Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why I Do This

A few weeks ago I received an anonymous comment that I have literally read over and over because it makes me feel great. It's from someone living with bedbugs who is a regular reader who welcomes Bugged Out as an oasis of support in a desert of loneliness and hopelessness.

To her I say, thank you. You are the reason why Bugged Out was created, and I'm glad that Bugged Out and many other bed bug-related blogs out there to serve the simple purpose of letting those people living with bed bugs know that even though they feel alone, they are anything but. Your parents may not understand your problem, your friends may look at you like you're a leper and you may go through various episodes of bed bug paranoia, but understand that we've all been there before, everyone who has a bed bug blog or has read or commented on a bed bug blog, we've all been there.

Don't give up hope.

Without further ado, I will now paste that inspirational comment.


Though I have never commented, I read your blog religiously. As you might have guessed...I have bed bugs too. And I need to thank you, profusely.

I'm a nineteen year old college student. After my first year at a big university in a small town, I decided to take control of my life and start following my biggest dream--to live in the city. I changed schools, friends, and locations to live in beautiful apartment in downtown Denver. I bought all new furniture and decorated my apartment with care (and all of my student budget). I even bought myself a cat and--presto!--insta-home. I woke up one morning about 6 weeks ago with some strange bug bites on my stomach. I am very allergic to mosquitoes, so I passed the blame to that and went on with my day. As time went on, I kept getting bites. Of course, my boyfriend never recieved one. I must have tasty blood. After research, I realized my true problem--bedbugs. As no one here seems to understand the problem, my boyfriend and I took it upon ourselves to rid my apartment. We isolated my bed and for two blissful weeks, I was bite free! Then I woke up a week and a half ago with 23 bites in a circle on my thigh, a line of them on my ribcage and my back...I'd been practically eaten alive. And that brings me to where I am now. I got out of my lease (after much arguing with my landlord who STILL doesn't believe there are any bugs..) and have signed a new lease in a fully-furnished (YES!) building. This is REALLY nice considering my new bedroom set and living room sets are in a junkyard somewhere. My new community doesn't allow pets so my cat has found a new home. I'm washing every item of clothing I own.

It doesn't matter though. At the moment I can feel them on me. Crawling. Biting. Sucking away my blood. I wish I could explain rationally to those darn bugs that I'm anemic! I need my blood more than they do! I don't sleep much, and when I do, I have vivid nightmares. Last night when I was eating sushi, I became convinced that a sesame seed was a bug that had brazenly followed me to dinner. My family thinks I am crazy---they are probably right. I saw a commercial for that new movie Bug. I burst into tears. I cannot wait until I think back on this and it's been years since I saw one or felt one.

Anyway, the purpose of this disgusting long comment was to say thank you. Your blog made me feel less alone. No one I know really understands and I don't like to share. Some people act like I have a communicable disease when I try to explain it.

On Saturday morning I will cart away the last of my belongings. Hopefully that will be a start to the end of the nightmares, the paranoia, the crazed searches in the middle of the night. I'll continue to read this blog...makes me feel like not such a freak.


Conor Ryan said...

This sounds like a strange idea, but has anyone thought about any predators bedbugs might have. I know that ladybugs can be used for aphids and mantids are also used in pest control. How about spiders? Especially wolf spiders? Wolf spiders are non-venomous (at least to humans) and hunt for their prey (no webs). What do think?

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

You know, I seem to encounter the same thing -- and I'm in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's becoming a problem up there, too.

I have had a case of bedbugs in late 2005/ early 2006 and some symptons in '07. My bed was like 23 years old in '06, and it got so bad, my springs was wearing out my mattress and low and behold, the critrers were all over me and my old bed set until I went on ahead and took out the mattress and box spring and got me another bed mattress and box spring set.

Upon getting them, I help my room-mate out now, my bed set had plastic on them (I never take my plastic or encasements off my mattress and box spring). Some of the critters were back, but there were all over my bedsheets. I wash down my bedsheets and the problem stopped around mid-fall to winter months.

Around this year, and approaching summer I would still find those things on my bedsheets, comforters and whatnot. My air conditioner went out on me (I had a portable), and I had to swelter in my own room. Then the bugs would start feasting all over my foot and I had to get rid of my bedsheets but not my covered mattress and box spring.

I am wearing of buying bedsheets with seams, tuffs, and enclosures now for fear that they may hide and start bon appetit'ing on me.

I had to dummy down my bedroom and my roommates too (now he needs a new mattress and box spring), try to clean the floor and walls with ammonia, and dust (which I think that's where they like to hide), get rid of stuff that I don't need and throw away, wash clothes down and safely put plastic over them.

I think the only remedy to make your bed free from bedbugs is to use petroleum jelly or Vaseline and put them on the foot of the bed, the sides of the bed, the crevice of the bed. Last fall and winter, I have never had that problem of them coming back (then again, I had on extra layers of clothing at that time).

Now it seems the city is taking action against complexes infesting those things... It's just plain awful.

I feel the other poster's pain. I thought with a lot of ample cleaning and whatnot, and the problem won't seem to go away unless you call in an exterminator, only to get disappointing results leaving with no option but to move or worse, throw away furniture -- I'm just lost for words.

I sincerely hope that there would be a remedy for this problem before it worsens - seriously!

I will be looking back at this blog for updates or whatnot.

Thanks for sharing this piece of insight.

Andrew Riley said...

The Bed Bug ("BB") haiku was genuine gold. I've never laughed so hard in my life (I'm fascinated by the minimalist idea). I saw your comment regarding your choice of Denver as a place to live and the social lepresy that is/are BBs; it's like having the flu and no one wants to catch it. Ones unfamiliar with BBs are scared to death, despite the fact that BBs are biological entities- they can be starved and killed. I'm contemplating ways to seriously p*ss off the BB I captured tonight (9/18/07)...

I'm in Golden, with a second coming of the BBs. Tried Orkin round one in late Jul '07 and frankly have no clue as to what to do next. Rehire Orkin, try someone else, yada yada the clothes washing, cleaning, the hassle.

We own this condo- moving (pack/move/treat/wait/sell/etc)isn't as fesible as treatment. Suspect multi-unit infestation, but have no other complaintants (though I only know 4/12 units personally in this building). Oye the pain of these bugs, but felt somehow comforted today when I discovered my ex-coworker also has them (6th & indiana) and is on treatment number 2 plus. I was excited I would be able to hang out with someone who has the same problem as me. Worse case scenario- one BB gets a 2 mile vacation to golden/lakewood, lol.

It'd be interesting to put together some kind of recent demographic infestation for the front range. Get the city of golden/jeffco/whatever to pay for some of these treatments, or at least formulate laws/regs to handle future outbreaks. I anticipate blogging my own bug haiku and will keep you infomed.

I, also wondering what could kill these things effectivelyinitially googled "bed bugs and natural predators" tonight...

Anonymous said...

what a horrid bunch, these little critters.

Hi my name is Roger and I have bed bugs.

Yeah also searched for natural predators but found this.

I Just recently within the last three weeks found out that bed bugs do exist. WOW.
We have been in our new home that was built last year. We are the only people to have ever lived here, so we can't blame any neighbors. They were concentrated in one of our boys room, so i figure he picked them up somewhere and they feasted.

I tore apart his rooom, cleaned, repainted and they were gone.
Except now they are in my bedroom. I woke up today with bites. My wife thought I was been paranoid. So today when I got home from work I tore up our bedroom, and there they were, right in the folds of my box spring.

My mattress and room are full of bleach. I found that bug bombs don't work, and my exterminator has been out twice with no result. But i found that spraying them with a clorox all purpose cleaner wipes them out. You have to get it riht on them, things get discolored and the smell could make you pass out, but they die and that's all I'm interested in right now.

Some one at work suggested boric acid. Has anyone tried these natural bed bug killers that I have seen on the net? I ordered one, I'll let you all know if it works.

Crazy said...

Ok. I'm all for people moving to get on with their lives. But, with this thing growing and growing, how many times can we move before we get reinfested again. Moving is only a temporary solution. DDT needs to come back to kill these vampires. Someone else will only move into your infested apartment and get them. Now, what if you move some of the buggers with you. Now the infestation has doubled. You have them at your new place and the new tenants have them at your old place. We need something that works longterm to keep on killing. Short term solutions, as we can see, are not working. The numbers just keep on growing. And what if you get rid of them only to have them reappear again? This is a nightmare!