Monday, January 11, 2016

Bed Bugs: The Horror and Tips!

The picture on the left was of one on my pillow in the hotel room.
Do you see the dark coloring inside him?  Yes, that is my blood.
We killed more than one.

I've been debating posting on this topic for quite awhile.  There is a stigma that surrounds the topic of Bed Bugs.  You know the fact that people should they find out you've been bitten by them somehow you've brought them home with you.  Worse yet, maybe, you brought them to your hotel room yourself .  You know you didn't but people may think that.  Yes they do get into hotels, businesses, even movie theaters, homes from somewhere, somebody brought them in.
The trouble is that unsuspecting individuals such as myself and others know little to nothing about them.  I don't want you to be in the dark like we were if you are ever faced with the situation.
Today I share information about them and my very personal nightmare with "Bed Bugs".


No, I don't have any in my home and with extremely strict heat treatment of every item we took on vacation and trashing a good bit, we never did get any here.  Thank goodness!
I will tell you though it was quite expensive and I lost a great deal of my new wardrobe purchased for a trip.  Dry Clean items not to mention cotton items treated at such temps were simply ruined.  I threw away shoes also.  I know, I know, I went overboard but I didn't want any chance of those aggravating bugs coming into my home, Ever!
This may be a very long post but the internet is full of good information and I need to share some of it here.

This brings to mind one thing that bed bugs hate:  LIGHT
They run from the light and make it impossible to see the culprits.


Important Tips

1.  When you check into a room the first thing you should do is take All of your luggage and put into the bathtub or shower!
Never put luggage onto the luggage rack, the bed, any furniture, bedroom floor etc.
2.  Immediately take the bed sheets off and check the mattress quickly with a light.  Pull up mattress and check especially in the seams...all around...Lift up and check under as well.  
3.  Check the wall behind the bed as well as behind pictures for tell-tale signs.  They can move through walls so that is something to keep in mind when asking to be moved. Seams of curtains, electrical outlets, junctions between walls and ceilings, edges of the carpet.  Don't store items in the nightstand next to the bed that is a prime location also.  Check the cracks and crannies in the drawers and behind also.

Looking For Signs of Bed Bugs
Where the Bed Bugs Hide
EPA How to Find Bed Bug  http://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/how-find-bed-bugs
Tell-Tale Signs here
More Information here
National Geographic The Truth About Bed Bugs
Excellent:  
WebMD Bedbugs
Bed-Bug Madness:  The Psychological Toll of the Blood Suckers
Video of a Couple's Room another hotel another state Infested with Bed Bugs Scroll down for an excellent video.



Next is very personal and not pretty at all.  I share for you to know how the bites look:

The very first night I woke up itching horribly and couldn't figure out the rash, welts.  I thought what in the world is this I'm allergic to?  Rash/welts on my forehead, chin, and neck.  You see I am a highly allergic person and am prone to have symptoms rash, itching, headaches etc. so that is why I thought that.  The itching was extreme and different from my usual allergic reactions.  I told Chuck to look at me and asked if he'd been bitten too?  That is the next conclusion I came to, maybe bed bugs?  I didn't know I've never encountered them.
This continued every night of our stay.  Me being bitten over my entire body. 

 Yes bites up my arms..Pay attention to the trail of bites pictured on the left:  Tell-Tale Sign

on a leg


a portion of my back

Personal information:  That is enough it is making me sick.  These were only a very few of the bites I received.  My body was covered before our stay was over and they only became worse in time with my allergies.  The bites I received became very swollen and the skin tightened so much I was afraid it would crack.  The itching was the worst thing and you can't scratch too much for the infection they cause.  I spent a lot of time using creams and taking oatmeal baths.  They made me nauseous for almost a month and that is the truth.  I stayed on allergy medicine and the sofa for that complete month.  Needless to say I didn't accomplish much that month.  It took a good two months for me to feel normal again.  Let's just say it cost enough with the items and vacation time lost dealing with them but luckily I don't work outside the home.  I very well might have lost my job due to these things, granted I am a rare very allergic individual but it would affect all.  It has a psychological affect on someone, it really does.

ADVICE from my personal experiences
Preface:  Hotel managers don't like to be held responsible.  I know someone brought them in but it wasn't us the bed was infested and we killed more than one.  They will tell you that you could have brought them in inside your luggage.  That is how a lot of them are brought in. They may accuse you or make you think they are so concerned for you. They will want you to be quiet when you yourself have been mannerly and kept it quiet while you told him in private.  They will tell you that if you have booked through a third party they can do nothing.

1.  I will say this one time:  Forget your manners.  Run don't Walk and Scream so others can hear of your problem in your suite with bed bugs!  This evidently is the time to do it because I had a month long bout with Him, 
2.  Call the third party but don't expect much because they can only offer to call the same manager and then offer you a small coupon off of your next services with them.
3.  If all else fails contact the CEO of the hotel you are staying in.  Go to the top why bother irritating peons (people of low rank)?   Besides the CEO will send you on to his peon.
4.  Don't give up until you get what is fair.  That is exactly what I did and I didn't ask for anything that wasn't fair not even for damaged clothing and items...
5.  Finally in the end after a lot of work on my part mind you, I received what was a fair refund.
6.  If you did bring them in then let the establishment know so they can get rid of them.  That would save the next guest the nightmare of getting bitten or taking them home with them.  


JUST SO YOU KNOW:

1.  It doesn't matter if you are staying in a back alley or the best hotel in the world bed bugs just don't care.  This by the way was one of the nicer hotels and I won't say the exact name or location other than it was one of the Hilton's.( shhh did I say that?)
2.  They don't bite everyone, so I guess they are a little choosy, of course they chose me.
3.  They jump in your purses hide in seams and zipper seams, hide in luggage seams pockets etc.  They hitchhike in your shoes, inside and even the bottoms. 
4.  It takes heat to kill them.   Link here
5.  Better to prevent bringing them home than the horror I've read about getting rid of them in your home!


TIPS
5.  You don't ever want to take them home with you and I know for a fact with careful treatment of items maybe over treatments as I did and then leave your luggage outside in the sun preferably to kill any that might have hitch hiked into your bags.  They also have a bed bug spray you can use on certain items such as luggage, for added protection.  Place luggage and items you can't wash and dry in a hot car in sun.  That too helps kill them leave in there awhile no need to hurry.  Summer of course works better because the temp needs to be at least 122 - 140 degrees.
6.  Unpack outside then treat items again with laundering and drying on the highest temperature for at least an hour. Things, such as stuffed animals etc.,which can't be washed can be placed inside pillowcases and dried at highest temps as well.
7.  Throw away anything that can be replaced.  I sure did including shoes, purses, makeup bags etc.
8.  Never assume that the hotel you are in is so clean it doesn't have them!
9.  Take precautions, read up on it and save yourself a lot of time and trouble.


Photo credit Wikipedia click for more information




What To Do If You Are Bitten

1.  Contact the manager of the Hotel to be moved or given a refund
2.  Contact the local  Environmental Health Department in the city or county of Hotel to report the bed bug incidence.  They are most likely timid and won't make you tell them your name.  That is how much of a stigma there is surrounding them.  I of course made them take my name.  I'm no dummy and didn't cause or take them in.
3.  Watch these links shared on this page and the internet there is a lot of information out there.  
4.  Read the Notes and Advice I've given you here.
5.  Research the area you are going to visit for the bed bug situation in that city or town.  Research the hotel for bed bug infestation.  It doesn't guarantee you won't be affected but it can be a heads up as to the place.

I hope by my very personal sharing that someone out there can be saved some trouble, expense and heartache.  At the very least if it makes you think about your travels and inspect for safety then it is worth it.  I never in a million years thought I'd be bothered by this irritating critter but that's the luck of the draw.  
There is so much world travel now with different customs in different areas of the world they are more prevalent.  I tell you this they are now becoming more prevalent here in America, so beware.

Until next time and No I don't have bed bugs, No Hibiscus House has never been infested.
Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite!
(it will never be the same again, that saying)



4 comments:

  1. OMG - that all sounds like a nightmare! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It really was. It was a while ago it took a long time for me to get up the nerve to post this. I hate for others not to know about the things.

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  2. I remember when my daughter finally realized exactly what we were saying when we told her to sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite, she was horrified! I can't imagine finding you are in a hotel with these bugs. Terrible!

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    1. Kathy I had heard they were bad even down to Disney World having a battle with them, but I just never thought of them again. It is a taboo subject and although it embarrassing to talk about or show sections with bites I did want others, especially with allergies to be aware. Can you believe it they didn't touch Chuck? Not that I wanted them too but it made it harder for me to decide if it was bad allergic reaction or bites. It soon became clear what it was...awful..Glad it is well over with that was long ago but wanted to share with all. I never really thought nor knew that a bed bug was real when my grandma would say that. 😊

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