books & bedbugs


a friend told me about this story last week. sure, it grossed me out at the time, but i’m only now coming to terms with just how much.

i try hard to avoid getting caught up in sensations, which i consider this to be. out of thousands upon thousands of books, bedbugs were detected in only a couple and in all but one case, they were dead. i know this because i google the story every single day. i also look at the library books placed throughout my home and resist the urge to flip through them madly searching for evidence of the bloodsuckers. then i remind myself: i don’t buy in to stories like these: i don’t use hand sanitizers for fear of germs nor do i quit using my public library because some people are dirty and bugs are icky.

all that said, i finally gave in last night and i piled all five of my library books by the door. i didn’t rush back to return them, but i doubt i’ll ever open any of them again. there’s just something about this story that i can’t get over. i spent last night frequently walking from the living room and into the bedroom, checking the sheets, pillows, duvet for bugs as if by checking again and again i might manage to catch them off guard and lounging around. every itch brings with a jolt of terror. (and i’m a pretty itchy person!)

as kevin volunteered (in an attempt to ease my mind??) he would be a far more likely carrier of bedbugs if they were to somehow end up in the apartment. the nature of his work exposes him to a lot of gross things of which vermin are one. when we were first dating, he’d come to pick me up and make a point of saying “i’ll wait for you to come down. i’m just going to bedbug spray the (work) car” in an attempt to woo me by showing how much he cared. 😉 over the summer alone, there were two bedbug scares that saw his office completely evacuated for fumigation. thankfully, it’s always been fodder for jokes and we’ve never had real reason for concern.

and that’s what i keep trying to tell myself. perhaps there is reason for concern, but there is no reason for panic. i really don’t want to give up the library and borrowed books mostly because i really don’t want to start the cycle of buying and storing and getting rid of them again.


a few things that struck me about this story, library borrowers and bedbugs in general…

  • i was pretty stumped about how dogs like moonshine (pictured in the photo from the cbc) could possibly be trained to sniff out an insect, but i learned through my obsessive reading that bedbugs have a “characteristic smell of cilantro, coriander, almonds or over-ripe raspberries.”
  • a couple of interesting passages from the story:

    i’m dying to know which “certain kinds of books” bedbug carriers are prone to. i say this with solid wtf is wrong with people?!? resound. i also bet that it’s twilight. 😛
  •  it saddens me to now know that the reigning king of terrifying pests so closely resembles my favourite, the little engine that could of the insect world: the woodbug. no, they are not related, thankyouverymuch.
  • finally, and i say this because i care about you, please don’t ever read about the reproductive tendencies of bedbugs. that is all i can say.

6 responses »

  1. My suspicion is that you have a much, much higher chance of catching something from a hotel stay than any book out of a library. There’s some pretty bad infestations in some hotels. Drives me nutty every time I think about it.

  2. You know I have not been to a library in years. I use to love going and finding all sorts of great treasures. I would think this is an isolated incident dont ya think? I mean we always went to libraries as kids and never brought home bed bugs. Oh and thanks for the warning not to research the reproductive tendancies of bedbugs. Although I will admit that I am now a little curious…

  3. I seriously would NOT fuck around with bedbugs. That is like the hardest thing to get rid of. I’d rather have lice. Wait. Did I just say that? It’s been nearly four years and it still haunts me. But still. Bedbugs, once you’re home is invested is a COSTLY thing to get rid of.

    Now, when I check out a book at the library.. I will stand and leaf through every fucking page before that goes home with me. Oh and thanks for the heads on the reproduction. I trust your good sense.
    Glad you’re clean.


  4. Haha! I never thought of it, but if I have bedbugs, I suppose you do, too, considering your recent residence in my bed. Good thing I DON’T!
    P.S. “Once YOU’RE home is invested”?!? The former is inexcusable, but I pray the latter was an error made purposefully for the play on words. 😛

    Thanks for the support, Evey & Nathan. I think it will just take a while to shake it off. Like I said, I’m not one for panicking and I have a short memory. 🙂

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