Saturday, March 18, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I spent the last few days engaged in a heavy-duty cleaning project, one of many I've had since I first discovered the bed bugs. I vacuumed the hell out of my bed and room, I mopped the floor and threw out lots and lots of newspapers and other paper products I do not need.

One thing I've learned about bed bugs is that they like clutter because it gives them great places to hide, and even better places to lay eggs undisturbed because most clutter just sits around in the same place for long periods of time. I am a bonifide packrat, and I am not known for being tidy. So the whole Mr. Clean transformation still takes some time getting used to.

One reason to start cleaning house is so that it wil be easier for an exterminator to manuever around your dwelling and getting to work. Besides, wouldn't it suck if you paid a king's ransom for some fumigation, and a small colony of bed bugs survived because they were safely hiding under some crap you left on the floor?

Probably the best reason to start doing a thorough cleaning and subsequent fumigation would be to get it done before the weather really gets warm and bed bugs really start cominig out. New York City is known for really hot, sticky weather in the summer months, even as early as June. Bed bugs hate cold temperatures, so like most other insects, warm temperatures will prompt them to do less hiding and more exploring. And more exploring means more mating. And more mating means more bugs.

My next project is going through my closet to go through my wardrobe, because the closet is right next to my bed, and I've seen bed bugs crawling on my shirts at least once as I was rifling through my closet in the morning. I'm going to either throw some stuff away (like my junior high school and high school graduation caps and gowns) or wash them and give them to Goodwill. See, I used to weigh 320 pounds and then I lost about 110 pounds over a few years. Problem is because I'm a slob and a packrat, I never really got rid of my ginormous size 52 clothes.

That project will be followed by a most dreaded act which I have hesitated to address and have kept telling myself I didn't need to do it: committing mattress-cide. I know my bed is the bed bugs' original roost. And seveal times I have examined the bottom of my mattress and found a small army of baby bed bugs scurrying in all directions. I need to wrap it up in a bag, call 311 and find a legal dumping site. I've seen people dumping large items (furniture, air conditioners, etc.) but I've always been afraid to do so, because paranoid me, I'm afraid the cops might dust for fingerprints, find mine on them, and slap me with a heavy fine which I understand can be up to $20,000.

One of the reasons I didn't want to get rid of this mattress is because it is a very expensive, very high-quality item. How high-quality, you ask? I've had this mattress for about 15 years and it's still as firm as it was the day I got it. My financial situation is worse now than in recent years, so the chances of me buying a new mattress is not too good.

I'll probably just end up buying an inflatable mattress. Perhaps Consumer Reports can help me pick out a quality blow-up mattress, and if they do have such a report, I'll throw it up on Bugged Out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rather than throw out your mattress, get a cover for it:

(as seen on MetaFilter thread that referenced your "Do you have herpes?" post.)