Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Caveat Emptor

Bed bugs. What I thought I'd left behind at that awful Fairfield roach hotel I used to live in crept back into my life a few days ago, hitchhiking on a pillow I bought at the William Temple. Well, it may have come from elsewhere, but the fact remained at the time that I had to do something about it, and QUICKLY! Especially after a few nights of feeling bugs crawling all over me and waking up with bites here and there, which may or may not have been real — it's pretty easy for me to freak myself out about that kind of thing, given my revulsion to most members of the insect kingdom.

I've had to deal with these particular members three times back when I was in housing; such buildings are pest (and disease and dysfunction) incubators and vectors. The solution then was to bag all clothing and bedding up and run it through the wash using hot water and through a dryer on high heat for a full hour and to have pest control spray your room, and hope that you don't have any of them holding up in upholstered redoubts like couches and reclining chairs. Bed bugs can survive up to eighteen months without feeding and can hibernate through temperatures down to freezing, which makes them very difficult to eliminate. Unfortunately, not all of my stuff can be washed and dried at high temperatures, and I don't have the money to steam or bake or freeze things like my thermal pad. So, I went with adding a LOT OF Pine Sol­­™ to a commercial washing machine's pre-wash cycle. I don't know if that will necessarily work, but I did read a few assertions as to its effectiveness online. I wouldn't be surprised if it did work, considering the stuff is used in institutions as a disinfectant and I have witnessed for myself cockroaches aversion to it. We'll see. I have plenty of Pine Sol™ left, so I'll probably just keep adding it to the pre-wash cycle of my laundry until it's used up. Bloody expensive, though: $4.50 for a small load of clothing at the local laundromat.

Which brings me to Dave's idea, that he mentioned to me yesterday while we were toking it up with another buddy of ours. Dave doesn't do laundry, he just buys new clothes from thrift stores. Considering during this time of year I can wear a pair of jeans and a hoodie for up to two weeks, and a t-shirt for up to a week, and free socks are given out everywhere, I can get away with spending only about $10 a week ... and not have to worry about the cost and logistics of locker rental or someone discovering my stash and stealing from me. I can just keep my long johns, winter and rain gear, and socks in my backpack with my sleeping bag. However, I'm a bit reluctant to try this because of the cost, considering a locker at the Friendly costs only $10 a month. Still, it's an intriguing idea.

I'll stop being lazy about this blog and resume weekly updates on Wednesdays. Sorry to those of you who actually take an interest in this.

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