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

Possible K9 false positive and possibly a good ending

(3 posts)
  1. blechedout

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    Joined: Aug '11
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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2011 15:08:51
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    Hi,

    For the past 6 weeks, I've been worried I have bed bugs and thought I might share my story for what it's worth to anyone who is still trying to figure their situation out. I've actually had to take a break from the forums, because they were clouding my judgment and sending me into a state of sheer emotional distress. I had to start looking at the evidence and getting a grip on my emotions.

    In early August, my new husband and I came home from our wedding after having stayed at one local resort for 2 nights after our wedding. I started noticing odd itchy spots/bumps on my skin, and convinced myself we had bed bugs from our hotel stay. I contacted the resort which is actually one I have connections with through my work, and they took my concern very seriously. They *supposedly* conducted a very thorough search of our room for any BB evidence and found nothing. Of course, this doesn't confirm anything, but was a positive sign.

    I was still not convinced and hired a reputable K9 company from San Francisco to come in. The dog alerted to one spot on our bed and nowhere else. The handler pulled up the sheets on the corner of the bed which was the extent of his visual inspection. He didn't see anything, and recommended we treat the problem ourselves.

    I freaked. Absolutely freaked. I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, and had to have my dr. prescribe me sleeping medicine. A couple of days later, I had Hydrex out to do an inspection and the technician was fabulous. We spent about 2+ hours tearing the bedroom apart from top to bottom and couldn't find one shred of evidence, not even in the area of the bed where the dog alerted. We took apart the bed frame, we removed outlets, we dissasembled furniture, you name it we did it. And I don't have a box spring, so there wasn't a tricky spot there for hiding. We also searched the couch just to be safe. Technician (who is their lead BB inspector) felt very confident we were clean, but we did the following things:

    Encased mattress and supporting platform, put climb-ups on the bed and a BB alert passive (because I can't completely isolate our bed due to it's odd configuration), and reduced bedding and bedroom "clutter" for easy inspection. But our room/house is pretty clutter free anyway.

    He just came back out to do another inspection with me and we still couldn't find one shred of evidence. He is 100% confident we are clear. However, during these 6 weeks, I've continued getting odd itchy bumps/hives every few days. I'm convinced some of that is due to nerves, but can't explain them 100%.

    I've also had a telephone conversation with John from KQ (so nice of him to actually take my call), and also emailed with David Cain. Both of them have advised me that in the absence of evidence, and with "bites" every few days, there comes a point that you need to start considering other causes, or even just let it go. While the bugs themselves are good hiders, they leave evidence especially with repeated feedings.

    To me, there are several possibilities:

    1) The K9 was wrong, and we never had them
    2) We did have a rogue one or two, but trapped them in our encasements
    3) We still have a rogue one or two, but can't find it, or ANY evidence

    I'd like to believe #1 or #2, of course, and feel that at this point, I have to for the sake of my sanity. I also live in a single family home, so I'm lucky in that I don't have the issue of migrators from neighboring units.

    I completely and with total sympathy empathize with the people on here who are dealing with this problem. I know for myself, this experience severely affected my mental well-being and my emotional state. I wasn't able to concentrate at work, or have happy moments with my new husband, because I was so fearful.

    But in hindsight, I wish I'd had the PCO out BEFORE the dog, because I am not at all convinced now the dog was right. And all the dog did for me was completely put me in a state of panic, in the absence of any physical evidence. While I do believe the dogs can be an incredible asset, I'm now concerned they aren't always right.

    I hope anyone reading this might be able to gain some potentially useful information or find some hope. I am still alert, and on the lookout, but at this point I feel I need to take some steps back from this and try to move on for my own mental and physical well-being.

    I kindly and respectfully ask that any replies to this suggesting I may still have them be avoided. I am aware of that fact, but as I said, I need to begin considering the possibility that I don't, or else I may very well end up in a mental institution. Just kidding - a little.

    I hope everyone here dealing with this finds peace, solutions, and success. I hope I too, end up being a success story.

  2. DougSummersMS

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    Joined: May '07
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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2011 15:49:01
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    K9 inspections are not 100%... alerts need to be confirmed... Unproductive K9 alerts can create serious complications for consumers and professionals alike... I am very glad that you found a thorough PMP to conduct in depth physical screenings for evidence of live activity... I think it is time now to focus on other potential sources for the itchy spots / bumps.

    These articles may provide some useful guidance
    http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ent58.asp

    http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3006/

    Consult with your PCO and consider placing some sticky cardboard traps, sticky fly ribbon and an electric flea trap in your residence to see if you can capture any biting pests.

    Consult with a good allergist to see if you can identify any non-insect sources.

    Can you describe the patterns and timing of the bumps appearing on your skin?

    Feel free to contact me via a PM if I can provide any assistance over the phone.

    At this point, I would also suggest utilizing some stress management techniques to reduce your level of anxiety to see if the symptoms are stress related.

    A K9 alert is not equivalent to a visual identification... I would trust the lack of physical evidence to be a rule out for bed bugs... Check the monitors weekly... but I would expand the search to other sources given the lack of physical evidence.

    Hope this helps
    Doug

  3. bugonbrain

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    Joined: Sep '11
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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Sep 15 2011 6:11:15
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    hi, your experience sounds exactly like mine, i too had a k9 come out and the k9 alerted but in the kitchen away from my sleeping area were i had been sleeping every night since returning from my 2 night vacation, the handler did not even attempt to check the area were the dog alerted but did suggest i only needed to treat that area and not my whole apartment, when i called the boss to arrange treatment he said i wouldn't have to and to just throw everything in that area out and spray rubbing alcohol witch i did, well i had a pco do a good inspection and just like you we tore the place apart and found no evidence and being over 40 day since my trip the pco said he would have been able to find something but also just like you i get these little pin prick type things on my skin that i read about on here all the time, i have found no physical evidence but i too am freaked out and hardly slept last night, it's been 44 days since my trip but i have read from others who defiantly had bb that describe the same type pinpricks and that is what still has me worried. my pco rightfully so refused to comment on the pinpricks


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