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Itchy bitchy

When I said the hotel we stayed in was a dive, I was thinking more of the tired decor, the worn carpets, the torn curtains, the cracked tiles in the bathroom, and the clogged up toilet 'for hotel guests only' off the lobby downstairs...but it seems there was something I overlooked while I was there.

I had noticed I'd been a little itchy lately, but it wasn't until I went into a department store dressing room this afternoon to try on a new outfit for work, that I saw the numerous red bitemarks on my arms, legs, neck and back that I started to put two and two together. I don't know why I didn't see it earlier, but I think I've been offering myself up as an all-you-can-eat buffet for bed bugs in recent days.

And now I just can't stop scratching. It's driving me mad!

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Comments

( 16 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
curiouswombat
Oct. 30th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
Meep!
gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
I'll stop by the pharmacy today to see if they've got something to take the itch away. I look a fright with all these red splotches, and I can only hope they're gone by the time I've got to go to work on Monday.
samhainborn
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:23 am (UTC)
Ew Ew Ew Ew!!!

gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
You can say that again. Ew!
anonypooh
Oct. 31st, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
oooh scratchy (and hello!)
make sure you review this dive on tripadvisor.com!
gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 08:34 am (UTC)
I will! And I'll lodge a complaint with the travel agency as well. I knew I should have made my own arrangements (but Allan doesn't trust the Internet).
suze2000
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:34 am (UTC)
OMG! I had the WORST allergic reaction to bed bugs a few years back. They are far more common these days because of the proliferation of cheap travel and the banning of strong pesticides previously used to eradicate the buggers. (I'd had a previous encounter with them in NYC which led to a change in hotels but no massive reaction)

Any cream with a local anaesthetic in it will help, but I found icing them gave the most relief (thanks Mum for that suggestion). I ended up at the doctors' though (I saw three) and taking prednislone and applying a very strong cortisone and antibiotic cream to the bites. I have very bad scarring now in places because the scratching just made the reaction under the skin multiply!! So DON'T SCRATCH!

Further, you might want to consider the possibility that you may have brought a few of the buggers home with you. O_O
On the advice of a pest controller, I had to wash everything I took with me in HOT HOT water (my machine went up to 90C and I used it), then dried them for an hour (I think) in an industrial dryer (the big ones like you get at a laudromat). I also included the bedding I was using when I got home just in case I had some eggs on my actual person when I got home. And then, called out the pest controller just to be sure, and had my room, bed, mattress and wardrobe sprayed. And I threw out the luggage I'd used. I'm not sure whether that was overkill or not, but I was so unwell with those bites, I did NOT want a revisit.

Now I NEVER stay in budget hotels, no matter what country I'm in.

Good luck, I hope you fine relief soon.

Edited at 2008-10-31 09:34 am (UTC)
gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
Further, you might want to consider the possibility that you may have brought a few of the buggers home with you.

That's what I'm most worried about. I chucked all the clothes I'd brought with me in the laundry basket as soon as I got home, but I slept in the pyjamas for a night before I saw my skin erupt in angry red splotches. I wasted no time in changing the bedding and washing everything after that, but I'm still really worried. I guess I'll know for a fact if I'd brought home any infestation if my rash doesn't clear but gets worse over the next few days.
suze2000
Oct. 31st, 2008 10:08 am (UTC)
Hrrmm... I suggest Googling the life cycle of the bug. I'm pretty sure there's a time frame before you'll notice if you've only bought eggs along (they lay them in the luggage). They have to grow, and moult I don't know how many cycles and while each cycle requires a feed, you may not notice a single bite. But you will if you brought a bunch home I guess.

As I said, good luck with it. *hug*

vegmb
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
OMG! I had read something a few months ago about that being a problem in some NYC hotels after them being absent from the country for decades.
gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:50 pm (UTC)
Next time, if I have to stay in a hotel again, I'm opting for a more upmarket one...or across the water in Jersey City.

Up until now, my worst experience had been a sleepless night in a fleabag b&b in Ireland -- but at least those flea bites went away pretty quickly. After reading up on bed bugs on the Internet, it seems I can look forward to at least another week of discomfort from these bites. :(
vegmb
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
:( Along with poor ratings on travel sites, you may want to contact the BBB in NYC to report them also.
gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
BBB?
vegmb
Oct. 31st, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
Better Business Bureau. They give business ratings and are a good place to call to check out a business you are considering using. If there is a problem, people can lodge a complaint with them. I only know of one instance where someone has and the offered to mediate the problem to try to get it resolved. (Not being at all familar with anywhere else, I don't know if there is something similar to compare it to. I think there is a BBB in every area of the country here.)
enigmaticblues
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, no! I wish I knew how to fix that...
gamiila
Oct. 31st, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Apparently, there isn't very much you can do. As long as you're not bitten again, the welts (which will only start to appear a few days after you've been bitten) should gradually disappear over a 1-2 week period; but in the meantime, all you can do is try to find relief from the itching. At the moment, I'm having a pretty severe allergic reaction, which means I look absolutely horrendous with big red raised bumps in my face, neck and down both my arms and hands, so they've given me an anti-histamine at the pharmacy, and a mentholated cream that's recommended for use with insect bites -- it does help to get the edge off the itch, but it's still quite bad. I was advised to go to a doctor, but they couldn't see me today and I'm starting my new job on Monday, so...

The worst thing is though, the worry that I may have brought some of the critters or their eggs home with me.
( 16 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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