Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

Why can't I find them? Do I have them? My story

(8 posts)
  1. Scared88

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    Posted 7 months ago
    Fri Mar 29 2019 7:02:49
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    This is long, I'm sorry. But I figure I'll go ahead and document my story, and hopefully one day I'll be able to come back and say it wasn't BBs. Or I'll prove my biggest fear and update that it is. Here goes ....

    I've been lurking on this site since an initial scare back in 2017. Time passed and skin reactions stopped, so I gave that one up. Fast forward to January of this year. I notice some random red bumps on my daughter 1x a week or so. Both my kids have sensitive skin so I don't pay much attention. Toward the end of January, my son starts getting some weird skin marks - tiny punctures and scabs - this is unlike anything I've seen before. So I'm on alert. Beginning of February, my husband comes home from a business trip with 2 itchy bumps on his fingers - swears up and down not BBs (he's encountered them live in hotels before). At this point, I'm documenting every skin reaction, because the very next day I wake up with 3 tiny punctures/scabs on my hand. Fast forward over the past 2 months, all members of my family are getting random skin reactions (ONLY on EXPOSED skin), ranging from tiny almost invisible punctures to scabs to pimples to, last night, big swollen welts that itch.

    Over this time period, I have encased all box springs and mattresses, installed climb-ups under all bed posts, installed a Passive monitor on the sofa, had Orkin do an inspection (negative, but this was early Feb). All I've been able to catch is a few carpet beetles and spring tails.

    I've read all about CB dermatitis and I just don't think it's that. We've had carpet beetles for YEARS and all of a sudden everyone in the house is reacting at the same time? I don't buy it.

    I've also broken down both my kids beds and don't find anything in the frames. I vaccuum like mad. Yet I can't find anything concrete. I AM LOSING MY MIND. It's very unnerving to be covered in "bites" and not find the source (I know I'm not alone here). I also find it strange that if we did bring BBs home (the potential sources are endless: husband travels, kids in daycare and school, my office, unaware family/friends, etc.) that they would be already set up in each of 3 bedrooms. Kids aren't hanging out on the couch much so I doubt their bites are happening there.

    I really don't know how much longer I can do this. I cry a lot. I'm depressed. I'm obsessed. I'm anxious. And it's hurting my relationship - my husband is in complete denial. I want to call for a K9 inspection or another PCO, but he refuses. I just want answers...

  2. Damnation

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    Posted 7 months ago
    Fri Mar 29 2019 11:06:56
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    I am in the same position as you. No bites no bugs. I have read these forums for years but only today have I made an account so I could tell you that I am the only one in my house with bites and we cant find any bugs this time. We have been good for 2 years. My brother last year finally admitted to having bbs. We decided to help them because we knew he was incapable of handling it himself. My GF and I had become BB masters by the time he came out with them. He was really bad off. His room was completely covered. We were so confident that we went to go help him thinking we were the masters But this time we are stumped. Im getting bites and its starting to be a lot of bites but no bugs.

    Im going to post my entire story. Keep an eye out on the forums. Maybe you will gain some insight from it. It may sound crazy but I promise you everything I am about to post is the truth.

  3. BigDummy

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    Posted 7 months ago
    Fri Mar 29 2019 12:20:48
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    Scared88 - 5 hours ago  » 
    This is long, I'm sorry. But I figure I'll go ahead and document my story, and hopefully one day I'll be able to come back and say it wasn't BBs. Or I'll prove my biggest fear and update that it is. Here goes ....
    I've been lurking on this site since an initial scare back in 2017. Time passed and skin reactions stopped, so I gave that one up.

    This may be how the current situation ends as well. In 2017 were the skin reactions also in colder months?

    Fast forward to January of this year. I notice some random red bumps on my daughter 1x a week or so. Both my kids have sensitive skin so I don't pay much attention. Toward the end of January, my son starts getting some weird skin marks - tiny punctures and scabs - this is unlike anything I've seen before. So I'm on alert. Beginning of February, my husband comes home from a business trip with 2 itchy bumps on his fingers - swears up and down not BBs (he's encountered them live in hotels before). At this point, I'm documenting every skin reaction, because the very next day I wake up with 3 tiny punctures/scabs on my hand. Fast forward over the past 2 months, all members of my family are getting random skin reactions (ONLY on EXPOSED skin), ranging from tiny almost invisible punctures to scabs to pimples to, last night, big swollen welts that itch.

    Documenting skin lesions just leads to finding more skin lesions that in a normal setting you would probably not even notice or if you did notice not think much of. The act of documenting will increase the amount that are found.
    Skin reactions only occurring on exposed skin could be for that very reason, the skin is exposed in those areas and missing the protective benefit of a layer of clothing. Also, exposed skin is, well, exposed, so if there are any marks or blemishes they are of course much easier to spot than on covered areas.

    Over this time period, I have encased all box springs and mattresses, installed climb-ups under all bed posts, installed a Passive monitor on the sofa, had Orkin do an inspection (negative, but this was early Feb). All I've been able to catch is a few carpet beetles and spring tails.
    I've read all about CB dermatitis and I just don't think it's that. We've had carpet beetles for YEARS and all of a sudden everyone in the house is reacting at the same time? I don't buy it.

    Okay, so you've spent a fair amount of time and money on strategies aimed directly at excluding or exposing bed bugs and nothing has changed, what does that tell you?

    I've also broken down both my kids beds and don't find anything in the frames. I vaccuum like mad. Yet I can't find anything concrete. I AM LOSING MY MIND. It's very unnerving to be covered in "bites" and not find the source (I know I'm not alone here). I also find it strange that if we did bring BBs home (the potential sources are endless: husband travels, kids in daycare and school, my office, unaware family/friends, etc.) that they would be already set up in each of 3 bedrooms. Kids aren't hanging out on the couch much so I doubt their bites are happening there.
    I really don't know how much longer I can do this. I cry a lot. I'm depressed. I'm obsessed. I'm anxious. And it's hurting my relationship - my husband is in complete denial. I want to call for a K9 inspection or another PCO, but he refuses. I just want answers...

    I think you've done quite a bit with the focus on bed bugs and have found no valuable benefit to these actions, it's time to look elsewhere; you may want to consult your family doctor so that they can give you some suggestions to hopefully find the cause.

  4. Scared88

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    Posted 7 months ago
    Fri Mar 29 2019 13:06:01
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    I appreciate your insights, Big Dummy. I realize it sounds (and may very well be) that I'm barking up the wrong tree. But these "bites" are so different than anything we've ever experienced before, and no the previous scare was in warmer months where any of the normal biting bugs could have been the culprit.

    I do have a dermatology appointment middle of next month (soonest I could get in). Maybe that will shed some light...

  5. BigDummy

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    Posted 7 months ago
    Fri Mar 29 2019 13:29:54
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    I wasn't thinking warm months because of the insects, I was thinking cold months because of the changes in your skin that can come with a low humidity, low temperature environment.

  6. Scared88

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Mon Jul 22 2019 7:39:37
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    So I don't want to curse myself or anything, but am posting in hopes I may help someone else out there.

    Just wanted to give an update that I feel confident now that I don't have, and never did, bed bugs. I went down the rabbit hole (more than once) of non-confirming signs (bites, marks, blood on sheets, etc.). However, now after nearly 6 months of searching, I will rest that I don't have them. Do I know what has caused the mysterious markings? No. However, I have found that if I stop paying so much attention, it's not that bad. I believe some of these markings are just normal skin stuff.

    I will remain vigilant, as the spouse of someone who frequents hotels for out of town work. However, I will no longer let my life be consumed with the what if's.

    Good luck all!

  7. Itchynik

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Mon Jul 22 2019 11:23:21
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    I could have written your post. I first discovered 'bites' on my arm back in April. Didn't think anything of it initially but then a few days later I noticed more itchy bumps on my abdomen, then on my hip then my shoulder. My husband was very dismissive because he hasn't had bits, but nor does he understand that not everyone reacts because he doesn't Google in the same way that I do.

    I I spect my sheets daily with an illuminated magnifying glass; I've never found any solid evidence of BBs. I've cleaned around my bed Nd found some skin casts but was assured by the experts on here that they weren't BBs and, now that I have a bit more experience, I can see that they weren't as well.

    I've installed a passive monitor which is perfectly clean after a month yet I still can't relax or shake the anxiousness.

    I have to say this forum is fantastic though and I massively appreciate the experts who give up their time to answer questions on the subject.

    I'm pleased to read that you're no longer suffering with paranoia and anxiety over the possibility of BBs. I hope to get to that stage at some point!

  8. Bethmac78

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    Posted 3 months ago
    Wed Jul 24 2019 8:23:36
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    I am right there with you in this. After having a minor infestation last year, we moved and got all new furniture. However, every red mark, every stain on my sheet is suspect and sends me over the edge. I look daily and sometimes I find nothing and move on with my day but some times I find marks and obsess over them. Just today I found a small brown mark in my pillow case. No idea where it could have come from. It’s not blood because hydrogen peroxide didn’t react and it didn’t smear when i wiped it so I’m not sure but it prompts me to tear my bed apart, wash everything and will make me depressed for the next few days. Sometimes I go lengthy periods without any incident and I relax and think I’m clear and then a string of events will occur that convinces me I do have them. Yet I have never found a bug during this whole year we lived here. It affects how I live, I can’t go places without thinking we are going to bring them home with us, the movies, restaurants, church, forget traveling and staying in a hotel, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. It’s a terrible way to live !


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