Whenever I hear or read about someone with “bedbugs” my skin immediately starts itching.
I outwardly feign sympathy but secretly jump for joy on the inside. At least - at least, I assure myself - my bed is bug free.
Cockroaches, water bugs, flies...bring em on. Well fine, I exaggerate. Everyone knows that I will totes forever be terrified of all things creepy crawly.
But bedbugs. BEDBUGS are in a league all their own.
And apparently that league has decided to play a few games in NYC. And by a few, I mean a LOT.
There are obvious rules when it comes to bedbugs. Numero uno simply being to NOT take mattresses or couches or chairs or, really, anything at all from the street.
My good friend Ri learned this lesson the hard way. She was given a pull-out couch that was, sure enough, infested with da buggies.
Seeing her swollen, bitten up skin on a daily basis was positively petrifying. But even more painful was witnessing the ordeal she had to go through in order to rid her studio of bedbugs. The dry cleaning bills, the throwing out of linens, the tossing of furniture, the endless exterminator visits.
She joked later that her apartment was so pesticide-ridden that any bug who trespassed over the threshold would be on their back in a matter of seconds.
I, perhaps optimistically (shocking, I know), believed that bedbugs would not bite the same place twice. Even though they weren’t chowing down on my blood, they were blocks away at my friend’s apartment feeding on her.
And I didn’t - thank GOD - end up with those little apple-seed assholes in my apt.
But last week my three or so degrees of separation disappeared, poof, in a cloud of insecticide-tinged smoke.
Yup. Bedbugs have struck again - this time hitting even closer to home than Ri’s old King Street apartment.
Ohhhh yes. My fledgling insectophobia was dearly tried upon receipt of a mass work email informing us of an “insect issue” at 375 Hudson Street.
Issue? Issue? Immediately my thoughts settled on mutant water bugs, my go-to worst nightmare. But when my co-workers and I read the email more carefully - when we saw these instructions:
1) leave your office doors, files and desks unlocked;
2) leave in place any items that have not been recently used, rather than take them home; and
3) make accessible the perimeter of your office/cubicle as much as possible
...we got scared.
After a few phone calls to HR our worst, most pessimistic assumption was confirmed (thanks to those sweet, cute, bedbug sniffing doggies).
Indeed, there was a bedbug infestation in “some areas” of “certain floors”. What? WHAT?
Those goddamn, bloodsucking bastards have set up shop in our OFFICE.
My coworker Bea sent around this LOL cat. Made us laugh, but still. Monday morning blues just took on a whole new meaning. And got a hell of a lot more painful.