There is a segment planned for NBC’s Today Show tomorrow about bed bugs.
I am sure it is a coincidence that I criticized Meredith Viera’s recent recommendation on the Today show that viewers recycle used mattresses via Craigslist and Freecycle. But I am glad they’re doing it, all the same.
University of California at Berkeley entomologist Gail Getty provided good advice about getting a good PCO (and following his/her instructions!), not self-treating with foggers and Raid, and not picking up used furniture.
Among the more interesting images provided was video footage of a bed bug excreting something on a sheet (bed bug feces, I presume), and of blood stains on sheets. (As an aside, we were contacted yesterday by Today, which is how I knew about the segment in advance. They wanted to use Amy’s bite photo, the first one on the Bed Bug Bites Photos page, but unfortunately, they appear to have been unable to get through to Amy in time to secure the permissions.)
My only criticism was that while the focus on inspecting a mattress is useful for the holiday travel season, it is important to remind people that they can get bed bugs not just from hotel mattresses, curbside sofas, or by picking them up at the movie theater or in an airplane. They can also get them without doing anything, if they live in a multi-unit building.
And I am still worried that Meredith Viera and many of her viewers who might not have caught this Today Health segment might not make the connection between the advice to donate used mattresses to Craigslist or freecycle, and the spread of bed bugs.
Overall, however, it was a good segment. And you don’t even have to crack open that Tivo file and fast-forward through Bush pardoning the Turkey. You can watch the segment here. (Right now, you can click “next” to the right of the video boxes to scroll to the bed bug video, but later on you might need to use the search box at the Today site.)