She had been waking up with itchy bites on her arms and legs and just assumed it was a mosquito (not quite the season, but we’ve had some warmer days). Eventually, she went to the doctor who assured her it was a virus. Then both of her girls and eventually her husband started getting the itchy bumps.
Finally, her 7-year-old spotted an itty-bitty gray insect — the size of a 10-point font period [this dot right here --> (.)] — moving across a bathroom tile.
Like all good diagnoses, she concluded it was a mite after a few minutes of Googling.
After doing a little Googling of my own, I have learned that mites are not bed bugs. And also? Bed bugs are worse, much worse, than mites, who are a party by comparison. They’re all bugs, in your bed, on your kids, ruining your life, and I can barely write any of this without reaching up to scratch my head. There. Oh, wait, now my neck.
Anyway, the U.S. and other western countries are experiencing a resurgence of bed bugs, which were once thought to be eradicated after World War II. International travel, immigration and a change in environmental policies of all conspired to bring back bed bugs. The EPA recently organized the first-ever National Bed Bug Summit
with landlords, hotel chain reps and housing authorities to figure out
a way to deal with these blood-thirsty pest, which are showing up in
super nice hotels and traveling around the world waiting for the right
time to get into your mattress.
From the BBC:
Researchers say one of the main problems is that there are few
chemicals approved for use on mattresses that are effective at killing
The EPA has withdrawn many of the chemicals over the last 50 years because of health and environmental concerns.
My friend, with her mite party, wound up in a hotel for two nights after the exterminators took care of the problem. Wonder what it takes to get rid of bed bugs. (Can’t … stop … scratching!)
Want to share your bed bug story? (Wait, don’t. No … do. No, don’t!)