Genevieve got some bites on her legs occasionally this spring. We looked at them and looked around, but didn't see anything, so we went on. Then I got A LOT of bites on my legs one night. In typical fashion, I ruminated on this until I was terribly afraid we had bed bugs.
Do not google bed bugs, like I did, unless you want to worry and lose sleep, like I did. I called two exterminators, who came and used flashlights to study every millimeter of all three mattresses in our house. One guy said to me, "If you've got 'em, you've got the cleanest bed bugs I've ever seen!" I was not amused.
I started to clean as if we had bed bugs. This involved washing and drying every scrap of fabric in the bedrooms; I couldn't bring myself to do that, so I *just* did the beds and curtains and changing pad. I vacuumed everything. I wiped down everything I could. I prayed. I cried. I snapped at people. Sometimes I apologized.
Genevieve and I kept getting bites. Then my sister looked at my legs and said, "Margo, those look like flea bites." So, with faint hope in my heart, I went back to Google, and after copious research, discovered that indeed, those were flea bites. And that since we don't have carpet or pets, the fleas were hanging out in our beds, waiting for a good long session with Genevieve and me (the two guys didn't get bit at all).
So now I started cleaning as for fleas, which is simpler: wash all the bedding, vacuum your fool head off for a week and make sure there's some boric acid going in the bag too to kill any survivors. I bought one can of boric acid, but other than the electricity and water for all that laundry and vacuuming, my frenetic cleaning spared us the expense of foggers and exterminators.
I learned that the beautiful nursery curtains that my mother-in-law made for me are washable. The fabric, 100% cotton, was marked dry clean only, but I was desperate, so I washed them on delicate and ironed them. No problem at all. In the midst of my despair, I did take a few photos of this, thinking to share this discovery with you.
All this happened in April. I kept on blogging and homemaking as usual, needing something positive to focus on. I tell you now because these kinds of dark personal stories are instructive and build the sister-love among us.
I think the fleas are gone, but it's still not funny to me. Maybe next year I can look back and laugh and say, "remember that time I thought we had bed bugs?"
P.S. Thanks to Jennifer Jo's post for inspiring me to share this story! More cheerful things to come tomorrow. . .
On Feeding People
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