How To Deal With Bed Bugs Reddit

How to Deal with Bed Bugs when Travelling

Last updated: April 5, 2019 . Written by Laurence Norah
9 Comments

As a traveller, one thing that is certain is that you are going to be sleeping in many different places. With this comes risk, one of which is to wake up one morning covered in tracks of red bites – the possible mark of bed bug bites!

Of course, your initial thought may be that you’ve been the victim of a highly trained vicious mosquito squadron. But look a little closer – because you may have been the victim of something else entirely, something that is going to get fellow travellers all terribly excitable and probably freak you out too – the fearsomely savage and much feared bed bug.

In today’s post I’m going to share with you some knowledge on bed bugs that I picked up from my time spent working in hospitality, and particularly in a hostel in New Zealand, where a great deal of my time was taken up with activities relating to bed bugs and bed bug management. Which wasn’t on the initial job description.

As a result of that experience I have seen and squished far more bed bugs than any person ought to, and spent tremendous amounts of time peering into tiny cracks looking for the evidence of their presence.

Today I’m going to tell how to know if you’ve been nibbled on by bed bugs, how to look out for signs that you’re not sleeping alone, what to do if you’re bitten by bed bugs, how to get rid of bed bug bites, plus what you can do to deal with the bed bug issue. First though, let’s take a look at some facts about bed bugs.

Bed Bug Facts!

Bed bugs are actually pretty amazing little critters! Here are some quick facts for you:

  • Bed bugs can survive for up to a year without food, particularly when it is cold. They can survive temperatures ranges down to around –32C and up to 45C. When it is cold, they go into a sort of hibernation, and pop out of it when it warms up.
  • In the right conditions it takes one pregnant adult female six months to create an infestation of literally hundreds of thousands of bugs. She is bloody awesome at hiding in the meantime.
  • When it gets warmer, bed bugs reproduce faster. This is why bed bug issues are often commonly associated with warmer countries. In higher temperatures, the reproductive cycle goes from 21 days down to as fast as 8 days.
  • Bed bug sex is not a fun thing for the bed bug female. It involves carapace piercing in order to get the necessary fluids inside her. If I was a bed bug girl, I’d want to go bite someone, too.
  • Bed bugs like other bed bugs. They secrete a pheromone that attracts more bed bugs. Sociable little chaps.
  • Bed bugs are bigger than you might think, particularly in their adult stage, which they reach after five junior stages. And I thought one go at puberty was tough. They grow up to 0.5cm long, easily visible by the naked eye, in their adult stage at least.
  • They are attracted to their victims by carbon dioxide and warmth, amongst other things.
  • Bed bugs love travelling almost as much as you do. They or their eggs will happily hitch a ride in your clothes or on your backpack, and then hop off when they reach somewhere new and exciting with fresh fields of blood filled meat to suck on. This makes eradicating them a bit tricky in a well visited bed!

Which Countries Have Bed Bugs?

The reality is that pretty much every temperate to warm country will have bed bugs. So you’ll find bed bugs in Thailand, bed bugs in Australia, bed bugs in the USA – the list goes on. Basically every continent except Antarctica has bed bugs!

It’s also a worsening problem it seems as we are travelling more and more, and our climate seems to be providing warmer days. These two factors combine to produce the ideal conditions for bed bugs to spread, and for bed bugs to breed!

How to know if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs

People react to bed bug bites, like any other bites, in different ways. You may have been munched upon countless times, and have absolutely nothing to show for it, or you may come up in horrific pustules, blisters, or bumps that look just like mosquito bites. Diagnosis can be tricky! Additionally, for some reason, elderly people barely react at all.

The easiest way to tell though is the classic line pattern that the bed bug leaves behind. This will be a nice straight line of red bumps, that looks like something has methodically chewed you up. And that would be because somethinghasmethodically chewed you up!

Bed bug bite example

Often this will be a line of three bumps, sometimes more, depending on a variety of factors, including whether or not the bug was disturbed during the meal, or if the bug didn’t quite find what it was looking for on the first, second, third.. or.. well, you get the idea.

Bed bug bites can also take a while to appear after you’ve been bitten, sometimes up to a couple of weeks. Which makes working out what bit you and when fairly difficult. Very often, you will discount the bites as nothing more than mozzie bites, and move on with your life.

Bed bugs also tend to bite in areas that aren’t covered, however in tropical areas you’re not likely to be sleeping in much anyway. They also don’t usually target armpits or the back of your knees.

How to spot bed bugs in your hotel room or bed – the warning signs!

There is a bit of a misconception that for a place to have bed bugs, it needs to be dirty, or unkempt, or messy. This sadly isn’t the case – the hostel I worked in for example was absolutely fanatic about cleanliness and bed bug management, and we still had the odd bug.

Of course, if your chosen accommodation doesn’t care too much about basic things like cleanliness or tidiness, then you can be pretty damn sure that they aren’t that bothered about bed bugs either. So the two can be linked, even if one doesn’t cause the other.

So how to tell if you might not be sleeping alone? Here are some ways to spot bed bugs:

  • Bed bugs are fairly shy and retiring creatures. They mostly come out at night. In the day time they like to hide, not too far away from their evening meal. Obvious places to look therefore include in your bed frame, and anywhere near the bed that harbours cracks that they can squeeze into. Curtain rails, skirting boards, door frames – even the heads of screws. You get the idea.
  • Bed bugs secrete a black gooey substance. You might find this on the bed sheets after you have been bitten. You can also look for it on the bed frame. Lots of black goo around a hole or crack indicates the likely presence of our friends. If it is recent, you will be able to easily smear it with your fingers.
  • Bed bugs have a distinctive aroma, which is how they attract other bed bugs. It’s a bit like the smell of a stink bug.
  • Bed bugs have six different sizes, from the super tiny to the fairly large. So there are a variety of body shapes and sizes to look out for.
  • Bed bugs are not excited by heat or excess amounts of carbon dioxide. If you think there are bed bugs in a hole, you could try breathing into it, or blowing a hair dryer into it on a low setting. This may force them out of hiding, or boil them in their shells. Whichever works for you. It may also distribute bed bug eggs all over the room.
  • You may find blood stains on the bed after you’ve been bitten. However, you can get these with any bite, so it’s not a guarantee of bed bugs.

What to do if you think you’ve been bitten by bed bugs

If you think you have been bitten by bed bugs in a hotel or other accommodation, the first thing is not to panic. Whilst the bites can be itchy and annoying, bed bugs are not currently known to carry any actual diseases.

So in that sense, you are better off having been bitten by a bed bug than a mosquito.

Photo CDC/ Harvard University, Dr. Gary Alpert; Dr. Harold Harlan;

You should, of course, mention to your host that you think you have been bitten. There are two main reasons to do this:

  • If the problem is with the place you are currently at, then they need to know so that they can do something about it
  • If you were bitten somewhere else, there is a possibility that you have brought the eggs or bugs with you. They therefore need to keep an eye out for future problems. Be aware that they are unlikely to thank you for this.

When you inform your host, a variety of things will happen. It is very likely that, even if the accommodation believes itself to have bed bugs, it will deny this. Admitting to having bed bugs is akin to admitting you have the plague, due to the bad reputation these critters carry.

So unless you have the dead body to prove your case, don’t expect too much in the way of liability being admitted.

Additionally, as the bites can take so long to come up, the accommodation provider may actually have a point, in that you could have brought a problem into their previously clean environment. This is a great way to make you feel guilty and thus shut you up. After all, who is going to tell their friends that they may be a carrier of bed bugs?

What you should see, if they are at all bothered / professional / caring are some efforts by the accommodation provider to find any problems.

Where I worked, if someone seemed to have an issue, we would take their room apart, literally. Bed frames would be disassembled, and any bugs we found would be squished. We also used a heat gun to sterilise cracks in wood or metal. However, if we found bugs or eggs, this was never disclosed to guests.

How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

Treating bed bug bites is much the same as treating any other bites. The application of topical anti-histamine creams or ingestion of anti histamine is about the best you can do. A bite is a sign of an allergic reaction, and anti-histamine can help.

Try not to scratch the bites – your nails are dirty and this will lead to infection.

If you have reacted particularly badly, then get yourself down to the doctors where they may be able to help out with more powerful creams or pills.

Ultimately though, it’s going to be a waiting game where you’ll just have to wait for the bites to subside.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

If you are travelling, as previously mentioned, it can be hard to prevent bed bugs as you are not in control of the situation.

However, you can stop yourself from taking bed bugs home, and take preventative measures in your home.

The first thing you’ll want to do when travelling is to get used to inspecting the accommodation you are staying in for bed bugs. If there are signs of bed bugs, you should ask for another room, or consider another property. If the room has bed bugs, it is very likely that some of these bugs might get into your luggage, and that you will take them home with you.

You also can take some preventative measures like spraying your luggage with one of the bed bug sprays mentioned further on in the post. You might also want to invest in a heating device which will heat your luggage up above a temperature which kills bed bugs, thus sanitizing your belongings.

For your home, we would suggest investing in mattress covers for your beds. This stops bed bugs getting into the mattress, which is one of the most common places for them to hide. It also means you don’t need to discard of your mattress if you do get bed bugs, which can be costly if you have a nice mattress. See here for another well reviewed mattress protector.

The main thing to consider is how bed bugs might get into your property. The most common ways are for you to bring them back from a trip in your luggage, or for guests to bring them when they visit. Mattress covers can help in guest rooms, and careful inspection of your guests room after they leave is also a wise idea.

Another common vector for bed bugs is through furniture. We would advise against buying second hand furniture for this reason, as it can be very hard to tell if it is home to bed bugs.

There are a range of other products to help you deal with bed bugs in the home. These include electronic ultrasonic repelling devices, bed bug traps for your bed legs, and diatomaceous earth, which is a non-toxic substance that kills insects.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

The bad news about bed bugs is that in a well visited environment like a hostel or hotel, it is pretty much impossible to eradicate bed bugs.

This is because even if you were able to find and kill every last egg, nymph and adult from the premises, all it takes is one new arrival with a pregnant adult female to turn up, and the problem starts all over again. In a warm climate where the bugs can breed quickly, the problem is only going to be worse.

In such an environment, the best that can be done is to try to manage and stay on top of the problem. Regular inspections of sleeping areas, blocking up inviting cracks and the occasional use of some sort of anti-bed bug chemicals are the best that can be done so that the issue stays small – akin to a few mosquitoes flying in through a window at night, rather than spiralling out of control into a serious infestation.

Speaking of chemicals, another problem arises. The most effective chemicals for properly killing off the whole bed bug lifecycle are also not exactly human friendly. Fumigating a room is actually therefore more hazardous to human health than a few bites is ever going to be – and in fact more people have probably died from reactions to the anti bed bug chemicals than from actual bed bug bites. However, there are some non-toxic options, one of which I have listed below.

Products to help you deal with Bed Bugs

There are some products you can get to help stop that most nightmare of all situations – taking the bed bugs from your travels to your home, as well as other sprays for killing bugs generally.

  • EcoRaider is one of the better natural options for killing bed bugs. This is available from the manufacturer, and also on eBay here. In a study by the US Entomological Society of America, this was the only natural bed-bug killing product that effectively killed both bed bug nymphs and bed bug eggs
  • The other recommended product from the above study is this Bed Bug Spray by Bed Bug Patrol, available on Amazon. This was also successful against bed bugs. It’s also highly rated by commentators, as well as being both organic and non-toxic.
  • This is another well rated natural product available on Amazon
  • Electronic repellers like this work by emitting ultrasonic sounds to deter a range of insects, including bed bugs
  • There are a wealth of other options also available from both Amazon.com and UK.
  • This Travel Sized Luggage Spray by Bed Bug Patrol on Amazon.com is designed to help protect you from bringing the bed bugs back from your travels – possibly the worst outcome of any bed bug encounter!

If you do have a problem in your home, it is likely that you will have to call in professionals to fully clean out your house. They will use all sorts of nasty chemicals, and you will probably have to move out for a while. That is the only way to really sort out the problem once and for all.

And that is that for bed bugs! If you’ve got any comments, questions or experiences to share from your travels, including horrific photos, don’t be afraid to share them below! Otherwise happy travels, and remember, sleep tight.. don’t let the bed bugs bite!

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About the authors

Laurence and Jessica Norah are the British-American travel blogging couple behind photography & adventure travel blog Finding the Universe and luxury / couples travel blog Independent Travel Cats.

We’ve been running this site since 2010. We’re full time professional travel bloggers, and we visit all the places we write about personally. All our content is based on our own first hand travel experiences, and we take all the photos you see on our sites. Read more about us here.

You can also join our facebook group to talk all things travel and photography related!

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There are 9 comments on this post

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Does regular bug spray kill them? I’ve gotten bit in Sarajevo and no clue where to find bed bug spray for my luggage.

As far as I know, no it doesn’t. They are tough critters to kill!

I have read all sorts of post about bedbugs and none of them say anything about bedbugs being in your vehicle so my question is if you Go to someone’s house for a couple hours that has bedbugs and then get in your vehicle are you and your vehicle contaminated

Laurence Norah says

It’s hard to answer this. Bedbugs are more likely to be transported on luggage rather than people, so if you don’t take anything into the house, it is unlikely they will jump on you and then into your car and then on into your house. And as there isn’t a source of food in the car, it’s not an attractive place to live for them either. So I would say that the chances are low, but not impossible of course.

Thank you for telling a blog about dealing with bed bug as traveler. It is very much a serious issue. The information provided is very relevant.

Laurence Norah says

Great tips on how to clean a room with suspected bugs – would love some recommendations for those who have been bitten in hotels and are now fearful of bringing them home! I am covered in bed bug bites after backpacking through South America and now am terrified I will introduce them to my own bed and have no idea what to do!

Laurence Norah says

So the only thing that really works is heat – bugs can’t handle temperatures higher than 117F – 122F. So your best option is to wash everything you can (clothes, bag etc..) at a high heat. If you have items you can’t heat to that temperature, the safest option is to throw them out 🙁

The HireAHelper Blog Blog

How Do Movers Deal With Bed Bugs?

[Synopsis: Bed bugs are a concern for movers and customers. Here are some ways to deal with them.]

We movers aren’t the only ones who are busiest in the summer…the warmest time of the year is also peak season for bed bugs.

Rarely if ever do we have time to inspect people’s homes – their furniture and their mattresses and their sheets and blankets – while we are trying to get them out of their old home and into their new one. But there are a few ways we can decrease the likelihood of those tiny critters getting into our own pads and blankets and trucks.

Mover Strategies

In this Global News piece , moving company AMJ Campbell explains how they wash and inspect the insides of their trucks every day, thoroughly wrap couches and mattresses where bed bugs are often found and keep their furniture pads neat and clean. We-Haul Movers, meanwhile, actually use bug-killing chemicals in their trucks, plus they change their blankets every two years.

Other strategies for eliminating the possible spread of bed bugs include using a space heater to bring the inside of the truck to a temperature that will kill any bugs or eggs that may be hiding ( after the truck has been unloaded) and fumigating trucks and any other spaces that may be harboring the vermin (again, after the unload.)

What Some Movers Do To Prevent Bed Bugs

An industry has actually developed to deal with the problem. The Moving Doctor of Long Island, NY offers a program to certify moving companies as bug-free through a combination of fumigation, canine inspection and employee training in bed bug detection. Bronx-based iMoveGREEN disinfects their dollies and gets their trucks inspected by bug-sniffing dogs, and has plans to begin using commercial dryers to heat their furniture pads and kill any critters. The Wall Street Journal reports that companies like iMoveGREEN are now presenting their bug-free certification to their customers, as bed bugs become an increasingly prevalent concern among people on the move.

Some moving companies are even going on the offensive, telling customers whose homes show traces of bed bugs that they need to fumigate before the company will move them.

As the summer winds down and your evening hours (minutes?) open up, consider giving your trucks and pads a thorough cleaning with a special eye on those tiny little bugs that are causing some big problems.

Bedbugs

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

When Bedbugs Bite

Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

Continued

Signs of Infestation

If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

Bedbug Treatments

Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

  • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
  • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

Continued

Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

Sources

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

DEALING WITH BED BUGS IN CANADA

DEALING WITH BED BUGS IN CANADA

DOES CANADA NOT WANT ME TO GET RID OF MY BED BUGS.

Can’t buy Cimexa or Nuvan strips. How am I going to treat my over 1500$ worth of engineering textbooks that I had intended to keep indefinitely. Or my other books. Or my shoes. Or my craft supplies. Or my blender. Or my TV. AHHHHHHHHH

Quebec rental law states that you cannot terminate your lease early unless you are able to negotiate with your landlord. Unfortunately my landlord is a huge company managing hundreds of rental properties in Montreal and though they have had my unit exterminated (4 times already since December) they are not properly dealing with the units adjacent to mine. Furthermore, since they are a big company they don’t give a fuck about the pschological problems and money that im throwing down the drain due to this issue. My building is as close to low-income housing as you can get without it explicitly being low income housing.

Quebec rental law also does not mandate the landlord to inform you of infestations in the building. We moved in without knowing the whole building had been dealing with on and off infestations for over 5 years. Futhermore there was (and still is) an active infestation in the apartment below us.

Pest control companies only use sprays and borax. WHICH SUCKS when I can garrentee they are hiding in the walls.

Pest control company comes for the first extermination after I literally found a live bed bug on the bed while i was trying to fall asleep. They say they didn’t find anything. low and behold they are back in 1.5 months later when I literally found a nest :(.

This same company says they inspected the apartments adjacent to mine and they were cleared. This is despite the fact that my neighbour told me he’s given up on the issue and that he still has them. Again this is the same company who said I didn’t have any when they inspected during the first extermination.

Called the vet about getting advantage or revolution for my cat. They said they dont perscribe drugs for cats due to bed bugs.

Home depot/Canadian tire/Rona dont sell plastic totes with gaskets so I have to seal my belongings in the totes with duck tape.

The only plastic covers (for the box spring) I could fine are breathable and have about 18 holes in them which i had to cover individually with duck tape.

Literally my quality of life has been ruined due to this. All of my and my boyfriend’s clothes are either in plastic bags or large plastic totes (for the stuff I need daily). All out belongings are in plastic totes. We got rid of our couch because it was impossible to dismantle and we kept finding the bugs on it. Now all we have to sit on is hard chairs. My back has been sore for weeks. My boyfriend is covered in bites all the time.

About 3 weeks ago we had an extermination. We were away while it happened. When we came back a week later we kept finding live bed bugs everyday. A week ago we had another extermination. THE SUCKERS ARE STILL ALIVE, bitting us daily in our sleep. We found 2 in the bath tub this morning, and i have no idea how they got in there but I saw a small crack on the ceiling.

Their are gaps everywhere along the baseboards in the apartment. The handy work is shotty at best. Some of the gaps between the flooring and the wall are big enough for me to stick my pinky finger through. I can’t have anyone over to the house.

Now we have to negotiate with our landlord to terminate the lease this summer early. I do not, in good conscious , feel comfortable lease transferring this hell hole to some unwitting person. My mom and my boyfriends Mom think we should just stop paying the rent. However if we do this we could be sued for damages in the Quebec rental board. When and if we can move we are getting rid of all our furniture. I bought my bed from sears outlet 5 years ago for 400$. It is one of the most expensive things I own and now I have to throw it out because its covered in eggs and the exterminators think they are living in the mattress. Im starting a master’s and have funding but barley enough to get by day to day. My boyfriend works at a call center and makes 15$/hr. We have almost no savings and probably are only gonna be able to afford the cheapest ikea mattress when we move out.

Im so paranoid about moving my belongings with me. I intent to wash all dishes and kitchen stuff it very hot soppy water. But im worried about my books and other belongings in the bins. Also about the bins themselves. Not sure if the bins might have eggs on the outside of them as they are so damn hard to see.

Any advice is helpful. This isn’t my first rodeo on this sub but it feels good to get all of these frustrations out.

How do you deal with things?

How do you deal with things?

How do you handle living with bedbugs? I don’t want to tell people. I’ve had people stop talking to me because of it. My therapist won’t see me in her office anymore. I don’t have many people to talk to when I’m upset about it because people don’t know. I feel like it’s never going to go away. I can’t afford to keep putting my clothes in the dryer everytime. I’m terrified that I’m going to give them to other people. I feel apart from people in my life who I don’t talk to about it. It stressed me out to the point where I can’t drive sometimes. Idk what to do. I feel like I have this secret contagious disease.

I literally came to post the same thing. I have never been so overwhelmed by something. My apartment checked for them in Feb and said they saw nothing. Flash forward to this past weekend when I found a ton and threw my bed away. I call them and they say they have to inspect again because they won’t spray with out seeing them. WHY WOULD I MAKE THIS UP. I am obsessing over this and im losing sleep because of it. I feel disgusting and I hate it all.

Put them in something. A jar, a bag, what have you. I had a landlord do the same thing and I just handed over the container when they arrived to do their half assed inspection.

From reading some of your posts, this is what really jumps out to me:

Put your head together with your parents and figure out a way to hire a professional to treat your home. You can find someone cheaper than $1200 (I think you mentioned this rate in another post). Doing it yourself will be a long, drawn out, nightmare – like pulling the Band Aid off really slowly. You said that you are someone who struggles with anxiety (me too!!) and trying to deal with BB on your own is a massive recipe for sending your anxiety through the roof.

TBH I don’t understand why your parents aren’t getting more involved (I bet if they themselves reacted to the bites, like you, that they would be a lot more motivated to fix the problem!). They can’t just let the bugs take over the house. They’ll never be able to have company again, once it gets bad enough. I obviously don’t know your parents, or your dynamic with them, or the particulars of the situation. It just seems odd to me that they’re allowing this to go on, and you’re the only one dealing with it. Didn’t you write that they were dismissing the problem as being in your head?

I don’t know if you are looking for a pep talk, or for emotional validation that what you’re going through sucks. Yes, it sucks. There’s a reason BB are so dreaded, not bc they harm you or make you sick, and you don’t even know they’re biting you most of the time. They’re dreaded bc they’re so damn hard to get rid of.

It sounds from your posts like you are really suffering, and if I were you I would take the time to call around and get different estimates on treatments – call local exterminators with a lot of experience treating BB, not the big national chains like Terminix.

If things have gotten so bad that your therapist says he/she won’t see you at their office anymore, that means this has been going on for a while. Sorry lady, but you’re going to have to get creative and find the money for a professional. What you’re going through is incredibly psychologically stressful but there is a solution. The good news is that it’s most def not a disease, and you will walk away from this with your health intact.

I can relate all too well. My daughter and I keep making excuses to our friends as to why they can’t come over. ’For some reason it seems that they haven’t spread to the couch, so we are camping there- blankets, clothes, and all. I haven’t slept on on my bed for months. I shelled out for mattress casings (box, too) for kiddos bed, and she hasn’t had bites since, but we are wary. I plan to throw out my mattress and box spring since that’s where they were found, but don’t want to buy a new bed just so they can infest that one. Will mattress and box spring casings help that?
For what it’s worth, I’ve had my apartment sprayed 3 times. I’ve only found 5 bugs or so, but every time I sleep on my bed, I get chewed up. I’m also afraid if I tell my therapist I’ll be banned, too.

I know it sucks but you shouldn’t change where you sleep, they will find you and spread 😱

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