"What do you mean they were spraying for bed bugs?"
I stared at my husband's solemn face as horror rolled through me. Nothing had prepared me for his news. The apartment building my husband had been replacing windows in for the past week or two had just had an exterminator come in that day for bed bugs. All week long my husband might have been bringing home something a lot worse than his dirty lunch containers.
Immediately, I began to feel itchy. My skin crawled as though a thousand tiny insect legs were walking all over my body. I felt ... dirty.
Bed bugs had been considered a thing of the past for so long, nothing but a creepy nursery rhyme to scare children with. But in recent years there's been a resurgence all over North America, occurrences steadily increasing. I'd heard it on the news a couple of times over the years but never paid much attention. Not anymore!
Suddenly, I became a google fiend, researching the disgusting critters on every source I could find. Next, came the cleaning. And oh, was there cleaning! Our bedroom has never been so spotless. I pulled out every piece of furniture, vacuumed every crevice, including every millimeter of our mattress. Every available surface and material was washed. Our entire house got the works.
And after hours of cleaning I can say with a fair amount of certainty that our house is bed bug free. But just to be certain, every day when my husband gets home, he strips and I wash all his clothes on the hottest possible setting while he showers.
It's amazing what you can take for granted without realizing it. It's been five days since my husband told me about the possibility of bed bugs, and I still get itchy just thinking about it. I frequently get overtaken by frenzied fits of cleaning and often find myself lifting the mattress just to make sure there's nothing hiding underneath.
I think it'll be a while before I sleep soundly again, but in the meantime I'm grateful for the little things... such as the lack of bloodsucking insects to bite me while I'm sleeping. I suppose I should thank them for making me a better housekeeper, but I'm not there yet. The paranoia will have to fade a bit first. About two years ought to do it.