We have bed bugs.
Or more specifically, by mid last week, I had 15 bites on my arms, many in a straight row.
That's the tell-tale sign of bed bugs, the so-called "breakfast, lunch, and dinner" bites.
I noticed them by Wednesday ish, but didn't think much of them, though I did think it was odd that there were so many, especially because I'm not really oudoorsy.
By the weekend, the bites were a plague I had itched raw. I even dreamt of being itchy and woke in the night scratching. I've never been so itchy. It's worse that chicken pox, poison ivy, and PUPS, the itchiness I had at the end of my pregnancy. And it wasn't getting better.
So this morning I went to the doctor and sure enough, as we had begun to suspect: bed bugs. The doctor suspects they're from our hotel from last weekend, in NYC, since I haven't gotten any new ones. And NYC is a known epidemic hot spot.
For me, that means steroid cream and constant Benadryl but no danger of any illnesses, like with ticks or mosquitoes.
For the whole house, it means a lot of laundry (I'm following these directions)--30 minutes in the dryer on high heat for anything fabric we've touched since last week--and exterminators coming to look for the bugs with a dog this afternoon.
And I called the hotel. Of course, they don't really believe me, since I wasn't itchy the night I was there. But the CDC says it can take 14 days for the bites to show up. And this hotel was the only one I'd been in before the bites showed up.
Luckily, I'm the only one with bites, so far. Well, everyone has one or two but we think those are unrelated mosquito bites. For now.
So, we're home, surrounded by huge black garbage bags of laundry. I figure there are 20 obvious loads . . . and then we have to discuss steam-cleaning the carpet, doing something to the couches, and what to do with the mattresses. UGH.
My skin crawls just thinking about it.