Good Night, Sleep Tight The District is just now waking up to a bunch of little problems under the sheets.

Alex Eben Meyer

Don Wilder remembers the night he found his own blood on his sheets. Itchy red welts had been appearing on his arms and legs for six months.

His doctor, dermatologist, plastic surgeon, and psychiatrist all had different theories—so he tried prescriptions and rubbed Bactine and lidocaine lotion on his skin. But the red marks only spread. “Literally hundreds” of them dotted his legs that night in October 2005, he says, when he lifted his sheet to find blood “all over.”

The next morning Wilder scoured his apartment. When he pulled his bed away from the wall, he found an empty cardboard box on the floor. It held a nest with a layer of eggs so thick it looked like wax in a beehive. Hundreds of bedbugs crawled around inside, active and robust from feeding on Wilder’s body.

“They’re like little blood sacks running around,” he says.

Wilder, a hairdresser, is one of many tenants in the Norwood apartment building at 14th and N Streets NW, near Logan Circle, who are reluctant bedbug experts after years of battling infestations. Wilder says his seventh-floor apartment and the plush sofa that once doubled as a roosting spot for bedbugs are now bug-free. But 10 units at the Norwood still hosted bedbugs as of last week.


For three years, the Norwood Tenants Association complained to various D.C. agencies and the D.C. Council, filed a lawsuit, purchased bedbug extermination chemicals from the Internet, and finally agreed at the end of last year to buy the building, which the D.C. tax and revenue office values at more than $7 million. It is now seeing quicker responses to bedbug infestations from building management and the landlord, according to tenants association co-president Silvia Salazar.

The Norwood is one of many bedbug hot spots in the D.C. area. The relevant D.C. agencies haven’t tracked bedbug infestations for long; they’re still grouped in the catchall “vermin.” Yet the problem is entrenched enough that the District government is launching a public information campaign about these critters.

“We know we’re not alone here, and people are desperate to know what to do,” says Salazar.

My own bedbug fiasco began two summers ago, in a house on the U Street corridor. My boyfriend, Josh, had just returned from a weeklong trip to Montana, and it was a hot Sunday night in August. As we drifted off to sleep, his bedroom was pitch black and silent except for the hum of central air.

Then I felt a pinprick on my forehead. On my arm. On my forehead again.

“Hey, I think something’s biting me,” I said. “I’m gonna turn on the light real fast.”

I lunged out of bed and fumbled for the light switch.

In retrospect, it was so obvious. My right thigh, calf, and foot had been collecting bites for weeks. The red welts would appear in straight lines running down my legs, clustered like Braille along a vein. They had a burning itch so persistent that purple marks from all the scratching lingered for days after the bumps disappeared—giving me a nice “junkie leper” look.

For a couple of weeks, I did Google searches on various bug bites, rashes, diseases, and allergic reactions.

I called my mother, a nurse, who said, “Maybe you have fleas.” My coworkers speculated on it, too: It could be my laundry detergent. Or a ravenous and very persistent mosquito.

With the bedroom light on, I looked at Josh’s bed. At first it was just a navy-blue ocean of sheets. Then there appeared a rust-colored, translucent bug that could have been mistaken for a tick. And another, a white baby, that looked like a scurrying grain of salt.

Josh reached down and tugged at the bottom sheet. It came loose and, just like a horror movie, revealed a mattress crawling with bugs. Dozens, maybe even hundreds, of them swarmed like ants on a scrap of food as they scrambled for their hiding place. Some poked along, bloated from their dinner.

As I backed out of the room cussing and frantically shaking out my hair—and spotted a fat bug heading for the doorway—it hit me. Those things had been feasting on my blood for weeks.

Bedbugs are the vampires of the insect class—nocturnal, sanguivorous, and legendarily hard to kill.

The bugs are tenacious and invasive, even down to a mating ritual scientists call “traumatic insemination,” wherein the male stabs the female in her abdomen with his genitalia and ejaculates into her body cavity.

Evolution gave the bugs a set of survival traits that makes them seem almost diabolical. They feed at night when they sense their prey has fallen asleep. They hide from daylight by squeezing between mattress seams and into floorboard cracks. They can live without food for as long as seven to 18 months, depending on whom you ask. They’re as fast and light-footed as ants, with a numbing saliva, making them barely detectable while they feed. They hitchhike on clothes and inside luggage, and they often sneak into new homes on secondhand mattresses picked up from a Dumpster or sidewalk.

Bedbugs have been around since the 17th century and in the United States since colonial times. They went dormant in the middle of the 20th century, due to American use of DDT and other pesticides.

Now they’re back; some blame the disappearance of harsh synthetic pesticides, others attribute it to more global travel and residential transiency. The bugs first popped up again in major metropolitan areas then spread to rural areas, public transit, beach houses, cruise ships. There have even been cases of bedbugs living in prosthetic limbs and under toenails.

“Our first finding was 1998 in this area, a hotel situation. From there it just seemed like it escalated exponentially,” says Richard Kramer of the Brookville, Md.–based Innovative Pest Management, Inc. “Now we treat thousands of apartments per year for bedbugs, and we’re just a small company.”

Kramer says one building gets at least five treatments a week from his company. Most of its clients are apartment buildings with overoccupied units—as many as six to eight people living in an efficiency.

Infestation numbers in D.C. reached a plateau two to three years ago, he says. Instead of diminishing in number, the infestations seem to be dispersing, creeping out from a core in the northwestern quadrant of the city, northeast to Laurel and across the Potomac River into Northern Virginia, he says.

“I would say that it is a growing problem, but that’s just my opinion,” says Shana Kemp, a spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). DCRA encounters bedbug problems as part of its mission to enforce the District’s housing code.

Another agency, the city’s Department of Health, gets a little closer to the critters. Gerard Brown, who heads the department’s rodent-control division, first spotted an issue with bedbugs in June. Ever since, these tiny pests have eaten up a sizable chunk of his anti-vermin portfolio.

Brown’s people operate under a different set of rules from the DCRA—instead of monitoring the infestations, the Department of Health can actually treat them and does so regularly in homeless shelters. It tries various methods to educate the public, including working with neighborhood groups to get the word out. It’s also been tracking reports since June.

“When we realized that it was a beginning to be a problem, then with the support of the mayor’s office and our director’s office, I started doing research,” says Brown.

So far Brown has taken calls on more than 50 properties. Almost one-fifth of those are hotels. The rest are single-family homes, apartment buildings, a school, and a dialysis center where a patient was infested. When Brown goes out to deliver presentations on bedbugs to community groups, senior housing centers, halfway houses, or property managers, he hears even more reports, he says. He was approached by a government worker whose own apartment building was “totally infested.”

Blame that problem on the landlords. One of the reasons for the bugs’ ubiquity in multi-unit dwellings is that that property owners don’t want to pay to treat multiple units. So bugs in the unit that exterminators are paid to treat just pick up and move next door, or upstairs or downstairs. Two weeks later, a fresh crop of baby bugs hatches and settles into its new home.

Brown counters with a view of landlords not widely shared in the world of D.C. affordable housing. He says that landlords aren’t reluctant—they’re desperate to clear the infestations. “They will ask, ‘What can I do? Help me. I did this, I did this.’ They fax me invoices for the pest control and say, ‘What else can I do? If there’s something I can do I will do it,’” Brown says.

The city hopes to head off some of those questions via a public awareness campaign sponsored by the Health Department along with the Office of the Tenant Advocate and various tenants associations. The department just wrapped up filming on its first bedbug public service announcement. It was shot in a Norwood apartment whose residents agreed to cooperate in exchange for having the department treat a bedbug outbreak.

A complete series of treatments ranges in cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Josh’s small infestation required three visits at $400. Because of the expense of hiring an expert, local hardware stores have seen growing demand for do-it-yourself chemicals deemed questionable by the pest control industry.

“Most products that people can go out and buy at Home Depot…don’t work very well,” says Kramer, who spent 22 years as a U.S. Army entomologist before starting his company. Bedbugs have developed a resistance over the years to some of the retail chemicals, he says. “For cockroaches and mice, I say if you want to do your own pest management, go at it. Bedbugs is a totally different deal.”

“If you can get an exterminator, that’s the gold standard, but in this economy, what are you gonna do?,” says Salazar.

One variety sold in the District is results—works in minutes! with a two-page user guide that contains the sad truth: results would take 35 days of meticulous powdering on the bed, floor, and wherever else a bug could potentially hide. “Even a day lapse could set you back by weeks,” the directions say.

Farah Fosse of the Adams Morgan–based Latino Economic Development Corporation, which sponsored bedbug public outreach events in the District last summer, says tenants with long-standing problems are bringing in “really powerful chemicals” like paint thinner to kill the bugs.

One mother in the Norwood used to spread diesel fuel on the floorboards and around her child’s bed to kill bedbugs, says Salazar.

The diesel fuel method has been employed elsewhere in the building by a group of Salvadoran men whose only obvious home furnishings are a mattress on the floor and a rolled-up blanket.

All of them were told diesel fuel was a bedbug treatment, Salazar explains.

“Aren’t you worried that the fuel or fumes will make you sick?” I ask one of them.

“I’m more scared of the bedbugs, because they give me diseases,” he says.

Diesel fuel and gasoline were actually recommended as recently as the 1940s as a bedbug treatment, according to sources in the pest control industry.

“I’m sure that created many fires back in the day,” Kramer says, adding with a tense chuckle that diesel probably does suffocate the bugs but is “not a good plan.”

Norwood resident David Fabien keeps a moat of chalky pesticide powder dusted along his doorway. A couple months after occupying his unit in 2005, he discovered spots of dried-blood waste—bedbug calling cards—on the corners of a picture frame on his wall. Even now, sometimes a twitch at night will convince him to throw off the sheets, turn on the light, and check the bed.

Now that his infestation is gone, Fabien wants people to know that it’s “OK to talk about it.”

Salazar keeps her closet fully stocked with extra bottles of pesticide powders and sprays. She started finding bites on her face years ago. They looked like bee stings, and one bite swelled her eye shut. Salazar pinpointed the cause by doing research from her office at the National Institutes of Health but thought she was the only renter infested. About four months later during a tenants association meeting, when kids and senior residents showed up with bites and a tenant arrived with a jar of live specimens, Salazar realized how far the problem reached. DCRA performed a building-wide inspection in the summer of 2006 and cited it as infested.

The experience and the constant vigilance needed to simply control the bugs left deep treadmarks in Salazar’s psyche. She calls it “bedbug psychosis.” She says she still wakes up at 2 a.m. some nights throwing off her covers because she feels something bite her. She won’t buy wooden furniture or anything made from natural fibers, and upon seeing Fabien’s door decorated with cloth and padding, like a big satiny pillow, Salazar recoiled. “That, I would never be able to do. I’d just be thinking, bedbugs could hide there.”

The outbreak at my boyfriend’s house unleashed in me a whole slew of fun new quirks not unlike Salazar’s.

For weeks after the discovery, I would dart upright in bed in the wee hours of the morning and brush my hands over the mattress, without any memory of it. Twice a day I’d comb the bed frame, sheet corners, mattress seams, baseboards and floor—where the critters typically hang out—for bugs, eggs, blood spots, or shed carapaces. I stiffened at the mention of any bug.

My purse once touched Josh’s bedroom floor, so I threw it in my back seat on a 90-degree day to bake, then I froze it for 24 hours, too, just in case.

It’s horrific enough to wake up with bugs crawling all over your body and face, like you’re a big, fleshy slop trough. But what drove me nuts was the notion that my boyfriend’s bed, and mine, and any other bed for that matter, were no longer safe.

Over-the-top, hypersensitive, even PTSD-like psychological reactions to bedbugs are actually common enough to have yielded lawsuits—an opera singer, a Fordham college student, and a Fox News employee have sued over psychological trauma from bedbugs.

“I think people need to chill out,” says Richard J. Pollack of the Laboratory of Public Health Entomology at Harvard School of Public Health.

Pollack is one of few researchers devoting his time to the bedbug. (He has never had a home infestation but does keep a whole bedbug farm in his office. He lets them crawl on his arm every couple of weeks to get them “all excited.”)

He says bug hysteria might be more harmful than the bugs themselves, which are not known to transmit any diseases. “They’ve invaded the sanctity of our homes, our castles,” Pollack says, adding that bedbugs aren’t an epidemic—most hotels, apartments, and homes aren’t infested.

That’s little solace to the people for whom bedtime brings about a very particular form of hysteria. Last summer at the Norwood, Salazar introduced me to 8-year-old Alex, who lives in the building and grew up with bedbugs. No sooner do the words leave her mouth than Alex raises his foot and rubs it against his other ankle on a darkened, swollen spot. His Pavlovian scratching lasts until I leave.

“There are rational ways to deal with it, and there are irrational ways,” says Pollack.

I chose the latter.

Josh’s bedbugs were extinct soon after a pest control company went to work. My hypervigilance stuck around, though. And got worse. I couldn’t sleep. What if the bugs resurrected in Josh’s bedroom? What if a bug escaped from the double-knotted-and-duct-taped grocery bag where I put his clothes when he stayed over? What if an egg breached the defenses of my insect-free zone and hatched, and breeding bugs somehow escaped my notice long enough to overtake my car and house and Josh’s house, too?

Both of us were a wreck.

“I’m filled with a sense of creeping dread,” Josh wrote to me in an e-mail. “I have yet to see any bug activity anywhere in my room following the second spraying and daily inspections of my mattress at this point have been entirely without incident. The not as good: Due to my own paranoia, I am still not using sheets or a pillow.”

Then one day, I walked in on Josh staring at my mattress with a devastated look on his face. “I found one,” he said. Instantly I began to itch. Then I cried, made a panicked call to an exterminator, bought an airtight mattress cover that functioned as a plastic bug-diaper for my bed, warned my roommates, and braced myself for a bomb that never dropped.

Josh returned to my house that night to find me deranged, with duct tape stretched across my bedroom floor, sticky side up, in what was probably some kind of pagan-ritual shape around my bed. I proudly explained that it was a trap for any bugs attempting to escape the bed and told him how I’d vacuumed every slat in my hardwood floor and sprayed rubbing alcohol on all my belongings—bed frame, purses, leather shoes, even my laptop.

He followed me into my basement and stood next to the dryer as I washed yet another load of clothes in scalding hot water. He fidgeted with the Velcro pocket on his cargo shorts in a “My girlfriend is turning into a psycho hosebeast and I can’t tell if I should fight or flee” kind of way.

“You should get some sleep,” he said quietly, talking me off the ledge. “It’s almost 2 o’clock. You’ll be exhausted tomorrow. Besides, it’s not really necessary to do all this.”

“No,” I said, tossing clothes from the washer to the dryer. “I don’t want this to become a problem. Better to take care of it early.”

“OK,” he said. “Well, it just seems like you’re going kind of crazy with everything.”

I slammed the dryer door. “I’m sorry,” I said snottily. “I didn’t realize there was a sane way to deal with bugs crawling on you, drinking your blood while you sleep.”

Our Readers Say

I know how they feel. I live in Mt. Vernon Square and about 5 months after my roommate and I moved into our apartment, I started getting bit at night. I didn't know what was going on, but my roommate did. He use to live in the Woodner and said he had a huge problem with bedbugs. He threw away basically everything he owned and had to buy a new bed. Since we've lived here, I have thrown away my bed, a couch, and lord knows how many clothes and shoes just because I didn't know if the bugs were nesting inside them. It's been over three months now since they apartment was exterminated and I still see one every now and then, however I still jump up at night when I think something is crawling on me.
Thank you for the excellent and informative article! My building near Ustreet had several outbreaks and I lived in fear for months.
Theres an older apartment about 2 doors over from the corner of Kalorama and 18th in which I heard horror stories about the bedbugs. Sometimes no matter how clean you are- they show up. Also, they will travel with you- so its best to get rid of beds and furniture. Clothes should be put in plastic bags and cleaned at a dry cleaners or tossed. They like boxes and pillows as well.

Informative story and great cover art this week.
Thank you for writing this informative article on bed bugs in the District of Columbia. I live in an old apartment building in upper northwest in Ward 4. The management company have allowed large groups of Central Americans/Africans to move onto the properties. Many of these tenants live like animals which have created a problem with mice and roaches. I wouldn't be surprise to hear about neighbors having bed bugs.
Ok, great article but HOW CAN WE PREVENT THEM?!!!>!>
Hey Chris - I'm one of the cleanest people you'll ever meet, and I got bed bugs from a moving company in NYC. Bed bugs have nothing to do with cleanliness. You can get them from almost anywhere (cabs, subways, hotels, offices, classrooms) and getting rid of them is a costly and miserable expense. I've been free of the suckers for 2 months and can only hope that they aren't making their way back. Contrary to what Pollack says in this article ("bedbugs aren't an epidemic"), they've grown exponentially worse in the past year alone, and many scientists do in fact consider this an epidemic. If the government doesn't take control of the situation soon, it's just a matter of time before everyone in NYC and everyone in DC are infested. This isn't some crazed theory - just do some research, and you'll find out just how bad the situation really is.
Sarah - you can't really "prevent" them, but you can take precautionary measures. The site has some great information and helped me greatly with my problem.
i think i'm in the clear now after 3 treatments. they are horrible, but if you find the right exterminator, you can win!
I am in the pest control business and bedbugs are growing each year.Treatment for bedbugs is not complicated but tedious, my company uses a steamer along with other methods . If you are in need of service please e-mail me at
Chris-- The implications of your comments are disturbing and highly offensive.
I don't see how they added to the conversation or proposed any means of addressing the problem.

A few years ago, 20/20 did a feature story about bedbugs. This is a growing national problem. Perhaps, new tenants, and even existing ones, can ask for pest histories. New tenants need to know and should request that their units be exterminated before moving in.
We had a BB scare not to long ago- a neighbor had then- but none found in my apt, but that didn't stop my paranoia. I told my co-workers that BB play head games with you- I'd wake up middle of the night thinking I could catch them in the act- but since I didn't have them- I couldn't catch them....
Maverick, bit me! I could careless about what you think. Are you one of these third world residents who live like pigs?
P.S. My building have been infested with mice and roaches since the influx of Salvadorans/Central Americans have move in with their third world customs. I tell you, these people are nasty and they live like animals in their poor countries.
Chris, I find you rather amusing. We're all ONE; so yes, I am sure I have African and South American in my ancestry. I am sure your bloodlines are just as mixed as my own.

Perhaps, you should engage your neighbors; go into their homes; get to know them; tell them what you think about their living habits; and see what types of results you get. They may surprise you.

Best wishes for a insect and mice free living environment.
Chris you make an excellent point. Many tenants live like animals. Therefore, they have created mice, roaches, and possibly bed bugs and fleas.
Maverick I am not surprise to hear you are Salvadoran/Central American, because you came on the defense in defending your people. Most of the Central Americans coming to D.C. legal and illegal are poor, illiterate, and live like pigs in El Salvador/Mexico. Most have dirt floors in the huts they live in. By the way, I care not to go into my neighbor's apartment. I have to call the police on them several weeks after they moved into my the building. They allow their children to run and play in the hallways; also they play their music loud. You see, this type of behavior wouldn't be allowed in Ward 3 in apartment buildings on Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues, NW. The citizens over there have class and they will not tolerate this type of behavior. I don't want these type of savages living in my Ward 4 neighborhood either. Thanks to political correctness and liberal Mayor Fenty and the D.C. Council. They know many of these buildings are overcrowded with Central Americans/Africans, but they have looked the other way.
For the record MAVERICK, I don't have Salvadoran/Central American ancestry. My ancestry go back over 400 years to slavery in this country. I do have a white ancestry back to Europe, thanks to slavery. I don't have nothing in common with Salvadorans and nor do I. I am cool with Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Afro Cubanos.
For the record MAVERICK, I don't have Salvadoran/Central American ancestry. My ancestry go back over 400 years to slavery in this country. I do have a white ancestry traced back to Europe, thanks to slavery. I don't have nothing in common with Salvadorans and nor do I want to. I am cool with Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Afro Cubanos. And yes, people can be nasty and dirty in all races, but I find the majority of Central Americans, Mexicans, (illegal aliens) and others coming to the United States to be classless lacking education.
Chris, Chris, hardly thinks you have any remote aquaintence with the fine folks from Central America / Africa or have even been an invitee. It seems your more familiar with the fine animal kingdom seeing how you're the "resident" expert. So in theory if it takes one to know one, who better than you? A toast: bottoms up and if you see a crack in the mirror, it is probably just you reflecting. Hee-Haw, that's a joke...hee-haw, get it?
The rise of bed bugs in once “all but gone” America is directly related to the increase in third-world immigrants we no longer screen for disease, pest infestations, or criminal records. It is as simple as that.

I agree, DDT should be brought back, used with expertise and with diligence to irradicate every single infestation and those that rise up. Airplanes, buses, trains, etc. should all be fumigated regularly for the sake of mankind. Humans and their health are MORE IMPORTANT than to allow infestations to continue. Do not forget, blood-sucking insects carry disease… ALL OF THEM!
ahh, the Woodner, yeah they gave me bedbugs too. they lied when i moved in and told me the problem had been fixed last year which was total bs, they will never fix their problem, i have just moved back to d.c. after almost six months, my stuff is in storage and all my clothes are still in bags, but since they say bedbugs can live for up to 18 months without a meal, i am horribly frightened of bringing them to my new place when i move on the first, in case there are any hiding in my things. i just can't accept throwing away everything i own as an option, it is ridiculous and can certainly drive you crazy, people who have never dealt with it think you are crazy but it really is insane how much trouble they can be
damn Chris you are one hell of a racist! i had a neighbor named chris at the woodner, a white guy with a filthy place who seemed resigned to his bedbug situation, racist bigots like yourself are as despicable as bedbugs
Dashiell, for the record, I am a black man. I know the truth hurt's doesn't it. This is why the U.S. is going to hell, because of all the polticial correctness and people are araid to speak the truth and how they truly feel.
just because you're black doesn't mean you're not a racist does it! you certainly are!
Chris, I am glad to see someone being honest and truthful on here for a change. I too am black and I live in Ward 4 too. I have lived in Ward 4 all 45 years of my life. Since the influx of Central American/Ethiopian immigrants or illegal immigrants, many apartment buildings in Ward 4 have deteriorated. Many long time middle class black residents are outrage, but they are afraid to speak out in fear of being called a racist.
Many of the buildings in Ward 4 have been infested with mice, roaches, and possible bed bugs. I have seen Central Americans throw trash and urinated out of windows. Several MPD Hispanic officers have told me, they had taking calls to Central American homes here in the Fourth and Third Police Districts, because most of these people live in filth. An officer told me, some of the children had fleas in their hair. This was unbelievable. I concur with Grace Jones, our porous borders have been left open and people are crossing the U.S. borders illegally bringing diseases with them.
Many of the buildings in Ward 4 have been infested with mice, roaches, and possible bed bugs. I have seen Central Americans throw trash and urinated out of windows. Several MPD Hispanic officers have told me, they hate taking calls to Central American homes here in the Fourth and Third Police Districts, because most of these people live in filth. An officer told me, some of the children had fleas in their hair. This was unbelievable. I concur with Grace Jones, our porous borders have been left open and people are crossing the U.S. borders illegally bringing diseases with them.
Filth and bed bugs go together! Keeping your apartment clean and if your neigbhor is nasty, where do you think the roaches, mice, and bed bugs are going to travel too. Wecome to the "Third World"; (New World Order)
The last part of the article made me laugh out loud because I felt exactly how the author felt. My fiancé and I went through a similar problem in our current apartment in PG County. I have lived in many apartments and encountered many types of pests but bedbugs are the worst so far. They make the place you go to relax and rest the most dreaded place in your home. They literally mess with the simplest pleasures in life, sleep.
To all the bedbug ridden folks out there here are some tips that worked exceptionally well for us (good for roaches and any insect):

1. Buy a plastic mattress cover that encloses the whole mattress.
(fyi if you have a memory foam mattress you are in luck because they can not hide in those)
2. Lift your bed off the floor and away from the walls. (they can crawl up the wall and fall onto your bed.
3. Spray WD-40 on the legs of your bed.
4. Dust your home with DIATOMACEOUS EARTH (food grade). While not harmful to humans and pets (same stuff in kitty litter) it is very drying to skin and air. Dust your home (getting corners, carpet, bed, etc) and leave the house for a bit then vacuum. If it's really bad do that a couple of times each month.
I swear by this stuff! Ever since I used it I haven't seen anymore bedbugs or gotten bitten, haven't seen any roaches either. I wish I could give this to everyone with bedbugs as a gift.
Hope this helps and good luck!
bed bugs dont care about dirt
except maybe diatomaceous earth, sounds like a great product, and wd-40 sounds like a nifty trick. i have heard that if you have metal legs on your bed they cannot crawl up does anyone know if this is true?
yes dashiell they can not climb up metal legs but you should still raise your bed because if it is low to the gound they can crawl up your bed linens. The crave the oxgen in your blood. so they know how to find you.

For those not interested in blame game, and want to take action to deal with these bugs the non toxic way and without chemicals ... please read.
A recent University shows that Bed Bugs have developed resistance to Pyrethroid chemicals used in control and management of Bed Bugs and many other bugs.
Please see here about the University Research.
Maybe Chris, Grace Jones and other pathetic bigots should try doing some research and getting their facts straight. The strain o fbed bugs found in DC and indeed North America and Europe originate in temporate climates, not tropical or equatorial climates. In other words, these bed bugs do not come from Central America or Africa, so stop blaming people from these countries for something that is not their fault. And if you did your research you would also know that bed bugs are not connected to dirt (the article also mentioned this but your bigotry probably blinded you) so even if you have dirty neighbors, they may not be responsible for the bed bugs in your area.

It is funny that Chris, as a black man you rail against political correctness. Let us follow this to its natural conclusion. What if white commentators to this article decried the fact that that the African-Americans they have as neighbors live like animals and are responsible for the ills in their neighborhood. Let me guess, that is not allowed because it is racist. I would say that is the case of pot calling the kettle black. And you and Grace Jones want to close the borders to undesirables? OK, but did it ever dawn on you that there are some that also see you and your demographic as undesirables and would love to also remove you from the US? Keep your righteous anger up, your hyocracy exposes you as clown.
Q,AA you can kiss my azz! People like you are the undersirables. My ancestors helped built this country for free while your lazy ancestors were slave owners, rapists, and racists. By the way, there are some that see you and your demographic as undersirables and would love kick your azzes and remove you from the States. I could careless about you or illegal aliens from El Salvador or else where.
Q,AA that is what's wrong with bleeding heart white liberals. Illegal immigration is a serious issue in this country and many people coming across the U.S. border have brought diseases. You see, most white liberals are the racist who like to keep a certain segment of the population down with their racist liberal propaganda. You have a lot of poor white trash in the U.S. who live like animals. I do have to go far to see it, because many live in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. As far as my race is concerned, I am white (WASP).
I am married to a legal immigrant, what you pro-illegal supporters fail to mention is that legal immigrants have fingerprinting, background checks, a physical with blood testing for communicable diseases, and immunizations bringing them up to US health standards. Illegals have none of this done, and are exposing us all to diseases we otherwise would not be exposed to these days!

Did you know many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease, to name a few. HIV-AIDS is also more prevalent in third world countries, and other STD's. Not to mention lack of proper hygeine/ sanitation when they cram several families or 20-30 ppl in a single family residence!

I live in an area where there are alot of nurseries and thousands of illegals have flooded this community, they use the ER as a doctors office to get free medical care and we know alot of illegals due to my husband being hispanic, they dont hide their criminal actions from us, many of which are acceptable behaviors to them, but are crimes that we Americans would be prosecuted for! Like ID fraud and forgery, identity theft, document fraud and forgery, obtaining goods and services by illegal means. They change names like we change underwear! I dont know how much a social security card costs now adays but I know they used to be able to buy them in chicago for $50-$100, they dont care if its fake, stolen from a dead person, or stolen from a live american-and ruins their credit totally, they use them until the bills get too high then buy another one! When their bills get high they use a different name and different number and say the account holder has moved! They get away with committing crimes that the rest of us are held accountable for! They flooded our schools with non-english speaking kids who have brought down our districts education and put our schools into "academic distress" according to the dept of education! They turn once quiet, family oriented neighborhoods into spanish ghettos where the men hit on any female no matter what the age, even young girls, the younger the better in their eyes! They come from a third world country dont forget, where the womens rights and equality movements havn't done much yet. They throw beer bottles and garbage into other ppl's yards, they urinate outside while getting drunk, they dont care if there are kids out or not. Their mens soccer teams have been kicked out of every park and several churches in this area because of the drinking, urinating, and disgusting messes they leave behind, not to mention the throwing of urine filled beer bottles in the neighboring yards! We have gang problems now, shootings and stabbings, robberies in once nice quiet neighborhoods. Legal immigrants at least are monitored, checked, fingerprinted, tested, immunized etc... Illegals have none of this done and are bringing down the cities they crowd into.
They also dont stick to the so called nursery jobs (that they say americans wont do)theyhear thru word of mouth which restaraunts and factories and other businesses hire illegals or dont verify legal status, and then work for cheaper than americans undercutting us at a time when there aren't enough jobs for us let alone 20-40 million illegals who should not even be here! They cant jump in front of legal immigrants just cuz they snuck into our country and broke laws to come and stay here. Illegals go home! The majority of Americans have stated again and again that you are not wanted here, you are criminals and a third world blight on our society, go protest in your home country for change and a better life, so you can stay there.
we had bed bugs in our bedroom last year. my husband had a horrible allergic reaction to them, which both his doctor and a dermatologist misdiagnosed. finally, we saw the bugs themselves and figured out what was going on.

we had two treatments by an exterminator, washed all washables in hot water and a hot dryer, put non-clothes outside in sealed black garbage bags to roast in the sun for 3 days, sprayed furniture repeatedly with rubbing alcohol, and covered the mattress and box spring with vinyl mattress protectors. we haven't seen them in about 8 months.

at first i thought the bugs had come over from the next door neighbors, where there are numerous tenants and a lot of people coming in and out and staying for periods of time. but after more research, i suspect the blood suckers traveled to our place in our luggage from a hotel or a rental we stayed in in california.
I have a question for sleepless no more: Where did you buy food grade diatamaceous earth?

For the rest of us, Let's put cultural conflicts aside for a moment and talk about some facts.

BB have one food: Human blood. A clean apartment does not protect you. But an apartment with a lot of people in it, and clutter for the bedbugs to hide in between their nocturanal meals, that's what is getting city apartments into trouble
BB have one habitat: as close to your bed as they can get, in any kind of crack, behind wallpaper, in boxes and furniture near your bed.

BB do migrate: in clothing and suitcases, but they burrow down into the creases and seams.

BB, unlike mosquitoes, do not carry ANY diseases.

If we keep our emotions out of this, we can solve this problem. Or, at lease, abate it because bugs will always be with us. All God's critters hava a place (dare I say "at the table?")
Thanks.. I am now itching all over..

I moved out of Suburban Towers in Silver Spring Maryland for just this reason..

I'm not sure what was more traumatic, the bed bugs, or the treatment..

every week for months we had to basically move.. every piece of furniture had to be moved to the center of the room so that exterminators could have access to all outlets and walls. I was spending probably 20 hours a week moving furniture, and 20 more scouring my bed and my kids beds for bugs.

We did not have much luck with the treatment at all, despite the massive amount of work an inconvenience.

In the end, the bed bugs won. We moved out.
We threw away every piece of furniture, my kid's stuffed animals, and washed every piece of clothing twice in ammonia. Anything we could not bear to part with we put in a (NON CLIMATE CONTROLLED) storage facility for a year.
I was bitten up by bed bugs in paris about 5 years ago. My friend and I stayed at a hotel that looked fine, but over night, I was bitten up terribly, and my friend did not get ANY bites. I was wearing pajamas that were shorts and short sleeves, and she was wearing long sleeves and long pants. That's the only thing i can even think of that accounted for the fact that i was bitten and she was not. Now, when i travel (which is very frequently), I am always scared to go to bed, and never ever sleep well because I constantly think I am being bitten up! But, I haven't been bitten since that one experience, thankfully! Knock on wood!
To say its the fault of unkempt immigrants is awful. Mind your business and keep your homes clean. Its definitely smart to make sure the bed is up high and you get regular carpet steaming.
I purchased the Food Grade Diatamaceous Earth on ebay. I actually got four huge tubs of it for a good price.
(same person on as above).

I have used boric acid but I don't think it works as well and it's very irritating to your lungs.
I purchased the Food Grade Diatamaceous Earth on ebay. I actually got four huge tubs of it for a good price.

Search for Perma Guard Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 4 pak on ebay
or look up Earth Works Health on the web (same person that sells it on ebay).

I have used boric acid but I don't think it works as well and it's very irritating to your lungs.
if i buy a steam cleaner how much do i need to spend to get one that will work (the one advertised on is $400) Diatomaceous or not? how can i treat wooden furniture that has been in storage for 6 months, (desk, dressers, shelves) i really cant afford to get rid of them. i am told that bed bugs cannot climb up metal legs on bed frames...why not? where can i find an elevated bedframe? protect-a-bed sells allerzip mattress encasements, but their boxspring encasements do not say allerzip (im told they are the only ones that really work) what is the deal with that. where is the best and most affordable place to buy a bedbug pesticide kit (w/sprayer) do i really need the gas mask? can you keep bed bugs from crawling up to the ceiling and dropping down on your bed from above? if anyone can help answer any of these questions i would be grateful, and if i sound crazy and paranoid, i guess i am, the bugs drove me to this
Q: If I buy a steam cleaner how much do i need to spend to get one that will work (the one advertised on is $400)
A: I don’t think I steam cleaner will work and it’s not worth the cost
Q: Diatomaceous or not? How can I treat wooden furniture that has been in storage for 6 months, (desk, dressers, shelves) I really can’t afford to get rid of them.
A: Yes it works. Since DE is dust you can put it in the cracks and small holes of you furniture.
Q: I am told that bed bugs cannot climb up metal legs on bed frames...why not?
A: Because it’s too slippery for them to climb up. That is why you need WD-40 for wooden furniture.
Q: where can I find an elevated bed frame?
A: you can get bed raisers add-ons from target or bed, bath, and beyond. But only use if your bed is low to the ground.
Q: Protect-a-bed sells allerzip mattress encasements, but their box spring encasements do not say allerzip (I’m told they are the only ones that really work) what is the deal with that.
A: Just get two zippered vinyl protectors for the boxspring and mattresses.
Q: where is the best and most affordable place to buy a bedbug pesticide kit (w/sprayer) do i really need the gas mask?
A: if you need a gas mask you probably shouldn’t use it.
Q: Can you keep bed bugs from crawling up to the ceiling and dropping down on your bed from above?
A: I have never, ever seen a bed bug on the ceiling. They will crawl on the wall and then “fall” onto your bed if it is close enough to the wall.

Again hope this helps.
Side note: you won't need the four pak of the DE if you just have a small Bed Bug problem. just one tub will do. i used not even half a tub and my problem was solved.
thank you sleeplessnomore! i appreciate all the help i can get, one more question... my new place has carpet which my last place didn't. i bought a bagged vacuum cleaner but can they get underneath the carpet around the edges?
dashiell - they can get into carpets. Make sure you vacuum regularly and dust if you can. Also make sure that you put the vacuum cleaner in a Ziplock and throw it out in the trash outside every time you use it (if you actually have bugs.)

If you're trying to do this yourself, you could also get some Sterifab to have around, or Murphy's Oil Soap which I can 100% guarantee is a contact killer of unhatched bugs. I'm still not sure if either work on eggs - my exterminator said Sterifab does, but I've read elsewhere that it doesn't so... anyhow, what I like about Murphy's is that it's not dangerous to inhale as far as I know (research this yourself though! Don't take my word for it). Our exterminators also sprayed down our vacuum cleaner, which I then left outside during the freezing cold these past few weeks.

One word of caution: it is EXTREMELY easy to make yourself temporarily mentally ill over this. I did, sort of, and we didn't even have a bad infestation. Keep in mind as you do online research, too, that you'll probably hear more horror stories than successes so don't get down about your chances of being BB free.
Of course I meant "make sure you put the vacuum cleaner BAG in a Ziplock..."

I also meant to thank CityPaper for running this as the cover. First it takes some of the stigma out of it (for some people). Second, it helps out tenants who are being blamed for the infestation (our landlord isn't blaming us, he knows it's a city-wide problem already) talk to their landlords about it, and it might force some action from city government (ha ha!) to help out landlords who are really trying all they can to keep them out of their buildings... I was so glad to see the headline on the cover, just not the bug illustration!!! They are seriously gross beasts.
Credit Ms. Dutton for bringing to light the problem of bedbugs not only in DC but anywhere in the world today. Thanks to the banning of DDT, globalization, immigration and frequent fliers from world travelers the once extinct bed bug is back in action and thriving , It is a whimsical article bound on some hysteria if you read some of the comments posted. Credit also that she did do some research that you should pay attention to. I am not an expert but do have some knowledge being in the hospitality industry.

Be assured the hotel industry is well aware of the problem and takes it very seriously. Through training of staff, inspections and quick action when there is a problem it can be controlled very effectively. There really is no 100% prevention although some pest control companies use trained dogs to sniff them out and boast of a treatment regiment to isolate and kill them once they enter your residence. Chemicals today are not as effective as DDT as the article states. They can also be killed by heat/steam and cold which some companies use.

Apartment building are much harder to control. Chances are your neighbor would not tell you if they have a problem and they can and will travel between floors and adjacent rooms or apartments.

Fact is, some people are not affected by bedbugs at all while others have a severe reaction. Dirt, filth has nothing to do with infestation or spreading bed bugs. It only takes one bug to start an infestation. They are attracted to carbon dioxide when you are still and asleep, hence the name bedbug.

My advice would be to hold the landlord or owners accountable, if you are looking for an apartment ask what program they have, who their pest control company is and how much of a problem they have. Some cities in California have adopted strict guidelines for apartment buildings. Do a google search and you can find them.

Good luck.
Yuck, right you are about the side effect of temporary insanity when discovering and fighting the bb bastards. I have had 2 round with the beasts and hope to be clear... it has cost me nearly 3K and the loss of many treasured items. The new bldg owner has been supportive although did not spray the whole bldg., only the units next to mine.. i have been bb free for two months now.. i can not relax though because the last time i was free for 3 months and was bit again... yep, 3 days before i was go visit my sweetie... i was so embarrassed and distressed. I would like to add a note about the cleanliness 'issue' that folks are writing about. Clutter of paper items, lots of books, etc. give the bugs a place to hide. That's it.. a hiding place. take all that stuff from under your bed.. i am still living out of plastic bags & why in the hell do you think i am up at 4;30 in the morning... bb paranoia and it should be considered a separate psychosis. best of luck to all.
I had bedbugs this fall in Mt. Pleasant...I'm being serious when I say they drove me to the brink of a nervous breakdown! It sounds so stupid and no one who hasn't dealt with the problem is going to understand but they really can do a number on your sanity. You just have to be so vigilant about them, and so careful about not spreading them, that the whole thing basically gives you OCD.

We need more attention to this problem in the city. The problem is rampant in Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights and I guess from the article it sounds like Logan Circle.
My wife and I lforged on in Petworth for 6 years - then we got bed bugs - probably from the next door neighbhors but who is to say.
My wife had hundreds of bites about her shouldrs and middle back.
I got far less but was affected.
1 We hired a company for 1500 bucks to exterminate the house 3 times.
2 We brought all of our wanted personal items to a gas chamber for 400 bucks
3 We threw out 500 vynal albums
4 We threw out a bunch of books
5 I used 12 cans of insulating foam and injected into the joist-to-wall contacts
6 I used 5 tubes of caulk to seal ALL (closets included) of the crevices of the house.
Karl Addendom:
You can buy sheet covers inexpensively that will not allow the Bed bugs to fester in the bed. The sheets lock the critters inside the bed and they will die in 18 months. But Never take the covering off.
It's amazing how many racist, zenophobic assholes there are out there. Isn't this article about bedbugs? Hasn't it been pretty conclusively demonstrated that they have no connection with race, or cleanliness? (They only care about the presence of human blood and a dark place to hide - like in your own home). Just how psychopathic and pathetic is it to convert this into a paranoid rant about illegal/legal immigration. BTW, I am a black man too, and I have known dirty and clean people of all races, from all country including this one.
We got BBs last echo what I have seen in other comments above:

- Prevention is basically impossible
- A clean house can very easily get bedbugs -- unfair, but true
- I recommend everyone go out now and buy mattress and pillow covers -- if you do end up getting bedbugs at least your mattress/pillows are safe and you won't have to throw them out. Also, if you already have them in your mattress, this will seal them in.
- The bites look different on different people -- if you notice any new bumps, rash-like area, or tiny blood spots, you should thoroughly search your mattress and bed frame immediately. THOROUGHLY. The adults are very small and the eggs/babies are practically invisible to the naked eye.

Here is how we dealt with it:

- Continued to sleep in our bedroom -- a lot of people make the mistake of relocating to another room. All this does is spread them around your house. It is awful but once you know you have them you need to keep sleeping in that bed and act as live bait. If there is no food source they will stay cooped up in the walls and once you move back they come out again. The treatment exterminators use is only effective if the bugs come in contact with it and for that to happen you need to lure them out of their hiding places.
- We washed every piece of clothing we owned and dried on high heat, then stored them in huge Ziploc bags. For at least a month we left all clothes in the Ziplocs -- anything that was worn was immediately washed, dried on high-heat, and put back into a new Ziploc.
- Took every piece of dry-clean-only clothing to a dry-cleaner
- Hired an exterminator -- weekly treatments for a month
- Threw out our bed (wood frame) and just about everything that had been stored underneath it -- if there was any way we could live without an item, it was thrown out. We were intent on only going through this process once.
- Bought some treatment powder (name escapes me) and treated the baseboards ourselves. Also put Vaseline on all parts of the new bed frame that was in contact with the floor.

We learned that the biggest mistake people make is thinking they have rid themselves of BBs when in reality they are still there and just hanging out in your walls/bed/furniture/whatever. As mentioned in the article they can survive for months without feeding. What many people do is some initial cleaning and 1 exterminator treatment, then they notice no bites for a few days or even weeks and figure they have solved it. The bites eventually start to happen again and you are forced to go through everything once more. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

From reading reports online and talking to people who had gone through it I feel like we did a lot more than most people and some said we went overboard but for us there was no in-between -- we HAD TO GET RID OF THEM. It is such a disgusting feeling knowing they are in your house.

I hope these comments are useful to someone!
Nuts to that!
Get me some bloody DDT

Fight Fire with Fire!
Okay, will somebody tell me, us, how big is a bedbug? Is it the size of the top of a plain, old-fashioned straight pin? as big as a tick? larger or smaller? Invisible? What exactly does it look like to the naked eye--full from feasting and empty from hunger??? It would help if we knew what we were looking for.


Chris is right in that many immigrants and poor people have a lot of people coming and going. I am a landlord. My tenants often have a cousin or an uncle moving in and out constantly. An apt bldg without BB's can end up getting BB's due to a guest of a tenant that brought them from whereever he was staying.
I am being bitten by bedbugs. Exterminator has come by 3 times. Got bitten this morning while in bed. Have encased by bed in bug proof bags. My question is how long is the interval between the time you are bitten and when you feel the bites swell. I have looked around my bed after I have been bitten but can't find any bedbugs.
I can really relate to the hysteria. It's not a joke. I was so bad that I stayed up at night on what I called a bug mission. Each night I was up, flashlights in hand along with some really good tape. I brought tape that was sticky on both sides. I formed a barrier between my family and those vampires. Each piece of furniture was taped around the legs, arms, underneath, just above and over any cracks. I had my entire wardrobe drycleaning and everything else washed and dried. Finally I found an exterminator the came in and sprayed this white powder all over the place. The ceilings, floors, walls, closets, tables, furniture and every crack in each piece of furniture. I had just brought 10K in bedroom furniture so I got rid of all. I also had just brought my living and dining room furniture and got rid of all as well. I even moved from the apartment I was living. I was devastated and even now 3 years later I still look for those vampire bugs. I totally feel you on this. Bedbugs are horrible and a nightmare. My best advice would be to abandon ship. Once you get the entire building properly powdered and cleared out of human remains for a couple of days, only then would I attempt to reside in a place that was infested. I lost so much property as well as piece of mind. The scar from this experience will forever remain in my memory. Goodluck and I hope things get better. LaVerne
I have no doubt there is a link between this disgusting situation and the third worlders being dumped here by our despicable govt. Just one more reason to support their deportation.
In case anyone cares about the real subject, I too was subjected to the horrible problem of bedbugs. Not exactly sure where we picked them up, my husband does travel with work, that is most likely where they came from.

Months of welts and trips to the doctor and dermatologist.
Beware! My husband had NO symptoms, that is why we never thought of bedbugs.
New bed, new sofa and about $2000 later I am now bedbug free but the stress is real although it is getting a little better. Check the hotel bed and baseboards each and every time you stay in a hotel, that is a must!
I hope that we can overcome this problem before it takes over!
For the past month, I've spent every other night w/ my boyfriend at his place in Dupont. I would wake up with a new bite after each night I was there. He would have no bites at all and he's been living there for over 4 years now. At first I thought I was getting flea bites from when I stay at my apartment because the previous tenant had a cat. Then it occurred to me that these are not flea bites, but something else.

I can't figure out what and why only I was being bitten and not him when we sleep in the same bed. I have not investigated his apartment, but have searched mine and haven't found anything. He is in the process of investigating his place. I am freaking out, wondering if I could have carried any of the pests from his place to mine, without finding a trace of them in my apartment ...yet...

Fleas are easy enough to get rid of, but BB's?! Sick!

Should I go ahead and take precautionary measures, such as washing every single piece of clothing in hot hot water and drier? My coat that's hung on a chair close enough to the carpet? Should I throw out my purse and shoes and that have sat on his carpet before? Should I spray my place down with that Food Grade Diatamaceous Earth or just hire an exterminator??

What about my sofa and bed in my apartment, that I've already sat on and slept in after being in his place?? So far, I haven't gotten any bites while at my place. I'm just freaking out that they could have hitched a ride on my clothes, shoes, purse,coat, even my hair and landed in my home!

And most importantly, what do I do about my boyfriend, who hasn't exterminated his place yet?! Should I stay away from him? Not hug him because the bugs might be on his clothes? Oh man this is so frustrating!! ooohh I'm itching now....
when i was a teenager living in wash d.c. we had BB and they were a bitch to get rid of course this was in 1964. But the thing that I remember most about them were that they like to hide in the crease in your matteress. At the time my mother did what they are doing today wash all your clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat and send anything that could be dry cleaned to cleaners. But you must continue to fight them for and extened period of time they just don't go away
We had this problem recently with a used bed picked up from a friend's place. After several sleepless nites, i found out it was the bedbugs and not any food related allergy, we threw the mattress and box frame. I still see one or two here and there in the dark. I try to wash the sheets and couch covers in hot-cold cycles in washer and then putting them in dryer for about 40 minutes hoping this would kill the eggs.
we live in Anne Arundel County, MD and just bought a duplex 6 months ago. Immediately after moving in my 6 year old son had a rash, we went to the allergist for months until I found these disgusting insects on his bed. Out of courtesy we talked to the adjoining neighbors and couldnt believe what they told us, they have had the problem for 2 years and just spray something from home depot on it when the bugs come back every 3 months and they have young children. Basically we bought an already infested home and the neighbors dont care to get an exterminator. Did I mention that I am 8 1/2 months pregnant? Why would we pay $1500 for treatment if they dont do their side, it will never go away. You will see this on the news if I dont get a solution, we are even willing to pay for their side for the time being, I cant bring a baby into this awful mess. My husband and I havent slept since it was discovered. No doubt I will probably need extended counseling for this. So much for a happy homeownership.,
In the past several weeks I've recently discovered that I have bed bugs as well. I have been living alone in my apartment for nearly four years. I keep a fairly clean home and get rid of any extra clutter. This problem is a surprise to me, and it really makes me feel dirty. It's not a major infestation, no more than one or two at a time. I plan on calling the landlord in the morning. But I will choose not to get hysterical about this. I cannot afford to throw away all my new furniture and Ziplock my life. Along with contacting the landlord, I will move my bed away from the wall and back to the center of the room where it used to be. Then I will invest in some WD-40 and diatomaceous earth for the corners. I will toss any extra clothing to get rid of the clutter in my closet. That's the best that I can do for now. Apartment dwellers in DC have rough. This is just one more thing to add to the pile.
Thank you so much for this article. I moved into an apartment off U street in Sept, and had bed bugs show up a month ago. In turns out that my bldg and my floor in particular has a history of bed bugs. I would love to know the DC Tenant Rights/Laws about this issue.
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Thank you for your posting, I want have bed bugs
Heat treatment is the best method for getting rid of bed bug infestations. It is more safe, eco-friendly, and efficient than chemicals. Another plus is that it doesn't require the disposal of the bed or bed frame where the bed bugs were found. For more information or if you are having problems in the DC area please visit
Yes, I am from EL Salvador . No, I don' live in filth or brought your bed bugs home to you . I am sorry that some people see me as a someone that has no worth . I don't know what to do , my dad left my mom with my brothers and I and no support. My mother was forced to come over to Los Angeles in order to provide for me and my brothers , later on she brought my brothers and I just so that we were safe . I like it here , this is my home . Back there is a nice memory but no more than that . There is no family or friends in EL Salvador , after living here since the age of 7 this is all I know . The culture , the people, the town . It almost feels like home , almost ! until I read how people really feel . Don't worry I don't blame you , is just sad for the Salvadorean me :(
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