Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite, or How I Nearly Burned Down a Laundromat and Lost My Sanity

The late afternoon sun gleamed over the parking lot.  Matt sat next to me on the side of a planter, we sipped our sodas and chewed on some garlic knots from the pizza place next door.  We watched the first fire truck pull up, the first firefighters getting out and pulling on their gear.  Smoke was pouring out of the laundromat doors.  I had no idea what was actually happening inside.

"You know," I thought to myself, "if the whole place goes up, maybe that's not the end of the world.  Maybe it would just be easier to start all over again."

There was a perturbed woman in purple across the parking lot.  When it got quieter, you could hear her griping into her cell phone to whomever was on the other end.  "My baby granddaughter's clothes are in there!" she said with nearly the same emotional weight another person would use if their actual granddaughter was trapped in the building.  I rolled my eyes.  The entire launderable contents of her house weren't trapped in that building.  Her dryer wasn't the one that caught on fire, ours was. I had to wonder what articles of clothing or linens I was about to lose. 

Why all this mess, all these emergency vehicles?  Why was I doing so much laundry?

One bedbug.

We have only seen evidence of one bedbug in our house, but it was obviously biting our friend who was staying on our futon at the time.  The only evidence of said bedbug living in the bed was in one pillow.  We promptly threw all of our pillows away.  We've washed, we've sprayed.  Every day brings more washing, more vacuuming.  It's physically and mentally exhausting.  I am worrying if they will never be gone. 

We hauled every piece of launderable fabric in our house to the laundromat on Saturday, thinking we could get it all done in one sitting.  It would have been possible had one of our dryers not burst our laundry into flames.  I've never seen a group of people LESS panicked about a fire.  Matt was running around looking for water and fire extinguishers while the other people went about their business, mostly getting annoyed that their laundry wasn't getting done.

Seeing as how all of the dryers were gas dryers, we probably all should have been a little more concerned about the spinning inferno we had created on the back wall.  (Author's Note:  The Spinning Inferno is totally the name of my new band and/or horror movie script.)  I lost one of my favorite skirts, a couple of work tops that I liked, some socks, a pillow cover from Ikea, a sheet.  The laundromat owner took our phone numbers, just in case insurance needed to talk to us or something. 

I shake my fist at those little buggy bastards.  You know, I like cuddling in bed, but not with blood-sucking insects.  I can't think about them without itching.  I can't think about cleaning my house or spraying or anything without getting really tired.  Bedbugs suck so bad.  My stress level is high and so are my blood sugar levels.  I would never wish this on anyone.

And if you have had bedbugs at your place before, what did you do to get rid of them?  


  1. An optimist would read this and tell you that the bedbug is finally toast. Mission accomplished!

  2. Oh, Hannah!!! That's dreadful! While we haven't had bedbugs in the house *knockonwood*, I'm sure that's what bit me in a hotel room a couple of summers ago. The hotel said that's not what it was, but they were unlike any bites I had ever had, and I got them while sleeping in their bed. We initiated an entire hazmat protocol to get me and my stuff home. I had trouble sleeping for several nights, and when I did manage to fall asleep, I'd have nightmares about bugs crawling and feasting on me. I'm so sorry to hear about the bugs, and the fire, and the lost items, and all the stress and extra load of crap. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs to you, Sweetie! I hope your ordeal is over soon.

  3. Anonymous9:22 PM

    Apparently if you live in tropical India, you can just put the mattress out in the hot burning sun and kill all the bedbugs that way. That's why bedbugs belong in tropical lands and not in America!

  4. Nichole pinet10:29 PM

    Just found your blog and love it!!! BTW, we had bed bugs a few years ago...unfortunately took us months to get rid of them..and a couple thousand dollars later...we had Orkin come out and spray..laundered everything...set our daughters stuffed animals our in the sun in black trash bags all summer...steamed everything that couldnt be laundered in extremely hot water...We found a couple in my daughters bed..and then every month for 3 months only saw one or two..finally got to where we didn't and havent seen any..took about 5 months to get rid of them totally. Hope that helps


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