“Five years later, I’m still worried sick every time my arm itches.” Virginie, a 42-year-old mother, was traumatized by an invasion of bedbugs in her apartment in 2017. For an entire year, the 40-year-old did her best to get rid of these pests herself… Before to resort to professionals in the field. For Planet, she recounts the hell she, her boyfriend, and her three children went through.
It all started in September 2017. Virginie made an appointment with a dermatologist after noticing pimples all over her skin: on her arms, her stomach, her legs…Redness that made her very itchy. “I couldn’t sleep at night. I kept scratching my bloody pimples, I was crying in pain. It was unbearable,” she recalls. Only here: the specialist does not understand where these pimples come from, and blames the stress.
In just a few weeks, Virginie is no longer the only one to suffer from the same itching. Her children and her spouse see the same redness appear on their skin, which prompts the mother to seek a second medical opinion.
“For this second dermatologist, there is no doubt: they are bedbug bites. Horrified, I started to learn about these critters, and to look for tips to get rid of them…I tried everything”, says Virginie. Tricks, the mother of the family has tried. She even spent thousands of euros to exterminate the bed bugs that invaded her home…
“I combed the house. I boiled all the sheets, all the clothes, and conversely I also put them in the freezer for several days. Room by room. My children, my husband and I We were forced to store our things in garbage bags while we waited. We even went to live with my in-laws for a few days while I cleaned up,” says Virginie. His daughter, Laura* (the first name has been changed, Editor’s note), then fifteen years old, slept for months on the sofa because bedbugs had invaded her room.
“I spent weeks cleaning her room so she could go back. The night she was finally able to sleep in her bed again, I went to see her. As she slept, I saw my own eyes bedbugs swarming at her feet. I collapsed, burst into tears and woke my daughter up so she could wash up and go back to sleep on the couch,” says Virginie.
Finally, how did the little family manage to get rid of bed bugs?
“I spent thousands of dollars to get rid of bedbugs. I bought hundreds of anti-pest products, a dryer to be able to put my clothes under high heat… But nothing I did. I threw away all the mattresses in the house, the curtains, the sofa, the cushions, the bath towels. Everything went there. And of course, I had to buy everything afterwards. I don’t not even dare to quantify all the expenses made”, deplores Virginie.
Despite this, the mother of the family was forced to resort to the help of professionals. “I was desperate. Miraculous cures do not exist, the best thing to do is to save time and energy by directly appealing to specialized companies”, sighs the mother of three children.
Today, Virginie bears physical and psychological scars from this very difficult year. “I still have marks on my arms, and I have a lump in my stomach every time I get bitten by a mosquito or any other insect,” she concludes.