MY BATTLE WITH BED BUGS: PART FIVE

Editor’s note: If you’re looking for part one, you might want to click here.

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After Mike’s first full treatment of my apartment, he told me there was nothing he could do for about two weeks. We’d have to wait and see if the little bastards died. Unfortunately, the primary way of detecting this was to see if I continued to get bitten. Surprisingly, despite all this drama, my school work didn’t really suffer all that much. We have to keep in mind I was in the last few months of my graduate degree here. From a psychological standpoint, I was only worried about these bed bugs when I was asleep. Sure, I certainly did have some trouble sleeping and I’ll touch on that later but while I was in class and even sitting at my desk, I wasn’t being bitten by bed bugs.

Once I started those serious infectious disease protocols, I again felt like I could visit other people’s homes and even go home to my parents’ place on the weekends. I kept my parents in the dark about the whole thing because my parents love worrying so much that’s its one of their hobbies. There wasn’t really anything they could do about the bed bugs, so I decided not to tell them. As for my friends, I initially felt a bit of shame about having bed bugs but then I realized it wasn’t my fault I had them. Unlike cockroaches, having bed bugs isn’t an indication of the cleanliness of a home. So I made it known to anyone who was interested that I bed bugs in my apartment. Some people wanted to know if it was safe for me to be in their home but re-assured them I had instituted security protocols. Others made it clear they were never ever going to visit me in that apartment, which of course, was completely understandable. As a side note, I believe only four of my friends ever stepped into my apartment and they all stayed downstairs.

I then received some disturbing information. I forget exactly how I came to know this bit of info but that’s not important. What is important is that I discovered that UBC Housing was well-aware that my apartment had previously been infested with bed bugs. I was livid when I found out. It was completely unacceptable how this had all played out given what they knew. First, they were completely wrong in not informing me that I was moving into an apartment that had a serious pest problem. They should have warned me that there was previous infestation and that I could choose to cancel my residency or at the very least be on the lookout for any indications the bed bugs had returned. They failed to communicate this to me and instead, kept me in the dark. What if I had gotten bed bugs in my clothes and then visited other UBC residences or other people’s homes and infested those places? I then understood why I couldn’t move in at the beginning of September and why there was a notice on the front door. They had treated my apartment, quite unsuccessfully mind you, and had left it to wallow in its own bed bug misery for nearly a month. The bed bugs didn’t die and were only super hungry by the time I moved in. This brings me to UBC Housing’s second and most ghastly failure. Despite knowing my apartment had bed bugs, they committed the most utter failure in not verifying that the bed bug problem had been dealt with completely before letting me move in. It took all of ten minutes for the Mike to do the initial inspection to see there were bed bugs in the bedroom. Yet UBC Housing couldn’t even devote that much time nor effort before I moved in. Instead, they didn’t even care if the bed bugs were still there, they just let me move in without any warning at all.

As I mentioned, I was livid at this revelation. I called up Mary, the housekeeping manager at UBC Housing and I made it very clear I was angry at UBC Housing for keeping this information from me and for not doing due diligence. I outlined every single failure I saw and how UBC Housing could easily have avoided each one but instead chose to do nothing. I forget if she even apologized to me but it didn’t matter because all the damage had been done, blood had literally been already shed. Knowing this bit of info though however, gave me leverage dealing with UBC Housing. I’m not sure it had anything to do with it but UBC Housing then offered to dry clean all my clothes and bedding for free. I hadn’t decontaminated all my clothing yet so this was appreciated. Keep in mind, I gave them nearly all the clothing and bedding I had brought to UBC. It must have been very expensive for them to do this because I gave them even small items like socks and underwear to dry clean. They also were able to get me back my clothes in 48 hours which was somewhat impressive given the number of items to be cleaned.

In the next part, I detail more fallout from UBC Housing huge fail.

You can find the other posts of this series here.

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