Don't let the bedbugs bite...
And if they do?
Hit them with a shoe!
Until they turn...?
Black and Blue!
And if they don't......?"
If the thought or even mention of bedbugs makes your stomach turn, then this post os not for you- please stop reading immediately! On the other hand, if these tiny creatures gross you out yet intrigue you at the same time, then please read on.
It sounds insane to be grateful for bedbugs, but ironically, my family is. The hubcap is an excellent commercial exterminator and Cincinnati is in the middle of a huge bedbug epidemic, so the pesky buggers have given him so awesome business (and is also partly what has allowed me to quit my job and stay home with the boys).
The majority of the US population has yet to see a bedbug with their own eyes so today my friends, I have a treat for you. If, you are ever in a hotel, or movie theater and happen to come across one of the bugs pictured below, then yes, you have the right to freak out, scream, and run for cover....
Pictured above is the bedbug at every life stage (egg, nymph, and adult). And yes, oddly enough, we have containers of bedbugs at our house all waiting to have scientific studies done on them (actually having a container of dead bedbugs in my purse for comparison and discussion has actually come in handy a time or two- but I digress).
Although bedbugs are basically harmless (yes their bites can leave very uncomfortable welts depending on if you are allergic to them, but they do not carry disease), most people, including myself, would rather not share a bed with them. The only non-chemical way to get rid of these nighttime prowlers is to use heat. According to the NPMA Field Guide to Structural Pests by Eric H. Smith and Richard C. Whitman, "A normal hot wash cycle will kill bedbugs. Running dry clothes or other items (non-washables such as backpacks, shoes, etc.) through a hot drier (as hot as the fabrics can withstand, but a minimum of 140 degrees F/ 60 degrees C) for 10 minutes kills all stages, but don't run larger than half-loads. " These creatures are great hitchhikers and love to travel with people, but chances are, if you happen to just bring one home, you will not have an infestation.
There's huge hype in Cincinnati right now regarding bedbugs. Many times, my husband will get a complaint call only to find a beetle or some other type of harmless bug that has been mistaken for the bedbug. My goal of this post is to enlighten my reader to the physical recognition of bedbugs. People ask me all the time what they look like and so I hope this serves as a good visual :)
Are bedbugs a problem in your part of the world?