I received an email yesterday from a person that was smart enough to capture a bed bug which likely came from her place of employment – I’ve included her story and questions below for the benefit of those in the same situation:

I started a new job and take a bag to work, inside the bag is my lunch bag, my purse, makeup bag and a few other random things. Tonight I place the bag on my living room floor and was pulling stuff out of my bag setting it on the couch.

About 15 minutes later I notice a bug scurrying across my couch. I’m not sure why I felt a pretty strong urge to go grab a baggie to put the bug in. I’ve never in my life seen a bed bug never known anybody to have them.

Bed bug crawled into purse while at work!

My family and I have no symptoms, no rashes no bite marks, I lifted mattresses and Checked the two beds in my home, as well as the couch quite thoroughly. I have a phobia of bugs, I am pretty particular on cleaning my house, I do understand that this can and will happen to anyone, but to me, really lol!

My biggest question is, is it possible that I brought home one single bed bug from work and I just happened to catch it right away? Or isn’t possible we have a problem even though there are absolutely zero signs such as fecal matter, tiny blood stains bite marks and so on?

Answer: The fact you have not found signs of bed bugs at home and having started a new job leads me to believe that your area at work may be infested!

How ironic that I come home from work set on the couch, go through my bag and find a bed bug! During my time in the medical field did I ever once encounter a bed bug, never that I’ve known of. I am 99% sure this is exactly what I am dealing with, please see the picture above.

Please let me know your thoughts on the possibility of bringing this bug home today from work that I was lucky enough to catch. I set in a cubicle at work, with my bag on the floor at my feet.

My other question is do I say something to a supervisor at work? I am embarrassed and I don’t want them thinking less of me and possibly blaming other scenarios, which in reality, is absolutely possible.

Answer: You don’t have any proof and although unlikely, it is possible that the bug came from somewhere else. You’re the new person at work and it would be easy for you to be blamed for an infestation – an infestation that may have already existed and that management may have known about. Who knows, perhaps this was a known issue with the person before you?

My father has one of those steam cleaners; would it be beneficial if I were to borrow that and steam clean my hardwood floors, the mattress and wash the bedding on extremely hot water while drying at a high temperature for about 40 minutes?

Answer: It’s very possible luck is on your side and that you caught the one and only bug. Unless you see another bed bug or signs of bites, I’d instead focus on your work environment – search your desk up and down but don’t let people see you doing it. My bet is that you’ll find that place has an infestation. Until you know for sure where the bed bugs are, a plastic container is an excellent idea!

Any advice is very much appreciated! I am freaking out so bad that tomorrow I will be boiling my coach purse! Please let me know any thoughts and ideas as I cannot live with the thought of bed bugs!

Right now I have it in a plastic baggie inside of a baby jar up and out of reach, to where nothing can get to it. I’m guessing this bug to be about 4th stage, does that seem correct? Ive done my research tonight, itching, searching my house extensively.

Thank you so much for your help and advice!

Concerned…