Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bedbugs suck

Good night.
Sleep tight.
Don't let the bed bugs bite.

You've probably all heard it.  It's not just a nursery rhyme or whatever.

Might I suggest that if you ever have the opportunity to be infested with bedbugs, you should graciously decline.  Or run for the motherfrakking hills.  Burn the house down.  Whatever it takes.

Things I've learned:

  • Alchohol kills them on contact.  I keep a spray bottle beside my bed.  For the rest of my life, I will probably associate the scent of rubbing alcohol with these frakking bugs.
  • I am allergic to them.  I have been taking generic benadryl by the fours to keep the itch to a highly-pissed-off lion's roar.  That doesn't help the welts or swelling, of course, just the itch.
  • Diatomaceous earth kills them, but it takes longer, and they have to touch it, which means the ones in hiding aren't dying.  However, it is not harmful to me, so there's that.
  • Exception to the above: the DE aggravates my asthma if I am not careful about covering my nose/mouth when I spread it.
  • Organic pesticides, like you can get at Home Depot, rather than killing the bugs, make them breed faster.  
  • They don't like menthol - such as Vick's VapoRub or Baby Vick's or Mentholatum.  Aside from that, they also get stuck in it, and can't bite me.
  • The aforementioned menthol products take the sting out of the itch better than any itch cream.  They also keep them from biting whatever I've slathered the stuff onto - hands, jaw, neck, chest, ankles.
  • Even I, with my superhuman powers of itch-resistance, still itch so much that I will have permanent scars on my hands and feet.  I will also probably feel creepy-crawlies on my skin for a good long while.  
  • The more layers you wear, the harder it is for them to get to your skin.  The tighter something is, the less likely they'll get through.  
  • They especially like the soft skin of a sideboob or face.  Oy.  
  • The smaller they are, the more they hurt when they bite.
  • They DO bite house pets.  Whoever said they didn't lied.  They prefer human blood, but will feed on any warm-blooded mammal if humans are not available.
  • If you even think you might have them, get on the internet and find out for sure - there are lots of pictures to go by.  Then, find a reputable place that does full-house treatments.  Extreme heat and extreme cold kill them virtually instantly. Then, wash and dry everything that can take it in hot water and on high heat in the dryer.  If it won't take it, you can try drycleaning, though that doesn't always kill them.  
Best piece of advice:  Just don't get bed bugs.  If you travel, check out your hotel's mattress before sleeping on it.  When you come back, steam clean your suitcase, or if there's room, stick it in the freezer for a couple of days (if you do this, leave all your clothes in the suitcase).  Wash everything - don't just stick stuff back in your drawers because you didn't end up wearing it.  If you buy used furniture, check it carefully and steam clean it before you put it in your house.  

I cannot stress enough how much you want to avoid getting bed bugs.  DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!