This Terrifying Bed Bug Story Is a Reminder to Check Fabric Headboards

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If you needed a reminder to check for bed bugs (and learn how to tell if you have bed bugs) whenever you're staying in a hotel or rental property, here it is. In a viral TikTok video, Sarah Luepker recounts her run-in with bed bugs that were hiding in an oft-unchecked spot: a fabric headboard.


Traveling to Colorado for a bachelorette party, Luepker shared an Airbnb with some friends. "The first thing I do is check for bed bugs," she says in the video. "I lift up the fitted sheet, I check every corner, and there is nothing."

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But the next morning, she woke up with a bug bite or two on her arm — which she mistook for mosquito bites. Throughout the day, more bites appeared.


"This is where my knowledge truly failed me. I thought that if you got bit by a bed bug, you would wake up with a bite. So the bites I was getting throughout the day, I assumed had to be mosquito bites," says Luepker. "But apparently, according to the CDC, a bed bug can bite you and the bite will not show up for up to 14 days."

At the end of the stay, she was covered in dozens of miserably itchy and swollen bites, and experiencing anaphylaxis. Then, after a more thorough search for bed bugs, they found their hiding spot: behind the buttons in a tufted headboard.


"They were really hard to see if you weren't looking for them," Luepker explains.

So as you're going through the routine to check for bed bugs and other types of bugs found in beds — along mattress seams, in the piping of your bedding, and in any other crevices — don't forget to check your fabric headboard, too!

P.S. Airbnb did refund Luepker and her friends, in case you were wondering.



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