Have you been to this popular North Dakota tourist town lately?

Some of its visitors more than likely brought some unwanted house guests back to their homes this past summer.  More on that in a moment.

Bed Bugs.  Are they even a real thing?

I know I didn't think they were growing up.  I thought it was just a fun nursery rhyme your mom and dad said to you at bedtime, "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite".  Just a cute saying that we all grew up with.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that Bed Bugs are indeed real.

I admitted to my staff for the first time ever that I had a run-in with bed bugs a little over 5 years ago.  It's taken me this long to even speak of it, let alone admit it.

I'll never forget my son waking up in the middle of the night with tears in his eyes, and some very little creatures crawling on him and all around his bed.  I had to Google what the heck they even were.  Where did they come from?  How could this happen?  You feel so dirty like it's your fault somehow.

After some research, I realized that bed bugs do not discriminate.

They don't care how much money you make or how big your home is.  All they need is a willing host with a suitcase and they will hitch a ride to wherever.

The terrifying thing is that they are very difficult to get rid of.  You can go down my route and try to get rid of them yourself with home improvement store-type products, but they will more than likely not eliminate them.  You will probably need a professional to finish the job and this can be very expensive.

We later realized we must have brought them back from one of our many overnight baseball trips.  I was coaching my son's Cal Ripken baseball team at the time, and if I had to guess, it was from a trip to Omaha, Nebraska (I later found out that the city is crawling with bed bugs).

What can you do to prevent bed bugs?

Bed bugs like to crawl into suitcases in hotel rooms, purses in movie theaters, or any place people gather at night.

When you check into a motel room, check the sheets for bed bug droppings.  It will look like a small blood residue.  Check the headboards and anyplace else that could hold bed bugs.  If you see bed bug activity get out immediately.  Even if you see nothing, prop your luggage up on tables and keep them zipped up to hopefully prevent hitchhikers.

Okay, getting back to this North Dakota town with a bed bug outbreak? 

It's none other than Medora.  Were you there this past summer?  Find out more here.

LOOK: 11 tick-borne illnesses and what to watch out for during your outdoor adventures

Stacker compiled a list of 11 common tick-borne diseases in the U.S. and what symptoms to watch out for, using a variety of medical and government sources. 

Gallery Credit: Martha Sandoval


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