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My Second Favorite Bug


The Stranger’s Brendan Kiley recently wrote a disturbing piece about everybody’s second favorite bug (the cockroach of course being the first) the bedbug. In fact, the piece so disgusted me that I immediately became OCD for the first time in my life and not only had to scratch my arm 24 times, but scrub it ferociously as well in solidarity with people who have suffered an infestation.

The cute little bugs apparently reproduce violently and in a way that can kill the female or shorten her life, forcing me to contemplate whether or not the “she was asking for it” defense would have any merit in a bedbug court of law. Once the female bedbugs have reproduced, the bedbugs hide out in mattresses and pillows and are incredibly hard to get rid of.

The bedbugs are methodical and bite in neat little rows of three. You may not feel the itch or notice the bites right away. Like Vampires, the bites come at night, but might not be so welcome as a bite from your favorite Vampire.

As The Stranger reports it, the insidious little “creatures” (if you can use such a term to describe bedbugs) are back in full-force after years of absence. The reasons for their return are varied- perhaps the DDT ban, perhaps dirty hippies returning from their backpacking trips in SE Asia, or as Brendan Kiley speculates- maybe people are buying too many scummy couches on Craig’s List.

What can you do if you find the tell-tale itching on your skin? If you have been bitten by a bed bug, the Wikipedia site recommends “heating the area with a blow dryer”, advice which I am reluctant to trust. I prefer instead the Stranger’s advice to call an exterminator who will either gas ‘em, burn ‘em with space heaters, or use a dust “that will suck all of the lipids out of bug’s exo-skeleton.”

And, for those of us fortunate enough not to have been bitten by the ghastly creatures, buying a bed frame and keeping your bed off of the floor is the best solution to keep the “beasts” at bay. You also may be able to search for them in your home by their rather pungent odor or any dung they might have left behind for you as a present on your pillow.