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Please Help! I got bed bugs on vacation last week

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  1. Girlie Pink

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 8:33:27
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    Please help me, this is my first post to anything. But am so freaked out by what I have contracted at a recent vacation stay I searched out this site and joined.

    I was on vacation (and still am but have moved to another location) and have contracted bed bug bites all over my wrists, waist, lower legs and now on my face. I am traveling with my dog, who was groomed the day before we went on vacation and dosed with Vantix and Heartguard.

    I found three bed bugs on the curtains and bedding. At the time I had NO idea what they were. I thought they were some type of small roach or Palmetto Bug, as I am vacationing in Florida. A day later bites started showing up on my fingers and wrists. I thought they were from the heat at first. However, every morning a few more would show up and they would itch and I would scratch, they would blister and pop. Now they are oozing liquid.

    I was traveling with other family until yesterday, we moved from that cottage to another one on the same property. We still didn't know what they were but washed all the bedding and clothes we had worn in the previous cottage as soon as we got to the new one. With one exception, we brought a cot my nephew was sleeping in from the other cottage to the new one and I didn't wash the dog but he did swim in the ocean. I say that because he is itching too now and I have found a couple of bite marks on him. It could be something else but he slept in the bed too.

    I am now traveling alone and have traveled to a different city. I washed all items before I left the last place and placed them immediately in my car after drying them. While I am not sure I have new bites, I am still feeling the effects of old bites and bites that looked as though they were about to form on my body yesterday. I am wondering if I could have brought the babies or eggs with me on my body or my dogs body?

    Please someone help advise me what to do next. I am traveling for the next three or four weeks in Florida and don't know what to do. I am thinking of trying to find a Doctor here to get something for the itching. What about my dog? Should I treat him again, I brought another dose of flea and tick medicine with me.

    I am so itchy and my arms, legs, waist and now my face look like mince meat from the bites and my scratching. I am very sensitive to any kind of bug bite and poison ivy that when I get a bite or rash it lasts a long time and is hard to get rid of. I never would have known what those little buggers looked like if I had not killed several of them and looked at them close when I did then found this site with all the great photos. Thanks Bedbugger and all those who post here. Please advise as soon as possible, I need help fast. Girlie Pink and seeing red in Florida!!

  2. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 12:44:11
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    Welcome, GP. You are in an interesting situation, you've discovered what you believe are BB on an extended vacation. You cannot call a PCO to treat your room and you probabky don't have access to the bugs that you encountered to take a pic and let us ID it (these may not be BB and you're reacting to something else). Please check out the resource page to get pix of all life stages of BB, so you can compare from memory and/or any future bugs you see.

    Do treat your symptoms with anti-itch, see a health pro if necessary. For most people, BB bites are annoying, but beyond the skin reaction (and mental illness), BB are not known to transmit disease (unlike mosquitoes). I don't know pets, so ask your vet about relief. I'm not sure if anti-flea things have the same effect on BB, but AFAIK, BB do not like to hang out ON your animal (or on you. Getting "stuck" on your clothes and accessories is an issue, though.). Do inspect all your things, inside and out and pick off any eggs and bugs you see.

    The bigger issue with BB, for many of us is not the bites and itching. It's the time, effort and expense that we put out to get the bugs out of our homes once they've infested it. That's your number one concern. Before you or any members of your party return home, you need to have a plan in place to "treat" or isolate everything that comes back with you. This means clothes, accessories, car, luggage. And you will need to be vigilant at home to get on top of any problems that might develop. Please review the FAQ and the Resources pages and search this forum on "travel".

    You will find lots of help and support here. Hang in there.

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  3. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 13:46:40
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    What cilecto said.

    The thing about bed bugs is that they're badly named. Bed bugs usually feed on mammals while we're asleep, and they prefer to harbor (that is: hide out) near their food source, so they will generally live close to a bed if there's somewhere near the bed where they can feel undisturbed.

    However, the problem with bed bugs--what makes them such a difficult pest to eradicate--is that they are a pest of exposure. If you're exposed to them, you risk bringing them home and then having to spend a lot of money to get rid of them.

    While bed bugs prefer to harbor in specific places, we sometimes catch them unawares in other places.

    Unlike fleas, however, they don't generally live on their hosts.

    Since the eggs and young nymphs can be very hard to see, the best approach is to assume that every item that was with you in that cottage is potentially infested. Before you bring any item you had with you there into your permanent home, it need to be decontaminated.

    Read each of the FAQs on [a href="http://bedbugger.com/faqs/travel/"]what to do when you encounter bed bugs while traveling[/a]. Then read them again. If there's anything in them that you're not sure about, ask us more questions.

    You're lucky in that you've discovered a potential problem before bringing them back into your home. That's a much more treatable (and much cheaper to deal with) stage than most of us found them during.

    Just make sure that everyone in the family knows that they need to do that with all of their belongings (including suitcases and shoes and purses and toiletries) BEFORE they go back to their homes. Investing in a Packtite for family use when everyone gets home might be a good idea, as it allows people to treat a lot of items that can't be treated in a dryer. Both Packtites and dryers work on the same idea: heat is the enemy of bed bugs, and both dyers and Packtites work by heating the items up hot enough and long enough to kill bed bugs and eggs.

    Hang in there. And do seek out medical attention if the bites are as bad as you say. (My bed bug bites itched more than any other bug bites I'd ever had. Mosquitos and yellow flies both resulted in bites that swelled up to about quarter size and itched intensely for a day or two, but they were nothing compared with bed bug bites, which itched that intensely on me for 4 or 5 days. It was awful, so you have my sympathy.)

  4. Girlie Pink

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 13:49:18
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    Thanks for the reply Cilecto,

    Unfortunately I am positive the bugs I killed are bed bugs. Sadly the owner of the cottages admitted to having bed bugs when I showed him my bites. He even said they were the correct pattern for them. UGH!! He said they are everywhere in the Clearwater Beach area where we stayed and there is not much they can do about it. He said he treats for them every week. I was shocked. He also went on to say that since they didn't look infected to him I don't need to worry about an allergic reaction. I fail to see the correlation between the two. I was actually nauseous and felt woozy for about a day, but again put it down to sun at the time. His attitude was so disrespectful toward me and my family I could hardly contain myself. Rather than get mad I did the next best thing. I took photos of my bites along with video. We also took video of the condition of the cottages we stayed in. We would have left had we known exactly what they were but we didn't know until yesterday.

    My sister in law is a nurse and she also saw the bugs when I killed them and she is positive they are bed bugs as well. We weren't the only group appalled by the cottages conditions, European guests actually checked out early, lost their money and rerented somewhere else. We would have too but like I said didn't realize they were bed bugs until we checked out and the owner admitted to having them. And yet another couple staying next to us are the ones who videoed everything, including Allen the cottage owner, with a hand pump sprayer going into the first cottage we stayed in. Not sure what was in the sprayer. He also was videoed tossing out the mattress I slept on, not sure about the box spring though.

    As it was spring break, there were 11 of us and a dog it was near impossible to find the two cottages together to rent for 10 days on the beach that let us have a dog. We will know better next time. The experience has left me paranoid about going home my house is up for sale! I don't dare expose it to potential bugs. I will do everything I can to rid myself of them ASAP. Going to the store now to get anti itch cream, calling my Dr. and my dog's Vet then too. If anyone has any other suggestions please send them my way. I pray to I didn't bring them with me as I said earlier I washed everything and put it in the car immediately after drying. Fingers crossed all my bites are old. I will watch the forum for new messages, Thanks everyone.

  5. buggyinsocal

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 13:55:58
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    It may be useful to keep a log of where your current bites are. Bed bugs can cause a lot of stress and sleep deprivation, and having a clearly documented list of how many bites and exactly where they are might make it easier for you to keep track of whether you're seeing new bites or not.

    Also, you might consider listing the place you stayed on the bed bug registry:

    http://bedbugregistry.com/

    It won't help you at this point, but it would help other unsuspecting folks who come after you.

  6. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 14:49:08
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    Sadly the owner of the cottages admitted to having bed bugs when I showed him my bites. He even said they were the correct pattern for them. UGH!! He said they are everywhere in the Clearwater Beach area where we stayed and there is not much they can do about it.

    Really?

    Long ago, I posted that someone will eventually get killed over bedbugs. This is one of those "sometimes-es".

  7. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Sun Apr 11 2010 23:34:15
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    QUOTE: ....Sadly the owner of the cottages admitted to having bed bugs when I showed him my bites. He even said they were the correct pattern for them. UGH!! He said they are everywhere in the Clearwater Beach area where we stayed and there is not much they can do about it. He said he treats for them every week. I was shocked. He also went on to say that since they didn't look infected to him I don't need to worry about an allergic reaction...And yet another couple staying next to us are the ones who videoed everything, including Allen the cottage owner, with a hand pump sprayer going into the first cottage we stayed in. Not sure what was in the sprayer. He also was videoed tossing out the mattress I slept on, not sure about the box spring though. END OF QUOTE

    This is just horrible! This sounds as bad as the poster with the moron for a landlord and Mr PC-ohNo for the PCO. The owner of the property knows he has bed bugs and continues to rent the cottages out and doesn't even warn anyone! Then he suddenly has a medical degree and assures you your bites aren't infected and you don't need to worry about an allergic reaction! (You are totally correct that an allergic reaction has nothing to do with whether or not there's an infection present. I'm not a MD either, but I do have allergies, so I know) After moonlighting as the MD, he switches hats and now has a PCO license to go spraying pesticides! Unbelievable! How much more spraying before he finally realizes he need a professional?
    Read the FAQ's on this site carefully and follow them to the letter. While it won't prevent what's already happened, you can prevent the bed bugs from invading your home. Whatever you can part with before you get home, do so, as the less you bring back with you, the less you have to decontaminate and inspect and treat. You might want to strip in your garage and bag everything up in
    secure ziplocks (including your suitcase, laptop, etc) and then enter your house and run into the shower.
    In the meantime, do phone your physician and ask him what you can take for this (oral or topical or both). If you are having serious allergic complications he may want to put you on 10 day course of prednisone.
    I hope you feel better and post here when you can to ask more questions and let us know how you are doing.

  8. Girlie Pink

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Apr 14 2010 11:51:46
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    Thank you again for replying to my posts. Alas, I have now spoken to the property manager of the cottages where my family stayed in Clearwater Beach last week. This person is not the owner but she manages the reservations and payments. She has called me a couple of times and seems genuinely concerned for my well being. SHE ALSO ADMITTED TO HAVING AN INFESTATION OF BED BUGS at the cottages approximately six months ago. She also confirmed that it was not only those cottages, it was many of the places along the Clearwater Beach Strip. She said they were told they were brought into the area by the cruise ships.

    She went on to tell me that she believed that the cottages had been cleared of the infestation. She even said that while some of the cottages had bugs in the past, to her knowledge they were not in any of the cottages my family and our other friends stayed in. Between our group we stayed in four of the eight cottages they rent. Yeah, right!!

    While she is only the manager of the cottages, she owns and operates a small older hotel a couple blocks from the cottages. This hotel office is where we checked in and out of so we had a chance to see this hotel but only upon check out. The rooms were tidy and spotless. A far cry from where we stayed. I got the impression she rarely, if ever goes to inspect the condition of the cottages. And she leaves the maintenance and cleaning to the actual property owner Alan and other staff. What a shame, I suspect if she were to actually see the property she manages the billing for, she would quit so as not to be associated with such a shabby outfit.

    I have taken photos of my bites and am wondering where is the best place for me to post them. I am also sending them to Gayle the property manager, at her request, along with a letter detailing my distress, discomfort and dissatisfaction. I plan to ask her for full refund. Does this request seem reasonable? I have read where there have been several successful law suits brought against hotels and while some settlements are not disclosed I have read where some were as high as and over $100,000. I am not looking to make any money from this horrible situation but do not feel they are justified in taking our money for a stay where they knowingly put us in rooms with beg bugs and I contracted them. Now I am left with the fall out of having to rid my clothes, person, belongings, car and possibly my dog of them. Plus I run the risk of still bringing them home if I am not successful in ridding my belongings of them prior to coming home. Additionally, I have horrible oozy, swollen, inflamed, itchy and sometimes painful bites on much of my body. I am extremely sensitive to bites and ivy and have had scaring from both in the past. There is a distinct possibility some of these may be headed that way, although I am doing everything I can to prevent this. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what is considered fair and reasonable expectation in a matter such as mine and my family?

    Oh, I will post the name of the cottages on the site you suggested but FYI they are the Clearwater Beach Cottages. The names of each of the individual cottages we stayed in are: Dolphin, Hideaway, Pineapple and Gulf.

    I look forward to your suggestions.

    Kindest Regards,

    Girlie Pink

    Like all of you, I am terrified of bringing them home with me and am doing everything I can to prevent this from happening. So far, so good I think, I am not home for several weeks but am treating where I am staying as if it were my home. I have become a bed bug vigilante. I am going to

  9. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Wed Apr 14 2010 15:19:37
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    So, the cottages blame the cruise ships. Whom do the boats blame?

  10. cilecto

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jun 18 2010 10:15:59
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    OP claimed that she SAW BB in her hotel room.

  11. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jun 18 2010 13:13:29
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    Clancy - 4 hours ago  » 
    HALT!! More likely you have been bitten by no-see ums... Often mistaken for bed bugs. The wee brats are, as they're called, next to invisible - but their bite can be (for myself and the majority) Very itchy, painful, red rashy and irritating - often times up to 10 or more days.

    Clancy,

    Your post suggests the poster has been bitten by "no-see-ums" (a.k.a chiggers).

    However, she saw a bed bug.

    And your other suggestions are irrelevant because this is a bed bug forum.

    I am deleting your post as off-topic.

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

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jun 18 2010 13:16:03
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    cilecto - 2 months ago  » 
    So, the cottages blame the cruise ships. Whom do the boats blame?

    Probably passengers.

    I love the way hotels say, "It's not our fault we have bed bugs. Guests bring bed bugs in."

    Well, yes. Guests bring all kinds of things in: dirt and germs and bed bugs and crumbs and stains.

    Doesn't absolve the hotel of responsibility for getting those things out.

  13. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 9 years ago
    Fri Jun 18 2010 13:24:58
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    Sometimes they also forget that people also bring in the money.

    I often think its time for people to start asking to make sure before they book. It will at least encourage Hotels to discuss with concerned guests what steps they take to early detect and control the issue.

    The reality is that you are less likely to have a major issue in rooms that have light infestations yet most of the ones that create the adverse PR appear to be both significant in terms of duration and level of infestation.

    This has to be consumer driven if we wish to change the current culture.

    I will PM you with something that may help.

    David


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