Bed bugs!

The Household went camping on the weekend. OK, we went cabining.

We went with a crowd from the Sprogs’ school, who all pitched tents. Aldi had a camping gear sale, so we could have stocked up and still come out of it cheaper than the freaking expensive cabin we booked. But sleeping on the ground without an adjoining ensuite isn’t my idea of a holiday.

So I was feeling pretty smug as I curled up in in our nice, warm cabin on Friday night, until Sprog 1 announced there were bugs crawling all over the bunk bed.

Husband went to investigate and came back looking a little pale with a few squashed bugs on his palm. He placed them carefully on the coffee table and started consulting Wikipedia on his iPhone.

But that was just a formality. We already knew what they were because we’d seen them before, 12 years ago in Singapore. Bed bugs. (They had a holiday romance with our furniture on a container ship. We naively tackled the situation by spraying a few cans of insecticide into our mattress and sofa. We’re lucky the Sprogs weren’t born with two heads.)

Husband squashed a few more bugs, just to be 100% sure. Then he tried to call reception, but the desk was only manned until 8pm at night. Sprog 2 was asleep in the top bunk so we decided to take our chances. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

According to, this …

Fortunately I didn’t Google those photos until last night.

We moved Sprog 1 to another bed and sat in the lounge room having an alcohol-fuelled mope about our ill-fortune. I wasn’t feeling so smug about my cabin anymore. A tent was looking pretty damn good.

The next morning, I sidled up to reception with four squashed bed bugs in a coffee cup.

I glanced furtively to my left, right and left again, then whispered: “There’s a problem with our cabin.” I slid the coffee cup across the counter and hissed: “Bed bugs!”

The receptionist stared in the cup and flared her nostrils in carefully contained horror. Or perhaps it was the scent of eau de squashed bed bug, which various websites describe as like “rotten raspberries”.

My heart was pounding wildly during this awkward interchange – I felt like one of those dodgy types who take half a cockroach to restaurants in a ziplock bag and insert it into their meal so they don’t have to pay the bill.

The receptionist – bless her – quietly informed me that she was refunding our first night’s tariff and upgrading us to a villa. I suggested she might need to fumigate  the villa when we left, as the bugs might decide to cabin surf with us.

We drove home yesterday afternoon and deposited our luggage outside the laundry door so we could boil all clothing items and search everything else with a fine-tooth comb. Then we all stripped naked on the back doorstep and shuffled inside for hot showers.

Aside from that, it was a lovely and unexpectedly cheap weekend (thanks to the bed bugs). The Sprogs frolicked in rockpools, splashed in the surf, rode bikes and went fishing. Sprog 1 didn’t catch anything, other than her finger on a stray hook. Fortunately she’s stoic – unlike her sister, who has a Band-aid phobia and went completely deranged about first-aid options when she cut her toe open.

Next time we go camping/cabining, I might do a few things differently. I will keep better track of the Sprogs thongs so I don’t have to buy new ones and they don’t cut their toes open while running about barefoot. I will check the cupboards on departure so I don’t leave Husband’s wallet, trousers and shirt behind. I will check the mattresses for bugs. And I won’t smuggle the bunny along, I’ll find a sitter. (Yes, I smuggled the bunny along. Yes, I know that was a bit daft.)

Because what do you do with the bunny after check-out when everyone else heads to the beach on a hot, sunny Sunday morning? You sit on a picnic table with the bunny in a cage, concealed under a tablecloth.

It was an excellent opportunity to get a bit of oh-my-god-bed-bugs blogging done, but it felt a bit wrong when such a gorgeous day beckoned.


5 thoughts on “Bed bugs!

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  1. I’ve only ever been camping twice in my life. Hated it both times. If God wanted us to go camping, he wouldn’t have built the Hilton.

  2. Bed bugs are the stuff of nightmares! My friedn moved into a flat that had them and the landlord insisted he’d bought them.
    ps. You are so funny smuggling that bunny! I’ve only ever seen budgie smugglers at the beach. 🙂

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