My babysitter called to tell me she has bed bugs!!! I work part-time but do not have any other childcare alternatives. I want to be supportive but I am completely freaked out and am terrified that she will bring those dreaded little bugs into our home and our lives.
Signed, Bugging Out
Dear Bugging Out,
I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but if your sitter has been in your home for long periods of time you have to assume that the bed bugs have as well until proven otherwise.
It is a horrendous problem and one that should be properly eradicated in both her home and possibly yours. This is the time to use those personal days if you have any at work.
I do not profess to be a bed bug expert so I would contact one immediately and have him or her devise a plan for both you and your sitter. (This may involve having her keep clean clothes at your home and bagging the ones she brings to you.)
Depending on her living situation, even if she gets rid the bugs with or without your financial assistance, others in her building may not. It is very important to remember and to convey to your babysitter and others that bed bugs do not select or discriminate.
They are a fact of the vertical and global villages, causing great expense and distress. Preparedness, knowledge, and swift action are our only defense.
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected].
See all Ms. Demeanor's advice here.
All bed bug stories here.