Bed Bugs and More…..
December 26, 2016
BED BUGS!!! Just the name of these little blood sucking parasites is enough to have me running down a hallway faster then I realized I could. Unfortunately, I have had the pleasure of sharing my life with bed bugs in a professional and personal setting. The smart sensible part of my brain has come to accept that bed bugs are a part of life; they are very common in any environment where travel and sleeping occur. The emotional irrational part of my brain causes me to itch the minute I hear the word. So yes, as I write this blog about my experience with bed bugs I am itching and scratching.
I have worked in hospitality for most of my professional career, and over 20 years ago although the cases I encountered with bed bugs were rare, it did occur but it was not a regular daily complaint from the guests I encountered. Then the bed bug explosion over the past 15 years, and what an explosion! I can remember the first few guests would show me their arms, legs or back complaining of getting bit while they slept.
My first impulse was to blame a spider for being the guilty party. In my mind what other villain could be as sneaky and evil as to bite a person while they slept. The villain was exposed but proved to be a master at avoiding all attempts of extermination. At least a spider is big enough to see and goes splat when it meets the heel of a shoe.
I soon learned that bed bugs are the size of a pin head. They are so tiny that my guests would lie down in bed and would not even be able to see the microscopic blood suckers. Imagine sleeping with hundreds of tiny, tiny vampires! That explains the numerous itching bites my guests woke with. I have even witnessed where two people sleeping in the same bed upon waking, find out that only one of them had been dinner the night before. Is it possible that bed bugs are that lazy?
After all they love to travel for free. Bed bugs are notorious for jumping into a suitcase and traveling thousands of miles to their new destination. Once they arrive to their new location and jump into the new bed, bed bugs most definitely never worry about going back to wherever it was they came from.
Unless the infestation is so bad that the sheets appear to be haunted and moving on their own the best way to detect bed bugs is by lifting the corner of a mattress and inspecting the seams on the underneath. I am sure there are other methods, but this is the way I was taught. I have heard of dogs trained to detect bed bugs, huge kudos to those well trained dogs proving they are indeed man’s best friend. Once bed bugs are detected the fun begins. Man vs. Bug, this is not a new battle nor is it one that is close to over. When the battle is against bed bugs get ready to spend time and money. Everything on the bed needs to be washed, yes ALL linens, bedding pillows ECT. The mattress has to be cleaned with chemicals that are going to kill these bugs. The goal is to go through this once, but having to repeat with a few rounds of the treatment is not unusual.
Dealing with bed bugs is creepy when you’re not the person offering the bugs nightly nutritional needs. Myself and some family members decided to treat ourselves to a getaway. We really did not travel to far, just enough to be away from home but not far enough that our trip time was eaten up in travel time. We got to our villa excited to begin to relax and forget about the daily grind. My cousin decided to take a nap and you guessed it, woke up with itchy bites. I knew all too well what the causes of the bites were…...blood sucking bed bugs.
The company we rented the villa from was very kind and quick to move us. This just further confirmed what was sharing my cousin’s bed. Even after getting moved to a bug free villa I spent the next three days wondering if any of the bed bugs decided they were ready to travel somewhere else and chose my suitcase as a mode of transportation.
Bed bugs are on my list of top 10 nasty bugs. They are so tiny even super strength 20/20 vision cannot always see them. The tiny size allows them to travel in a bag or suitcase unseen. I’m not sure how often they have to feed but it appears they can go at a minimum of multiple days without blood or water. Just because they are insects it is safe to say breeding is popular and increases their numbers quickly and regularly. As a result of bed bugs ruining vacations our awareness, vigilance and detection methods have improved, this is the only good news that I can offer.
Please do not take this good news and think that the battle has been won. It is the responsibility of every person who even thinks that their room may have bed bugs to notify the management team where you are staying. Bed bugs in your bed may have come from a foreign land but once they set up camp in their new destination remember they have no plans of going back home.
New Jersey bed bug treatment and prevention services.