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Psychological Reappraisal of Bedbugs

Posted: November 12th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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Bespoke Bedbugs

Posted: October 27th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wow. Looks like you can advertise your sexy bedbug-free status wherever you go!

Bedbug Free Sweatshirt

Bedbug Free Hat

Bedbug Free Mug

Bedbug Tie

I don’t know. They are cute, but what would Anna Wintour do?



Weekly Link Rodeo, 10/27/2010: Solipsism Edition

Posted: October 27th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This link rodeo gig was supposed to be a relaxing Saturday kind of thing, but we’ve encountered a little continental drift. I was gone last weekend too, but don’t worry, we never stop thinking about bedbugs! If you found yourself hanging around just gagging for updates, consider interning.

Desperately Seeking Bedbugs [via Nixbedbugs.com, as is everything else in this post]

My girl HJM and I searched Greenpoint high and low, looking for bedbugs. We even donned nurse uniforms to make it more official. We brandished clipboards and looked through magnifying glasses. Well, bedbugs are not swayed by trappings of authority. We checked every stray mattress, couch cushion, and jacket on the side of the street, from Manhattan Ave to the river banks. We found innumerable scraps of refuse and even human excrement, but no bedbugs.

So that was a disappointment. We have an important science project in mind, so we placed a Craigslist ad. While it didn’t get immediately deleted, no one has stepped up to offer us a bedbug either. I guess we’ll keep trying. I think JRN will look up from writing Science Corners and have a heart attack and ban us from visiting when we succeed.

THIS JUST IN, and we have zero confirmation, but I hear all the bedbugs are dressing as Snooki for Halloween.

While I was in Brooklyn, I trod near the ground where my own father experienced bedbugs 70 years ago. This was our most popular entry last week, and I think you will enjoy it, too! Sadly, I didn’t see a bedbug in Park Slope either. Just miles of beards and plaid. It’s like Christo is working in facial hair these days.

We wrote some great real information on freezing bedbugs and the perils of DIY extermination, but we know you’re all just here for the Ke$ha.



Luca Brasi sleeps with the bedbugs

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

Hey, do you have about an hour to kill and a need to ruin what’s left of your already tenuous grasp of the ability to sleep?

day 108 - I have nightmares

by mivox on Flickr

This 2008 podcast from This American Life, entitled Fear of Sleep, discusses conditions like night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, and sleep attempted murder. Yours truly has been known to suffer from sleep paralysis, which is damn creepy. Your eyes open, but you can’t move or even scream because the brain juice that keeps the body still during REM sleep hasn’t left your system yet. You have awareness of your surroundings, but it’s dim and possibly accompanied by hallucinations. Now what could be creepier than lying there, confused and paralyzed? Add bedbugs!

Skip to about 21:45 for the segment “Sleep’s Tiniest Enemies.” First up: roaches. Oh yeah. You’ll be twitching and slapping yourself and digging frantically with q-tips after this one. I won’t spoil it.

If you want to get right to the bedbuggery, hit 25:25. Anyone who has suffered through bedbugs will recognize the mental anguish. A woman using the name “Stephanie” repeated all-too-familiar tales of not having guests over to her family’s apartment for years. Her sleep is interrupted all the time by bedbugs, and she has upped her coffee intake to function during the day.  It’s “so hard to sleep in a bed where you feel like the sheets are crawling.”

“There’s a lot of adrenalin with these middle of the night bites…like I would wake up in full combat mode…rage, rage, rage!”

She describes a “feeling of being assaulted, and there’s nothing I can do.” She recounts basically living out of plastic bags, vacuuming books, and coating bed legs with vaseline in an attempt to keep bedbugs from climbing. Her husband even reupholstered a beloved piece of furniture to save it.

In a chilling experiment, Stephanie kept two baby bedbugs in a sealed plastic container on her window sill. Months passed, and instead of dying, they bred.  She eventually threw the whole container out. At the end of the piece, she has just discovered more bug signs in her favorite couch, and she announces it has finally won a trip to the curb. Yet another reason not to pick up furniture you find on the sidewalk! The more polite tend to label their cast-offs, at least. “Bedbugs: Do Not Use.”

There is a happier ending for Stephanie in an update at the end of the piece. Apparently the landlord stepped up extermination efforts, and Stephanie is finally bug free. Not everyone is so lucky. Do you have a story of difficulty getting a landlord to take your bedbug problem seriously? Leave us a comment or use our contact form.

**Hat tip on the podcast to alert reader Amanda, who does not have bedbugs. Just morbid curiosity.



Celebrity skin

Posted: October 5th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

By now we’ve all heard that Howard Stern fell victim to bedbugs at work in the Sirius offices and in his own limo. Stern is not one to shy away from discussions of the vile and unseemly, bless his heart. It ain’t no thing, and he’s got people to take care of those things, although we hope the chemical fumigation of the limo managed to kill any lingering nymphs and instars as well as the mature bedbugs.

Allegedly, Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper recently had to ditch a swanky mattress over bedbugs, but the source on this one seems a little shaky. But it is certainly plausible. Celebrities frequently travel for work, and these days it seems like only a matter of time until a bedbug clings on to the bottom of your Louboutins and follows you home. You should always perform visual inspections when you travel, even in first class.

Back in 2006, Saturday Night Live star Maya Rudolph and her husband, director Paul Anderson, were forced to flee a $13,000 per month luxury rental loft in SoHo. They sued the property and owner for $450,000, claiming they were bitten within days of moving in. When an exterminator arrived, he apparently told them to clear out for a bit to keep their baby safe, and that was enough for them. One might expect a pest-free apartment for $13,000 per month.

Opera singer Alison Trainer was a bedbug victim during a hotel stay, and she filed a lawsuit for $6 million against Hilton Hotels. “She looks like a piece of wood that has been attacked by termites,” said Trainer’s attorney, Kenneth J. Glassman.

But let’s get to what we really want to talk about: which celebrities look like they should be harboring bedbugs already? Sure, bedbugs are equal opportunity little pests, but let’s say you were on Family Feud, and you had to spit out the first suspect luminary that popped into your head or risk the wrath of your grandmother, who is played by Betty White in this delusion? Would your list go a little like this?

Ke$ha

Lindsay Lohan

Pete Doherty

Courtney Love

Joaquin Phoenix’s beard, tied with Britney’s weave

Spencer Pratt

Tila Tequila

Russell Brand

Insane Clown Posse



Thanks MTA!

Posted: October 3rd, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Do you live in a city where increased subway fares are commensurate with a decrease in services?  If your monthly pass will soon cost more than a hundred dollars, but every ride includes 15 minutes sitting in the tunnels between stations, or you frequently find yourself hunting for lengthy, alternate routes home at night because your usual line is not running, at least your MTA card is good for one thing- FINDING BEDBUGS!:

As soon as you arrive any new place you’re staying, Missy Henriksen, spokeswoman for the National Pest Management Association, suggests checking your bed and mattress for drops of dried (human) blood or (bug) excrement. Bedbugs — which are brown and about the size of lentils — love cracks and crevices so check mattress seams and joints and cracks in the bedframe..

Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an urban entomologist with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell University, says the ideal tool is a transit fare card — a metro card in New York or Washington, a BART card in San Francisco, or any card thinner than a credit card. Just run it along the cracks and seams to reveal bugs.

Now you know.  And knowing is half the battle.