Ugh, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck!! The bed bug issue…turns out to be real!! I’m so skeeved out by the whole thing 😦 Let’s re-wind to yesterday around 1 in the afternoon.
Chris got off work a little early since it was in the -double digits (around -30 at one point) and went home to investigate the bug situation a little more. I really thought we covered all our bases last week when we tore apart the bedroom/vacuumed and disinfected everything. Well, apparently not. Chris googled Bed Bugs and found one last place to look, the plastic covers on the corner of the box spring. It was the last place he was going to look to be comfortable that we just had a spider issue. He peeled back each of the corners and the first 3 were clear….and then, when he was starting to think it was a fluke and about to breathe a sigh of relief…wham. The 4th corner was full of bed bugs (2 live ones he captured in a jar as “proof”), shells, and droppings. Both of the live bugs were full of blood. Here is a picture of what they look like, magnified (ours were pretty small still, apparently they go through 5 exoskeleton sheds before reaching full size):
Gross, gross, gross. My skin is crawling just thinking about them 😦 After getting off the phone with Chris I called our apartment management to see what our options were (as we read on line that if you live in an apartment/shared unit like a townhome you must get the OK from the superintendent before contacting an exterminator). The woman I spoke with was polite, but I’ve dealt with her before and she’s not the most reliable in passing on messages. She said the manager would call us back shortly and let us know what to do. 45 minutes passed and no phone call! I called the manager’s direct line and she was anything but pleasant..the conversation went something like this:
Me- Hi Manager, I called earlier and spoke to Office Assistant and she said you’d call me back shortly.
Manager – Oh Hi Sarah, I was going to call you back later today or tomorrow, but I’m so slammed with reports right now, so I’ll call you back later.
Me – I’m sorry that you have reports…but I have bugs in my apartment and need to know what we need to do, as we don’t want to live with bugs.
Manager- Well, I have reports, so I’ll have to call you back.
Me – In that case, I need to know the fee to break our lease…
And so it went on and the Manager was quite rude about the whole situation and I left work early to go deal with it. An exterminator is coming on Tuesday, but I have no idea when on Tuesday (you’d think they’d tell me as we have to give permission to enter the apartment if we’re not there), I called and left him a message last night, but haven’t heard back. Chris and I walked over to the office and they essentially blamed us for the bed bugs and said that we “must” have done something to bring them on! Um, no. We haven’t traveled since August, we haven’t had visitors since October, and we haven’t bought any furniture in almost 3 years. We pointed out how the bugs became more biting after the fire on Friday night (which turned out to be a grease fire, our neighbor says she’s a “bad cook” and caught her kitchen on fire) and also pointed out that the neighbors below us just bought ALL new furniture, like replaced every piece of furniture in their apartment.
The manager said it had to be an isolated incident, etc and was just getting more nasty by the second, so we paid the fee and left. We will be out of the apartment by 1/9/10 (weird, 2010!!). I will be contacting the corporate office to see if they can do anything for us and to file a complaint with the state housing board. I’m so fired up I may even call Tom Martino!! After we dealt with that issue we walked back to the apartment and had a “what do you grab in a fire” moment. I didn’t want to leave anything behind, but we also can’t take anything with us yet until the apartment’s been treated. We were able to take 2 bags of clothes that we had time to wash in hot water and dry on high heat and our toiletries. I also grabbed the rest of the bread from this weekend that we had out and made our sandwiches for the rest of the week/grabbed our breakfast foods and that was it. We packed up the Jeep and headed over to Chris’ parents house.
We got there about 9pm last night and settled in (over some well deserved Taco Bell…sometimes you just need some grease and spice). Chris’ parents were kind enough to give us their guest bedroom/bathroom for as long as we need it, we’ll be doing our own grocery shopping and cooking our own meals so we can hopefully stick close to our normal diet and MIL/FIL can as well 🙂 They live about 10 minutes away from a train station, so I only have to leave 20 minutes earlier to catch that train, and I had tons of time to read since the rides 45 minutes instead of 35 🙂 I’m so close to being done with The Road…can’t wait for the movie!
So…next steps. This weekend Chris and I have to go over and prep the apartment for the exterminator – pull all furniture out from the walls, pull down all pictures, take off all bed linens and generally clean up so it’s as tidy as possible for him to inspect the place. While we’re over there we’ll wash as much of our clothing as we can in hot water and then pack it up and put it in the car. We’ll take what we think we’ll need to MIL/FIL’s house and the rest will go into storage til we find a house (more on that in a minute). The exterminator comes Tuesday and then we have to wait a few days for the insecticide to do it’s job. Next weekend we’ll go over and start hauling furniture to the dumpster – we have to get rid of all our upholstered furniture. Bed, couch, love seat, arm chair, foot stool, computer chair, etc…all gone. Definitely starting over. Once the furniture is out we’ll go through the rest of our belongings and decide what we’ll need/don’t feel comfortable putting in storage, and everything else is getting boxed up and put away, or tossed. Nothing like a bug infestation to make you want to purge your junk!
Yesterday we applied and were pre-approved for a mortgage. The lease break fee took a big bite out of our savings, but we are thankful for the arrangement we’ve worked out with our in-laws to leave us room in our budget to pinch our pennies and get into a house soon, hopefully. We will talk with the realtor today or tomorrow and get a plan of action made up to find a nice house in our price range. It’s all just so shocking and overwhelming right now that I feel like I need a few days to process everything that’s happened.
I know Chris and I are so very, very lucky that it’s just a bug infestation and not a fire, a flood, a hurricane or one of us losing our jobs. We are very lucky to have a place to go so we don’t have to live with the bugs (they are notoriously hard to get rid of in an apartment complex) and that we have the means to continue to save for a house. This whole situation is just making us see what’s really important in our lives (each other, family and friends) and giving us that push we needed to make the next step in our lives and make a fresh start. It’s a giant leap of faith, but we’re holding on to each other and making it!
…at least all this drama makes the blog exciting!! I can’t wait to share our journey with you all. Just a note…I probably won’t be working out much until we get into a house 😦 Since we’re living with the IL’s we no longer have access to a gym (and I don’t want to start a membership since we’re pinching said pennies) and it’s just too dark/cold to run at 4:30 am this time of year. So, I’m going to keep up my runs on the weekend and may even start bringing in my running gear and sneaking out for a short run on my lunch break…yes, I think I will!! For those of you who work out at lunch without access to a shower, any tips on freshening up afterward/not looking gross the rest of the day?
Ok bloggies, I see another cup of coffee in my future…talk to you all later and I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!