things to love about Ohio

The Bedbugs Are Coming!

Be very afraid!

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Maybe this is not necessarily something to love about Ohio:

Bedbugs are spreading.

At first, they appeared in places that you might expect: dense city centers such as New York, where officials may seek a bed bug czar, and San Francisco, which is trying landlord-education programs to keep the pests away.

But now, there are reports of bedbug infestations in homes and hotels from Ohio to Texas.

Speaking of Ohio — four cities appear in the top fifteen bed-bug hotspots in the U.S. Leading the way at number four: Cincinnati. (Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland also made the list. Toledo’s absence is not explained.)

So should we be worried?

“You should be worried — very, very, very worried,” says Michael Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland who spoke with NPR’s Audie Cornish about the bedbug resurgence. Raupp runs a website called “Bug of the Week,” and this week’s star is — you guessed it — the bedbug.

Wow. This guy must be a riot at parties.

“I find all bugs mysterious, wonderful,” [Raup says.] “These ones I tend to find a little bit despicable. But they’re fascinating in their own regard.

“This business of feeding on other people — the ectoparasitic life — I think we all know some people that do that, don’t we now? And maybe bedbugs aren’t so awfully different than somebody we know,” he says. “So, there’s a little bit of us in them, perhaps.”

I tried to explain this to Erin, who is deeply troubled by bedbugs. “You yourself are responsible for your fear,” I told her, “because you are just as culpable for your ectoparasiticness as I am for mine.”

Good thing I am a master at ducking fast-moving airborne objects!

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6 thoughts on “The Bedbugs Are Coming!

  1. To take Mr. Raup’s analogy one step further I believe that adorable little being that has taken up residence in your life might be described as the ultimate ectoparasitic life form.

    Just saying.

  2. erin, i am totally with you on this one. i have a gross irrational fear of bed bugs…just ask brad. if i even have a little bit of an itch when i’m in bed, i check the mattress for bed bugs…thanks a lot for sharing this info and heightening my craziness to new levels. also, a parent was telling me that the city has recently realized that the public library books sometimes carry the bugs…promoting their spread. just sayin’….stop reading! benjamin franklin be damned.

  3. My wife has requested that I apologize for perhaps insinuating that your child might have some parasitic tendencies.

    My apologies… and for the record I was talking about Scooter Thomas.

  4. And my husband has requested that I apologize for stealing lines from dated, cheesy movies.

    My apologies…and for the record I don’t even remember Karate Kid.

    Lauren, we are bedbug soulmates.

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