Maison Bean infested

June 22, 2011

I have a morbid fear of critters. 

MORBID.

So last year when I began hearing reports about the resurgence of bed bugs, I started to freak out.  Papa was going on his Annual Geriatric Cross Country Bike Ride, which, if you factored in that he was staying in third-rate motels (75 percent) x 30 days of exposure, there was a 2,250 percent chance (Bean math) that he would return to Maison Bean with bed bugs.

I showed Papa pictures of bed bugs, pictures of bed bug bites. I lectured on bed bug proliferation.  I showed him the Bean math and a draft of my Bed Bug Crisis Plan.  As crotchety as Papa can be, it was amazingly easy to convince him that this was a real threat to the well being of the Bean household.  This is because a) Papa also has a morbid fear of critters, and b) the time and expense to exterminate bed bugs is interminable and considerable, and Papa doesn’t like hassle, nor does he like check book assault [read:  Papa is cheap, which is why he was staying in third rate motels in the first firetruckin’ place].

The Bed Bug Crisis Plan

  • Papa would pack a light, disposable travel bag.  He would also pack a separate change of clothes that he would leave in his car in Alabama (the starting place for the ride) as well as a gas can.
  • When Papa and his cronies arrived in New Mexico (after 1,800 miles, 23 bottles of vodka and 32 nights of bed bug exposure), he would fly back to Alabama where he would strip naked in his friend Bill’s driveway, and he would douse all of his riding gear with gasoline and ignite. 
  • While the riding gear went up in flames in Bill’s drive, Papa would sprint inside to the bathroom where he would take a scalding hot shower and scrub with borax.
  • For good measure Bill would hose him down in the backyard with a can of Raid. 
  • Papa would then don the clean clothes stashed in his car and commence the 8-hour drive to Maison Bean.

The plan worked.  Unfortunately, friends who have subsequently planned to visit Maison Bean have not been receptive to the idea of a similar bed bug protocol.  Not to be deterred Papa and I bought a Thermal Remediation Devise online.  The trick is to thermally remediate the luggage of unsuspecting guests while Papa plies them with cocktails and regales them with stories of the Ladies Club.  So far, we haven’t had an opportunity to put the TRD to use. Strangely enough would-be visitors have suddenly changed their lodging plans.

Since we haven’t been anywhere and no one has visited us, I haven’t worried about the possibility of an infestation… until Saturday when Aunt Belle was helping Mimi and me clean the house.

“OhmyGodJaxhasbedbugsinhisroom!” Belle screamed.

She scared the shit out of me.  And Mimi.  We went running in Jax’s room.

The bed bug infestation at Maison Bean

Mimi and I both glared at her.  Belle has a wicked sense of humor.

Addenda

1)      If your vision is bad, the joke is probably lost on you.  Those are plastic bugs on Jax’s bed.

2)      Bean Tip of the Year:  If you’re staying in a hotel, you may want to check out the National Bed Bug Registry before you book your room…. If you’re going to BlogHer in August, there have been no reports of bed bugs at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.
Maison Bean is infested.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Mommy's Paradise June 22, 2011 at 5:07 am

He he, I was cracking up with this. LOL. But seriously, I never had the problem with bed bugs before, maybe they don’t exist in the tropics. But we have ants sometimes. Big ones, middle size ones and tiny ones, you name it. They are much easier to get rid of, just not in the middle of a stormy and rainy night when they are moving their whole estate. :-(

Irene June 22, 2011 at 8:10 am

I’m still dealing with stink bugs. I probably have all sorts of critters in this house (happens when you have woods behind your house as well as cornfields). We deal with them as they appear. Lord knows what the cat brings in (other than dander which has been affecting me more and more).

I never really gave thought to bed bugs. So you really did have Papa set fire to his bike gear, huh? And all was good with the world. OMG, how funny! I just got eebie jeebies. I may have to check the bedroom later.

Melissa Sankey June 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

Oh- first when I read Maison Bean Infested I thought lice- yuck. Than I began to read and was convinced you had bed bugs- double yuck. I hate staying in hotles for this purpose. Thankfully we only have two rooms at casa de Sankey and guest never seem to want to bunk with two toddlers- I can’t seem to understand why…

Although, one flaw with papa’s crisis plan is that I would be worried the car would get infested also- having said that, the car would need to be burned, along with the clothes, and papa would be walking his ass home. (I am crazy like that).

Pamela June 22, 2011 at 10:20 am

Papa is too cheap to set fire to his bike gear!

Very funny post. I love the pic. Go Belle!

papa June 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

My side of the story. When you’re dealing with hysteria, it’s best to play along. Use terms like “you’re right,” “whatever your say,” “yes ma’am,” “tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.” The trick is to maintain a serious manner. Do not to break out laughing. Then use common sense.

The facts are that bicycle touring is a back road affair. We ride Adventure Cycling.org routes and the motels are small town motels which depend on local support to survive. Any hint of bedbugs, and they are out of business. Plus there is plenty of feedback from other cyclists headed the other way, AND..I’ve never known anyone in my 68 years who had bed bugs.

Let’s all relax. We’ve been co-existing with bugs since the beginning of time. If you want to worry, worry about something that’s actually killing thousands of people every day that you can do something about it… high fat and sugar diets, lack of exercise and stress.

The biggest germ and bug carriers around here are Moose and Jax on the way in from the playground, not Papa coming off a road trip.

Papa

Luna June 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm

papa- you are to be commended.
jennybean- I never met a great mom who didn’t have at least one neurotic paranoia. I wonder what mine will be. Oh, never mind, I already have too many.

Ally June 23, 2011 at 12:23 am

I love the plan laid out for Papa’s trip. Sounds perfect. :)
I just checked our hotel for August. So far we’re good. I’ll be checking again before we go. Didn’t even know that site existed, but you can be it’s bookmarked now!!

Craftwhack June 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I like the plan, too. It’s top-notch. Plus, you can’t let your guard down- even for a second- or those bugs’ll march in and take over.

Arohanui June 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I don’t mind co-habitating with bugs or critters in general…except, the ones that feed on me. They really piss me off. Bed bugs are everywhere in the world, and sorry Mommy’s Paradise but I’m afraid the tropics are one of their favourite places to infest mattresses. Scabies are worse though. Because you don’t know you’re infested for about a month. Because you can’t see the little buggers crawling around under your skin. I’ve never been infested with anything myself, but I did keep my distance (with a long stick) from my last patient who had such a degree of lice infestation that you could see hundreds of lice walking around on their head, in broad daylight, like they didn’t have a care in the world. Made me very itchy.

Don’t worry about me Jenny Beans!! I am as tough as old boots and can surmount any postmodern WTF crisis of my own creation as well as those of mother nature’s making. I am touched by your well wishes for a hunk-of-spunk outback dude visitation. Nice. I am actually doing a little turkey baster action this week as part of my road trip. But, don’t tell anyone!! ;)

Sandra June 27, 2011 at 12:05 am

haha! Just read Papa’s version of events!
I’m with you, though. My friend’s MIL had a bedbug infestation in her old folks home. It took over a year to get rid of them. To this day, the MIL is not allowed in my friend’s house. They only visit in restaurants! And I have a kid named Jax too! How weird is that? I thought I was the only one who named their kid after a General Hospital character :)

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