Wednesday, May 28, 2008

RANT: All you ever wanted to know about bedbugs

You know that little saying you whisper to the kids before you put them to bed? No, it's not "mommy needs a drink after today," though if someone made that into a cute little rhyme, I'm sure it could be quite applicable in many situations.
Anyway, the one I'm thinking of goes like this: "Sleep tight; don't let the bedbugs bite." The saying is pretty popular, and I never questioned why anyone would ever say such a thing.
Until now.
Apparently, it's not just a saying these days. Apparently, there is such a thing as bedbugs. And, apparently, they resided in the bed we slept in last night at the very nice, pretty expensive hotel we're staying at this week.
And, apparently, EWWWW!
John woke this morning with bites all over his arms; Gabe and I were spared somehow by, probably, the grace of God. (Thank you, Lord!) This evening, he found one of the little critters on a pillow atop the bed. During the day today at work as my husband tried to figure out what the bites were, he did a Google search on bedbugs. The information he found was rather unpleasant. Here's a brief rundown of bedbugs as relayed to me by John:
Bedbugs are not native to the United States. The settlers brought them over along with all the rest of the nasty diseases they gave to the Native Americans. Bedbugs were almost eradicated in the United States by the 1950s because of our country's use of DDT. Apparently, that's one of the best chemicals to kill these little blood suckers. By the way, they actually do feast on blood. usually an hour before dawn. Unfortunately, DDT was found to cause multiple, severe defects in the human and animal population, which probably had something to do with why it was so darn good at killing bedbugs. After DDT was banned for use in the United States, bedbugs began making a reemergence. Again, people from other countries brought the little buggers with them when they came to visit. In fact, The National Pest Management Association reported a 71 percent increase in bedbug calls between 2000 and 2005. They like to hide between the mattress and box spring as well as between the carpet and baseboard. They like dark, quiet places like suitcases and between couch cushions. Suitcases, you ask?
Yes, which means as I type my dear, dear husband is currently holed up in the infested hotel room scrupulously checking over the belongings we need to use in the next 24 hours to make sure they are bedbug free so he can bring them to the non-infested room. He is then taking the rest of our stuff (clothes, suitcases, shoes, toys, baby carriers, etc.) that we do not need and putting them in plastic bags until we can either wash them at ridiculously hot temperatures or freeze them for 72 hours as we do not want to transport our dear, bloodsucking friends to our condo or new house. Oh, yes, apparently bedbugs like to find new breeding grounds. I just wish they would have made their latest home somewhere other than the bed in our hotel room.
I'll take that drink now.

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