Have you ever encountered something that made you wonder, “Why, God? Why did you feel the need to create this?” A few things come to mind: mosquitos and roaches top the list of course. I’ve even pondered and snickered over the fact that when we expel gas from our bodies it makes a funny noise, whichever end it escapes. That just confirms to me that God is funny – He’s the inventor of humor.
The newest addition to the “No purpose at all” list is bed bugs. They don’t go on the “funny” list, however. Somehow my family and I have been invaded. We don’t know where they came from or when, just that they’re in our townhouse and we’re trying to get them OUT.
These little pests bite us for our blood, like mosquitoes, only crawling instead of flying. They start out as practically invisible eggs, then teensy white or yellow “teenagers” until they turn reddish-brown as adults. They leave behind little black specks of excrement – a tell-tale sign that they’ve moved in. Lovely isn’t it? The tricky part is until you see the signs you don’t know they’re there and that could be weeks after they’ve made a home in your home.
Apparently they can live for almost a year without eating (!) and are so thin and flat they can hide in cracks in furniture or door frames, even under carpet seams. They can withstand temperatures ranging from freezing to 113 degrees.
They don’t flinch at most pesticides but steam seems to do the trick. It’s hot enough to roast ’em. We had to pretty much empty our girls’ room and our room, strip the beds, wash everything in hot water, bedsheets, clothes, blankets, pillows, curtain…everything. We’ve thrown away two box springs so far. An exterminator came out to do a steam treatment and will probably come out again to help us make sure we’ve gotten them all.
If you travel and stay at a hotel, peel back the sheet corners and look at the seams of the mattress for the little black dots or worse, the actual bugs. They seem to especially like congregating at the head of the bed. I’ve heard that although once thought practically eradicated there has been a resurgence and even in some of the nicest hotels they’ve shown their ugly little selves.
We’ve been trying to find the good in this ordeal and so far the best I can do is say that our apartment is now really clean, our linens are all freshly washed and clean, and we’re educated about bed bugs. The latter is my least favorite “finding the good” lesson. Thankfully they don’t hurt you or make you sick – -they’re just plain creepy! Once I realized I had been sleeping innocently in my bed while not a foot beneath my head on the box spring they were gathering and strategizing I got a severe case of the heebie-jeebies.
Be aware and check beds when you travel. Don’t set your luggage on furniture in hotels, maybe the edge of the bathtub or one of those luggage stands. Just giving you a heads up. I’m sincerely saying to you, “don’t let the bed bugs bite!”