They give you the heebie jeebies don't they?
Remember how I mentioned something about bed bugs in a previous post? It has taken me awhile to even want to talk about it- but now that we are finished treating the house, I think it's time.
Shannon, this is for you. :)
A few weeks after returning from our vacation to Bryce Canyon, Nicole was kneeling by the side of her bed, pondering after saying her evening prayers. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed something move on her comforter.
Upon closer examination, she noticed lots of tiny bugs crawling along the seam. She went and got her dad. He looked at them. Neither of them were too alarmed. So she went to bed.
Now there are several things wrong with what happened that night. I am sure that you can figure them out so I will not list them here. But I mean, REALLY?
The next day, Erik casually mentioned to me that I should look at Nicole's bed. There were some bugs all along one of the seams of her comforter. It took me less than a second to put it together. Bed and bugs. That's all I heard.
I immediately went to her room. There they were. Bed bugs.
Just to confirm my suspicion, I looked bed bugs up on the Internet. Yep. We had them.
We tore her room apart, washing everything we could and bagging the rest. We called an exterminator and set up an appointment for two days later (the soonest they could be there). In the meantime, Nicole took up residence in the family room, and I washed every single piece of bedding in the house and vacuumed like a mad woman.
After our initial treatment- where the whole house was sprayed, including every one's mattresses, I started to rest a little easier. We hadn't seen evidence of them anywhere else in the house.
The treatments in the beginning were every two weeks and then the 5 remaining treatments were scheduled a month apart. The reason? The bugs can only be killed when they are alive. So we had to make sure that we got them as soon as any eggs hatched.
For months, I checked the mattresses for signs of an infestation. But we never really saw any evidence of them other than on her comforter. I guess we caught them early on. Thank goodness Nicole is a good girl and says her prayers!
So here's a few things that we learned from this experience:
-Bed bugs are everywhere. Clean hotels, old motels, apartments, houses and even airplanes.
-Be smart. Don't put your luggage on the ground in your hotel room. Always keep it (and your clothing items) up off the floor.
-When you first arrive, check your hotel room for evidence of bed bugs and if you find them, asked to be moved to a different *floor not just another room. Look for dark tiny spots on the mattress (bed bug fecal matter) or for the bugs themselves (most likely along the seams of the mattress). Also, if your room smells sweet- like overripe raspberries, that's another sign of bed bugs.
* the reason you want to be moved to another floor is that if your room is infested, it is very likely that the room down the hall is as well. They tend to move horizontally from room to room.
-When you get home from any vacation, throw all of your items that are not being washed in the dryer. The heat will kill any bugs that have hitched a ride on your belongings. As for your suitcases, put them in the trunk of your car and park your car in the drive way on a nice sunny day. Bed bugs don't like heat.
-If you do find bed bugs in your home (and this one is hard to do), DON'T stop sleeping in that room. Bed bugs like the carbon dioxide that a sleeping person exhales. They are attracted to it. So if you move to another room, so will they.
There you have it. Our bed bug story. I don't think it will keep us from traveling, but we will definitely be more vigilant in checking our rooms out, and keeping things up off the floor.
I hope by sharing this, it will save you some grief and a lot of money. Only now do I understand the saying "Sleep tight- and don't let the bed bugs bite!" Nasty!