June 28, 2010

Worst day ever

Alright, let’s get this out there. This post will be long.

You may have noticed that for the past few weeks the posts have been lamer than usual. That’s because when something horrible happens it’s sometimes too horrible to talk about.

We had bat bugs.

It all began the morning that the Peperkorns came. Lloyd got up before me and when I went downstairs he said, “Something bit me – it was this”. He held out a glass bowl with the offending insect. Time stood still.

“I think that’s a bed bug,” I whispered. I ran to the computer to do a search and the horrifying truth was confirmed.


We had company arriving in less than twelve hours, and panic reigned supreme. There was internet searching, vacuuming, washing, drying, and general frantic running about. Oh, and in the middle of this – Lloyd had to go to Lincoln for graduation. He came back, more frantic cleaning, etc.

The Peperkorns arrived with their camper (thank you, Lord), and took the news well. I, feeling like a complete leper, was super-duper freaked out.

The next weeks were filled with more cleaning and exterminator consulting, and within days we had our first house-dousing of sweet, sweet poison. I know I’m an earth-hugger most of the time, but now I was all about the pesticides, hot water washing and hot, hot dryer-drying.

We’ve searched a vast majority of sites regarding bed bugs, and came across the mention of bat bugs. They look exactly like bed bugs except that 1) they feed on bats and 2) the microscopic hairs on their head are longer than their eyeballs, as opposed to bed bugs – who have hairs shorter than their eyeballs. Lloyd looked at one with a microscope from school, so we were able to identify them.

Having bat bugs is psychologically better than having bed bugs. We only found about a dozen bugs altogether, and now it made sense – they’re living in the attic with the bats. The few that we found must have straggled down when the bats went away to mate. “Mmmmm….. we’re hungry. Let’s go snack on that guy downstairs.” We never found the horrible, horrible infestations that are shown on the internet, but we treated the whole house as if we did. My paranoia is serving me well at this time.

So, that’s that. In the past three weeks we have moved all our upstairs belongings into plastic bags or sealed boxes; are living with 6 shirts and 5 pants/shorts each; have replaced the upstairs carpet; re-painted the upstairs; and are living like we’re camping. (That part is cool.) This summer we will work on evicting the bats and stopping the problem at the core.

I plan on writing the definitive ‘So, you’re living with bat bugs?’ page, and the gory details will be on that, but now we (Brad included) can make realistic posts that include the details of this lovely chapter in our lives. We’re ok now, by the way. We haven’t seen a bug since the first round of three douses of poison. (Standard procedure)

By the way, if I had a time machine, it’s only purpose would be to go back to young Lloyd and Lauren and say, “Um, get rid of the bats.”

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

View all posts by Lauren

18 Responses to “*sigh*”

  1. Keren Lowell Said on:

    You are very brave. I too would rather have bat bugs than bed bugs, if only because it sounds kind of like a superhero problem instead of a mere mortal one.


    • Lauren Said on:

      Ha! You are funny. Actually, I should say it this way: HA! YOU ARE FUNNY!



    • Peggy Said on:

      Hehe…you are funny!

      Hey are you the Keren in Anchorage Alaska? My son is there right now. He’s on whatever Army base you have there. He’s been there 3 weeks…coming home this Friday. He likes it there!


  2. Karla Said on:

    Arron was talking to a parent the other day who used to live in Galena IL. He said they ALWAYS had bats in their house. In fact, I think he said that was standard in houses out there. But as a result, they didn’t have mosquitoes!

    Since I am a mosquito magnet, I’m all for that. I say keep the bats, but that’s just me. 😉


  3. Brad Said on:

    I haven’t been bit once since I’ve been here. But the poison may be another matter… is it bad if your fingertips have been numb for more than 48 hours?


  4. Lauren's dad Said on:

    This reminded me of two sisters who came to school in Brasil with lice when I was 7, 8 or 9. The teacher (probably without parental permission) washed their hair with kerosene in front of the class and sent them home.


  5. Peggy Said on:

    Ok Lloyd…lets have it…your best:

    “I’m Batman.”


  6. Quiana Said on:

    I cannot believe you allowed bats in your attic. In college I, ahem, I mean my friend, had a bat from the attic enter a room and die, ahem, appear to die. And when I… I mean some stupid person, went to sweep it up, it reared up as though possessed and bit “my friend” on the hand. And then “my friend” had to get unpleasant rabies shots.

    What does not hurt, bat bites, what does hurt, shots. Or so I’ve heard.


  7. Peggy Said on:

    I can’t decide whose Batman I like better: Michael Keaton or Val Kilmer.

    I think I’ll go with Michael. Any seconds?


  8. Kitt Said on:

    Bats are awesome. Batbugs, not so much. But at least your bedding and stuff is all clean now.

    My dogs picked up dog lice many years ago. Similar thing … sounds bad, but it wasn’t (dog lice live only on dogs and don’t lay eggs in the carpet and are easy to get rid of).


  9. Rev. Todd Peperkorn Said on:

    For the record, Lauren handled her super-freakoutedness very well while we were visiting.


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