How do you get bed bugs? There are so many ways you can accidentally bring these blood suckers into your home and one of the most common is by bringing a piece of furniture laying beside a dumpster into your home. This is Daniel’s story and shared with everyone so that others don’t make this innocent but costly mistake!
I had never encountered bed bugs before. I’m in college right now living in an apartment complex with 5 other people because shared rent is making our lives a whole lot easier. However its difficult to have 6 beds in a two bedroom apartment, so most of use couches and comfy sofas as our bed.
Most of our furniture came from Craigslist, but the last one that I got for myself was one that a roommate of mine noticed was left near the dumpster outside a few days ago because one of our neighbors were apparently moving away. It was a cozy green chair that perfectly matched the green sofa in our living room, it was only out there for a few hours and I wanted to keep it for myself in my bedroom, so on that same day I cleaned it, vacuumed it, and sprayed it with a can of Febreze to give it a more refreshing odor before bringing it in.
I was sleeping on the floor with some blankets underneath beforehand, so I was very relieved to have finally found something I can sit and lay on in my bedroom. But once we set it up, I noticed a red bug crawling along the armrest. I’m not sure if I killed it or just flicked it off, but I just assumed it was an ant or some beetle from the outside that found its way on it. I don’t really care for bugs, only spiders and cockroaches bother me, so I didn’t think too much of the bug I saw. Though I did mention it to one of my roommates if it might be a bed bug, but he told me the size of it was too big to be one so I never gave it a second thought.
On that same night that we brought it in, right before falling asleep I noticed another one crawling along my shirt. I tried to crush it with my finger, but I’m not sure if i made contact or not because it slipped off my shirt and down between the crack of the chair and the cushion, and again I just ignored it and fell asleep.
The next morning, I felt a little itchy when I woke up, but just continued on my way to go to school. Throughout the day however I noticed how often I was itching, and noticed several red marks appearing on my left forearm, mostly around my inner elbow. Later I realized the same red marks on my right forearm around my outer elbow, as well as both of my knees. I knew it had to be bedbugs, because the only time I was ever bitten so much was when I went to the pool area one night with my friends and never did again after getting bitten so much. But this time I had way more bites than a few mosquitoes could do without even being outside, and as the itch spots hardened I counted at least a dozen bites on each arm and leg.
I remembered that while I was cleaning the chair when I brought it in, the underside was ripped and you could see the springs and the cotton (or whatever the white cotton-looking stuff surrounded the springs was) and it was full of a dozen dark red and black spots. My same roommate told me it was probably just soda or juice that soaked through the cushion and stained the cotton, but the marks were very spread out, not congested in a single area or anything. Although the spots looked nothing like the bedbug feces or shells as I see in the pictures above, they ‘did’ look more like someone may have tried to thoroughly wash and clean it up as if there was a serious nesting ground here before, which is a scary thought. How do you get bed bugs? used furniture, that’s how!
After about 3 days, I couldn’t take it anymore and just threw the chair out. One main problem though, is that I needed something for my legs to rest on while I attempted to sleep on the chair those two nights, and for that I used my luggage bag that contained most of my old clothing that either don’t fit me or don’t wear very often. But still, yeah, BIG mistake, totally unfortunate for me to have chosen my luggage out of anything else I could have possibly used as a footrest. And now that my feet and legs also have bites on them, its possible that some of those bugs may now be hiding out in my luggage.
Today is that third day, and I’m currently washing all my blankets and clothing. I threw out the couch as soon as I arrived from work, and I showed my friends why by revealing my arms to them because I’ve been keeping the issue to myself since day 1. I am deeply hoping that all of those bugs stayed in the chair and haven’t tried nesting anywhere else, but I’m not sure and I’ll have to wait a couple more days or weeks to see if I still get any new bites or if anyone else in this house gets itchy. By the way, the two roommates who I share the bedroom with have shown no signs of my problem…yet.
I’m doing as much research as I can on these little *insert curse word here*, because I think I have over 50 bed bug bites that are incredibly hard not to scratch. I pray it goes away, cause I’ll feel horrible and responsible if the entire house gets infested including all my roommates and all their clothing and furniture, and then we have to resort to exterminators or even fumigation, which will cost a lot. But that’s the worst case scenario I suppose, unless we have to move.
So I just wanted to post my experience here, the pictures were incredibly helpful, but I’d also like to ask if anyone could give me some tips on some methods and techniques that work and don’t work. Like if I should wash my cloths with certain detergents at certain temperatures, or if I should burn that chair as well as my luggage, or what traces of these bedbugs I should be looking for to locate them, or if you recommend an anti-itch cream that works very well and lasts long, etc. Thank you so much. This site is great and I also hope scientists find some kind of cure or remedy to this growing issue in our society.
How do you get bed bugs? Used furniture left next to trash is the #1 method for bringing them into your home, second is staying in an infested room, be it a hotel, friends house, or used cloths. If you find yourself with an infestation, check out our Bed Bug Treatment page for a number of ways to kill bed bugs.