Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Warmup Wednesday!

I recently employed the use of a web site tracking service to get a better idea of how many hits Bugged Out gets. I was very surprised to discover how many people visit Bugged Out. I guess my big mistake is basing the number of visitors upon the number of comments, which as I've found is not very accurate at all.

For example, yesterday 120 people visited Bugged Out, and 90 the day before. I was also shocked to find how many non-New Yorkers visited Bugged Out, considering I tried to niche myself away from other bed bug blogs by gearing the content towards bed bug issues in New York City. In the last two days, people from over 15 different countries have visited Bugged Out. From the comments I've read I knew Canadians and Britons were reading Bugged Out as well as Americans, but I was surprised to find so many visitors from the United Arab Emirates (Salam!), Australia (G'day!), India (Namaste!), Turkey (Merhaba!), Germany (Guten tag!), Kuwait (Salam!), Israel (Shalom!), and Malaysia (Selamat sejahtera!).

But let me get to the point.

Since so many people are visiting Bugged Out, I thought I'd offer a preview of what's ahead for my regular weekend post called Warmup Wednesday.

This weekend I'll finally publish my next round of bed bug-related haikus as well as share some of the haikus I've received from creative viewers. Get ready to laugh.

Update 11/01: Really ticked off with Blogger and my own oafish clumsiness, as Part Two of the haikus was written yesterday but was accidentally published that same day instead of Saturday, as I has intended. Instead, this weekend's post will focus on how bed bugs have contributed to the demise of one historic New York venue.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bed Bug Tortilla/Pest Control Orgy

I came across this old CBS story from New York City in which a woman living in a Brooklyn slum complains to her super of, among other things, a bed bug infestation. Check this out:

As for her complaint to the super about the bedbugs? "What you can do with the bed bugs is put them in a tortilla and feed them to your family and then get rid of the bedbugs," she said the super told her.
Yikes. Seems like bed bugs are just one more complaint for slumlords to ignore.

In other news, PCT Online had a very interesting article exhibiting just what it took to destroy a full-scale bed bug infestation in one New Jersey apartment building. People often drop comments on Bugged Out asking how to effectively get rid of bed bugs from their apartments or apartment buildings, and the answer is never a simple one. Because apartments are attached to each other, simply fumigating the affected apartment doesn't help, as bed bugs can escape to adjacent apartments and return when the coast is clear.

Royal Fumigation, however, has devised a fumigation strategy even more comprehensive than President Bush's invasion of Iraq. Keeping constant communication with local police precincts, fire departments and New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, Royal had the property manager evacuate all tenants from the building for the duration of the bed bug fumigation, arranging temporary housing for the displaced tenants. Royal then spent the next 12 hours sealing off, I presume, every nook and cranny in the building.

After that, a pesticide called Vikane was sprayed in the building for about 24 hours. A consultant from Dow Agrosciences, the manufacturer of Vikane, was on hand to help Royal with the proper application of the pesticide. The actual fumigation period was followed by a nine-hour aeration of the entire building using fans. Though the aeration was over by 9 pm, Royal didn't want anyone re-entering the building until the next morning. The next day the property manager brought in a cleaning crew to make the building ready for the tenants to move back in.

I found this to be the most coordinated and thorough bed bug fumigation I've ever heard of. I can't even imagine how much this all cost. The article itself leaves out several facts that I and others would love to know, including:
  1. How many people were actually involved in the fumigation?
  2. How much did this all cost, and was the cost covered by the landlord or by the tenants?
  3. How many apartment units were in the building?
  4. How much time did Royal spend preparing this very thorough operation?
  5. What logistical issues, if any, did the crew face while planning this operation?
  6. Were the apartments unlocked in order for Royal to properly fumigate them?
I certainly wish these questions were answered in the article, but the story had enough information to keep me interested. Wouldn't it be an absolute bitch if the bed bugs still survived in that building after all that?

Have a good weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Bug Man Strikes Again!

Stumbled on an old (March 2007) San Francisco Gate article featuring some pretty good advice from the Bugman, who I mentioned in a previous post.

Here's an excerpt:

Q:I have a pest control company spray our house every month, and we don't see any bugs. They claim they can kill all crawling insects. Is anything wrong with this?

A: Besides spraying pesticides without having a target pest, there are a number of other reasons why I would never recommend such a service.

First, any insect, spider or other arthropod can occasionally wander into your home. It happens to everyone and shouldn't be a concern. You can dispose of the occasional invader however you like. However, occasionally you may see a few insects of the same species, and it may be important to know what they are. Never hire a pest control company that "kills all crawling insects"; hire one that can identify all crawling and flying insects and will make recommendations and treat accordingly.

I checked out his web site and found these bizarre bed bug facts:

Crushed bed bugs, mixed with salt and human milk make a fine eye ointment. In powdered form they were thought to cure all fevers and for hysteria they were given internally, and just the smell of them was considered sufficient to relieve those under hysterical suffocation. In some parts of Ohio, eating seven bed bugs mixed with beans is considered a cure for chills and fever.

And check out this tidbit on the "insectxuality" of bed bugs.
Bed bugs also have an interesting sex life. The males have large, sex organs with which they pierce the females body wall not bothering to use her sex organs. They fill the female's body with semen, some it which makes it to her reproductive organs. The rest is absorbed as protein by the female and used as nourishment. When feeding, bed bugs have been observed climbing on top of another bed bug which is feeding on a human and piercing that bed bug with its beak and sucking the blood from it, thus getting the blood second hand. This body piercing of the females by males while feeding seems to have no effect on the bed bug getting pierced.
Doesn't make me feel any better that two bed bugs may be getting it on while perched on my body sucking my blood. These creatures certainly are multi-taskers.

I highly recommend the Bugman's interesting website, which I should add, advocates the treatment of insect infestations without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Burn, Baby, Burn!

I came up with a new sport you might want to try. It's ever so much fun.

There's no league to join, no official rules, it can be played at home, and you can do all the steroids you want.

The sport? Bed bug burning!

Here's what you need:
1) A live bed bug
2) A long barbecue lighter
3) A linoleum floor or other fire-resistant surface

I'm not going to insult your intelligence by telling you how the game is played, except that each charred bed bug equals one point.

My brother tried burning bed bugs, and he says they scream when they catch fire. I keep trying to position my ear close to the action to hear anything that remotely resembles a scream. So far nothing. Let me know if you hear any screams if you so feel inclined to try out this fun sport.

By the way, I have collected nine bed bug-related haikus from anonymous posters so far. As I previously promised, I would only unleash my next ten bed bug haikus when I recieve ten from you. So please, stir up those creative juices and drop that last haiku in the comment area!