The Cost of Bedbuggery – Boulder Edition

I 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. AGAIN.

Three hours ago I killed two blood-filled bugs between the pages of a paperback and captured another – also between the pages of that paperback, but since it hadn’t fed on me yet, it didn’t “squish”. This happened around 12:15am local time (bedbugs are nocturnal), and the trapped bug can’t climb the sides but keeps trying (bedbugs can’t climb plastic, metal, tile, etc). I was looking for them tonight because I found a shed exoskeleton and got suspicious. Further investigation found a smear of something on my just-washed sheets toward my feet – and I have no cuts. My sheets are the color of fruit punch so I couldn’t figure out the smear color. So…after 10 mins of lying still while playing Words With Friends (well…strangers), I’d exhaled enough carbon dioxide to attract the little bastards.

That mild rash on the back of my elbow/upper arm that I thought was related to heat or friction? Bites. Those odd red marks on my neck and upper chest? Bites. Strangely I thought I knew what the bites look like but I have something that’s more rash-like – I have the Wikipedia bed bug entry to thank for finding out that’s how it can look. Guess I’m a little allergic to bedbugs. I wish the reverse was true.

In a few hours I’m going to take the trapped bug to the management office and hopefully they can skip the inspection step and go straight to the spraying. Unlike my horrible NYC experience, I don’t have much stuff to spray and wipe with alcohol and pack into plastic bags.

Last month we had new windows installed, and they taped notices to our doors. One of my neighbors across the hall scribbled on their notice “bed bug spraying tomorrow”. I called management and they said “the tenant bought a suitcase from a thrift store and got paranoid”. I think management LIED. But to be fair…everything in my apartment is second-hand and I could easily have brought them in. If I did, I suspect the couch. I’d noticed little bugs but since it was daytime, figured they were something else. However… they’re just like the ones I squished in my paperback.

I’m worried about how they “treat” for bedbugs. The inspection is done by human eye, not sniffer dog snout. I’m worried they’re going to pump a little spray – much as I could do myself for $9.99 from Bed Bath & Beyond. Well see if Boulder can match the Big Apple on this one.

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