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Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

January 12, 2011

They’re baaaaack. This is probably not what you want to read while eating breakfast so if you’re mid-oatmeal right now, click out of this post and come back when breakfast is safely off the table.

Good? Okay, so yes, the dreaded bedbugs have returned. We had an infestation in early autumn that seemed to be taken care of until last week, when my roommate noticed more creepy crawlies in our unit.

Let’s go ahead and address the biggest myth about bedbugs: it has nothing to do with being dirty. They might be living in another unit, in the radiator or in the furniture but it has nothing to do with keeping a clean or dirty house.

What do you do when your apartment is being exterminated for bedbugs?

Get some big plastic bins.

Empty your closets and drawers.

Fill the Tupperware to the brim until every piece of fabric in the apartment — clothes, linens, pillows, etc. — is safely packed away.

Repeat in every room in the house.

Don’t forget to strip your bed and walls.

Just when you think everything is set, you need to take all of the cushions off the sofa, be sure everything is off the floors and generally deconstruct your entire apartment.

The fun isn’t over yet. Prepare to repeat this entire process two times over the following month as the exterminators return, each time leaving a pleasant note on your door warning you not to enter for fear of death.

Memories from October:

Believe me, having bedbugs is a nightmare situation for any home. The latest twist is that because this is the second time we’ve been infested, our apartment building is willing to let us out of our lease early, penalty-free. So there are two options on the table: stay here until the lease is up June 1 or leave early (around March 1) and have to either find somewhere to live with relatively short notice or move in with my family for a month or so.

Benefits of staying: easy, cheap rent, more time to look for a new place (negative: bedbugs)

Benefits of moving: nicer apartment that’s possibly closer to work sooner, no bedbugs (negative: more expensive rent)

So… what would you do? Stay or move? Help!

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2011 8:39 am

    Oh gosh! I am sorry they are back! I think I would seriously consider leaving. I just read an article in Health that said bed bugs travel behind baseboards and from room to room so you may never be free of them there!

  2. January 12, 2011 9:07 am

    If you can afford it, I would move!

  3. January 12, 2011 10:22 am

    Bedbugs are a HUGE problem in NYC and they totally, completely give me the creeps. Good luck– I say move.

  4. January 12, 2011 11:02 am

    What a crappy situation! If I were you, I’d go ahead and move but mostly because I know I couldn’t handle the commute you do every day. Think how much better your standard of living will be!

  5. January 12, 2011 12:06 pm

    Yup I would definitely move- I’d rather live near work anyways so it’s a double bonus. The only thing I’m thinking is, can bed bugs find a way to travel with you? I really hope not!!!

  6. January 12, 2011 12:20 pm

    MOVE! That is so unfortunate. I’ve been having problems with my building and thinking of moving (lots of construction, very strict quiet hour rules, horrible insulation, etc), but this is way worse. Get out of there!

  7. January 12, 2011 1:12 pm

    I’m with the others – I’d be out of there as fast as possible!

  8. January 12, 2011 2:16 pm

    I’m so sorry….That really really sucks! Blah!

  9. January 12, 2011 2:19 pm

    Dang that really sucks. I hope you get rid of them soon!!!

  10. Marie permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:39 pm

    Eww Erin I’m so so sorry. This is like last Fall when my apartment was infested with fleas, only way, way worse. I would honestly move– plus I agree with everyone else– a shorter drive to work would be great, right?

    • January 12, 2011 4:26 pm

      Ugh, I’d say fleas is pretty terrible, too.

  11. January 12, 2011 4:51 pm

    Yikes! I hope you get rid of them for good this time. >_<

  12. Kristin permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:11 pm

    AGHHHHH I would seriously move like tomorrow. 😛 I am reading Bill Bryson’s latest book, “At Home,” and his details on bedbugs (not to mention other things that live in most people’s homes) freaked me out so bad the other day I had to leave my apartment. I would move home if you can while you’re looking — save some $$$. Just my opinion. Good luck! I can’t believe you’re still sane!!!

  13. January 12, 2011 11:00 pm

    Oh god! Moveeeeee!

  14. January 13, 2011 9:34 pm

    Ughhhh what a nightmare!!! I’d move, too!


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