Gender, race, and being bitten by bed bugs

by nobugsonme on June 13, 2007

in bed bug bites, bed bugs, bedbugs, gender, race

I’ve often speculated here that in a household with a man and a woman, the woman appears to be more likely to end up the bed bugs’ breakfast-lunch-and-dinner than the man, or at least she’s more likely to be allergic to bed bugs than the man. (Remember, we really don’t know when people are not being bitten, and when they just are not having an allergic reaction to the bites.)

Why do I suspect this? Because we often hear from women that their menfolk are not suffering from the bites while they themselves are being bitten alive.

We rarely (though sometimes) hear the same story from men, whose women are spared.

We have heard from women and men who live in single-gender households where one is bitten and the others are spared. Where the people are sleeping in separate rooms, this can, of course, mean the bugs have not spread to all the rooms. But I have a sense that in many cases, only some in the group are targets.

To be very clear, plenty of men do suffer from bed bugs, and plenty of women do not. Many of our male readers would rightly rush to correct me if I did not point this out.
We hear from men who are driven batty while their female friends are unaffected, and women who live with other women who think they’re crazy, since the other woman feels nothing at all.

I’m just saying I have seen the first story (women bitten, men spared) too, too often for it not to seem like a more common situation.

One reader once suggested that women are more likely to write in and tell us they’re being bitten, but actually, we’ve now heard from a number of men who were unbitten (or unallergic) but who were here to support their woman-friends. And so it does seem like bed bugs either bite women more, or more women are allergic than men.

For some reason, my complex description of the various options above reminds me of that old song:

There are men who love women who love men
There are women who love women every now and then
There are men who love men because
They can’t pretend
They are men who love women who love men.

I’d love to re-write that song to encapsulate my Gendered Theory of Bed Bug Bites, but I am too tired.
I also can’t let this pass without saying that the “every now and then” occurrence of women-who-love-women is inaccurate in my experience.
But then I live in the Big City, and often move in liberal circles.

The Bugged Out blogger has recently been speculating over whether race makes a difference to whether one is bitten or not. I have no reason to think it does, but maybe you do, dear reader. So Check it out, drop Bugged Out a comment, and tell us too: do bed bugs discriminate?

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