Is anyone interested in seeing what was our activity de jour? Or rather, the activity d’hier?
Since the fire is so ginormous you can’t really tell what is being burned in this pic, so how about another?
Yeah, that is the boxspring and mattress from our guest room.
After the bed bug sniffing dog came last Friday we went crazy getting everything prepped & protected, with mattress covers, etc. A few days went by and we had yet to see a single bed bug- anywhere! Nothing in the traps, nothing in our bed, just nothing. I researched more online and found out that it is not uncommon for a dog to give a “false positive”- an unconfirmed alert- especially when the handler is unable to actually FIND the bug after the dog alerts. Since I had already paid the K-9 detection company $99 and still had no idea if bugs were there or not, I called the owner of the company and requested a do-over. I told him that we hadn’t been able to find any bugs despite his dog saying they were there.
The owner came out yesterday evening with both of his dogs- Drama, the german shepherd from last time, and a sweet beagle named Havoc. He took both of the dogs through the house separately, same as before, pulling out bed linens in our room to search the sheets, couches, everywhere. They were very thorough! Both dogs alerted only one time- at the exact same spot that Drama found last Friday. Front left corner of the box spring, which was encased in a cover with the bug apparently inside.
Neither dog alerted anywhere else in our ENTIRE HOUSE.
So we dragged the box spring (mattress too, to be on the safe side) out to our firepit and had one hell of a bonfire!
Mmm, the sweet aroma of burning bed bugs. J/k, all we smelled was burning plastic from the covers. Good thing it was dark or else our neighbors probably would have called the cops on the plume of toxic smoke we surely created. Anyway, this should be the end of our bed bug saga, coming about less than a week after our first discovery! In case you’re wondering, this was NOT a typical battle.
There are few reasons for why we were able to “kick the bugs” so fast when many spend weeks waging war:
We caught it very early. Many people don’t even know that they have bed bugs until they are being bit. By that time, the bugs have established a “harbor” somewhere close by and are in it for the long haul. Also, many people do not even react to bed bug bites- for them, their first clue of the infestation is when the bugs get so bold that they come out in broad daylight. Insidious little buggers.
Ours were only on the bed. Bed bugs usually live within a 5-foot radius of their food source, aka, the bed, but they’re not picky. They can live quite happily behind pictures on the wall, in your night stand, and during my research I found an instance where they lived inside a clock radio.
We were able to afford treatment. Mattress encasements, diatomaceous earth, K-9 inspections- these things don’t come cheap! If someone can’t afford quality encasements then there’s no guarantee that they’ll catch the bugs harboring inside the box spring and mattress. The bugs will continue to feed and colonize and could very easily spread to other areas around the bed, be spread to other rooms, and even to other homes and locations. We could actually afford to BURN our mattress set rather than trust a mattress encasement to keep the bugs in, many people don’t have that luxury.
We had a K-9 inspection first. This is important because if we had begun an expensive, multi-week, professional extermination procedure based on my grandparents’ word alone, we would have had the entire house treated and been seriously inconvenienced for months- all for one bug in the box spring of the guest room. By having the inspection FIRST we knew exactly where the bugs were, and exactly what had to be treated/thrown away/burned to ash. It was so good to go to sleep last night knowing that both dogs had thoroughly checked our bed and given it the all-clear. I slept straight through, something I haven’t been able to do since last Friday.
FINAL BREAKDOWN (list was started in my previous post about discovering the bed bugs)
- $99- K-9 Home Inspection
- $70- 2 full-size “Aller-ease” mattress covers for guest room (Walmart)
- $80- 1 king-size and 2 twin-size “Aller-ease” mattress covers for master bedroom (Walmart)
- $5- 8 tupperware containers for bed bug traps under each bed leg
- $4- vaseline for bed bug traps
- $0- food-grade diatomaceous earth (would be $8 at Tractor Supply but got for free from my parents) for everywhere
- $20- 1 bottle of wine (for me) and 1 bottle of vodka (for Mark)- THIS COUNTS, TRUST ME.
- $10- combination of Dream Water and sleeping pills (Walmart), so that I could actually fall asleep while visions of bed bugs danced in my head.
- $7- another bottle of wine. We’re not lushes, I swear, YOU try relaxing when you feel like you’re under siege!
- $0- second K-9 inspection, free do-over
- $350- mattress & box spring. We got them for free long before the threat of bed bugs entered our minds, but the estimated cost of replacing our guest room’s full-size mattress & box spring starts at $350 for a basic set. Ours was pillow-top.
Total: $645. And that should be the end of it! I guess I ought to update my guest room tour.
Lest you think that the only thing going on in our lives is bed bugs, here’s a video I took last night of the puppies! They are doing great and Cruiser has really warmed up to the idea of a younger brother & sister, to the point that he will incite “play time” with them by throwing a toy in their faces, growling, and then snatching it back and running off with it. It is the funniest thing. We really are crazy people for having four dogs at once, but my god they are hilarious! Also, you can see my bee-YOU-tiful new red plaid blanket behind them on the couch, and my new wall ‘o picture frames, that I have yet to talk about. Next post, I promise=)
P.S. If you’re ever out our way and want to visit, don’t ask to stay in our guest room! It is permanently unavailable. We’re turning it into a music room and maybe eventually (like in a year) we’ll put a day bed in there. After the day bed has been thoroughly inspected for bed bugs and sprayed down with 91% rubbing alcohol- bed bugs are EVERYWHERE.