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What to do after scaring bed bug?

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  1. seeker

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Sun Nov 23 2014 18:21:39
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    Hello,

    In late August of this year I woke up with a pin-prick sized hole on the back of one hand. There was blood stain on the sheet. The next month I was bitten 3 more times, all on the face. It was in early September that I decided to put carpet tape all around the boxspring and the mattress bedsheet. (BTW the two of them were already encased in plastic covers before the bites and I use a metal bedframe. The bed is isolated from all 4 walls.)

    I can't remember if I took down the carpet tape around the bedsheet in late September or October, but the one on the boxspring I left untouched.

    I thought I didn't get bit in October, but in retrospect I remember there was a faint smudge of blood at the foot of my bed. I have eczema so I thought I had scratched my foot when asleep. I will assume I only got bit once that month because of no other blood stains.

    November has been horrible. I've been bit 9 times (2 are questionable, i.e., no blood stains). It was on the 10th that I saw "fang marks" at the top of my back, the first time the BB bit me there. The next 1-3 days later it either bit me in one of the same "fang marks" or made a hole near it. It was also on the 10th that I dusted DE on all 4 casters and corners of my bedframe.

    November is also the month I started to inspect my bed more thoroughly by propping the mattress and boxspring against the wall. The 2 times I did this I found no BB or its signs. But on the 3rd inspection I banged together the 2 sets of interlocking horizontal bars of the frame and I banged the 4 casters against the floor a few times. That's when I saw a cast skin lying nearby. It's about 0.3-0.4 cm from top to bottom with light reddish brown colour. The body has those distinctive horizontal strips. There are 3 strips in total.

    I tried to take photos of it, but my camera had trouble focusing. It could not take a close up pic.

    At the end of that inspection I dusted DE where the sides of the bedframe meet the horizontal bars and the side of the boxspring near those places. I believe the BB is/(was?) hiding in a space just above any one of the casters. See this image that looks like my frame.

    I may or may not have been bit since doing the inspection and dusting (Nov. 18). On the 21st I saw a small red dot on my foot, but no blood stain. Was it my eczema? I don't know. All I know is that I've not had any more blood stains on my sheet or pillow case.

    I also don't know the status of the BB, where exactly it is or what life stage it's currently at!!! When I banged the frame and casters, I made sure to see if it would scurry out. But no, nothing.

    I don't know if it's dead or alive 'cause of no body. Or if it's dead, perhaps it happened in the hiding spots of my frame. I also don't like the idea of its feces stuck in the same hiding spots!

    I really don't know what to do here. It's still a game of hide-and-seek. I think it's just a lone BB, but I'm still afraid of it laying eggs!!! I've been thinking of throwing away just the frame, but do I wait until there's no more bites??

    Please advise! If you have Qs, I will answer.

  2. spicynat

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2014 17:19:26
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    Hello!

    I'm not an expert but I would suggest you try to obstruct the empty spaces of your bed frame. Maybe with tape or silica mastic. I understand that the idea of maybe having feces of BBs inside there is disgusting but if the BBs can't go out they'll die cause they can't eat. Just be careful to leave the obstruction at least one year as those insects can survive that long without eating.(even more if it's in a cold place)
    If you have doubt between eczema and BB's bites you should probably seek the advice of a dermatologist whose used to BB's bites.
    Good luck to you! Hope your problem get's resolved quickly!

  3. robinsmom

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Mon Dec 1 2014 20:45:17
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    In your case I hugely recommend a passive monitor to check for fresh fecal stains. I use David Cains and while the idea of having it so close to my bed is disgusting, at least I would not be left wondering.

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

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2014 21:24:10
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    To update, there hasn't been any more blood stains on bedding or pillow since Nov. 16. There's been 3 questionable marks on my foot and leg, but no stains. I know this should sound good, but I'm worried the BB has hidden somewhere else.

    I would like to seal off the hiding spots in my bed frame as spicynat suggested, but should I first wait for the BB to bite me again so there's a higher chance it will go back to its supposed hiding spot? And then the higher chance of knowing it's there after I've sealed the space?

    I have thought about the Packtite passive monitor, but it's not readily available in Canada and online the shipping costs are expensive.

    Thanks spicynat and robinsmom for your replies. Would be nice to also hear from bed bug experts too.

    Also I'm wondering why the BB (if still alive) isn't biting me anymore. Even if it doesn't like the light dusting of DE, I'm sure it could still find me by dropping down from the ceiling. My room gets very cold in the winter because of poor insulation under the floor. Could the cold temperature be the blame behind a BB not wanting a meal of blood? I would think it's the opposite.

  5. seeker

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2014 21:29:29
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    spicynat - 2 days ago  » 
    Just be careful to leave the obstruction at least one year as those insects can survive that long without eating.(even more if it's in a cold place)<

    How is it possible for a bedbug to survive longer in the cold? I don't see the logic there. Help me out here please.

  6. Canuck

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2014 22:35:04
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    Seeker,
    Based on the time frame you mention, August to early December, does not add up to bed bugs as the cause. Even if it was one male bug, you should find fecal spotting. Study the photos on this site to compare shed skins - a bed bug shed skin is an empty transparent husk complete with a distinct head, legs and probiscus.

    Sheree Swindle / certified K9-assisted bed bug inspector
  7. Canuck

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Wed Dec 3 2014 22:38:59
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    Sorry Seeker, I neglected your question about cold. Lou would be better at answering that one, but it is 11:30 pm there, so I doubt he is online.

    In cooler temperatures these bugs move about less, and conserve their energies, so a recently fed adult can make that last blood meal last longer - so-to-speak. Humidity plays a part as well.

  8. seeker

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2014 22:00:45
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    Canuck - 23 hours ago  » 
    Seeker,
    Based on the time frame you mention, August to early December, does not add up to bed bugs as the cause. Even if it was one male bug, you should find fecal spotting. Study the photos on this site to compare shed skins - a bed bug shed skin is an empty transparent husk complete with a distinct head, legs and probiscus.

    I was a bit doubtful of a bedbug until I found the reddish brown cast skin with 3 bands on the back. For some reason there are no head or legs. Just the bottom of the head I guess you could say.

    I've tried to find fecal spotting: none around my mattress and boxframe. And the problem with my bed frame is that it's black! When I use a moist paper towel to wipe it, the paint comes off

    I'm pretty sure it is a bed bug. It's just a really clever one.

  9. seeker

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2014 22:10:02
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    Canuck - 23 hours ago  » 
    Sorry Seeker, I neglected your question about cold. Lou would be better at answering that one, but it is 11:30 pm there, so I doubt he is online.
    In cooler temperatures these bugs move about less, and conserve their energies, so a recently fed adult can make that last blood meal last longer - so-to-speak. Humidity plays a part as well.

    Okay, my bedroom doesn't just get cool in the fall/winter, it is COLD. I have a portable heater near the foot of my bed and so the temperature often fluctuates a lot during those months. Perhaps that's why I haven't been bit since mid November, but the heater is on when I'm sleeping. Even though the room's cold during the day, I'm sure the BB would have the strength to find me at night?

  10. Canuck

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2014 22:30:43
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    Given the time you describe, it is not sounding like bed bugs. Why not install a passive monitor, hire a K9, etc.? The specimen you refer could be a carpet beetle shed skin; we find them in over 90% of residences and they do cause a bite-like reaction for some individuals.

  11. spicynat

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Thu Dec 4 2014 22:33:02
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    Hello Seeker!

    Got this info from Wikipedia:
    "Below 16.1 °C (61.0 °F), adults enter semi-hibernation and can survive longer..."

    "Although under certain cool conditions adult bed bugs can live for over a year without feeding, under typically warm conditions they try to feed at five- to ten-day intervals, and adults can survive for about five months without food. Younger instars cannot survive nearly as long, though even the vulnerable newly hatched first instars can survive for weeks without taking a blood meal."

    Maybe the BB you had just died because it was already old. At least that's what I hope for you.
    DE is really good cause it kills them, slowly but still, and it's one of the less toxic way to get rid of them.

    On my side it's been 2 weeks that I haven't been bitten. I'm just praying they are all dead. I'm too scared for the moment to remove the DE traps at my bed feet.

    I think that's the worst part of it. Never being really sure they are really gone. I guess we need to wait and see.

    I really hope you got rid of yours.

    Take care.

  12. Mellisa

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 5 2014 4:27:36
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    Hello Spicynat!

    Are you sured about DE, is it really helpful against BB?

  13. Freaked Fighter

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    Posted 5 years ago
    Fri Dec 5 2014 9:32:41
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    I am not an expert but I agree with the others on obtaining a passive monitor. If for nothing else, piece of mind. I get bit and most of the time my reaction is gone within a couple hours. So I'm really not sure how many times I get bit each night. Also, there is rarely a blood spot on my sheets (perhaps I clot quickly). Amyway, a passive monitor seems to me the best way to go. You can get them by using the links at the right of your screen.
    Good luck to you and hopefully nothing will show up.

    NOT AN EXPERT but a survivor, twice. Read all the green stickies above, learn everything you can, and listen to the expert advice and your nightmare will end. You too can survive this!
  14. seeker

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Sun Dec 7 2014 21:20:46
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    Canuck - I'll see how it goes with the DE in my room first. Then I will consider the passive monitor. Also I might make another attempt to photograph the cast skin. But I don't have much hope in a clear image

    spicynat - I don't think the bed bug was old to begin with because the bites started out small and then got bigger. You are right, that feeling of not knowing if they are dead or not. I hate it. Thank you for sending positive energy my way. I hope your BB problem will end quickly too.

    Mellisa - You didn't address me, but I don't want to ignore you. I guess DE will work, but only when applied lightly!

    Freaked Fighter - Thanks for the reply!

  15. buggyblue

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 8 2014 2:01:53
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    Hi Seeker,

    Like Canuck, I immediately thought of carpet beetle larva after reading your description of the cast skin. I found a couple cast skins on my mattress that had no head or legs, like bb have. A PCO misidentified them as bb even, but once I posted a photo here, three professionals deemed the cast skin to be carpet beetle, not bb. Carpet beetle larva hairs can leave nasty welts if they get lodged in your skin too. I experienced this myself.

  16. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 8 2014 9:19:57
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  17. Warfighter

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Dec 8 2014 9:55:35
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    Bed bugs are cold blooded so their metabolism will fluctuate with the temperature of their environment. When its warm they will burn energy faster which means they will digest their blood meal quicker and feed on the host more frequently. If it's warm and they can't get a blood meal they will burn through their energy/moisture reserves faster than at a lower temperature. They will starve/dehydrate to death faster when it is warmer Females will lay eggs faster and they will hatch quicker. When it is cooler the life cycle slows down.


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