June 8, 2012 by MM
So, I rode my bike, in the rain, down to the municipal health building and took the bug samples in a Disney fairy ziplock snack bag. Went up to the 4th floor, to a desk, filled out my name and address, and gave the samples to a pleasantly nerdy scientist-type man (the EXACT kind of man you trust to test your bug samples), and he took them away to test them… or look at them under a microscope, or whatever it is he did.
While I waited, I looked around. I was clearly in the “vermin” department. There were stand-up trays of dead insects pinned to them; shelves of stuffed dead rodents in little poses; and a mobile of a large bird, carrying a slightly less large bird, carrying a mouse. It was amazing.
After I had finished taking pictures of all the amazing decor (stay tuned for photos as soon as I get around to uploading them), I decided it would be nice to sit down. I hesitated before sitting in one of the upholstered chairs, as I often do, for fear of getting bedbugs. Then I remembered I already had them, so at this point, I have nothing to lose. It’s anyone who sits down after me who needs to worry. Haha, suckers!
I sat down.
Within minutes, the pleasant scientist came back with the results of the bug tests. Results: None of them were bedbugs. I had brought in three samples: the two “exoskeletons” and the freshly killed bug I’d found crawling on my pajamas this morning. That one was a small beetle, one was a silverfish, and one? was a seed. A seed, you guys. A seed.
So maybe we don’t have bedbugs. Maybe I was just functioning in my usual state of false alarm. I used to always think I was pregnant, even before I ever had sex. Once I was so sure I had herpes that I went to the doctor twice just to make sure he had been right the first time when he said I didn’t. (He was. I didn’t.) And I already told you how paranoid about bedbugs I was in LA.
The nice be-spectacled scientist told me that it would be very unusual for a new rug to be carrying bedbugs. They usually come from hotels via suitcase in urban areas. Well, the only hotel I’ve stayed in lately was somewhere near Toad Suck, Arkansas (true), and “urban” is not a word I would use to describe that area.
So our next steps are to keep looking for clues and hope we don’t find any. I know I’m not imagining the six bites on my sides that I received on two different nights while sleeping in my bed, so that’s still troubling. And bedbugs are very good at evading discovery, even by super sleuths like me. They’re the Carmen San Diegos of the insect world, if you will. So we’re not totally out of the woods yet. But tonight, instead of sleeping in the living room on the nest I’d made by pushing the two loveseats together and sleeping diagonally so they were just barely too short for me to stretch out completely, I’m going to put my boiled bedding back on the bed, Brad*, and hope for the best.
*Your name is Brad, right?