Adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius
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This morning the Dallas Morning News ran a story that sent shivers down my spine, followed by increased itching and irrational bed stripping and mattress searching. Specifically, they discuss an uptick in bed bug sightings (attacks) in North Texas.

This November will mark the two year anniversary of one of the most horrifying things that has ever happened to my person and my husband’s person. We’d made a quick three day weekend jaunt to Amarillo to visit family and stayed in a relatively nice hotel. The morning we were to check out of our hotel, I spied tiny bloody smears on our bed sheets. Screaming and panic set in as I stripped the sheets from the bed and discovered the mattress seams teeming with vile bed bugs. Fat, sassy and full of self-satisfaction and our blood.

After living in New York City, home to profoundly prolific bedbug infestations, I knew exactly what I was dealing with. After being convinced by my husband that self-immolating was not going to be an option, we crammed our clothes and suitcase in a large black trash bag, hit up a local target for two cheap outfits, took a very long shower, changed into the new duds and crammed the remaining in another trash bag. We felt disgusting the entire drive back to Dallas.

Two days later, my husband was covered in large, flat welts. His arms and legs covered in bed bug bites. I was bite free, or so I thought. My bites didn’t manifest themselves for another 5 full days, and when they did, they were on my face, neck, torso, arms, hands, legs and feet. Apparently I was the more delicious of the two. It was hell…and comic fodder for our co-workers.

Thankfully, keeping our suitcase in the sun, wrapped in a black trash bag and in the back of our car for two weeks suffocated any blood-sucking critters we might’ve carried back with us and our home remained bed bug free. And while that was a bit inconvenient, it certainly wasn’t the inconvenience of an infestation: they’re pesticide resistant, can survive months without eating, will hitchhike on anything and anyone, and often involve a dog to pinpoint infestations. And unless you want to professionally clean, vacuum and steam your mattress or couch, I hope you either have a Weir’s charge account…or enough money in savings to cover new furniture.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you folks in a very long-winded way is this: You do NOT want bedbugs, Texas. DO NOT WANT.


One Response to “Beware the Bed Bug. Seriously, Texas, BEWARE.”
  1. B. B. Bites says:

    Scary stuff, but a good and helpful story about how easy it is to come in contact with bed bugs, but how traumatizing and difficult it is to get rid of them (and not just physically, but mentally how scarring they can be). Especially sad about the bugs on the mattress as there is no way the hotel/maid service changing sheets never noticed an infestation of that size. Better to check the mattress and bedding before going to sleep than after!

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