Bedbugs, the ongoing saga

I never thought these little monsters would consume so much of my time, money and blood. However I think I’m near the end of this rotten little experience but afraid to say it because I don’t want to jinx it.

I’ve sprayed the crap out of my couch, the baseboards around the couch, most of the carpet and I’ve put my bedding and jammies in the dryer every morning. I’ve not seen any bedbugs in three days and slept in peace. So far. I sprayed the couch again tonight, because I still don’t want to take any chances.

Then I saw this on TV and felt, I don’t know, empathy. Empathy, vindication, and less shame, and thinking I’m not staying there, if it is ever an option.

http://www.news9.com/story/31289697/cavs-guard-irving-contracts-bed-bugs-at-skirvin

 

Bedbugs part 2

I talked to a friend who battled bedbugs and won. She told me the magic formula and the next day I started on my own attack. It was a little costly but not as costly as hiring an exterminator.

I bought a carpet shampooer, shampoo and this. I put the pets outside, explaining this was not about them. Then I sprayed down my couch, nearly soaking it as I chanted “die, die, you little mother$%^&*@.” I figured out the workings of my new shampooer and loaded the water tank with hot water, shampoo and killer bug spray. Killer bug spray is a milky white substance, odorless and fortunately for me, stainless.

I sprayed the baseboards and crevices. I put my bedding and pillows in the dryer on high heat. I shampooed all the carpets, starting in the living room and then the hallways and bedrooms. I moved all the furniture, with the exception of the piano. I wasn’t as concerned about cleaning as I was about sucking out any bugs and soaking death into the carpets. The carpet looked better in some places and I just lightened the stains in others. The whole thing took me 7 hours, not counting a 30 minute lunch break.

The aftermath was satisfying; I slept the whole night. Although I did some damage I hadn’t got them all, this is from the following morning.

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The next day and night were the same, I found a couple of survivors but they didn’t last long. I sprayed the next day, mostly under the cushions and inside the couch, still saying “die, die” under my breath. That following morning I was rewarded by two bedbugs frantically crawling on the wall,. the white wall. One thing I can say for them, they are not very bright and I got them too.

It’s been four days and I’ve sprayed 3 times. I’ve put my bedding through the dryer each morning and I feel I’m winning. My friend said to repeat the shampoo treatment in a week, then every week for a month, and to keep spraying. She suggested I give the pets baths too. She warned me I will have to keep treating the house every month and it will be awhile before they are really truly gone. I looked up bedbug remedies online and they range from sales pitches to diatomaceous earth. I admit I put my faith in pesticides rather than stuff like steam.

The only troubling thing is my sister said she saw 2 bedbugs in her room. I sprayed in there but because she was on the bed didn’t do her mattress. She’s doing it now and washed her sheets. I hope that does it. My dad hasn’t seen any he says and I hope it stays that way.

Bedbugs

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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Bedbugs