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The ABBC’s…….

July 14, 2010

The Albuquerque Bedbug Chronicles -Vol. 1 An Education on Bed Bugs. 

Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

I am taking a short break from laundering and inspecting everything to begin this post before I forget what has been going on for the past 3-4 days. Do you know that “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite” is not an “Old Wife’s Tale” or a cute little saying? Well, let me tell you it is not. If you have not experienced bedbugs for yourself you really can’t understand, but I will do my best to help you to relate.

If you stay in hotels at all you need to be vigilant. If you are in the military and travel with your family and stay in any type of military accommodations you need to be VERY cautious. If you travel outside the U.S. you need to be extra cautious too, but as evidenced by our current experience there are bedbugs in the U.S. This is our second experience with this “pestilence that stalks in the night” in 5.9 years. (We discovered bed bugs in the TLF at Bitburg on August 23, 2004, 3 days after Abigail was born.) That however is a story for another, maybe three other, posts.

Do you know that adult bedbugs can be killed with spray, but that their eggs can’t be? This poses a difficult problem. We can wash and dry laundry and bedding, but what about books, shoes, electronics? We can microwave the books and anything that is nonmetallic. The eggs must be exposed to steam or heat over 120 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time in order to kill them. So, everything, I mean everything, has been put in black plastic lawn bags and set out in the sun for the past 4 days.

Do you know where bedbugs hide? “On the mattress, of course,” you say. But actually that is not their favorite spot. They usually can be found behind the headboard, in screw holes on the head board, inside the box spring, behind artwork on the wall, in the bed skirt and inside the electrical outlets. Yes. They can spread from one housing unit adjoined to another through the electrical outlets in the walls. Itching and scratching yet?

So, we been sitting outside and meticulously going through each bag and inspecting each item – outside. Chris has been doing a lot of this while I have been laundering everything that I can. Chris is, unfortunately, developing a talent for this disgusting task. We have been looking inside Match Box car wheels, Play Mobil people, Polly Pocket clothes and the lining of suit cases. Every nook and cranny needs to be inspected. Overkill you say? Maybe, but once you’ve seen bedbugs crawling on your blankets in broad daylight, like Chris did on Monday, you’d be extra cautious too.

If you dare, see here for more info.

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