My family and I vacationed in Lewes, DE for the first time last year. It was love at first sight. We stayed at a house right on the beach...and we loved it so much, we rented the SAME house for our trip this year. We had been looking forward to our annual trip from the moment we booked it seven months ago. I couldn't wait to make more memories with our 5-year old. I dreamed about sitting on the hot sand and breathing in the salt air. And...several family members were going to be joining us mid-week, so I looked forward to hanging out with everyone in the house.
Everything was PERFECT for the first 3-days. The weather and water temperature was just right. My Aunts and cousin were enjoying spending time with us. We were all excited about my sister and brother-in-law joining us for the last couple of days of the trip. I was especially happy that my sister was FINALLY going to get her beach vacation (she hadn't been able to take time off for YEARS).
My sister and her husband arrived late Wednesday night. I showed them the room they were going to be sleeping in and we went back downstairs to catch up. After we had all gone to bed, I heard some commotion in the hallway. I didn't think anything of it...I was tired. Well, the next morning I found out that my sister and her husband never slept in their beds. Why? BED BUGS! That's right. They saw bed bugs all over the mattress as they were putting their sheets on.
It turns out the ENTIRE HOUSE had a bed bug infestation. Yes...even the beds WE HAD BEEN SLEEPING IN FOR 3 NIGHTS! I suddenly became nauseous. I realized in that moment that the "mosquito bites" all over my hands and neck were actually BED BUG BITES. Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!
My husband and brother-in-law stuffed a bunch of LIVE bed bugs into a zip lock bag and drove down to the rental office with the evidence. They were horrified and very apologetic...and agreed to give us a full refund. Meanwhile, back at the beach house, the rest of us were washing everything we could in hot water and putting things in the drier in the hottest setting (heat kills bed bugs). We bagged everything after we took them out of the dryer and put them in the car to bake under the sun. This washing and bagging lasted 5-hours. We drove back home and spent the rest of the week triple-checking everything we had already sanitized.
My bed bug bites are still very itchy...but I'm glad no one else had the same reaction. Apparently, not everyone who is bitten gets red, itchy welts like I did.
I'm bummed that our trip was cut short...but I learned A LOT about bed bugs from the experience. From now on, I will NEVER step inside a room without checking for them first.
Here are some photos we took so you can actually SEE what they look like.