Thursday, June 30, 2011

Of rats and bedbugs

About three years ago now, I started anti-depressants.  I was pretty bad at that time and I think the only person that actually kept me remotely functional was the  my mom.  Were it not for her, I would probably have been one step away from losing my kids.

My depression was fairly bad and it showed in my housekeeping.  I am not, nor will I ever be, a neat freak but I do try to adhere to a standard of cleanliness that will get me labelled "normal".*  Through all of the clutter and, yes sometimes, filth, I only once had an infestation issue.  The formula: Neighbours had a junk pile in their backyard that attracted rats + a cat who liked to escape through the screen door on the patio if it was left open even the slightest crack and did not close the door behind him (no matter my training attempts) + vermin of my own (my kids) who would go outside and leave the patio door open (frequently more that just a slight crack) = a rat getting into my house.**

Lilly and I were standing in the kitchen one morning (and this was after my meds so it was actually clean(ish)) and we see the rat run from under the hutch in the kitchen to under the stove.  I freaked, Lilly freaked and anyone I told this to convinced me it was just a mouse.  It would have been the biggest mouse I had ever seen, but so many people said that there was no way a rat would be in my house that they convinced me that it was just my mind playing tricks on me. Although I have had a handful of mice in the house, I never freaked when I saw them.  That should have been my first clue.

I come home from work one day and go to sit on the couch to talk to my mom.  She tells me not to sit in a certain spot and I ask her why.  Well, I guess she decided to pull out the sofa bed and vacuum it*** and found a dead rat.  THE dead rat.  I had mixed emotions about being right at that moment.  I cleaned up the rat, disinfected the sofa bed mattress and went about my life as best I could.

It's now three years later and I haven't had any vermin infestations, but I do think I have bedbugs.  I have bite marks on my arms every morning and I just saw a red bug under my sheets as I changed them.  Thankfully it was dead but I am terrified to take of the foam mattress cover's cover to investigate further.  Do you think it would be a good idea to sleep out in a tent all summer?  I'm willing to if it means not sharing my bed with bedbugs.

Or I could call an exterminator.

*That being said, please don't come over to my house right now.  I am looking around and thinking there is nothing normal about the huge mess my house is right now.  Give me a call and a day's notice before you come, lest you label me "fly lady's worst nightmare".

** Some people would get a new patio screen door to solve that problem.  We moved to a house that had a patio door that would latch when closed.

***All of you neat freaks who may be reading this, is it normal to do that as part of a cleaning schedule, or is my mom nuts?  I'm leaning towards the "my mom is nuts" option, but that my just be to make me feel better about never having done that unless someone was going to use it for sleeping.