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Totally exhausted, please help!! [a: bed bug nymph and late instar shed skin]

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  1. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 9:47:51
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    Okay, so all this started about a week ago. I had been having what I thought was a rash on my neck for about a week or so. It just kept coming back. I thought maybe it was a reaction to soap or sprays or something, but then my husband showed about 4 spots on his belly.
    I started thinking and realized it could be bedbugs because my husband had just recently returned from staying out of town for work. I went to work searching, and found them on my comforter down around the tag. There weren't very many of them, but one would be enough to freak me out. I had a good cry, called my husband to panic a little, and then went to work.
    I immediately bagged all linens inside of the room and wrapped the bags tightly and taped with duct tape and then knotted them. I sat them outside. Next, I went to the store and bought mattress and box springs encasements for the bed.
    When my husband got home from work, we encased them both, and started prepping the room. We bagged all clothing in black garbage bags and closed them off like they do for contamination at the nuclear plant where my husband works. Then, we pulled all furniture away from the walls and thoroughly inspected each item. I never found another nest, that I could see. I had Orkin come out for a home inspection, and he was not helpful at all, because he found nothing! But in my opinion, he didn't look well enough. He told me that the whole house needed to be treated and that I would be paying $1600. When I told my husband this, he almost had a heart attack.
    I wasn't convinced that we had a huge infestation. There were only the ones I found the first day, which was a Thursday. Friday, I found one on the bed skirt. It was removed and thrown away too. Then on Saturday, I found two dead ones because the night before I had sprayed with some stupid stuff that they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond. We inspected the bed frame and killed 2 more. After hearing all about the issue we were having, the poor little guy at Home Depot gave me some spray and DE for free!
    We went to work. We started in the bedroom and sprayed, let it dry, and then dusted the baseboards and around the legs of furniture with the DE. It is Saturday now, and we hadn't seen any in a week. We have finished spraying and dusting the whole house, and this morning I found a small one crawling on the carpet by the bed. From what I can tell and have seen, it was a young one. I killed it. I have been thoroughly inspecting the sheets and bedding in every room, and haven't seen anything.
    Throughout this process, I have been super depressed, super stressed, and super scared. I feel traumatized, violated, and exhausted. Treating the house was a huge job, but we did thoroughly de clutter the house. I think I am losing it, my husband and my kids are pretty sure I am too. I have managed to sleep in the bed still, but not before being totally exhausted and taking melatonin also.
    I don't know what else to do. I hate the thought of having to pay $1600 for treatment. It is so expensive. I have four kids and not a ton of money, we could make it work, but the thought of prepping again is just too much. I am exhausted and depressed. This is unlike anything I have ever been through before.
    What do I do now? Is it possible that there are only a few left? I have had no bites and neither has anyone else. I am so stressed and tired and just plain depressed.

  2. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 10:38:15
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    Could you please post a link to photos of the bugs you've found for our experts to take a look. It's best to be 100% sure of what you have before doing any sort of treatment. Here are instructions if you need them: http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/test-13

    Richard

  3. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 11:00:02
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    Getting a pro's ID on what bugs your finding is the 1st step as Richard said.
    Sound like you've decided & started the DIY route, you need to read up on the do & don't of bedbugs. It will save you from issues in the long run.
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/faqs-about-bed-bugs-for-bedbugger-forum-users

    Here is the links to DIY monitors, these link will take you directly to the post with information, they are not all the same post just on same thread. good luck.
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/diy-monitor-for-those-on-a-tight-budget#post-215614
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/diy-monitor-for-those-on-a-tight-budget#post-217040
    http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/diy-monitor-for-those-on-a-tight-budget#post-217084

  4. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 11:49:34
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    Hi,

    It's sometime kind of slow on weekends, but an expert will eventually come along with an ID.

    Assuming you do need treatment, keep in mind that self-treating is VERY labor intensive, and if you don't really do your research the failure rate can be high. And I'm not just talking about spending an hour reading our FAQ's, but spending some serious time going over bed bug behavior, infestation dynamics, and self treatment protocols.

    I understand that $1600 is a lot of money, but when the sticker shock wears off, think hard if in the end you might be better off handing the job to someone experienced. And if you were not comfortable with the Orkin fellow, either have them send over someone else (maybe a supervisor) or call up another company to take a look.

    Not to take the subject too far off topic but you said, "We bagged all clothing in black garbage bags and closed them off like they do for contamination at the nuclear plant where my husband works. "
    So curious, how exactly do they "close them off" at the nuclear plant? Tape? Knots? Zip ties?

    Hope it all works out.

    Richard

  5. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 12:08:41
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    You might find this blog post useful on how to choose a PCO.
    http://bedbugger.com/2006/12/07/faq-advice-on-getting-treatment-to-eliminate-bed-bugs/

    Not sure I agree with Point 8 all the time (If they say several (3+) they likely are not doing the job right) because different PCOs have different treatment strategies.

    If you can try and pin them down on exactly what their treatment protocol is. Do they vacuum? Steam? Spray? What sprays and where? Do they use dust? What dusts and where? And assuming multiple treatments, do they alternate different sprays and different dusts? Do they want you to bag things and will they treat the bagged items where you can't eliminate the bugs with washing and drying?

    This, along with your research here, should give you a better idea of what kind of treatment you might be getting. Also, feel free to post anything you find out for our experts to give a second opinion.

    Richard

  6. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 12:12:38
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    We bought the heaviest mil garbage bags we could at the store. Once the bag is packed, you twist the bag, take duct tape and wrap it around as tight as you can, then twist again and goose neck the top and duct tape it as tight as you can again. Those suckers were air tight.
    I am already an OCD person and pretty emotional about everything, so this has pretty much sent me right over the edge. I'm not sleeping, haven't been eating well, and pretty much losing my mind. I am constantly crawling around with a flashlight and checking everywhere and everything. This has taken over my entire life. I spent an entire week prepping and treating the house. I have spent countless hours reading on here and learning everything I could. I eventually felt better after a couple of days not seeing them or getting bit, and I took a break from the forum and all websites about bedbugs. I felt like the more I read, the more paranoid I got. But when I found that one this morning, I freaked all over again. My dad thinks I am nuts, and my poor husband doesn't know what to do. He wakes up in the middle of the night, and there I am, sitting straight up in bed with a flashlight looking everywhere until I just pass out from exhaustion. I feel like they are not taking this serious enough. Talked with the PCO from another company who gave me his cell number and he said even with their treatment it's not unusual to see one on the floor. He told me not to panic and continue to monitor for them on the bed and around. Just feel like I am a crazy person.

  7. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 12:22:43
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    Jax: We bought the heaviest mil garbage bags we could at the store. Once the bag is packed, you twist the bag, take duct tape and wrap it around as tight as you can, then twist again and goose neck the top and duct tape it as tight as you can again. Those suckers were air tight.
    ------------------
    OK. From now on, this will be known as the "Nuclear Option"

    Sounds like you have done a lot of prep work already, but (assuming you get an expert postive ID) you might have to do better than " some stupid stuff that they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond" and DE.

    I still think the professional route is best for you, especially given your anxiety level, but if you decide against, look into "Cimexa", which has gotten much better reviews lately than DE. Also, there's a company that advertiser's here (I think it's DIY Pest Control, see "Useful Tools Sections) that probably has better stuff than Bed Bath and Beyond, and I believe they sell DIY packages that contain more than one insecticide or dust). Also, don't underestimate the power of the vacuum and especially steam, however a decent steamer will run you at least $400.

    Richard

  8. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 12:47:36
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    That's weird. It worked when I clicked on it too. The stuff I booth at Bed Bath and Beyond worked when sprayed right on them, but I think it's more like a precautionary thing. It was heavy cinnamon, and the room smelled great for days, that's the only plus. I sprayed something that the guy from Home Depot gave me. I think my husband just wanted to make sure it was as hard to tackle as I had told him. I mean imagine a crazy wife sitting up all night staring with a flashlight. I think he's pretty much willing to spend any punt of money to make me sane again, but I'm not sure that I won't be looking around for them long after they're gone.

  9. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 12:50:22
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    I can try to get the BB code or whatever it's called after I shower. It didn't give me that option on my phone. It just let me copy the URL.

  10. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 13:00:47
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    Nasty little suckers! I knew when I found the congregation of them, that I was absolutely sure that it was BB I was dealing with, but alas, I panicked and got rid of all my proof. Except this time, I didn't.

  11. ItsJustABug

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sat May 16 2015 13:56:19
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    Its there all over your post now, lol..
    I ran some system cks on laptop, don't know what was wrong , but your right that is a ugly bug I see now. sorry you two went to all that trouble.

  12. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 9:02:05
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    jax322,
    Did you change the settings on the flickr photo?

    I could see it through your last link and Richard's embed yesterday but not today. This is on flickr's end not ours.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  13. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 9:40:08
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    We bought the heaviest mil garbage bags we could at the store. Once the bag is packed, you twist the bag, take duct tape and wrap it around as tight as you can, then twist again and goose neck the top and duct tape it as tight as you can again. Those suckers were air tight.
    I really would rather use clear bags so you can see what could be going on inside.
    I haven't been able to see any insect pictures at all. Any better links?

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  14. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 12:21:14
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    Well, kinda. I signed in with my husbands yahoo account because he never uses it anymore because he has gmail now, and I had it set to private, but people started following him, and I got paranoid and took it off. Can you tell me how to make an anonymous account? Do I just enter a fake name and fake email address? Or can you tell me how to upload the photo directly on my Mac?

  15. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 12:25:54
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    It was a horrible day yesterday! Full of tears and anxiety and panic. I just want everything in my perfectly normal life to go back that way. My husband says that I will probably never be normal again. I will probably always think that a bite is a bb and we will always be checking for those little things no matter where we go. I have 4 kids and I am so paranoid that we are spreading those little suckers around the house. They all think I am a deal because I am drying my sheets and their stuff every morning and vacuuming every single day, sometimes twice. What is the best way to not spread these little boogers. Constantly feel like things are crawling on me, I think every little black speck is fecal matter, and I have checked every room with a flashlight morning and night. I did sleep till Noon today though, but I think it was out of pure exhaustion.

  16. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 12:55:36
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    jax322 - 33 minutes ago  » 
    Well, kinda. I signed in with my husbands yahoo account because he never uses it anymore because he has gmail now, and I had it set to private, but people started following him, and I got paranoid and took it off. Can you tell me how to make an anonymous account? Do I just enter a fake name and fake email address? Or can you tell me how to upload the photo directly on my Mac?

    You can make a new email account on yahoo, to use just for this purpose, and then start a Flickr account with that yahoo address. I would not use a fake email but you can start a new email address and use any name you like.

    I will delete the links above and discussions of same, and also will delete the note in the title asking for an expert ID until you get another photo up.

  17. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 12:58:32
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  18. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 13:00:15
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    I used imgur this time and made an existing yahoo account with a different name. It was a lot easier and even gave me the bb code for the photo. Thanks!

  19. Richard56

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 13:10:00
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    It enlarges easier here without the BB Code. Hope you get a expert ID soon.

    http://i.imgur.com/XRDPpc7.jpg

    Richard

  20. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 13:21:29
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    Should I be running my sheets and comforter through the dryer cycle every day when dealin with this problem? I feel like that is all I am constantly doing and can't get any other laundry done.

  21. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 19:10:40
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    Are you finding any signs of insects in the dryer lint after a dry only cycle? I did my sheets at least every other day, but I did not have kids and even then it exhausted me. In retrospect I do not believe it was necessary to do my sheets so much.

    I'm not a pro (let them give the final word) but I think drying of sheets and blankets every 5-7 days would suffice.

    Note: comforters are heavy and would take longer to get to optimal temperature. I got rid of mine (put into sealed bags after drying as well as my dryer allowed for) and switched to multiple light blankets. This saves me a lot of mental worry.

    I have been in your shoes and it's no fun. But you MUST stop with the over worrying. Do what you can, and try to refrain from catastrophizing. Your infestation seems to have been caught early. With a little work, common sense, and decent treatment these pain in the azz things will be nothing more than an unpleasant memory soon. Seems impossible but really, people get rid of bb all the time and never get them back, mostly because they have learned the hard way (as if there was a choice lol) how to not get them again.

    As for the picture, you will need an expert to id, but I agree its suspicious as for bb or a cast skin of one. It's color throws me off so wait for an expert.

    As for treatment, it won't hurt you one bit to take a deep breath and get a couple different companies in for comparative quotes. ONE MORE THING. Don't appear panicked when the exterminating guys come for quotes. If they know you are scared they will gouge you. I paid $900 for a one br apartment. To order the IDENTICAL chemicals (for EIGHT full treatments), plus a sprayer, plus Cimexa (look it up it's great stuff) plus an accordion duster, all with instructions, cost me 1/4 that. DIY can be a disaster if done wrong, but my Terminex guy told me bed bugs don't molt, that they don't live inside sofas, that taking Benadryl kills them. Obviously 100% all wrong answers. However I did learn somewhat from watching him inspect and treat. You're not under any obligation to panic and go with the first guys quote. You're in charge here, not the exterminator and not the bugs!!!

    I'm not an expert just a dumb struggling bed bugger like every body else.
  22. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun May 17 2015 20:32:11
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    Thank you so much! I have been sick with worry and spending the entire day vacuuming and dusting and drying everything. I feel like I am crazy, but I love this site because it lets me know that I am not alone in this battle and there are other people dealing with the same issues. My husband thinks that the PCO did exactly that and tried to price gouge us because he could tell that I was panicked and distraught. I will definitely check out that site!! Thanks again!!

  23. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 3:53:12
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    It's a bit shriveled, but it looks like a bed bug nymph. I'm not sure if it's a dried up one that died unfed.

  24. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 13:06:19
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    Day 11 since the little critters were discovered and we have not been bitten since that day. 2 days since I saw the one in the picture above. I am hoping that we are on the road to having none. I am still worried and checking everyone's beds and the couches every day, and I am still drying all the blankets after using them at night. Maybe, just maybe, we did catch them early enough. Robinsmom, I never did find any bugs in the dryer trap, not even when the whole thing started. I am trying to take it easy on myself today and not let this thing consume my thoughts. One of my daughters graduated from Moddle School today, so that has kept me busy going to programs and such. I will keep you posted. What is the time frame to finally know if you are bug free??

  25. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 13:53:42
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    I believe the rule of thumb to know if you are bb free is 58(?) days with no signs of bugs or bites, but there is an expert here who feels that with passive monitors in place that time frame can be shortened to 2-3 weeks. There are various passive monitors sold, and both Lou Sorkin and Paul Bello have come up with homemade ones, both have posted their ideas in their posts/comments.

    I do hope an expert comes along to give you a better time frame. You mentioned you were dusting. Literally dusting, like with diatomaceous earth?

  26. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 16:11:42
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    Yes, dusting and protecting myself. I really did a bunch of research in the few days following my discovery of them. It seems to be working. I found another dried up one today, but haven't seen any live ones in 2 days and even that one seemed to be on it's way out. I haven't seen any signs or symptoms of them, no blood stains and no fecal matter. Keeping fingers crossed.

  27. robinsmom

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 16:21:33
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    Might be a good idea to save specimens and post pics. If any are (were) adult females, you'd want to know that. Hate to say this, but there could be eggs that haven't hatched yet. Of course only time will tell.

    If you are using de you might want to look into Cimexa as well. It works much faster.

  28. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 16:30:56
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    How small can a fecal stain be? I just found one spot on each pillow, but they are tiny, like microscopic tiny, and I wasn't sure if it was really one or if it was just the paranoia.

  29. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 16:31:42
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    Can you purchase cimexa locally or is it strictly online?

  30. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 16:38:20
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  31. loubugs

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 17:40:04
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    The last picture looks like a shed skin of a late instar bed bug nymph.

  32. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 18:04:34
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    Oh dear God! No!!!

  33. jax322

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon May 18 2015 18:05:56
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    I thought it might actually be a dead one since it didn't have an opening where it clbed out and it still had the legs attached.

  34. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue May 19 2015 21:34:39
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    The shells stick around for a while, so you don't know if it's recent or not.

    I'm not an expert so let's see if the experts say a shell is something to worry about.

    They
    Are
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    = TAOT

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