Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Reader questions (do not fit into other categories)

What do bugs do when they can't reach you?

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  1. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Sun Dec 2 2007 22:30:38
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    Question on my mind. Let's say my bed is completely isolated. (Not 100% sure yet, as my bites are just pinpricks.)
    I have placed vaseline all around the door frame, and double sided carpet tape on the floor to contain the bugs in the bedroom.
    Bed legs are in a bowl of oil, and carpet tape on the wood floor encircling each of the bowls.
    Now at night, if there still are adults and nymphs in the room, what do you think they do? Do they roam around trying to find a way into the bed. Do they go dormant after awhile even though the host is still in the room? I suppose if they could get out of the room they would follow me to the kitchen table where I often sit or come and bite the cats.

  2. angie

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2007 10:24:00
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    In my experience, the bb's would crawl across the ceiling and fall on the bed. I know that they are a bug, but they do seem to have a hidden agenda...EAT!!!

  3. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2007 11:20:57
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    I'm not sure this has been studied, Bites. Like most things I suspect the answer is we don't know. I think they will keep trying to get a meal as long as you sleep in your room. (When and for how long they go dormant is probably not yet understood in ways that can help us game out our strategies, but you might ask Sean.) I know that people who isolate their beds successfully (and thereby get the rest they need to keep fighting bedbugs) report finding bedbugs in every other location of their home. While I think it's smart of you to try to contain them in your bedroom, I'm not sure that anybody can say whether you will be successful. They are, as Angie suggests, very committed to their goal.

    What worries me is that I'm not sure if you have finally arranged for treatments. The idea to continue to act as bait to lure bedbugs out to come after you, even if they can't actually reach you because you sleep on an isolated bed, is to kill them by having them cross treated surfaces as they go foraging. But if there's nothing there to kill them, I'm not sure what you are achieving. Sure, if they don't bite, eventually reproduction will slow but the ones that are alive do have the ability to wait you out for a long time. Or seek ways to leave that room.

    Have you caulked as well? Also, I seem to remember you had found bugs in the living room under a rug? Do you get bites there?

  4. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2007 21:26:23
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    On the ceiling, that’s what I thought Angie, how awful. So if the bed is isolated, and one came from the ceiling, I have now given them a safe harborage in the bed because they cannot get out. Yikes!!!! I guess there is no solution to the ceiling thing?

    Hopeless, no my house has not been treated for bugs. Long story; lots of complications. (I am female, by the way.)

    Second week in October, had a birthday party at my home for my granddaughter, and my family came, sisters, brothers, friends, family. Next day I found a dead bug in a book. My niece had given me the book earlier when she did not know what was biting her. (apartment house, they were later treated by a PCO twice, but she is still getting bites.)

    Got up at midnight, opened the book at a little table, and there was a bedbug. I touched it to kill it, but it was dry and it shattered. I couldn’t believe it, and went on the internet, and was horrified at what I was reading. Next day I had a nice white welt on my arm, that was probably a bite. Next day started cleaning the bedroom. On that little table, as I slowly rolled up a thick cloth cover, I found 2 nymphs, moving very quickly, and I killed them, didn’t save them. Next day taking the bed apart, found another dead bug in the elastic part of the sheet. I asked Sean that perhaps they were dead because I take a lot of heart medications. He thought perhaps they were cast skins.

    It’s still an interesting question—I take blood thinners, and 4 kinds of heart medications, as well as about 8 supplements. My blood must be really poisonous.

    I spoke to Orkin here and they said unless they have a specimen it was against the law to do any spraying. I have set out all kinds of traps. Have caught nothing.

    Now (still in October) I started noticing small pin pricks on my inner arms, often three in a row. Very little itching. Three weeks ago, there were about 20 such marks on each arm, and they are still there, albeit a little smaller. Every morning about one hour after waking up, I would feel a slight tingle, and there would be another set of pin pricks. So I do know I had, and perhaps still have bed bugs.

    As soon as I found the dead ones, I bought some DE (food grade) at a farmer’s supply, and the least amount I could buy was 50 pounds. (my garage is full of containers of DE, do you need some?) I have a nice but old oak floor with hundreds of small cracks, so I spread DE over all the floors (in bedrooms, hallway, and Living Room.) Also DE along all base boards, wooden drawers, closets, under the area rug. My bedroom is almost empty. Washed all linens. Bagged some stuff, and it is now sitting in –22 Celsius outside. (Never thought I’d welcome cold that much.)

    Threw out the wooden captains bed, bought a steel frame, and very good bug proof covers for mattress and frame. Paid $50.00 extra to have the covers expedited from the US. Have steamed under sofa and new recliner many times. Cannot afford to seal all of the oak floors, and can longer do it myself.

    Have dusted the box spring and cover with DE.

    To complicate matters my grandson who cannot work is at my place for a while and he sleeps on the sofa. He is showing no reaction to bites, so I don’t know what is happening in the LR, or Kitchen. Have not seen any bugs in the living room, I often examine the furniture very closely, have torn the dust cover off the old sofa. Weeks ago I believe I got a bite while sitting in the recliner.

    For me to bag things and get them ready for a PCO would be very difficult, as I have a serious heart condition and a bad hip (am over 70, I have to admit.) Easiest thing would be to throw everything away, and I hate to ask friends and family to help, as I do not want them at risk.

    So I am waiting, hoping, and relying solely on the steaming, cleaning, and the DE. And also perhaps I caught the problem in time. But they could be multiplying all this time and I could have a horrible problem here. One good thing is that I see less pin pricks on my arms—last 4 nights none at all. The bad thing is that I cannot see the backs of my legs, and they could be biting on the back.
    Another good thing is that I understand that our city is getting its first bug sniffing dog next month.

    A long story I know, and I have started writing it many times, but never posted it.
    I have learned so much here, and I appreciate all the kindness and information here!!!!

    Forgot-- I believe I got bites in the LR at least once, but as my grandson is the host there, it would be difficult to know what is happening. If they are biting him at night, then they do not need to seek me out in the evening. Also I am spending most of my spare time in the kitchen in a wooden chair.

    I think I took the wrong advice way back in October. A company said they would examine for $125.00, but if they found nothing they could not treat, but would charge me anyway. They advised against it as they did not believe I had bugs as I could not produce one. And so I waited.

    I’m actually finding this harder than I am admitting. Thank you so much for listening.

  5. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2007 22:55:25
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    Bites, I'm really sorry. Listen, is your grandson able to help you? You say he cannot work but is he able to help you with the bedbug chores? I suppose not. Don't be afraid to ask your family for help! That's what family is for. You can give a class now on how to take precautions I'm sure from reading here. Of course, not help as in help you throw out your things! That is out of the question, please. There has to be a solution.

    -- First, the problem of the "airborne bugs" that afflict some people with isolated beds can be solved with some additional tinkering. I have no experience with it, but I refer you to the bed faqs here which should have a link to Frank's blog, http://waronbedbugs.blogspot.com/ -- a site well worth reading for a lot of useful information. The thing is, it's reported and I'm sure it happens, but it clearly doesn't happen to everyone. Lots of people isolate their beds without experiencing it. I guess it depends on other factors. If it happens to you, and you have someone to help you, check out Frank's diagrams and instructions.

    -- I think you should make a renewed effort to find evidence. As impossible a task as it may seem. Have you read NotSoSnug's exploits? If you could carefully, meticulously rather, inspect the couch where your grandson is sleeping, you might get lucky. Could you enlist your son's help? And buy an inexpensive red LED flashlight to assist?

    -- I think the DE works for a lot of people and we're told, via LtDan, that an entomologist who is working with it but has not published yet has found that bedbugs die within 10 days of being exposed to it. There have been people here who have reported great results with it. But the issue is, are they being exposed to it? What about the ones in the couch? Could you have your son help you treat it with DE? (Note, I know PCOs treat sofas with dusts, deep under the cushions and under the frame, not where you might come in contact with it or inhale it, of course; and carefully inspecting the underside might reveal some bugs.)

    I should have better ideas for you but can't think of much more.

    Except... are there companies that provide steam treatments in your area? Professional steam treatments might be a good idea. I doubt they would need evidence in the form of an actual bug to treat. No pesticides, no weird rules. You might look into that? Only because professional steam treatments have to be more thorough and effective than what you are attempting yourself.

    I'm just thinking something more aggressive has to be done or you might have a low-level infestation for some time and not be exactly overrun but not exactly have your life back. So, either go all out in search of that evidence that PCOs require, or think of alternative treatments you can obtain. Then again, the DE may work, I don't want to discourage you either.

    The final thing is, have you called other PCO firms in your area? Might there not be one who does a careful inspection? We always advise people to rely on professionals. It is very frustrating when those professionals can't or won't help. I would just make sure not to have overlooked any firms and would make another round of calls.

    All the best...

  6. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2007 23:21:29
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    Lots of great ideas, Hopelessnomo, and also so much support, and I thank you. Maybe I'll just "up" the medicine, or take more plavix which makes any small bruise bleed so much, and they will bleed to death. (grin) Well, that can't work, as the blood from me is going into their stomachs and not into their blood stream, Maybe??

    This week have a little more time as I have been working some (need the money to pay for plastic bags and such), and plan to steam the sofa innards again. Last time I found nothing, and there were few exposed places. Will also go into the bedroom and search again.

    Actually, I am planning to pay the inspection fee, the money is not the problem, although I have already spent a lot. It is the fear I think that if they do not find anything then I am in a quandry most certainly. so maybe they all are dying from the DE? Wouldn't that be nice.

    I would use the Orkin company to do the inspection, as I have talked to them and been in their offices, and I was impressed. As for the companies that use steam, I will check that out. I think in my small city the exterminators have yet to learn a lot. Even though I spoke to a friend who manages several apartment complexes here, and she is quitting, as she says they are all infected. And a doctor told my niece that there is an epidemic of bugs here, but there is never anything on the news.

    I bought a very good Shark portable steamer, that I think is good. When you steam a bolt under the recliner it gets so hot, no insect can live within the threads.

    The 10 days for the DE to kill is good news, I think I have read maybe 14 days, and even that is good. So I could apply some more--I use a large paint brush and just brush it on lightly, and that way there is very little dust.

    Thanks again, I will perservere on some of the things you have suggested. Take care.

  7. (deleted)

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Mon Dec 3 2007 23:39:50
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    You're welcome, Bites, I wish I could do more. I'm just going to remind everyone that you're joking about the heart meds, which would be extremely dangerous. I took out that anecdote from my post.

  8. cosbear

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 0:08:20
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    Dear bites44: I'm so sorry to hear your problem, you are around the same age as my mom and I have often thought how hard it would be for her if she had them. She has so much trouble just getting around these days. She has to hire most things done around her house now and though she is not poor, but she is living closer to paycheck to paycheck than she ever has. She has good insurance from my dad's pension and some help from Medicare but between the Doctors bills and having to pay to have so many things done it is getting hard on her. She has had a hip replacement and two knee replacements and has a bad heart as well and bad arthritis in her back and hands. In my last complex where I got infested there were several elderly people who were not well off at all and unable for various reasons to prepare for treatment. Luckily the neighbors pitched in and helped them with all that, and a local preacher who was a computer client of mine got his church together and they supplied many with containment bags, plastic bags, laundry tickets for the laundromat across the street and many other things including stuffed animals for kids who had to give theirs up because of bugs. In the midst of their own personal disasters it was heartening to see the community pull together to help one another.

    My bet is that if there are bbs in the living room they are in the couch and probably feeding on your grandson. I have read studies that say that they also prefer to feed off of the same host all the time until they get real hungry and then will bite anything with blood in it. It is hard to tell by bites as each person reacts somewhat different and some people not at all. My bites didn't show hardly at all at first and didn't itch, then got worse and worse as I got bit more and more. Eventually I got large red welts from the bites and some blistered and then scabbed over and itched constantly for days. Most people don't feel the bites. Their needles are tiny and they are careful also their spit has pain killers, anti coagulants to thin the blood, and antibiotics in it from some things I've read. Many also don't start to notice the bites for minutes or even many hours after the bites. I knew nothing about bbs and thought I had a rash. In my experience as long as they are feeding regularly you are unlikely to see them until there are lots of them. They don't like to come out in the open unless they are very hungry or have been disturbed. They are most active and usually feed around dawn. They usually hide out the rest of the time. If you could get up at that time or have your grandson get up at that time and check the couch with a flashlight you would have your best chance of finding some. I don't think that you have to worry a lot about bbs going to the ceiling and jumping on your bed, in my experience any hard shelled bug is afraid of falling because it could crack their exoskeleton possibly resulting in death. I have seen many bbs climb walls and go on ceilings but not until their are a lot of them, their hungry and usually stressed in some way. I'm in no way saying angie is wrong I just think it is unlikely that it is their intention to do that. I think its more likely that they are attracted to the carbon dioxide you breath out. Your breath being warmer than the air in the room rises to the ceiling and may attract hungry bugs. I don't think that they would intentionally jump off the ceiling although they are somewhat clumsy on walls and ceilings and I have seen them fall off of both.

    I definitely understand the sitting on the dining room chairs. I did a lot of that while badly infested especially after getting rid of the living room furniture which was badly infested and the treatments did not get rid of them. After the initial preparation and treatment about the second day the bugs came out in droves. We had them all over the house and they were hungry and hunting us. I actually watched bugs walk straight across the room to me and up to my foot and start up my white sweat socks when I would catch them with packing tape. It sounds like you have already learned a lot and are already doing many of the right things. Hopefully you just had a close call and a very minor infestation. If not the bites will come more often and eventually you will catch one. The clear packing tape for wrapping packages is a great way to catch them without damaging them. You can even carefully seal the tape around them leaving them alive inside the bubble of tape. They can live in that bubble for weeks without any chance of escaping. You can also stick the tape to a sheet of paper sealing it to the paper around the bug to keep for a PCO.

    I understand your reluctance to request your relatives to help you out, and your worries about exposing them to bbs but you may have to if you find a bug and are going to be treated and need to get ready for it. There are safe ways to insure they don't take them home with them, on this site in these posts and in the faqs section of the main site. Keep being vigilant and it will pay off. I hope that you didn't have many to start with and that the steaming and DE and other things you have done will take care of the rest. Let us know what happens and don't be afraid to ask questions and to write, that is what we are here for. To share what we've learned, to learn and to support each other through difficult times. I'm younger but have a bad ticker too, had a quad bypass a year ago. I'm also on many medications but it never kept the bbs from biting me. I'm also on several meds for Diabetes. Good luck and cheers to dead bbs. Later... cos

  9. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Tue Dec 4 2007 22:21:01
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    I just did the reading on Waronbedbugs site, and thank you once again, Hopelessnomo. There is a lot of information there, not only on ceiling protection but also on heat, cold, steaming, etc. Very impressive! I have copied some of the info into my word documents.

    Hi Cosbear, thank you for the support and your story. I am sorry about your Mom, and hope the knee and hip replacements help her to move around. I hope she has adjusted to her life now, and she probably has done so. Hope your bypass was a success-- the cardiologist surgeons are very skilled.

    Yes it is difficult to face the bed bugs if you cannot get around too much, and also if you are short of funds, example all the students that post here, and those with children.

    And I can sympathize strongly with anyone who has a phobia about bugs. And the paranoia and fear. And Phantom bites. Just as I am sitting here (about 8 pm) I feel an itch on my inner arm. I look and 3 very old pin pricks have just gotten a little redder, and about ½ inch away there is a red welt. I have the light on, but wear bi-focals so eyesight is not so great. Did something just come up and bite me, surely I would have seen it. Now is that a new bite, or some other disturbance on the skin? Or is it a delayed reaction from last night? I don’t really know.

    I read your story about the number of bugs you had with great interest; how awful. A question: When you say saw them cross the room and climb up your sock, were these adults? I have seen two nymphs and they were clear in color, maybe a little whitish, and small, and they moved so fast. If I had not been looking for them, I would have never seen them. It was then that I knew how difficult the nymphs would be to seek out and find and trap. It blew my mind. Later, as the days passed I had to become accustomed to the idea of having these guests, and each day became a little calmer. Belonging to this forum was an excellent idea, I have learned SO much. Take care everybody. (I am placing more DE, buying a red light, and thinking of protecting the bed from the ceiling)

  10. cosbear

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 10:51:03
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    Howdy Bites44:

    I am very happy if my post helped at all, as regards support or info. I am so impressed by how many people here are so well informed. I leave a lot of the advice to them as many know more than I. I am learning all the time of course. I always focus more on being supportive to those who are going through a very traumatic time of it. I know how bad that can be. Your story especially moved me because of some of the special problems you face. Like for instance not being able to see some areas of your body at all. Your limitations as far as sight. Your kind concern to not expose others to the bugs.

    In the stage you are in now where the bugs are not very evident; I find that bites are very important. As miserable as bites can make me, I am very grateful I have them. They inform me. The reason my first infestation got so bad was because I had hardly any reactions at first and didn't understand them at all. Of course when badly infested it was impossible to keep track of all the bites.

    In my second and third minor infestations though, my bites and reactions to them were a profound aid in finding and fighting the bugs. I kept a bite and sighting diary. Noting every bite as soon as I found it. I wrote down when I first saw it and whatever I had been doing for the previous 12 to 24 hours before. What the bite looked like and how it changed over time. It helped me to figure out where and when I might have been bitten and where to direct my searches. I came to know my bites and what they meant to a great extent. Like which were adult bites and which were nymphs. Often deduction inferred by the record led me to exactly where the bugs were. My eyesight for small things is limited and my glasses help but also complicate the problem. But if I could deduce that I must have received the bite in a specific place in the apartment, where the bite was on my body, whether it was more likely an adult or nymph bite, directed my search. Obsessive/compulsive, most assuredly. Informative and helpful, definately.

    I have become quite intuitive now at figuring out what the bites mean. Most bites on me take at least 2 hours to really show. Nymph bites seem to show quickest. Adult bites though much worse may take many more hours to manifest themselves. An example is: I thought my bed was secure. It had been treated, I inspected it regularly. The bed was successfully isolated. I was getting bites on my arms however. I was sure they were nymphs by the symptoms. By process of elimination I was able to realize the bites had to be recieved in bed. The bites were most often the three bite cluster, which meant the nymph had the luxury of taking it's time without distraction. They were only on my forarms which meant they must be hanging out at the head of my bed. Although I was doing daily inspections I had seen no definate indicators. Because of my diary I realized that I had not seen an adult in the area for several days. The last one had been one found on the wall above my bed about a week before. I took packing tape and carefully went over the whole area top bottom and sides of the matress cover at the head of my bed. When inspected the tape carefully I found 5 nymphs stuck to the tape. They were all still so small that it took a magnifying glass for me to see them clearly. Once again I used contact killer thoroughly on the head of my mattress hitting the small seams extra hard. Alowwed it to dry thoroughly. Powdered with DE, double sheeted the matress to save me from the chemicals, and have not had a bite in my bed since.

    How did those nymphs get on my secure bed? I can't be sure. Did the last adult I found in the morning on the wall above the head of my bed lay those eggs; very possible? How did she get in my secure bed? I am not sure. How did she end up on the wall if my bed was securely isolated? My best guess is she was a hitchhiker, I had somehow inadvertently brought into my bed. She laid the eggs and in an attempt to come out from under the sheets to feed had fallen off of the bed, and following the carbon dioxide I was exhaling climbed the wall only to find there was no way back onto my bed. What matters is that my deductions led me to the source of my bites and the bugs that caused them. I would have not found them otherwise and doubt that a professional would have either. Maybe a bb dog might have, but I didn't have one available. Such are the methods of an amatuer bedbug Sherlock Holmes. Not as entertaining perhaps; but I cannot express my joy at finding them and the satisfaction I felt at outsmarting the little devils.

    Thanks so much for your concern about my mother. She is doing somewhat better now, though the limitations are a neverending frustration for her. Being that she is a pefectionist, a clean freak, and an excellent wallpaperer, painter, and interior designer it drives her crazy. The fact that her knees prevent her from kneeling is the bane of her existence. When I was a kid, she was forever changing everthing around. I would come home from school wondering if I would recognize my home or ever find anything again. People would ask why do you paint and wallpaper surely you can afford an expert. Her answer would be expert my butt. I could never expect them to do it right. She goes to a gym three days a week and works with a therapist on a weight machine, using light weights of course to keep herself strong and limber to minimize the limitions. Then after the workout it's into the pool for her water arobics class. I very much admire her determination and diligence. Yours as well. Your generation have the stuff survivors are made from, that's for sure.

    Yes, the bugs I watched come across the room and climb my legs were adults or close. I know that nymphs did as well though, I just couldn't see them coming. At that time I was so incredibly sensitive I could often feel the nymphs while they were still there. I was wearing high white sweat socks over bare legs so I could see and catch the adults. They were of no help with the nymphs however unless they had just eaten. Often I would feel them and look at my sock where I felt them and see nothing. Then I would scratch at the spot and suddenly a big red spot would appear of my blood where I couldn't even see the nymph. Nymphs when gorged with blood are very vulnerable, it takes only a little bit of pressure to make them pop wide open and squirt out the fresh blood.

    I think you are very wise and sensible in your means of trying to calm your fears and sense of dispair and hopelessness. It is a huge part of the battle for many of us. I do think you somewhat minimize them in your accounts here but that is understandable and may be a good way for you to deal with it. The hardest part is finding that fine line between denial and hysteria which helps you systematically wage the war without losing it altogether. It seems you are finding that prudent path for yourself. Good luck and cheers to a successful bugfree conclusion. Later... cos

  11. Bites44

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Wed Dec 5 2007 21:55:16
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    Hopelessnomo, I forgot to say about the heart medicines. Yes, I was only joking, I don’t think anybody would want to take more than prescribed. Might end my bug hunting days for ever. (grin)

    Cosbear, I do admire your mother. Probably a lot like me, I have done all the work myself on my older little house, refinishing oak floors, building cupboards, stripping wallpaper, and all kinds of painting from year to year. Landscaping—my first love is gardening.

    You are a wonderful detective, and probably already bought a Sherlock Hat -- you will also need a very large magnifying glass.

    What a lot of excellent and useful information you have given me. I especially took good note of how the bugs were biting you when you were not in the bed. I have not seen any nymphs other than the first two I killed, and you have given me a good explanation as to why not.

    I can surely relate to the eyesight. I have to take my glasses off and put my nose right up to something small that I want to see. Seems to me if I got that close to a nymph, I could sniff it right up my nose.

    When I sit at the computer, it seems to me I can sense them around me. Maybe paranoia, but I do not feel that way sitting in the kitchen.

    And the kinds of bites you were having rather follow mine. The first bite was a white weal on the upper arm, but that may have been something else. It barely itched. Happened about October 12, and it is still there as a bump.

    All the other bites that I can see are on my upper arms. Small pin pricks, often 2 or three in a nice row. They itch lightly just as soon as they appear, but only for about 1 minute. Some are pin pricks, others are very tiny slits, as if a tiny, tiny scalpel made a small cut in the skin. And they stay for weeks. Most of them are still there, more than 20 on each arm. I often mark them with felt pen so that I would recognize the new ones.

    Often some of them flare up for about 30 seconds and give a slight itching sensation.

    But today, at about 1pm, I was suddenly aware of a red welt near the wrist, about 1/4 of an inch in diameter. and it looks almost like a hive, but I don’t think it is a hive, as I am not prone to them. Now, it could be a bite that happened at night. Your detection seems to suggest that a larger bite may take longer to appear. It is the first red welt I have had. I hear others talking about how bites can change appearance from time to time.

    I too seem to sense them, and as you say one can either believe in an attack of paranoia, or otherwise one is in denial. Not much choice.

    I bought a good LED red light today, and will research on how to use it. Also tomorrow night will take the bed apart again and use packing tape as you have done. I am using dark blue sheets so that the nymphs can be seen, as well as the adults.

    Again, Thank you so much from my heart -- do you want me to send you some nice –20 Celsius weather? (this is – 4 Fahrenheit for those who don’t want to look it up) And it is lovely weather for bugs. Or perhaps you would like some snow?

  12. cosbear

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    Posted 12 years ago
    Thu Dec 6 2007 9:55:31
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    Howdy Bites44:

    Thanks for the kind words about my mother, yes it does seem like you two have a lot in common, and you both are marvels to me. She lives in another state and is nearly an 8 hour drive away so I don't get to see but a few times a year. I have unlimited free long distance from my cable tv company though so we talk nearly every day, which is a blessing. She is getting ready for her yearly trip down to southern Florida where it is ever warm. She leaves right after Christmas and doesn't come back to Michigan until it gets warm again. Down there she has a small condo where she can enjoy the pool and cavort with a bunch of friends her age who all are snowbirds flocking south for the winter to escape the snowy cold. I was talking to her yesterday about you and she said to tell you that you will be included in her prayers. She is terrified of bbs, and thinks it is horrible that you have to face them alone.

    I love to garden as well, but right now being in an apartment my gardening is limited to a few pots on my little patio. I still do grow tomatoes, herbs, and a few ornamental plants. I have never thought about being much of a detective but the little buggers can bring out the creative side their so stealthy. I'm so glad that any experiences I've shared are helping. I fear I may have been remiss however without mentioning that your bites could be from some other source. It sounds like they might be bbs and like the nymphs you find might be as well, but without a professional confirmation there are so many other possibilities as well. Hopefully your own sleuthing will bring to light some evidence which you can get a dependable diagnosis on. Honestly, I hope for your sake they are not bbs.

    I am prone to hats as I'm nearly bald and broiled in the summer and flash frozen in the winter. I tend to stick to baseball and stocking caps. I don't think that a Sherlock hat would suit me. You know when I am at the computer especially on a bb site, I'm prone to be itchy as well. Seems common as I've read many others say the same thing, that's probably a psychological reaction to the stimulus. If I were a dog looking at a site with beef steaks on it I'd probably drool on myself.

    There is much to learn and understand about bites. In my own bites I have seen many changes. The more I am getting bit the more I react to the bites. It was hard for me to see the patterns and draw conclusions to them until I kept a diary though. Good luck in your hunt with the red led light and let me know how that works for you. I just found out about them myself recently and haven't got one yet, but some swear by them and the theory sounds good. My sleuthing is getting less and less now that I've gone very nearly a month without a bite or a sighting. Not that I'm ready to let down my guard and probably never will completely as long as I am living in an apartment. It does feel very good relax a little though.

    I'm not sure what the little scalpel like slits you are talking about might be. I've never noticed anything like that. If there is no other reaction type symptoms I wonder if they are bb bites. I have heard others describe something similar, but don't remember anyone say for sure that they were bb bites. Bbs have two little needle like fangs though that are very close together and might look like a small slit, the they are actually two little holes close together. I would think that they would show other reaction signs as well if they were bb bites.

    Thanks for the kindly offer of snow and cold but we have just recieved our first light powdering and cold winds not nearly that cold, and I'm already over it. Seems the older I get the less cold and snow friendly I become. I like looking at it fine from inside my warm abode but don't fancy going out in it to much like I did years ago. When I retire completely I'm going back to my little cabin in the central mountains of Colorado on the Arkansas river. It gets cold and snowy their at night but all winter long by one in the afternoon the temps get into the 60's or 70's F. People walk around in tshirts, jeans, and snowboots. The only places the snow sticks is in places that get no direct sun. It's like high desert there and the sun shines all day long almost every day and the sky is a deep brilliant blue. The summers are great as well it may get over 100 in the afternoon but because the average humidity is only about 12 to 18% and there is always a breeze if you are in the shade you hardly notice it's hot. At night it gets down into 50's or 60's for great sleeping. Good luck in your hunt and have a very good day. Later... cos


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