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.