trying to get everything and everyone unpacked, washed and back in the georgia home-turf groove after an awesome weekend in tennessee with the myers.
a fun little kink in this process has been a BED BUG scare. cue total revulsion and judgement. go ahead. you know you are feeling both. even though all the experts say it has nothing to do with hygiene.
on friday morning before we set out for a run, i started scratching at a bite on my ribcage. since i dont go bear-middie much these
days years, i started wondering how a mosquito got up there. upon close inspection it didnt look like a skeeter bite after all. but that was all the thought i gave it. i am plump and juicy and full of meat and cheese-powered blood. my milkshake brings all the bugs from the yard.
but while we were in TN jesse was scratching like a mad man. he rarely gets bitten because of his impenetrable outer layer of man-fuzz. but he had little red bumps all over him. i noticed that they looked like my one ribcage bite.
then i started thinking what these could be. we have kicked the cats outside full time rather than pay the money to give them monthly flea prevention so fleas are unlikely. then i remembered that jesse went out of town for a conference while we were at home braving a tornado and he had stayed in a hotel. hotels are where bedbugs come from!!!
all the dateline specials and buzz-worthy bedbug outbreak headlines started whizzing through my brain. we hopped on the internet and did a little research. all signs pointed to bedbuggery (and much dry-heaving on my part).
it was triply bad because, for one, we were imagining these evil mites having their way with our empty house: going room to room like goldilocks in everyone's bed, drinking the good beer (PBR), and calling all their dropout buddies to come over for a house party. and two, on top of that we were thinking we were now acting as carrier monkeys and transmitting these foul beasts to raechel and ryan. if you've seen her blog, you will know that their house is 100% loveliness and cleanliness and all things art-of-homemaking. the last thing i need is an internet scandal because i sullied the good name, smooth skin and fine linens of Finding My Feet and family. i just don't even need that, yall.
we called our pest control service and got a quote. $700 PER ROOM! holy die a thousand deaths. this pestilential horde was going to bring shame, itching, and bankruptcy on our home. i looked up other methods of eradication and found out that they are A: not advisable since these critters need PROFESSIONAL attention (don't we all?) and B: also pretty redick in the price-age. pillows and mattresses in hypoallergenic bags that would kill the pests eventually (they only need to eat once every YEAR!), all suitcases stored in -5*C freezers for two weeks after any trip, vacuuming daily, spraying lots of various chemicals anywhere and everywhere for months. so fun! imagine may 2012 when we finally get to open our plastic goodie bags of bug corpses...that we have been sleeping on for a year! the fun never ends.
i did go ahead and order some diatomaceous earth powder because it is earth and human-friendly and has rave reviews for getting rid of pests and being good just to have around your house. but i held off on all other bed bug accoutrement. we itched and squirmed just thinking about this issue. every hair or lose thread that brushed against us turned into a hysterical itching fit and at least 2 IQ points lost. just writing this is making me itch.
so when we got home, all suitcases (since one of the bags was likely the conveyance for BUG X who hitched from jesse's hotel) and clothes and pillows stayed by the door until they could go into the washer and hot dyer (or freezer!). we put the kids to bed (they have never had any bites on them thankfully) and went in to inspect our bed hand in hand.
it was terrifying. peeling back the duvet cover, the duvet, the sheet (fun fact: we only use a fitted and the comforter. i hate flat sheets), the feather-topper, and the mattress cover. every layer was nerve-wracking; certainly disgust and infestation were about to rear their nasty heads and mouthparts in what was previously our "happy place" (like, we had JUST discussed how much we love our room and bed).
but we never found anything. no feces or husks (i just died inside typing that repugnant phrase) and definitely no bugs anywhere. i almost stroked out when i saw some crumbs from a granola bar (yes, we are lards who snack in bed de temp en temps). we went ahead and washed EVERYTHING in hot water and dried the junk out of them on the dryer's hottest setting, "fluff/exoskeleton melt." i vacuumed the mattress and used the neglected hose attachment to get all around the frame and headboard and under the baseboards.
where most people still would have been pretty squirmy and itchy being in the alleged bed of infestation, we slept great on our super clean setup. we are parents of 2 under 2 (for the next 8 days!) so i guess it would take more than even bloodsuckers make us lose sleep when its up for grabs.
so do we have bed bugs? i don't know. the bites arent really explainable by anything else but we cant find ANY evidence of anything on anything in our house. unsettling to say the least. but i will take a mystery that we never know the answer to over a concrete infiltration any day. anybody out there know anything more about this plague? are all the bugs hiding somewhere else? can you come scratch my back?
UPDATE from Jesse at 4 pm: The exterminator just came by to check our room out. Despite looking EVERYWHERE and finding other interesting and embarrassing things, thankfully they found no trace of the little buggers anywhere. So it's either super early in the infestation or we ran into a pack of very frisky mosquitoes. Here's hoping for frisk.