Where and When I Was Bitten
Room #115, Super 8 Motel, Rainbow Dr., Gadsden, AL
Check-in Thurs. July 29---Check-out Sun. Aug. 1, 2010.
Thursday and Friday nights I had slept wearing socks, so it was on Sun. morning (Sat. night no socks) I thought that I could see a faint row of pink spots on both of my ankles, but I thought perhaps some other insects had bitten me; while I was out during the previous day.
What Happened Next
My husband slept barefooted and each morning both of his ankles had a rash all the way around, but it looked like a heat rash; as the temperatures were record breaking 100’s those days. The itching didn’t start until a day or so later, as our ankles became more inflamed.
We didn’t realize the culprits were bedbugs until we actually found them hanging off of us, while feeding. AND, we had both showered everyday! By that time we had dropped them off onto our couch, and in our bed.
My attack was not as severe as my husbands, so I used a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel to swab down my bites.
My husband kept being covered in bugs in spite of my carefully checking him daily with a flashlight, and picking them off of him with tweezers. His itching was so bad, and the bites were so inflamed that we thought he might have to go to a doctor. We discovered that Wal-mart’s Equate brand Hydrocortisone 1% cream relieved his itching, and his wounds actually began to heal.
It took two weeks for the itching to stop, and we both still have scars from the scabs that formed. It’s been five weeks now, and we’re sending you some pics of our bites.
To avoid bedbugs I recommend:
1. Check the internet for bedbug reports/complaints in the area to be traveled to.
2. Avoid economy motels off of a main drive, since they are more likely to have a higher rate of traffic; and greater odds of getting an infestation.
3. Before checking into a motel, ask clerks at gas stations, servers at food places, are they aware of any bedbug complaints in the area.
4. Ask the desk clerk at the motel if they have ever had a problem in the past with bedbugs.
5. Do not place luggage or other items on the carpet or bed; instead use luggage racks or furniture without fabric covering. Keep luggage in sealed, oversized garbage bags.
6. Lift up the mattress and look underneath it; also check along the edge seams. Look for brown/red stains which are a sign of adult bedbugs. Look for little white clumps which could be eggs or newly hatched nymphs.
7. Use a portable handheld steamer to steam-clean the mattress, topside and bottomside.
8. Use plastic mattress covers, your own sheets, and pillows. Sleep in clean pajamas and socks nightly, storing them into a plastic bag until they can be laundered in HOT water.
- We appear to have been attacked by nymphs (baby bedbugs). They are invisible until they begin to feed, and then they become about the size of a poppy seed. They also require more feedings than an adult which is why they had attached themselves to us.
- We reported the bedbugs to the Super 8 home office. The manager contacted us by phone and with an apologetic letter. He truly was alarmed at the report, and he assured us that he had called in an exterminator. He also instructed his housekeeping, and launderer to be on alert for any signs of a new outbreak. Hopefully, that motel is now bug free.