My dad bought a used recliner and installed it in the living room. About two weeks later he tossed it outside. It was infested with bedbugs. Some of those bedbugs decided to move and chose to settle in the couch. My bed.

I can say that anyone whoever says “goodnight, don’t let the bedbugs bite” to me will hear plain Anglo-Saxon words. Until now I didn’t believe bedbugs were a real thing, but I know better now.

My sister gave me a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol, which I’ve used to fight back every night since.

She took a long drug induced nap on our dad’s bed one night, having taken the meds she was prescribed in the doses prescribed. The pets and I took over her room and TV while she slept and our dad got the couch. The next day he complained the bugs ate him alive. At the time I felt sorry for him, since I hadn’t experienced full onset bedbug. Now not so much.

I spray the couch, my pillows and bedding with liberal doses of alcohol, the fumes are enough to stun almost anybody. Olive does not like it; she growls when she sees me hosing down her couch. She even sleeps on the floor most of the night because of it. I learned they are nocturnal; I rarely see any of the disgusting things during the day. But when I turn off the lamp at night they come out and it is on. They pester me until about dawn, then they go to rest up for another onslaught the following night. I take out as many of them as I can, when I find them. See last night’s bedbug carnage below.   My apologies to anyone with a sensitive nature or queasy stomach.

I tell myself there’s no reason people in the 21st century in the (still) First World should have this problem. I hate them, I hate that I can’t just fall asleep at night. Yet it reminds me that for all our technology, advanced standards of living and basic human arrogance we can be laid low by these little suckers. And I mean suckers, look at the kleenex. When we start thinking we’re above the problems of the past, not stuff like hunger or racism, but sanitation and climate Mother Nature smacks us upside the head, hard. The toxic water in Flint, the snowstorms on the East Coast, and my stinking bedbugs (a crushed one smells like nuts, why I can’t eat nuts now) are examples of how we can still be brought low by the natural world. It’s humbling, frustrating and makes us itch.





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