Getting bug bites, fearing bed bugs. How do I check more thoroughly?

TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The DjinneratorAt the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
Recently I've been finding myself getting bug bites, and I'm not sure where they originate from. Usually when I notice them, it's mid-day and I'm at work. They don't tend to itch at all. I'll notice them because they are sore to the touch. They are single, raised bumps that have what feels like a hard lump beneath. I've observed two to three of them, all on my leg, and they look visually quite angry (Red, with a wide ring of redness around the raised area). I get them spaced out, not all at once. It's been about a week to a week and a half between bites. It takes quite a while for them to heal up - Even after a week and a half, I still have evidence of the first one, for example.

Notably, these are only ever single-bump bites. Not clusters or a rash.

I reached out to my doctor, who said that they look like insect bites. He recommended a thorough cleaning of my bedding, clothes, and carpet.

I examined my bedding as thoroughly as I was able, and I didn't see any evidence of bed bugs, but bed bugs have me SUPER paranoid now. I've check my sheets, pillow cases, mattress, and box spring. I haven't seen any blood, nor any shells or what look like excrement. But I've heard these little fuckers will migrate, and can sometimes be hiding in other locations. I suppose I may also be checking incorrectly?

Does anyone know the most thorough and surefire way to check for bed bugs? Does it sound likely that I may have them, or could it possibly be some other, more benign insect?

Thanks much in advance for any help.

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Posts

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Best way is to call in Massey or another insect management company to do an inspection and spraying. They know what to look for and how to kill the buggers so they don't come back.

    If you are renting, call your landlord and have them send someone out instead.

  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    edited January 24
    An inspection service sounds like it might be the best and most reliable option. Particularly since I am renting. Thanks much, I'll absolutely look into that.

    TetraNitroCubane on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    That doesn't sound like bedbugs, so, that's good (though it doesn't rule them out).

    It kind of sounds like chiggers or some sort of mite.

    Do you have any pictures?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    TetraNitroCubaneLostNinja
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    Bedbugs usually bite in sets of 3 for whatever reason. Your landlord is a larger/more professional company it may have an exterminator who comes periodically and will be happy to check things out if you ask

    TetraNitroCubane
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    It could be a rash or something, or possibly an allergic reaction to something in your bedding/clothing

    But yeah starting with the inspection is a good place

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    You can get bed bug traps that you put near your bed and if there's bugs you see them caught on the sticky material. Try asking at your local hardware store.

    TetraNitroCubaneSkeithSiska
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    edited January 24
    bowen wrote: »
    That doesn't sound like bedbugs, so, that's good (though it doesn't rule them out).

    It kind of sounds like chiggers or some sort of mite.

    Do you have any pictures?

    I do, though I will hazard a warning that if you click this you will see something gross. And also you will see the bug bite! (I don't like my legs)
    Bite on the forward portion of my left leg (This one has calmed down over a period of about a week or so).
    Bite on the right inward side of my left leg (This one is newer, and still tender)
    Cauld wrote: »
    Bedbugs usually bite in sets of 3 for whatever reason. Your landlord is a larger/more professional company it may have an exterminator who comes periodically and will be happy to check things out if you ask
    It could be a rash or something, or possibly an allergic reaction to something in your bedding/clothing

    But yeah starting with the inspection is a good place

    It looks like just singular bites for now, though I will note that it seems unlikely to be a rash or allergic reaction. It's very localized, isolated, and looks very bite-like.

    Also I don't know why I hadn't considered that, but yeah, checking with my landlord is probably a super good idea. He's got a pretty vested interest in making sure this ISN'T bed bugs. Thank you all again for that suggestion.
    You can get bed bug traps that you put near your bed and if there's bugs you see them caught on the sticky material. Try asking at your local hardware store.

    Oh, that sounds like a great idea as well. Some evidence, or at least a lack thereof, could be reassuring even before an inspection! Thank you.

    TetraNitroCubane on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 24
    Yeah that's definitely not bed bug.

    Kind of almost looks like a staph infection under the skin to me. (I've seen MRSA infections that start out like that)

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    tastydonuts
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Could be a flea bite.

  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Oof, when my dog got fleas it was awful. I ended up buying a small domed lamp with a sticky pad under it. The heat lured the fleas to the pad and they stuck and died on it. Worked decent enough to get rid of the ones not on my doggo

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  • SkeithSkeith Registered User regular
    Bed bug reactions can vary pretty wildly, but the lack of itching and how long the marks last have me thinking "not bed bugs," not least because they feed in clusters in my unfortunate experience. Glue traps will definitely be the cheapest and quickest way to figure out what's gnawing on you.

    mts wrote: »
    heres how i see it being a total win situation for you
    1. stay with your wife while she dog sits. this wins husband points since she knows its out of your comfort zone
    2. have sex all over her friends house so that the next time you see her friend look at you condescendingly, you can wink back knowing you did the freaky deaky where she eats her cheerios.
    bowenMoridin889
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Going to third that doesn't sound or look like bed bugs to me.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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    bowen
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Well, I had a friend look into it- a nurse. She doesn't think it's bedbugs because usually those are supposed to itch something fierce, and they're also supposed to be pretty numerous when they do happen.

    She wanted to know if you've been traveling, and also wanted you to try washing your legs with some antibacterial soap, and then hitting the sores with some cortisone cream, and seeing if that might help take care of it.

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  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    My sister in law got red bumps on her legs a few years ago. It looked like bug bites but it actually turned out to being an allergic reaction to some non sugar flavoring in an energy bar she was eating, a lot. So don't rule out the cause being something other then bites.

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  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    Thanks everyone for the input - I really do appreciate all of it!

    As soon as I got home from work, I basically tore apart my bed. Removed the sheets, removed the mattress pad, and then removed the mattress. Then removed the box spring from the frame. Couldn't find much evidence of any bugs anywhere. I just found a heck of a lot of dust - I need to move my bed more often! Between that and the potential bites not fitting the description, I am hoping this isn't bed bug related - even if it is other-bug related. Going to try for a glue trap of some kind to see if that sheds any light on what this is.

    @JaysonFour - Thanks very much for asking your friend! I can say I haven't been traveling since about August of last year. Since then it's just been me going back and forth between work and the grocery store. I've taken her advice and hit it with some antibacterial disinfectant, and just put an adhesive bandage over it for the time being to limit chaffing.

    One thing that's starting to bother me a little more - in line with what you've said @bowen - Is that the newest bite/bump has kind of started to turn purple in the middle. It's almost looking like it's turning to a bruise. I'm going to keep a close eye on it. I suppose it might be a spider bite, too.

    I have been changing my diet recently, too. What you suggest, @Siska, sounds like something to consider as a result. I've had to give up gluten due to an unrelated medical issue, but the swing in my eating habits might be uncovering unknown allergies.

    Thanks again to everyone for the help on this. I'm hoping this is something unrelated to those awful pests, and it's looking like it. Sorry if I was a bit paranoid on this one!

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    I do not blame you. Bed bugs are the fucking worst and are like the one lifeform I wouldn't mind if humanity could find a way to just eliminate entirely.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 25
    Keep a very close eye on them my dude, staph infections can get serious within a matter of hours (most of the time they just kind of get welty and fade away over the course of a week).

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    TetraNitroCubaneVishNub
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Also there are like half a dozen other things this could still be, get an appointment with a dermatologist I'm not convinced it's not something like a CMV blister or another health thing. Could also be a spider bite, sure. They'd be able to hone in quick on what it is usually.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    SkeithBliss 101CelestialBadger
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Yeah, like others have said, these are not necessarily insect bites at all. Could be infections, allergies, or like my dermatologist once told me, "sometimes people keep getting itchy red bumps for no reason, deal with it". She did later conclude that my bumps come from food allergies (although in my case they occur on my arms and tend to be infernally itchy).

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    bowen
  • TetraNitroCubaneTetraNitroCubane The Djinnerator At the bottom of a bottleRegistered User regular
    I will certainly be keeping a close eye on how these bumps develop. I've been sending pictures to my doctor and staying in contact with him, so if things start to go awry, I'll be headed to the dermatologist ASAP.

    No new bumps overnight, and the existing ones (particularly the newest one) looks a LOT less angry after some disinfectant and a bandage. Here's to hoping it calms down.

    Strangely enough, this whole thing is making me remember a weird episode from my youth: When I was very young, I broke out in a weird, bumpy rash and my joints all swelled up. The doctors initially said it was viral arthritis from a flea bite, and to get rid of my cat. Well, fortunately we didn't, because it actually turned out to be a rather rare inflammation disorder, which fortunately passed on its own without intervention. Back then everyone was convinced it was bug bites, but low and behold it was just my body being an interminable bundle of biology. So well noted that this could be something non-bug for sure!

    Will absolutely be watching this carefully. Thank you all again for your advice.

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