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Norah Jones Brang the Bedbugs

Posted: December 1st, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | Comments Off on Norah Jones Brang the Bedbugs

The internet is blaming Norah Jones for bringing the bedbugs home.  But is it her fault really?  Sure, you can buy her music at Starbucks.  That doesn’t mean you should.  But according to the watchdog article, she has been smacked with a lawsuit alleging that she brought the bedbugs in with her new furniture, following the huge renovation she completed on her home.

One of the residents of an infested building in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, dishes the neighborhood dirt on the situation, her catty neighbors, and the overwhelming desire to hide from same.

It started with a handwritten sign in broken English on the front door of our brownstone, which is the black sheep of our pristine, historic block. The sign read: “We are bedbugs in the building! Disinfect apartment now!” “Oh, my God. Is it true? I am freaking out! I would rather have gonorrhea than bedbugs!” wailed my neighbor Mary. Or was it Jane? In my decade of living in the building, I’d never really spoken to her—or any of the other tenants.

Bedbugs and misanthropy go delightfully hand in hand in these sordid, city living tales.  I also do not know the other tenants in my building, a creepy assortment of mole people, they are.  If bedbugs came to my flat, I expect a lot of mumbled denials, half english utterances, curses.   At least I do not live next to Norah Jones.

Reader Question of the Week

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: | 2 Comments »

Q:  I have been living out of trash bags for two months now, cheap while the exterminator is in and out.  The chaos of all these identical trash bags is driving me crazy.  Is this  really going to help?

A:  Bagging up your stuff after you have cleaned it is useful, but repeatedly rummaging through the bags to figure out which contain cleaned items defeats the purpose of having these items sealed up.  To maintain order in your trashbag world, we recommend you use black bags for items that have not been cleaned/need to be cleaned, clear bags for cleaned items (this way you can also get a glimpse of the contents) and a colored bag for items that need to be disposed of.

Of Bedbugs and Lawsuits

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: | 1 Comment »

“There’s Only One Way to Deal With Bedbugs: Release the Sharks.”  So says the Maryland attorney who has been filing some high profile lawsuits, with hefty damages from $100,000 to 3.5 million. 

Christopher Robinette, a professor at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., wrote a review of the lawsuits in the TortProfsBlog, expressing some skepticism about the enormity of the damages being sought.  According to his article, a previous case (Mathias) sets the bar pretty high for securing punitive damages.

Finally, a fairly standard punies regime requires a plaintiff to prove some type of conscious and deliberate behavior on the part of the defendant.  In Mathias, the hotel owners were informed about the bed bugs.  Instead of paying for a $500 extermination, the owners allowed the bed bug situation to fester for nearly two years.  It was widely known the hotel had bed bugs.  There were certain rooms that employees were not supposed to rent out because of the bugs, yet the rooms were rented if there were not enough other rooms available.  Guests were informed the bugs were ticks (as if that’s better!).  Under these circumstances, the court upheld a punies verdict of $186,000.  If proving notice in the Maryland cases will require the discovery of significant facts, for punies the bar is even higher. 

Is bedbug bling the fashion of tomorrow?

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Bedbugs

Posted: November 24th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: | No Comments »

The power of Santa compels you!

All you want for Christmas is your bedbugs gone, cialis your bedbugs gone, treat your bedbugs gone.  In the spirit of giving and taking bedbug lives, we wanted to share with you some early xmas cheer from US Bedbugs:

  • Use Coupon Code CL10 at checkout and receive 10% off any ClimbUp Insect Interceptor. Good through December 31st, 2010.
  • Use Coupon Code USBB5 at checkout and receive 5% off any order of $100 or more.  Good through November 24th, 2010.
  • Use Coupon Code BBFREE at checkout and receive Free Shipping.  Good through December 31st, 2010.
  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Movin on Up

    Posted: November 22nd, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , | No Comments »

    We have talked about vikane treatment of your moving truck in order to leave your bedbug problem behind you.  But what about the trucks themselves?  I bet you weren’t even thinking about bedbugs the last time you trustingly put everything you owned in a dingy old moving truck, where someone’s else’s treasure of bedbugs may have sat only hours before.  We think about these things.  A lot. 

    Moving companies are starting to think about these things, too.  We read about a company that heat treats its trucks between every move.  They also treat blankets and equipment with organic sprays.  Sounds pretty thorough, which is probably a bit pricey.  But not likely as expensive as treating bedbugs.  We have to assume that Ke$ha is as happy about this as we are.

    Reader Question of the Week: Bedbugs on a plane!

    Posted: November 20th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

    Q: Hey guys, I am traveling to NYC and Boston next week for the thanksgiving holiday and I’m scared that I might get bedbugs from the plane or the bus I’m taking.  Is there anything I can do to prevent this?  Also I am seriously considering buying a huge plastic bag to put all of my clothes in inside of my suitcase just in case…. is this a good idea?

    A:  The greatest risk from traveling generally comes from hotels, as you will find most bedbugs where the humans like to sleep.  There have been few reports of people being bitten while on a plane. While you may not get noshed on as you sit, it is certainly possible to pick up stowaways en route where baggage is collected together.

    Sealing your clothes in plastic would keep them safe, but if they nestle in your suitcase or purse, you still have a problem.  You could certainly seal your luggage in plastic while traveling.  The most important thing is not to bring them home.  When you return home, do not mix clothing with your regular laundry. Bag it up until it can be washed, or at least throw it in the dryer on medium-high heat for at least 15-20 minutes if it has already been laundered on your trip. If you can’t use the dryer on your suitcase or purse, thoroughly vacuum your bags, paying special attention to creases. You could store your suitcase in a plastic bag as a precaution.

    Here are some other handy tips for traveling.  Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bedbug Lonelyhearts

    Posted: November 19th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | No Comments »

    We talked about dating in the age of bedbugs, ampoule noting what a good thing it can be, unhealthy when you have a supportive partner and how destructive to a relationship, if your partner does not hold your hand in times of crisis, whether it is chemo or bedbugs, or a really bad  haircut.  Sharing problems (and bedbugs!) with another person is also a stressful, maddening situation.  But what if you have no partner?  Can your loneliness be compounded by this loneliest of scourges?  Tess Russell writes eloquently on this topic for the New York Times:

    I couldn’t stop coming back to the same question, no matter how much I hated myself for asking it: If I were worth loving, wouldn’t there be a man standing there with me? Some brave guy who would wear his bites stoically, who would carry the heaviest bags and let me take the lighter ones, rip them open fearlessly, and then try in earnest to take my mind off things, if only for one 39-minute dryer cycle.

    The feelings she so earnestly recounts are familiar- the pain of starting over in a new place after a breakup.  It is easy to feel unloveable when love goes awry, and bedbugs will only deepen the isolation.  This moving account is worth reading in its entirety, as full of melancholy as it is lacking in self-pity.  If you are friends with the author, please give her a big, warm hug from nixbedbugs.

    How Dare You!

    Posted: November 18th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

    Today we came across the account of a beleagured reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, whose encounter with bedbugs in a New York hotel left him much harrassed.

    When I was in New York to interview Isabelle Huppert, I set the clock for 7:30, but I woke at around 5:45 and planned to go back to sleep, when I noticed a little red bug walking on the top of comforter. I was half asleep and didn’t think much about it . . . and then I thought, wait.

    Fortunately, the hotel had wifi, and so I looked up bedbugs on the Internet and lo and behold, I realized I was in the presence of a celebrity. His picture was RIGHT THERE.

    The poor man, cognizant of the wrath he would incur if he brought home any stowaways, begins a torturous journey through the streets of New York, jacketless, to the dry cleaners, his things taped and bagged.  We highly recommend the article.  He is nothing if not thorough, after recognizing his initial error, in not giving the hotel room a thorough enough check upon arrival.  Following these steps when travelling, it is possible to avert this kind of trouble.

    We, too, would be afraid of the wife’s wrath.  But what about Isabelle Huppert?!?  She can probably sense something as distasteful as  bedbug from 50 yards.  It is bad enough she must endure your impertinent intrusion, do not take bedbugs to you interview with Isabelle Huppert.  She will have you killed.

    Bedbugs in Public Schools

    Posted: November 17th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | No Comments »

    Though there is disagreement over whether or not the surge in reports (an 88% increase over last year according to the New York Times) constitutes an epidemic, it is clear that people in New York area are sending their bedbugs to school. I spoke with one teacher who does not bring any personal belongings or outer clothing into the school building apart from her keys because “they are everywhere and so many of the kids have them.”

    Though the extent of the problem may be up for debate, the response by the school is uniformly criticized, with complaints ranging from a failure to report the problem to the staff, to a kafka-esque procedure in which weeks pass while the infestation is confirmed with an actual specimen before any treatment is implemented.

    Makes you long for the simple times where all you could get from children was head lice and chicken pox, doesn’t it?

    Reader Question of the Week

    Posted: November 15th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | No Comments »

    Q: I already sleep on a futon mattress on the floor. I don’t have much stuff besides some sentimental boxes of photos and CDS/movies. Should I just throw out everything I own and start over from IKEA/Target?

    A: So you are some kind of transient. Then you should just get used to bedbugs, along with cold beans from the can and fires lit from oil drums. I kid, I kid. Boxes of belongings that have sentimental value but do not come into everyday use can be placed in storage bins or bags, such as Ziploc Big Bags (Large, XL, XXL) or clear contractor bags for 18 months to ensure that any bedbugs hiding in their leaves expire. Or you could put them through a heat treatment device, making sure you follow the directions carefully so that you do not expose anything flammable to heat.

    It does not follow that you should throw everything out and start over. This will not suffice to get rid of your bedbugs, if you have them. And any remaining bedbugs will happily reinfest your new furniture. Why they will just be thrilled to put up their multilegs on your brand new ikea sofa. Your exterminator should be able to make recommendations as to what should stay or what should go. A heavily infested item might be a lost cause for treatment and will have to be disposed of in the proper manner. Local ordinance may require you to wrap these items, such as mattresses, in plastic and clearly label them to prevent others from taking them.

    Mattresses that do not fail on the basis of ICK factor can be salvaged with mattress covers, which prevent the bedbugs inside from creeping out and biting you.