Mean Bed Bugs Are Determined to Ruin Your Vacation and Probably Your Whole Life

Illustration for article titled Mean Bed Bugs Are Determined to Ruin Your Vacation and Probably Your Whole Life

Oh, hey there. Had you managed to forget about the constant threat of bed bugs for even one second? Hahaha, of course not. You are always aware that your home could be invaded at any time, turning what was once your comfort zone into your own personal nightmare mansion. Well, you should continue to be paranoid about picking them up at home, but CNN helpfully points out that they can also terrorize you on vacation. I bet you're getting psyched for those summer travel plans now! Basically, bed bugs can be anywhere there are soft places where people sleep. Obviously that means hotels, but don't forget cruise ships, trains, planes, and automobiles too. So, be on the lookout for those nasty little buggers, especially in the creases of mattresses, and don't ignore them. Because, as CNN warns, "They can make you miserable and they can also hop a ride back to your home by sneaking into luggage." Nasty bastards.

Should they make their way into your home, from travel or from a shirt you bought at Hollister (you knew you shouldn't be shopping at that damn dark store!), you are pretty much shit out of luck. According to NPR, new research from Ohio State Univeristy has shown those bug bombs that people use to fog their apartments don't really work. They tested three popular versions on five different groups of bed bugs collected "in the wild" aka from houses, and all of them sucked. They basically just shoot insecticides called pyrethrins into the air, and there's anecdotal evidence that they actually stir the bugs up and cause them to move around instead of killing them all. So, don't bother coating your home in toxins since it's not going to do anything anyway. Either call in the professionals to do a real kill job or just give in and accept that we are powerless against filth and infestation and are destined to live with things crawling all over us. Ahhh, it itches!

Bed Bugs…Watch For Them This Vacation [CNN]

Beset With Bedbugs? Don't Bother With Bug Bombs [NPR]

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Before anyone takes the bed bugs threats this casually, know that bed bugs are a FUCKING NIGHTMARE. I had them about 8 years ago and the only way (ONLY WAY) to treat them is professionally, which is very expensive and takes several months. If you live in an apartment building, you have to get your landlord to treat the entire building, and you have no control over that unless you happen to live in a city that requires landlords to treat for them, which many don't because they don't actually carry disease. They are resilient as all hell- they can go one year without eating and the only thing that kills them are super heavy duty chemicals that they have to come in direct contact with, or extreme heat or freezing temperatures. When you have your space treated, you have to make sure that the technician (or whatever they are called) can reach every single baseboard and wall in your house- basement, attic, closets, hallways, and you have to launder every item of clothing in your house to ensure that if there is one in your clothes, it is dead. When I was going through this nightmare, I was honestly searching the internet for ways to buy some black market DDT.

I was just telling one of my employees that in all seriousness, if I had to choose between breaking an arm and getting bed bugs again, I'd choose the arm. FUCKING NIGHTMARE.