“Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Remember that? I remember hearing that time and time again as I was tucked into bed as a child. To me, it was nothing but a routine phrase that I would hear nightly. That’s all it was – up until a year ago. The phrase became a reality for me when I least expected it – as an adult.
My theory on how I got the bed bugs starts at a friend’s house. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so I was surprised to see that she didn’t clean up for me. Wouldn’t you expect an old friend to clean up before you came!? I’m not prude, trust me. But the house looked like she hadn’t cleaned in a long time. So reluctantly, I sat down on the couch. Unfortunately, the following night, I woke up to what I would soon discover was a bed bug bite.
The first thing I saw was a slow-moving bed bug “running” across my pillow. I still can’t get rid of the image. I had never had bed bugs before, but I had seen plenty of pictures in the past, so I instantly knew I had a problem on my hands. The small red bite itched, a feeling I would soon get used to as I spent all of my nights scratching incessantly. For a month, I slept on the couch downstairs.
What exactly is a bed bug?
Bed bugs have been mentioned in various writing works that date back to 400 B.C. It is believed that bed bugs, Cimex lectularius (scientific name) used to feed on other warm-blooded mammals before humans came into the picture. In the early 1940’s, bed bugs were close to being eradicated from all “developed” countries. But due to immunity from pesticides, some bugs were able to survive and reproduce offspring, also immune to the pesticides. Consequently, new pesticides have to be developed on a continual basis.