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

Please ID - Bugs in Daughter's Bed

(6 posts)
  1. booksinboxes

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 5 2018 12:54:16
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    Hi Everyone,

    I found this site last night. Was googling for information and pictures of bugs, because around 3AM, my daughter discovered a bug in her bed. She photographed it a couple times before killing it. I inspected for more bugs, and found nothing, but two hours later, while she was still awake -- too rattled to sleep; she and I both are scared of bugs in general -- she spotted another few bugs, and other such signs pointing to the awful scenario of, "Oh God, I hope we don't have bedbugs!"

    A similar thought occurred about two weeks ago. My daughter had woken up with several bites on her neck. I couldn't tell what may have bit her, but around that same time, she had said she saw a tiny black bug who 'jumped' when she tried to kill it; this was also in her bed. I concluded that bug was a flea (though we have no pets at all), and thus assumed the bites on her neck were fleabites.

    Despite that, I did worry it could be a different culprit, and did the following: checked the blanket and peeled it off, checked the sheets and peeled them off, checked the mattress cover (it's cloth, not plastic) and peeled it off, checked the mattress pad and peeled it back, checked the mattress top.

    During that, I noticed no signs of bugs whatsoever.

    I then proceeded to wash all of her bedding.

    So last night was the first time I seriously suspected bedbugs.

    We are living in an multi-unit apartment complex; first time I've ever lived in an apartment. I've never experienced bedbugs in my life, nor known anyone who had them. I knew moving into an apartment (we've been here five months) would pose a greater risk of getting bedbugs, but I assumed the risk was diminished, thanks to this complex having an exterminator come in to spray bimonthly. (He last sprayed the second week of May, soon before the supposed 'flea incident'.)

    Included are the photos my daughter took last night. If anyone out there could help us, that would be wonderful! I do plan to notify my landlord, the leasing office, whomever regardless of what the bugs may be. And at this point, I haven't noticed any similar bugs in the rest of our unit, except for a strange looking fellow on the bathroom countertop. No bugs in my bed at this point, knock on wood, but one difference between my bed and my daughter's bed: mine is high off the floor, on a frame. She doesn't like bed frames, but now I'm thinking purchasing one for her might be wise?

    Thank you again, in advance, for any help, advice or insight!

  2. HifromChi

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 5 2018 13:30:24
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    I'm not an expert, but the first 2 photos look like a bed bug nymph to me. It has recently fed.

    You mentioned that you had someone at your building spraying, it sounds like you could have bed bugs fleeing from other infested units that are being treated. I would contact management ASAP regarding treatment for yourself, they can be difficult to combat on your own.

  3. loubugs

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Tue Jun 5 2018 13:39:04
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    Young bed bug nymphs and you can see that one was feeding. You are in an apartment and it's possible that neighbors are treating (landlord might not know) and the insects are crawling around and coming into your place.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  4. booksinboxes

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    Posted 5 days ago
    Tue Jun 12 2018 21:58:59
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    Update and Replies:

    Hi again everyone! I'm so sorry for the delay in responding, and in extending my appreciation to those who helped. The past week has been an absolute blur of busyness, due to this whole bedbug issue. Today is the first time I've been back on my laptop since requesting an ID.

    HifromChi - 1 week ago  » 
    I'm not an expert, but the first 2 photos look like a bed bug nymph to me. It has recently fed.
    You mentioned that you had someone at your building spraying, it sounds like you could have bed bugs fleeing from other infested units that are being treated. I would contact management ASAP regarding treatment for yourself, they can be difficult to combat on your own.

    Thank you, HifromChi! I'm so far from an expert myself, it's not even funny, but yes, I too thought it looked like a pest who had recently fed, and oh how right you were! And it's interesting you mentioned other infested units, for I did learn something interesting regarding that line of thought. (More on that in a sec.) I indeed contacted management the day after posting here. I explained the situation over the phone, and texted three pictures for them to pass along to their exterminator.

    loubugs - 1 week ago  » 
    Young bed bug nymphs and you can see that one was feeding. You are in an apartment and it's possible that neighbors are treating (landlord might not know) and the insects are crawling around and coming into your place.

    Oh gosh, thank you, loubugs! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. It completely lit a fire beneath me last week. As soon as I saw your reply via my phone, I jumped into action. That very day, I found even more bugs in my daughter's room, although not in her bed, but above and behind it. Yes, as I just mentioned, and am fixing to explain in detail, come to find out, there was/is an issue with bedbugs in a neighboring unit.

    So more about that now -- Actual UPDATE: Knowing the pics were, in fact, of bedbugs, I stripped my daughter's bed again, and actually found nothing. I went ahead and washed all her bedding on hot, dried on hot; both of my machines are modern, and have a 'sanitize cycle'. I also washed two of the pillows, but bagged-up and tossed two others, I suppose for the sake of saving time, and feeling they were unneeded, i.e. just for decoration, anyway.

    The biggest shock came to me when I inspected the tapestry behind my daughter's bed. She doesn't have a headboard, so to serve as one, and to hide the preexisting blemishes on the wall, I had hung a tapestry back there; actually just a fabric shower curtain with a pretty print. I lifted it up to check the backside of it, and sure enough, it was covered in black spots! I brought in my stepladder, and climbed up, and Oh God at the amount of actual bedbugs I found there!! They were much darker than the one my daughter photographed the night prior, and they were all congregating around the base of the metal hooks used to hold the tapestry in place.

    Here's a picture of it:

    I carefully took down the tapestry, double-bagged it, and carried it straight to the dumpster.

    After that, I went a bit nutty. Wearing gloves, I scrubbed that wall with hot water and Lysol, let it dry, and repeated. I also checked my daughter's curtains where I thought I saw a few white spots, but by that point, I felt like every spot I saw -- regardless of color -- all over the room might be a living creature! In other words, I sort of panicked. Then I think I made a mistake...

    I drove to the nearest store, bought a mattress cover (the zippered bag kind), a vinyl pullover cover, and two 'bedbug-proof' pillowcases. I then proceed to bag her mattress and its pad, cover her box spring, and encase her pillows. Oy. The mattress bag itself ripped, so I drove back at midnight for max-strength duct tape, and wrapped it all around the zippered bag. I was just convinced I needed to immediately trap the bugs, but later realized I should have waited.

    The next day -- Wednesday afternoon -- I finally got a hold of the lady in the leasing office. I told her what happened, and how I posted anonymously on a forum in hopes of an ID, and would she please contact their exterminator. She then requested I send pictures to her so she could share them with him, so I did. Soon after, she showed up at my door, and told me he would be coming to spray Friday morning.

    I was advised to wash and dry every piece of fabric we own, bag it all up, and pile the bags in the center of the kitchen. (Our kitchen is tiny, so I used the large space designated for a dining room.)

    I then worked on laundry nearly nonstop. Only got one hour of sleep Thursday night through Friday morning. Thankfully, all the laundry was done, the fabric was bagged, and the exterminator showed up.

    He came in, and started yanking stuff off the walls. I got scared, since I wasn't told to remove those things, and suddenly felt unnerved and unprepared.

    I began crying while he questioned me. He implied I got bedbugs from having 'people sleep over'; that certain people sleeping in my bedroom could have given me bedbugs. My daughter was standing right there, and I felt humiliated and degraded. I told him, "I'm not that type of woman. I don't even date." -- Not that it's his business (or heck, maybe it is), but he seemed to be equating the fact that I'm a single mom (divorced, hence moving to an apartment for the first time in my life) with a certain type of lifestyle. In other words, I felt typecast, as it were, and blamed for the bugs from the get-go on Friday. And one of the major reasons I was baffled by his insinuations: It was my daughter's room with the bedbugs, not mine.

    Still, he kept mentioning having guests was likely the cause, and I told him: We don't have guests, no one has ever slept over, no slumber parties, no friends or family in this town so no visitors, no lovers at all, nothing. And also, no secondhand clothes, no secondhand furniture, and no spending the night in hotels/motels/resorts since 2015. I haven't even been to a movie theater since 2009. The list goes on and on; all the likely places from whence these bugs could have come don't automatically apply to us. My daughter wasn't even in public school this last term, and I'm currently unemployed (was a stay-at-home mom throughout my decade-plus of marriage). So yep. Just the two of us, and no one but him -- the exterminator bimonthly -- and one helpful man who brought in a shelf for me and stayed less than a total of one minute has set foot in my apartment unit all year!

    So then finally, something most interesting was discussed: I was asking the exterminator as to whether or not this complex has issues with bedbugs; as in, does he treat them here often, I guess, and he told me, The neighboring unit-- the one that shares a wall with my daughter's room -- was treated for bedbugs by him at the end of last year. That's exactly when we moved into our unit!

    And you know, I even remember a day when we heard a lot noise over there, soon after we moved in, like banging sounds, and I had told my daughter, "Someone must be moving in," because we knew that unit was empty. Well, when I checked out the window back then, I instead saw items being moved out. Most notably, mattresses being thrown into the back of a large truck. As if the previous resident there had left behind their belongings. I had assumed they skipped rent, and lurched out like a thief in the night. I just vividly recall seeing a child-sized mattress; a tiny thing, looked smaller than a twin size, with some sort of child-friendly print on it -- cowboys and horses, maybe? -- being tossed out, too, and saying, "Who would leave behind their kid's bed??" Uh-huh. Now I can only assume it was left behind due to the bedbugs that were present therein.

    And I also remember even running into the exterminator outside that unit while it was still empty. I believe it was in January, and he said hello to me before going inside. I later told my mom, "I guess someone is finally going to move in there, and they're spraying it to prepare for a new resident."

    So again, the neighboring unit had (and possibly still has) bedbugs. The unit next to my daughter's room. And her room is still the only room in our unit where bedbugs have been seen. Our living room and bathroom are also along that shared wall, and the exterminator did treat our living room on Friday, along with my daughter's room, of course, and my bedroom. I also noticed once we got home after the treatment, in the bathroom, the lower cabinets were opened and the drawers were pulled out, so I'm guessing that room, too, was treated.

    In regards to who is responsible for paying for the treatment: When the lady in the leasing office came by on Wednesday, she said the typical routine was for the tenant to pay half, and the complex to pay half of what the exterminator charges for treating bedbugs. She said, though, since she knew we were 'clean' people, and thus not at fault for bringing them with us, she was currently in talks with the owner about them paying for everything.

    Well, on Friday, I received a text stating I owe my half. And then yesterday, there was a notice on the door stating I need to pay in order to 'protect my residency'. This is what I find frustrating. I honestly believe after the neighboring unit was treated, those suckers hid in the walls or baseboards or wherever, and once they caught a hint of us living here, they moved on to the nearest warm body they could find, A.K.A my daughter, and thus, through the shared wall, we acquired bedbugs.

    Maybe I'm absolutely wrong, but that's how I feel about it. It just seems like too big a coincidence.

    I still plan to write an email to the owner, explaining/clarifying everything I can, and I also can't help but feel compelled to speak with the guy who lives in the neighboring unit; the one on the other side of my daughter's room. I know they were going to inspect his place the same day they sprayed ours, but I'm not sure what they found -- if anything -- and whether or not they ended up spraying it. The main reason I'd like to speak to him is to ask him if they told him his unit was treated for bedbugs prior to his moving in; if he was ever made aware of that fact. Perhaps it's not my place to tell him, but I know if I were him, I'd definitely want to know!

    I mean, if bedbugs can survive a long time without a meal, and can hide in walls, and hence escape treatment (I admit, I'm assuming on that front), it stands to reason that the bugs still existed when my daughter and I moved in, and when our neighbor moved in a couple months later. I also can't help but wonder if he's being blamed, and thus charged for his share if they did spray his apartment? -- It would seem very unfair if he was.

    Oh, and after we returned home post-treatment, I flipped the living room furniture back over, reassembled the beds, put new covers on my box spring, my daughter's box spring, and just a standard vinyl one on her mattress (I couldn't afford anything beyond that, so my mattress is uncovered). The exterminator had to cut off the one I had duct-taped to my daughter's bed on Tuesday. Ha. Whatever works! I just want them gone for good, and told him before we left to cut it away if necessary.

    So anyway. Ninety percent of our fabric items are still in bags. I'm rewashing everything I unpack just to be safe. I also plan to toss out things, just in case this happens again, so I won't have as much to launder next time around. And I do fear there will be a next time around. Not because I doubt the exterminator or whatever he chose to spray, but simply because I can't shake this feeling of hopelessness; I just feel rather sad and somehow defeated about the whole thing.

    But yeah, thank you so much for reading this if you did! I'm still a worried mess, and am too embarrassed to discuss all this with anyone beyond my parents, my child, and the people here at my complex.

    Please tell me if there's anything else I should do going forward. I asked them several times about my 'books in boxes', which there are many, hence my username; as to whether bedbugs like books, if they like cardboard, should I pack up my collection and store them for an extended time, etc. But the books seemed to be of little concern to those involved, so I'm guessing they're okay?

    Ah, and the exterminator is coming back ten days since last Friday, I'm presuming for a followup.

    Thank you again, and take care!

  5. HifromChi

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Wed Jun 13 2018 9:19:41
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    Wow, the building management/owners where you live, in addition to the PCO that chastised you about having "visitors" - is awful. I'd look up your local tenant laws in your state, as they're basically threatening you with an eviction if you don't pay for half of the treatment. In most states, landlords are responsible for the treatment and attempts at evicting someone over it are 100% unlawful. Do some homework, as these people are trying to do you dirty and take advantage of your situation by implementing fear tactics.

    I would also inquire with the PCO about the treatment regimen he plans on using. Dusts like DE and Cinemex in combo with spray and heat treatment (steam) are usually the best mix for vanquishing them. I had 2 treatments using that approach, and they were gone. The adjoining units to you should be inspected as well, otherwise, you'll just have a reoccurring issue with the bed bugs if they're hiding out in untreated spaces.

    Now get on looking up those local tenant laws regarding pests and treatment and who's actually responsible, cover all of your bases, and best of luck to you!

  6. Bugsadness

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    Posted 4 days ago
    Wed Jun 13 2018 18:35:22
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    I'm so sorry about that PCO--what an asshole. Obviously, even if you did have all sorts of wild and crazy monkey sex, you shouldn't be chastised for it, but what's even worse is that you're being slut shamed for acts you didn't even commit. I hope you find some relief soon.


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