Thursday, July 24, 2008


It is the rare person who stays in Guatemala for more than two weeks and does not get bedbugs. I have had the joy of getting bedbugs not once, but twice (fleas are another issue).

For those who are little squeamish, you might want to skip this post. For the curious, read on.

Initially I thought I had fleas again. I was itchy, and had tiny red bumps. I could feel little insects crawling around on me, so I was ready to break out the flea powder again. However, I took a minute to look bedbugs up online, and learned that bedbugs, unlike fleas, leave tiny black and red dots on the sheets. I checked, and sure enough, the spots were there. I, my friends, had bedbugs.

I quickly piled up my sheets to wash (by hand---the house I stayed in didn't have a working washer), and shook out my clothing. I sprayed clothing I hadn't worn yet with some heavy duty bug spray, and hung it out on the roof to air out in the sunlight. I figured if fleas didn't like direct sunlight, maybe bedbugs wouldn't either. I hoped and prayed and looked up the Spanish word for bedbugs to ask my more easygoing friend at work. Apparently, bedbugs and fleas are just part and parcel of daily life in Guatemala.

I've always wanted to have the true Guatemalan experience, and man, isn't it fun!

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