message here and your private messages.

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

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