Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite
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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Camphor has been used for ages for a variety of purposes, including its use in cold medicine. However, the term 'camphor' is now being used for products that have been adulterated and are shown to be toxic. New York City's health department is warnin
- Health Warning About Imported Products Containing Le...
Lead warnings no longer apply just to paint and the lead dust that is the result of peeling paint. Now we are being bombarded with this poison through cosmetics, herbal remedies, pottery and candy. It pays to be informed.
- Use Lemongrass Oil to Repel Bugs
There are natural, chemical-free ways to repel bugs. Lemongrass will repel mosquitoes and mixed with another oil will repel other insects as well.