How I brought a Bed Bug into my Home

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

Bed bug found inside purse.

Bed bug found inside purse.

I started a new job and took a bag to work; inside the bag were my lunch bag, purse, makeup bag, and other random things. Tonight, I placed the bag on my living room floor and pulled stuff out of my bag, setting it on the couch.

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

My family and I have no symptoms, rashes, or bite marks. I lifted mattresses and checked the two beds in my home and the couch quite thoroughly. I have a phobia of bugs and am particular about cleaning my house. I understand this can and will happen to anyone, but to me? Really lol!

Did I bring home the bed bug from work?

My biggest question is, is it possible that I brought home one bed bug from work and just happened to catch it right away? Or is it 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 have started a new job leads me to believe that your area at work may be infested!

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

Please let me know your thoughts on bringing this bug home today from work that I was lucky enough to catch. I sit 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 don’t want them thinking less of me and possibly blaming other scenarios, which 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. On the other hand, this infestation may have already existed, and management may have known about it. 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 and the mattress and wash the bedding on extremely hot water while drying at a high temperature for about 40 minutes?

Answer: Luck may be on your side, and you caught the 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. I bet that you’ll find that place has an infestation. A plastic container is an excellent idea until you know where the bed bugs are!

Any advice is very much appreciated! I am freaking out so bad that I will be boiling my coach purse tomorrow! So 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 a baby jar up and out of reach to where nothing can get to it. This bug is about 4th stage, does that seem correct? I’ve done my research tonight, itching and searching my house extensively.

Thank you so much for your help and advice!