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Where to search room for (confirmed) bed bugs? And what steps to take now?

(4 posts)
  1. loschinches

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Oct 10 2013 12:46:28
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    My story thus far:

    Last week of august I noticed some suspicious bites on my body. Living in NYC my mind of course feared the worst. There were not many bites though, and it was plausible enough to blame it on mosquitoes.

    However, week after week happened throughout september with more or less constant new bites. Maybe 5 or 6 a week. I bought mattress/pillow encasements and some climbup traps. Washed/dryed/bagged all my clothing. Put all my books and papers outside in a mattress bag sealed with a DDVP strip (everything is still in there). Called a bed bug dog guy but he recommended for me to do a visual inspection on my own first. I did a not entirely thorough one but found nothing. My roommates convinced me that I was just being paranoid. I chilled out for a bit and then had to be out of town for almost two weeks.

    While out of town, bites cleared up. Got no new bites, so it seemed my luggage and clothing were clear. Come back home, didn't notice any bites at first but later that night I took my shirt off and saw in the mirror 3 or 4 bites in the dreaded breakfast, lunch, dinner pattern. Freaked out. Went to bed making sure climpups were in place and bugs had no access to bed otherwise. Found a bed bug (confirmed here) in the morning that looks to be a 3rd instar.

    So I bought some 91% alcohol and got out my trusty subway card and flashlight and tore my bedroom apart. I took the mattress off the bed, ran the card through every crack and crevice. Took of all light switch and outlet covers. Searched every crack and crevice in dresser, nightstand, bookshelf, desk. Sprayed everything down with 91% alcohol. Searched along every crack and crevice in baseboards.

    And? I found nothing. No cast skins, no live bugs, no fecal traces, no eggs (although I'm not sure I would really recognize an egg or tell it apart from random room dirt?).

    Where else can I look???? It's a 4 bedroom apartment, two stories. 3 bedrooms upstairs, 1 downstairs. I am upstairs and my room shares a wall with one other bedroom. The other two bedrooms are far removed. Roommates (even the next door one) don't have any reports of bites. So it SEEMS it must be limited to my room. I suppose it's possible my next door roomie is getting bit but doesn't react, though he claims he has pretty sensitive skin and usually reacts badly to mosquito bites, etc. A quick check of some of his furniture, mattress, and bed revealed nothing.

    Please anyone if you have any ideas of where I should be looking??? Also what other steps should I be taking?? I have taken the climbups off my bed so that they will bite me and not spread to other rooms in the house (is this a good idea??). I am thinking to put my bed in center of my room and do a light ring of DE around the bed.

    Thank you for all your help.

  2. Hemiptera

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Thu Oct 10 2013 23:10:12
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    I am so sorry you are going through this. Does the mattress have those small circular holes surrounded by metal grommets?
    If so they could be inside of the actual mattress. I saw one case where they were not found until a slash was made in the mattress.
    Have you still been getting bites since returning from your trip?

  3. loschinches

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Oct 11 2013 0:13:04
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    The mattress is a futon. I didn't check the mattress, I just threw an encasement over it. So presumably even if they are in it they can't get out...right?

    Yes the most recent bite was the first day I came back from my trip. Thanks for reading

  4. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 6 years ago
    Fri Oct 11 2013 17:52:48
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    Bed bugs can be difficult to find if it's a low-level problem. That's why some people hire canine teams. If you try to hire a canine team and they want you to inspect first, I'd skip them, frankly. I don't really get why you would only hire a canine team after detecting where the bed bugs are.

    Another option would be to hire a careful human inspector. They're not easy to find but there's one in NY who participates on our forums -- Killer Queen (aka John Furman of Boot-a-Pest). You can see posts about him from people who've hired him here.

    Remember that if you're renting in NYC, it's likely the landlord's job to pay for a PCO. However, if you want to confirm the problem persists and see where, then this is an option.

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

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