Dudes. We have spent the last five weeks dealing with bed bug treatment. Our upstairs neighbors got ’em. We went through three treatments, spent two weeks living out of bags, and temporarily lost a cat in the process. Holy shit.
The first treatment was scheduled for Friday, March 4. In my fear, I went out and bought plastic covers for our mattress and box spring. Not a bad idea, because if we did have bugs in our mattress this would keep them from getting out. But also a terrible idea because now we can’t take the plastic off. It is loud and hot. Plus the exterminator brought a much nicer, non-plastic cover for after he treated the mattress which is plenty on its own.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Our landlords were supposed to send us a checklist of prep we were supposed to have done before the exterminator came. We didn’t get the checklist so we were not ready (turns out they had mailed it, and it arrived the day of the treatment). Thankfully, the exterminator said he’d take a bit of time out of his weekend to come back so we wouldn’t have to wait for a new appointment. Darren had to work, but I spent the rest of that Friday washing basically everything we own and packing half out shit in boxes and bags. Here’s a link to a checklist similar to the one we received.
During the treatment, which occurred Sunday, March 6, we took the pets to Darren’s friend’s house for the four hours we were required to vacate. In that time, Winston disappeared. We thought he’d reappear in a day or two, but he didn’t. At first we assumed he was somewhere in the house, but after a few days we started to worry that he’d gotten outside somehow. I posted Lost Cat ads online and one of Darren’s friend’s roommates made posters. On Saturday, March 19, he emerged from inside the couch. The most talkative cat I’ve ever met had crawled into an open seam and hid in silence for two weeks.
Between the first and second treatments, we had to leave all of our stuff bagged. It was a very unpleasant two weeks living with our apartment in that state. It didn’t feel like home, which is uncomfortable and stressful. PLUS OUR CAT WAS MISSING. Nightmare. Treatment number two was Monday the 21st. Two days after bringing Winston home, we had to take him (and the other two animals) away again. We only had to leave for two hours, so we went back to the same place and Winston stayed in his carrier. Lucy was the one who disappeared that time, but she was found in a closet under the basement stairs after just a few hours. We went home and happily unpacked our stuff, thinking it was all over.
Nope! We ended up having a third treatment this past Monday, the 4th. Did I mention I was using vacation time to deal with every one of these weekday exterminator visits? Ugh. We had to wash and pack a bunch of stuff again, although this time we were able to leave pictures on the wall and stuff. Plus we had a few days to prepare, which helped a bit. One more four hour trip away from home and I’m surprised Lucy hasn’t murdered us all, poor thing. She hates her carrier, she hates being in a strange place. But as far as we know, it’s actually over now… although when we unpacked this time, we left our clothes in their bags just in case. Everything is back where it belongs, just wrapped up. When you have coin-operated laundry and have to wash everything you own, it gets very expensive. So we’ll leave some things in bags for a bit, particularly things we won’t use, juuuust in case.
Since our current mattress has to live in plastic I plan on just replacing it asap. I’ll purchase one of the nice, non-plastic covers for it, because I feel like I’m going to have bed bug paranoia at least until we move out of this building, so better safe than sorry.
If we have to do this again I might just lose my mind.