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Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

I was in a meeting this morning and a colleague of mine whipped up her skirt and pointed to a raised red mark on her thigh.

“Does this look like a bedbug bite to YOU?” she asked, with a twitch in her eye and tremble in her voice. “I just got it on the subway.”

I shook my head and said, “Nooo!” (But honestly, I don’t know what a bedbug bite looks like.) Every few minutes, I inched my chair a little further away from hers just in case she had a stowaway in the hem of her skirt.

I read that somebody actually found an alligator in a sewer over the weekend. An ALLIGATOR! But bedbugs are all anyone can talk about. I’m guessing they’re Public Enemy #1 because, um… they live in your BED! At least cockroaches have the decency to form their dens in your walls. And rats rest their sleepy heads in underground nests, far, far away from your pristine memory foam.

Total amateurs like roaches, rats and alligators do NOT signal the apocalypse. Biblical plagues of locusts signal the apocalypse. Well, locusts and now… bedbugs.

Bedbugs are pure evil.

Paranoia is running rampant, with the bloodsuckers being found across the city in hipster retail stores, posh magazine offices, and iconic building basements. Even the movies aren’t safe!

What’s most disturbing is that the bugs can’t possibly originate in these places because nobody sleeps a la Costanza under the desk at work. So it stands to reason that they are hitching a ride from people’s HOMES into stores, offices, tourist traps, and theaters. Which means that NO amount of commercial fumigating will actually get RID of this residential problem, because they’re not attacking the SOURCE of the infestation.

These businesses are just a rest stop on the vermin highway. I’m itchy just THINKING about it!

I’ve known perfectly clean people who got hit with a case of the bedbugs. They are a bitch to get rid of. At first people live in private shame, scratching and stomping the bloody carcasses out with the heel of a shoe. When they realize the problem is bigger than their Birkenstocks, they call in exterminators with bedbug sniffing dogs (when they aren’t busy sniffing out bombs and drugs, that is). They throw out mattresses, bedding, and dressers full of clothes that may have been “compromised.” They rip up rugs and tear down curtains. They wrap their new beds and pillows in anti-bedbug plastic shields and sleep with the lights on. Even still, their eyes play tricks on them and their skin crawls, driven batty by bedbugs.

It’s like being a modern day Lady Macbeth. “Out, damned bedbug!  Out I say!”

I guess I should take comfort in the fact that I live in Manhattan. The most populated US city is only the 7th most bedbuggiest. Now, if I lived in Ohio, with THREE cities in the top 10, (or the Midwest in general), I’d really be in trouble.

Maybe the pests prefer the Midwest’s friendly hospitality. So stay mean, New York. Grrrrr!

And sleep tight…

tags: city life, gross, health


Anonymous said...

Wow! Somebody whipped up their skirt in a meeting? The most exciting thing I ever see in our conference room is free donuts. What kind of office do you work in? And can I come to your meetings? ;-)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I had bedbugs once. Total nightmare.

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Anon #1: Ha, I would have preferred the donuts!

Anon #2 & #3: I know, I've heard they're awful. Hope to never meet one face to face!

Anonymous said...

i just read they hit google's offices. no one is immune!

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Anon #4: Google too? Ugh. No place is safe.

Anonymous said...

have you seen this site?

it will make you good an paranoid!

Jenny From The 'Brook said...

Anon #5: That site is insane. Good thing my building isn't on the list... yet.

In more bedbug epidemic news, it seems Niketown is closed indefinitely due to an infestation, and they sent around a memo at my office today that they'd be coming through at night with the bug-sniffing dogs as a "preventative measure" since we get so many clothing shipments from outside companies. Yikes.