+INVASION FROM HELL

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Thursday, December 4, 2014.  There is nothing about this post I WANT to write.  Exactly how fun is it to be able to find a comparison between one’s life and BED BUGS?  A week ago I had no idea AT ALL what a bed bug was!  Oh, was I ignorant and naive!

I have become illuminated.  Oh, great.

Life in a trauma-changed body due to infant-child abuse.

Life in a cramped apartment — with bed bugs.

Insidious.  Trapped.  Not to blame.  Victim of circumstances.  Nearly impossible to eradicate.  No vindication!  Any real hope of reprieve?

Looking back from my new informed vantage point I can see there were definite and probable signals that bed bugs were afoot around this low income apartment complex I live in.  (They do not fly, are not known to carry diseases, are vampire blood suckers who do not alert their hosts they are being bit in the dead of night, and who can live 12-15 months just fine without food.)

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Several hours ago I closed out of this page without publishing this post.  WordPress saved a draft of this for me, so here I am – back again.

Scroll to the bottom of THIS LINK and you will see what I am fairly certain is coming up not only for me, but probably for at least the tenants of the other 32 apartments in my building.

Not good.  Maybe if I were my younger self I could slide right over this nasty predicament as I found bed bugs in my apartment last weekend.  I had NO idea what they were!  At 63 years old perhaps I am just damn fortunate to have thus far been spared any personal encounter with these creatures.  As it is — and the way things seem to be shaping up — I am finding the invasion of these blood sucking vampires VERY TRAUMATIZING!

They are not known to carry serious disease but they are known to spread like wildfire and are extremely difficult to get rid of.  They have developed immunity to all the pesticides that used to be used against them.  Now the only recommended treatment is the heat one described at the above link.  140 degrees for 12 hours.  And lots of preparation before hand along with evacuation during the treatment time at a cost of $1000 per apartment.

If all ten buildings in this complex need to be treated that is going to cost someone over $300,000.

This is so upsetting I can barely regulate my thoughts enough to do so.  I believe these bugs entered my apartment as the outside temperatures began to drop, probably from within the walls.

All tenants at move-in are required to sign a form at the office that says if an exterminator has to be called that they can tell whose apartment “caused the problem” and that person will be charged for the entire cost of treating the building.

I never THOUGHT of bed bugs when I signed that form, and of course I can’t even locate my copy of the form – assuming I was ever given one at the time I signed it a year ago.

This entire complex is filled with low income tenants.  Most are either disabled (from what I have seen) or are immigrant and refugee people.  Many of these people struggle greatly with English.  Nearly all came from places with severe trauma.  Starvation, war, people dying on the sides of the street.  Bugs might not even get their attention.

And if they DO get anyone’s attention – the terror of the thought of having to PAY for extermination for a whole building is overwhelming!  These are poverty people who live here, myself included!

I have to forgive myself for being so naive.  Looking back — NOW I see some things very differently.

Last June I walked by one of the dumpsters for another of the buildings here.  I thought someone must be moving out.  There were couches, chairs and bags of cloth stuff all around the dumpster.  There were mounds of bedding heaped ON the dumpster — that were so covered with moving brown bugs I could hardly see the fabric!

Yes, I noticed and was grossed out, but I walked away.  I didn’t “report” this to management.  I thought the bugs looked a lot like wood ticks, but I had never seen them before.  I had NO idea what they were.

I have seen many beds, box springs, chairs, couches thrown beside dumpsters here and always I have thought they came from people who were moving and could not take these things with them.  How many of them get grabbed by someone who needs furniture and hauled back into a building?

I know of two Nepal immigrant families who each had box springs and mattresses out on their upper floor balconies for weeks.  In my Pollyanna kind of ignorance I thought, “Gee, these people must not have room in their apartment for that bed.”  Or I thought, “These people must not be used to living in cities (like I am not) and like to air their beds out so they smell nice and fresh.”

YEAH!?  You THINK?

The exterminator my daughter spoke with today said that putting beds outdoors like that is a very, very bad idea.  The bugs just spread out and run for the nearest blood source.  They are not at all picky where they find it, and can go 12 – 15 months without eating and be just fine.

And no, diatomaceous earth is not effective.  I have that all along my baseboards, etc.  Bed bugs don’t dehydrate fast enough….

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Trauma-built people (from severe early abuse and neglect) do NOT tend to handle insane messes like this one smoothly.  I am so much worse at it now than through my younger adulthood I don’t often feel remotely like the same person I used to be.  I’ve handled bugs in the desert and never been this upset — or invaded.  Being in an apartment means I cannot control for what happens in MY SPACE — which I certainly don’t really have.

This is all far from over yet.  I am most blessed to have my brilliant and very clear-thinking daughter making the calls and contacts that need to be made right now.  I cleaned all weekend – and I cannot end this infestation on my own.

What happens next?  Whatever it is, I dread it.

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While there is no money for me in my mention of this herbal-vitamin supplement here, I am taking it daily now and find it extremely helpful.  That means a lot to me, so I thought perhaps other readers might wish to take a look:

Source Naturals Theanine Serene with Relora

  • Contains the amino acids L-theanine, to support relaxing brain wave activity
  • Contains taurine to ease tension, as well as the calming neurotransmitter GABA
  • Features magnesium to support muscle and nerve relaxation
  • Contains calming holy basil leaf extract and Relora®to gently soothe away the tension in your body
  • 2 tablets daily, or as recommended by your health care professional

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Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase –

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  Reviews for the book on the Amazon.com site are welcome.

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2 thoughts on “+INVASION FROM HELL

  1. What a horrible, skin-crawling nightmare! I’m so sorry to hear you have to go through this! Especially just before Christmas.

    I recently moved in with my sister and her family. We live in a very big Victorian house in a hip upstate NY town. My sister is extremely social and has endless friends from all over the country and the world. The ones who live out of town (There are many! They bring their kids, too.) get to stay with us for days and days when they visit. They are not low income people but I still have awful thoughts about discovering bedbugs in the guest room one day! The only way they could ever possibly show up here would be from the constant stream of humans that flow through this place that is now the only place I call my “home.”

    It hasn’t happened yet but I *fear* it ALL THE TIME! I’m glad you have your daughter to help you sort out this mess. Do you have a garment steamer? Bedbugs cannot survive being flash cooked by high temp steam! No chemicals are needed and steamers are useful to have around anyway even if storage space is a concern, which it sounds like it is in your tiny apartment. Perhaps you may be able to stave off an invasion into your apartment by doing daily steaming of baseboards, cracks in walls, gaps floorboards, etc, until the rest of your building is treated.

    You wrote ” Being in an apartment means I cannot control for what happens in MY SPACE — which I certainly don’t really have.” I have felt this very same way for most of my life. Even though the places I have lived were my “home” they were never really mine. Nor will they ever be mine. I’m just a paying to live in a place I do not own. I am constantly reminded that I will always be a guest or a inhabitant in someone else’s space. Always. It sort of reconfirms the long held thought that I don’t really belong anywhere.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    • So good to hear from you!! I maybe got 2 hours sleep last night! One was crawling around in my bathroom sink! Could not get itself out, but REALLY?!?!?!

      I think maybe it’s narrowed down how they got in. That one family who put their box spring and mattress out on their balcony in this building…. I guess the bugs just leave and scoot around looking for food. I bet they got down and onto my pots of plants out on my cement slab. When I brought in the plants tp prevent them from freezing there came the bugs riding along on the greenery.

      I spoke to my neighbor just south of me yesterday on my level, he’s closer to those with the balcony “fix” and he says he has none. He’s a bad alcoholic so not sure he knows for sure…. But the plant moving thing makes sense.

      I am running all blankets, pillows etc thru dryer, expensive. Do not have steam cleaner you mentioned. This place is very packed!

      I feel invaded and CONTAMINATED Everything I own!! Yes, my sanctuary is GONE! Had I not been dealing with that horrible case of hives from getting that near accident message from my daughter I would have noticed bites! It took 7 weeks to get rid of hives but I did by soaking two nights in tub with LOTS of baking soda in water. Once I figured out hives are an autoimmune reaction I figured alkalizing my skin might help the hives and thankfully it DID….

      Only to next be attacked by bugs!

      I want to look into getting spray and sprayer and doing apt myself tho my daughter worries ’bout “misuse of chemicals” cause I watch her little one. I took care of all bugs for 14 years in desert and did my own spraying…. This way I can come up with a PLAN and keep strangers from blazing in here into my space charging a fortune and leaving me with no confidence they did the spraying right!

      Just when I figured my life here was confining!! I don’t dare get in a car with friends who WANT to take me out of this cave for a little bit! No I am even MORE TRAPPED!

      I was thinking last night when I couldn’t sleep that probably billions of people on this earth just live with these bugs, sweep them up and feed them to chickens if they are fortunate enough to have them. This feels so 3rd world to me…. Like being at the bottom of “the heap” and sinking/falling/slipping and sliding even further down!

      I guess I feel a little better – better being relative term — if I think they came in on the potted plants rather than from within the walls!?!?

      This horror story is not over yet. You are right to worry about them, but one early sign I bet is very small spots of blood on sleeping linens. I DID see those and was totally mystified. I thought they came from me scratching very itchy hives from hive attacks at night. That is a definite warning sign!

      I really worry about them getting into my supply of sewing fabric and into my wool, fleece, yarn!! I have never had those tiny miller wool eating moths in my life until I moved into this apartment. I am also plagued with tiny black flies things that came from a plant I bought at home depot last winter. Never had those, either!

      I WILL check on the steamer you mention tho I cannot begin to visualize what it looks like. Need to go online to see, or please send me a link to what they are!?!?!

      I guess I am lucky my place is SMALL!?!?! Does that make things easier to treat? Well, thank you for writing! Very much!

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