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The Waiting Game

(5 posts)
  1. keephopealive

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sat Oct 20 2018 12:54:22
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    Dear All,

    Following an exposure to bedbugs via some used furniture, I've been receiving bites/marks on my skin. Fortunately, the furniture never made it into the house and was bagged and securely disposed of upon spotting an adult and a 2nd/3rd instar nymph (I am familiar with the insect as a good friend had an infestation which was solved several years ago)

    Since then I've been getting bites/marks on my skin every day for nearly 3 months; anywhere between 1 and 5 marks appear each day and during the daytime (don't seem to be bitten at night) these are mostly on my legs, along with small pinpricks on my inner forearms. Some bites resemble tiny pimples, some slightly larger and most are pinpricks/red dots under the skin. I've also noticed that several of the marks are directly next to follicles, though not actually in/on them as per folliculitis...

    Immediately following the initial exposure I had half a dozen much more prominent marks which resembled a tiny oval abrasion to the skins surface, though after the first two weeks these have been few and far between (maybe only one or two more small ones)

    Given that I have been checking very carefully on a regular basis (disassembled beds, removed dust cover to check inside sofa and inspected all with a torch/magnifier), have passive BB Alert monitors on the beds, furniture and office chair (I work from home). I have hoovered thoroughly (thrown away bags) and used cimexa around the furniture/beds too AND had a K9 clear the house 8 weeks in, how likely is it that after 3 months I would not have found any signs/bugs/fecal traces? It seems experts suggest not very but individuals on the forum seem to say it's quite possible....

    I'm really struggling to decide on what to do for the best; should I:

    1. leave the cimexa down and wait it out while continuing to get bitten until signs show on the monitors/elsewhere.
    2. Hoover the cimexa up and offer myself up as an all you can eat buffet until my house looks like the set of an indiana jones movie; thus I have my proof...
    3. Go on a super deep clean, steaming, search and destroy mission and follow up with more cimexa and keep up the regular checking/searching and cleaning routine to keep the number down..

    I really feel damned if I do and damned if I don't as I'll either be allowing the population to grow or keeping it at lower levels and taking much longer to get my proof.

    I'm determined to keep a level head with all of this but 3 months of uncertainty is starting to test my patience.....

    What do you guys think?

  2. SS864

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    Posted 11 months ago
    Sun Oct 21 2018 20:19:44
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    I went through a similar experience playing the waiting game following an exposure at Great Wolf Lodge and bringing them home in my vehicle. I self-treated my house, my Mother's house, and even my car regularly for four months even though the bites I believed I was receiving changed dramatically after the first two months. My Mother also complained about receiving a bite or two every 5 days or so in the beginning, and she never gets reactions to bug bites. After about the 4th month I got sick of never finding evidence of bed bugs other than the initial bugs I found in my belongings after our visit to GWL. My Mother stopped complaining of bites as well. I was still convinced they were around since I got skin reactions pretty regularly which I never had before my exposure, but I decided to follow the advice of the pros on the site and stopped treatment and started just monitoring. I thought eventually the population would grow to a point where evidence would be readily available. There's a reason the experts on the site advise us to monitor. It took about 4 more months of not finding evidence before I believed they were really not there, and once I started to believe they were gone my skin reactions pretty much stopped.

    Bed bug evidence isn't that difficult to find if you really have them long enough and know what to look for and where to look. Big Dummy isn't joking when he says if they feed they are going to poop. If you are searching in the right locations and know what to look for and still not finding any evidence after 3 months, I'd recommend you follow the experts advice on just monitoring. It's not worth losing time, money and your sanity if there's no evidence to support your fears.

  3. keephopealive

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Mon Oct 22 2018 7:46:22
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    SS864 - 11 hours ago  » 
    I went through a similar experience playing the waiting game following an exposure at Great Wolf Lodge and bringing them home in my vehicle. I self-treated my house, my Mother's house, and even my car regularly for four months even though the bites I believed I was receiving changed dramatically after the first two months. My Mother also complained about receiving a bite or two every 5 days or so in the beginning, and she never gets reactions to bug bites. After about the 4th month I got sick of never finding evidence of bed bugs other than the initial bugs I found in my belongings after our visit to GWL. My Mother stopped complaining of bites as well. I was still convinced they were around since I got skin reactions pretty regularly which I never had before my exposure, but I decided to follow the advice of the pros on the site and stopped treatment and started just monitoring. I thought eventually the population would grow to a point where evidence would be readily available. There's a reason the experts on the site advise us to monitor. It took about 4 more months of not finding evidence before I believed they were really not there, and once I started to believe they were gone my skin reactions pretty much stopped.
    Bed bug evidence isn't that difficult to find if you really have them long enough and know what to look for and where to look. Big Dummy isn't joking when he says if they feed they are going to poop. If you are searching in the right locations and know what to look for and still not finding any evidence after 3 months, I'd recommend you follow the experts advice on just monitoring. It's not worth losing time, money and your sanity if there's no evidence to support your fears.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply; your experience definitely mirrors a lot of what I've been going through.

    Even though I vowed not to let this get to me too much, I've had to toughen up mentally to keep on going with the uncertainty; at times I've really felt like I'd rather find something so I could just see that my actions were actually having an effect, rather than treating an invisible foe.

    I know eventually I'm going to have to decide on a cutoff point where I start living normally again and turn off the hyper-vigilance mode in favor of monitoring.

    Can I ask, how long has it been since you stopped treating and which monitors did you use while you waited?

    Also, did you stop checking for skin reactions while you monitored and did you clean up any treatments you'd put down?

    One thing I'm finding is that when I don't check my skin, there is no prompt for further concern/checking/cleaning. This makes me think that given bites are not considered evidence anyway, their presence is rendered totally invalid if said evidence is absent, hence no need to check?

    Thanks again.

  4. SS864

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 9:49:18
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    I stopped treatment in February. I bought a bunch of Dean Cain's passive BB Alert monitors and put them everywhere. You can save a few dollars per monitor if you buy them in packages of 6 from bed bug supply. There are also posts about making your own monitors in the FAQ on this site. Loubugs gives some great ideas for DIY monitors in many of his posts.
    Skin reactions will drive you crazy if you let them. I actually had allergy testing done a couple months ago for an unrelated issue, and found out that I'm allergic to pretty much every common allergen. I don't know why my skin got so sensitive after the GWL exposure since I didn't have such frequent reactions beforehand. However, the placebo effect is well recognized as being a valid phenomenon in the medical community. I've noticed that just bringing up the topic of bed bugs causes listeners to start scratching themselves subconsciously. It's possible the stress of believing bed bugs were biting me caused the normal allergic reactions I was experiencing on a daily basis to be exacerbated considerably. Regardless, this is why the experts on this site say you shouldn't initiate treatment simply on skin lesions without physical evidence of bed bugs themselves. There are so many different things that can cause skin reactions.... but if bed bugs are indeed causing the skin reactions they can't help but leave evidence behind.

  5. keephopealive

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    Posted 10 months ago
    Tue Oct 23 2018 10:27:45
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    Totally hear you on that, thanks.

    It's certainly a leap of faith when you've had a definite exposure to them but I know rationally that if the skin reactions continue and I follow the path I'm on now, the self treatment process would also logically have to go on indefinitely and that would dramatically reduce my quality of life.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with me; it really helps to know that someone else has gone through the same thing. Initially I got the impression that this forum was a largely negative/doom and gloom sort of place but I'm starting to see it for the excellent support network it provides others thanks to people like yourself.


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