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Bedbugs have jumped the shark

Posted: January 4th, 2011 | Author: | | Tags: , | No Comments »

I just received the January-February issue of Money, and I have no business receiving this magazine. What can I say, I like to laugh at the anecdotes about people with inappropriate asset allocations. On page 56, they have an article titled “5 Things You Need to Know About The Price of Bedbugs.”

1. “Smart defense is worth the price.”

Yadda yadda, bedbugs in movie theaters, hotels, gyms. Wait, gyms? Bedbugs in the steam room is a new one on us. With possible sexy results. But anyway, you will get bedbugs; certain doom. They suggest ClimbUp Interceptors and mattress and box spring covers for prevention. Mind you, ClimbUp Interceptors aren’t going to do a world of good if you come home from vacation and plop a bedbug infested suitcase right on your bed. They didn’t mention that bit, but I let you have it for free.

2. “Spotting Bugs Early Can Pay Off.”

They point out that you can save $200-300 on the cost of a trained bedbug sniffer dog inspection by just using your eyes. Imagine that, you can actually see bedbug signs, and you should check around your bed. Considering I spent time under a hotel bed with a flash light last week, this is not news to me, but I suppose it might be to some people. So get with the program: eyes before paranoia. If you can’t see anything, and you’re not being bitten, chances are you don’t need a dog. Put that money you would have spent on an inspection in a high-yield (haha!) savings account instead.

3. “Debugging is no DIY Project.”

Plenty of internet dwellers would beg to differ, but they make the point that if you don’t start off right, you merely prolong your agony and eventually you will need a pro for an even worse infestation. Then they gamely offer tips on how not to start off right: “You can try to battle bugs yourself by washing infested items or spot-treating them with a hot blow dryer or steam cleaner.” ¬†Yes, that does sound rather unspecific and incomplete. The spot-treating with a blow dryer is a new one on me. Here, hold still, bedbug, I’m going to murtalize you!

4. “Some Pros Like it Hot. Others Go Cold.”

More possible sexy results! We’re not the only ones who can pun around here, I see. They suggest that a professional fix can range in cost from $400 to up to $2,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home. This is the only real info on the actual price of battling bedbugs, as alluded to by the article title. They mention that standard treatments may include heating or freezing or pesticide application. Apparently heat treatment is 20-30% more expensive due to the equipment involved. Clearly they have never heard of the bedbug Christmas Lights Killer.

5. “You’ll Get Little Help With the Cleanup Bill.”

This bit is sadly true. Most homeowners insurance policies will give you nada, as things like pests and mold remediation are considered to fall under maintenance. Some cities, including Boston, New York, and San Francisco, require landlords to pay for extermination, but we’ve all heard stories where this just hasn’t happened.

Then, possibly the most hilarious sentence in the entire article: “If you bring bedbugs home from the office, your boss should let you take time off to remedy the situation; some may pick up the tab.” A real example, please? Is this the kind of thing that goes on a Goldman Sachs?

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