An Unpleasant Surprise...Bedbugs!
This story follows on the heels of this one, about the washing machine http://personapaper.com/article/24516-my-washing-machine-broke-down---helpful-tips-for-using-the-dryer
A couple of weeks before the washer broke, I went to Charleston, South Carolina. It was a lovely trip, and the hotel I stayed in was not ritzy, but it was comfortable. Unfortunately, it appears that I might have brought back more from that trip than just happy memories.
The day after the washing machine stopped working, my husband and I were sitting in the living room, watching television, and I remarked about the trail of small red marks on my arm that I had noticed that morning. They looked like mosquito bites, but I've never seen mosquito bites clustered like that, and I hadn't been outdoors the night before. "It looks like something crawled along my arm and bit me as it went," I said, puzzled.
I had no clue what they were, but my husband advised that they looked like bedbug bites. Bedbugs! I was horrified. All those stories you see on the news about how difficult they are to get rid of, how they can spread so easily, and how they just generally bring misery flashed through my mind. The marks didn't hurt, and didn't even itch, but the idea of something living in my bed to crawl out and feast on me at will really, um, bugged me.
I normally check the mattresses at hotels very carefully, and I do remember when I was at the hotel in Charleston pulling one corner of the fitted sheet down to look, but I was distracted because we were running short on time, and I forgot to check more thoroughly later. Besides, apparently they don't always hang out on the mattress--they could have been anywhere in the room, really. How depressing!
According to my online research, the best way to kill bedbugs is with heat, so I lost no time in grabbing all the linens off my bed. Unfortunately, since the washing machine was broken, I couldn't throw them in a nice, hot wash, so I hand-washed the mattress cover in the hottest water I could stand to touch and threw it in the dryer with the rest of the bedding. It was sopping wet, but they were dry, and as I mentioned in the last post, the moisture redistributed evenly.
I despaired that I might have an infestation while also hoping that maybe I just brought ONE bedbug home, and maybe it was a BOY bedbug, with no eggs. And maybe, just maybe, I lucked out and killed him in the dryer. And I might have, because I haven't noticed any bites since.
Haven't NOTICED any, anyway.
Image Credit » http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bedbug_%28PSF%29.png