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26 October 2006 @ 10:45 pm
In retrospect, I should have exhibited more brand loyalty  
So last week (I think), I discovered that I had a bunch of weird bug-bite looking things all over my torso. "GROSS!" you say? Yes, I know - it is. Could it be bedbugs? Possibly - but there are none of the tell-tale signs that indicate a bedbug infestation (I invite you to examine the Harvard paper which shows up in the first five Google hits for details). For a day or two, the bites were in groups of three along a line - which is a classic parasitic bug thing. But then they just got random. Like, heavily random. To be safe, I put on a mattress cover, which should have protected me from the brunt of their assault. It has also made sleeping every night like total ass, since I keep waking up in hot sweats thinking I've had a nightmare, but no, I'm just pissed off that I'm really way too warm. Still, no sign of the bugs.

The bite-looking things keep coming, and they are also . . . moving. Perhaps they aren't bites - perhaps they're just an allergic reaction to something new. Like that laundry detergent I used when mine was out (Era), with which my roommate was so gracious to supply me . Since all of my clothes were laundered with Era since I was in diapers, I didn't think that likely. Maybe it's my soap? Zest Extreme Hyper Sensitive Man-Goat Something-Or-Other? Possibly, dear reader - just possibly enough.

A trusted co-worker also brought up the possibility that it might be dust mites, in which case I should "vacuum those sons-of-bitches into the next world". Well put, Bob - well put. I just need a time to vacuum where the person upstairs (who drives a school bus and gets up at four in the morning) won't curse me out for waking her up (which means I almost need to knock off work early to take care of this).

Long story short, I haven't gotten a whole lot of sleep each night, constantly checking for the bedbug signs, buying a mattress cover (Fuck You, Target - hide it a little more next time), and trying to cook. Oh yeah, I'm cooking more for myself these last two weeks too. I found out where they hide the hot water (I have to haul it up from the laundry room) and now I can do my dishes.

So to make a long story short, I bought a bunch of my old detergent (Seventh Gen - not affiliated with White Wolf) and my favorite soap (Chandrika Ayurvedic - Ensure Your Personal Charm [Available at Cub]). Tomorrow we'll see just how non-allergenic I can be.
Josiah Carlsonchouyu_31 on October 27th, 2006 04:57 am (UTC)
Wait, haul hot water? If that's a joke, you are quite funny. If it's not, time to beat the landlord to within an inch of his life.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 27th, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
We get hot(tish) water in the apartment, but due to the large amount of laundry and dishwashing that happens in this building at all hours of the day, the plumbing seems to cock up more often than not, providing not-so-hot water most of the time. So no, it's not a joke - I hauled a stockpot full of hot water upstairs to do dishes (I've only ever had to do it once). When it came time to rinse, the water was perfectly hot.

I do bring it up the maintenance guy when I see him, and he is slowly figuring out how to make it work all the time. I think there is a larger plumbing problem that he may be sidestepping around (or not aware of).

At least you understand the concept of "wash it in the hottest water you can stand" - some people I've talked to don't seem to quite get that whole "killing bacteria thing" I enjoy so much.
Josiah Carlsonchouyu_31 on October 27th, 2006 05:50 am (UTC)
Unlike basically the rest of America, I washed dishes by hand from when I was 12 until I graduated, and even then, during summers I washed. Nowadays I would imagine that anti-bacterial dishsoap along with even not-quite-so-hot water would have sufficient anti-lipid action to break down bacterial cell membranes, which should be sufficient to handle them...but I guess only petri dishes would tell us for sure.
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on October 27th, 2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
I've always done that too, but I strongly suspect that temperatures as extreme as human hands can stand are probably just about perfect for bacterial incubation.

It's on the list of things I've always intended to look into but am just plumb lazy.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on October 28th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
At any rate, it helps the food particles which the bacteria feed on to come off more easily. My dad was a proponent, and he was a bacteriology dude before he was a doctor, but then again, a. that was in the 1970's, b. he has an autoclave at work. So all bets are off.
McRunsWithWolvestrickygrin on October 27th, 2006 05:24 am (UTC)
from personal experience, you can tell when you have bed bugs because suddenly you can't wear any of those cute skirts or shorts or anything that exposes limbs anymore because suddenly you look like you've got the pox. and it doesn't go away for like a month, so you have to stop shaving at that point and its' just gross. and then there's the itching.

seriously, i've never felt like such a social leper as when my futon was infested. just ask rick.
astcetc snafuwonderlandkat on October 27th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
She speaks the truth. Those things are super unattractive and itch like a motherfucker. If the marks are moving, then it's very much an allergy/extremely unhappy dry skin. Along with the changes, I would see if anything you're eating could potentially be giving you hives + oatmeal bath and lotion the hell out of yourself.

*lucky enough to have experienced Miranda's infestation*
chadvalentinechadvalentine on October 27th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Allow me to help...

Kills anything. Bacteria, dust mites, you if mixed with amonia...