Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 139- Bedbugs and Broomsticks

I was going to write all about the whole eating thing today, but that's now totally fail. I won't be sleeping between when I'm writing this (about 3 am) and when I fix my "little" problem.

You see, I seem to have bedbugs. Like literally. I pulled a decorative pillow out of the corner, and there, in the middle of the back of it, were this nasty looking bug. and black specks. and little white egg things.

That pillow is no longer living in my house. But now I can't use my bed. the whole thing is infested. I might not even have brought them in with the pillow- this is not the best house ever, and it's totally possible they were here before in the carpet. everything else was.

bedbug waste- also known as my former blood

If anyone out there is wondering, that's what it looks like on a mattress. there's a couple random bits elsewhere. I'd just figured I was getting ink on the mattress writing in notebooks late at night. Then I saw a bug, and it all fit. Can I just say how totally grossed out I am right now? How tired I am, but totally unlikely to fall asleep? How much I want to scrub every inch of everything I own, including my me, with boiling bleach?

Once they've invaded, of course, there's no real way to get rid of them. They take over, and you can try bug bombing them, but good luck. Or you can toss the mattress, which is going to happen eventually here. But before that, you can spray the hell out of it with bug spray (for bedbugs) and then wrap the damned thing in a fully enclosing plastic mattress bag-thingy, and the boxspring too, and hope for the best. After all, they can't really chew through that, right?

So anyway, no sleep just now for me. Not even a little. I have to wash everything I own in the hottest water I can find, then dry it all on high, and hope some of it survives. And I have to vacuum my whole room again. And scrub my whole body with something strong. And then wash everything again. And then See if I can find someplace not-gross to sleep until I take care of the bug problem here.



  1. Totally gross. Good luck. I always check motels for them. I think they like humidity and you said you have plenty of that.

  2. Spent most of the day (sofar and without sleep) getting at least the bed habitable by me again. DE inside zippered vinyl mattress covers, more on the carpet, very hot drier for the bedding (washing for just about everything but pillows in hot hot watter), and everything that *could* be infested bagged- double.

    Anything that can't be washed/ dried is in my car (again, bagged sturdily) to bake to a nice crispy "dead." For some reason I have no problem cutting off anything that decides it wants to play parasite to my host. At least I have an idea why I've been so tired and run down lately- with the blood and crap in the edges of the mattress I must have been feeding a bunch of those guys for the last few weeks.

    There goes my appetite again.

    As soon as my sheets and pillow are very hot and dry I'll spread them on my new (and hopefully impenetrable) nasty vampire beast free bed. With great good luck the DE won't wear through the mattress cover before I'm ready to toss it. Plegh.

  3. If you're vacuuming be sure and change the bag frequently - they can breed in the bag and just hop back down the inside of the hose when you turn it off.
    Also, try putting a flea collar inside the vacuum bag - it should help kill the ones you suck up.
    Good luck

  4. We actually have a bag-less vacuum with a faulty filter. I just learned this a moment or two ago when, lungs strongly protesting the *huge* piles of DE along the baseboards, I tried to vacuum them up. There is now a light coating of DE on *everything* in my room. So if my computer blows up, at least I know why, right?

    I also need to figure out who's responsibility bedbug eradication is- in most places it's the landlord's job to make sure there are no blood sucking foul monsters in the house, but SC is strange. Even if it's my job, I think I've done about as much as I can, since roommate (who's family owns the place) has nixed the "if we burn it down they'll go away" idea. Oh wells.

    I didn't think I had that many clothes, but I still have bags and bags to wash...

  5. I moved into an apartment a few years ago that was infested. I sympathize totally with the no sleep feeling. I woke up with large mosquito-bite-like whelps on my arms, legs, and face. I ended up tossing my mattress and then putting most of my stuff into storage for over a year. I did the super hot wash, super hot dry at a laundromat and then bagging all the things I could. was a great resource for me.

    I was able to get out of my lease and move with no penalty. I'm not sure if that's an option for you but it might be worth pursuing. If nothing else, it is typically the responsibility of the landlord. Maybe check with your local BBB? I can't remember what particular group regulates landlords... regardless, good luck!

  6. Oh god. I hope you get this resolved soon. Despite knowing I don't have bedbugs (because I recently turned my mattress), I still got paranoid and went to check. :)