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

Several questions I feel haven't been satisfactorily answered yet

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  1. Cognoscere

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Mon Apr 9 2018 10:57:50
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    First of all I want to thank everyone who takes the time to respond to threads here, especially those who work actively to help people identify and inform: you are doing such amazing work helping people with this very stubborn and frankly tiring problem. I have formulated several questions which I feel haven't been answered (thoroughly) yet and could help us identify a bed bug infestation in its early stages. If you want to read why I am suspecting bedbugs myself skip to the bottom of the post for a bit of context (I don't want to bore anyone with my story first).

    Some of the questions are more for the experts, but please, if you are someone dealing with bed bugs then I would very much also like to hear your experience related to these questions: it is very much appreciated.

    Biting behaviour
    I have (non-itchy) red welts only on my arms and legs (particularly my wrists and around my elbows and around/on my knees and on my thights and the top of my feet). How likely would it be that they would NEVER bite on my neck, side, back, chest or face when these are also always exposed during the night? What if this is over the span of a month? 2 months? 3 months?

    Would bed bugs be more likely to bite on your hands when wearing long-sleeved clothes for them being exposed or would they prefer traveling under your sleeve to bite your arm (same with feet)?

    Do bed bugs prefer biting solely on the top of the arms and legs or do they not discriminate between top and underside? Is it likely that you would have welts on the underside of your arms/backside of your legs too if you were to be dealing with bed bugs? What about the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands?

    On average how far apart would bites usually be if they were trailing?

    Nesting behaviour
    How likely is it that bed bugs would start a nest in the bed of the person being bitten if they first had a nest outside of the bed? Would it be the first place they would probably start to nest after their initial nest?

    How quickly would bed bugs make new nests/harborages after a new infestation is started? How many new ones might be expected after 1 month? 2 months? 3 months?

    If you have found a nest: where did you find it?

    How far into an infestation are you likely to have seen one live in your bed if you carefully inspect every day?

    Toilet behaviour (thank god they don't wipe!)
    How likely are bed bugs to poop right after their meal? Is it very likely they would leave a fecal stain on your sheets before they make it back to their nests or are they good at holding it in until they go back to their harborage?

    I have read somehwere bed bugs like to sit and digest their meal at the edge of the mattress and would do a poo there before they go back to their nest: is this true?

    How quickly after the start of an infestation would new, fresh fecal stains start showing on your bed sheets/mattress? Weeks? Months?

    After one month (2 months, 3 months?): how frequently might you expect new fecal stains to show up? Every so few days? Every week? Maybe even daily?

    I know these are a lot of questions, but I feel it would help if there was information available about these specific questions.

    My story
    I am suspecting I may have taken bed bugs home with me after likely having slept in a room with bed bugs in a guesthouse in Thailand (we do always check and didn't find any in the room, but my girlfriend woke up with her leg covered in trails of welts--only a few on mine; we suspect they came in from the dormitory opposite to our room which said it wasn't accessible at the time). We washed everything (including our backpacks), but welts showed up on girlfriend and an occasional welt after this during the trip, as well. I have also inspected all items and backpack and saw nothing; still tried to be safe and encased backpack in airtight plastic and stowed in garage. All I took into my house were my phone charger, e-reader, phone, bank cards and passport after checking carefully. All clothes washed on 60+ celsius and dried for 30 minutes on highest heat. Clothes remained sealed airtight.

    Now back home I have consistently woken up with 3-8 new welts every day (consistently on the arms and legs and top of feet--nowhere else). They subside in about a day or three. I have learned bites cannot be ID'ed to be bed bugs, but it is one of the symptoms and in combination with the knowledge we slept in a room with bed bugs this makes me suspicious. I have gone through every drawer, inspected my mattress carefully and have cut open my duster under my box spring to inspect every nook and cranny carefully. I have found zero traces (fecal, blood, shells, eggs or otherwise) except for a couple of dark spots I believe were already in my sheets from most likely mascara. I am thinking it may just be a random skin condition or to do with the carpet beetle sighting I had (and I may be getting a reaction to them--stil weird the welts are on consistently the same places and two of them were definitely bites close to each other as they felt more like a mosquito bite than the welts and were smack on my artery). Also, the house that I live in is used as a bed and breakfast partly and considering the fact that it receives lots of guests there is a heightened risk.

    I have added an album of pictures of things that seemed suspicious to me. One mattress is from the Bed and Breakfast (the blue one) the sheets are my own:
    https://imgur.com/a/j1t1R

  2. thirdusername

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Mon Apr 9 2018 15:01:57
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    I'm not an expert.

    How likely would it be that they would NEVER bite on my neck, side, back, chest or face when these are also always exposed during the night?

    I think they bite the nearest suitable area to where they are when they are hungry.
    Too many variables.

    How likely is it that bed bugs would start a nest in the bed of the person being bitten if they first had a nest outside of the bed? Would it be the first place they would probably start to nest after their initial nest?

    I think bugs go to the nearest suitable harbourage after they feed.
    That is why passive monitors work, they are the best harbourage so bugs go to them.

    I am NOT an expert.
    My opinions are just opinions, they may NOT apply to yours or any situation.
    My advice is to always do a LOT of research.
    A lot of what I read contradicts other stuff on the Interweb.
  3. Cognoscere

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Tue Apr 10 2018 13:17:58
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    Thank you so much for your response, Third! Would still really appreciate a weigh-in of the experts.


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