I hate to admit it, but we had bed bugs. Nasty, disgusting bed bugs. It all started with some mysterious bites all over both of my arms. I started waking up around 2 or 3 am every night scratching like crazy. I thought I was just getting mosquito bites, then I thought it might be poison ivy.
After about 3 weeks, I went to the doctor. He thought it might be scabies and gave me a cream to try. Two days later, I saw one… crawling on the side of our bed. I yelled for my husband and he lifted up our mattress. We didn’t see any more. Then he lifted up our box spring. It was really disturbing and quite nasty. I’m not sure why I took a picture of it at the time, but I guess maybe I knew I’d have to come out with my secret sometime!
Did I mention we just bought a new mattress and box spring less than a year ago? Well, that box spring ended up in the greater Cincinnati dump, and luckily we were able to salvage our mattress.
Back to the horrible day we discovered the bed bugs. So, after freaking out for a few minutes, I went outside, saw my neighbor and spilled my yucky news. Luckily for me, her aunt had just had bed bugs (turns out Cincinnati is number 1 in the nation. Woo hoo!) and I called her right away.
Her son had been away, and when he came home, he brought back some unexpected guests. When they found the bugs, they moved him to a different room. Turns out the little buggers are attracted to the CO2 you emit, and they followed him to another bedroom. Rule number one of bed bugs (and perhaps the most disturbing): You MUST sleep in the room where the bugs are or THEY WILL FOLLOW YOU. This means don’t go sleep on your couch. Don’t sleep in the basement. They will track you down, and be all over your house.
When the doctor told me I had scabies, I started sleeping in our guest room as to not transfer scabies. Well, when we found out it was bed bugs two days later, we pulled up the mattress in the guest room, and saw one scurrying across it. We only saw the one in that room and we closely scoured that room, so that was a bright side! My sons also were getting bites, and we found several in their rooms as well.
The next thing she told me was that if you call a pest control company like Terminex, they will not be able to get rid of them in one call. They had them out three times I believe, and they still kept seeing them. What happens is the chemicals they spray kill the bugs, but they do not kill the eggs. Bed bugs lay eggs very quickly, so it is a long process to get rid of them using chemicals. Obviously, I do not like the idea of spraying chemicals where my family sleeps, so I was happy when she told me what finally got rid of them was all natural.
Now for the cliff hanger… Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article for how we got rid of them without chemicals.