My last post wasn’t very laughable, so I wanted to lighten the mood with a very laughable moment that is my life.
A few weeks ago, the classroom that is connected to mine through a little hallway where we share a bathroom had a student with bed bugs. If you’re familiar with bed bugs, you know that those little pests get into everything. Worse than lice, which is something I am very well versed in, thanks to Chile.
I kept them in mind and tried not to sit on the rug or hug my students etc. and I went about my business as normal. The following day, I went home and immediately went to my bed for a nap because this teaching stuff is no joke. When I woke up, I noticed three little critters, dead on my sheets. I examined them for a long time under a flashlight and decided to let it be, because I really didn’t have time for this and they were dead.
I continued to live my life, not giving a second thought to that weird finding on my bed. That is until a few nights later, I found 2 more attached to my shirt I wore to work. This time I took them and put them in tape (don’t worry they were dead), in case I needed to get an expert opinion. I immediately texted the principal and said we have an emergency case of bed bugs in my classroom. She sent the custodian to shampoo my carpet. After a good cry of frustration, I put all my sheets and clothes in the dryer. I didn’t have time to deal with this. Our house is not tiny, so a bedbug infestation would be catastrophic. I called an exterminator while at school and made an appointment.
Since I’m an expert in lice, I knew it wasn’t lice. They looked terrifying but definitely not lice. I also researched bed bugs and they didn’t look anything like bed bugs. They had too many legs! I hung on to that hope, but then was left scratching my head, if they’re not bedbugs or lice, what are they? I researched every pest that’s ever come into existence. Fleas, mites, ticks you name it! My many-legged friends didn’t match anything! I even started finding them in my car!
I showed pictures and my tape to anyone that would look, asking for help! The nurse didn’t know, the custodian didn’t know, the assistant principal who’s uncle was an arborist didn’t know. I was frustrated that since they didn’t match with bedbugs, the school was no longer worried. Desperate, I did what any millennial would do, I turned to my community, on facebook. I joined “what bug is this?” facebook groups where I posted my saga. Instantly, I had dozens of answers from the bug community saying they’ve never seen anything like it. I messaged exterminators on facebook that said they’ve worked for decades in the pest business and they had never encountered my bugs.
The bug community came through for me by explaining that they didn’t think they were bugs, but rather seeds! They posted pictures and backed up their claims. After feeling extremely stupid, I was more than willing to accept this outcome because I didn’t have to do anything! I could cancel the expensive exterminator, I wouldn’t have to clean out the house or bug bomb. It was the best case scenario!! My ego was bruised, because I made a big stink about it, but that’s just because I know how pesky bed bugs can be to get rid of!
After finding out that my bed bugs were in fact seeds, I wasn’t exactly shouting from the rooftops. I kept it to myself and hoped that people would forget. But they didn’t. On Friday, the custodian led an exterminator in to inspect my classroom. I whispered my findings to him and he told me to keep it to myself and let him do his thing. He shockingly, didn’t find anything. Other staff members asked me if I ever found out what it was, and now probably think I’m loca.
All in all, it ended with the best outcome possible! I also learned that the bug-community is very kind and accepting. I did have to leave the facebook groups however, because the pictures other people were posting gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Also, weirdly enough, weeks later, I was feeding the horses one night and a colossal spider crawled into my sleeve (thank GOD i didn't see it!) and bit me twice on the arm. I didn't feel it but felt so itchy afterward and was convinced it as a mosquito and that I must now have EEE. The next morning my arm was swollen and the bites had 2 huge red circles surrounding them. It was then that I saw the 2 marks on each bite, one for each fang. I went about my day, but it was so uncomfortable that I went to a walk-in clinic after school where they put me on antibiotics 4 times a day and steroid cream! I had an appointment after school I had to cancel because I got bit by a spider and needed medical attention, I don't think the retirement lawyer was too pleased... What is it with me and weird bugs lately?!