Guys, I’m freaking out. Is it possible for a bed bug infestation to be entirely invisible??

So, here’s the backstory. About four or five months ago, I started noticing these mystery bites. I only got one at a time, every few days/weeks, and they were often on my legs. I thought they were mosquito bites. I’m terribly allergic to mosquitos so when they swelled into huge welts that were sometimes five inches in diameter and would need Benadryl to bring the swelling down, I wasn’t actually overly surprised. I’d notice a bite once every few weeks and I’d only get them when I slept over at my boyfriend’s house, so I figured I was just getting bitten by mosquitos on the balcony or something. Then, recently, the bites started appearing more often. Last week, I got six of them across my back - huge, angry, red welts that itched like crazy and blistered. One showed up mysteriously on my arm while I was napping on the couch - and it was definitely not there before I laid down. We started to suspect bed bugs, but we couldn’t find any trace of them. We ripped the pillows and cushions off the couch, vacuumed the couch, pulled the sheets off the bed, lifted up the mattress, washed the sheets in hot water. We couldn’t see anything that looked bug-like - except for some dirt underneath the couch cushions that we vacuumed up.

I spend a lot of time at my boyfriend’s place, maybe four nights a week, but this past week he was in LA for work and I didn’t sleep at his place since Sunday. The bites on my back healed and no new ones appeared. Then, last night, I was reading in bed and I felt something slightly itchy on my neck. I got up to check and sure enough - three fresh welts had appeared on my neck. I started ripping up the bed, searching for the source of the bites, and I found one small bug. It was about 5 mm wide, flat, roundish and slightly tapered, brown. It looked just like a bed bug.

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But there was only one! I inspected the mattress, lifted it up, looked through all the folds and creases, pulled the pillows out of their cases, looked inside....nothing. Not even a speck. I eventually went warily back to bed, but I woke up this morning to a DOZEN new bites - mostly along my arms, neck and shoulder, and one on my face!

I am freaking out and so is my boyfriend. He just got home from LA after a red-eye and is sleeping right now because he’s totally exhausted.He hasn’t really gotten bitten. He got one or two bites on his elbow, but mostly it’s been me. I read that some people don’t react to bed bug bites - so I think perhaps I’m just severely allergic to them and that’s why I’m swelling up so much and he doesn’t really have any bites at all??

I really don’t know, but I am pretty sure it’s an infestation of some sort. I googled a TON of pictures of bed bug infestations and all of them look pretty obvious to me. Like, you can visually see the little fuckers and their droppings/shells everywhere. So, could it be INSIDE the mattress/pillows?? And that’s why we can’t see them? How could we have had bed bugs for five months and only noticed now? Don’t they infest places really quickly? How is it possible we can’t see any evidence of an infestation?

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I am freaking out. I’m moving into his place at the end of the month. We really need to do something about this, but I have no idea what to do. Anyone have any advice?