Another bed bug story as it was told to me:

For six months, I had averaged seventy to eighty hours weeks finishing up on a project for my company. I don’t believe I had ever put so many hours and dedication into anything including myself in my life! Aside from sheer physical and mental exhaustion, my housework and personal life had taken a serious back seat.

As I literally dove into my bed Saturday night, all I could think of is that I didn’t have to wake up at any chosen time and could sleep until my body said it was time to get up. I rambled through waking, showering and taking myself out to a nice Sunday brunch for a much-needed reward. As my head hit the pillow, I locked the gate behind the dozens of sheep I had been counting in the past and fell fast asleep.

As I woke Sunday, all I could hear was the mating chirp of birds outside my window. I lay still for a minute with my eyes closed, took in a couple of deep breaths and slowly lifted my head to sit up. My feet hit the floor and I stretched, yawned, stood up, and headed to the kitchen to turn on my coffee maker and off to the bathroom.

I silently thought to myself “I have a whole week off to myself! Where do I start?” Excitedly, I showered and entered my bedroom to strip my bed and throw the sheets in the washer before I left. I glanced down and saw streaks of blood riddled throughout my pillowcases and sheets and couldn’t figure out where it came from. I carefully examined my body and saw nothing that would remotely resemble a wound.

Not giving it another thought, I was dressed and headed out for my reward brunch. When I returned I placed the sheets in the dryer and started to clean my room. Now, being a rather clean person, it didn’t take much too run a vacuum and dust. I returned my fresh clean sheets to the bed in anticipation of a much-needed night sleep that night. As I retired, I thought I would clean the rest of the house tomorrow and off to sleep I went.

The following day I woke up well rested and started my ritual of cleaning the rest of the house. Since I lived alone, there wasn’t much to do other than standard dust and vacuuming and washing down counters in the bathroom and kitchen.

I ran off to the grocery store, returned, made myself a nice lunch and poured a glass of Pinot Grigio. I headed out to the patio, turned on the fountain, which trickled softly in the background. After lunch, I moved over to the recliner to read a book I was dying to read as I started to itch on the back of my neck. Thinking I may have gotten too much sun for the day, I went inside and crawled up on the couch. Then, my upper left arm started to itch. I got up and went into the bathroom to look and see what was going on and saw little red mosquito type bites. I thought that it might have been mosquitoes from the fountain and put that on my list to clean out the next day.

The rest of the week was uneventful. I relaxed, shopped, visited friends and caught up on my favorite television shows. It was such a beautiful spring day that I had cracked my window to allow fresh air in while I sleep. That night at three in the morning, I had woken up, scratching myself on my forearm and back of my neck. I turned on the light and glanced down to see many small red bugs crawling across my sheets and pillowcase. I totally freaked out and jumped up out of my bed. I literally tore my bed apart, removed the sheets and headed for the washer. I had no clue what these were but assumed that with an open window I let them in so I closed the window, grabbed a blanket out of the closet and headed for the couch to sleep.

I woke the next day and remade my bed with fresh clean sheets. Meanwhile, the bites on my body seem to have grown from a few to many from head to toe. I made the decision to visit my pharmacist to ask if he had anything for my bites. He glanced at the back of my neck and asked me if I had bed bugs. I was appalled and asked him why he would ask such a thing? I am a clean person! He said they had a pattern of three clusters and there were several indicating there might be a lot of them. OK, now this gave me the creeps so I went online to find out about bed bugs, which I had never heard of in my life. What a rude reality I encountered.

I read about a service of detection dog teams that can come in and find out if they are bed bugs so I immediately gave this woman a call. Sure enough when she was done with her investigation, her dog had alerted on bed bugs in my bed, in my nightstand and in my couch. What! She showed me where they were and told me that this had been there for at least four to five months.

She then patiently sat with me in the kitchen, taught me a lot about bed bugs, and handed me all kinds of educational materials to keep.  It all made perfect sense to me. You see I traveled extensively during the project and would come home late at night and drop my luggage on the floor in my room only to, so who knew? I must have brought them home with me and had gotten bites but was excessively busy to pay any attention and they grew to an infestation over the past months.

Wow, what a lesson! I am now convinced that people need to find out about these horrible bloodsuckers and especially if one travels, have a regular inspection of your home. For the money, I spent on extermination, had I done regular inspections with this dog it would not have cost me a month’s salary to get rid of.

Guess who visits me quarterly now? Yep, you guessed it: $800 vs. $2,800; you decide!

By D Donovan