Sunday, December 31, 2006

One "Expert" Opinion on Foggers

By now it is fairly well known that foggers, or "bug bombs" as they are often called, do little to get rid of bed bugs. It is often said that foggers not only do not kill bed bugs but simply disturb them and cause them to scatter, only to return once the fogger has worn off. But many people use these anyway to kill roaches in their homes whether or not they have bed bugs. An anonymous poster who claimed to be a pest control technician and recently commented on my June 23 post had the following to say:

As a pest control tech of 11 years I wish you good luck. A warning though....use
the wrong product (repellents) and it's all over for you. You will push those
bedbugs up into the walls and they can lay dormant a lot longer than the active
in most pesticides.

If you've ever used foggers before (like I have) to kill roaches and you have this comment can especially be applied to bug bombs.

After reading this comment, it dawned on me that the bed bugs, holed up within your walls waiting for the fogger's spray to disappear, could easily spend this quiet time breeding and laying eggs. Long story short, if you have bed bugs AND roaches in your home, consider using a non-repellent (like a direct insecticide) to deal with your roach problem.

Merry Christmas, by the way, and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bugged Out in the News!

Last month a reporter from the Queens Tribune left a comment on Bugged Out saying she wanted to interview me for a story about bed bugs in Queens (where I live) and left her number. So I called her, did the interview and yesterday picked up this week's copy of the Tribune and found the article.

Check out the article. It's pretty good.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bedbug or Bed Bug?

I've often wondered, as I write this blog, is the proper spelling bed bug or bedbug? Sure, it's a minor concern in the face of all the crap we must worry about, but it's still a question to which few have the answer.

Well, I came across an article in the Village Voice by Mara Altman that seemed to clear things up. Here's a quote from that feature article, which by the way is an interesting read if you have the time (you know how long those Voice feature articles can be, and this is no exception). And if you don't have the time, you can read the fun excerpts below:

"Sorkin went to the Bug Off convention the next day as part of his ongoing
efforts to ensure that his information is the latest. As Branscome strode up,
the male exterminators whistled and clapped as if she were their favorite
comic-book hero come to life. The first issue she addressed is one that has
mystified us all: Is it bedbugs, or bed bugs? According to this expert, it's two
words in the United States and one word in Europe (in direct opposition to
Village Voice style). With information like that, the $100 entrance fee has
already paid for itself. "

Here the article focuses on the stigma caused by bed bugs:

"In a city where people already depend on Ambien for a good night's sleep, the
thought of bedbugs has wreaked havoc on circadian rhythms from homeless shelters
to $2 million loft apartments. The thought of them is making people itch—not the
bedbugs themselves, whose numbers don't even quite live up to the media hype.
What has yet to be quantified—but what has become an urban infestation of its
own—is the paranoia that the bedbug craze has produced. It turns out, perhaps no
surprise in a city as neurotically obsessed as New York, that something as small
as a bedbug can grow colossal in the minds of millions.
The stigma alone is enough to make hardened city dwellers cringe and cry on Eisenberg's shoulder. He begins each office visit by walking new clients over to a sliver of mirror around the corner from his desk. "Repeat after me," he says as he forces the victims to study their reflection. "I'm not a dirty person." Then he offers them a shot of scotch from a bottle he keeps in his filing cabinet. It's an equal-opportunity bug, he explains. The bugs find a 40-year-old pediatric neurosurgeon on the Lower East Side equally appetizing as a 27-year-old comedian in midtown. In the world of bedbugs, a big-time entrepreneur on the Upper East Side has nothing on a twentysomething unemployed actor. A successful movie director on the Upper West Side shares equal ground with a 22-year-old starving grad student. All the bugs are looking for is a drop of blood, and each of us has about five liters. In a city of 8 million, that's 10,566,882 gallons of bedbug food. Is it any wonder we're terrified?"

The article also covered an exterminator's convention where among the topics discussed there was creative, chemical methods of rendering bed bugs unable to mate and therefore reproduce.

"Anti-Viagra: That's what Linares calls one of his most promising bedbug-fighting pesticides. The pesticide was originally used for cockroaches; it freezes them in an adolescent phase so they never could mate. But Linares found the substance does something different to bedbugs. It shrinks their appendages, making them unable to harden up and penetrate. I didn't ask what the substance does to bipedal mammals."


Monday, December 11, 2006

Karma's A Bitch

Hey all,

A friend of mine who does not have bed bugs recently asked me if she could collect a few live bugs and put them in a baggie. When I asked why, she explained that she and her new ex-boyfriend were going to meet one last time at his place to exchange possessions they had left at each other's homes, and she wanted to plant a few bugs underneath his pillow to ruin any chances of having sex with any women he brings back home.

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." - William Congreve


I said, "Look honey. Karma's a bitch. You pull some underhanded shit like that and I guarantee God will make sure one of those buggies escape and end up under your pillow." I also said that when people break up, there's always the chance they may get back together for one night just to have sex. What if his infestation becomes full blown? She's not going to have sex at his place, and then she'll have to explain why. And if he goes to her place or to a motel, there's a chance a bed bug might be clinging on to his clothing and jump on to hers. You know how a spontaneous or even a planned sexual encounter can be. No one ever neatly folds their clothes. They just peel off every stitch of clothing and fling it all over the room. Then you spend 20 minutes afterward looking for your left sock.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi all,

Hope you can stop scratching bedbug bites and supress your bedbug paranoia long enough to enjoy this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bedbugs in Russia

Someone told me that bedbugs have run rampant in Russia, and that Russian women (well, the ones who are homemakers, I suppose) have become experts in killing bedbugs. So when they come over to the U.S., this whole infestation thing is old hat for them. They track them, they kill the bugs, they even set up makeshift bed bug traps. Can anyone verify this? If this is true, maybe some Americans should be sending out for those Russian mail-order brides.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Haven't seen any bugs in a few days, which is great because with our midterms going on the last few weeks, M and I wouldn't have had the time to take care of them, or un-clutter the room. Our books, sylabi and papers are all over the place, a real bed bug magnet. Plus I haven't even had time to try out the Suspend insecticide.

Speaking of school, has anyone tried those online colleges? Because I am always late to class and it affects my grade and the commute is a hassle. and with all the technology available these days, it seems kind of archaic and unecessary to have everyone meet at the same place and at the same time and punish those who fail to do so. I did a search of online schools, and found a distance learning college that piqued my interest, Capella University. It's accredited and has a lot of graduate degree programs. It's too late to do my undergrad there, (I'm a senior) but it's a definite candidate school to consider when I start looking for a graduate degree.*

*Don't mind my babbling. I'm in school right now and the professor lectured me in front of everybody about the importance of coming in on time today. That's why I'm searchng for a better alternative at the school computer lab.

Crinkle, Crinkle

M and I just bought two pillows at a 99 cent store to replace the ones I threw out in July which were full of bed bugs. These pillows came in a kind of cellophane bag, so we decided to tape up the opening of each bag with the pillow still inside to keep the bugs from crawling inside. Then we just stuff the whole thing in a pillowcase. So far we've had the pillows for a week and we haven't seen any bed bugs on them yet. The only drawback is that M and I are both notorious chronic tossers and turners, so the cellophane bag goes "crinkle crinkle" everytime we change positions or basically anytime we touch them.

oh well.

crinkle crinkle.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bed Bug Map & City Pamphlets

Just wanted to inform everyone about Bedbug City, a new mapping project that shows where in New York City and Boston bed bugs have struck, right down to street addresses. The map even allows participants to tell how intense their particular infestation has been. The only downside is that the reporting is done in complete anonymity, so there's no way to gauge if reports are real, or just submitted falsely. But I think most people will behave honestly when submitting bed bug infestation. I encourage everyone to go to Bedbug City and report their infestations, if for no other reason than to let people know just how much of a problem this is.

Also, I wanted to add to a comment a person made about the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's bed bug pamphlets I wrote about in my last entry. The poster grumbled that the general one was kind of lame as opposed to the one for hotels. Unfortunately, I have to agree with this poster's opinion. I didn't want to give a critique of the pamphlets because I didn't want to discourage anyone from viewing them.

In any case, if you haven't already viewed these pamphlets paid for by your tax dollars, feel free to do so and offer your own opinion.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Bed Bug ID and NYC Bed Bugs Pamphlet

Two quick updates:

Back in August I wrote about how to more accurately identify if the insects in your home are in fact bed bugs by using glue traps to catch them and then calling 311 to find out how to send them to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) laboratory.

I came across this web site yesterday owned by entomologist Richard Fagerlund, who calls himself "the Bugman". He seems to be offering to identify bed bugs and other insects so long as you're willing to pay the postage to mail them to him and a small donation. Here's the text from his site if you don't like clicking on links.

I will be happy to identify insects or other arthropods (bugs) from anywhere in
the country. If you want a bug or bugs identified, please put them in
alcohol, pack them securely in a box and mail them to me at PO Box 2427,
Edgewood, NM 87015. The only exception to the alcohol would be
moths. They need to be shipped dry, placed in cotton and packed in a film
canister or something similar so they will arrive intact.
Please include $10
(Cash, check or M.O.) for any bugs you want identified. If you send more
than one species of bug for identification, include $10 per species. All
the proceeds from this service will go to animal welfare.

He'll probably do a faster and better job of identifying bed bugs than the City will.

The other update is that the DOHMH has released two bed bug pamphlets, a general one and one for those in the hospitality industry. Both publications are available only in PDF format.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Bed Bugs: Beware the Wrath of Charlie!

I figured I'd give you guys a break from all the hard news (bugs sprays, City Council hearings, etc.) and give you somethng a bit more light-hearted. Meet my family's pet turtle, Charlie.
He eats broccoli and meatballs, but one day I discovered my 13-year old nephew was catching cockroaches and feeding them to him.

From then on, whenever I'd spot a bed bug anywhere in the apartment, I'd bring it right to Charlie, whose appetite made sure that bug would never bother me again. So far I've fed about a dozen or so bed bugs to him over the last two weeks.

I guess you could call Charlie a form of organic insecticide. Watch out, bed bugs!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Council Hearing Testimony

I contacted Councilwoman Brewer's office and asked for copies of written testimony given at the hearing. They haven't gotten back to me but I was able to find excerpts from one bed bug expert (An expert excerpt? Say that five times fast!), Gilbert Bloom of the New York State Pest Management Association in Pest Control Technology magazine. Below are some excerpts from the excerpts. Here, Mr. Bloom bluntly states that if a bed bug task force is formed by this bed bug bill, exactly what the task force should do.

"If a committee is to be formed, it must not only gain accurate field
information but it must be able to evaluate it and turn it into an effective
multi cultural information and educational program. And of this program, an
important target group must be children, as they are the bridge to many parents,
they tend to see things on a micro- managed level and finally they have the
patience and interest to look for bed bugs as they themselves are all too often
the victims of these vampires of the night.”

The article can be read in its entirety here.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bed Bug Hearing News Search

As promised, I have done a quickie search of local news sources for stories about last week's hearing. So here I have links to each story along with what I found to be that story's strongest passage.

Also, I received an eyewitness report from fellow bed bug blogger and faithful reader The Caitlinator. Apparently City agencies are trying to pass the buck (as usual) as to whose responsibility it should be to deal with bed bugs in New York.

I went to the hearing. There were a lot of experts talking about bedbugs, but
probably the height of the debate centered around whether or not bedbugs pose a
health concern. The Department of Health wants to pass the buck to Housing,
claiming that bedbugs pose no health threats. Of course, anyone who has had
bedbugs would disagree, since mental health is certainly health, and it causes
severe mental distress to discover and then live with bedbugs over any period of
time.Many experts spoke, an entomologist from the Museum of Natural History as
well as another from Harvard University, a representative from some council on
mattress sellers, lawyers and representatives from the Housing Department,
exterminators, the Department of Health, and members of the public who are
dealing with bedbugs. All in all, there was a lot of repetitive information and
the bill itself wasn't discussed in much detail. What was clear is that bedbugs
are a problem that the city has to address in some way or another, either
through education or licensing exterminators for bedbugs, or legal means to
protect both homeowners and tenants. Hope this helps.

The Caitlinator also provided her own list of links to news stories covering the hearing.

"City Council Working To Stomp Out Growing Bed Bug Problem" - NY1

Councilwoman Gale Brewer introduced the bill and says they can affect any
New Yorker. "I have received calls from personal experiences from friends living
in brownstones on the West Side of Manhattan, and we have received calls from
individuals living in single room occupancies in residential hotels," she said.
"It does seem very clear to me that bed bugs do not discriminate based on

"Losing sleep over boom in bedbugs" - Newsday

After hundreds of complaints, the City Council held a public hearing yesterday
during which a Harvard University entomologist, pest-control experts and
officials with the Bloomberg administration agreed the bedbug population is
exploding across the city and throughout North America, Europe and
Australia. Apartments, hotel rooms, private homes - nowhere is safe.

"City takes aim at exploding bed bugs problem" – Newsday

After hundreds of complaints, the City Council held a public hearing Monday during which a Harvard University entomologist, pest-control experts and officials with the Bloomberg administration agreed the bed-bug population is exploding across the city and throughout North America, Europe and Australia.

Friday, September 29, 2006

DDT Debate

I'm pleased to see that a small debate has erupted (is there such a thing as a small eruption?) over the legalization of DDT. Already one reader have agreed with my previous DDT post while another has criticized me. The heart of the debate seems to be a 1960s book by Rachel Carson called Silent Spring. In the book, Carson claims that DDT causes cancer in humans and thins the shells of bird eggs. She also stressed this concept of environmental connectedness, which basically states that although a pesticide is designed to kill one organism, its effects are absorbed into the food chain, until it ultimately poisons humans.

Unfortunately for the late Rachel Carson, there has never been any substantial evidence of DDT and other pesticides killing or even hurting humans, and even the impact on widlife is not directly fatal.

Personally, I believe that DDT should be legalized, for two purposes:
1) To use in eradicating bed bugs
2) To do legitimate research on this chemical to verify just how harmful DDT may or may not be

I am a libertarian, which means I don't trust the government to make decisions about what I can do on my property, what I can do with or put in my body, and other personal decisions I make about my life. I believe the government, especially on the federal level, is highly unaccountable and does whatever it wants, including criminalizing things for political reasons rather than concern for the safety and well-being of Americans. I am an advocate for the legalization of marijuana, and not because I'm some huge pothead (I'm not) but because I feel the punishments associated with marijuana possession, trafficking and sales are far more harmful than the narcotic itself. Still, more and more people (especially Baby Boomers) claim that marijuana possesses certain medicinal benefits. Republicans say we must continue our War on Drugs and keep increasing the prison population by cracking down on marijuana. Democrats complain that they can't advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana because there isn't enough legitimate research.

Well, how can you conduct legitimate research on an illegal substance? The current research being done in the U.S. on marijuana is really very little compared to research conducted on the same substance in European universities and laboratories. This is because the U.S. has a War on Drugs and a slew of authoritarian rules and penalties for marijuana possession, trafficking and sales. There are many restrictions on how much research an American laboratory can do on marijuana, plus research can often take years and years for concrete results to emerge.

This is the same problem with DDT. How can research be done on an illegal pesticide? From what I've read so far on the DDT ban, it seems that Silent Spring jumpstarted the Environmentalism Movement in the U.S., some tree huggers formed special interest groups and forced the federal government to ban it completely by 1972. There is no mention of any attempt to research DDT in the 1960s or 70s to determine how true Carson's claims are. All I hear is Silent Spring + angry environmentalists = DDT ban.

Where do you stand on this issue?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bed Bug Hearing

First off, let me apologize for not keeping you up to date on the September 18 City Council bed bug hearing. I know it was more than a week ago, but work, school and my home life have me swamped and I promise I will get more information on what went on this week. If anyone attended that hearing and would like to give a report or commentary on hwo the hearing went, please leave a comment.

Though I haven't been able to thoroughly find out what took place at the hearing, I did visit the New York City Council web site and find out more about this bill. And yes, it is a bill, not a toothless resolution. As I explained before, a bill is a piece of legislation that if approved, becomes a law whereas a resolution, if approved is simply an official declaration (like declaring Black History Month or Breast Cancer Awareness Day or demanding George W. Bush withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq) which has no actual power behind it.

I'm in a bit of a rush right now, so I don't have time to break down everything I've seen on the Council web site about this bill, but I will be happy to provide the site's many links to this legislation. Let me know if any of these links are faulty.

The Official Terms of the Bill Known as Intro. 57-2006

The History of Intro. 57-2006

Report on Intro. 57-2006 from the Council Committee on Consumer Affairs

For those unfamiliar with government jargon and legalese, I promise to provide an adequate translation in my next post.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bed Bug City Council Hearing

For those of you who read Bugged Out back in February, you know that I reported that City Councilmember Gale Brewer announced plans to hold a hearing on the bed bug problem in New York City in hopes of finding a solution to the problem.

Well, I just recieved a heads up from her people about the hearing, scheduled to be held this Monday, September 18 at 1 pm. I strongly encourage everybody who can show up to this hearing to do so. Here is the message I receieved.

Legislation Bans Bed Bug Breeding Grounds

Contact: Shula Warren Office: (212) 788-6975 Mobile: (347) 668-9576

WHAT: Public Hearing on Int. 57: “ The Bed Bug Bill”

WHO: Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Entomologist Dr. Louis Sorkin of the American Museum of Natural History, Dr. Richard Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health, Steven DeCastro, Esq., Jeffrey Eisenberg of Pest Away Exterminating, and others

WHEN: 1 p.m., Monday, September 18, 2006

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall

Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan) will join Council Member Leroy Comrie, Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs at a public hearing on Intro 57-2006 ("The Bed Bug Bill") on Monday, September 18, 2006 from 1pm-4pm in the Council Chambers, located on the second floor of City Hall. Intro 57, as introduced by Council Member Gale A. Brewer (District 6: Upper West Side, Manhattan), bans the sale of reconditioned mattresses and establishes a Bed Bug Task Force to explore solutions to this problem and look at ways to educate the public about bed bugs. City agency officials, entomologists, and exterminators have been invited to testify. Members of the public are also encouraged to testify on their personal experiences with bed bugs. Bed bug infestations have reached epidemic levels throughout the City, affecting New Yorkers in households of all economic levels, hotels, and even police precincts.


Unfortunately, I have class on Monday until 2:30 and I wont be able to get to City Hall before 4 pm. I will be calling the Council Press Corps to gather testimonies given by the four aforementioned seakers and anyone else who shows up to provide testimony. If anyone wants to speak at the hearing and shock the audience with your own bed bug horror story, go for it.

FYI: City Hall is right next to the City Hall/Brooklyn Bridge station on the 4 train. I don't recommend driving there, as parking in lower Manhattan is a bitch. Once you get out of the train station City Hall will be easy to find as it is surrounded by cops. Prepare for the metal detector; what I do is just remove my coat and run it through the conveyor rather than have the cop wave that stupid metal detector wand up and down my body 10,000 times. Bring ID as the NYPD will not let you enter City Hall without it.

Once you're inside the Council Chambers, please do not make any outbursts or applause as the Council security guards act like nightclub bouncers and will promptly throw you out of City Hall altogether. Most of the more prominent speakers will provide written copies of their testimony a minute or two before they say it to the Council and the audience. The copies that the speaker gives to the guard will be stacked onto the press table. If you don't have a press ID, the guards may not let you take a copy. The best thing to do in this situation is to approah the speaker (after they've given testimony and have returned to their seat) and ask them for a hard copy or to send you a copy via e-mail.

If whatever you have to say sounds smilar or identical to testimony given by someone before you, the best thing to do is simply state your name, state that you agree with the previous speaker and state your support for any legislation that can help rid New Yorkers of bed bugs. Repeating what was just said makes the speaker look stupid and wastes everyone's time. Understand that everything you say when you step up to the podium will be recorded by the Council and any

Chances are there will be significant media coverage of this hearing, so I will provide links to any articles I find on this event.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The DDT Link

I came across this seemingly mundane article from this web site for a news station in Ohio. It read the same as a hundred other stories I'd seen: bed bugs unseen in U.S. for fifty years, they hide in beds and headboards, bites and welts, etc.

But then I saw something rather interesting, dare I say, fascinating.

But 50 years after DDT basically eradicated bed bugs in this country, they're back.
DDT is banned now, so getting rid of the quarter-inch little buggers isn't easy. . . but getting them is.

I had seen a correlation months ago between the period of time that bed bugs seemed to have been (almost) driven to extinction in the U.S. (1950s-1960s) and 1972, the year DDT was banned by the EPA. Some web sites and news reports I've read have alluded to the connection between bed bugs and DDT, but this is the first time I've seen a news report clearly link the two together.

I quickly Googled "DDT and bed bugs" and found a lot of interesting links, which I will share with you now.

From what I've read so far, the main reason for the demand for the legalization of DDT is the rise of malaria in third-world countries. Apparently, DDT was used primarily to kill the mosquitoes which carried malaria. In The DDT Ban Myth, it states the following passage from a book titled Trashing the Planet:

Public health statistics from Sri Lanka testify to the effectiveness of the
spraying program. In 1948, before the use of DDT, there were 2.8 million
cases of malaria. By 1963, there were only 17. Low levels of
infection continued until the late 1960s, when the attacks on DDT in the U.S.
convinced officials to suspend spraying. In 1968, there were one million
cases of malaria. In 1969, the number reached 2.5 million, back to the
pre-DDT levels. Moreover, by 1972, the largely unsubstantiated charges
against DDT in the United States had a worldwide effect. In 1970, of two
billion people living in malaria regions, 79 percent were protected and the
expectation was that malaria would be eradicated. Six years after the
United States banned DDT, there were 800 million cases of malaria and 8.2
million deaths per year. Even worse, because eradication programs were
halted at a critical time, resistant malaria is now widespread and travelers
could take it home.

From what I've read, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that alleged DDT as being harmful to humans, even in trace amounts. The main concern is that a few humans have experienced some non-fatal side effects of DDT ingestion and that birds are affected by laying eggs with thinner eggs, increasing the chances for baby birds to die before hatching.

A small price to pay for the legalization of DDT, I think.

I think now is the time to contact our Congressmembers and demand for the legalization of DDT. When they ask why, you can tell them how your heart goes out to all the little African and South Asian children who lost their mommies and daddies to malaria. Of course, you can also remind them that millions of Americans are suffering psychologically from bed bugs, real estate values are plummeting from properties infested with bed bugs and our nation's hospitality industry will suffer with a drecrease in foreign visitors--and all the money they bring with them.

Of course, Congress will drag its ass to get this done, so in the meantime (I hope this isn't too irresponsible to propose). why don't we smuggle it in? Every day, cocaine, marijuana, firearms, Cuban cigars, people, and all other sorts of contraband that find its way past our country's borders and into our homes. So why not DDT?

For anyone reading this who regularly purchases illegal drugs, please tell your friendly neighborhood drug dealer you'd like to know just how much it would cost to get your hands on some DDT. Trust me, this is basic economics: create the demand, and the supply will create itself. There must be some part of the world where DDT is still legal. And that part of the world is about to get a lot of American dollars.

Or maybe we could manufacture DDT in the garages and tool sheds of those cute little suburban homes they way they do with the meth labs. We could be proud because like crystal meth, DDT is also MADE IN AMERICA!!!!

(waving the Stars and Stripes)

God, I hope this entry doesn't get me arrested.


Has It Really Been A Month?

Hey everybody. I have to apologize for taking so long to post.

Thanks to a summer job I took working on a political campaign, I've been working 12 to 15-hour days, six to seven days a week. Thankfully, the Democratic Primary was last Tuesday, and the sweatshop has closed down. I'm back to working a few hours a day and juggling school, allowing me to return to the rest of my life, and of course, this blog.

For thsoe of you who have been reading the previous entries, I did recieve the Suspend AC in the mail. but due to the busy work schedule between August and this week, I didn't have time to mix and apply it! Thankfully, there have been only two or three bed bug sightings since August.

Expect to see a new post tomorrow, or perhaps even today.

And again, sorry to leave you hanging for so long.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bed Bug Detection Tip

I just got a really good tip on what to do if you think you have an infestation in your home, but aren't sure if the perpetrators are bed bugs because you haven't actually seen them.

Set glue traps on the floor, the really sticky kind used for rats. Make sure you place them in a part of the floor where you won't be likely to step in it, like under your bed or under furniture. By morning you should have some insect trapped on it. If you can't identify the trapped bug from the many, many, MANY photos of bed bugs floating around the Web, or if you want a second opinion from a professional, stuff the insect(s) along with the trap (don't try to touch the trap) into a large Ziploc bag and call 311 to find a Department of Health laboratory who can analyze the specimen and confirm whether the insect is a bed bug or not. I understand this is a free service, I'm not completely sure of that.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mutant Bed Bugs?

Someone told me about a new species of bed bug that has wings and buzzes about like a fly. It can only fly short distances, but its power of flight allows it to fly onto humans rather than simply crawling.

This person said he heard about it from someone else, so I'm taking this piece of news with a grain of salt.

Evolution usually occurs within a species as a survival mechanism. I'm thinking (if this is true!)the bed bugs evolved and grew wings in order to have easier access to their prey and to avoid any residual pesticides which may be on the floor or furniture.

Can anyone verify the existence of this mutant species? I really hope this is just some rumor.

Update: I don't feel comfortable sleeping in my room tonight. I've seen about a dozen bed bugs in one hour, plus I can smell their musky scent, something I haven't smelled in a long, long time.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Survey #1: How Do YOU Sleep?

FYI, blood and gut stains have reappeared on my sheets and pillows. And I have been itching a bit. But I digress.

In talking to people who also heave dealt with bed bugs, different people seem to have employed different methods of having a full-night's sleep despite the itching, the paranoia and the biting stings that come with living with bed bugs. Some people drink to lull themselves to relax and sleep, others take sleepiing pills, some do sit-ups in bed with the lights out until theyre too tired to move. A few people have begun smoking pot to put themselves to sleep, even people who quit smoking it years ago.

So here's my survey question: what do you do to relax yourself (or tire yourself out) in order to fall asleep desite the bed bugs which will most likely bite you during the night?

You can find my response in the Comments window. I look forward to reading the answers people leave.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Oooh-oooh, aaah-aaah

Of all the places to be bitten by a bed bug, why my underarms?

The bugs are acting really stealthy (is that a word?), like ninjas. I don't see them, I don't see any stains on my sheets or pilow of their droppings or guts. The only way I know they're still here is the few bites. I got the underarm bites a few days ago, causing me to scratch my underarms when I think no one's watching. Already today five people have caught me and asked, "Are you a monkey? Ha ha ha ha!"

Yeah, real funny. They don't believe me when I tell them mosquitoes bit my underarm. I'm surprised no one has asked me if I caught crabs. A real bad case of crabs.

Waitin' for my paycheck to clear so I can order that Suspend from where????

Friday, July 28, 2006

Spread The Word!

As an anonymous commenter so thoughtfully posted, there is a company that will mail Suspend to New York!

I checked out the site and found nothing claiming that Suspend could not be shipped to New York. Mysteriously enough, DoMYownpestcontrol is in Georgia, just like Doyourownpestcontrol, which does not ship Suspend to New York. In any case the wonderful commenter said that he has successfully recieved Suspend in the mail.

I'm just glad I didn't have to make some out-of-state arrangement to have a shipment of Suspend delivered somewhere and then smuggled into New York like it was heroin. I have a sister in Philly was agreed to have it delivered to her apartment and she would either mail it via DHL.

To be honest, I was almost kinda looking forward to meeting her in Penn Station (She takes the SEPTA to NJ Transit to get here from Philly) and looking around cautiously before muttering, "You got the product?" and she hands me the package like it's a big coke deal going down. Hahahaha!

My sister's partner has family in Brooklyn, so she and my sister make frequent trips between Philly and Brooklyn. They usually bring Philly cheesesteaks (I tried them for the first time when I visited them in Philly and God, were they delicious! The ones in New York are okay, but they nust can't compare.) and they could've brought the pesticide, too. Oh, well.

I'm just waiting for my next paycheck so I can order some.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Like A Really Bad Sequel...

…to a movie that never should have been made!

Oh, man. Woke up the other day to find an adult bed bug on my pillow. I guess I had been itching for the last few days, but most times I can’t tell if it’s a legitimate itch (we men do itch quite often), a bed bug bite or my own paranoia recreating the sensations of a bed bug bite. Some birthday present! Last night I saw a small bed bug crawling across my bedroom floor. I immediately scooped it up with a wad of tissue and flushed the whole thing down the toilet.

I always kind of figured they weren’t really all gone. The total disappearance of bed bugs following the disposal of my bed, mattress and headboard was too good to be true. I had found dead bed bugs on my floor and along the area where the floor and walls meet for the last few months. It’s like something out of a bad horror movie, except this isn’t scary, it’s just annoying.

I checked out after reading all the rave reviews in the comments area. Does anyone know why they don’t deliver Suspend to New York?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

They're back...

Nuff said.

More details to come...

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's My Birthday!!!

Actually, it's 1:28 am so technically, yesterday was my birthday. It's my first birthday without my bed, mattress and headboard, three things I've had for almost 20 years. It still takes some getting used to.

Since I'm still enjoying the beer buzz, I'll blog later this week.

See ya!

Bugged Out

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bed Bug Paranoia

I came across this hilarious (not that I’m having a laugh at this commenter’s expense, but it’s funny because it’s happened to myself and so many others) comment someone left on my last entry and it prompted me to shed a bit more light on this very important topic.

I am getting minute small bumps and itches during the day at work...but I don't
see any bedbugs at least that I can recognize. I am paranoid that the nymphs are
too small for me to identify so I pick at anything that looks like a speck of
dust or small white fluff or that eggs are in my clothes and that they are
hatching during the day inside my clothes close to my skin...Has anyone else
felt this crawling sensation at work during the day underneath your clothes? It
usually starts later in the afternoon. Sometimes I have picked off small round
things that are dark in the center and yellowish brown around the outside but
again they are too small and I usually just crush them and wash them down the

-Anonymous poster

Man, I’ve experienced this so many times. There were times when all I had to do was think about bed bugs to start feeling itching or crawling sensations. I still feel bed bugs on my body that aren’t there, or at least I can’t seem to find them when I “feel” them. I still check my clothes for bugs or eggs when I pull them out of the closet, before I put them on. I’ve mistaken many different things for bed bugs, specks of dust, crumbs, ashes, shirt buttons, you name it.

I think (or theorize) that the crawling sensations are a combination of your body and subconscious, wracked if not slightly traumatized by the advent of bed bugs in your life. Think of your central nervous system after experiencing bed bugs as a car with its alarm set to super-sensitive. If so much as a sole leaf floats down and touches the roof of that car, the alarm will sound as loudly as if someone had just smashed the windshield. Woo-woo-woo-woo! Eee-er eee-er eee-er eee-er eee-er eee-er! Whoooooo-up whooooo-up whoooooo-up whoooooo-up whoooooo-up whoooooo-up whoooooo-up! Wheee-oh wheee-oh wheee-oh wheee-oh wheee-oh wheee-oh wheee-oh!

So if your skin feels anything during the day from a gentle breeze to your own clothing brushing against it, that biological hypersensitive alarm goes off. Your subconscious and your nerves come into play by reproducing the crawling sensations you felt when the bugs were actually crawling on you. In that sense, bed bugs really mess up your nervous system, because the nerves are supposed to send signals to the brain, not the other way around.

For example, my mother says she no longer sleeps with her mouth open because she’s afraid the bed bugs will crawl into her mouth. Another bedtime ritual for her is making sure her hair is covering her ears as she is horrified that bed bugs will crawl into her ear holes. I guess she’s afraid they’ll crawl inside, go all the way up to her brain and start changing her thought patterns, and by next week she’ll be crawling on me and sucking my blood. Just kidding, ma. Ha ha ha.

But seriously, bed bug paranoia is an interesting phenomenon because while bed bugs cannot be proven to carry physical disease, the paranoia can lead to a mild form of mental illness in extreme or even moderate cases. I mean, if you’re a paranoid schizophrenic, or Woody Allen, bed bugs may literally drive you crazy. Drug addicts are another group whose habit instills paranoid delusions, so imagine what one of them must go through if they have bed bugs in their home and they just shot themselves full of heroin. I remember this guy from high school who used to see spiders crawling on his arms when he would trip on acid. I can only imagine someone living with bed bugs taking LSD or some other hallucinogenic and looking down at his breakfast only to trip out and see a cereal bowl filled with bed bugs and a spoonful of the critters only a few inches from his mouth.

This whole thing reminds me of this funny saying, “If you don’t think I’m paranoid, just ask all the people who are out to get me.”

I think it would be really interesting if a psychologist or a psych student were to study bed bug paranoia and do research on its effects on the human psyche.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A New York Problem

In the past, people inside and outside of cyberspace have asked me what my landlord has done to alleviate my bed bug problem. When I tell them how little they have actually done, I have been advised to take my building’s management company and/or landlord to court, call 311, or to go to the media.

Well, it’s not as simple as that. There is a reason why I have been hesitant to take any action against my landlord or super.

The reason is that for several years, my family has violated the terms of our lease. Now our super made it very clear to us some time ago that she was aware of the violation, but since we’ve never received an eviction notice, we figured she has kept her mouth shut.

The super basically sent one of her relatives who she employs as her maintenance crew to my apartment to apply roach spray to get rid of the bed bugs. The worker also suggested we buy those fogger bombs in a can and spray ammonia on the mattress. Because we are in violation of our lease, my family is reluctant to take action against the super, the management company, or the owner of my building for fear that they may point out our discrepancy and throw us all out..

This is a unique problem for New Yorkers because many of us live in illegal conversions or are violating certain terms of our leases. For the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers living in illegal conversions, I’m sorry to say that any legal action you take will result in your eviction. If your landlord is not doing enough, or is doing nothing at all to get rid of your bed bugs, and you live in an illegal apartment, bringing your case to the media or any court will alert the City to your illegal apartment.

Once that happens, the Department of Buildings (DOB) along with the NYPD will heavily fine your landlord and padlock your building, prohibiting anyone from living there until the building has been brought up to code by the owner and the owner has obtained a Certificate of Occupancy for each apartment in the building. As a reporter, I’ve written countless stories about illegal conversions, zoning regulations and DOB safety codes and law enforcement procedures, so trust me when I say all this.

Bear in mind that because your apartment is illegal, your landlord does not have to observe any building safety codes, and laws concerning landlords and tenants are non-existent in this case. If you know that your dwelling is not a legitimate one in the eyes of the law, do not rush to the courtroom of the TV cameras as if it is.

Also, because the demand for housing in New York City so greatly outweighs the supply, landlords and management companies can include very oppressive terms in your apartment lease, such as no pets, or no heavy duty appliances (i.e., washers or dryers). Perhaps you’ve taken on an extra boarder to help pay your very expensive New York rent and you didn’t want to add this person to the lease for fear of the rent being raised. Perhaps you have an illegal cable hookup, or someone in your home is engaging in some other illegal activity in your apartment.

Those of you living in legitimate apartments, if your landlord doesn’t lift a finger to help you get rid of your bed bug problem and you want to tell your story to the police, a judge or a reporter, make sure you’re not doing anything in there that, if made public, would result in your eviction, deportation or incarceration.

And for those of you in illegal apartments, tenants’ rights do not apply to you. Laws are there to protect the law-abiding, and while I’m not passing judgment against those who live in illegal apartments, you are not a law-abiding citizen. Making your case public will only let the authorities know that you and your landlord are knowingly breaking the law.

Long story short, getting rid of bed bugs for most New Yorkers will have to be a task carried out by ourselves. It is rare for someone to reside in a building with extermination services provided by someone who knows how to deal with bed bugs.

Please do not inquire as to the nature of my violation.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I’ve never said a whole lot about exterminators…until now.

A warning to those who rely on their building's exterminator, whether it be an in-house maintenance worker, your building's superintendent or an outside contractor: Your building's landlord or building management company is most likely a cheap bastard and will only pay for a cheap exterminator whose expertise is usually limited to ants and roaches.
I've shopped around via the Internet for bed bug-specific exterminators, and I really can't afford one at the moment. What I've found is that I am my best exterminator. I know where all the bed bug hotspots are in my home, so I immediately know where to apply a bed bug-killing agent. I will work harder to get rid of them than a professional exterminator because it is my home, and I want them gone.
Keep in mind that I'm not putting down exterminators. Their job is a valuable one: to study various species of insects, how to spot them and how to kill them. Think of all the studying we’ve all done on bed bugs alone. Multiply all that time and energy by ten and you’re a professional exterminator.

All I’m saying is that most exterminators are still fuzzy on bedbugs, especially since for much of this century, bed bugs were non-existent. And the few who are experts on bed bugs know they are in the minority and that their expertise is in high demand. Economics 101: When supply shrinks and demands rises, prices rise as well. So basically I can’t afford you guys.

If you’re like me, who pays for a three-bedroom apartment equaling 50,000 square feet what people in Montana pay for twenty acres of land and can’t afford a pricey exterminator, just do the extermination yourself. Various items are on sale and are not so hazardous that only a licensed exterminator is allowed to handle it, and there’s lots of information on bed bugs out there.

Good luck!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Resurgence and Vigilance

It appears to me that once one acquires bed bugs, they never really get rid of them.

After trashing my bug-infested bed, mattress and headboard, washing every single piece of clothing I own and throwing out countless pieces of paper, I was shocked last night to find a bed bug crawling on my inflatable mattress. I quickly scooped it up, deposited it into a tissue and squeezed said tissue into my fist until I saw the brownish stain of its squashed guts.

I’d been sleeping in my own room, on an inflatable mattress for a few weeks now, and the first night in my bedroom was spent with M on my bedroom floor with only a thick blanket separating us from the linoleum. I had bought the mattress already, but stupid me neglected to notice the box the mattress came in said “Pump not included”. Another trip to Target.

The mattress kicks ass by the way. The brand is called Air-Tek. It’s a queen-sized mattress (a new venture for me since my previous bed was only a twin) which claims to support up to 600 lbs. It was on sale for $30 at Target, and the pump was another $10. It’s kind of hard getting used to an air mattress when you’ve slept on conventional mattresses your whole life, but it still makes for a comfortable night’s rest.

But I digress.

Even after the whole aftermath of committing bedbug genocide, and losing my mattress, bed, headboard, gallons of detergent and even more gallons of hot sudsy water in the process, I was thoroughly annoyed to see that they were still here. They’re like the Iraqi insurgents: the many, the scattered and the persistent.

So the fight still rages on.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Power of Propaganda!

Here I am complaining about Fox News acting as the press secretary for the Bush Administration, and then I come across this article from the Khaleej Times in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The article, located at the bottom of the web page is about pest control and claims the following about bedbugs:

Bed bugs are major transmitters of diseases including HIV and hepatitis so all
precautions should be taken to use good quality of spray.

Now that's scary.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bed Bug Amor

You've probably noticed I haven't posted too frequently this month, and I have a fairly good excuse.

I met someone. Someone really special, and we met last week. As corny as this may sound, we met through MySpace (yes, my co-workers intially sucked me into it) and we met for the first time last week after several phone conversations.

It's really hard to date in New York City, and it's even harder when you have bed bugs. Even in my case where the bed bugs have been largely eradicated, there's always the possibility of a resurgence. I also have a bad habit of telling women when I first go out with them unflattering truths about me that most people would save for later. For example, in the recent past, I had told both my ex-girlfriend (who I was trying to get into bed with) and this other girl I liked that I had bed bugs. They stopped answering my e-mails and phone calls since then, and I kind of get the impression they really don't want anything more to do with me. I wondered if their sudden decision to end all contact with me was because I told them about the bed bugs. I prefer to be honest with the women I date, but sometimes I wish they'd be a little more understanding about the whole bed bug thing. Most people think only people who live in filthy apartments have bed bugs, and maybe that's what my ex and this other girl thought about me. Of course, neither of them really identified that as the reason they're no longer communicating with me, that's just my own paranoia at work.

For those living with bed bugs, if you're already single you just might stay that way once your dates find out your dirty little secret. But I digress. This new girl, M, lives in the Bronx and on our first date I was determined not to ruin my chances of love (or lust) by revealing my bed bug problem. I was cooking up in my head excuses to explain, once I bring her back to my place, why I have no bed or mattress. I figured I'd tell her I sold them to pay the rent or some other lie.

So M and I are on our first date at a pizzeria near Pelham Parkway, and she tells me SHE sleeps on the floor because she has had bed bugs and had to throw out her bed and mattress. This wave of relief just washed over me, because I knew I could be totally honest with her about my bed bug problems. How I constantly mop and spray and sprinkle boric acid just to make sure I never see another bed bug. As wierd as this may sound, the minute she told me she had had bed bugs as well, I felt like we were meant to be together.

Obviously that's not the only reason I like M. But the sheer coincidence that I had finally met someone who could not only relate to my problem but was a fellow victim herself was like a gift from above. We've been seeing each other and talking on the phone for almost three weeks now, and we are crazy about each other. The chemistry is so right between us, and I'm glad I didn't meet yet another female who has a stigma attached to bed bugs.

M never really went into detail about her bed bug problem except for mentioning that she had thrown out her bed and mattress. I really care about this girl, and I'm really impressed that she was bold enough to tell me about that on the first date. Apparently she has the same habit of telling unflattering truths about herself that I do.

I am grinning from ear to ear as I write this. My heart is swelling and my stomach is getting queasy just at the thought of her, and all the bed bug bites in the world couldn't bring me down right now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I Chickened Out

Okay, I didn't buy Sleep Tight when I said I was going to; I had to pay a few bills, and figured I'd get it when I recieved my next paycheck. But after reading the various comments on the previous post, I changed my mind. I'd really like to know more about Gentrol, as it sounds like the one bed bug killing agent that doesn't seem to have any negative feedback anywhere.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Eco-Friendly and Highly Effective Bed Bug Pesticide?

Could such a thing exist?

I've tried spraying bleach where my walls and floor meet, only to end up sneezing uncontrollably from the volatile chemical, plus my apartment ends up smelling like a swimming pool. It bothers the hell out of my sinuses, and once I realized the bleach had a minimal effect on bed bugs I stopped using it altogether.

And oh yeah, I accidentally sprayed some bleach on one of my favorite black shirts, ruining it forever. :(

So I was surprised to find out about Sleep Tight, an all-natural pesticide which was not only designed to kill bed bugs, but has been proven to be highly effective. The best part about this product, besides the fact that it kills bed bugs, is that it is non-toxic to humans.

I read about this new product in a news story from a Tennessee news station's web site and after learning exactly how it works I decided to peruse the manufacturer's web site. Apparently the company, Natureplex, has a wide range of natural products that address everything from sexual health to denture care.

I'm really glad to see a product has finally been developed specifically for bed bugs. In an earlier post I wrote about a pesticide made by Dow Chemicals which was designed to kill termites, but can kill bed bugs if used at three times the concentration needed to kill termites. I really didn't feel safe administering a triple dosage of insecticide in my living space. But I feel confident enough to order Sleep Tight. The site is very informative and doesn't try to hide anything about this pesticide.

I'm going to order this tonight and see just how well Sleep Tight works. I'll happily post my review of Sleep Tight on Bugged Out.

Friday, April 28, 2006

It's Hard Out Here For A PMP

I thought that headline would get your attention.

PMPs (Pest Management Professionals) are quickly honing their bed bug-detecting and killing skills to meet the increasing demand to rid homes of bed bug infestations. But sometimes human instinct and senses aren't enough to find those few bugs who are hidden deep within the recesses of a structure. According to this article in Pest Control Technology, one company of PMPs in Ontario decided to train and employ a dog especially trained to sniff out bed bugs. Thanks to the dog's keen sense of smell, he was able to find the bed bugs-in the plumbing between the walls!

The training of bed bug-sniffing dogs is certainly a creative idea, and I would love to find such a company in New York to sniff out any surviving bed bugs in my own apartment. While almost all the bugs I've encountered in my home have been dead, I have seen one or two living bugs, proof of survivors. And where there's smoke...

Maybe I'll make that my homework assignment and throw up the results on Bugged Out.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Lame Legislature

In 2004, the New York State Legislature, which is responsible for managing the state budget and drafting and amending state law, was cited as the most dysfunctional state legislature in the United States by the Brennan Law Center at NYU. It was onyl until the results of that NYU survey of all 50 state legislatures that New York State decided to have a wave of reforms, including the changing of several of its members. It was only in 2005 that the New York Legislature had been able to approve a sound state budget before deadline for the first time in over 20 years. So until this report came out, the legislature didn't even live up to its own standards of efficiency and effectiveness.

So I guess it should've been no surprise to me when I saw that one state's legislature had beaten New York to the punch. That state? Hawaii. I read about it in the Honolulu Advertiser, where that state's politicians are working hard to push through a resolution that will request the director of Hawaii's Department of Health to create a bed bug prevention and education program.

Okay, I know the Hawaiian resolution is non-binding and therefore lacks the teeth an actual law would have, but it's a hell of a lot more than what our own state legislature is up to. New York State has made a lot of progress since that 2004 report, but they have so much farther to go. Part of the problem also lies in the fact that many legislature members represent part of the state that are outside the five boroughs, so they tend not to care so much about something they don't see affecting their own districts.

Here we have one lone City Councilwoman trying to do this, and I haven't heard of much support from other people. I haven't even heard of one hearing for this bed bug legislation that Councilwoman Brewer wants to have passed into law.

Hawaii wants the resolution to be made official quickly because bed bugs affect tourism and tourism is Hawaii's #1 industry. Well, tourism may not be the #1 industry in New York City, but it's certainly a billion-dollar industry, according to the New York City board of tourism, New York City & Co. Even if tourism isn't a big industry in New York City, real estate is. And bed bugs can seriously impact the value of a building infested with them. Bed bugs could very well spell the end of New York City's sky-high real estate values.

What gets me is that the local tourism and real estate industries should be aware of this, and if they are, why aren't they lobbying our politicians to do something about bed bugs? It's not like it doesn't happen on the federal level; the pharmaceutical industry, big tobacco and the HMOs all donate heavily to political campaigns and get the people in Congress to work for them. The tourism and real estate industries in New York City need to pool their money together and buy some good government intervention.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Media Confusion/Rant

Several times a week I'll peruse the web for news stories related to bed bugs. Coverage is usually scarce, and most of these articles mention the same information-sometimes even the same personal accounts from those bitten by bed bugs-that has appeared in other articles in the past.

But I came across one news story that bewildered me. The headline had the words "bed bugs" in it, so I clicked on it. First of all, this particular reporter, like most other reporters whose bed bug articles I've read in the last few months, must think he's the only reporter to have ever employed the adage "Sleep tight; don't let the bed bugs bite" in their headline. It just proves a famous statement made by Bill Maher on alleged media bias: "The media isn't biased; they're just lazy." After skimming this article, I couldn't agree more. The reporter didn't even bother to make some clever spin on the old saying, he just wrote it in full and made it the headline.

Also, this reporter has failed to do his homework, as the "bed bugs" to which this reporter is referring are in fact dust mites. Technically, he's right. Dust mites are in fact bugs, and according to this story, they reside in your bed, so they are bed bugs in name only.

Damn, why is coverage of this issue so lame? There's a few good, informative stories out there, but the vast majority is copy-paste journalism, just regurgitated info from other sites written by someone who obviously has done no research of his own other than to lift info from other sources.

News coverage really has to start getting better because I don't see this problem going away anytime soon. Almost everyday I see mattresses on on the curb next to an apartment building or house, sitting next to the rest of the garbage.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Mattress Mayhem

There are quite a few furniture stores in the neighborhood. To my surprise, however, none of them (even Sleepy’s) carried inflatable mattresses, and a few of the stores’ managers and workers didn’t even know what an inflatable mattress was! I don’t why, but I took the time to try and explain to them the concept of a mattress you pump air into. I felt like I was teaching a class as they looked at me in amazement and bewilderment every time. Two store managers asked me if I was going camping. One shopkeeper, this Greek guy asked, “So it is like a balloon, you fill it with your mouth?”

I tried not to laugh as I imagined myself filling an entire twin-size mattress with air from my own mouth, and passing out by the time it’s completely filled (Thank goodness I don’t have asthma!). I reply, “No, no, it’s much tougher than a balloon, and you use a pump to fill it with air. Some pumps are manual and some are electric.” The guy looked at me like I was making the whole thing up. “Why would someone want such a thing? They can buy one of my mattresses!” I stand there, trying to figure out how to answer the question without mentioning that I had bed bugs. I said, “It’s not for me, it’s for guests who stay over.” He nods and smiles, “Oh, like mother-in-law?” I say, “Yes, like mother-in-law.”

A friend recommended I go to Target to look for inflatable mattresses. Maybe I’ll just surf the Internet and see what I can find. I’m basically looking for a twin-sized mattress which can support at least 500 pounds. Do they make inflatables that can support that much weight? Before you get the wrong idea, I don’t weigh 500 pounds. I just want to be able to have sex on the inflatable without it bursting at the seams. Plus, whenever I’d bring people into my bedroom, like a bunch of people to watch TV or whatever, I usually used the bed as a couch since I only have two chairs.

So if anyone has any advice on inflatable mattresses, I’m all ears.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Only Good Bed Bug Is….

In the aftermath of the Great Spring Cleaning of ’06 and the Great Discarding of Bed, Mattress and Headboard of ’06, the only bed bugs I have encountered are dead ones. I should mention that I have not slept in my bedroom for a week. I have been sleeping on the living room couch, so the real test of how many bed bugs remain in my room will come when I actually sleep a full six hours there.

I’m waiting for my tax refund to come in so I can spend at least $100 on a quality inflatable mattress. I don’t feel comfortable laying out money for a new bed, mattress and head board in this apartment. I would only feel comfortable doing so in a new dwelling; therefore I plan to sleep on an inflatable mattress until I get my degree and save up enough money to move out.

On the positive side, I am enjoying the big increase in space that the absence of my bed and headboard have created. The bed and headboard combined were so bulky that the room almost looks empty in its absence.

I feel like just laying a blanket on the floor and spending the night just to see how many bugs, if any, appear. If only the couch wasn’t so much more comfortable than the cold, hard linoleum.

Next up for bed bug inspection are my bookshelves and my closet. One thing you learn quick about bed bugs is that eradicating them is like combating graffiti in an inner-city neighborhood: as soon as someone tags up your property, you have to paint it over the very next day. If you procrastinate and fail to cover it up in time, soon other vandals will get the message that it’s okay to tag up there, and in a few weeks, dozens of graffiti tags will have joined that initial first graffiti tag you failed to address in the first place.

Vigilance is key.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Thank you, posters!

As busy as I am, I feel the need to thank the handful of anonymous posters who have offered advice as well as sympathy and their own personal accounts of bed bug agony. Your entries have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated. I will happily respond to each and every one of them as soon as I can.

Mattress-cide Part III: Goodbye, Cruel World!

So Thursday afternoon my brother and I threw out all three items, with all of the inner contents (clothes, reading material, etc.) stuffed into plastic bags. Since I’ve had the bed for so many years, I couldn’t remember how the deliverymen were able to maneuver it through my apartment’s narrow hallway and the sharp right turn which led to my bedroom so many years ago. After an hour of budging and grunting, we decided to use a crowbar and take the bed apart. Bugs spilled out onto the floor, scurrying around as my brother began a two-man killing spree. After an hour the bottoms of our shoes as well as the floor were covered in reddish-brownish-blackish stains of bed bug entrails, and we returned to the task at hand.

I’ve spent the last two days cleaning up, vacuuming, mopping, throwing out old unwanted stuff to make room for the items that were displaced when I threw out the bed and headboard. I’m still not finished because I needed to prepare for three midterm exams this week. Plus I went on three job interviews, so it was a busy week.

Two good things about bed bugs that most people don’t consider, they force minimalism upon their victims by forcing them to get rid of a lot of their furniture and other material possessions. The other good thing they do is force people to routinely keep their surroundings clean. I know I’m kind of a slob, and the only thing worse than seeing the bed bugs as I cleaned my bedroom this week was realizing just how absolutely filthy the room was. So the end results to having bed bugs are clean, modest surroundings, a rare concept in this town.

Maybe bed bugs are God’s little messengers, sent to America to tell us to stop being such pigs and that the acquisition of material possessions is not what life is all about. I have so many friends who immediately after getting their first apartments on their own whip out their credit cards and spend thousands of dollars on fancy furniture. Marble coffee tables, leather sofas, canopy beds, wall-to-wall carpets, all so they can show the rest of the world that they have taste and style. Once I even dated a young lady who, despite earning a measly $18,000 a year, not only bought (with her credit card) lots of beautiful furniture for her new DUMBO apartment, but even used her line of credit to hire an interior decorator to help her pick out a theme for her apartment as well as furniture and other assorted accoutrements. Have fun paying off that debt. This economy is getting worse and people are still spending as if it’s getting better.

Mattress-cide Part II-Operation Extermination

I know it’s been a week since my last entry, and it’s because I finally decided to throw out my bed, mattress and headboard. Because so much time has passed between my last entry, and because so much has happened, I will split this entry into two. As I wrote in an earlier post, I had called an exterminator who told me of the small colony of bed bugs residing in and under my bed. I wanted a second opinion, so I asked my building manager to send up his exterminator, who was far more thorough than the one I hired on my own. When the second exterminator inspected my apartment on Wednesday, he pulled out the drawers from my captain’s bed and shone a flashlight into the bed’s shaded underbelly. There I saw scores of bed bugs of all sizes scurrying about. The drawers themselves, as I removed the articles of clothing inside and threw them into a plastic bag, were consistently dotted with black spots of bed bug feces. Each drawer (my bed had four of them) featured at least one nest of bed bug eggs and hatchlings. It was truly disgusting, and truly depressing.

Perhaps if I had attacked the problem back in January as fervently as I did this past week I might still have my bed, headboard and mattress. As the exterminator and I lifted my mattress we both saw the underside was riddled with little rips and tears, most likely made by the bugs and evidence that they were also living inside my mattress. I was a bit surprised to see this, as I had never really noticed these holes before. See all the difference a flashlight can make?

As for the headboard, the exterminator pounded the side of the headboard with his flashlight until a few bugs emerged from the board’s many cracks. The headboard was deep enough that it had two shelves inside, which I had half-filled with stacks of magazines and newspapers. He sprayed all over the apartment, but admitted that this wouldn’t do much to alleviate the problem. The only solution he saw was to get rid of the bed, mattress and headboard.

Even before Wednesday, I knew my bed would have to go. When I would go to bed last weekend, within five minutes after I laid down at night, the bed bugs would come out of their hiding places and bite the hell out of me. And this was with the lights on. They were no longer wary or cautious when seeking out their blood meal; they knew they now owned the bed. The pests knew what I didn’t know until the exterminator revealed it to me: that they had successfully colonized the place in which I’ve slept for the last 15 years. The insects even began biting my face, something they had never done before.

The whole thing reminds me of a popular lyric sung by the late Tupac Shakur: “We don’t die; we multiply.” Though he was referring to gangsters and thugs, I can easily view these insects as thugs, going wherever they please, doing whatever they want to whomever is unfortunate enough to be in their presence.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bed Bugs Do Not Taste Like Chocolate Chips

I was just eating a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie with my coffee when I saw on the back of my thumb what looked like a bit of chocolate chip. I licked it and realized it was a bed bug. Ewww…. They’re so brazen that they crawl up on me even when I’m not on the bed or sleeping.

It’s on.


Well, it’s not just the mattress that’s going out, the bed’s going out with it. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I own a captain’s bed which is basically one big hunk of pressed wood with drawers and a deep storage space.

The mattress cover debate is over, at least for me. I have waited too long to do this, perhaps out of reluctance to get rid of the furniture I had enjoyed for most of my life. And now the bed bugs have truly taken over. For the last two nights I have slept in my living room because I can no longer sleep in my own bed. For the last week or so, I had been sleeping in my bed with the lights on, and that worked only for a short while. Soon the bugs came out in droves on the mattress and pillow whenever I lied down on it, regardless of the time of day or whether the lights were on or not. And if I can longer sleep in my bed, there is no reason for me to have a bed. I also have to get rid of my headboard, which I have literally had since childhood. I don’t ever remember that headboard not being in my room.

In the last few days, as I open the drawers to get socks, underwear or shorts I see bed bugs. They have laid eggs numerous times on the bed sheets, so my mattress is now bare, sans comforter, sheets or pillow. They have laid eggs inside the drawers, on my socks, on my underwear. We called an exterminator who indicated that there is a large colony of bed bugs underneath my bed and this is most likely where they hide until, of course, the minute I sit or lie on the mattress.

As I lift the mattress, I see the top of the bed is dotted with bed bug feces, and through the tiny slits between the pieces of wood, bed bugs happily travel between the surface and deep within the wooden recesses of my bed. It is truly a sad day for me.

Fortunately, I have an armoire on the other side of my room, which to my observation and inspection has not yet been infiltrated by these monsters. It has enough drawers inside to accommodate the clothes I currently keep in my bed. The only challenge is finding a place for the various items which currently occupy those drawers. I think for posterity’s sake I’ll throw a sheet over my mattress and put on some covered pillows so I can take one last picture of my room with the headboard and bed in it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mattress Covers Are Gross

In my March 18 entry regarding spring cleaning, an anonymous poster suggested I buy a mattress cover rather than commit mattress-cide. The poster added a link to a company web page showcasing their mattress and pillowcase covers. Now I’m guessing the poster may have been an employee of the company in question. But I started reading the description of the product anyway.

I had heard of people buying mattress covers to combat their bed bug problems, but I’ve come up with a few flaws in their logic which show why mattress covers may not be so great after all.

The solution that mattress covers provide is that once you have vacuumed and scrubbed down your mattress, and encase it in a zipper-sealable cover, it will trap whatever bed bugs are living inside your mattress. Since bed bugs can live up to a year without eating, the company suggests that you wait well past one year after first encasing your mattress in this cover to remove the cover and discard the by then presumably dead bed bugs.

I have a problem with this because in many cases bed bugs also reside in nearby furniture, namely box springs and headboards. My particular case is very unique because I own a captain’s bed (which is identical to the one in the picture, sans the matching headboard, lamp, bureau and mirror), completely made out of wood. With the captain’s bed, no box spring is needed to support the mattress, as you can see. Though the bed bugs in my home primarily reside in the mattress, I’ve also seen them inside the drawers of the bed as well as the headboard.

Another problem is even if the bed bugs don’t eat for months because they’re trapped inside the mattress cover, they’ll still be alive, which means they’ll still be mating. Here comes the disgusting part: after a few months after you’ve applied the mattress cover, there will be generations of bed bugs residing within the cover itself. I can only imagine myself climbing into bed and feeling scores of bed bugs’ bodies through the cover and into my backside. It’s truly a disgusting mental image.

This brings up another issue: what if during the course of the 12-month period, the cover is ruptured in some way? Maybe you accidentally puncture it with something with a jagged or sharp edge, and then the dozens of bed bugs start pouring out, hungry for human blood? Now you have a real infestation problem on your hands!

If I had a mattress cover, I would never feel safe removing it, even after two or three years. The only way I could see myself removing a mattress cover from a bed bug-ridden mattress is if it were completely submerged in water while I was doing it. From my observations, bed bugs die almost instantly when even partially submerged in water, like when I throw them into my toilet bowl and they immediately stop moving completely.

Has anyone had any personal experiences with mattress covers? If so, if anyone has advice on this, even an anonymous post would be appreciated.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bugged Out on MSNBC!

Woo hoo! MSNBC did a story on bed bugs and on their site lists bed bug-related blogs, including the Do You Have Herpes entry. Does this mean I've finally made my mark in the Blogosphere now that a big shot media outlet like MSNBC has thrown up a link to Bugged Out? Imagine the millions of people who will read Bugged Out because of that link. Is this some sort of blogger rite of passage? Can you tell I'm excited?

To see my link, scroll down to the sidebar box that says "Blog Buzz." Bugged Out is the third link from the top.

Also, Dateline NBC will discuss bed bugs this Sunday night at 7 p.m., Eastern time. Maybe they'll mention Bugged Out!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I spent the last few days engaged in a heavy-duty cleaning project, one of many I've had since I first discovered the bed bugs. I vacuumed the hell out of my bed and room, I mopped the floor and threw out lots and lots of newspapers and other paper products I do not need.

One thing I've learned about bed bugs is that they like clutter because it gives them great places to hide, and even better places to lay eggs undisturbed because most clutter just sits around in the same place for long periods of time. I am a bonifide packrat, and I am not known for being tidy. So the whole Mr. Clean transformation still takes some time getting used to.

One reason to start cleaning house is so that it wil be easier for an exterminator to manuever around your dwelling and getting to work. Besides, wouldn't it suck if you paid a king's ransom for some fumigation, and a small colony of bed bugs survived because they were safely hiding under some crap you left on the floor?

Probably the best reason to start doing a thorough cleaning and subsequent fumigation would be to get it done before the weather really gets warm and bed bugs really start cominig out. New York City is known for really hot, sticky weather in the summer months, even as early as June. Bed bugs hate cold temperatures, so like most other insects, warm temperatures will prompt them to do less hiding and more exploring. And more exploring means more mating. And more mating means more bugs.

My next project is going through my closet to go through my wardrobe, because the closet is right next to my bed, and I've seen bed bugs crawling on my shirts at least once as I was rifling through my closet in the morning. I'm going to either throw some stuff away (like my junior high school and high school graduation caps and gowns) or wash them and give them to Goodwill. See, I used to weigh 320 pounds and then I lost about 110 pounds over a few years. Problem is because I'm a slob and a packrat, I never really got rid of my ginormous size 52 clothes.

That project will be followed by a most dreaded act which I have hesitated to address and have kept telling myself I didn't need to do it: committing mattress-cide. I know my bed is the bed bugs' original roost. And seveal times I have examined the bottom of my mattress and found a small army of baby bed bugs scurrying in all directions. I need to wrap it up in a bag, call 311 and find a legal dumping site. I've seen people dumping large items (furniture, air conditioners, etc.) but I've always been afraid to do so, because paranoid me, I'm afraid the cops might dust for fingerprints, find mine on them, and slap me with a heavy fine which I understand can be up to $20,000.

One of the reasons I didn't want to get rid of this mattress is because it is a very expensive, very high-quality item. How high-quality, you ask? I've had this mattress for about 15 years and it's still as firm as it was the day I got it. My financial situation is worse now than in recent years, so the chances of me buying a new mattress is not too good.

I'll probably just end up buying an inflatable mattress. Perhaps Consumer Reports can help me pick out a quality blow-up mattress, and if they do have such a report, I'll throw it up on Bugged Out.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


As one could imagine, I have been searching the Web for fumigation options to eradicate my bedbug problem. From what I've found, I keep encountering the same two annoying obstacles:

1) The services are primarily designed for houses, such as the great big fumigation tent fumigators will throw over a house. That does nothing for me, because, like many New Yorkers, I do not live in a house. I live in a 10-story, 110-unit apartment building. You wanna throw a tent over that?

2) Even the exterminator services admit that their treatments are not completely effective, and that re-treatments are often required. My guess is that whatever they're using, it's probably designed to kill a different species of insect, like termites or ants.

But then I came upon an interesting article in Pest Control Magazine, which from what I've read on its website, is a trade publication for exterminators. The article talks about Vikane, a substance made by Dow Chemicals. It claims to be powerful enough that only one treatment is needed. Another claim I like about this Vikane is that it is more environmentally-friendly than other fumigants and that you don't need to wash your clothes, dishes or bedding after the fumigation is over.

Not surprisingly, I cannot find anything on the Dow website that estimates how much this treatment costs. I guess Dow will let contractor exterminators break the bad news to consumers. I am still a bit suspicious of this Vikane chemical, mainly because even Dow admits the chemical is designed to combat termites. Shit, I wish I had termites instead of bed bugs! Everybody seems to know how to get rid of those pests.

I'll provide updates on additional information on this product as it becomes available, especially how much a local exterminator would charge for a Vikane fumigation.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The United Latino Bed Bug Fund

I came across this ad in Craigslist on how to make money blogging, and not just the pennies promised by Google's AdSense program. It's called Blogitive, and the way you make money is not as subtle as having AdSense post a tiny list of links on your page. It works more like product placement, in which you casually mention one of Blogitive's sponsors

I know it may sound crass and commercialistic, but there's nothing wrong with mentioning a commercial sponsor as long as the reference is done so within the context of an actual post and not just creating a post just so you can mention a sponsor.

So for anyone who has a blog, especially someone with a bed bug blog and needs some cash to pay their exterminator, this seems like a cool way to make a few bucks doing something you were already doing for free.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Brewer Update #2

Well, February has come and gone and Councilwoman Gale Brewer has yet to introduce the bedbug legislation she said would introduce. For those of you following this story, in January, many newspapers reported that the Councilwoman planned to introduce in the City Council some legislation in February that, if passed into City law, would regulate such things as the sale of used mattreses to ensure they are bed bug-free and the commercial transportation of used mattresses in the same storage unit as new ones.

I've been receiving quite a few e-mails inquiring as to when the Councilwoman is going to do what she said she was going to do, so I figured I'd call her office once more and get some answers.

Her chief of staff assured me that Councilwoman Brewer would soon draft and introduce this piece of legislation to the Council's Health Committee. Well, the Health Committee already held te first and second meetings of 2006 last month, and no mention of Brewer's bed bug legislation was mentioned in the media or in the Council website.

I called her office today and a staffer informed me that Brewer wants to schedule a public hearing on this matter before introducing such legislation to the Health Committee. They added that her chief of staff would get back to me with more details.

In defense of the Councilwoman's decision to gather public testimony on this matter before drafting any legislation, I think it's a sensible move on her part because the testimony she will recieve on how bad the bed bug problem is in New York will give her a stronger case when she tries to convince Health Committee members to support the legislation. I know there are a lot of New Yorkers who are itching (pun very much intended) to find out exactly when this legislation is going into play and exactly how the legislation will address the bed bug problem.

I will provide an update as new information becomes available, and I will especially provide the times and dates of this public hearing once it has been scheduled.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Review of King of Queens

For those who didn’t know, a new episode of “King of Queens” aired last night, and the premise was that Arthur (the father-in-law) had came back from his Florida vacation with bed bug-infested hotel sheets. The bugs spread all over Doug and Carrie’s house and when Doug found out the exterminator (played by Chris Elliot) wanted to charge $1,100 to cleanse the house of bed bugs, Doug decided to use a bug bomb. Just like in real life, those bug bombs do absolutely nothing to kill the bugs. And according to the exterminator, it just made them horny. I don’t know how true that is.

Then the exterminator informs them that because the horny bed bugs mated and laid eggs, there are even more of them than before, and the cost of removing them all will now cost $2,500. With no other choice Doug lets the exterminator do his job while he and Carrie find a place to spend the night.

Overall, I thought the bed bug episode was really good, considering this is supposed to be a sitcom. When Doug called Carrie’s job and told them she had bed bugs, the stigma of bed bugs truly came out as people treated her like a leper. Finally she goes into New York mode and turns to the people in the elevator who were afraid to even be near her and goes, “Yeah, I got bed bugs. What? You want some?” I laughed my ass off.

The constant itching by Doug and Carrie from the bed bugs was also a good dose of reality, although Doug went a little overboard with the physical reactions. When he went to Deacon’s apartment to see if he could sleep on the couch, it looked more like he was convulsing than itching. Then again, that character is an exaggerated one to begin with.

Television shows are often criticized with not showing a true depiction of the issues and scenarios in its storylines. I think this is one episode where the writers can rest easy and know that they did a good accurate job and still managed to keep me laughing.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Budbug Blogger Hits PBS!

No, not me. Caitlin Heller a.k.a. The Caitlinator whose blog "The Bedbug Blog" was interviewed for a PBS article about animal behavior, in this case, bedbugs and its assault on New York City. Check out the article, then check out her blog. Let her know how much better her input made that article.

Also, Caitlin's blog has alerted readers that the next episode of the King of Queens will feature Doug and Carrie (do you follow this show? I do, and not just because I'm from Queens!) having their home turned upside down because her father returned from a Florida vacation and brought back bedbug-infested hotel sheets. King of Queens airs on CBS at 8 pm next Monday.

You know the shit has truly hit the fan once the sitcoms are putting it into their otherwise formulaic episodes.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Unlisted Number

I tried calling the number given to me by the gorgeous lady I met a few days back. Turns out she gave me an unlisted number.

Guess she didn't buy that meat tenderizer story after all.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Do You Have Herpes?

I think the toughest part about being a twentysomething single male in New York City (as if dating in this city wasn’t torture enough) is that you don’t want to tell anyone that you have bed bugs, but eventually someone will ask, “what are those marks on your arm?”

For those unfamiliar with the after effects of bed bugs, their bites sometimes turn into something that resembles reddish welts.

I don’t want to say I have a skin rash, or some type of STD that makes your skin break out. Two days ago this beautiful girl asked me what the series of reddish marks were on my arm. I literally told her the following, and cannot believe she bought it.

“I was fighting this guy in his house, and he ran into his kitchen, came out with a meat tenderizer and started swinging it at me. You know those old-fashioned tenderizers that look like mallets? I kept using my forearm to block each blow until I punched him in the throat and ran out.”

I don’t why I came out with that lie. I guess it was because when she asked, I didn’t have an alibi ready, and I didn’t want to tell her I have a bed bug infestation, and as you can imagine, I sure as hell didn’t want to make up having some kind of illness or STD. Illnesses that mark or deform the skin are usually contagious. Besides, the story makes me look macho because my imaginary enemy was attacking me with a weapon and I took him out with my bare hands.

I totally got her phone number. Score.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Review of "Save Jeffy"

The site I am reviewing today is Save Jeffy.

This site is definitely different from other professional and/or personal bed bug related sites. Definitely an entertaining browse, Save Jeffy humorously depicts bed bugs and his experience with them in such an over dramatized context one usually sees only in Hollywood action movies in which an impending disaster threatens the peaceful lives of many people. Think “Deep Impact.” The site is riddled with disaster references like “How to Identify an Invasion, Signs of the Apocalypse”, etc. Even the site’s splash page features the following plotline which could serve as an excellent voiceover for any action/horror movie.

As you can imagine, the greater goal of the Save Jeffy site is to solicit donations via PayPal to pay for new furniture for Jeffy. The splash page features a photo of a toddler which, by the brownish tint of the image, suggests this is the baby picture of Jeffy who I presume is all grown up.

Save Jeffy’s best feature is that it doesn’t present bed bug information the same way you might find it in, for example, the New York City Department of Health website. Save Jeffy does try to entertain as well as inform. And why not? Anyone living with bed bugs can use a good laugh. For example, when listing what one would need when combating bed bugs, Jeffy includes vodka, of course for yourself and a torch for those embracing an arson fantasy.

Please visit Save Jeffy, if for nothing more than to learn some new information you may not know and a good chuckle. And if you have a few dollars to spare, I’m sure clicking on the PayPal link would definitely send you some karma you way.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Content Filler

There hasn't been much to report while I'm waiting for Councilwoman Brewer to introduce her anti-bed bug legislation. So in the meantime I will begin reviewing bed bug-related web sites.

Friday, February 03, 2006

New Girl

I met this girl in school about a year ago. She is drop-dead gorgeous. I mean, we’d walk down the street together and I could see all the men’s (and women’s) eyes on her. At some point, after a few dates, we just kind of drifted apart. Fast forward to yesterday. We’d been hanging out a lot together this past week, and yesterday she says she has a few hours to kill before class and then asks if she can hang out at my place.

That one came right out of left field. Without missing a beat I said, “Sure,” but in my mind I’m thinking, I better cover up my sheets so she doesn’t see the bed bug spots all over them.

Bed bugs can really put a hold on your love life. What female is going to want to slip into a bed that is either crawling with bugs or has small specks of blood and/or bed bug feces on it? New Girl was going to be the first woman I would bring to my place since my girlfriend dumped me in mid-December. I fooled my ex by changing the sheets before she came, and of course, I would always spend the night at her place.

The minute I brought New Girl home, I told her to wait in the living room while I “fixed my room up a bit.” I quickly dashed to my bedroom and covered the sheets and pillows with a heavy blanket. Problem solved. She hung out until 7 p.m. and we watched my DVD of “The 40-year Old Virgin.”

As I walked New Girl back to the train station, I started thinking about what would happen if she wanted to spend the night. She lives with her parents, so me staying over at her place is out. I know she’s going to find out about the bed bugs if she stays at my place overnight. I really don’t know what to do at this point except not let her sleep over until I get rid of the bed bugs. That might work out for the best after all, as she may interpret my reluctance to spend the night as “taking it slow.”