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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009, 11:01 AM
ChadVader ChadVader is offline
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Do I have bed bugs???

Ok, for a while now Iíve noticed that when I wake up in the morning Iíll have a couple of red itchy bumps. They donít itch that bad and only last 15 to 30 minutes then go away completely.

One thing Iíve noticed is that it almost always seems to be about 5 inches above the kneecap or 5 inches above the elbow. Also, Iíve never seen the ďbreakfast, lunch, dinnerĒ phenomenon, which is 3 bites in a row. Last night I bought some bed bug spray and sprayed the entire can in my room. I sprayed all over my bed and then washed the sheets, pillows & blanket. However I still had a couple of red bumps this morning.

My first question is if itís not bed bugs what else could be causing these itchy bumps? Second, what is a relatively cheap and easy way to find out for sure if I have bed bugs?
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2009, 11:12 AM
Cat Fight Cat Fight is offline
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Ug. I've been there (luckily the answer was no, but I'm still traumatized after reading all about the suckers online). From what I've read, it is odd that they're not going for the torso, unless you're well-covered there with no exposed skin. Still, it's a possibility, and if you do have them, a can of bug spray likely won't change that. Check the seams of your mattress and bed frame for evidence (tiny blood spots, casings), or put some sticky tape around there and check in the a.m. Do a general clean up in your room and whole flat (if it's not huge), including vacuuming (throw out the bag afterwards) and some laundry. Running stuff through the dryer for 20 minutes is one of the few effective techniques in killing them.

Any chance you have fleas?
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:38 AM
ChadVader ChadVader is offline
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Itís not fleas. I can always feel fleas when they bite and can usually grab & kill them while theyíre in the act. Iíve got a nagging suspicion that after Iíve spent hundreds of dollars on exterminators that all along it was just some allergic reaction to laundry detergent or something equally stupidÖ
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:47 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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The last time I had something like that, it was chiggers. You get them in the outdoors, long grass, etc.
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:24 PM
Claire Beauchamp Claire Beauchamp is offline
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Can't say whether you have them or not, but here's a good article on the topic. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/he...ient.html?_r=1

Article highlight: Bed bugs can live for a YEAR without feeding -- enclosing your mattress in a special bug-proof cover for a year or more is required to starve them out.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:25 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Beauchamp View Post
Can't say whether you have them or not, but here's a good article on the topic. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/he...ient.html?_r=1

Article highlight: Bed bugs can live for a YEAR without feeding -- enclosing your mattress in a special bug-proof cover for a year or more is required to starve them out.
And you have to hope that they're confined to the bed - apparently seriously infected homes get them in just about anything with padding.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:32 PM
Jamaika a jamaikaiakť Jamaika a jamaikaiakť is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Fight View Post
From what I've read, it is odd that they're not going for the torso, unless you're well-covered there with no exposed skin.
When we had them, the majority of my bites were on my hands and lower arms. Our mattress is on the floor, I sleep with my arms under my head, and they were in the wall nearest my hands. Plus, I usually wear a T-shirt to bed.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2009, 02:05 PM
mack mack is offline
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Originally Posted by ChadVader View Post
Second, what is a relatively cheap and easy way to find out for sure if I have bed bugs?
The good (I suppose) thing about bedbugs is that you can see them pretty easily. They look like little red ticks. When you want to take a look peel back your covers slowly, otherwise you'll just fling them off somewhere. Of course if you have crimson sheets and richly patterned spreads that could make them more difficult to spot. Above the kneecaps and above the elbows almost sound clothing-related.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:18 PM
racer72 racer72 is offline
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Get a black light, bed bugs glow in the dark under one. A friend moved into an apartment and was immediately covered with bites every morning. She didn't have the problem before she moved. With a black light the little critters could be seen all over the place, even a spare bedroom that had nothing in it. The landlord of course blamed her for bringing them with her. A call to the county health department was all it took, most of the units in the complex had to fogged to get rid of them. My friend also bought a new bed just to be safe.
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  #10  
Old 08-18-2009, 11:11 AM
ChadVader ChadVader is offline
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Ok, so I think I may have figured it out. Let me know if this sounds feasible.

I always sleep with a fan on, even when itís cold (it helps me sleep). So the fan blows dust & other small particles onto my bed. Since my body creases the bed in the middle, the dust will naturally settle in center of the bed. Now which of my body parts are a) exposed, b) in the center of the bed, and c) rub up against the sheets? Since I wear a t-shirt and boxers to bed I never get red bumps there. Since my face and ankles/feet are at the ends of the bed I never get red bumps there either. The only thing left is the top of my knees and top of my elbows.

Iíll wash my sheets again tonight and turn off the fan while I sleep. If I donít have any red bumps in the morning then Iím set. I guess Iíll just have to get used to sleeping without a fanÖ
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  #11  
Old 08-18-2009, 03:11 PM
recessiveMeme recessiveMeme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadVader
Also, Iíve never seen the ďbreakfast, lunch, dinnerĒ phenomenon, which is 3 bites in a row.
The rows of bites you describe are a hallmark of bed bugs and something I experienced first-hand. Of interest to you, perhaps:
  • People seem to react to the bites variably-- they were a minor irritation for me and nightmarish welts for my wife (she also reacts poorly to mosquitoes)
  • Bed bugs may prefer the ladies-- purely anecdotal from the internet, but I read that this was the case and my bed bugs certainly seemed to prefer her
  • Evidence of their presence is not hard to come by if you have even a modest infestation-- look for black spots (or the bugs themselves) in and around the seams on the lower side of your mattress
As for resolution... we sealed the mattress in a large air-tight bag, disassembled the bed frame, and (not kidding here) crushed all the bugs/eggs on the frame one at a time with a flashlight and screwdriver cackling evilly all the while. If that response seems disproportionate, consider how you'd feel after a week or so of crawling into bed secure in the knowledge that They were waiting for you to go to sleep.

To this day, the bed stands 2" from the wall and its legs sit in small jars. The jars supposedly keep subsequent bed bugs (if any) from crawling up the legs of the bed as it seems that the little beasts have trouble with smooth surfaces. We don't know what is happening inside the bag. I can only assume that if they're in there, they ain't happy.
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