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Even worse...anyone here ever had to deal with bedbugs? (long)

15 years ago

When I was little our mom used to tuck us into bed and say "Nighty night, sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite!" We used to think they were just imaginary forward 40 years and I learned the terrible truth. I admit I was previously guilty of assuming places with bedbugs must be dirty. But when they occurred in my own home, which has only two germaphobic adults, I realized they can survive even the most pristine environment, because they feed on blood, not dirt, lol.

To make a long story short, we luckily didn't get an 'infestation' because we discovered the problem really early. DH came home from a business trip, and mentioned about 3 weeks later that he must have developed an allergy to laundry detergent, because he'd awakened every morning during his hotel stay with a few hives, and the same was happening at home. Right away that sent off alarm bells, because I highly doubted the hotel used the exact same detergent as we use, and DH has never been allergic to anything before.

I told him maybe the hotel had bedbugs and he'd brought some home in his suitcase. He laughed it off, saying it was a really elegant hotel that was very clean, but I wasn't convinced. We store our empty suitcases under our bed, and I insisted we inspect his with a magnifying glass. Sure enough there was a tiny almost microscopic grouping of eggs in one of the pocket compartments, and a little live bug in another! We then tore apart the bed and found another little group of eggs attached to the underside of our wood boxspring.

I asked DH where he stored his suitcase at the hotel, and he said in the closet. But he had it on the bed the night he arrived to unpack, and again the morning he left, to pack for home. I believe a pregnant female somehow got into his suitcase. We were VERY fortunate to solve the problem by simply removing the eggs and disinfecting the boxsping and his suitcase with Lysol spray, and washing all the bedding in hot water, just to make sure.

We never actually found anything on either the mattress or the bedding, so I'm thinking she must have left the suitcase at night, crawled up the mattress and found DH! But if DH had not mentioned his hives to me for a few more days, perhaps those two clusters of eggs would have hatched and we'd have had a far worse problem on our hands. Somehow I was never bitten, probably because DH's suitcase was kept under his side of the bed, and she was happy enough with him and didn't bother with me! But we disinfected the hardwood floor, baseboards and washed all our clothers, just in case she had wandered around laying more eggs somewhere else.

The next morning DH had no hives, and that was the end of it. But since then I've heard absolute horror stories of bedbug infestations. Apparently they've had a comeback in North America, not seen by exterminators since the 1950's. So take warning, if you travel, DO NOT put your suitcase on the bed to pack or unpack, even in an elegant hotel.

I called the hotel to report what happened, and after being transferred to 3 different people, it was begrudingly confirmed that they had just recently discovered a bedbug problem on one floor and were 'taking care of it.'

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