Do I Have Bedbugs?

No one wants to consider the subject, but sometimes the question has to be asked: do I have bed bugs? Frankly, most people probably presume only sloppy, unsanitary individuals have an infestation of nightly biters. Actually, anyone can suffer for an attack of bedbugs, similar to a problem with ants or other insects.

For example, consider the following real-life story:

At the age of seventeen, I graduated from high school, and prepared to go to college 1,000 miles away from home. I was so excited! I was going to be taking care of myself, and being my own boss, for the first time in my life! What teenager does not look forward to independence?

Having a roommate, and sleeping on a bed that also doubled as living room furniture during the day was no problem, or so I thought. I was just glad to be my own person. However, I soon found out, I did have a problem that I had no idea how to solve.

I kept waking up in the morning and feeling itchy all over. I had no idea why. Was I using a different laundry detergent than Mom? Was I allergic to something I had not been exposed to at home? So, I continued to itch.

When the itching became really annoying, I looked to see little tiny red spots on my skin. Too small for chicken pox, which I had as a child, and not anything like I had seen before, I had to be allergic to something in the dorm room, a classroom, or something.

Then, one morning, I pulled back the sheets and saw very small red spots on the white material. Worse yet, they moved!! Ugh! The question do I have bed bugs had been answered in the affirmative.

Now, by nature, I had never been the best housekeeper. But, I was not a dirty person either. However, I had a roommate that actual used the white glove test on her side of the room. I certainly was not going to confess an infestation of bed bugs!

Unfortunately, I did not have the information to understand that bed bugs can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. If the little blood suckers can find an opening, sleeping people are a veritable smorgasbord through the night. With built in anesthesia, the clueless snoozer will not feel an attack until the following morning, when the itsy bitsy biters are in hiding. Plus, once infesting, the bed bugs can be difficult to exterminate.

Young and embarrassed, I did not ask for an exterminator; I assumed I was somehow responsible for my nightly discomfort, and I kept quiet. In reality, the problem may have existed in that room years before I was ever a resident. Plus, other students probably were suffering from the same situation, even my meticulously clean roommate.

If I would have told someone, I would have learned washing my bedding in extremely hot water would be recommended, a steam-cleaner would have been implemented to clean the carpets and upholstery, and an exterminator would be necessary to keep the little insects, with voracious appetites, from feasting on my body in the future. Plus, the room, and those of my dorm mates could have been checked for leaks, and caulking could have kept unwanted guests from spending the night.

So, if you are asking yourself the same question: “do I have bed bugs”, do not suffer in silence from embarrassment and false shame. Wash all bedding in hot water. Pillows and other items, that cannot be washed, can be frozen to kill the hungry nighttime moochers. Invest in a steam cleaner. Then, to make sure the problem will not reoccur, call an exterminator and get out the caulking gun. Sleep in peace, knowing you are not being a midnight snack.