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home : lifestyle : lifestyle today   May 24, 2016

2/4/2013 10:32:00 AM
Bed bugs and birds a problem in Chicago

Nancy Dinelli-Prill

All of us live close enough to Chicago that once in a while we know what is going on in that city. It is my understanding that at this very time they are have problems with “bugs and birds” which is not a new thing for the area.
The bugs are bed bugs. It has been reported that Chicago has the largest infestation of bed bugs of any city.
Not only do they have bed bugs by the mattresses full, but their buildings and skies are full of pigeons, and it has been reported that the streets are full of slippery pigeon “poop.”
Excuse me while I giggle a bit, because how many years ago did this column deal with bed bugs? Remember, I would wake up in the morning with itchy bites from the night before?
I got plastic mattress covers and duct taped the ends closed so that no bed bugs hiding in the corners could get out.
I purchased two sided carpet tape and put it all around the baseboard of the bedroom in order to catch those bugs that were living between the walls.
I told all of you to take the dust ruffles off your beds and keep your beds away from the walls and, if you remember, I suggested that you place the leg of the bed in a little container of water as a barrier against the bugs crawling from the floor onto the bed, or you could grease the leg of the bed with petroleum jelly.
I didn’t use sprays or chemicals and by doing the above, I got rid of the bed bug problem.
But here is the reason I’m giggling. Last week, many Chicagoans invaded Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of our history-making president’s second term.
But think of the suitcases that went to Washington that were packed in the bedrooms of the reported bed bug infested Chicago houses. But here is the thing, now it will be interesting to see how Washington fares and if there is an infestation of the little creeps in the city.
Let me give you some ideas about how not to spread bed bugs.
We think we picked them up on our first trip to Italy, so here is what I did when we went to Italy the second time.
I lined each of our suitcases with a thin plastic bag and into that bag I put our items. However, the items were all put separately in zip locked plastic bag.
Underwear went in one small bag and was zipped closed. Shirts went in another, as well as all other clothes had their own bag that would close up tight.
When we got to our destination, the bags were put in the drawers provided in the hotel room but none were opened until we needed something and then they would be closed up tight again.
We did that the whole trip and it worked out well. Yes, shoes also were in plastic bags.
When we arrived home at the end of our trip, nothing was brought into the house. Everything was unpacked outside and the locked bags were laid in the sun, thereby baking any bug that happened to hitch a ride.
After a day or so in the sun, the bags were opened and thrown away and the clothes that were inside went immediately into a very hot water wash.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Not really, it is just a routine that I followed so that I wouldn’t bring bed bugs into our house again.
We all live very close to Chicago and many of you travel back and forth, some spending the night.
I have only one thing to say: Watch out for the bed bugs.
It also is reported that Chicago is having a problem with an abundance of pigeons, and they are making a mess everywhere including on the sidewalks and streets.
In the old days, the immigrants would have caught those pigeons and made a marvelous stew to serve over polenta, but in this day and age you would probably be jailed if you did that. It would have been considered to be a cruel act to an animal.
I forgot to tell you in last week’s column, that you, as a reader, are appreciated. Ciao!

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