12 March 2008

Killing a Bed Bug with a Ukulele ...

I am very upset today. I've had two nights back in my bedroom, sleeping on a single bed mattress on the floor. And I'm afraid I can't yet report that we are Bed-Bug-Free.

On the first night, I thought I was being plagued be Psychological Bedbugs. As I lay there, I thought I felt things creeping all over my skin and biting me. But when I got up and turned the light on, I couldn't see any bugs. When I woke up in the morning, I thought I hadn't been bitten.

Boosted by a belief we'd kicked the bed-bug problem, Husband and I went looking for new beds. We found the mattress of our dreams - I can't wait to sleep on that piece of heavenly comfort. We can get a very good sale price on it before Friday so I'm feeling a bit of pressure because of the deadline. But we can't bring it into the house only to have it immediately infested with bedbugs! We've got to be absolutely certain they've all gone.

As I drove away from the bed shop, I absently scratched an itchy spot on my arm, which on further inspection appeared to be a bed bug bite.Not possible, I thought.

No way.

Surely not ....?


I slept in the bedroom again last night and this time I felt nothing: no psychological bedbugs, no bites, no creeping things on my skin. Then as I woke up this morning, I scratched my left leg. And my right knee. And both my arms. And my scalp. Husband, who had an early start, then found in the early-dawn light a LIVE BED BUG CRAWLING UP THE WALL! That was the first depressing thing to happen today.

The second was the result of a phone call to the boss at the Pest Control Company (who says the word "literally" more than Jamie Oliver does.) Here is a brief summary of the outcomes:

  • We are extremely unlucky to have "an infestation" of this magnitude in a normal dwelling (Cheers for that!)
  • This difficulty in getting rid of them was always on the cards
  • And mark my words, it will be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to get rid of them now we know that they were not just in the bed
  • There's nothing more the pest people can do (chemically) until we find the "harbourage" - that's a fancy-pants word for "Nest of Filthy Writhing Parasites, Filled With MY BLOOD"
  • We need, more than anything, to find the other nest or nests, the one/s in addition to those we found on the base of the bed before.
  • The next step is to remove absolutely everything from the room, looking for the nest/s
  • Then we get the power points off and look behind them for the nest/s
  • Then we rip the carpet off and look under it for the nest/s
  • Then we tear the whole house apart and burn it, killing the unfound nest/s, discard all our clothes, books and furniture and start again somewhere else.
All this is to be done in the hours of spare time that hang so heavily upon a mother's hands, using all the spare money that burdens us young homeowners in a climate where the costs of living and interest rates are rising quicker than if they'd sat down on something extremely sharp.

So this morning I took all eight drawers of clothes out of the dresser and put them in the sun on the back deck. I needed to check every individual item for evidence of the bugs, and this gave me a good opportunity to sort out clothes we won't need. Once I was finished this job, I was planning to leave them in the sunshine to kill any bugs I might have missed. But three-eighths of the way through this process, Sonny Ma-Jiminy quite unreasonably woke Chubbity Bubbity up from her nap so I've been doing Mummy Duties since then, leaving the clothes sunning on the deck, checked for bugs or not, sorted out or unsorted.

While I was playing with the kids, Sonny Ma-Jiminy asked if I could cut his toenails, which I did. This allowed me to discover about 10 savage bed-bug bites on his legs. THEY CAN'T BE IN TWO ROOMS!?!?

I've already spent hours taking Sonny Ma-Jiminy's room apart. I replaced his mattress, washed and dried all his bedding and pillows, got rid of unwanted items under his bed, sorted through all those bags of lovely clothes (some very nice things in there!) and, when I found absolutely no evidence of bed bugs, I put his room back together again and returned Sonny Ma-Jiminy to normal sleeping habits. The thought that there still could be bed-bugs in there somewhere is completely totally utterly demoralising.

Still, I thought with a wry smile, it could be worse (although I wasn't sure how.) And then I found out how.

While I played with my kids, leaving our eight drawers of clothes sunning on the back deck, it clouded over and started raining on the clothes. Our clothes. ALL of the clothes we own.

Because that's just what I needed right then. I allowed myself a quiet little weep. I must confess, I'm losing my joy. Today, things are looking bleak.


ezebaymoney said...

great story find more bed bug info at


sister said...

That's truly awful and utterly depressing, though the comment by ezebaymoney is worse. I'm thinking about you a lot, very guiltily when I lie down on my bug-free bed. But you WILL find them, and you WILL exterminate them and then all this will be just a blog. About your bug guy - I can understand saying "literally" a lot, or "like" or something similar. But I talked to a turf guy today who couldn't stop saying "if you know what I mean". That's just ridiculous. He'd say, "Water new lawn often or it will die, if you know what I mean." Well yes, yes - I do.

Givinya De Elba said...

Yes, Sister, I hear you. I notice you're no longer "crazy" - just "sister". Good move.

Hey yes, ezebaymoney, what's with your comment? Thanks for directing me to that site, but sorry to say buddy, there's so much info out there on bed bugs that is a lot more helpful! Ah well, thanks for taking the time to search the net for people in need of a bed bug cure, even if you don't personally have a lot up on your own site yet. Cheers.

As of today, we think we may have this bed bug problem LICKED. We'll get rid of them. We ordered our new bed today, but won't set it up in our room until we're 110% completely free. Until then, there's so much work to be done!