I saw a bug, but I’m not SURE if it was a Bedbug. Now I’m paranoid.
Hello my tasty-human friends. I’m MrBedBug, Chief SpokesBug for FLfresh.com and EcoBugFREE, the BedBug Eliminator. I am a TV star on MrBedBug-TV on YouTube and Editor of the BedBug News Reports.com
I get LOTS of mail to MrBed@FLfresh.com Some of it is so instructive that I share it here, [without the personal details, that humans often “over-share”.] Let me take this example of a common e-mail I received… take it apart and go through –what you need to know about Bedbugs—one step and one comment at a time. [with inserted #reference points, because there is a lot to learn and some common myths that we need to talk about. Here we go:
Dear Mr BedBug,
If I saw one bed bug does that mean I should worry about an infestation? [#1] Yesterday at about four o’clock in the morning, as I was about to get into my freshly made bed, I saw a bed bug! [#2] Yep .it was a bed bug. I had a friend over and he took the bed bug, put it in a Ziploc bag and gave it to the doorman. [#3] I had a breakdown! I cannot deal with any kind of bugs. I had to take a tranquilizer to sleep and I slept in my recliner, in the living room for two nights [#4] and today we treated my entire house with diatomaceous earth and we steamed EVERYTHING! [#5] Pillows, mattress, box spring, chairs, night stand, etc. We put the double sided tape on the bed frame legs and on the floor around the bed. I changed my linen and there is nothing on my bed now, but the sheets and two pillows, so I can be able to see.
One of my neighbors has an infestation and she has disposed of her mattress, plus the pest control came and treated her unit. She’s an idiot. More than a month ago she told management she had roaches in her bed. She knew we had bed bugs in the building, so she should have known that there were bed bugs in her bed and not roaches. I don’t have roaches, but some people do, in the building. [#6]
Now, what? MY BEDROOM IS CLEAN AND THERE ARE NO BED BUGS IN OR AROUND MY BED! We looked and looked and we didn’t see any signs of bed bugs or their feces, plus I have NEVER been bitten. [#7]
About a month ago pest control came in and sprayed.[#8] I am so afraid of having or getting an infestation! When I saw that bed bug I had a meltdown. I was shaking all over and my hands and feet were on fire. I live alone and I cannot deal with bugs. If I see one bed bug I’ll run away. I can’t even look at the bed bug pictures. So, should I be worried? Everyone thinks that the lone bed bug came from the hallway or from somewhere, but I have had two inspections in two days and there are none and no evidence of any. Am I being paranoid or should I be worried?[#9] Please help and pray for me guys.I am afraid because I was bitten really bad when I was about eight years old. It’s not just a bug. It’s a blood sucking bug that will make your life miserable and cause you to throw away all your furniture.[#10]
Here are the thoughts going through my head. Remember the reason that the BedBugNewsReports.com exist is to offer real, practical advice, so you can avoid Bedbugs in the 1st place and/or quickly detect and clean a BedBug infestation in your home or workplace.
Let me mention [#9] first, before going through the rest of the letter. BedBugs are weirdly creepy, because they sneak around in the night and suck blood like a vampire. I get it. “We” have a really bad reputation, BUT, here are the facts. BedBugs do NOT spread disease [mosquitos, roaches and ticks do that] BedBugs are not attracted to grime or filth. [roaches love grime]. The cleanest homes and nicest people can discover BedBugs in their living space. BedBugs are hitch-hikers, and will cling to ANY fabric that smells like a “tasty-human buffet opportunity”. BedBugs are in movie theaters, Dr offices, cabs/buses, airline seats, anywhere that humans “sit-around, waiting” you could find Bedbugs. I understand the mental stress you feel, but from a medical perspective, the reality is: there are a lot more dangerous things to be worried about.
So, now lets discuss this letter in more detail.
[#1] it is very possible to find “just one” BedBug… especially if it is a BIG adult, as you described your experience. Bedbugs are just like humans. Too make babies we need a bed, just like humans. IF [big capital, IF] there was only one… and you killed it, you are “OK”. It’s prudent to check. It’s a good idea to think where you were in the last few days, or who visited your bed, in the recent past. The example I often give is the traditional house party at Christmas time. All those coats thrown on the bed both deliver and “export” Bedbugs [possibly] among the best of family and friends.
[#2] BedBugs are most active at night, but they will come looking for an all-you-can-eat buffet of tasty-human blood day or night.
[#3] It would have been better to keep the BedBug you found in that sealed-plastic bag. Only a real entomologist or experienced pest control expert can tell for sure. Sometimes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, IT’s A BEDBUG, but because of some other comments you make, it may not have been a BedBug…. Or you are really lucky.
[#4] Major Bedbug infestations easily migrate through homes into recliners and other furniture. BedBugs are called BED-bugs, but that’s not the only place they hade. BedBugs are lazy. They will set-up a harborage [“BedBug nest”] anywhere they can be close to a tasty-human buffet opportunity.
[#5] this is another reason why the BedBugNewsReports.com exist. A little bit on knowledge is dangerous. Messing around with diatomaceous earth is incredibly dangerous [to you, children, and pets] ….and may not solve the problem. [I’ll skip the long explaination. It’s is posted elsewhere.] Would “DE” [as it’s called on the internet-BS pages] work? Theoretically, but there are other methods that are more effective vs the risk to YOU !
Similarly “steam” CAN be a solution, BUT…. only if done correctly. I’ll assume you did not go buy [these are hard to rent] a big commercial streamer, with a constant refill reservoir. High heat [over 130-ish] will kill BedBugs. The problem is: most retail steamers don’t create MASSIVE amounts of steam [so BedBugs can “run-away”, just like YOU would, if it got hot in your car in traffic] Constant exposure to heat also requires that you do the “prep-work” to find the BedBugs [multiple] Harborage locations. You are not steaming cleaning your carpet. You are trying to KILL BEDBUGS. It’s not the same job. Re-READ these exact same comments when someone suggest “freezing BedBugs” to kill them. Can it work…Umm, yeah, but …… can you keep the temperature below -25 degrees long enough to do the job? This is why the “effective” heat treatments are “whole house” / massive tenting project that again…are NOT do-It-yourself project. [and not cheap either]
[#6] This is a tough-one. Landlords and tenant “battles”, I see it all the time. Often it is neighbor/owners in condos who have the worst problems. I [the famous MrBedBug] understand that no one wants to admit they have BedBugs. That makes it hard to ask for help, so folks try stupid [ineffective] solutions found on the internet…. While the BedBug population is feeding and breeding generation after generation. If the problem isn’t effectively addressed, most commonly what happens is: the BedBugs migrate to the neighbors place. Bedbugs easily move through walls, common electrical wiring sockets, under carpet, common wall spaces, etc. In large apartment complexes, BedBugs will travel on clothes down to common-area lobby furniture, or social meeting spaces / TV rooms too….only to ride back “up-stairs” with the next victim.
[#7] my first impression is: you have “dodged-the-bullet”, BUT… stay vigilent. You’ll need to keep watching until any potential Bedbug eggs hatch. You don’t know [because you didn’t keep it for inspection] if the BedBug you found was male or female] If you don’t see anymore BedBugs, trace “excrement-trail” or see bite-marks, you should be able to breath normally….. until you go to a holiday party. Re: #1 above.[#8] I’m going to make a huge assumption here for the education of others reading this post. A pest control contractor hired by your landlord is NOT spraying ANYTHING that will KILL BEDBUGS. BedBugs are entomologically different than ant, roaches, and other household bugs. [I’ll skip the long version] just believe me, [the famous MrBedbug] that very specific work and sprays are needed to clean a Bedbug infestation. Your landlord will need a separate service “contract” for BedBug infestations and the work is expensive. 90% of the work needed to clean a BedBug infestation has nothing to do with chemical application. Anyone who comes in and wants to “spray for Bedbugs” is a fraud. [You can QUOTE me – yes, we get nasty letters from pest control companies telling us/me not to say this or that, or they will SUE-US…. which is why we never ID any specific company, just the business practices in general]
The reason you CAN clean a BedBug infestation is: the steps and procedures used by the franchise pest control companies, are very well-known. This is very basic stuff, because Bedbugs are creatures of habit. If you know what you are doing [or read the step-by-step info on www.FLfresh.com ] you can either: Do it yourself, or save a ton of money with a pest contractor.
and then skipping to [#10] If cleaned correctly most furniture does NOT need to be thrown away. If your FIRST step is to throw away furniture, all you are doing is spreading the BedBugs, down the hallway of your apartment building and then leaving a “perfectly good” couch or mattress for someone else to pick-up and take home. This is one of the reasons BedBugs spread wildly, when you live in one of the Top 50 Most Bedbug Infested Cities.
Assess the situation. CLEAN FIRST. then decide what can be salvaged. Why throw away a couch that wasn’t a source of Bedbugs?… just because you over-reacted. If you WANT a new couch, go buy one, but don’t blame it on my BedBug family. LOL There are mattress encasements that can protect the investment you have in a mattress and boxspring/foundation set too.
Here’s a video from MrBedBugTV on YouTube. “what do BedBugs look like?