Fear: Bed Bugs

When I was little, my mother would tuck me in bed and say “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Up until I was about 22 I had no clue what a bed bug was or that it was something real. I thought it was another term for coldness or monsters in the closet. All that changed when I had my first encounter with them.
I had just bought myself these beautiful new sheets and couldn’t wait to sleep on them. I opened them up, admired the feel of the sheets, put them on my bed and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, my legs and arms started itching. I was still half asleep so I wasn’t fully aware of just all the scratching I had been doing.

This is the ONLY bed bug I would willingly sleep with. I couldn't post a picture of a real one, they are so icky and make the hairs on my neck stand up.

The next morning I woke up and my arms, legs, and other body parts were covered in red, raised bumps. My mother the nurse said it looked like chiggers or bed bugs. Since I don’t go running through fields, forests, or tall grass frequently, she decided it was the latter. The sores took weeks to heal (even longer than when my dog gave the whole house fleas) and after the sheets were washed I was still leery of using them. We replaced my mattress and eventually everything was fine.
To this day, I’m still afraid bed bugs will get me. I change my sheets weekly, steam out my mattress and examine it for signs, in hotels I get psycho about checking the sheets and mattresses, and I always bring along my travel-sized steam cleaner. If I sleep over at a friend’s house, they know to leave the bed unmade without sheets so I can check the mattress and sheet it up myself. I always wash new sheets before putting them on my bed and I try to maintain a clean living space so the buggers don’t have anywhere to hide.
Question time, have you ever gotten bed bugs? Aren’t those bites the worst!?! Seriously! Have you ever seen the bed bugs? I never got to see my attackers, but that’s okay. Knowing they shared my bed with me still gives me the creeps to this day.

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