Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Bedbug Story, Part 2

In Part 1, I discovered a bedbug in my shiny new apartment. After that it all turns into silly putty, which is probably all for the best.

A friend of mine tells the story of a cousin of hers. The cousin and her husband buy a house that needs to be completely renovated, so much so that the architect moves into the attic while the work is being done. The day after all the work is finished and the architect moves out, the kitchen ceiling collapses. The woman takes to her bed with some sedatives and leaves her husband to deal with the entire thing. She doesn't rejoin the world until after everything has been fixed.

Upon finding that bedbug, I completely and totally understood how she felt and how she could just check out like that.

I called the building's management company and they scheduled an exterminator right away. Both the management company and the exterminator say that there have never been bedbugs in this building, so we probably caught them from the moving truck despite their precautions. The only other (unlikely) possibility is that we had some in the old apartment, but the roaches were eating them all.

Everything was under control except for one thing. Before the exterminator comes over to spray for bedbugs, you have to bag all your clothes and toys and move everything away from the walls. I had moved 2 days earlier. All I had were boxes piled up against the walls. Boxes in which I used clothes to top off the boxes without adding too much weight.

This was Friday afternoon. Saturday, we had to go clean out the old apartment and the exterminator was coming at 12:30 on Sunday.


My parents came over with a box of industrial sized clear garbage bags and started unpacking like crazy. We could leave books on the shelves, so we made a mad effort to unpack books so we could get rid of some boxes. I left my parents to do that and unpacked the kitchen things, shoving them into cabinets with no regard for where they actually belonged. Towards the end, we were just putting entire boxes in the plastic bags.

It wasn't the sanest day I've ever had. I called HA and yelled, "next time, you get to be the housewife!" Every time my mom tried to calm me down, I yelled, "it's apartment herpes!" an expression I'd picked up online referring to how bedbug infestations may keep returning (although I have friends whose problem was solved after one visit from the exterminator).

We did manage to get everything ready on time. Every stitch of clothing I own was in OPEN plastic bags next to the bed (we even found a dead bug sitting on top of a shirt) so it all had to be washed in hot water to kill any critters. We took most of it to the laundromat while the exterminator was committing bedbugocide.

Two weeks later, we're almost caught up with all the laundry. The kitchen is finally almost unpacked properly. We're on track to having this place functional. The only bugs we've seen since are roaches. I can sleep without twitching. Life is returning to normalish. We're leaving some things in bags until after the follow up bug killer visit. I'm trying not to be too upset that we had to throw out our cardboard boxes instead of pass them on to someone else.

And then I was smited with pink eye. I really have to find out which deity I've pissed off so I can make amends. If you need me, I'll be outside pouring libations.


1 comment:

  1. Bedbugs: EWWWWWWW! I have my fingers crossed that they're gone for good.

    RE your article at Skirt: I saw Syd Straw perform once, many years ago. She opened for Camper Van Beethoven. And she was really drunk--but in the "gosh, I love you guys" kind of way. The people next me kept hollering for her to sing "Blue Shadows," and she finally gushed, "Aw, you guys..." and did. It was awesome.


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