What is a Bed Bug Infestation Like?
If the details of this fictional story sound familiar, you could have bed bugs.
This fictional story describes how a bed bug infestation might start and how you might become aware of it. You may think it is overly dramatic. But this generic composite is created from details drawn from numerous true stories. If you saw the stories people send in on a regular basis, you would know that none of this is an exaggeration. That is what makes it particularly disturbing...
You've just come back from a business trip, unpacked your suitcase and put away your clothes. Casting your mind back over the trip you think the hotel must use some kind of detergent that irritated your skin. You have a few small bumps on one of your arms. Maybe it was the hotel soap? The bumps itch a little but you're trying to ignore them. They go away and you think nothing about them.
A short time after that you notice the itchy bumps are back. They're in different places but feel the same. You go to the doctor and she prescribes a cream to help control the itching.
Next time you change your sheets, you notice dark reddish brown streaks on the mattress. Those are new.
You decide to check the other side of the mattress. Then you find a little bug in the seam near the headboard. It's about 1/4 of an inch. Flattish and red-brown. No wings.
You go on the internet and look at different bugs. Clicking around at different bug pictures, you end up here at BedBugInfo.com. After seeing what bed bugs look like, what an infested mattress looks like, how bed bug bites look---it all falls into place. You realize you have a bed bug infestation. You probably picked it up at the hotel. You never thought to check for them before you checked in. The more you read about bed bugs, the more worried you become.
Next you go back to your bed you turn pull up the box spring and look at the underside. More bed bugs near the plastic end-piece. You also notice small whitish things that look like balls along the bottom seam of your mattress, along with more of the brown streaks.
You get the vaccuum and clean everything up as best as you can, scrubbing the mattress and box spring with a rag and some lysol. It's too late to do anything else about it tonight. You'll call a bed bugs exterminator tomorrow.
But you can't sleep because you imagine bed bugs biting you. You imagine them crawling in your bed, all over you, while you're laying down. You move to the couch (bad idea---they might hitch a ride from the bed to the couch) but you still can't sleep because your mind is filled with the images and sensations of bed bugs crawling on you and biting you.
If this story sounds familiar and you have bed bugs, you should probably find a good bed bugs exterminator to come assess the situation.
If you don't have a bed bug infestation and want to keep it that way, the best thing you can do is learn how to protect yourself. Read about bed bug protection at home and bed bug protection tips for travel. Both will give you the best chance of avoiding bed bugs and keeping them out of your home.