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

Proceeding cautiously but please HELP narrow this down

(5 posts)
  1. aggravated123

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 29 2013 12:16:15
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    Hello all,

    So I have some reason to believe I may have a bed bugs(or some other creepy crawler) issue. I am proceeding cautiously(bed enclosures, DE and steam cleaning) until I figure out the precise problem but could really use some opinions/ expertise from people who know what to look for. Yes, I have read the FAQs and googled (then re-read and then compulsively googled )everything I could think of to determine the source.

    All started one week ago when I moved into my new apartment (finished basement, no carpet), my first night there I was bit by something. Was bit a few more times throughout the week. Obviously, bites were inconclusive. Upon searching and cleaning I have discovered all sorts of things that appear like they could be BB related and have the following questions. I also found that my car was infested with something. Could there be BB in my car too???

    Is it possible to find a single BB egg? If so, I think I may have. It was visible to the naked eye, white and waxy to the touch. I was able to rub it between my fingers and it disintegrated.
    Is it possible to find casing or dead BB without legs/ heads? I have found several amber colored, flat, oval shaped things.
    Is there a waxy substance that accompanies the waste/ eggs? At the bottom of a few of my bags I have found a mixture of milky white, black and amber specks of varying size and shape (oval, football, round) (could be eggs, waste and shells) but they are always "glued" to the seems by this waxy substance.

    As for the car, I did not notice anything suspect until after I moved and got bit. I was moving items to my car to take to the laundry mat when I discovered the following scene:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/100976610@N03/

    yes, its sticky and it smells almost sweet. This must have happened very recently, within a week and a half because I did not notice it when I moved. Could a BB infestation happen this quickly?

    I have an older car, leather interior. Two months ago I noticed a musty smell in the car, so I cleaned it out (so I thought) and didn't realize an issue till just a day or so ago., could be related or not. I used my car to move so its possible whatever was in my car is now in my house or vise versa.

    Any help is appreciated. I feel so embarrassed. I have had so many big changes happen in the past six months (graduation, moving for internship, moving for grad school) and the frustration and stress from the last week is making me crazy.

    Thanks for reading

  2. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 29 2013 20:46:49
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    <- non-expert, but hopefully one will step in.

    Is it possible to find a single BB egg? If so, I think I may have. It was visible to the naked eye, white and waxy to the touch. I was able to rub it between my fingers and it disintegrated.

    While I have never found a bed bug egg, to my understanding they are firm, glued tightly to the substrate, and more pop instead of crumbling.

    Is it possible to find casing or dead BB without legs/ heads? I have found several amber colored, flat, oval shaped things.

    Casings (shed skins) are extremely light and papery. They look kind of like a hollow bed bug shell. Post some photos of what you have found and the experts can probably ID it, or at least say if it is from a bed bug or not.

    Is there a waxy substance that accompanies the waste/ eggs? At the bottom of a few of my bags I have found a mixture of milky white, black and amber specks of varying size and shape (oval, football, round) (could be eggs, waste and shells) but they are always "glued" to the seems by this waxy substance.

    Not to my knowledge. If you look in the bottom of any bag that's been used to haul everything around for years, you'll find all sorts of strange debris. Bed bugs need to feed about once a week to grow and reproduce, so colonizing inside baggage is unlikely unless perhaps it is stored under an occupied bed. Again, if there is that much debris and it is bed bug related, you should be able to find an easily identifiable specimen.

    yes, its sticky and it smells almost sweet. This must have happened very recently, within a week and a half because I did not notice it when I moved. Could a BB infestation happen this quickly?

    I have an older car, leather interior. Two months ago I noticed a musty smell in the car, so I cleaned it out (so I thought) and didn't realize an issue till just a day or so ago., could be related or not. I used my car to move so its possible whatever was in my car is now in my house or vise versa.

    I'm not an expert but that looks to me like someone spilled some type of sugary drink and it caused mildew. I don't believe it is characteristic of bed bug excrement, and in any case with a mess that huge you should find lots of live bed bugs, dead bed bugs, or casings in the crevice. The musty and sweet odors and stickiness are consistent with an accidental spill.

    There are all sorts of things that can cause bites or bite-like reactions. It is best not to assume bed bugs until you have located a live bed bug or bed bug casing and had it identified by an expert.

  3. bbvictim24

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 29 2013 21:39:20
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    Speaking from personal experience here about the eggs. Yes it is possible to find a single bed bug egg, but they can also be laid out in a line. They tend to adhere to the surface they've been laid on, but you can pick them up easy with a piece of tape.
    They're usually just about 1 mm or slightly smaller in size, white-beige colored, and very distinct oval/elliptical shape. Like the previous poster said, they tend to "pop" when you press down on them (as it happened to me, much to my disgust/surprise). With that last characteristic, i think it's hard to confuse a real egg from a random fleck of flotsam/jetsam or pilled fabric.

  4. aggravated123

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Aug 29 2013 22:36:57
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    More pics
    From in the car:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/100976610@N03/9624198383/
    can't tell if these are shells or just really dead bugs.

    A piece of a shell. No head or legs
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/100976610@N03/9627435994/

    Thanks for looking guys. I know whatever these are, they are old and dead. My fear is that when they were alive some of them were transported inside while the rest died in the car (thank you FL heat). I am going to try and treat my car tomorrow but any thoughts/ opinions now are welcome.

  5. Nemo

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Aug 30 2013 4:50:27
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    How are you treating the car? Don't do anything drastic! I really don't think you have bed bugs.

    The first picture looks like a pupal casing from some insect, probably a beetle (perhaps carpet beetles?) It's from something that goes through complete metamorphosis (the immature stage looks nothing like the adult stage), because you can see that the casing has no legs or antennae. Bed bugs go through incomplete metamorphosis, so they hatch as tiny bed bugs and just get bigger and more adult-shaped as they go through their growth stages. An immature bed bug still has tiny legs and antennae and looks nothing like these, nor do their cast skins.

    As for the other, it's from some type of insect, but I couldn't tell you what. I don't think it is bed bug related but I will let an expert rule on that.

    Returning to the topic of your car, if that mess on the seat belt was made by bed bugs in only 1.5 weeks, it would be a huge horde, and you would have to notice them because they would have to bite everyone in the car to feed enough to leave that mess. Bed bugs are pretty tidy creatures. They feed about once a week, and every time they feed they defecate and leave a tiny (a few millimeters) fecal stain behind. Obviously the discolored patch on and around your seatbelt is on the order of square inches, maybe even a square foot. It just would not be possible for bed bugs to contaminate that much area in such a short time unless there were OVER 9000!! (not literally, a colloquial term for "way lots") and they were industriously biting people as much as possible.

    Additionally, if you look at the seat belt you can see that the discoloration has wicked up the length of the seat belt. That is another reason I think someone spilled a drink there. Bed bugs, producing only microliters of fluid per week (much less than a drop of liquid), would be incapable of causing that type of wicking pattern.

    So please don't do anything drastic in your car. Vacuuming is great, upholstery cleaners are great, but please do not put insecticides in the car. It's just not safe, and I don't think the situation warrants it.


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