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You know, a while back, I wanted to post about bedbugs and I never did.

I don't have a lot of shame in my life (I *should* of course... if you only knew the things I have done). But several weeks ago we started getting bites. A few here and there. And then it was epic. And it was too gross to even talk about. Here's what happened:

I woke up one morning and probably had 20 bites. The itch... oh god, it was murder. Really. No exaggeration. We kept getting a few more each night. Progressively worse.

One morning, I woke up with itching so bad that I knew I had to count the bites - count the damage. I stopped counting at 38.

That was it. I played the Google/Wiki game and realized, "Ah fucking god, we have bedbugs."

I felt like trash. My lovely fiance kept reminding me that bedbugs have nothing to do with cleanliness... they don't feast on food or crumbs or dust. The just like you. Your warm, hospitable, bloody, too-sleepy-to-fend-them-off you. And he was right. It's true.

But when you can't wear a skirt to your meetings in NY because you have bites all over you, well, you don't feel so chic.

How was I going to tell the man's ex-wife? She's to together and blond and great... how were we supposed to let her know, "Um, we are sending your kid back to your house with bedbugs. Good luck with that." And my mom was going to come for a visit. I had to actually tell her, "Guess what, dude, we have bedbugs. You may not want to come."

She didn't.

So we called Orkin. A nice older guy named Alan came to our house. He checked the spots where bedbugs like to congregate when they aren't feasting on your veins, like in your bedframe and in the seams of your mattress. I was positive that when he inspected the bedroom he would find bedbug porn and empty beer cans and such, because it was totally clear to me that they had moved in.

But no.

He found carpet beatles, which he says are normal. I made a mental note that normal = gross. But he found no evidence of bedbugs.

So what happened? Well, I have a problem in that I think that everything costs $300. I was ready for Orkin to fight the power and bomb the living shit out of our upstairs. I was ready to spare no expense. I mean, after all, I was the one who, after the Orkin man came, returned to my laptop downstairs to email JJ and let her know how disgusting this whole event was, but that, thank god, there were no real bedbugs (despite the mysterious bites). And then, literally at the moment I began to type, a small black dot started walking across the letter E on my keyboard. I cried. I'm no ninny, I was just really tired of the itching and scratching, and seeing a tiny little bug prancing around on my keyboard was just too much to handle. I thought the bites would never end.

But my fiance was not ready to fork over the cash. Apparently, he has a taste for hand-to-hand combat. He decided that an off-the-shelf flea bug bomb should be our first course of action before we had Orkin drop napalm in our house.

Smart man.

In two day, no more bites.

We never learned what, exactly, was dining on our flesh. Whatever it was took the bomb seriously and moved out.

So why am I telling this? In my very recent sort-of break from blogging about decor and our homes and the lives we live in them, I have been thinking a lot about what isn't perfect. When I stopped blogging daily about perfect places I had some time to get real about my house and how, even when I want to master it, it's kind of the master of me.

While we were all thinking of ikat and pretty and perfection and fresh flowers, they moved in.

Little fuckers.


Anonymous said...

FYI: Rita Konig is heading to Seattle next week.

And yikes about the faux bedbugs, that's scary but it was probably fleas which are equally horrible.

Did I mention that RK is joining us next week? Hmmm.

decorno said...

Really? I can't believe she didn't invite me for a drink.

I am the fucking Design Mayor of Seattle, after all.

She's probably just worried that she'll drink me under the table and ruin my reputation as whiskey drinker extraordinaire.

Maison Luxe said...

Oh, what?? I'm upset too, who is anon and how do they know? She didn't call, or write, or anything to say she was coming to Seattle. Possibly she just hasn't reached out to the locals yet?

Am I the last to know? ouch.

Jules said...

Yuck. They weren't bedbugs, because you they're too small see with your naked eyes and don't like to munch on humans. They're microscopic, and like to feast on--wait for it--your dead skin cells. I learned all about this crap thanks to my son and his allergies. I wrote a blog post about it, complete with the scariest looking bedbug pictures you've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you are back blogging and for telling us about the bitting creatures that invaded your home.
A post about real homes and their problems would be nice. Or a question like: What embarrasses you about your home?

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Agree with anon, it was probably just fleas. Those bombs really do work. Worse things happen at sea.

alis said...

I agree with Jules, they don't sound like bedbugs (not that I've ever seen any), but they sure sound a lot like fleas, except the part that you got rid of them so easily. I say beware. Not dog fleas though, they don't bite humans. only cat fleas(kind of large) and dust fleas(travels in packs, you might see a black cloud) do.

Anonymous said...

If you have both fleas and crabs, which wins?

It would be like Batman vs. Superman, only on a petite scale.

pve design said...

So that's what has been bugging you. I am itching for you to write a book.
We had mice in the city. Waking up in the middle of the night, hearing them chomp, chomp really was rather annoying and less than glamourous.
Guess it is better than finding a boa in your bidet!

marlazz said...

Thanks for the post even when you're on blogging vaca.

I'm pretty sure we have termites eating their way into the house through our kitchen French doors. Hubby and I are in denial. We hope winter comes and they freeze to death before they make their way to the hardwood floors.

Kristen said...

When I first moved in with my now-husband, he lived in an awful warehouse-loft in East-east-east Williamsburg that was full of filthy hipster boys and had real bedbugs. The bites were HUGE, itched like crazy, and hurt a lot when scratched. They also left scars (physical and emotional...). We only stayed in that apt 6 weeks longer, but it was truly awful.

Anonymous said...

Find out what it is exactly that Rita Konig DOES.

Anonymous said...

Do you really call your mother "dude"?

I continue to fall more deeply in love with you by the minute.

paola said...

Rita Konig DOES being Nina Campbell's daughter...

Decorno said...

Occasionally I will call her dude. Mostly situational.

Other times, we call each other Pookey, and I can't remember how that started but we used to use it in an passive-agressively fake nice way, like when we wanted to strangle each other. Now it's just pure affection.

Mostly, I call her Ma. She's very funny. And a little nuts.

eM said...

ok, I have been getting these effen bites too

but only sometimes
and the huzbeau and the pets are NOT ITCHING
just me - and historically, all the fleas munch on the huz, not me.

they seem to be gone now - I hope they stay that way

does the warm weather have anything to do with this? because I got all those bites when it was cold...
little fuckers

Anonymous said...

Okay, here is a recent example of a Rita Konig sentence, from her Domino blog:

"The result is a sale of fantastic and inventive sculptures and the auction could be a good way to pick up some affodable art, there are no reserves, no buyers premium and sadly no telephone bids, so this only works if you are in London on friday, however it is still worth looking at, i am not going to be buying but i loved looking at the work."

Anonymous said...

I have nothing to add to the RK commentary here, but I just want to inform everyone that bedbugs are NOT microscopic; they are the size of an apple seed. It's difficult to see them because they hide in crevices and crannies during the daylight, but come out at night to dine on your BLOOD. That's right...they suck your blood, and numb you while they're at it so you can't feel a goddam thing until the morning.

Decorno, not trying to alarm you...but we had bedbugs, and the exterminators never found the infestation. They were living in our (old) building and hid in the cracks of the floors and walls...NOT our bed. Since they rendered me an insomniac, we did a little experiment by having my husband go to bed with the lights off...and me running in there around 3 am all commando and turning on the lights. And they were CRAWLING all over our blankets, but damn if they didn't scurry away faster than a hooker in church.

Keep an eye out is all I'm saying. Those fuckers are NOT to be messed with.

We ended up having to move.

alis said...

^^OMG that is SO disgusting. Do they get in ppl's noses or ears? Crawling all over the bed you say?
And I thought mosquitos were bad.


You know you need to bomb again 2 weeks later to kill the flea eggs that their dead parents dropped 2 weeks earlier right? Fleas are a little more arrogant and will do their dance and chomp in broad day light.
Lisa & Alfie

Anonymous said...

Yikes. I've never had bedbugs, but in NY, we had roaches. I saw one even fly in the window on day, and there were two kinds the monsters and the sex addicts. They got everywhere, even in the fridge. Eventually, we just moved.

Sara said...

I'm itchy.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the real world, where homes aren't perfect, people aren't perfect, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Pesticides, infestations, dumpsters, whatever.

Hope you find the source of your troubles and things clear up quickly

Anonymous said...

wwwoooooooowww, you have reached a new level of awesomeness just for being so honest. I had bedbugs at my old apt. we think we got them when we got back from our trip on the west coast, but it could've been my building. Who knows?! It was a NIGHTMARE. The whole experience was frustrating and very humbling NOT to mention expensive! I hope this isn't the case in your house, but thanks for touching on a subject that is not so fab, but oh so real, on your ultra-fab blog.

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