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questions about bites and no bugs: experts please

(4 posts)
  1. looking for answers

    Joined: Nov '13
    Posts: 14


    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 7 2013 14:47:06

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    Okay, I have been stalking this site for quite some time and my story is not unlike so many that I have read. I am having mysterious bite like symptoms and finding no bed bugs but still very suspicious and kind of paranoid. I apologize if this post is long and disjointed. I am just to a point where I need the advice of people who don’t think I’m crazy.

    In 2011
    I had skin reactions (bite like bumps) and searched the apartment only to find carpet beetles. My apartment management treated and I cleaned and threw away all the throw rugs. I got a new bed and encased it in mattress covers. Things seemed to get better with the occasional skin irritation…I have sensitive skin. The dermatologist suggested using Aveeeno. I would still get the occasional bump but nothing that alarmed me.

    This summer around August, I started to have bad reactions again. They range from small and pimple like (some in clusters and some not) to large welts. Again, I cleaned, organized and searched. Again, I found some carpet beetles and various other household bugs such as sow bugs and stink bugs and such but no bed bugs. My apartment management again treated. I even went crazy cleaning and used DE just incase but I am allergic to dust and wont be doing that again unless I know for sure its necessary. I did not rewash all my clothes (we have to go to the laundromat). I also did not throw out my rug this time because it was new. I have all hard floors and usually sweep everything. I did borrow my mother in-laws vacuum when we found the carpet beetles and did the whole house. I don’t own a vacuum.

    Only this time, things have not gotten better. I continue to wake up with skin reactions and may have gotten a secondary infection from itching. The dermatologist says it’s not bed bugs and has me on multiple creams and Claritin twice a day. That seemed to help with the larger rash but I am still getting single large or small clustered bumps.

    I am harassing the apartment management and they have been nice but sent the same guy who looks at only the mattress and says not bed bugs multiple times. He also checked all the other two apartments in the building (much to my embarrassment) and said no bugs in the building. Because of my paranoia I have done better searches than the PCO that came to the house and washed and rewashed the bedding and pillows (the mattresses are encased). I even had all the floors redone in the apartment (they put in laminate floors) during this time and no one has noticed any signs…including me. Aside of course me being a freak about every speck of dirt or skin (my husband has eczema) I see.

    I am still suspicious because of the nature of the bites and the fact that I am waking up with them. Also, my building is older with baseboard heaters lining the walls (so many places to hide!) However, I have never found a bed bug. My husband is not getting bite and thinks I’m crazy.

    I guess some of my questions are:

    After all this time would I have seen some obvious signs on the sheets? Or somewhere?

    Will the bites look different on diff parts of my body? I seem to get welts on the trunkof my body and smaller bumps on my legs.

    If the PCO (who did a minimal check) and the dermo say no bugs, should I trust that there are no bugs?

    Will fecal matter always soak into sheets? What about sheets made from synthetic materials? (I have found black specks that brush off…not sure if it’s just dirt) Also, the paint on my headboard and dresser has small black spots in it by design…would fecal matter on wood have a particular shape or size?

    Should I be worried about staying with friends for the holidays, just based on bites?

    Again I’m so sorry if this is long and rambling…Thank you for your help.

  2. bed-bugscouk

    Joined: Apr '07
    Posts: 15,666


    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 7 2013 14:58:04

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    First of all I hope you have read enough to read this:

    If not read it first and it will explain why looking at the symptoms, i.e. skin reactions is not the way to diagnose a bedbug issue.

    You need to work through the FAQ's and images so that you know how to ID the confirming signs:

    • Live samples
    • Cast skins
    • Faecal traces

    A self inspection is the logical next step and if clear consider monitoring as a sensible approach to either confirm bedbugs or after 14 days rule it out. The best advice on this is in the useful tools section.

    Anything you do find take a clear in focus image and post to Flickr based on the information in the post below:

    If you rule it out then carpet beetles is the next logical step and once the shoes and socks are off read the documents below:

    If clear from them and still reacting seek medical attention and testing for allergies.

    I would not be overly concerned about visiting friends until you know what the issue is. The reality is that by the time that bedbugs get to the stage where transmission from the home a detailed inspection would have revealed them months before.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) 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 products.
  3. looking for answers

    Joined: Nov '13
    Posts: 14


    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 7 2013 15:41:30

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    Thank you!
    The bit about visiting friends was encouraging. We went to Florida last month and stayed with friends and I have been paranoid that Im spreading stuff around

    You said
    "A self inspection is the logical next step and if clear consider monitoring as a sensible approach to either confirm bedbugs or after 14 days rule it out. The best advice on this is in the useful tools section."

    I have ordered some climb ups and I have been checking my mattress and head board almost daily. Is this enough to spot something or should I be tearing apart my dresser and photo frames every day?
    And what did you mean by "after 14 days rule out?" After 14 days of no obvious signs?

  4. endless_nightmare

    Joined: Apr '12
    Posts: 769


    Posted 4 years ago
    Thu Nov 7 2013 18:28:33

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    From what you describe

    I'm certain you do not have bed bugs

    After 14 days of no obvious signs?
    after 14 days on not finding anything on the Passive Monitor

    not a PCO
    Spinal Cord Injury Advocacy/Volunteer

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