Friday, September 24, 2010

Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite...

Its just a saying right? WRONG! These things are really real and on the rise. I recently encountered them in my living space and am on the war path in order to get rid of them. I originally thought I might have them when I woke up one morning with this on my arm..

They are kind of hard to see, but it is six little red bumps in rows of three (the classic feeding style of the bed bug). This was after a night that I had gotten under all my covers for the first time since summer ended. At first I freaked out because the thought of having any bug that close to me is not a good feeling. Then, after talking to my friends and family I calmed down a bit because I was thinking maybe I had gotten bitten at work that Friday before, the bites showed up on a Saturday, and since I work at a University that recently had a bed bug problem in one of its apartment complexes. So, a couple days went by, no bites, then I got another one on the other arm in almost the exact same spot, but this time only one. Ok, now I am almost certain that I do have the little critters living with me, so my freaky panic is back. 

I went online and read everything I could about the bugs, where they hide, breeding methods etc. and all the while trying to figure out where I could've gotten them from. I still haven't figured it out yet, but I know they have got to go! So, after convincing myself that I have them, even though having not seen any evidence (yet) other than the bite marks, I decided that I would just strip my bed and vacuum every inch of the room. This was going to be done on a weekend, since I didn't have to work the next day, so I tried to get some sleep, which has been really, really hard lately. I woke up Friday night around midnight to find one of the little suckers crawling up the sheet! I freaked, hit it with a piece of paper, but it didn't die, so I had to get a piece of tissue and grab it.  The picture below is exactly what it looked like. 

Bed Bug Bites - Adult bed bug feeding on a human
Adult bed bug feeding on a human. (M. Potter, Univ. of Kentucky)

Afterward, I had to go in the bathroom and calm down, prayed, and prayed some more. My sister tried to calm me down after I texted her, but it only worked for a short while.  I tried to go back to sleep, and finally did around 4:30, but didn't get much rest. I got up the next morning and stripped everything off the bed, carefully looking for any signs of bed bug life. I luckily didn't find any, but trust me when I say that does not mean they weren't there. I took all the sheets, comforter, blankets, stuffed pillows, and animals and put them in plastic bags then took the bags outside. I vacuumed every inch of the mattress and surrounding areas before spraying it down with alcohol (someone told me this kills any live bugs), then put on brand new sheets and a blanket that wasn't even in the same room I was bitten.  I also cleaned all the filters in the vacuum, then put them and the entire vacuum outside too.  This seemed to ease my mind for a little while, that is until I saw the spots on the newly put down comforter.

Mine were only about 1/8 of this size and amount, but I knew then that they were not gone and even though I hadn't been bitten again (yet) it was only a matter of time, so I immediately ordered some Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth and these Mattress Covers.  I put the DE all over my room yesterday (good thing its not toxic), and just waiting to see if it kills any of them, then I have to vacuum it up, change the bed (again) and repeat the vacuuming process, encase the mattress and boxspring, then put down more DE. I am praying this eliminates my problem, as it wasn't big to begin with, or so I hope. 

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