Of Mismanaged Apartment Complexes and Men

The telltale scent of gasoline, syrup, and carrion meat is all I needed to tell me that for the final few weeks of not having an actual mattress, I’d been lucky: the bedbugs are in the bedding. I’m quite glad I’d taken the paranoid option and bagged every piece of linen that I had used as a temporary bedroll mattress assembly at this point—I didn’t even need to see the place where a dead one had dislodged its desiccated corpse.

What I’d forgotten about was that this is weeks of signal chemical, and anything live was about to come running.

Cue my shriek when an exceptionally fat, well-fed little pestilence bringer shot up the side of my bed frame and made a beeline for me.

The horror.

“NO. NO. NO. HELL NO.”

I had a plan. Trap it with an envelope and flush it like I did with the one I found on the tote sham.

Problem—this one was live and bouncy. The other was not. It took ten minutes to catch that fucker.

After that I stripped the bed and sent everything to the laundry.

The battle with the bedbugs has been going on for a year. We’ve been through two extermination companies since it began. The landlord has not taken us seriously.

On the first claim, she told me that I had fleas.

If I had the time to think about it I probably would have been arrested for the thing that I thought about doing. I’ve worked in hospitality for almost ten years—I know damn well what one of these things looks like. The couch that was my introduction to the bastards was teeming with them, and when I tried to get the exterminator in, I discovered that he didn’t even look.

…for the record, the new company is not impressed with the old one.

I ditched the “pestilence couch” after getting the all clear (we know it wasn’t) but by then I wasn’t the only one. I’d been on a roll being able to say I’d avoided the things. By then… The entire building had them, all because of the rampant mismanagement going on.

• Dryer sheets don’t repel them or kill them. That’s one of the lies we got.
• Glue traps won’t do shit. These things eat YOU, not peanut butter.
• Those plug in ultrasonic things don’t work.
• Unless they make contact and are baited to eat it, borax won’t be able to work.

So we dealt with the things for a year, and I developed a violent allergy in the process.

…even if you’re living into low income housing, I think you should learn from my mistake—vet your building management.

I thought the maintenance was bad… This is worse.

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