Friday, March 12, 2010

Don't let the bed bugs bite

This post is not for the faint of heart. Fair warning.

Does the title give you a hint? Yep. It's bad.

B and I have been making an effort to eat dinner at the kitchen table this week. Did you know that wicker furniture is bed bugs' favorite spot to hide? Did you also know that when they bite you, you don't feel it at first, and that the bites don't show up or itch for several hours? True story.

So, basically, I sat in a nest of bed bugs for over an hour last night, and the night before, while eating dinner. Yesterday morning I woke up with maybe 10 bites on my rear end and was so confused- how did mosquitos bite me on the backside, through clothes? Further, how did they bite me ten times in that place without me noticing?

Then, last night at dinner, I happened to see one of the bugs. I immediately jumped up, shocking Ben. He jumped into Jack Bauer mode, banging the chair on the ground sideways until a few bugs fell out. He grabbed 5 using tweezers and put them in a plastic bag. He thought they were ticks, so I immediately checked everywhere for ticks and then took a shower. Whew, that must've caused my bites yesterday, I thought- gross. Threw out the kitchen wicker chairs, thought everything was now fine.

The Haitians we live with all knew the French/Kreyol word for the bug but weren't able to spell it or remember it in English, but eventually we figured out (thank you, Wiki Translate) that they thought it was bed bugs, not ticks. Gross, we thought. Hope it's not anywhere else in the house. Armed with internet research on how to detect bed bugs' presence, we stripped our bed and searched our mattress- no signs anywhere. Relief.

Then I woke up this morning. Ben rolled over first, looked at me, and gasped. He leapt out of bed.

Between my lower back and thighs, I have over 100 bites on my backside. They're uncountable. There is a big place, larger than my hand, where the bites are so dense they are indistinguishable from each other- just a giant red itchy welp. I was horrified. Afraid, disgusted, mad, horrified. There are also big strings of bites (bed bugs' bite pattern is in a straight line, along blood vessels) on the outside of both feet and ankles, because, joy of joys, I was sitting cross-legged for awhile in that damned chair.

Just writing this makes me want to cry. You can't imagine. I am already highly reactive to mosquito bites and wear very high percentage DEET spray every day because they itch and turn purple on me so badly. This is 100 times worse. It's also gross, and humiliating...

My internet research tells me bed bugs spread no diseases, so that's a relief. We've searched closely every other upholstered surface and can't see signs of any others- PRAY hard the bugs were contained to that one chair. For now, I'll be living in a benadryl haze and re-applying prescription cortisone cream like a junkie.



  1. I love "experiencing" the ups and downs the Lord has for you two in Haiti. However, it is hard for me to reconcile the big city pretty girl with this one covered in bites from those ugly bugs I just saw on wikipedia. I pray this is the end of these rascals! Thank you for being so genuine and honest and for allowing Jesus to work through you (and for documenting His awesome work on this website)... Missy D, a friend in Georgia

  2. oh, katie, i am so sorry for reminds me of a story of corrie ten boon's (sp) sister: while they were in the concentration camp their housing was infested with fleas. She read in the Bible that she should be thankful in all circumstances so she decided that they must all thank God for the fleas! Corrie wrote that they reluctantly prayed and thanked Him for the fleas that were feasting on their weary bodies. They later found out that because of those fleas the guards stayed out of their barracks allowing them to hold regular Bible studies! If you find a blessing in those bed bugs please let me know!!!!
    Good Night Sleep Tight

  3. Oh, Katie! I'm so sorry! I remember sitting on a bale of hay wearing shorts when I was in high school. Chiggers ate me alive! I had so many bites! I even ran fever. I feel so bad for you!
    Your friend from Mertens

  4. Bless your little heart!!!! Sounds as though you need a hug. Probably several hugs, even. How are you now?

  5. poor katie, i am so sorry for you. i react terribly to bugs as well, so i can only imagine the discomfort you are facing. my mom got bed bugs last year (long story) and i remember how miserable she was. i am sooooo sad for you. praying that you will feel relief soon. thanks for sharing the ups and downs of life in haiti. love you!!!

  6. Gee, I feel left out. (Not really.)

    The worst I ever had to endure was giant tarantulas in the bedroom, a rat in the living room, and a giant cockroach running down my leg when I turned the light on in the bathroom.

  7. UGH! I freaked when I first read the title of this post because I have done internet research myself on these bugs after hearing that a hotel near where I used to live was infested with them. I have read the stories of some whose homes were infested with them. (Give me cockroaches - or almost any bug - over these things any day!) Those darn bugs cause not only physical distress but emotional distress as well, as you well know.

    I hope getting rid of the chairs was enough. If I saw even one more bug, I'd be headed to the bosses house immediately. I'd be more worried about scars than the actual bites. I guess Ben wasn't bitten at all??? Strange.

    Here's a good National Geographic (short) video on those suckers!

    I was out of town for several days and am just now getting caught up on your blog. I hope by now you're feeling some relief from these things and healing up nicely.

  8. Please help me, I need help badly. I know god has plans for me and all, but not this please. I have been living with these suckers for about a year now, and I have a very bad allergic reaction to the bites. I feel like I'm living in hell. I trashed my bed clean the whole room...I thought that this is good. However, this morning sitting infront of my desktop I felt something crawling, caught it and killed it. Now I can't concentrate at work...I can't think of anything else but those devil. Please help...anyone please!!!!!

  9. what is the average cost of pest control for a one bedroom apartment?
    Here is my web-site : What Kills Bed Bugs



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