Thursday, January 11, 2007

Slugging it Out

We brought out our toughest, most dangerous weapon: the Exterminator. Risking my mortal health and the well-being of our cats, we allowed a man with a canister full of poison and a reckless disregard for the delicate nature of cashmere sweaters full access to our apartment. Again.

You see, the last time didn't take. The insecticide must have really hulked them out, because they bit us up with a vengeance and took no pains to hide their gross presence in the light of day. I count 36 bites. And because I am allergic to insect venom, they are big, splashy red welts. Because bedbugs offer pitiful amounts of venom, it's just enough to make me miserable, without warranting any Epi-Pen action or trips to the ER.

So he was back today. If our super-aggro efforts to rid ourselves of this pestilence fails we will have little choice but to move.

Please, New Yorkers, do NOT imagine yourself immune from this scourge. It has nothing to do with cleanliness or the right address. If they can't get to you to feed, they won't bother infesting your place.

Here's what you must do:

1. Buy a bed with a metal or plastic frame. They cannot fly or jump, and they can't crawl up slick materials. Also, they adore nesting in miniscule cracks and crannies in wooden beds.

2. Keep your bed well away from walls and other furniture, so that it is an island of cool, clean, bug-free goodness.

3. Don't allow your bed linens to drape all the way to the floor.

4. VACUUM

5. Caulk or tape up cracks in the moulding, floors, windows, and pipe fittings.

6. Rid your home of clutter, especially in closets. Invest in space bags. Dry cleaning bags are useless at keeping out bugs, especially carpet beetles, which find them delicious.

7. Don't necessarily kill spiders or centipedes: they eat the little nasties and leave you the hell alone.

That is all. Keep your fingers crossed that a second round of poison didn't render our bedbugs super bedbugs.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Tribble said...

I don't think it worked this time either. Like you said, I think it just hulked them out.

Why, just a couple minutes ago, I walked in on one sitting on the crapper reading the Wall Street Journal.

Thinking it was all a dream, I blinked, rubbed my eyes, and he was still there. Then he said "Can't a bedbug have ANY fuckin privacy 'round here?! Jeez!"

Then he threw the paper at me and knocked my unconscious.

The end.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Leave It To Cleavage said...

YUCK, YUCK, YUCK. I found this blog and I thought that you might benefit from it:

http://thebedbugwar.blogspot.com/2006/03/another-update-still-no-bedbugs.html

6:48 PM  
Blogger LisaBinDaCity said...

What Leave said. YUCK.

If I had to get rid of clutter, I would be toast. No way, no how.

Good luck!

4:49 AM  
Blogger marty said...

I think Steven Spielberg has some free time. Maybe you can pitch him a film about "Super" bedbugs.

5:59 PM  
Blogger threetoedsloth said...

All right, big secret that I never told my family about when it happened because I knew they'd freak out: when I lived in Bushwick, my roommate and I got bedbugs. It was AWFUL. I think it started in the late summer, but we didn't notice because we figured we were just getting mosquito bites. Then fall set in, and we wondered why the mosquitos kept biting! It wasn't until November/December 2005 that we realized what had happened. And it was terrible. We made an appointment for the exterminator to come and gas the whole place (luckily our landlord paid), and we had to bag up all of our belongings. And in the nights before the exterminator was set to arrive, I couldn't sleep because I was sure they were crawling all over me. Whenever I spotted one walking up the wall or across the floor, I'd spray it with the first thing I had on hand, whether it was 409 or a perfume bottle. (Anything worked as long as I sprayed it directly at the bug.) We got new mattresses and everything. But luckily for us, the bugs basically disappeared after just one spraying by the exterminator.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Absinthe said...

This happened to an NYC friend of mine - he lived in Washington Heights at the time. It took a while, but the bedbugs were defeated without having to move. I think the exterminator had to come twice before they started to leave (die?).
I'm SO SORRY you're having to deal with this! I had an awful mouse infestation (see my current blog entry about how much I physically despise rodents), and 2 visits from the exterminator and 5 blocks of rat poison around the outside of the house later, they were gone. This, too, shall pass!!

6:26 PM  

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