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  • This is embarrassing, but I need relief

    Ok, I’ve got a bit of an issue. It’s embarrassing to have to admit but I am literally being eaten alive! On Monday I was fine, no signs of the horror to come. Yesterday morning however, I woke up with numerous bug bites all over my body. I couldn’t find any fleas on my pets, but I treated them with Frontline anyways. I washed my sheets and the dogs bedding. My husband seems fine, no problems. Well this morning I woke up to 22 bug bites on my forehead and eyelids. Not to mention numerous others on my arms, legs, hands, feet, and waist. I am miserable. I don’t know what to do?! I’ve never had this problem before. One thing I haven’t mentioned is I’ve recently learned that I am pregnant (about 6 ½ weeks) and my mom swears that it’s the chemical changes going on in my body. That perhaps that bugs in general are more attracted to me. This may be true, but why the sudden change over night. So today I slathered my self in Skin-So-Soft in hopes that I could find some relief. It just drives me crazy because I can’t find any creepy crawlies on my pets, and I keep a tidy house and practice good hygiene. What can I do?! Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Oh, and the only other thing that seems weird is Monday night when I was brutally attacked by the bugs I had switched sides of the bed with my husband. I have a humidifier on my side that he wanted to sleep next to, to help offer relief from his sinus infection. But if I washed the sheets the next day, would this even matter? My husband is an elementary school teacher, so it has me paranoid that he caught something off a kid. But then again, he would be itching to death too right??

  • #2
    sounds like bed bugs to me. If it is happening when you are sleeping it is most likely bed bugs.
    How can you tell if the residence is infested?
    Bed bugs infest only a small proportion of residences, but they should be suspected if residents complain of bites that occurred while sleeping. The bedroom and other sleeping areas should be carefully examined for bed bugs and signs of bed bug activity. Folds and creases in the bed linens, and seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs, in particular, may harbor bed bugs or their eggs. They may also be found within pleats of curtains, beneath loose areas of wallpaper near the bed, in corners of desks and dressers, within spaces of wicker furniture, behind cove molding, and in laundry or other items on the floor or around the room. Sometimes, characteristic dark brown or reddish fecal spots of bed bugs are apparent on the bed linens, mattress or walls near the bed. A peculiar coriander-like odor may be detected in some heavily infested residences. Adhesive-based traps used for sampling insects or rodents are not particularly effective for trapping bed bugs.

    What should you do if you find bed bugs?
    Because several different kinds of insects resemble bed bugs, specimens should be carefully compared with good reference images (such as those in this document) to confirm their identity. If any questions remain regarding the identity of your samples, then submit them to a competent entomologist for evaluation (see information below).

    Once their identity is confirmed, a careful plan should be devised to eliminate the bed bugs in a manner that promotes success while limiting unnecessary costs and exposure to insecticides. Don’t discard furniture and don’t treat until and unless you have a plan.


    What can you do to manage bed bugs?

    Thoroughly clean the infested rooms as well as others in the residence. Scrub infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs, and use a powerful vacuum to remove bed bugs from cracks and crevices. Dismantling bed frames will expose additional bug hiding sites. Remove drawers from desks and dressers and turn furniture over, if possible, to inspect and clean all hiding spots.

    Mattresses and box springs can be permanently encased within special mattress bags. Once they are installed, inspect the bags to ensure they are undamaged; if any holes or tears are found, seal these completely with permanent tape. Any bugs trapped within these sealed bags will eventually die.

    To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto a bed, pull the bed frame away from the wall, tuck sheets and blankets so they won’t contact the floor, and place the frame legs into dishes or cups of mineral oil.

    Caulk and seal all holes where pipes and wires penetrate walls and floor, and fill cracks around baseboards and cove moldings to further reduce harborages.

    If you own your residence, we suggest you contact a licensed pest control operator who is knowledgeable and experienced in managing bed bug infestations. Ask the pest control company for references, and ask at least a few of their customers about their experiences before you agree to any contract.

    If you are a tenant, contact your property manager or landlord to discuss your respective obligations, and to agree on a plan to manage the infestation. Generally, landlords are legally required to contract with a licensed pest control operator.

    Request a written integrated pest management (IPM) plan from the pest control operator. This plan should detail the methods and insecticides to be used by the pest control operator, and describe the efforts expected by the building manager as well as by the tenants.

    Because bed bugs and other pests may spread through cracks and holes in the walls, ceilings and floors, it is wise to inspect adjoining apartments on the same floor as well as those directly above and below.

    What are your rights and obligations?
    Landlords and property owners have specific legal obligations to provide safe and habitable accommodations for tenants. Certain infestations, including bed bugs, may constitute an unacceptable condition. Tenants have an obligation to cooperate with owners and landlords. This includes preparing the apartment so that the pest control operator can easily inspect the rooms and treat if necessary. Contact your state or municipal health agency or housing authority for more guidance on these issues.

    What shouldn’t you do?
    Don’t panic. Although bed bugs can be annoying, they can be battled safely and successfully if you adopt a well-considered strategy.

    Do not apply pesticides unless you fully understand what you are applying and the risks involved. You are legally liable if you misapply a pesticide, or apply it without a license to the property of another (including common spaces in apartment buildings). Generally, landlords, owners and building managers cannot legally apply pesticides. They should, instead, hire a licensed pest control operator to confirm the infestation and to develop an integrated pest management plan.

    Do not dispose of furniture that is useful. Infested furniture can be cleaned and treated. Placing infested furniture (particularly mattresses) into common areas or on the street may simply help spread bed bugs to the homes of other people. Infested furniture intended for disposal should be defaced to make it less attractive to other people. Officials in some municipalities affix to potentially infested furniture a label to warn of bed bugs. To reduce opportunities of infested furniture re-entering their building, building managers should ensure that any disposed furniture is locked within a dumpster or immediately carted away to a landfill or waste facility.

    How can you have specimens examined?
    Specimens suspected of being bed bugs should be collected into small break-resistant containers (such as a plastic pill bottle or a zipper-lock plastic bag. They may also be secured to a sheet of white paper using clear packaging tape. These containers should be packaged carefully to prevent damage/crushing of the sample, and be sent to a knowledgeable expert for positive identification. We provide a form that may be downloaded and printed for this purpose:
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs/specimen.pdf

    What should you know about insecticides and other methods for treating bed bugs?
    Property owners may purchase and apply certain pesticides to their own property, and tenants may do so (with certain exceptions) to their own apartments. Generally, owners and tenants may not, however, apply these products to common use areas or to the property of another person. A licensed pest control operator may perform these tasks more effectively, safely and legally. If one apartment or room is found infested, adjoining rooms and those immediately upstairs and downstairs should be inspected and managed, as appropriate.


    Carefully read the label before applying any pesticide. Apply the product only if you fully understand the instructions, and if you have the appropriate training/certification and equipment.

    Do NOT apply any insecticide or pesticide to mattresses or to surfaces that would be in direct contact with a person, unless the label instructions specifically state that the product can be applied in that manner. Some products can be harmful to people and pets. READ and UNDERSTAND the label.

    Insecticide formulations used to treat bed bug infestations consist mainly of the following:

    -Insecticidal dusts abrade the insect’s outer waxy coat and cause the bugs to dry out quickly. Some consist of a finely ground glass or silica powder. These dry dusts may be applied in cracks and crevices, as well as within the hollow interior of a tubular bed frame. Some dust formulations include another kind of insecticide.

    -Contact insecticides are those that kill the bugs shortly after they come into direct contact with the product or its residue. These mainly consist of one or more kinds of pyrethoids (synthetic analogs of the extract of chrysanthemum flowers). These products tend to rapidly ‘knock down’ bugs that wander over or otherwise contact the insecticide. Because pyrethroids can be irritating and repellent to many insects, bed bugs may avoid treated surfaces. A different kind of contact insecticide, chlorfenapyr, is now available in a product available to pest control operators. This product is non-repellent and effective for a longer period.

    -Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) affect the development and reproduction of insects. Although these products can be quite effective in reducing the population of the pests, they do not kill bugs quickly. Thus, pest control operators often use these products as a supplement to other kinds of insecticides.

    A pest control operator may consider and propose a variety of other methods to manage bed bugs. An infestation that affects most or all units in a building may be best managed by treating the entire building with insecticides. This requires close cooperation by managers and tenants, and may require the tenants to leave the building for a few hours or even several days. Only licensed and knowledgeable pest control operators should attempt such treatments.

    Be aware that you may spread bed bugs from your own infested residence if you move to another apartment, home or hotel. Generally, it is best to leave your possessions in your home or apartment when it is treated. All food and eating utensils should be protected from insecticidal products.

    Some building managers have allowed infested apartments to remain vacant of tenants for extended intervals in attempts to ‘out wait’ or ‘starve’ the bed bugs. This strategy would rarely make good sense, as bed bugs are well adapted to patiently wait for the return of their hosts. Each bed bug needs only one full blood meal to develop to the next developmental stage, and they can readily wait months between feeding opportunities. Under ideal conditions, adult bed bugs can survive for more than one year between meals. Thus, infested residences should be aggressively managed to eliminate bed bugs.

    What might you do when returning from a visit to an infested residence?
    Travelers increasingly encounter bed bugs during their stays away from home. If signs of bed bugs were observed or suspected, consider the possibility that you may have unwittingly transported bed bugs or their eggs in your luggage and other personal effects. Clothing should be laundered in a manner to kill bugs and their eggs before or as soon as these items are brought back into the home. Suitcases should be carefully inspected, scrubbed with a stiff brush, and thoroughly vacuumed. Leaving such luggage for several hours in a closed vehicle in full summer sun may render the items bug free.

    We hope this information will help you to more effectively identify and safely manage a suspected bed bug infestation. This document has been assembled to assist homeowners, property managers and tenants with information relevant to the identification and management of bed bugs. Brand names have not been mentioned, nor do we endorse any particular commercial product. This web site is intended for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a medical professional. Always consult a physician if you have personal health concerns.

    Costs associated with assembling this information and responding to inquiries are borne by our general laboratory funds. Please feel free to contact us if you found this information useful and are inclined to assist with support of our work. We encourage inquiries regarding the support of further research and educational efforts.

    For information about the biology and management of head lice, visit our site at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html

    For information on identifying other kinds of pests, visit our site at: http://www.massinsects.com/default.htm

    Ewe. I have the itchies after reading this
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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    • #3
      Bug bites

      I'm not a doctor, but it sounds like it could be an allergic reaction to me. Ask a pharmacy if you could take Benadryle (being pregnant)
      Another thought would be skin mites. Although it could be numerous different things.
      Hope you find a cure soon.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't have any advice to offer or remedies. I just wanted to tell you I feel for you. What a nightmare you must be going through. Hope someone has something to offer that would help you with this.
        "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
        Diane

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        • #5
          maybe you caught something from a dog you groomed? i got ringworm from a dog at work about a month ago!!

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          • #6
            This may be kind of out there but could it be bedbugs? Strange they would bite you and not your husband. Maybe you should see a dermatologist ASAP especially since you are pregnant. Possibly a specialist could identify what bit you. It might be a good idea to sleep in another bed tonight. I'm sorry this happened to you. It sounds awful.
            www.gomobileandsucceed.com
            http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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            • #7
              Oh my gosh, I totally feel for you! Bug bites are the worst!!! Don't be embarressed, I get chiggers (or so they're called here) every summer on my feet becuase I refuse to give up my flip flops and the buggies eat my feet alive...bluck...You'd think I'd learn because they nearly drive my insane with itching!!!! Well I don't have any bright ideas about what's going on with your bites, I just wanted to empathize with you. Hope someone else has some better info for you. Good luck! And Congratulations on your pregnancy!

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              • #8
                Have you checked for bed bugs? My parents bought an antique chair from a flea market (fitting name). It was a beautiful chair. I'd say about 3 months after they had the chair in there bedroom they got them. It's funny because if it weren't for my son they would not even know they had them. There very hard to find, look at the seams in your mattress. Well, my son slept over in there bed one night and woke up with a lot of bites. They never bit my father or mother but they got my son good. They had to call an exterminator and had to replace every mattress in the house. I hate to tell this story because I find it embarrassing, but be very leery of buying used furniture or linens. Hopefully though it's just an allergic reaction for you. It cost my parents a lot of money to rid there house of them.

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                • #9
                  Bugs

                  Do you work with animals? Or work in a Petsomething? I worked at a Petsomething years ago and got horrible bites like that all over. It turned out to be mites that came in with the dog food bags and stock. It was horrible.

                  Flea bites are interesting because not everyone is allergic to them, as not all dogs are allergic to them. Some dogs will come in with horrible skin conditions from just a couple of fleas and others will have hundreds with no really bad effects. It's because of the allergy factor. Same is true for humans. That may explain why your husband isn't having a problem.

                  In any event, I would certainly see a doctor immediately and be very careful what you use on and around yourself, especially since you are pregnant.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry I didn't see all the other responses until after I wrote mine. Could've saved me an embarrassing story lol. It was weird though that they never bit my parents especially my father, never touched him. They may have got my mom once or twice but they loved my son!! They bit him up!! He was itching like a maniac.

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                    • #11
                      Could be mites

                      Years ago when I was younger I got what they called scabies, which is caused by the same mites that cause mange in dogs. They get under your skin and cause very very itchy red bumps everywhere.

                      Even back then I found and took in every stray in my neighborhood.

                      I only guess this because they are not easy to see with the human eye and the stories I've seen on bed bugs they can leave big welts.

                      In any event even the mites that cause scabies can be spread from person to person or person to pet so whatever it is I would get to a doctor and preferably a dermatologist that specializes in skin issues in order to get a proper diagnoses. I remember when I had that I had to stay home from school for at least a week and soak in a special lotion every day.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks guys for your suggestions. We did lift up our mattress yesterday when I went to wash our sheets and we didn’t find anything examining there. I did speak with the doctor and they said for me to use benadryl. The nurse also said that it could be viral?? I don’t know? I will be going in for a visit on Friday. All I know is my husband is bite free and I’m itching to death!! Its just odd how it literally happened over night. For the person who asked, no I don’t work at a Petsomething. In fact I had to close my shop at the end of January due to a very COMPLICATED situation. The business was doing great and growing, and the clients were upset at the news, but there were some other things going on out of my control that led to it closing. So, I haven’t actually been around dogs, other than my own since January 26th. I still will groom for my parents and inlaw for the time being, so I won't go through complete grooming withdraw.

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                        • #13
                          Bed Bugs

                          Well, being that you're pregnant, you're way juicier for their needs than your husband. He also may have a scent they dislike. I had a cat that fleas and we had the exterminator come in. She ended up shortly after that with kidney disease, so the fleas that the exterminator supposedly got rid of, decided I was a wonderful buffet. (talk about embarassing stories ... I didn't have a bite until I stopped drinking -- guess they didn't like beer.)

                          Could be a skin allergy though -- pregnancy always brings up such a neat assortment of physical changes, from skin to hair to nails to ... oh yeah, that little creature growing inside you.

                          Uh, by the way ... CONGRATULATIONS!!

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                          • #14
                            Hmmmmm...

                            Maybe you got hives from some allergic reaction. Have you changed laundry detergents or fabric softeners lately? Or you own personal shampoo and soap or body wash? Maybe a new moisturizer? I feel bad for you, if it itches it drives you nuts not matter what it was caused by. Chicken pox?

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                            • #15
                              The first thing that came to mind was bed bugs. The second was spiders. Little tiny, just hatched spiders. Sometimes they find their way into your bedding or clothing, and bite the beegeebees out of you. I had one in a sweater once that just about ate my arm. At least it felt like it was eating my arm, until I took my sweater off and found the little bugger. Pun intended.

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