Yet more people who are yet to discover bed bugs exist: My Bedbugs and Familyfun.com

by nobugsonme on December 11, 2006 · 13 comments

in bed bugs, fun, humor

Well, we already talked about people who don’t know bed bugs are (a) real, and (b) horrific. See this, and this, for example.

In the normal world, bed bugs pass as “fun”: Parakeets can’t post right now, but she emailed to tell me she saw this great suggestion on familyfun.com [note: website taken down after this post was published] posted by reader “carrie f” for a children’s “Bed Bug Party”, with gummi worms, bug juice (i.e. green kool aid), and english muffin pizzas. (Apparently so much buggy fun is prevailing here that the english muffin pizzas do not need to have any buggy or otherwise gross connection a la gummi worms).

The party is just about the opposite of what life is like with bed bugs:

Games & Activities
Everyone came dressed up as their favorite bed bug and remained in character during the party. Later everyone acted out their bed bug and guessed what each other was.

Rather than blood-sucking horror, there was music, dancing, and snacks; and then,

We had a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood collecting items bed bugs might need or like.

You know, carbon dioxide, live humans full of blood, a wooden bed to live in, some clothes to hang out in and lay eggs: the usual.

The kids then changed into their pajamas and slippers and lay down with sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows and watched a movie while waiting for their parents to pick them up. My 4-year-old daughter really wanted a sleepover party but her friends were too young for that, so we did this bed bug party as a compromise. The kids stayed until bedtime, dressed for bed, and tucked into sleeping bags — then went home and woke up in their own beds. but they all felt like they had had a sleepover.

See– this is actually like having bed bugs in that the kids got in bed but did not actually sleep. I do that every night!

The goodie bag was filled with different bug candies, a bug jar with a magnifying glass on top, a variety of plastic insects, and a fun book about insects.

This is actually cool. And will be very educational. When I was a kid, a teacher had us collect bugs and impale them with pins on cardboard. Little did I know I’d need my bug identification skills in adulthood.

Now, despite not getting enough sleep and spending too much time on this blog, I am not totally out of touch. I realize “their favorite bed bugs” is a reference to the children’s television show “My Bedbugs.”

However, although most bedbugs-for-children are funny and cute and not even remotely similar to cimex lectularius, the “My Bedbugs” bed bugs are making me suspicious that they may actually be close to the real thing.

Sure, they’re yellow and green and blue and have human-ish features along with antennae.

But their good friend J. Egdar Hoover is a vacuum. (Since I got bed bugs, my best friend is a vacuum too!) What children’s show has a vacuum for a character?!? This tells me the producers know something about bed bugs, since Bedbuggers spend all our time vacuuming.

J Edgar Hoover from My Bedbugs

(My screenshot from Wayback Machine Archive of J Egdar page from now defunct mybedbugs.com site.)

Their other friend, Snoozy, is a pillow, who is sleepy all day (just like me!) You know bed bugs love pillows.
You can even play a fun game called “Match a Bug” (which we real life Bedbuggers like to play, comparing the insects we find with those in pictures our friend entomologist Lou Sorkin provides!)

I don’t mean to sound bitter. I am glad the kids love the show and I think they’d love the party too. It amazes me that we’re just leaving behind an era where nobody remembered bed bugs or was worried about them. Maybe people who’d volunteered for the Peace Corps, or Doctors without Borders, or been youth hostelling, but it was a far-off, adventure-related problem, like malaria-tablet hallucinations, or Montezuma’s revenge, and not something that you’d have to deal with back home.

Wait till bed bugs start spreading from kid to kid at school, as they’re currently doing in some places, and the folks who make “My Bedbugs” are going to discontinue that series so fast, your head will spin. Who’s going to want to watch this with the real vacuum running, with crabby kids who don’t get enough sleep, and with actual bed bug carcasses and sealed bags of clothing on the floor?

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1 buggedinbrooklyn December 11, 2006 at 6:40 pm

when I started to look up bedbugs online this past thursday, I’m sure I also saw a bunch of toys that were labled with the bedbug style or maybe TV show theme.
so I did a quick google to see if I can find the toys and games that I saw and look what I found…..

OMG, how can I go to sleep tonight after watching that video?

well, at least the exterminator just left after a 2 hour spray fest.
he left me a bottle or that spray and I already used about half of it being so paranoid.
he’ll be back in a week to do a followup, and again in another week or so.

the only visual signs we had was just my dad’s bed and the couch, but every nook and crany was sprayed. even the bathroom was do to the laundry hamper was in there.

Gianni from Mitebuster seemed to know what he was doing, and was quite nice.

sorry for going on and on…this is a nightmare for me, and I’m off to do more laundry in 20 mins or so.
well, at least my cold (had the flu for almost two weeks) is alot better tonight. no fever for 3 days, but still quite tired.
wow, you guys have no idea how tired I am with this Flu. my cough still wont go away.

again sorry for the rant, and thank you for all the great info on this problem.

buggedinbrooklyn

2 nobugsonme December 11, 2006 at 7:10 pm

You mean this bed bugs party, Bugged?

Bed Bugs In Action. – video powered by Metacafe

3 bugzinthehood December 12, 2006 at 12:01 pm

When I grew up on cartoons, it was always cats against mice. Cats bad. Mice good. Never having to deal with vermin as a kid, I grew up with a distorted view of the world that mice are basically cute and/or harmless, not concerned with their plundering of crops and grain, spreading plague or Hanta virus. Even as an adult I realize that on a subliminal level, because they are abstract I still think of them benignly.

That is my reservation with the Bed Bug TV show, that it will leave kids with a sentimental spot in their hearts for them.

Okay, Grinch signing off.

4 parakeets December 12, 2006 at 6:17 pm

We had a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood collecting items bed bugs might need or like.

…mmm, bedbugs like mattresses. Bedbugs like used furniture. Bedbugs like bedding. Let’s bring these home! The bedbugs might like them. We can get even more bedbugs this way.

The kids then changed into their pajamas and slippers and lay down with sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows and watched a movie while waiting for their parents to pick them up. My 4-year-old daughter really wanted a sleepover party but her friends were too young for that, so we did this bed bug party as a compromise.

….oooh, maybe the sleeping bags and blankets pillows might even have bedbugs in them! [as they probably would in our houses]. Wouldn’t that be fun? The kids could itch and dance and compare their bites to see who got the most.

The kids stayed until bedtime, dressed for bed, and tucked into sleeping bags, then went home and woke up in their own beds. but they all felt like they had had a sleepover.

….and the kiddies went home, taking their little hidden souvenir surprise bedbugs with them (if they hadn’t already gotten some at school) and effortlessly tucked the little bedbugs into their own beds at home and never were without bedbugs again. Even their mommies and daddies got to share the goodies everyone brought home from the bedbug party.

5 jessinchicago December 12, 2006 at 10:29 pm

Parakeets-

So sad, so true, so funny.

Jess

6 Caitlinator December 14, 2006 at 12:53 pm

I dunno. Maybe I’m just a heartless nonbeliever, but I don’t see the harm in portraying bedbugs as cute. The toys and games are clearly different from REAL bedbugs and it’s kind of a relief not to be constantly pelted with the message of all the evils of bedbugs. Sometimes I think taking a problem TOO seriously can make it worse, and the toys and games to me are a sort of ironic, yet welcome relief. I also don’t think the intent of the toys or games is to belittle the seriousness of the problem of real bedbugs. Sometimes you take a scary concept and make it cute and nice so you can face it if and when the time arises. (Think, “Eensy Weensy Spider,” though I don’t think that ever actually helped me over my fear of spiders…)

7 nobugsonme December 14, 2006 at 3:17 pm

HI Caitlin,
I can get behind that, actually. My point is that these shows and toys seem to have been developed before bed bugs “came back”. I doubt the kid’s show and books would have made their cute creatures bed bugs in light of the current media focus on the real bed bugs. I could be wrong, though.

8 M.L January 27, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Someone NEEDS TO GET A GRIP!!! I did a google search on this show and apparently the guy who created “My Bedbugs” did it in 1997. Also in my research I could not find a Hoover anywhere. This seems to be a very good educational children’s program that has been honored with some very prstigious awards. How are lions,dinosaurs and bears OH MY, monkeys and sloths acceptable DON’T THEY BITE? GIVE THIS SHOW A BREAK

9 nobugsonme January 27, 2007 at 11:15 pm

ML– I think you missed my point. I realize the show’s a few years old. In 1997, bed bugs were not a serious epidemic as they are now, here in North America, and in many other places around the world. But bed bugs were never cute or fun, and have existed and plagued humans since your ancestors were wearing furs and sleeping in a cave. And a Hoover is a vacuum. Look at the photo above to see it. Unlike dinosaurs and sloths, bed bugs are unlikely to take up residence in your toddler’s crib when the au pair comes back from a skiing vacation.
Thanks for stopping by!

10 Dennis March 17, 2007 at 6:39 am

There’s kid’s shows about dinosaurs, aliens, trains, cars, indians etc…… Why not Bedbugs!! My kids love the show and it entertains them for 1/2 hour each day allowing time to myself. I love it too!

11 nobugsonme March 17, 2007 at 2:13 pm

That’s lovely Dennis. I think you missed our point. Your child has more chance of being bitten by actual bed bugs than being eaten by a dinosaur, abducted by aliens, or meeting a talking car. I hope that never happens, but maybe you could give that a moment’s thought.

Why don’t we have kid’s shows about polio, which I hear is coming back, or scabies? Head lice? Is any of this sinking in? Sorry if we seem a bit sensitive. If you got bed bugs, you’d get it.
All the best!

(Note to others, is this “My BedBugs Show” some kind of cult, or what?)

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