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Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

Updated on December 2, 2011

Bedbug Epidemic in NYC

“Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” - I remember my mother saying this when she tucked me in - and after getting rid of the horrifying vision of giant bugs gnawing on me, I would drift off to sleep (something to do with Mr. Sandman).

I was never really concerned about bedbugs as a child. I took that popular refrain for just that - a popular refrain. But maybe now I should be concerned. It seems that NYC has a bedbug epidemic - according to a newspaper article. In fact these little blood suckers are of such concern that when one somehow managed to arrive in S. Korea recently - from the US, it made front page news.

What are bedbugs?

Exactly what are bedbugs? They are nocturnal insects that feed on blood. The adults can stay dormant for up to a year, waiting for a meal.

Why the epidemic?

Complaints to the City about bedbugs in hotels and private homes more than doubled in the last two years. While so-called experts say it is because we have stopped using the banned toxin DDT, I personally credit the epidemic to filth - as in when hotels are not properly steam cleaned, when mattress companies resell mattresses without proper steam cleaning.

Perhaps too, we need to learn to live with less padded furniture. Why must everything be padded and cushioned and curtained?

The article claims that bedbugs do not spread disease. If they do not spread disease, using dangerous toxins to kill them is overkill.

Where else are bedbugs found?

They are not just found in beds. They are found anywhere humans are. This can be movie theaters, subway benches, hotels, airplanes, cruise ships, anywhere…again I think a lack of cleanliness is the culprit. When the economy tanks, it seems like large corporations have no problem getting rid, of or greatly reducing, the cleaning staff.

You’ll know when your home is infested if you begin to find dark rust-colored spots on bed sheets. Some people are known to have an allergic reaction and develop welts which look like larger mosquito bites.

How do you get rid of them?

It is said that only a professional can get rid of them. Some exterminators have started using dogs who seem to be expert at digging out bed bugs; this can help pinpoint the problem if you have them and don't know exactly where.

I hope you are not feeling itchy right now.

For more suggested reading see links below:

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    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Robyn Gr-oss is the best way to describe it. A friend just told me that mattress companies that take old mattresses and load on their trucks with new mattresses - have the added risk of spreading bedbugs.

    • plaid pages profile image

      plaid pages 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Just reading this makes me itch.

      Gr-oss.

      Robyn

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome msorensson. I missed the Oprah show but I keep reading that so many hotels and office buildings and department stores are filled with bedbugs. We have to steam clean clean clean.

      Interesting Freya Cesare that they were gone for so long and now they are back. What are we doing wrong. One expert claims we have wiped out all the bugs that used to control the population. A friend told me he read we are importing so many clothes that have bed bugs in them. There has got to be a safe non-toxic way to control them.

      Hope all is well with you now. Thanks for writing!

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      7 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Bedbug is everywhere and scary creature indeed. I watched about them at Oprah too and they look really scary to me. I am really allergy to this creature. I have to make sure the bed, the clothes and everything I used clean from it or my skin will be reddened and painfully itchy. Really annoying! And thinking about how ugly they are, hiiii... Wash sheet in warm water usually can help. Also always vacuum bed and sofa, and carpet too. That will keep the bug away, I hope. :) Thank you.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 

      7 years ago

      Oh dear..I watched this show on Oprah...hmnn..we ought to pay attention. Thanks BkCreative.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      How interesting PaperNotes. Makes me think of the couple where she is bitten all night by mosquitoes while he sleeps peacefully. I wonder why.

      Hope it's not bedbugs!

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 

      7 years ago

      Bed bugs are not really friendly!hehe. I just told my hubby that there might be bed bugs in our bed but he would not believe me because I am the only one who gets bitten and not him!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello gr82bme! Will check right now - thanks for letting me know. Love that you are in the garden now. Fabulous!

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 

      7 years ago from USA

      Bk, we do think alike. lol. Did you read my hub on this?

      Ittook time to get it up. Been working in the garden. Harvest time.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      There was a time lee, so many of us would drag home something from the street - a great way to save money and recycle too. But now, yikes! - no telling what we are getting in to.

      Time to find a natural remedy. Of course it would help if hotels, airplanes, and larger corporations didn't cut costs on cleaning.

      Thanks for writing!

    • profile image

      lee 

      7 years ago

      im never gonna bring a futon home that i found.My body is so hurting,cought one i put it in bacon greasehot.My god even got a bight onmy nipple.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I think cleanliness is the key. Just spraying with deadly chemicals was not addressing the underlying issues - filth. There's a reason why it is happening in hotels and on airplanes etc. No deep cleaning.

      And yes wash your clothes after a hotel visit - in hot water!

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 

      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I have heard bed bugs are on the rise since the US stopped using heavy duty chemical sprays that eradicated them at one time. I guess the alternative is to spray your house heavily, or just find natural alternatives for dealing with bed bugs and pest in general. Personally I never spray and I will not even buy a can of raid. I just clean things, and after I stay in a hotel I was my clothes immediately when I come home.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR

      BkCreative 

      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome justmesuzanne. Too bad we are trading common sense for filth! Sigh!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Well, yuck! Thanks! =0

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