Motel Ticks – We’ll Leave the Bug Spray Out For Ya’

Did you come home from that recent vacation or business trip with some hitchhikers in your luggage?

We’re seeing more and more news stories on TV, at online news sites, or in the papers talking about the comeback of the BEDBUG. ARRRRRRRGH! Amazing how just mentioning that lowly little critter can make one start itching. I’ll be perfectly honest with you here, folks. I’ve never even seen bedbug that I know of. I remember my mom and dad, who were kids during the Great Depression, talk about bedbugs. They were the scourge of the poor back then, along with lice and an assortment of other unwholesome critters.

Well, guess what? They’re BA-ACK! A recent ABC News story gives us the scoop on these disgusting little blood suckers. Read The Down and Dirty: What’s In Your Hotel Bed? Blech! Good graphics along with that article, too. Oh, and for a more technical view of the bedbug… like you needed that, right? …here’s a detailed and educational dissertation on the bedbug from Harvard School of Public Health: Bedbugs – Cimex lectularius (Cimicidae). That’s odd. I would have thought that Harvard Law School would be the place to go to learn about parasitic blood-sucking creatures.

A snippet from the ABC article to whet your appetite:

There’s no definite way to know how often bed spreads get washed, but according to Moore, they don’t get washed after every guest. She suggested taking it off the bed right away and keeping it off. If you get cold, it’s a better bet to ask room service for more blankets.

EWWWWWW! You can’t even use the bedspread on the bed in the hotel room? Man! I remember going on trips when I was a kid with my parents and brother. We stayed in Holiday Inns and Ramada Inns and many other no-name motels from Florida to Colorado and everywhere in between. I always remember those rooms being spotlessly clean. This was in the early 60s or thereabouts. Have we become a nation of slovenly scum buckets? Sheesh!

Speaking of hotels, I remember at the ’03 State Rally for my biker club, we leased out 95% of the Cocoa, FL Econo Lodge. There were about 400 of us there for the weekend. We had an absolute blast. I don’t really remember much of it, except for the miserable four hour ride home on the HOT Sunday afternoon at the end of the weekend. I wasn’t really worried too much about bedbugs that weekend. If one had bit me, he would have died almost instantaneously of alcohol poisoning. Heh! Good memories.

I’ll leave you with a little saying mom always used to say to me when I was a kid…

Good night… don’t let the bedbugs bite.


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  • Buffet  On May 1, 2010 at 04:57

    Where I live (Louisville, Kentucky) the bedbug infestation is being attributed to the influx of illegal Mexican immigrants. Apparently, they’re none too sanitary? Eek gags! Which begs the question, what does one use to spray for Mexicans, diazinon or malthion? (The preceding is merely levity, and not to be taken seriously by touchy mexicans)

  • Marc Erickson  On May 5, 2010 at 08:23

    Bedbug infestation has nothing to do with how sanitary or unsanitary you are. They are a difficult to control pest. If you understand their habits, you can control them, and it’s always easier if you start at the first sign of infestation.

    I’ve had bedbug infestations twice in my life – once from a used mattress I didn’t check, and once from moving into an infested building. Both times I was able to kill the infestation and did not carry it to my new home after moving.

    Useful links with information about removing an infestation are below. The second link also has links leading to an excellent University of Florida site.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On May 5, 2010 at 15:05

      Hey Marc,

      You are correct. I didn’t mean to imply that this was only something that the poor had to deal with. It affects anyone. This is a similar situation to head and body lice. I caught a nasty case of those little buggers back in ’94 from my then girlfriend’s small children, who had picked it up at school.

      Thanks for the links, also. Interesting stuff.



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