the friday after we got back from ocean city, mike noticed some bites on his stomach and hip. “maybe they’re bed bugs?” i suggested. we did a quick google search and the images that popped up looked kind of similar to mike’s bites but we couldn’t be certain. we checked our sheets and bed and didn’t find any signs of bugs.
when i got back from the gym the next morning, three laundry baskets sat piled high in the middle of our living room and i could tell mike wasn’t in the happy, peppy, post-workout mood i was in. “i’m really worried about bed bugs,” he said. sighs and pacing followed. not from me, from him. though mike thoroughly checked our sheets and mattress for signs of bed bugs we spent the rest of the day doing laundry.
a week later, i woke up scratching my arm. and then i noticed some bites. there were quite a few in a concentrated area. i showed mike and went on to eat breakfast and check email. about 20 mins later, i could sense some stress (perhaps after a few sighs) and mike admitted to being worried about bed bugs again. he said he wanted me to visit a doctor so we could find out for sure. as a compromise, i said i’d ask around at work and see what people thought. at work, reviews were mixed. i did a google image search this time and thought that the bites didn’t look too much like mine. thinking he’d come to the same conclusion, i told mike to do the same.
when i got home that night, mike said “the more i think about it, the more i think those pictures look a lot like yours.” he had a website about bed bugs up on his computer and told me to take a look. i start reading and clicking around and the website said something like “if you need evidence of bed bugs so that a landlord or management company will send an exterminator but don’t have evidence of bed bugs on your sheets or mattress, only bites, then you’ll need to catch a bed bug” with “catch a bed bug” hyperlinked. out of sheer curiosity, i clicked on the link.
the article described an old-fashioned way to catch bed bugs: put vaseline on the legs of your bed frame so that when the bed bugs try to crawl up, they’ll get stuck. this seems like an easy test. i share this with mike and he heads to the linen closet to get the vaseline. he sits on the floor beside our bed, pulls up the bed skirt, dips his fingers in the vaseline and gets to work. i come running in with the camera. “please don’t take my picture.” snap. “i said, please don’t take my picture.” “why not,” i giggle, “this is so funny.” when i try to take another, mike gets mad. “stop!” he says. i run away, mad that he won’t let me have some fun with this. when we get in bed that night mike says that he doesn’t want people to know about this, that it’s for-lack-of-a-better-term embarrassing. i still think it’s super funny and ask if i can write about it if it turns into nothing.
first thing the next morning mike grabs the flashlight to inspect our trap. fortunately no bed bugs. mike read that it can take a few days to catch any so he reapplies the next night and we wait a few more days. at this point, there are still no signs of bed bugs so i think we’re in the clear. we probably have one random bug every now and then, i mean something is biting us, but thankfully we’re not letting bed bugs bite.