It had been too late the night before to go out and get the things that I wanted to get. I was tired and hysterical and wanted to sleep but couldn’t. I got up early in the morning and emailed my boss to tell her that I wouldn’t be coming in to work that day. I said something came up the night before that we had to take care of. At that point I didn’t tell her what our something was. I didn’t want people to know.
I woke Y up way earlier than he normally gets up to go to Kroger with me to by the biggest garbage bags that we could find. We got home and proceeded to put everything that was in the bedroom into these bags, tying them up as we went along. Curtains? Check. Bedspread? Check. Bed skirt? Pillows? Sheets? Clothes? Throw Pillows? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. I wasn’t kidding when I said everything. Oh, don’t let me forget all of the same things from the spare bedroom as well. We had a mountain of black lawn bags when we were finished bagging. I didn’t think it was enough, Y thought it was too much. Commence with the crazy.
At this point there was still no sign of Mr. Landlord and I was growing annoyed. “First thing in the morning” to me, meant before 8. Since this wasn’t the case we head out to Bed Bath & Beyond (as soon as it was open) to get mattress, box spring, and pillow protectors for the bed in our bedroom and the bed in the spare bedroom. Holy. Shit. Those things are super expensive! I’m guessing we aren’t the only ones with this problem because there was a big display of them immediately inside the door. I grab what we need and pile it into Y’s arms. I also grabbed two of The ClimbUp® Insect Interceptor for Bed Bugs to put them under the feet of both beds. These work best on hard wood floors. If you place them on carpet then the unevenness of the weight of the bed pressing down on them might cause them to crack. Thank goodness we have hardwood. You also have to be careful because the powder inside can be rubbed off and then you’re S.O.L. and the little bastards can climb up and out no problem.
We get home and carefully put the covers onto everything. We checked the seams again before we put them on and didn’t find any more. We were careful not to jostle the mattresses and box springs too much as we didn’t want any of the pests falling to the floor and hiding in the cracks. The covers trap air inside so we used the vacuum to suction it out before sealing the zipper all the way.
We head to the laundromat. Y goes down to the car and I start throwing the bags to him through the window. Neither of us wanted to make the bazillion trips it was going to take to lug it down 6 flights of stairs. (I didn’t want to think about lugging it all back up.) It took two trips to get it all in. From what I’ve read, and this varies, temperatures in excess of 120 degrees for 10-20 minutes will cook and kill them. This kills them in all life stages. So at least 30 minutes in the big dryers should do the trick. At one point we had 15 dryers going with things that didn’t need laundered and 6 washers full of the things that did. Getting the stuff into the dryers was tricky because we didn’t open the bag and pull stuff out. We placed the bags right inside the dryer and opened it to take the stuff out. We didn’t want to risk any getting out and into the laundry mat.
I almost got into a physical fight with the
old bitch ignorant old lady that was manning the place. She obviously knew very little about bed bugs and tried to pick a fight with me. She kept yelling at me for bringing our stuff in and muttering under her breath about how her boss was going to have to treat the whole place now and G-d help us should any other customers find them in their laundry. I got quite sassy and set her straight. She didn’t talk to me anymore after that but still went around muttering just loud enough for me to hear her. I’m not a violent person but I was at the brink of crazy and she just about pushed me over the edge.
We finish one car load and I run it back to the apartment. At this point it’s well after noon, closing in on 1 pm and it’s only now that Mr. Landlord has decided to show up to the building. I take a load of things up expecting him to be there. He. Isn’t. There. I call and tell him that he needs to come spray now. He finally moseys on in and checks in other places where you might find bed bugs. He doesn’t see any. He sprays. He said that our infestation was very mild and that he’d be back in two weeks to spray and check again.
I ask him if any other apartments have reported them? Have you seen them in other apartments? Are you sure what you are doing is going to work? I was basically putting my faith into a man that has given me little reason to believe in him so far. He isn’t a bad landlord. He’s just forgetful.
By the time Y and I cleaned, checked the furniture, and got everything laundered and back up to the apartment and put away it was late. We had worked for well over 12 hours and we both were exhausted. But it wasn’t over yet.
Coming up – Part 3: Kill them with fire