Yes, I know, it’s been forEVER and a day since I last posted. Two literature classes take up pretty much any free time I may have, and the remainder is spent on editing books so I can give y’all something to read in the near future . . . if my beta readers ever get the books back to me with their comments.
WARNING: this post in particular WILL contain foul language due to the situation. Just thought I’d give you a heads up in case you’re at work. Also, you may squirm a lot and itch for hours after reading. Just sayin’.
This would be Umi’s bed right after we discovered them.
I don’t even know where to begin with this because I’m still recovering. In fact, I was going to write this post several months ago, but I still had yet to get enough sleep with everything happening around my home and work and whatthefuck. I’m still exhausted, and it doesn’t look like that’ll be letting up anytime soon. Now I can blame it on school because the BED BUGS have been gone for about . . . two months, going on three. YAY!
She looks happy; she’s so not
This whole goddamn situation started back in June for me. I don’t know HOW it started, but the first three I saw looked like ticks, so Moonbug got a bath. I’d never before seen a bed bug, and well, they look like ticks.
And then I saw one or two more a week later, so I took Moonbug over to my aunt’s house, into the walk-in shower (because lifting her was damn difficult with her back legs being so bad), and my cousin Skywise and I scrubbed her down good with the flea & tick shampoo. That was a week before she died, but hey, at least she was nice and clean and smelled purdy when she died. Right?
Not long after that, Umi kept waking up with bite marks all over her arms. It took us a few weeks to figure out what it was biting her. I still get all itchy when I think about it, and I think about it often. Her bites were so bad, it decreased her INR level. Umi is on blood thinners because she has blood clots and such, so the INR has to read between 2.0 and 3.0. For about two months, her INR kept hitting around 1.4, which is so not good. Below 2.0 puts her at risk of clotting, and since a pulmonary embolism nearly killed her by sending little fragments of blood clots to her lungs about five years ago, clotting is very, very bad. At the same time, above 3.0 could have her bleeding out if she were to cut herself.
Now her INR is normal again. Thank the gods.
There is a LOT involved when getting rid of these fucking little pests. I probably did about $50 or more in laundry. The apartment was treated three times, once with a fog. There’s vacuuming, which is apparently supposed to be done every day, though I wasn’t told that. My son ended up getting bed bugs in his apartment about a month ago, after mine were all gone. The beds get treated, and I was told by my landlord to buy mattress covers or we’d be asked to leave. You bet your sweet ass I saved all those text messages! One thing I discovered during all the cleaning, and something that’s really hard to find stated in the bed bug myths articles floating around cyberspace, is that my baseboards weren’t caulked. I learned during a night out for sushi that all sorts of bugs like to hide in baseboards. Well, I knew that part. What I didn’t ever think about was to caulk the TOP of the fucking baseboards too. I’d never caulked baseboards before, so I went to the hardware store and walked around while talking to my aforementioned cousin on the phone, who told me what to look for and how to do it. I didn’t feel like waiting on my landlord to get it done. We’d have had another infestation by then.
One weekend, I spent caulking Umi’s entire fucking bedroom. I cleaned the floors and around the baseboards, I caulked the baseboards, and I sprayed around the baseboards afterward with a bed bug spray that I have no fucking idea if it works or not, but the caulking sure the fuck does because Umi hasn’t been bitten since. But do you see the gi-normous HOLE in the corner there in the before shot? Hell, a fucking scorpion could have fit through that! That weekend nearly killed me. I’m not kidding. Doing a major cleaning like that is extremely difficult on me. I can’t even begin to describe to you the amount of P-A-I-N I was in. And I did it again the following weekend. I cleaned, caulked, and sprayed the bathroom and the hallway, since the bathroom shares a wall with Umi’s bedroom. The weekend after that, I found those little fuckers on MY bed ON the goddamn mattress encasement that was supposed to keep them OFF. I’ve since duct taped where the zipper ends on those things, cleaned my floors, caulked about three-fourths of my bedroom, around the outlets, light switch, and phone jack too, and sprayed the ever-living hell out of my bed and baseboards. I’ve also moved my bed away from the wall and have been sleeping on an island for the past two months. I just can’t bring myself to move it back against the wall yet.
What terrifies and horrifies me the most about this whole goddamn situation is this: how fucking long did those things feed off my Moonbug? Because yes, they will feed off your pets. Notice I didn’t specify there? Yeah. If it’s warm-blooded, they’ll feed off of it. I try to tell myself they didn’t touch my baby girl, but I know better.
At any rate, I’m going to tell you a few things about bed bugs that’ll help you should the need arise, and I hope it doesn’t because I wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone.
This is actually a really good site on How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs. Read it carefully. I got this article, surprisingly from my landlord, about three months into the situation. A little late, but that’s where I got the sleeping on an island idea. It was at the three-month mark when I caulked the baseboards too.
The other thing you need to know about are the Bed Bug laws for your state. You’ll find them in your state’s Landlord/Tenant Act online, if your state has instituted the Bed Bug law. My Unca T found this lovely article (AZ) for me, and I soon learned that I knew a helluva lot more about the Landlord/Tenant Act than my landlord. HA!
Educate yourself. Eradicate the pests. Enjoy life!