Gratitude to the Bedbug

 

 

we had a bed we did not love. It was a bed with which we made do, resources always seemed to be needed more urgently elsewhere. Then we began itching at night. Rashes appeared. Allergic to something? One night of intense itch I got up sooth in a hot bath (I've found this will abate many itches) and was shocked to see to tub was full of little black insect corpses. Returning to the bed, wife now awake we were horrified to see our bed and bedroom transformed to a scene that might have been imagined by Hieronymus Bosch. The bed got dragged immediately out to curbside and we proceeded in the next days to do a deep clean. We learned all about the habits of the bedbug (including a hilarious "public service" video on the sex life of the bedbug by Isabella Rossellini in a bedbug costume, Seduce Me. Warning, some may find this disturbing).

 

I had had a long ago close encounter with the bedbug. Lying abed in a house in the mountains of Humboldt County, staring at the ceiling I noticed some dark spots that were moving. I captured some and took them into town and learned they were bedbugs. Outside the room, in the eaves, were swallows nesting. Swallows and other birds, I learned, can be vectors of the bugs. Fortunately we cleaned out the bugs and birds before they became an infestation.

 

The next part I feel a bit ashamed to confess to. I the process of doing a deep clean of our bedroom we discovered to our horror a dead dove behind a dresser. How long it had been there and how it escaped our notice we did not know. Occasionally a door would get left open, a dove sneak in, and then bedlam as our jolly large black lab mix pit bull pursued the crazed bird about the house. Somehow that drama had unfolded with us away. Bird, injured, fell or sought refuge behind the dresser and quietly died, dispersing its parasitic load in the process. Swallows, poultry, pigeons, doves, can be intermediary host to the bugs that come sleep with us.

 

As it turned out our bugs were not that hard to eradicate. Some labor (deep cleaning), lots of yuck factor, and two bombings, followed by some weeks of slowly fading high alert, and they were gone. I know some who cannot rid themselves of bedbugs. I am grateful that was not the case with us.

 

But we needed a bed. Why not get the comfy foam bed we'ed long been wanting. Now that had gone up the scale to urgent. Now it is at least fifteen years later and we still love our bed, which I consider to be a gift to us from the bedbugs, thanking us for our hospitality. I give thank back to the Bedbug every time I lie upon the bed.

 

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© Richard Valasek