I know I’ve already extolled the perks of having big kids, but a few weeks ago, Mr. Wonderful and I pushed the envelope a little further, and planned an overnight trip – without any kids. The Trailblazer is still home for the summer, so we left him in charge and darted down I-10 to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a get together with Mr. Wonderful’s old high school friends.
We had a lovely time, and for a few blissful hours, I actually forgot I had kids. (There’s something about being around the people who remind you of a time before you had kids that can actually transport you back to that time. Aaahhh.) We hung out at a casino (no one under 21 present), had dinner at a lovely restaurant (no chicken nuggets on the menu), and spent the evening at an outdoor venue listening to music (drinking refreshing adult beverages) in the July Mississippi heat. The next morning we gathered again for brunch, slowly bringing ourselves back into reality for the trip home.
It was so blissful I completely forgot about a topic that has been in the news quite a bit lately.
I don’t travel much anymore, so when this topic hit the current events circuit in every news outlet in America I brushed it off as something that really didn’t apply to me. I disregarded all of the advice on how to inspect a room for evidence of bedbugs and how to handle your luggage in a way that reduces the likelihood of bringing them home with you.
I now regret not paying better attention to that advice.
Sure enough, as I’m stripping beds last week, I pull back the fitted sheet on my bed to discover a little brown critter sitting all comfy at the foot of my bed. Not realizing what it was at first, I made an audible noise of disgust and flushed the little sucker. It wasn’t until the following morning that I realized what I’d seen.
Then the panic began.
I Googled BEDBUGS to look at some photos, only to confirm my terrible suspicion. As I feared, it was, indeed, a Cimex lectularius, a common bedbug.
I read a few articles to get an idea of what I was dealing with, watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to inspect a room for infestation, and put in a call to my exterminator. Then I began the process of dismantling my bedroom.
I discovered that eradicating bedbugs is a lot like getting rid of fleas or lice. (Both of which I have done at various times in my parenting career.) It involves lots of laundry, intense vacuuming, and thorough cleaning.
Our search produced only one live bedbug, so my exterminator seems to think I got off easy. (Probably just a single stowaway who wasn’t in a family way when he/she hitched a ride to my house.) Whew.
Now I just have to get over the heebie-jeebies I get every time I walk into my bedroom. And figure out if I ever intend to use that suitcase again.
As for the cute little saying “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite…” I’m no longer amused.
- NEVER place your suitcase on a hotel bed. Put it on the stand, on the dresser, or if necessary on the bathroom counter to unpack it.
- Pack plastic garbage bags, and seal your luggage in the bags during your stay.
- Examine the sheets for small, rust-colored flakes. (Bedbug poop.) Or for actual bugs.
- If you find them in your home, don’t panic. But do get ready for a boat-load of work to get rid of them.