IT WAS HELL. I TELL YOU. HELL. We had them for a least a month before I and my boyfriend realized what was happening.
Quick fact- some people are allergic like me! and some not at all- like boyfriend. I started getting these strange pink bumps, in a succession down my arms, legs, stomach (let me shiver here) and on my hand. Makes me scratch just to write it. I - in my stupidity thought- it's MOSQUITOS!!! -since I react to them in a not so pleasent way.....
I was wrongo! ITCH ITCH ITCH, I'
D WAKE UP ITCHING at night. WTF. Boyfriend would wake up from my scratching and shaking the bed and wonder what was going on. Maybe we had fleas. We gave the cat a flea bath. Nothing changed and really these didn't look like flea bites...
I thought I was going insane, scratching all the time, constantly wondering why I was always so itchy. I tried calamine, oatmeal baths, benadyrl, changing detergents, the sheets were exchanged every few days, going off of gluten, cheese, soda and shellfish...and still I was itching like a mad woman. Boyfriend had no reaction and started to wonder a bit about my sanity...he slept fine and never had any thing short of an itch. After a month of this hell and figuring out that -no I did not have allergies and no it was not mosquitos- we get a knock on the door one evening. It's the building manager. They want to chem bomb our apartment. The building had bed bug sightings. WTF!
We pack up cat into spare apartment, and they bomb away. Coming home to a cloud of chemicals, I find several dead caracasses. Well -we got em!! I was so so wrong. That night I wake up scratching again. WTF!! I jump up, awaken the boyfriend and run and get a flashlight. If THE FUCKERS ARE here, I am going to find them!. We turn on the lights and lift up our matrress pad. OMG, we have an investation. It really is too gross- think plague-like squiming proportions. I spray them with whatever windex liquid type things that we have in the house and they still scurry. I freak out. We move to the living room in our tiny 450 sq foot place utlizing a blowup mattress. We duct tape the door shut and with cat in bed with us-hoping to hell she doesn't puncture inflatable mattress with her claws.
I sleep without itching for the first time in a month. Our manager brings the exterminators again, we wash everything and I mean everything we own in fire hot water. This kills the critters, but may not kill the eggs! Lovely! This will have to be repeated. We vacum the carpet like crazy. Everyday, sometimes twice.
We toss our mattress now wrapped in plastic and duct taped out into the trash. A few days pass, no ITCHING. YAY! Not so fast there- again the welts and blood streaks appear on blowup mattress sheets. OMFG. I am ithcing again. I have turned into some kind of bedbug radar creature.
The exterminators come in again, we move cat- who mind you gets a bath after every extmination in case they're residing in her fur- and fog bomb our apartment and chem spary everything. Our wooden dresses have chem stains-and are empty as well as the closet. Our home is a chemical soup cloud.
We now keep our clothes tied in gallon sized garbage bags to prevent bugs from lurking. I dress out of garbage bags now. Each time they bomb- we wash everything we own, again. I pour vinegar on the carpet in the wall board cracks thinking to hell with the smell. I steamclean the carpets using a portable mister. I've become some kind of lunatic with a steam gun...
The next week- they come again to spary, and we reapeat this entire washing, misting, moving, garbageing, process at least once a month for four months. All the while boyfriend and I are living on a blowup mattress in the living room too scared to move back into the bedroom. Flash forward from our hell.
They are finally gone. I have devloped some super human skin bedbug radar- and it finally does not react and I cease to itch at night. We allow ourselves to finally buy a new mattress, we keep it wrapped in plastic like some kind of kiddy pee pad until we finally were able to move the hell out. This experience not only cost us thousands of dollars, but I am a terminal freak when it comes to visiting hotels- I always check. Every scrap of lint could be a bug, so I investigate. This expereince turned me into a OCD bug checker. To this day, I still randomly do mattress checks- searching for dried blood or rice shaped eggs at night esepcially since that's when they like to come out at night and feed on you. And that's my story.