Monday, March 01, 2010

The Bug

On Thursday afternoon we got a new memory foam mattress from Argos. Although it was all sealed inside a big plastic bag, I noticed it had a black mark on the underside. We swithered about whether we should return it but hell, we would never see the underside and it was only about the size of a cigarette burn, looked like a felt-tipped pen mark. On cutting open the bag I was almost bowled over by the powerful smell of chemicals... solvents?... glue?... dry cleaning? I immediately started to panic and think that this was a used mattress that had been returned (in God knows what condition) and dry cleaned then resealed. Oh no!

An internet search however revealed that new mattresses often smelled of chemicals and had to be aired for several hours before use. So we left it uncovered with the windows wide open until bed time. The smell of chemicals was still strong and after lying worrying about fatally overdosing on solvents I eventually got to sleep. The smell was more bearable on Friday night but I was still concerned about it. I woke in the middle of the night with something on my face, startled and brushed it off and went back to sleep. I woke again with something on my arm... Aaaaarrgh!... a beast!!!!!!!!

I captured the bug in a specimen jar and convinced we had inherited bed bugs, evacuated the bedroom and slept on the living room couch. Next day Mrs Mo frantically contacted Argos who said there was nobody who could do anything as it was the weekend but they would contact us immediately on Monday to advise. We examined the mattress for further evidence but found no more bugs... but strangely, the black mark had disappeared! First thing Monday morning poor Mrs Mo (who dealt with everything while I sedated myself with chlorpromazine) phoned environmental health, fortunately the EHO (environmental health officer) was a friend who agreed to come over that afternoon. God Bless Mr EHO who examined the beast and immediately confirmed it was definitely not a bed bug nor a flea. He brought in some books but failed to identify it other than it was a species of beetle and that there was nothing to worry about. Perhaps it had flown in when the windows were left open. We were hugely relieved by his advice. I had been so worked up about being infested by bed bugs that the DVLA problem just melted into insignificance. This is the bug...

However, after Mr EHO had left I couldn't help worrying about the disappearing black mark and went searching the internet to track down the beast. It looked like it might be a black ladybird but the closest match I could find was the black carpet beetle. Fuck. Thankfully they don't have an appetite for humans but do like all natural fabrics like wool, cotton, etc. I guess I just have to worry, wait and see. I was already freaking out about my impending DVLA medical but this got me extremely wound up. I didn't want to drink prior to my blood tests so instead of getting pissed I have been popping chlorpromazine on a regular basis, I just hope it doesn't increase my LFTs for Tuesday's blood tests.

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