Bed Bugs Attack – What to do next?

In this beautiful setting of Cinque Terre, I finally arrived at Corniglia, which is one of the five beautiful towns of this magical sight of Italy. As you arrive at the train station – it would take about 16mins walk (322 steps upwards) to get to the hostel (Ostello Corniglia).

When I finally get myself to the hostel, but it was closed. They close from 12pm – 3pm, I was there before 12pm – but it was closed. I had nothing else to do so I treated myself to a nice lunch nearby for a plate of Pasta, Tiramisu, and a glass of prosecco. After a beautiful meal, I decided to walk around Corniglia to see what this town offers.

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It was indeed a beautiful day and it was time for bed and THAT’S when it all began.

It was about 5am that I woke up feeling like there were mosquito bites on my butt. I scratched it (which isn’t the right thing to do – DO NOT SCRATCH THEM) and soon enough the bites started to become very big. I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I woke up and started seeing little lumps of bites and I panicked!

I had 4 bites on my right butt cheeks, 3 bites on my left butt cheeks, some bites along my thigh and the back of my legs. I woke up and told the Hostel Staff, she went to the bathroom with me to take a look at my bites but she didn’t really say much except that she will get someone to check in the afternoon.

Not sure if that response was what I was expecting as a customer service from the hostel. Maybe I just had a high expectation of their “compassionate” response. There was NONE – not even “Are you okay? Here would be the nearest pharmacy”. To top it all, the night shift staff made a comment with some attitude to make me feel guilty that they had spent EUR800.00 on a some pest specialist to come check during the afternoon and found NOTHING. Really? You would sincerely admit that there was bed bugs issue in your hostel? I could go all day about the way they treated and handled my situation but that’s not the focus here.

First thing I did was to shower (which was the right thing to do) – and applied some insect bite anti-itchiness cream I had with me. Throughout the day, it was extremely itchy – I started to research online to read more about it. Fellow travelers in hostel gave me some medication they had as well – and another female traveler said that her boyfriend had the same kind of bites in the guy’s room as well. Good luck Ostello Corniglia!

What did I do?

Here are my personal recommendations when you spot a bite:

  • DO NOT PANIC! Seek a doctor or pharmacist – get the right kind of medication (typically anti-itch cream, calamine lotion or antihistamines to lessen the itch)
  • Don’t scratch! Refrain yourself from scratching.
  • Keep the bites cool, clean it with cold water, apply the right medication.
  • Wrap up the rest of your clothes into the plastic bag and tie them tight.

Once you see that your bites are healing – here would be my recommendation before your next destination:

  • Seek a doctor or pharmacist – get the right kind of medication (typically anti-inflammatory medication would really help)
  • Find a Laundromat and place ALL your clothes into the dryer and keep the temperature as high as you can.
  • Steam the rest of the items (eg. Backpack and shoes in bathroom)

Of course, I am not a health expert nor with any medical training – please see that this is a recommendation from my end of what I’ve tried and been through. Cinque Terre is a beautiful amazing place that everyone has to visit.

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