I figured I would end the story of last week with how I spent most of my weekend, and that’s cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning. Oh, and shoe shopping – because I remembered that all of my shoes (except a pair of sneakers) were in the new place still, and I didn’t have any to wear to work – oops! D. bought me a new pair of flats that are super comfy and totally worked in a pinch! Anyway…back to the task at hand!
The research I did online suggested that most of the things I took out of my apartment should have been bug free since they were only in there for a day. But I didn’t want to take any chances, especially with our vacuum, because if they got into anything it was that. Some more quick research online taught me that bed bugs are killed on contact with straight rubbing alcohol. They also die from exposure to extreme heat, so I took a two-pronged approach to dealing with them. But first, the supplies:For this part, you’ll need a large trash bag, rubber gloves, paper towels, and a spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol. I already did step one, which is to bag up the vacuum and leave it in a hot car for a day (I left it for two days because that’s just how things worked out). It was so hot outside over the past few days, that it easily reached the desired temperature to kill off any bugs, larvae, and eggs in the vacuum. But since I’m not taking any chances, I also cleaned the shit out of my trusty Dyson with the rubbing alcohol as well.
To be honest, I hadn’t cleaned our vacuum since we got it last winter, so it was due for it anyway. Thankfully, having a canister vacuum just meant I had to take it all apart and clean it with the alcohol – no new bags to buy or anything. I also left it out in the sun for a bit to make sure the alcohol had dried, and that when I put it back together it would be good to go.
I also took a similar approach to all of my clothes that I had left hanging in my closet at the new place. They were also tightly sealed in black plastic bags and left in my hot, hot car for a couple days.The next step for the clothes, according to my research, was to wash and dry them on the hottest settings I have. Again, it sounds excessive given the exterminator and the internet both said they’d probably be fine, I didn’t want to take any chances.
To be honest, I was a little nervous about how many of my clothes I would ruin by doing this, since I hardly ever wash anything with hot water, and half my clothes never touch the dryer.
But then I remembered that most of my clothes are cheap, or came from a thrift shop, so replacing anything I ruin or shrink won’t be that hard to replace. So I got to it, and after like 8 loads, I’m almost done:
I still have to throw a few of my winter coats in the dryer (not washing them, but that should be fine as long as they get heat-blasted), and then I should be done for now. The only things I shrank so far were a couple blazers…but they were ones I thought were a tad too big on me anyway, so I guess we’ll count that as a win? 🙂
The new place still has all of my shoes and office supplies, but I’m headed over there this afternoon to assess the damage and bring home what I can. It’s still an ongoing process, but at this point the hard work is pretty much done. Now all we have to do is find a new place to live in the next few weeks, and things will hopefully get back to normal. I can’t wait to stop paranoid-itching all the time. 😉