Damn These Bed-Bugs!!!!

Where did they come from all of a sudden??!

It’s a rhetorical question of course…We know the species has been around for years now, but Law offices? Retail chains? This is getting a bit out of hand.

These creatures have been the things of folklore for all of my life up until now. They existed as nothing more than the tail-end subjects of an old nursery rhyme. They were like the Boogey-man in a sense. As years went by, I did evidently discover that they were an actual insect group, but never in any regard to them being a threat that I would ever have to encounter.

Enter the New Wave of New Millenium sensibilities, where cultures and habits have mixed to the point of blurring. In 2005, when I was a Real Estate agent, working for a rental firm, was my first experience of hearing about Bed-Bug infestations. This was soooo foreign to me, something akin to the lice outbreaks that I would hear about in middle school, but never came close to. Something…and pardon the inadvertent racism, but something I identified with WhiteFolks. I immediately had visions of Hostels filled with a mixed bag of  European tourists.

Now, in the wake of my ignorance, I’ve come to realize that while the rising tide and trend of more frequent world travel is one of the main culprits being outlined as a contributing factor in the spread of these pests in my beloved New York City, it is far from being the only one. Yes, we live in an era where going to Switzerland is just like going to Kansas, but even more so now that we’re  just as willing to go to less affluent regions of the Globe as those glamorous – for whatever reasons – the risk has gone up.

Even still, As much as this Globe-trotting phenomena is new, and it is still uncertain what areas are more Bed-Bug active, there is no particular group of people who are responsible for the current onslaught. As I perused an article on bed-bugs on 1 site, I came across comments like “People need to seriously start taking showers before they leave the house. Especially dirty hipsters that live in bedbug infested buildings in Williamsburg and Bushwick.” Humorous, but misguided and misdirected. Then there were others that cited immigration as the heart of the threat. We now have been told that Bed-Bugs can nestle in with no relation to cleanliness, and do not discriminate based on whereabouts, but something could be said about how hygiene and organization can aid or deter early detection and prevention methods.

Experts have suggested taking measures such as implementing Climb-Up inceptors and mattress encasements for bed protection, as well as common sense preventative actions such as not putting down bags/purses on certain surfaces.

Some articles I’ve read have urged people not to freak out, while others, like this one, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129345182 have downright spelled doom. It has been pointed out that at one point in time, Bed-bugs were just accepted as a part of everyday life, and this article suggests that we are headed in a direction that would see us having to submit and accept them just the same. As a Grown man who is still horrified of Cockroaches, or as we call them in the hood, Waterbugs, I say that we have been waaaaaayyyy too accepting already of the infiltrating nasty scourges. Haven’t we been passive enough in understanding that they have outlived us and we can’t win? Why would we invite and brace ourselves to endure another infestation to coexist with in the most intimate spaces of our metropolitan lives???!!

If ever I meet God, I will ask what he was thinking when he made these abominations.

I’ve never been more ready for war. And you can rest assured that this is big business for specialty companies that will no doubt pop up out of the woodwork (Literally) to temper the situation. And this doesn’t mean that your run of the mill exterminator who comes by every 3 months will receive any additional or upgraded training to handle the  new threat. Nooooo, this means you’ll have to call in individualized Bed-Bug removal agents and shell out extra cash.

Maybe the exterminators are at the core of this to begin with. Some believe that the pesticides, particularly DDT’s that have been recently made illegal due to concerns with vegetation, some animals and overall long-term human health, are crucial elements in the rise. The existence of these chemicals may have been what suppressed any resurgence of the bugs for decades, and now with them out of the picture, guess who’s back in the picture? Blame it on those New Wave, New Millenium sensibilities…

We care too much. How is it that we can send rockets to other planets and have video phone conferences in the palm of our hands, but can’t eradicate one pest that will fuck up our very comfort? We can wage genocide on each other, but not on an insect? Humans man….

All I know is that the paranoia alone is enough to make one city dweller go nuts! Last night I was twitching in bed from just the thought alone. The inception of the idea is enough to drive most of us to Howard Hughes levels of compulsion and that’s scary. With the recent cases of Bed-Bugs found in the Time Warner building and the 2 Major Manhattan AMC theatres, I already don’t want to go anywhere without leather, plastic or metal furniture. There’s even stories of subway bench discoveries. Damn those bums! I told you!

But like I said, this surpasses finger pointing at any one group to be singled out. This is not a subcultural, racial or even New York Centric problem…With news of outbreaks across the country, this is now becoming a full scale invasion.

All I ask is……what are you gonna do about it??

You gonna fight? or lie there like a beeyotch?

….And get bitten?