One of the things that was talked about quite a bit in the District 6 housing debate was the issue of bedbugs. Well, it’s not just an SRO problem as one of our readers has sent in his account of the hell they are to get rid of:

I remember being a kid and routinely being told by my parents or grandparents as I shuffled off to bed: “Good night. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” I thought bed bugs were a thing of history and how you wished children a good sleep. Well turns out they are all over the ‘loin. We are ground zero for the coming invasion.

See: bedbugregistry.com/metro/sf/

I’ve been in my apartment at Taylor and Sutter since Feb and today my apartment was treated for bed bugs. As a results i’m going to have to throw out my couch and have had to wash every single piece of clothing that I have, which totaled about $50 in quarters alone.

So I thought I’d share my experience and some tips in the hopes that you and if you pass it along, your readers could avoid the welts, the loss of a favorite couch and feeding the buildings laundry machines with quarters.

A few months back I started noticing little blood smears on my sheets. I routinely fall asleep on my bed with my glasses on, so I initially thought that it was because the glasses were cutting my face/legs/torso where ever they (and they end up in strange places). Around that same time, I started noticing a few bite marks. I blew this off as spiders or fleas, as my building allows pets.

Then as I was laying in bed surfing the web..I’m sure it was Tenderblog I was reading at the time…I saw a little bug walking across my sheets. I smooshed it and it exploded in a nice red mark (bed bugs feed off our blood). At that time it confirmed to me that I had fleas. I mean what other bug sucks blood outside of a mosquito eh?

After I saw a few more, and more welts. I began to realize these guys weren’t jumping they’d just waddle their fat asses around my bed. At this time the blood smears on my sheets were becoming more and more. Also I started noticing little tiny brown bits on my sheets. I thought it to be dried blood. No as I’ve learned this is bed bug shit.

So here are the signs.

* Blood smears on your sheets.
* welts (people react in varying degrees, they really don’t mess with me).
* tiny brown streaks. Looks like some one make a stray mark with a mechanical pencil on your mattress or sheets.

Tips
*Use the above site to see if there are reports in your building.
*Wrap your box spring and mattress in a enclosure. This keeps the old from getting out and new from getting in.
* Get a bed bug detector. These are basically cups that you place under the feet of your bed frame that contain water or other substances and effectively kill the bed bugs on their way to your bed. They serve as an early warning system to alert you that you have them in your apartment.

Luckily my manager is awesome and is dealing with this head on. Apparently the apartment below and to the left of me is infested, so I suppose it was inevitable.

The root of the site I linked above is a great resource for prevention, and what to do if you have them.

First of all, bed bugs are not like roaches. The aren’t attracted to filth. Like mosquitoes, they are attracted to CO2. They do, however, like clutter. While I have a maid, my apartment is a controlled mess.