In 2008 I had a nightmare experience. My son had started to get a strange rash on his legs. Hundreds upon hundreds of tiny welts kept appearing on his legs and would not leave. Our doctor prescribed cortisone and suggested we change our detergent—it must have been allergies. The cortisone made the rash go down, but nothing seemed to stop the rash completely.
Then when I was changing the sheets I saw them. AN ARMY of black bugs were living in my son’s box-spring. There were thousands of them of all sizes and the mattress was covered in pink and black dots of blood and feces.
I had a complete mental gibbering breakdown where I called my brother and pleaded with him to come and comfort me. He took me to Chinese and with him and my husband on the phone we worked out a plan. I found out later from the supervisor that many of our neighbours had had them, but we were never warned.
I hardly slept for almost a week. We had to throw out all most all of our furniture and we were fighting those little bastards for well over a year. I’d freak at the slightest tickle on my body, and my eyes were always chasing phantom (and real) bugs in my side-vision.
Even now the smell of Black Flag gives me panic attacks, and that’s how I came up with this hotel checklist to check for them. I figure I could at least share the experience that I was so unprepared for.