… Don’t let the bed bugs bite – Part 1

So why did I take an extended break from blogging? Why was my PC unplugged and put in a friend’s garage for safe keeping? Why was our tent put up in the back garden the day before sever gale warnings (it’s still there by the way…)?

The answer to these questions is Bed Bugs.  I know, you’re starting to itch already….

It’s a long and dull story up to spotting them; which was on a Wednesday afternoon; having been prescribed an antihistamine the previous day; which was supposed to be non-drowsy, not knock you out for over twelve hours! So there I was, going to change Mini’s bedding, and I saw something scurry across the white sheet.  I was groggy, but not imagining things, so I investigated further, pulling the bed away from the wall to check in the dark nooks and crannies.  OMG there were lots of them.  (Pausing now to be sick… not literally but Ugh, it was horrid)

Bed bugs are brought into a house three ways; hitch-hiking on luggage; on furniture or upholstery, particularly second hand; or moving from one room to another.  Now we live in a detached house, so they didn’t come from another house, we didn’t have any new “old” furniture, so it’s more than likely come in from someone’s luggage.  To be honest, I don’t care where they come from, just that they get taken away and never come back.

So what did I do?  Well what any self-respecting person would do, who was barely compos mentis from icky tablets, I phoned hubs and demanded he come home, right away and deal with it.

I would just like to add this is very out of character for me, usually I am the one who sorts things out, I had to be capable of doing so as hubs was in the navy for most of the years I’ve known him, and he’d be away at sea for weeks at a time.  Thus my action towards hubs made him move and move fast.

Once home he was on the phone to the council department of bugs… “the bloke who deals with that issue sir is on holiday and won’t be in until next week, and no there is no one who can help in the mean time” (WTF).  Well Retokil it was, they could be there the next morning at 08:30, all I needed to do was empty the room infested and the rooms adjacent to it, oh and cough up a chunk of cash.

Oh joys, that’s the boy’s room, our room & the bathroom (the easy one). To make matters worse; everything had to be double bagged; as it was being moved though the house, in case the mean little critters escaped to another room of the house.

The only things that could be sprayed with insecticide were the wooden furniture, walls and skirting boards.  All linens would have to be washed at 60°C + to ensure the bugs would be killed.  Oh joy, do they know how much stuff was in there?

The emptying of the boy’s room was horrid.  There were family heirlooms stored in there that were near the infestation, silly keepsakes, all sorts of things.  I was ruthless.  I used the opportunity to get rid of clutter.  I was just gutted not to be able to recycle anything, I was too worried to pass anything on to anyone else!

Hubs had an early shift the next day (that means he’s up and out of the door for 04:30) so I sent him off to bed at 21:00, the boy’s room was done, which just left ours to do.  The next five hours I listened to my audio book “The Brain that Changed Itself” by Norman Doidge (a really good read by the way) and emptied our room, into bags and carried each bag downstairs to the living room.  Who needs a stepper.. just lugging lots of bags up and down stairs gave me a great workout.  Thank goodness for adrenalin & caffeine that’s all I say (the first self-produced may I add, not a supplement, like the second).

At last it was done, and I crashed, with two bedrooms out of action, the boys were on the double bed in the spare room, hubs was in his office on a single bed, I got the sofa next to all the bags I just moved.  I didn’t care, I was exhausted.

The next morning, bright and early, the exterminator came to spray, he was lovely, though he kept referring to the “host” and I wanted to scream, that’s my three-year old you are talking about!  He sprayed the rooms and we were just confirming the next date for the spraying (it’s a three spray procedure, undertaken a week apart, that’s two weeks of chaos… yikes!) and what did he see on the ceiling of the hallway? Yes you guessed it a bed bug.

Then the goalposts changed.  This was not going to be a simple spray three rooms, replace two beds, three mattresses, at least two carpets if not three… no this would have to be a heat the whole house to 60°C for 24 hours procedure at six times the cost… but I’m going to leave that part of the story for another day.