The One With The Bugs (Or: The One Where I Go Insane)
|12 February, 2013||Posted by Amanda Jayne under Life|
So, we moved.
Not too far, just to a different apartment within the same complex. I wrote before about how I was working on being content with our little second floor apartment. Well, we had the opportunity to move to an identical ground floor apartment and we jumped on it. Being on the ground floor is such an improvement. No more worrying about being too loud for the downstairs neighbors (running kids, oh no!). No more struggling up the stairs with groceries. No more wishing we were downstairs and could take the kids outside easier. Easy decision.
We moved on a Saturday. It was suppose to be an easy move…the apartment was identical, after all. I unpacked boxes while watching the kids play outside our patio door. It was wonderful. I even had a happy little post planned about being organized while moving.
Sunday morning, I was a little itchy. I figured I had dry skin, winter and all that, you know? So I brushed it off and lotioned up.
Tuesday morning, Tim turned to me while we were getting ready for the day and showed me a couple of red spots on his arm. Do you have any itchy spots, like you’re getting bitten? He asked. Um, like this? I showed him spots on my hip, arm, and ankle.
Bugs. Our new apartment had bugs. And now we had bugs. THERE WERE BUGS.
We called the apartment office and complained. Obviously, these bugs were not fault. We were totally bug-free until we moved into this new place. The bugs were here and attacked us, poor innocent us.
I will note here that the bug issue was mainly contained to our master bedroom. Through this entire experience our kids never got bit, not once, which is the one thing about this whole experience that I’m thankful for.
Wednesday the exterminator came. He was a friendly man who talked with the kids and explained everything he was going to do. He also pulled all the sheets off of my bed and poked through my drawers. It was weird.
Bottom line, he couldn’t find a single bug. But, from hearing what was going on, he guessed that it was bedbugs. BLECH. All sorts of gross.
In a blase sort of fashion, he instructed me to wash all fabric items in our home (cue me silently screaming “WASH ALL THE THINGS”) and then bag them in garbage bags. Then we could continue to use them, out of the garbage bags. I felt like laying down and crying, but since the bugs were probably in the carpet I resisted.
The exterminator left at this point, which was a relief because I needed to remove all my clothing and burn it.
After he left I called Tim and updated him. I may have cried a little bit. We just moved, remember? I hate living in disorganization, so I had been working constantly to unpack and get things put away. In a nutshell, I had worked overtime to contaminate all of our stuff. Everything fabric that had been unpacked had to be washed, dried on hot, and then put in a garbage bag. I now had to repack a good chunk of our belongings. On top of our regular laundry. This whole experience was just shaping up to be super fun.
Later that day, I hauled all the kids over to the office to drop off the keys to the old place. Due to the laundry apocalypse, I had no suitable clothes so I wore a tunic sweater I bought when I was pregnant plus maternity leggings. This is memorable because I am firmly in the leggings-are-not-pants camp and therefore I never wear them, except in place of tights. I attempted to cover up this insane outfit with a coat, but my only suitable winter coat is actually too small for me and therefore wouldn’t fit over the chunky sweater. At this point I gave up and walked the quarter mile to the office in 15 degree weather while wearing no pants and a sweater with short sleeves.
After arriving, frozen, at the office, the gal there helpfully informed me that they were going to “shop around” for an exterminator, as the guy that had been to visit me this morning couldn’t do the heat treatment that they wanted to go with and therefore they needed to find a new bug guy. She was extremely perky about this. They would be in touch. Awesome.
Friday another exterminator arrived. This one was small and nervous looking, vaguely resembling Bob Denver. He used a tiny spatula to comb through my carpet while I tried to talk him into confirming that we had bugs. After an hour of this, he regretfully informed me that he could not locate a single bug, which may sound like a good thing but in fact is the worst news ever. Without a bug to confirm what he was dealing with, he refused to treat for anything. He thought it might be bedbugs, but it also could be fleas. I was back to square one, but he left me with the helpful advice that I should crawl around on the floor and try to find a bug, which I could then stick to a piece of tape and call him. I am dead serious, Gilligan told me to go bug hunting.
At this point, I was frustrated, itchy, and bordering on mental instability. If bug hunting was what needed to be done, I was going to do it, and I was going to be good at it.
Also itchy, my hubby joined in on the idea. Together we brainstormed a bug takedown plan. Since the exterminator had suggested we stick the offending bug to some tape, we figured we should go big (since we were already home) and laid out packaging tape around our bed. Yes, this whole thing is as ridiculous as it sounds. You are free to laugh at us, but beware that you could be next.
The first night, all we caught was an Orion (literally-”Mommy!! I’m stuck!”), but Sunday morning we were successful! Tim literally leapt across the bed to have me confirm that the tiny dot stuck to the tape was in fact a bug.
Continuing the good news, the bug we caught was NOT a bedbug, but a flea! This may seem like a small distinction, but a) bedbugs are way grosser than fleas and b) fleas are much easier to get rid of.
This is a life lesson, folks. If you want to be thankful for fleas, first believe that you have bedbugs.
Monday morning we called the office the second they were open. In the hour it took for them to send someone over, I managed to catch SIX more bugs. To me that is a completely unacceptable rate of growth. I’m still not 100% who the guy was, (someone from management?) but he did confirm that the bugs I had grotesquely taped to my front door were fleas. I wanted to kiss him, but I remembered my marriage vows and resisted. Plus, I didn’t want to scare him off before he told me that the exterminator was scheduled for the next day.
Our disgusting bug filled story pretty much ends there. Our apartment got sprayed for fleas and most have disappeared since then. We have a second spraying, just to make sure, scheduled for this Monday. I have learned more about fleas and bedbugs than I ever wished to know. We are almost over the itching and my mental state has stabilized.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. How have you been?