Sunday, September 30, 2007

New York, the Perfect Scapegoat

Even in a post-9/11 world, Americans love to talk trash about New York City. This LA Times article on bed bugs is no different. While I didn't find anything of significance in the article that I haven't already blogged about, I did find this particular passage interesting:

They used to be associated with cramped and dirty living quarters, grimy motels and high-rise living in places like New York.-Los Angeles Times
Because cramped and dirty living quarters and grimy motels can only be found in New York, right? Right.

If you click on the second page of the article, you will find some interesting bed bug trivia to share with your friends when you're up at three in the morning because you're too paranoid to go to sleep. But if you don't feel like making that extra click, I copied and pasted the factoids below:
Bedbugs are established members of the global community. Archaeologists in Europe have found bedbug fossils dating back 3,500 years, the University of Kentucky's Potter said, "and they go way back before that." They arrived in the New World with the first colonists and were plentiful until about the 1940s, when DDT seemed to do away with them.-Los Angeles Times
By the way, someone has already posted in the comment area four bed bug haikus. They're really good, but as promised, I would only post my next ten bed bug haikus when you guys submitted ten of your own. So try and send in six more, and only then will I unleash to the world my next ten bed bug haikus.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Who Wants To Laugh?

With all the crying many of you are doing as you throw out your beloved bed bug-ridden furniture, I'm sure you can all use a good laugh.

The following is an article I found in The Spoof!, a publication featuring outrageously made-up news, kind of the British version of The Onion. This particular article showcases a new strain of bed bug that resembles a lobster.

Here's one hilarious quote:

These super-bugs thrive on crisps and of course the lower orders are always eating food in bed, and as they always buy shite for their kids and that, then it's no surprise that this plague is getting totally out of hand."
In case you're wondering, "crisps" are what English people call potato chips because "chips" are what they call french fries. "Feckers" is, well, replace the first e with a u and you'll figure it out. "Shite"? Remove the e and you will have the American translation. "Council estates" I imagine refers to public housing, and the "lower orders" means lower-class people.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Bed Bug Haikus, Part One

Some of you may not know that I am a writer. In addition to the blogging, I worked for a few years as a reporter and editor. I've done some unpublished fiction and am currently writing a book. I thought about how art develops through suffering and emotion and loss, three things I've encountered since I first saw bed bugs in my room.

Long story short, I sat down and began writing bed bug haikus. For those unfamiliar with the term, haiku is a Japanese form of nonrhyming poetry. The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven and the final line contains five. There are a few variations to this rule but 5, 7, and 5 are the standard. Without further ado, I give you ten haikus I wrote in the last hour.


My blood is their food

I itch yet they are not there

I miss my mattress


"Don't let bed bugs bite"

Much easier said than done

Bring back DDT


Please, legalize it

DDT, I mean. Not weed

No, wait...yes to both


I live with bed bugs

If you can call it living

Ow, my arm itches


Are bed bugs a dream

For minimalist people?

Bare rooms confuse bugs


Die, Rachel Carson!

Say, now that she's dead, can we

Bring back DDT?


I live with bed bugs

I sleep on an air mattress

You come here often?


It's hard to get laid

With bug bites on your body

They look like herpes


Comment on Bugged Out

If you don't do so tonight

More bed bugs will bite


My bedroom is bare

These bed bugs are everywhere

Do you even care?


After I wrote these I thought, why should I have all the fun? If these goofy haikus inspired you in any way to write your own bed bug-related haiku, please do so in lieu of a comment on this post. If you have writer's block, just remember your little buddies waiting at home for you to come back to bed! Remember the pain and suffering! The itching! The humiliation! The stigma! Oh, the humanity!

I've actually written ten more, but you won't see them until I see at least ten haikus from my dear, dear readers. They must be bed bug-related. If you need any more inspiration, peruse the many many posts here on Bugged Out.

Note: Non-haiku poetry also accepted.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why I Do This

A few weeks ago I received an anonymous comment that I have literally read over and over because it makes me feel great. It's from someone living with bedbugs who is a regular reader who welcomes Bugged Out as an oasis of support in a desert of loneliness and hopelessness.

To her I say, thank you. You are the reason why Bugged Out was created, and I'm glad that Bugged Out and many other bed bug-related blogs out there to serve the simple purpose of letting those people living with bed bugs know that even though they feel alone, they are anything but. Your parents may not understand your problem, your friends may look at you like you're a leper and you may go through various episodes of bed bug paranoia, but understand that we've all been there before, everyone who has a bed bug blog or has read or commented on a bed bug blog, we've all been there.

Don't give up hope.

Without further ado, I will now paste that inspirational comment.


Though I have never commented, I read your blog religiously. As you might have guessed...I have bed bugs too. And I need to thank you, profusely.

I'm a nineteen year old college student. After my first year at a big university in a small town, I decided to take control of my life and start following my biggest dream--to live in the city. I changed schools, friends, and locations to live in beautiful apartment in downtown Denver. I bought all new furniture and decorated my apartment with care (and all of my student budget). I even bought myself a cat and--presto!--insta-home. I woke up one morning about 6 weeks ago with some strange bug bites on my stomach. I am very allergic to mosquitoes, so I passed the blame to that and went on with my day. As time went on, I kept getting bites. Of course, my boyfriend never recieved one. I must have tasty blood. After research, I realized my true problem--bedbugs. As no one here seems to understand the problem, my boyfriend and I took it upon ourselves to rid my apartment. We isolated my bed and for two blissful weeks, I was bite free! Then I woke up a week and a half ago with 23 bites in a circle on my thigh, a line of them on my ribcage and my back...I'd been practically eaten alive. And that brings me to where I am now. I got out of my lease (after much arguing with my landlord who STILL doesn't believe there are any bugs..) and have signed a new lease in a fully-furnished (YES!) building. This is REALLY nice considering my new bedroom set and living room sets are in a junkyard somewhere. My new community doesn't allow pets so my cat has found a new home. I'm washing every item of clothing I own.

It doesn't matter though. At the moment I can feel them on me. Crawling. Biting. Sucking away my blood. I wish I could explain rationally to those darn bugs that I'm anemic! I need my blood more than they do! I don't sleep much, and when I do, I have vivid nightmares. Last night when I was eating sushi, I became convinced that a sesame seed was a bug that had brazenly followed me to dinner. My family thinks I am crazy---they are probably right. I saw a commercial for that new movie Bug. I burst into tears. I cannot wait until I think back on this and it's been years since I saw one or felt one.

Anyway, the purpose of this disgusting long comment was to say thank you. Your blog made me feel less alone. No one I know really understands and I don't like to share. Some people act like I have a communicable disease when I try to explain it.

On Saturday morning I will cart away the last of my belongings. Hopefully that will be a start to the end of the nightmares, the paranoia, the crazed searches in the middle of the night. I'll continue to read this blog...makes me feel like not such a freak.