As luck would have it, many days worth of bites on her arms, neck, and face caused a terrible night of sleep for her. From what she reports, she was awoken by the worst burning and itching she has ever felt at 4:30 AM, and quickly went on the hunt for more anti-itch cream in her hotel room. Then remembering what I had said the previous day, she turned back all of the blankets and sheets on her bed for further investigation. To her shock and dismay, there they were…crawling in her bed…crawling on her husband…bed bugs…loads of them! Some delightfully happy red plump ones, some still searching for a blood meal. Some were full grown like an apple seed and some were still quite small and somewhat translucent in color. Completely freaked out, she began killing them. She was smart and saved a good sized batch to take to the hotel management the next morning.
Her husband was lucky in that he did not suffer the affects of the bed bug bites that he surely received. My friend however is covered in painful welts that burn and itch. The itching and swelling that is caused by bed bugs is an allergic reaction to the bites she received. Some people do not have a reaction, some people have a mild reaction, and others suffer a horrible reaction. Some people even have residual scarring because of bed bug bites. Not having any reaction to bed bug bites is one of the reasons that bed bugs are spread so easily from place to place. Some people simply don’t know that they have them.
Please check back on Tuesday for the conclusion to this story.
According to an article at treehugger.com the EPA is considering allowing the use of banned chemicals to fight bed bugs, including DDT which was banned in the 1970’s but was effective at killing bed bugs.
The state of Ohio’s Department of Agriculture is asking for an emergency exemption so they can use the insecticide known as Propoxur in homes to kill bed bugs. Propuxur is used in commercial buildings. According to the Columbus Dispatch over a dozen states are supporting the exemption that has been asked for by Ohio.
Should the EPA allow previously banned chemicals to be used to fight bed bugs? It would be interesting to see the results of a survey performed in New Jersey, New York City, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn on the issue of bed bugs and banned insecticides. New York City bed bugs are not popular.
I knew it was going to happen to someone, actually to many people who were traveling this past Thanksgiving holiday. I just didn’t know it would happen to someone that I actually know!
A friend of mine posted a comment on Facebook that caught my attention a few days ago. She was traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday and she posted a simple line that said…”Help! What could possibly be biting me at this time of the year?” Knowing what I know about bed bugs, and reading her previous entries where she stated that she was traveling to Salisbury, Maryland for the holiday; I had a sneaking suspicion what could be biting her. So I posted back on her Wall a simple line…”Did you get the bites while you were sleeping?” Several other people wrote back as well giving other suggestions as to what could possibly be making her itch…new laundry soap, chiggers, fleas, and mosquitoes etc. She responded with an overall response to everyone and a specific one to me saying that she thought of bed bugs, but had “searched the sheets that afternoon and found no bugs lurking about.” I must admit that I was glad to find someone who actually believed that bed bugs exist, because so many people think they don’t….until they have their own nightmare encounter of course.
Knowing that there is sometimes a stigma attached to having bed bugs; I did not want to post too much information on her Facebook Wall so I sent her a personal email loaded with extensive details about bed bugs. I explained to her that it is very possible that bed bugs would not actually be on the mattress or in the sheets at all as they are masters at hiding and could easily be anywhere in the hotel room, just waiting until it was dinnertime once again. I told her that most of the time, bed bugs will not even feed until sometime around 4 a.m. until dawn and this is why many people never see a bed bug until the infestation is out of control.
Please check back on Thursday for the continuation to this story.