>Warning: Long post, but I need to vent, STAT!
I learned a heartbreaking lesson this week. It really can happen to anyone. I have thought long and hard about writing this post because of the embarrassment I feel over the topic, but I figure there may be someone out there who is helped by it.
Remember this post? Well, John and I spent the entire day satisfying my paranoia and probable OCD. And we saw no evidence of them in my house. No stains, eggs, casts. No bites on any of us. And I felt enormous relief, and John was about to cuss me for making him take the bedroom apart piece by piece. He went into the kitchen to get us each a drink as I collapsed in my relief on my pristine ivory mattress (sans bedding). And as John comes back in the room to hand me my Diet Coke, he gasps, “Andrea, what’s that???????“
There it was. A tiny bug crawling across the mattress. And so we caught it in a piece of medical tape and put it in a jar, and called a pest control company. The poor exterminator who took my call probably didn’t know what to think, as I was literally sobbing. And when we ended up taking it to him so he could look at it under a microscope, and he told me it was indeed a bed bug, I gagged. I mean I literally I’m-gonna-vomit gagged. And I told them that I didn’t care what it took, to please get to my house ASAP and fix it! And I started to speculate where it came from. One of my patients? Or from something I bought in a store? Where?
So the next day, a man with a masters in entomology showed up at my house along with an exterminator and a trained dog that can sniff them out. And they looked. It only took them 10 minutes. This next part takes some explaining.
We rent. Long story as to why a 30-something professinal with an above-average salary, a ten-year marriage, and a couple of kids rents a house instead of owning like I should. Let me just say that up until I had Zach, the plan was for me to start med school this year. And with med school, you go where you are accepted. I could’ve been moving to fricken Guatemala or something. So I did not want to be strapped to a mortgage, and so we rent. And it is indeed a duplex made of parallel units instead of the one-up, one-down design. And we know I hate my neighbors because of their lack of taste. Now I have a whole other reason.
The pest control people found an egg in the joint of the wall and ceiling of my bedroom along the adjoining wall to the 2 units. And about a foot further, another one. And a little bit further from that, another one. And then they got to my bed. No evidence. And then they peeled the fabric batting off of the bottom of my boxspring. And found more. But so far out into my room, it stopped. We had caught it early, and they thought it was coming from the common wall I share with my neighbors. Fuckers. Sorry for the language, but it seems appropriate right now. Because thinking back, they mysteriously threw out their mattress in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. And when I told them I found one in my place, they had no reaction whatsoever. Not shock or disgust or surprise. And when the property owner suggested the exterminator take a look at their side to be safe, they came up with every excuse to get out of it, even though I was paying for it. My landlord had to strong-arm them into an inspection, which is taking place tomorrow at 10 AM.
And then they found the pattern in my house. And there is no doubt we got them from the neighbors, but have to go through the motions.
My brand new bed was thrown out. It was less than 6 months old. John bought it right before I had Zach because the old one was getting worn. And the entire treatment of the house, which is under way, was $1100.00. And the work! Just to be safe, we are treating the house like it is overrun with them. Everything–and I mean everything–has to be sealed in plastic and treated with heat. But the worst part? As I was stripping Zach’s crib of his adorable, posh crib bedding, we found another bug. And I started sobbing again. Because the idea of one of them in the bed with my baby just kills me and makes me borderline homicidal. What nasty person has these and doesn’t take the proper action to get rid of them? I know! My skanky neighbors!
So there you have it. I am embarrassed. I am enraged. I hate them. HATE them! I used to think this only happened to dirty people. Nope. People here are getting them from travelling or simple shopping. People in affluent neighborhoods and housing projects alike. My family is a statistic.
Now for my PSA. Unless you live in a bubble, check your house. Be paranoid like me. I really didn’t think we would find anything. I was so wrong.