Goodnight, sleep tight

With dread, I listened to my housemate as she explained that she’d been getting bitten in her bed for the past month and had finally realised that they were bed bug bites. Our landlord, to his credit, immediately organised an exterminator, so we prepared for his visit by spraying our clothes with Lysol and bagging them, as we were told.

Before living in NYC, I’d thought bed bugs were mythical creatures that were only ever referenced at bed time when you bid someone off with, “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” They’re a huge problem in NYC, though, due to the dense population (joke withheld) and the bugs’ speedy breeding habits. It has been said that in their golden era you could catch them just by sitting down on the subway after an infectant had sat there.

The bug man came and did a thorough job of spraying all our books and grannies, while calming our souls with answers to our many frantic questions. The good news was that they hadn’t spread to all of our rooms and that we’d caught them within about 3 months of their illicit entry. The bad news was that 2 of our housemates hadn’t bothered to do any prep work with their bed and clothes. We got in there as best we could and threw things around so he could spray his magic juice in all the corners. I snuck into one of my housemate’s rooms to take some snaps of her mattress with bugs crawling over it. The bug man was quite optimistic, because we caught them so early, but we’re supposed to let him know of any sightings within 2 weeks. Anyone game to have me sleep over? I promise I won’t bite … but I can’t speak for all of us.

In other news, and coincidentally 2 days before the bed bug news broke, my other housemate ordered a regular pest man because she’d been assaulted by a single, black cockroach one night. As I asked her to recount the story, I couldn’t help but smirk and giggle while she told me how it had crawled over her in the night and she’d been so freaked out that she’d been sleeping with the lights on ever since. To be fair, cockroaches are pretty rare here (probably eaten up by the filthy, New York R.O.U.S.) and when we do see them, they’re small and pale brown. They even have a much prettier name – waterbugs. Back in QLD, we’re used to cockroaches and we don’t let it bother us (plus we’ve done a pretty darn good job of smashing them for the last 8 years in a row).


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