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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.



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.



Love, Bedbug Style

Posted: October 25th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

We just read this extremely unscientific article on CNN about dating in the age of bedbugs.  You can practically hear the glasses clinking in the background.  Whether watered down by scotch or not, these are definitely interesting issues. 

A person who is combatting a bedbug infestation and has a significant other hopefully has a source of emotional support there.  In times of crisis when your partner is not there for you,  that is understandably destructive to the relationship.  Support can come in many forms- a sympathetic ear, a hug, helping you do mounds of laundry.   Please do not show your love for your partner by showing up at their door with trashbags of your belongings while your home is being treated for bedbugs.  If any of the creeping beasties manage to tag along, this would definitely be oversharing.

For the single people, we consider it a solid recommendation for the good of country that perhaps you want to curtail your wild nights of bringing home drunken sailors until your problem is sorted.  If you are enduring multiple treatments over an extended period of time, of course life can and should go on.  You do not have to divulge the details upon first meeting someone, but you absolutely have to warn someone before letting them into your bedbug hotel.  If you are planning on staying at someone else’s house, make sure the items you are carrying are bedbug free.  Trade your gjant carry all or courier bag for something simple and easy to inspect before you leave the house.  Save an outfit fresh from the dryer to wear on dates.  Inspect your clothes and shoes carefully before you go out and give your jacket and scarf a good shake at your door for good measure. 

You will definitely find yourself needing to tell prospective partners about your woes.  There is such a hysteria over bedbugs at the moment that this seems likely to destroy the tender shoots of a budding romance.  According to the anecdotal evidence in the CNN article, women seemed more likely than men to reject a partner based on bedbugs:

Based on interviews, it appears women have more resistance to meeting a man who might have bedbugs. One woman said “men and women are different. A woman would care if a guy had bedbugs but if a man met a hot girl, he probably wouldn’t care if she had bedbugs.”

A man at the bar confirmed this, admitting “come back to my place” would be his response to an attractive woman with bedbugs.

It is not news to us that men would still have sex with a woman, regardless of bedbugs, if she were attractive.  Men have overlooked cluelessness, economic disparity, disease and the occasional penis for the chance to score with a hot lady, so we don’t see why bedbugs should be any different.  As to whether a female suffering an infestation would be considered “relationship material”, we cannot vouch.  For men or for women making this judgment, we suppose it depends on the individual case of the person deciding, the severity of the problem, and the person being ruled on.  

Not everyone lives in utter horror of the bedbug, but many do, and for these it would be a dealbreaker if bedbugs came up in conversation.  And it is not just the neat freaks and germaphobes- even persons who are rational may succumb to the trepidation of our cultural moment, and might not wish to take any chances.  But hold on!  Are you Brad Pitt or John Hamm?  I bet even your fussiest ladyfriend would make room on her (white, designer) sofa if David Bowie wanted to drop by after staying at the bedbug room at the Waldorf. 

In sum, bedbugs will not stop interesting and attractive people from dating sensitive and rational people.  In fact, they might make it easier for them to find each other.  And for everyone else, life is just a little bit worse. So toughen up!  How long could it possibly be before we have bedbug support groups that you can troll for dates?  In the meantime, Ke$ha still loves you!



Everybody Hates Bedbugs

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Via The Onion, Cockroach King Concerned Over Recent Rise of Bedbugs

His Royal Highness, King Leopold Blattodea IV, undisputed lord and ruler of the cockroaches, expressed dismay and concern Monday that the recent rise in bedbug populations could threaten his sovereignty over the realm of human squalor.

“For centuries, the woodwork and drainpipes of the world have been the unassailed domain of we roaches. Exterminators were powerless to stop us. Humans shrieked at the sight of us. But now this meddlesome bedbug has inspired tenfold the terror.”

How must the termites be feeling? The ear whigs, the camel crickets, the ticks and the fleas. It’s true, everyone is Gaga for bedbugs.

Bedbugs rejoined:

“Your petty machinations are useless,” read the message scrawled in human blood. “Soon our numbers will grow so vast that mankind will be too terrified to step into a movie theater, sit on a friend’s sofa, or check out books from the library. Forget not, we can survive without food for up to 18 months! Surrender now and return to the tropical, woody areas that birthed you. The future of the cities is now, my friends. We are the future.”

We are left with lingering questions. What DOES Lady Gaga think of bedbugs? We know Ke$ha was finally appointed their official spokesperson. So there’s that.

Ke$ha



Are Bedbugs an Epidemic?

Posted: October 12th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

The Center for Disease Control has a history on the term “epidemic

In the second half of the 20th century, epidemic was also applied to noninfectious diseases, as in cancer epidemic or epidemic of obesity. The extension of the meaning to noninfectious causes refers to a disease that affects a large number of people, with a recent and substantial increase in the number of cases. This semantic extension of epidemic also concerns nonmedical events; the term is used by journalists to qualify anything that adversely affects a large number of persons or objects and propagates like a disease, such as crack cocaine or computer viruses.

In the case of bedbugs, it is not hard numbers that give us the impression that we are experiencing an epidemic.  Rather, it is the rapid increase of cases reported. 

In a national survey conducted for Pest Management Professional, University of Kentucky entomologist Michael Potter found, “A whopping 91% of respondents reported their organizations had encountered bed bug infestations in the past two years. Only 37% said they encountered bed bugs more than five years ago.”

Bedbugs had all but disappeared following the second world war with the introduction of DDT.  And now, like so many bad, blood-sucking pennies, they’re baaaaaack. In large urban areas it’s not uncommon for companies to field 100 to 150 bed bug complaints a week, according to a National Pest Management Association survey.

Last year bed bug infestations were reported in every state in the U.S., and reports are increasing exponentially each year. Scientists have not determined a single cause for the sudden bed bug proliferation, but cite a combination of factors, including the increased ease of international travel, lack of potent insecticides, and discovery of pesticide-resistant bed bugs.

Due to their extremely effective reproductivity, A few bed bugs can lead to a major infestation in just a short time. And it is well documented how craftily the wee fellows transport themselves around in your clothes and luggage, and spread throughout buildings through air ducts and electrical conduits.  “This is a serious issue,” Potter recently told the New York Times. “This will be the pest of the 21st century.”

Once we recognize the severity of the problem that is beneath our beds, it is important to put a face on the epidemic.  A dirty, dirty face. 



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



Weekly Bedbug Link Rodeo

Posted: October 2nd, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bookies Pick the Four Seasons as Next Bedbug Strike [via the Village Voice]

Someone had to do it. “Unfortunately, what they didn’t anticipate was how easily this bet could be fixed….” Yikes.

Barack says WHAT?Bedbugs Found in Federal Government Building in D.C.
[via Fox News]

Yup, bedbugs have infiltrated yet another workplace: the US Agency for International Development at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Employees have been notified, skeeved out. Perplexingly, Fox News somehow managed to omit the fact that Barack Obama himself brought back the bedbugs from his Kenyan birthplace.

Woman Sleeps on Balcony to Escape Bedbugs [via Toronto Sun]

Now that sucks for Lori Howard. “Despite showering several times a night, changing clothes in her bathtub after neighbours warned they could see her disrobing outside, plus bug killer building staff applied, “they’re still there.””

It’s Not You, It’s Your Bedbugs [via WSJ.com]

Paranoia, the destroyer. It’s true, WebMD can get anyone feeling itchy. Though the article is satire, we at Nix Bedbugs still fear it’s only a matter of time before national news relays an unfortunate serious mental health incident, such as a bedbug-caused suicide or self injury.

9 Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs [via Cracked.com]

“…while waking up with tiny little bites is very trendy, it is also possibly the single most distressing non-Ke$ha-related-thing ever.” Hear, hear! Another funny. If we don’t laugh, we’d be crying.

Riled bedbugs hinder effort to fight house fire [via Denverpost.com]

File under: you know you have problems when… “The pesky bedbugs, animated by the fire, sought refuge on firefighters, latching onto equipment and gear. Firefighters had to guard against bringing the bugs back to their firehouse.”

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