Good Night, Sleep Tight…

This time last year I was counting the number of itchy bites I got each day, mostly on my legs. I was convinced I was the victim of grass mites, mosquitoes and/or ants. Then one morning  I found three bites under one arm and a cluster of ten bites on my chest. Uh oh…

Bedbugs? Did we bring bedbugs home with us when we drove from Arizona to Alberta at the end of April? Yikes!

A number of years ago a friend’s home got bedbugs and at that time the treatment was to heat the whole house to an even temperature of over 120 F for at least an hour. It was an expensive procedure.

(By now I had worked myself into a lather, as they say). I called the local bug assassin company. They sent one of their  exterminators out that afternoon. He looked carefully at everything in our bedroom. He could not find any sign of bedbugs. He explained that didn’t mean there were no bedbugs – just not enough to constitute an infestation.

If I wanted, he could spray selected surfaces in our bedroom with a product that his company was having a lot of success with. He explained how he would use it and how safe it was for humans once it had dried. We could use the room again in four hours. Oh, and the cost was a bit less than $200.

I said “Make it So!” He instructed me to strip the bed and wash the bedding in hot water. That would kill any bugs residing in our quilts, pillows etc. He told me not to bother washing anything else. Any bugs that weren’t killed in the first few hours would track us down at night and they would be killed too because the spray would keep working for many months.

The spray was a complete success – that was the end of the bites.

Good night, sleep tight
Don’t let the bedbugs bite.
But if they do, then take your shoe and
Hit them till they’re black and blue.
– Childhood Rhyme –

More About Bedbugs

Bedbugs were all but eradicated in the developed world by the 1950’s because of pest control products like DDT and chlordane – and the widespread use of vacuums and washing machines. Today, however, bedbugs are on the rise again because of increased travel and fewer chemical control products.

Adult Bed bugs are the size and color of a flat apple seed. They hide during the day in mattress crevices, box springs, baseboards, behind electrical switch plates, in picture frames, and even behind wallpaper. At night, the carbon dioxide we exhale lures them out of their hiding spots. Once a bed bug finds a host, it will usually feed for 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes the feeding shows up as a pattern of three bites in a cluster or row. The host usually isn’t wakened by the feasting because bed bug saliva is an anaesthetic.

If you think you have bedbugs, call a professional. In my humble opinion, this isn’t a do it yourself job.

18 thoughts on “Good Night, Sleep Tight…

  1. BLEH! I can’t imagine the terror of thinking you had bed bugs. We’ve got a lot of ticks in the forest this year (they’ve probably always been there, but there are more of them this year for some reason and it’s the first year we’ve had bites). We’ve also got a LOT more carpenter ants (the big black ones); they just appear out of nowhere in just about every room and seem to “swarm” along the outside edges of the doorways. The neighbours just had the ORKIN man in spraying the outside of their house (for the same reason); I’m trying some sprays on my own. These things sure seem to go in cycles. (I always thought the second part of that rhyme was, “If they do, squeeze them tight and they won’t come back tomorrow night.” LOL!)

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    1. I sure wouldn’t want a tick bite and certainly don’t want ants in the house!
      Speaking of spraying around the outside of the house, I wonder what bugs will have infiltrated the AZ house since we haven’t been there to do a perimeter bug deterrent for a year now.

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  2. Oh man! I am glad you got a professional on the job early. That’s an experience I haven’t had and can do without, thank you very much. I did learn something new today. I thought I knew a lot of nursery rhymes but never heard the second half of sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.

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    1. ‘Early’ was actually six weeks after we got home! I’d be a lot smarter about it if it happens again, but not so worried about accidentally bringing some home. (Though I will still check the mattress in motels…)

      Margo (comment above) says she has heard the second half of the rhyme this way:
      ‘If they do,
      squeeze them tight
      and they won’t come back
      tomorrow night. ‘

      Here is another ending:
      ‘Wake up bright
      In the morning light
      To do what’s right
      With all your might. ‘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow – I’ll bet your heart sank when you found them. My mother was livid when we moved here from Canada. We were scheduled to be in a moving van, just our furniture/possessions, from Oakville to the Detroit area. Then, at the last minute they had space and picked up an apartment dweller’s furniture etc. in Windsor going to Detroit. We weren’t here too long and discovered tiny beetles known as carpet beetles. We had to be fumigated multiple times to get rid of them. Not only do they get into clothes and upholstery, but they have these very tiny jaws and go under your skin. They burrow underneath while chomping their way through the skin and causing blisters from them, a foreign body. Who invented bugs anyway? Noah should have left them behind!

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    1. The thing is, I never actually saw a bedbug! No evidence at all. But the bites were consistent with bedbug bites, and I didn’t get any more after the exterminator sprayed.

      You are right, Noah should have refused passage to certain bugs…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never seen bedbugs and I took the bus to my job in downtown Detroit for years and never brought home bugs from someone who had them on the bus and the City of Detroit was high on the list So I keep in touch with a few people since working from home this last decade. One told me she sees bedbugs walking along the bus seats. I’m glad I don’t commute to work anymore.

        Yes, Noah didn’t have to be so indulgent with some of these critters. 🙂

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  4. Good information to have! I’ve been lucky and not encountered any bed bugs so far, but I figure it is only a matter of time. The guy who sprays our house for bugs every year (we’ve known him for forty years, so he’s sort of a friend) says that when he first got started in his business, he got maybe two calls for bed bugs a month. Now he gets ten to fifteen calls every week!

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    1. I read that bedbugs are becoming big business! My exterminator pointed out that the good news about bedbugs is that they will feed on the people in the house at night, so the exterminator only has to target a small part of your house in order to get rid of them.
      Many people don’t even know they have been bitten (that is my husband) while others, like me, react quite strongly to the bites.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This was definitely informative and I will take your advice for sure if we ever get bedbugs. I have to confess the word “feasting” threw me right over the edge. Gag.

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    1. I was glad that the exterminator could come to our place the same day I phoned. I don’t think I would have slept very well that night knowing that something was probably ‘feasting’ on me while I slept!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We might not have even known we had bedbugs if I wasn’t ‘allergic’ to the bites. My husband is one of those people who rarely even reacts to a mosquito bite.

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