Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs were not on my radar when I singed the lease for my apartment at Plymouth West.

Weston disclosed that the building has had a problem for ten years and so has the city of Long Beach. I have lived in many Long Beach apartments, stayed at dive and not-so-dive motels, not to mention living on the streets for a year and 3 months without getting my blood sucked by the nasty critters.

Near as I can tell, I was here two weeks when they began attacking me.

I got a nice high-off-the-floor air mattress. When I changed the sheets I noticed little black dots on the sheets and bed. I thought they were fuzz from my socks. Later learned they were dried blood from when the bugs finished feeding. I learned that it can take ten days for the bites to show up.

At first I thought the bites were hives. My dumb luck to have a loud, late-night man living over my head. Man is now in jail, but that is another story for another day. The bites itched like crazy, swelled, nasty red blotches all over my arms, stomach, arm pit, legs. I kept comparing my rash to rashes on the Internet, suffering, trying every kind of itch cream I could find.

When more of the bites appeared, I found even more pictures: Yup, bed bugs. I stripped my air mattress, threw bedding in washer, started cleaning the mattress, going back to laundry room to add fabric softener or to put clothes in dryer. The air mattress has a rim, cleaning under that, flipping the double size mattress on all sides as I worked. One of those flips, I saw a bug scurrying and squashed it with rag in my hand.

I went to office to report it; was asked if I had the bug. Well, no, how would I have it? Later decided I could grab it with Scotch tape if I saw one ~which I did not. monitors were installed in the apartment and that was that.

A man on my floor has a recurring problem with bed bugs. I wondered often why they never installed those monitors in his apartment ~ effective. They emit two scents that attracts the bugs. Then the bugs fall through holes and die. One sent is carbon dioxide ~ something our body produces which attracts the bugs. The other is the mating scent.

I wish that was the end of my bed bug experience story. Alas it happened again; just when I thought it was safe to sleep normally.

1 comment:

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