Bed Bugs in America
From the joys of outside beds (a few entries back), to the challenges of indoor ones...
No kidding -- bed bugs are making a comeback! Here's the bad news: they often spread through hotels, and if you are a frequent traveller and have slept in a hotel bed, you could bring more than the hotel free stationary home with you. The good news is that we've had bed bugs in America before, and we did a good job of getting rid of them using pesticides. While no one looks forward to strong pesticides being used in their home, at least it works.
However, if you do get an infestation, it's an expensive proposition: it will likely mean that you also have to buy all new beds. In some cases, it can be severe enough that you can find yourself out a lot of money by the time you get all the bugs out of all your furniture. Of course, while they are called "bed bugs", these little critters will also enjoy your couches and upholstered chairs...
Is there anything you can do? Well, not too much. While you can check your hotel bed for the evidence of bed bugs, you can't be sure that you'll see them. They are the size of a poppy seed! The only other evidence could be small blood stains from where previous victims have been bitten. You can call your hotel and ask if they've had any bed bug problems -- but they may or may not be aware of a new problem. But given our nation's desire for faster and faster information, I'm sure that sites will be springing up on the internet telling you which hotels have had recent bed bug infestations!
Fortunately, bed bugs don't carry any nasty diseases to date, and a good dose of calamine lotion should cure the itching from the bite. Apparently, antihistamines can also help with the itch. Nothing much will cure the pain in your pocketbook if you end up with them in your home though.