Two weeks into our relocation to Toronto, starting a new job and coming down from a giant mountain of stress, I went to the park with Willow. I noticed a swarm of mosquitos and tried to stay in the sun to keep them at bay. The next day I had a small bump that itched like the dickens [because that’s what you say, right?]. It was on my stomach. “Those were some damn determined mosquitos”, I thought. But then the next day I had two more. “How strange”, I thought. After a couple days I had little pink bumps up and down my arms and legs. And they ITCHED!! So bad. I barely had to scratch them and they broke open. Then I started worrying. Am I sick? Do I have the chicken pox again? Maybe some form of Canadian leprosy (the irrationality of my worried mind is absurd). Jazz didn’t have any bumps. Willow didn’t have any bumps. WHAT ON EARTH IS HAPPENING TO ME?!!!!
And then I checked the sheets.
For my bachelorette party my amazing friends took me for a long weekend in Chicago. A couple of my friends thoroughly educated us on how to avoid the contamination and determine the presence of bed bugs. My best friend Lauren was very cautious and warned us of how horribly horrible a bed bug contamination was. My other close friend talked about what someone she knew had to go through to get rid of bed bugs and it was hell. They made sure that everyone check their sheets and mattress for tiny, red blood stains.
And that’s just what I found. All over my side of the bed were tiny, red spots. I didn’t find any bugs. I couldn’t find any eggs. But I knew they were there. I began to bag up everything we own when Jazz asked me what on earth I was doing. When you have bed bugs, you have to wash and dry everything on hot. EVERYTHING. But Jazz didn’t have any bites, and neither did Willow. I think Jazz thought I was going mad. To ease my worries he agreed to wash our sheets and everything fabric in our room besides all our clothes. We checked the mattress meticulously and found nothing. To bed safe, we bought a bed bug mattress cover that seals in bed bugs basically starves them out.
That night, I went to bed in peace. But an hour later, Willow woke up in a fit. I picked her up and put her in bed with me. While we were laying there I felt a faint pain on my arm. The kind of pain that was hard to tell was real or in your mind. As I was trying to help Willow back to sleep, I kept still. After I laid Willow back down, I took my phone out and began to search. I checked the sheets. Nothing. But then something caught my eye. Crawling along the top of my headboard was a little, redish, lentil size bug. A bed bug to be precise. And it was full of blood. MY BLOOD! I don’t know why they were attacking me, but I was done. I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do when you have bed bugs (because you can further spread them around the house) and made myself a place to sleep on the couch, waiting for Jazz to come out of the bathroom. He walked out, shut off the light and grabbed the handle to the bedroom door.
“I saw one”, I whispered.
Jazz jumped a little, not expecting anyone to be in the living room. Jazz made his way into the bedroom and found the same, a little bug crawling around our head board. We slept on this couch for 3 nights. Both of us. At the same time. For 3 nights.
Well maybe “slept” is being a bit generous. Every couple hours, one of us woke up to go make sure Willow wasn’t being attacked by our little vampires.
It was violating and disturbing.
We are very fortunate that our landlords moved so quickly to get rid of our bed bug problem, and that Ontario law works in favor of the tenant. We were also very fortunate/blessed/lucky SOB’s to have some amazing friends living in the same town as us. Our dear friends Dean and Emily took us in, fully knowing they could get bed bugs too (don’t worry, we took every precaution), and gave us THEIR bed to sleep in (geesh, those Christians). We were able to actually sleep a couple nights and take care of the 14 loads of laundry Jazz did while the exterminator steamed our apartment. We are BEYOND grateful and really feel a deep sense of love for our giving friends.
It has a been two weeks since the exterminator came and [knock on wood] we have seen no signs of any bed bugs since. It was the crappiest week ever but it could have been A LOT worse. We found out later that the previous tenants knew there was a bed bug problem, but declined to inform the landlord [@#$%&*&%*$@#%!!!!!!!!!] Mind you, these were the same people who let their rabbits relieve themselves all over the floor. We lost our brand new bed frame (that’s were the little buggers were hiding) and some $$ on laundry and storage tubs, but we gained something out of all of this. Besides a new appreciation for the comfortable size of a queen bed, we realized how crazy blessed we are to have such gracious friends. They were crazy to have taken us in, but they saved us from a few more sleepless nights. You can’t buy that kind of friendship. I’m not going to say it was worth it to get bed bugs just to realize that, but it was a plus.
Nighty night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.