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“It had been a long workweek with three non-stop trips back to back. First Chicago, then on to New York, then a meeting with corporate in Atlanta and all I could think of on my flight back home was crawling into my expensive, luxurious new bed.

It had been four years since I walked from an abusive marriage where I grabbed my purse and never looked back. I was starting all over with no furniture and little clothing other than what was on my back and in a small satchel. I walked away from everything and anything that tied me to the past.

After three years of working hard and pinching every penny I could, I was ready to retire my blow up mattress for a new bedroom set. The delivery truck showed up four hours before I had to board my plane to Chicago. I glanced back at my new furniture gleaming with a big proud smile as I walked out of my room just dreaming of coming back from my trip to Providence and enjoying my new purchase.

I arrived back home around 9:00 PM on Friday night, parked the car in the garage, locked the doors and walked directly to my room. I quickly peeled off the plastic that surrounded my mattress and box spring and added my new crisp designer sheets and soft down pillows and comforter. I washed my face, put on my jammies, and slid into bed for a good night’s sleep.

The following morning I woke refreshed and ready for a relaxing weekend. I spent the morning filling my dresser drawers with clothing and personal items, and then I hung fresh new curtains, fluffed the designer pillows, strategically measured, and added two pictures above the headboard. My room looked like it came right out of House and Garden. All I needed was a plant, easy chair and lamp in the corner!

Of course, I had the need to show off my new purchase and invited a few friends for a get together at my house Saturday evening. They insisted that they brought food because they knew I was broke after my new purchase. My fiancé Jim brought steaks to throw on the bar-b-q and my girlfriend Sara and her husband brought a salad and a nice bottle of wine to share. I could not have been happier as the conclusion to a long week was spent in the back yard relaxing with loved ones.

The following morning both my fiancé and I woke and noticed little red marks on our arms and neck. We figured since we spent the night outside and they were itchy that it must have been from mosquitos and never gave it another thought.

Two weeks went by and while in a board meeting one of my fellow workers made the statement “What’s up with your arms girl?” I had been scratching the day lights out of them during the meeting and had blood running down on to my blouse. I explained we sat outside a couple of weeks ago and the mosquitoes were bad. She replied “those must be some pretty fierce mosquitoes for the marks to last that long”. It was that very moment that I thought to myself, she was right. I never had a mosquito bite lasted that long.

When I got back home, that evening I examined my body when I got out of the shower and noticed that the few bites I had two weeks ago had grown to a very serious amount yet I had not spent anytime just sitting outside in the evening. Hummmm what else could it be?

Scared that it might be an allergy of some kind, off to the doctors I went the next morning. After examining me, he stated he was not sure and asked me to fill out a questionnaire with what seemed a million and one questions. On the sheet was a question asking if I had purchased any new furniture. Could I be allergic to the materials in my bedding I thought to myself?

When I returned home, I torn apart my bed layer by layer searching for I am not sure what, but I continued. I found nothing out of the normal.

That evening my fiancé came over and told me that he had bites all over himself and asked if I had bugs in my bed or something. BUGS? My eyes opened wide and EWWWW came from my mouth. That immediately focused our efforts into the bedroom where we disassembled the bed piece by piece.

When examining the seam under the mattress piping we noticed little tiny black specks, which made me mad because it was a brand new mattress. As we looked closer, we noticed something moving. Of course, I freaked out. At this time, Jim pulled the bed away from the wall and started to examine the back of the headboard and the frame. He asked me to go get a flashlight. As he shined the light into the joints, we noticed tons of little bugs that started to scatter. There were little black dots surrounding the seams on the back of the headboard. Jim said, I do not know what this is but it does not look good to me; where did you buy this furniture? At that moment, I broke down in tears.

The following morning I called a pest control technician to come over for an evaluation. He stated they were bed bugs and had been there for quite some time, it was totally infested with them. I told him that I just purchased the set and it had been delivered only two weeks prior. He replied, well this is not a new infestation of bed bugs, these suckers have set up house in this headboard for quite some time and hopefully had not crawled off and spread to other parts of the room yet. He suggested I call the store where I purchased the furniture and if I wanted it to be treated; he would do it for $800.00

I immediately called the store where I purchased my new bedroom set and asked to speak to the manager. When I explained the situation to the manager, he said to me that you must have already had bed bugs and there was nothing they could do about it. Of course, I paid cash for the set and could not reverse the payment.”

This is a recent story Denise Donovan, founder of IBBRA, related to me.  This woman is now seeking the help of an attorney. We are not sure of the outcome quite yet, but stories like this and similar are shared on a regular basis. One would think that if they purchased new furniture it would be clean of any problems, especially bed bugs. As bed bugs continue to plague our lives, it is always smart to examine everything we purchase (no matter where you buy it from) before we bring it into our homes.

Delivery trucks often take away peoples’ old mattresses and furniture when they deliver new and if they had bed bugs, they can crawl off in the truck and wind up on new furniture delivered to someone else.

Take the time and learn all you can about the signs of bed bug and always carefully examine everything delivered or item you bring into your homes. If you are ever in doubt, you can call on a bed bug scent detection dog. Their ability to acknowledge bed bugs within furniture or other items is superior to that of human detection and can help prevent from you having to deal with an infestation of bed bugs.