So picture this...
You live in an apartment. Moved in in August. Just got settled. In November you are informed there is an extermination issue. Preventative treatments will be implemented in all apartments. Prepare in 36 hours. Bag all your belongings. Vacuum. Encase your bed. Etc. All in a 1-BR apartment. You do all this and more. You comply.
December/January. You start getting welts. Think it's spider bites. Boyfriend has nothing and thinks you are paranoid. You think "I have hives."
Fast Forward to 2 weeks ago.
You find a bug on you. It's your fear. The "issue" your fellow tenant had is now your issue. You freak out. Don't sleep. Get covered with some more bites. Now so does your boyfriend. You are informed they can do a treatment in 48 hours. You can't possibly do all the preparations. They do a mini treatment two days later on Wednesday.
Fast Forward to this weekend.
You prep for the big treatment. You inspect and bag EVERYTHING you own. All your scrapbooking supplies. every sheet of paper. every book. movie case. basket. tub. Everything. Everything you haven't thrown out in fear of it being a hiding place for the "issue."
You load up your boyfriends truck with all your laundry. EVERY piece of clothing, blanket, towel. Everything that you haven't thrown away in fear of it being a hiding place for the "issue."
Your apartment is now filled with trash bags of everything you own. Your balcony is full. You have thrown out at least 5 contractor size trash bags of things you own(ed). You spent 6 hours doing laundry and bagging your clean clothes. You continue to get bites and not be able to sleep. You miss 2 days of work and spend hours doing all the prep work. You want to do it RIGHT. You are a Virgo perfectionist after all.
Fast Forward to Yesterday.
Exterminator says you did much more prep than others in the building. It appears you are the 4th apartment with an "issue." Exterminator confirms that in November you indeed did not have a problem. It has spread. Others are not "complying." He is optimistic for you. Compliments you on your organization. But you may still be in the line of fire in the future if your neighbors don't cooperate. He treats every surface, peice of furniture etc. You can't take your things out of bags for at least a few more weeks it is recommended. Or you may have to bag it again if the "issue" isn't eliminated. He says he'll be back to inspect in a week and to do another "less intense" treatment on 2/18. You pray it works. He is reassuring.
Fast forward to last night.
You run into one of your neighbors and get to talking. Comes out that you both have this "issue." She was the 2nd to have the problem. She lives next door to the original issue who was infested. You find out that the apartment underneath your is the 3rd issue. The exterminator has informed you that the heating pipes run vertically and they are likely attracting the "issue." Anyhow, this woman shares how she has consulted the Dept of Health and a lawyer. You commiserate. You find out she is in fear that she is being blamed for not "complying." She shows you her apartment. You feel for her but see that SHE IS YOUR PROBLEM! She will never beat the problem. She isn't complying. AT ALL. She isn't doing anything you have had to do to prepare for treatments. This is NOT an easy problem to beat but YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING. You work two jobs. Your boyfriend works nights. But she has done nothing. What the heck?
Oh my God. This has been my life. I'm so out of sorts. I feel like screaming or crying constantly. I need normalcy. My life back. My sleep back. My beautiful living space back. My art stuff. Everything.
When will this end? I am cautiously optimistic we will beat this. We have followed the exterminator's directions almost exactly. As much as is humanly possible. But if my neighbors continue to drag their feet the problem will persist in the building. We can't even move anytime soon or I risk bringing this problem with us. Also we can't afford anything else right now. So here we are. I hate people sometimes.
We plan on calling the Dept of Health ourselves and placing a complaint. We are entitled by law to a clean, insect-rodent free place to live. We have complied - which is our responsiblity. Technically our landlord is treating the issue. However who will be responsible for forcing our neighbors to comply? It is affecting my well-being and home. Someone needs to and the state needs to figure out who/how. I'm done.
I hope to get back to taking out some of my art stuff out of ziplocs and trash bags and do something creative this weekend. I need it badly. Also to live vicariously through the pictures in Better Homes & Gardens. I miss my pretty decorations. I take great pride in my home. But for now I'm off to catch up on my blogger friend's lives...I've been so out of the loop this past week or so.
Thank you for listening. I hope I haven't alienated all my readers :)