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Bedbug City Crime Wave

Posted: November 12th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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A spike in crime is apparently scaring the bejeesus out of New Yorkers. Is it rapers, burglers, or is the Rent just Too Damn High? None of the above, it is BEDBUGS who are responsible!



Reader Question of the Week

Posted: November 10th, 2010 | Author: | | 1 Comment »

Q: How do I tell if a bedbug is really dead?

A: Interesting. You can tell a bedbug is dead in pretty much the same way you can tell if a person is dead.  Is it moving?  Does it express some type of physical opposition to being crushed to death (by you)? 

If the answer to those questions is yes, troche the bedbug is most assuredly alive.  Bedbugs are very slow moving creatures, mind so if you have one in your sight, prescription you should easily be able to send it to its extremely mean spirited maker.  Try crushing it in a tissue.  If you wish to preserve it for identification purposes, you can also pick it up carefully and drop it, submerged, into some rubbing alcohol.  If you employ one of the above methods, you will not need a paramedic to examine for vitals.  Your bedbug is dead.



Can Bedbugs be Deadly?

Posted: November 8th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Bedbugs: annoying and disgusting, sure.  They can send you to the poorhouse and the madhouse, yes.  But how about to the morgue?  The answer is a resounding, perhaps! According to an article in Crains:

“A Cornell University scientist sees a likely link between bedbug bites in hospitals and cases of serious—even fatal—drug-resistant staph infections…”

Patients in hospitals that have bedbug infestations have been coming down with MSRA, an antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus bacterial infection.  From the same article:

“What we are starting to see is that hospitals just cannot get rid of MRSA until they get rid of bedbugs,” said Ms. Gangloff-Kaufmann, who has a PhD in the study of insects. It’s not that bedbugs harbor staph in their blood and transmit it by biting, the way mosquitoes do with viruses, she says. Rather, bedbug bites can create hiding places where MRSA can take hold.

Bedbugs likely do not transmit the infection through their bite the way mosquitos do because of the long period of time they can sustain between feasting on different victims. 

The problem is that when a patient scratches a bedbug bite, they could be introducing staph into the wound.  MSRA infections are very common in hospitals, and can cause illness, emergency amputation or even death.  A link between MSRA infection and bedbugs makes logical sense, as any scratch or cut could lead to introduction of the organism.  However, the correlation has not yet been tested and proven.  We feel confident that bedbugs are glad to do their part. 

So if you are in the hospital and you have itchy bites, maybe don’t scratch them.  Keep your nails short and your hands clean.  Also keep the area clean and alert your doctor to any bites.  Click here for more info on treating bedbug bites. 



Abandon All Hope

Posted: November 6th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We have discussed the futility of DDT nostalgia.  So when is the next, prescription big bad pesticide going to come down the pike whose title makes a really good band name?

According to CNN, not going to happen.  The bedbug epidemic may be fattening the wallets of exterminators, but apparently research into an effective pesticide for killing them is not a cost effective measure for the companies that do that sort of thing, namely huge chemical companies that manufacture pesticides for agriculture and outdoor use.  Research and development on new insecticides runs into the 100s of millions and requires decades of testing.  Yikes.

According to the article, government funding can help spur research in a case like this.  Bedbugs clearly need a government representative.  Maybe someone can give them to John Boehner!

Click here to read  more and see a video of a really cute bedbug sniffing dog.



Bedbug Lawsuits

Posted: November 5th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Along with the bedbug resurgence comes the inevitable rise in lawsuits. Did you forget we live in the Litigious States of America? If something goes wrong, there is surely a suit to follow. People are suing companies for selling them merchandise contaminated with bedbugs and they are also suing hotels where they allege they have picked up the pernicious passengers.

In one case, J.C. Penney was found liable for damages when they shipped out bedbug infested bedroom furniture.  A couple in Illinois were given a sizable reward in punitive damages against a Motel 6.

Currently, the Waldorf Astoria finds itself the target of a lawsuit (thanks to reader V.S. for the tip!) According to the article:

The Waldorf says it did not find evidence of bed bugs in the Drabicki’s room. “The Waldorf Astoria takes allegations of bedbugs very seriously because the safety and well-being of our guests is of paramount importance,” the hotel said in a statement. “While we typically do not comment on pending litigation, we will share that the hotel took the guestroom in question out of service and had it inspected by an outside specialist. The official inspection reports stated there was no evidence or indication of bedbugs.

We wonder how easy it is to prove exactly where the bugs came from and what the success ratio of such lawsuits will be over time. In any case, as long as any judgments are awarded, there will be people to file them.



Friends with Bedbugs

Posted: November 4th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Not exactly the benefits you were looking for, eh?

Here at nix bedbugs, we are on everyone’s side- those who have bedbugs, and those who do not and wish to keep it that way.  As long as you have fewer than six legs, we are here for you.  Therefore, we do not condone the shunning of the less fortunate (humans!) but we do not recommend you loll on their furniture, all emitting CO2 like a mad thing.  Here is a list of do’s and dont’s for when the unmentionable should occur in your friend circle:

DO

1. Offer your support.  Help the afflicted pass the many hours they will spend at the laundromat.  Take them out to dinner, accept their sobbing midnight phone calls. 

2.  Meet in neutral locations often.  You know, like normal friends.

3.  Take up a bedbug benefit collection among your circle if necessary.  This problem is an expensive one.

4. Do a little research and offer sound advice on what to do about their bedbug infestation.  Their plight is worse than whatever you have going on.

5. Check in and see how they are doing.  Don’t let your friend feel isolated just because you don’t want to hang out at their house for a period.  Encourage them to seek help if the stress and anxiety appear to overwhelm.

DON’T

1.  Shun or avoid your poor friend with bedbugs.  If you think they aren’t doing enough to treat the problem or use caution in not transporting them, share that information.

2. Offer to let them stay at your house.  This may sound heartless, but what is so charitable about spreading the scourge?  Having them sleep over will not get rid of their bedbugs, only proper treatment will.

3. Go to the afflicted person’s apartment until one or two treatments have been completed, and your friend has not been bitten for a few weeks. 

4.  Assume it is your friend’s fault for being a filthy slag.  Not like you, a fine, clean upstanding citizen without bedbugs!  This prejudice is natural, but you must guard against it in order to be a good friend. 

5. Spread gossip about their misfortune.  A person with bedbugs is not required to divulge this fact to every person with whom they come into contact.  Unless, your friend is having insane coat-pile parties and roman orgies, keep your trap shut.



Reader Question of the Week

Posted: November 4th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | 1 Comment »


Q: I suspect that my cube-mate has bedbugs. She has been coming in to work with mysterious bites on her face, healing and she dropped that her daughter had marks all over *her* face for the school picture. It is way past mosquito time in these parts. How can I find out? Should I ask her? I am scared!

A: To tell or not to tell is a big question these days. You can hardly blame your coworker for keeping her struggles private, if she indeed has a problem. Who wants to be treated like a leper in the workplace, and forced into taking leave? Confronting your coworker about it is unlikely to assuage your concerns at this point. Why not just take precautions? This does not mean stop speaking to the poor lady. Stop throwing your bag and other personal belongings on the floor beneath your desk- keep them in a closet with your coat, preferably off the floor. Inspect your chair and work area. If something bites, contact your office administrator or facilities coordinator right away.



The Young Lady, the Witch and the Bedbugs

Posted: November 3rd, 2010 | Author: | | No Comments »


Once upon a time, my friend Chutney had a really cute apartment in Astoria, Queens where she lived lo these ten years. It was on a quiet, leafy street with reasonable rent. She was friends with the neighboors. You might say she lived on Sesame Street. But then! She got bitten a couple times while seated on her couch. She blamed the decrepit elderly woman across the hall, whose newspaper filled apartment released an odor of stale urine. Perhaps she was the culprit, and perhaps not. We have to remember that since the middle ages, we have looked to place the old crone at the center of all of our ills for her sins, being elderly, are heavy.

Whether or not Chutney’s bedbug problem was caused by a witch or not, she was bitten all the same. The apartment was treated and she received another bite. She keeps the neatest apartment I have ever seen and dresses without a hair out of place. So you see the bedbugs could not have found a place where they were less wanted. Chutney is a super type A type of person with no tolerance for wondering if the landlord was addressing the problem properly. Apparently the landlord was not very rigorous in his response, only treating the units one at a time on the basis of complaints, no real plan to follow up on the rest of the building. Her neighboors pleaded with her to stay and caulk alongside them. But Chutney felt they were deluding themselves, that the bedbugs were certain to come back.

And so, at long last, she booked a moving van with a Vikane treatment for all of her belongings. It was expensive, and she had to live in the new place for 5 days without a stick of furniture, but has been bedbug free for months now. And she lived happily ever after.



ATTACK!

Posted: November 2nd, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | No Comments »

I’m thrilled to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep
Because we’re king of the hill
Top of the HEAP!



Did I do that?

Posted: October 29th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We totally called it.  We tried to tell you that setting stuff on fire to combat bedbugs “has its downsides.”  Well, New York’s own winner, Miriam Ortiz, ignored our prudent warnings and set a mattress in her building on fire, fearing that it had bedbugs.  Miriam, at best you are as mad as one of those villagers who marries a horse and at worst, a complete numbskull.  Society leaves you to contemplate the difference in a period of isolation. 

Our friends at Gawker drew a helpful moral from the story:  Don’t set fire to shit, dummy.  But it took our special analytical powers to come up with that nugget *before* it actually happened.  Because we are geniuses.