Is it possible for bed bugs to crawl but not bite when they are in their younger stages? Recently, every time I lay my hands or legs on a particular piece of furniture (a wooden chair) in my house, I can feel a crawling sensation. To eliminate the possibility that this is a phantom itch, I also called a friend to independently verify this. Though I can't see anything visible to the naked eye, I was wondering if this could be the indications of a mild bed bug infestation. Is there anything that I can do to detect bedbugs "at this stage"? I know there are a lot of DIY suggestions in this site for detection post infestation.

  • Try a magnifying glass
    – Steven
    Oct 11, 2014 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


Wood isn't going to harbor bedbugs. Upholstery might, but if this is your trigger I would bet dollars to donuts that this is simply autosuggestion.

When I was a kid, I had my brother conditioned to the point where I just said "ants" and he'd start to itch, whether ants were possible or not... It really isn't hard to convince yourself that you might feel something when nothing is there, or to convince others by suggesting the idea to them... even unintentionally by scratching more than usual.

(My most successful bit of suggestion was many years later, as a college student. I'd learned a bit about self-hypnosis, and I'd learned that under some circumstances I could distort my vision by deliberately misinterpreting perspective. When I was particularly bored, I would sometimes "levitate" an object by momentarily convincing myself that it was a bit closer to me than it actually was, and therefore had to be floating over the floor or table rather than sitting on it. One day some friends and I were in a restaurant, waiting for our order, and I started playing with this... and one of them noticed me staring fixedly at the salt shaker, with my body language suggesting that I was pulling upward on it, and for a moment got caught in the illusion. Shocked the heck out of him...)

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