Friday, February 27, 2009

Bedbugs Are Back By Morgan Mandel

I thought mosquitos were bad! For the last few days on WLS 890 AM Talk Radio's Don Wade and Roma Show, one of the subjects has been bed bugs.

The Chicago Tribune newspaper reports a significant rise in United States sightings of these evil bloodsuckers, which attack unsuspecting victims in their beds at night.

Are you itching? Not yet? Keep reading.

These tiny little insects are camping out in hotel beds, on cruise ships, in nursing homes, hospitals and other likely spots. Click this link for a story about them in the New York Times. In this article entomologist Louis Sorkin mentions they're so small they're hard to find. If you see something a quarter inch long and it's reddish-brown, you may have found one, but there are many types. They not only feed on people, but also pets.

These nocturnal critters release some kind of nerve agent when they bite, numbing their victims during their feeds, until the damage is done. Afterwards, the fun and itching begin. If you scratch too much, you risk infection.

Why have they become so prevalent? Some people blame it on our shrinking world. Travelers are visiting more places where these tiny critters dwell and the nasty little things hitch a ride back on clothes or shoes, in suitcases, etc. Another reason is poor hygiene, with people being too busy or unable to spend money to wash sheets and pillowcases.

If you're traveling, what measures can you take to be safe? A few suggestions I heard on WLS were to check your sheets for little splotches of blood (that sound icky, doesn't it?), keep your covers tucked in, and make sure your bed doesn't rest against the wall.

Have you ever seen a bedbug or gotten bitten by one? Have you ever included bedbugs in a book you've written? Do you feel like doing so now? Did I make you itchy?

15 comments:

  1. I've had the despicable creepy things dine on my behind a couple of times. Back in the 70's when I traveled a lot with my rock and roll band. Watch out for those low budget seedy motels especially.

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  2. Ewww! Okay, I'm a traveller, and I'm scared! Yuck, yuck, yuck.. thanks for the info. Heebie-geebies! LOL! Jenni

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  3. Yeah, mentioning bedbugs does stir up a little itching but thankfully, not a huge attack like I would have by now had you mentioned head lice! Now, since I typed those words, watch -I'll probably be scratching my head all morning after that! GRRRRR.

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  4. Ahhkk. Bed bugs and head lice. Ahhtkk.

    Never been feasted upon by bed bugs. Knock, knock, knocking on wood. Jeez, I had to read this just before I go on vacation next week.

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  5. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! You know...I saw something on a documentary show one time that said that microscopic bed bugs are on your sheets/bedspread all the time and that you need to wash your bed clothes in hot water every night to alleviate some of the infestation. Ych huh?

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  6. After reading all these comments I am throughly grosed out! Double ew!yuck! patooie!

    I'm the one who has to keep buying new sheets, pillow cases, etc. cuz I keep washing mine so often they get thread bare!

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  7. EWWWW! As far as I know, I have not had this wonderful experience, lol!

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  8. Living on a sail bot this is something we've worried about, but as yet (knock on wood) we haven't had any aboard. As a matter of fact, our boat has been basically bug free all 8 years we've owned her. Well, if you count the mouse that got on board in Georgetown, Great Exuma, but that's a whole other story. (poor Pepito!)

    Joy Delgado
    Illustrator and publisher of bilingual children’s books
    http://goingbeyondreading.blogspot.com/

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  9. Never had occasion to run into the buggy critters. BUT, my daughter had a couple of unidentified bites on her body, so perhaps that is what it was.

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  10. My daughter had the bed bug experience in a motel and was so ill at the time she couldn't leave.

    We have been in hotel rooms where we knew the sheets had not been changed, and complained mightily until it happened.

    Yes, Yuk,yuk,yuk.

    Marilyn

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  11. When we traveled overseas last year-I brought along our own bedsacks-silky sleeping bag things that protect you from the sheets and pillows- worth it since we were visiting new countries in less then 4 star hotels... :)

    Got them at Linens and Things.

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  12. I actually had to stop reading this in mid-second sentence. Just thinking about those icky things makes my skin crawl.

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  13. Anonymous8:22 AM

    It's not merely low-budget motels. Disney's Cruise Ship, the Magic had bedbugs weeks after it was launched.

    Worse yet, I picked up crab lice in a London hotel room! Ech!

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  14. Anonymous6:48 PM

    My apartment was infested with bed bugs -yuck! It was truly awful. I have to dispel the hygiene myth though. Cleaning your sheets will not prevent or get rid of them. Mine were hiding in my walls and inside the boxsprings. After multiple extermination attempts I wound up throwing away everything I own and moving away. I think a neighbor brought them in w/ furniture he found on the street (ewww!) Thanks for blogging this.

    I blogged my experience here : www.bugbattle.blogspot.com warning - I was upset & potty-mouthed during this experience. Another good info spot is www.bedbugger.com

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