Viva La France! My Encounter with Bed Bugs

This story happened on: 08/09/2023

It was just last month that I returned from a delightful caravan trip to France!

Whilst in France every morning, I started waking up with a mysterious red rash on my arms. The first few times, I brushed it off, assuming it was an allergic reaction to laundry detergent or perhaps even a bug bite from my time outdoors. But as the days went by, the rash persisted, becoming increasingly irritating and hard to ignore.

My breaking point came when the itching became unbearable. I was frustrated and desperate for answers. So, I decided to investigate my sleeping environment more closely once back home in the UK. The bed seemed like a logical place to start.

Gathering up the courage, I took a knife and carefully ripped open the seams of my mattress. To my utter horror, there they were—tiny, dark-coloured bed bugs crawling amongst the springs and material.

The realisation struck me like a bolt of lightning; I had brought these uninvited guests back from France, where a bed bug outbreak had been making headlines. Now, these pests had crossed borders and were residing in my UK-based caravan.

After the initial shock, I knew I had to act quickly. There was no choice but to toss the mattress. I went online and ordered a new one from  without much fuss. My primary concern was getting rid of these pests for good.

And so began my full-blown war against bed bugs. I scrubbed, sprayed, and vacuumed every inch of my caravan, determined to make it an inhospitable environment for these unwelcome invaders. Clothes, bed linens, even my prized collection of travel mementos—all went through a thorough cleaning process.

My strict cleaning regimen, combined with the newly-installed mattress, eventually brought back the peace I so dearly missed.

In hindsight, this ordeal served as an eye-opening lesson. It taught me that no matter how careful or clean you are, life has its way of throwing curveballs. Whether it's an unwelcome flat tire on the road or an invasion of bed bugs, adversity can strike when least expected.

So, let this tale be a reminder to always be vigilant. Keep an eye out for unexpected 'guests,' especially in these times when even the smallest of bugs can make headlines and cross borders, disrupting lives in the most intimate spaces.

Woman sitting in camping chair by Wastwater in the Lake District with her two dogs and picnic blanket

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Photo of Wast Water, Lake District by Sue Peace
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