Do I have bedbugs??
September 27, 2009
For about the past two weeks, I’ve been getting at least one bite per night. I don’t know what it is! Help!
The bites started mostly on my lower body with a few on my hands. The first few nights I woke up with severe itching and several bites – more than a dozen each night! The bites went from the soles of my feet and in between my toes to the backs of my calves and seemed to culminate in a giant cluster on my hip that swelled up to about the size of an Oreo cookie – it looked like a group of 6 or so bites. A couple mornings later I woke with a handful scattered just below my collar bone. I’ve had a few on my arms and one on my stomach, but I’ve lucked out and haven’t gotten any on my face (knock on wood).
At first the itching lasted a few days but for the last 3-4 days, the itching has been isolated to one day, is not as severe, and I have only been getting a single bite per night. As the bites have healed, they have left an area of hyperpigmentation… I can still see where the bites I got in the beginning were – they almost look like little bruises now, but they’re not tender.
I only got bit when I slept in my bed – I slept on the couch one night (I just couldn’t stand the bites anymore!) and was bite free! My husband has not gotten ANY bites, though!! Could whatever’s biting me prefer my blood to his? Are they maybe just on my side of the bed?
We have set off a bug bomb and changed the sheets. I also gave my cat a flea treatment just in case. Interestingly, I have been finding scabs around her collar (maybe a coincidence?) – this started a few days before I started getting the bites, but I have not seen the cat scratching herself. We also put out some adhesive rodent/insect traps, but have not caught anything on them.
Today I found a strange little bug that I’d never seen before. I found it on my knee… crawling about on my jeans in the middle of the day. I saved it in a cup and my husband took a photo when he got home. You can see our little bug in the photo next to a dime and the head of a pin. It’s super tiny and mostly round, about the size of a sesame seed. No wings. Six legs. Brownish, kind of opaque. Do you think this critter is the culprit? Can you tell me what he is? I was thinking maybe a baby bedbug… but obviously I’m no expert! I kind of hope that’s not what he is because where there’s babies, there’s got to be grown-ups!
I am sick of these bites and want the bugs GONE! Thanks so much!
Astoria, Queens, NY
We agree that this is an immature Bed Bug. You can see a photo on BugGuide that matches. During the day, Bed Bugs hide from the light, and they can be found between the mattress and box spring, between the base board and the wall, and behind pictures hung on the wall. Good luck with the eradication.
Eric Eaton comments
September 30, 2009
The couple with the bed bugs needs to seek a professional extermination service, or have the landlord do so if they are renting. Bed bugs are one of the few household pests that really requires the professionals. The eradication process is very invasive, though, as you literally have to take apart the bedroom and furniture to get to the bugs. Be prepared for at least three visits from the exterminator, and probably more to guarantee the success of the effort.
As for Tarra’s husband not getting bitten: he is, he just isn’t reacting to the bites. Every person’s immune response is different, and clearly Tarra is more sensitive than her hubby. She should make sure her symptoms don’t worsen, and see a physician if they do.
Lastly, bed bugs often ignite legal warfare as well, as landlords seek to hold tenants responsible, even if they are not the ones who introduced the bed bugs. So, I always recommend seeking legal advice when approaching this kind of problem. Yes, good luck with the eradication!