Bedbugs; Recurrence of an Age Old Scourge

When I was a child my parents would tuck me into bed and say “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite”. It was horrifying to hear, especially as a child, but mostly because I had no idea what the hell they were talking about. I really had no idea they were even a real “bug” until the last few years. Bedbugs have made a roaring comeback. I believe the word “epidemic” is being used to describe their resurgence as one of the most difficult pests to eradicate. If you haven’t been infested with them, you probably know someone who has.

Most people assume that if you have bugs you must be dirty. Not the case with bedbugs. They are a true non discriminating, equal opportunity offender. They do not care about your income level, age, sex, level of education or your fine pedigree. You are a warm blooded human being. They love you for who you are. You can provide a blood meal. You are perfect. Thank God they don’t spread disease. At most they are a nuisance and may cause some itching or red spots, but they won’t really do you any harm. Still, I just don’t like the thought of the little buggers coming out of hiding at night to feast on my wonderfulness, while I’m sleeping.

A great website describing the life cycle of bedbugs, their preferred habitats, treatment options and some photographs can be found here. From what I can gather from news reports, articles and the website, we have a problem that we are not going to be able to control. Our most effective pesticide for combating bedbugs, DDT, was banned several years ago and that is when their numbers began to increase. Major metro areas are having problems that even their Departments of Health cannot afford to tackle.

Bedbugs can be spread during travel, from hotel rooms, hospitals, spring break, college dormitories and visiting the mansion down the street. They are everywhere and we have been helping them travel, by using us as their means of transportation. Once we drop our bedbug load, they make a home and start reproducing.

May be time to think about the development of new pesticides or at least take another look at DDT. If not, the time will come when everyone we know and everyplace we go will have them. I don’t want to be an insects nightly snack. Do you?

Doc B

My opinion is free.
Advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.

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