Oh no, not bed bugs!!!!

Ugh! One of the things that creeps me out the most: bugs! One of the creepiest ones in my opinion: bed bugs! Those little pests feast on human blood and are becoming harder and harder to kill off.

Why am I talking about this? Let me back it up a little...

Before leaving for our New York weekend, Mr. Romantic and I saw a video on how to look for bed bugs in hotels. Oh man! I never thought that this could be an issue! So when we got to our hotel room, we did a quick inspection of the bed to see if we could find any traces of these little critters. We didn't see anything. However, we still kept our backpacks in the washroom, just in case. But I think I could have been a bit more careful because I did leave some clothes lying on a dresser in the room. I should have kept them with my backpack in the washroom.

When we got back from our trip, my daughter informed me that there's a bed bug infestation at her boyfriend's house. YIKES!

Since then, I've been a little paranoid about having bed bugs. I actually woke up at 2:30 Thursday morning with a bug crawling on my neck. I was half asleep and panicked. I crushed the bug and threw it out without really inspecting it assuming it was in fact a bed bug. But it could have been a ladybug. We have a bit of a problem with those.

After that, I couldn't get back to sleep. So I started researching what to do if you have bed bugs. Well, if you do, you need to call a professional pest controller. And even they have a hard time killing them off. And when you live in a multi-unit building, the other units will have to get treated also.

From what I read online, anyone can get bed bugs. It's not limited to those with cluttered and dirty homes. However, cluttered and dirty homes are fantastic for bed bugs, giving them tons of hiding and nesting places.

I wasn't going to take any chances. So that Thursday, I started cleaning out everything in our rooms. I bagged several items. I put all the clothes and curtains through the wash and clothes dryer (because apparently 30 minutes at high heat in the dryer kills bed bugs). I also washed and inspected all of my bedroom furniture. I took out all the drawers and looked in every nook and cranny. I've NEVER inspected my belongings as well in my entire life.

I went out and bought mattress and box spring covers for our beds. These particular ones are apparently dust mite and bed bug proof. I also bought bed bug traps to put under each bed post that's supposed to trap bed bugs trying to come in or out of the bed, and I got a power bar that traps the bed bugs because they're attracted to sources of heat so they actually go inside electronic equipment and electrical plugs. Yuk!!

Silver lining
Yeah, even though I did freak out at the thought of bed bugs, I actually do see a silver lining to going through this.

I am SO thankful for minimalism! If I hadn't gone through my big purge of 2015, this whole situation would have been much more overwhelming. However, as I was bagging things I realized (again) that I still own things that are no longer useful to me (if they've ever been). So guess what? I'll be getting rid of those things and downsizing my belongings even more.

Going through this forced my daughter to finally take care of her room. She's also realized that she owns way too many things. In fact, she mentioned that the first night she slept better than she had in a long time in her almost emptied out room without posters on the walls and without the black black-out curtains on the windows. She's now motivated to get rid of more things and lighten up her d├ęcor a little.

Verdict?
We found, what I think, is a rogue bug in my daughter's backpack after she came back from a visit at her boyfriend's. But besides that, I'm happy to report that so far, we haven't seen any other evidence of bed bugs.

I will continue to monitor for them, of course. If we do have them, I'll have to notify my landlord and the superintendent. But hopefully, there'll be nothing to report.

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