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I’d Like to Thank the Bedbug Academy

Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

There’s a cottage industry in the laborious and often tedious tasks of preparing an apartment or home for extermination, and like many temporary jobs, actors are swelling the ranks, according to this WSJ.com article.

Bed Bug Busters NY offers extermination prep services, and the owner, Janet Friedman, is a former Broadway stage manager who favors hiring actors for their personalities and quick thinking abilities, as well as ability to perform under pressure.

The actors performing the work don’t mind it, as it gives them a chance to see many different home interiors and observe human behavior first hand. “Everybody has some really cool tics—voices, things that they have, things that they do,” says a 25-year-old actress from Chicago. She also points out that it is sometimes necessary to fake it for a role: pretend even the direst contaminated hoarding situation is normal, for the benefit of the homeowner.

The work may include anything from de-cluttering, vacuuming, cleaning, washing, sealing, and moving furniture. It’s also flexible work that pays about $30 per hour, which beats filing with a bedbug-encrusted stick. Sign us up!

The article gives the impression that bedbugs cannot be easily conquered without professional help, which is not entirely true, but it’s nice to know that services like this exist. If you have $1000 to spare for a day of help attacking your problem, this is a boon.

Thanks to alert reader A.W. for the tip.



Link Rodeo 11/13/2010

Posted: November 13th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Dogs are able bedbug busters, but only when backed by humans, via The Vancouver Sun
There goes my theory that I should just buy a trained beagle as a house pet. It turns out you need as astute handler to perform visual inspections in order to confirm any infestation. Some dogs may be “inventing” bedbugs in order to gain a reward such as a treat. That would be just my luck; I’d end up assuming I’m drowning in bedbugs when Sparky just wants some Snausages. As always, it seems our eyes are one of our best lines of defense in the bedbug battle, although dogs do have uncanny abilities to sniff out the little pests. According to the article, it can sometimes be tricky to confirm visually if the dog hits along a baseboard or wall. It’s certainly possible for bedbugs to live in out of the way places like those. And most handlers swear that their training protocols are impeccable.

From Blackfoot to Boise, Idaho bit by bedbugs, via NECN

I thought Boston was always busy spending time trying to prove it’s as good as New York, but apparently Idaho has gotten in on the action. Is travel to blame in bringing bedbugs home to Idaho? That’s one theory proposed in the article, which reports that local pest control companies are seeing a 400 to 500% increase in bedbug-related calls.

Does Pestilence Threaten Our Portfolios?, via Fool.com

Are bedbugs a boon for pesticide manufacturer and all around 800-pound gorilla Monsanto (MON) and Orkin, a unit of Rollins (ROL)? This article points out that about $258 million may have been spent last year on bedbugs, but sadly, no direct proof of a boost to the bottom line for these companies is provided. The money must be floating around too wildly, like in one of those hurricane machines at the mall.

And while some companies may benefit, others clearly stand to lose, such as those in the hospitality industry. This post mentions Alison Trainer’s lawsuit against Hilton in 2007 for about the 746,319th time that the internet has helpfully cited the case while providing no update on the outcome. We’re going to have to look into that one. Did Hilton really have to shell out the $6 mill? Was it settled? Dropped?  I am left positive that I should apply for a job with Fool.com, if no actual reporting is required. I can do that!

School district finds bedbugs (Anchorage, Alaska), via KTUU.com

More with the bridge and tunnel action! First Idaho, now Alaska? Is there no place in America that’s safe? Have they fashioned little rafts and headed for Guam and Puerto Rico yet? The Anchorage school system is using heat treatment on the affected schools after a handful of students have been complaining of bedbug bites since the start of the school year.

The article also helpfully suggests checking beds for “specks” and hanging clothing far away from the bed in hotels (since closets are normally right above beds, eh?). Frankly, we think our advice on hotels and visual inspections is a little better.



But What Would Steve Jobs Say About Traumatic Insemination?

Posted: November 1st, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Well, nerds, now the New York Times tell us there is in fact an app for bedbugs. Wish I’d thought of that one! It’s a Google map using GPS to identify bedbug-riddled areas, informed by media reports, governement agencies, and users of the service.

Will seeing little red pins all over New York make you any more cautious than you already are? I say semper paratus, like a good scout. You don’t need a map to tell you bedbugs are everywhere. Of course they are! You should use the same caution no matter where you go, from the fancy places bedbugs like to go like nice hotels to the dive theater where you take the date you don’t like to take out where real people are.

Am I the only one above carrying a tiny Maglite on my keychain for a quick look-see into the potential habitats of bedbugs? Spend that $1.99 for the app on your poor hideous date instead.



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.



Weekly Link Rodeo, 10/19/10

Posted: October 19th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

OK, so the rodeo is a little late this week. I normally like to cram it in over a hangover on the weekend. But I had obligations and shenanigans, see. Like a migrating loon, I was traveling to my ancestral home, a few hundred miles away. Of course I checked all the beds and the staff of JetBlue for bedbugs. They don’t like that, it turns out. They also don’t like that lady who clapped and said “YAY!” when informed the coffee was really Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Anyway, after my dad stopped laughing at my internet farming enterprises, he told me that he had bedbugs in the 1930s, as a tender child, in his apartment in Park Slope! So the song remains the same, Brooklynites. I offered him the chance to write up the tale of that experience in exchange for absolutely no money, but he didn’t jump on that one for some reason. If you want to hear the story, stomp and hold your breath in the comments, and maybe we’ll reach consensus.

***

NH School cancels field trip for bedbugs at camp [via NECN.com]

I think you get the gist here. Those poor bedbugs aren’t going to camp due to some harsh, pencil-necked paperpusher. Oh, you mean the children aren’t going to camp because there were bedbugs at the camp. Well, why didn’t you say so?  Nature’s Classroom at Camp Cody in Freedom turned out to have bedbugs. Discovered by dogs, being treated by some unnamed method.  Nature’s. Classroom. I can’t think of a more authentic way for children to learn, honestly. You’re just going to be dealing with this same problem when you find yourself at 18 and run off to NY, clutching your well-worn Rent DVD. You’re not gonna pay the rent! Except you are, and you’ll pay even if you have bedbugs! Insolent whelp.

Bedbugs found in Maine hospital surgical unit [via NECN.com again]

Just last week, bedbugs were discovered at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston….

It was a patient who first alerted staff to the presence of bedbugs in one of the medical surgical units. The floor remains closed as a precaution until officials are sure the bedbugs are gone.

Wow, New England is hopping, er, crawling these days! Aren’t you glad you live in NY, then, paying your rent? Oh, wait. I can’t imagine which would piss me off more after surgery: wake up with MRSA or frigging BEDBUGS. Can’t they just randomly aim a large laser around and kill them all?



Weekly Bedbug Link Rodeo, 10/10/10

Posted: October 10th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bedbugs or no bedbugs, what’s ‘sleep tight’ mean?, [The Journal Gazette]

In short: no one really knows. Does it have something to do with a system of ropes? Making bedbug barriers out of your duvet? Your dumb idea is as good as a guy’s. The OED says “It seems that tight in this expression is the equivalent of the only surviving use of the adverb tightly, meaning soundly, properly, well, effectively.” That’s tight, yo.

Smitherman vows to eradicate bedugs, [Toronto Sun]

Are bedbugs the next war on drugs/terror/cankles? A Toronto mayoral candidate is gearing up to kick ass and take names, if elected. About $3 million dollars in Canada money will be required to do this. There will be protocols, people. It’s about time.

EPA-Registered Bed Bug Products: Product Search Tool,  [via EPA.gov]

Hmm, a way to find just the right pesticide to murtilize all your bedbugs? That sounds great! Their treatment location options include Mattress, Whole House, Whole Room, or Crack/Surface/Void. Let’s say I’ve got a crack that needs treating. It’s a nasty one. I have no idea which product I’m interested in, so I’ll leave the first search box blank. Do I know a specific ingredient? Well, no, I’m just a sap with bedbugs. Am I looking for a company name? Monsanto, they’re pretty evil, right? Oh, not there. Hmmm. OK, do I know the EPA registration number of my pesticide of choice? Well, no.  Fire it up anyway. Wow, only 32 pages of results to treat my crack problem!

Bedbugs make your trigger finger itch? [via WaPo]

A list of products and speculation on their varying levels of importance/efficacy from an entomologist. “Pillow protectors: Unnecessary. Bed bugs typically don’t chill out in pillows, where there are too many disturbances for their taste.” Picks include mattress covers, Ziploc bags, ClimbUp bed leg monitors, and portable heating units, among others.

Bed bugs expected in more schools [via WCSH6.com]

Some lucky, or unlucky, depending on your age and maturity level, kids in Maine got a few days off as pest control professionals treated their classrooms and busses after some students developed bite marks. Search dogs and heat treatment techniques were used. Bedbugs cropping up in schools will be an ongoing problem, and families will need to be vigilant to avoid a home infestation brought back from school. Schools need comprehensive plans for inspections and prevention and treatment. I wonder if faking bedbugs will be the next hot way to get sent home from school for the day? In my day, all we ever had was stomach cramps!



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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