The Cost of Bedbuggery

Last week, my building brought Champ, a cute little sniffer dog, around my apartment. Someone in an apartment along my line about 5 floors down had a serious case of bedbugs, and it so turns out that my apartment was the furthest one to have any evidence of them. No, I haven’t been bitten, nothing is visible even to the professionals with their little mag lights, but the dog is trained to tap at the scent of live bugs or live eggs. And tap he did. Damn you, Champ the Bedbug Sniffer Pro.

They sprayed an organic barrier around my apartment perimeter and my bed – if a bug attempts to cross that line in the next 2 weeks, it will die. I’ve been sleeping on the couch for over a week because Champ didn’t tap it.

The really fun parts begins Friday, when they exterminate – which involves flash-freeze spraying my furniture. I have to pack all my things in plastic by then, and it’s actually worse than moving because I have to wipe every little thing with alcohol first. It took me 3 hours just to do my bathroom. I thought it would take under an hour. Oh boy.

So far this whole adventure has cost me $32 for 6 plastic storage tubs and 3 rolls of saran wrap. And about $680 for nice new Serta Perfect Sleeper Plush (would have been a lot more, but Macy’s got a sale on mattress sets at the moment, and a friend of mine has access to a Macy’s employee charge card, which gets me 20% off). I’ll be throwing out my current bed, a rug, a hassock and a cheap bookcase that just won’t survive another jiggle. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do about replacing those last few things. I’ve got a few weeks to figure it out because I’ll be living a plastic-wrapped life for the next few months.

Okay, so I’m going to cheat and only live in plastic for a few weeks. They come back in 2 weeks for a second freeze-blast in case they missed any eggs, and then we’re supposed to keep things wrapped up for 3 months in case a third treatment is necessary. The plastic isn’t part of the treatment – we’re just keeping it that way so we don’t have to do it again in the event of  a 3rd round. Well, I reckon that, as the furthest the bugs got, I’ve got the tiniest problem. I seriously doubt that I’d be a candidate for #3, so the plastic is coming off after that second treatment in 2 weeks.

Other expenses incurred…well, my mother is coming in to help me on Thursday because, well, she’s a really good mom…so her train ticket plus take-out lunch and dinner. Then I’ll be spending Friday and hopefully Saturday night with her in NJ because the couch will be wrapped in plastic and the new bed doesn’t arrive until Sunday; that’s another $20 train ticket. If Macy’s calls me with an early delivery time for Sunday though, I’m sleeping on my parquet floor. Tomorrow morning I’m hitting up Walgreens for their sale on packing tape – excellent timing. Oh, and this whole thing has had me guzzling Arizona Big Cans of iced tea like it’s…it’s uh…Arizona iced tea. I’m about $7 into this new habit in 5 days. You do know those cans are nearly 24oz, right?

And the condo management company is picking up the extermination tab – as they should, but still, I’m glad I didn’t have to argue that. So pardon the dry writing tonight – I’ve been sleeping on the couch for a week averaging 5-6 hours of sleep each night, and 2.5 hours of massage and 5 hours of packing and lifting is taking a toll. Sunday was worse…10 hours of cleaning followed by an 11pm outcall. Yeesh.

10 Responses

  1. Oh my, the horror. I can’t believe the measures you have to take. Wrapped in plastic for 3 months! Can you just move? I don’t think I could stay after knowing the place was infested. Hang in there hon 😦

  2. On the off chance, I would separate the *absolutely need* items (for after the second blast) separated from the other items. Then if you do have to do a third treatment, you don’t have to deal with this all again.

  3. Holy crap, what a PITA. You poor thing, I can’t even imagine how abused your body is feeling right now. *sympathy hugs*

  4. Oh wow, well good luck! I’m glad Champ told you about the bugs or you might have bites on you by now! Yuck! That really stinks though – I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’re good to go after Round #2!

  5. That sucks! Good thing they found it early, before you had any major issues. And it’s so nice that mommy is coming to help. Those are some bright sides, right?

  6. Lucky you to find them before you got bitten. I had bedbugs that crawled up from the downstairs apartment and got bitten. I still have my mattress in the plastic case to make sure the little creatures are REALLY dead since they said they can live for up to six months even after spraying.

    Oh yeah and the people downstairs moved out!!!!!!

  7. So, lemme get this straight–NYC is now known for rats and bed bugs? Y’all must really love that place. Well, I suppose Los Angeles has it’s own form of vermin– smog, botox and lots of fake tits.

  8. Oh this sucks Kate. It would almost be better if you had an overseas trip planned and could just leave it all wrapped up in the interem. You would lose out on having it lived in while gone though.

  9. […] can NOT believe my misfortune. Just 20 months and 1700 miles after my first incident of bedbuggery, I am back in this awful situation of having to deal with it. […]

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