A Ten-Step Support Group For BedbugsS

Trust us, by the time you read this, someone you know will have discovered the telltale trio of welts and known, with a sinking heart, that they were infested. Especially if you live in one of these ten cities!

Sorry, Cincinnati. According to the Daily Beast, you're #1 for the bloodsuckers, with Columbus, Chicago and Denver not far behind. And when even Conde Nast is calling out the exterminators, you know they're everywhere.

There's nothing worse than telling people you have bedbugs, because inevitably, they make you feel worse. If they haven't been through the wars themselves, they know people who have. They'll talk gleefully about the thousands of dollars you have to spend, the furniture you'll need to throw away, the inevitable return. and your disgust will be supplanted by despair. Within days, you'll begin entertaining thoughts of tracking down an unscrupulous exterminator with a stash of contraband DDT. You'll think about moving to the country. You'll become paranoid, assuming every itch, every speck is further evidence of their tyranny. You'll never feel safe at a hotel again. And even the most tempting curbide furniture sighting will be cause to cross to the other side.

So, in addition to all that inevitable gloom and doom, I'd like to remind those fellow residents of the top 10 - and the rest of you just behind us - of a few truths:

1. It's not your fault. Just like Good Will Hunting had to learn: you are the victim here. It can - and will - happen to anyone.

2. You're in good company. Half the world has played host to these indestructible creatures at this point. Even if they won't admit it.

3. It's an excuse to clean! And come on, you needed a new mattress.

4. They aren't geniuses. Tenacious? Yes. Able to withstand months without food, freezing lows and brutal highs? Yes. But machiavellian, they're not. They will get stuck on that tape around your bed's legs, and they won't be able to avoid the vacuum cleaner.

5. They also don't fly. I mean, count your blessings.

6. Thanks to everyone having them, there's a lot of advice out there. How to find an exterminator. How to kill them without an exterminator (don't try this at home unless you like bed bugs at home - trust.) How to seal the room. How to prevent their return. The flip-side of the unhelpful hand-wringing!

7. Your landlord has to deal with it. If you're a renter, at least you've got that going for you: it's in everyone's interests to eliminate the problem, and fast.

8. Gross as they are, they won't kill you.

9. "Don't let the bedbugs bite" will finally have a personal meaning for you.

10. Last but not least, now you can be the Job's comforter gleefully outlining the horrors your coworker's about to endure - because misery loves company.


America's 10 Most Infested Cities
[Daily Beast]