The big news today was that Mary-Louise Parker talked to David Letterman on his Late Show last night about her current bed bug scare.
(You can scroll in to about 1:33 in the video window below to see the start of the bed bug conversation.)
Apparently the star of “Weeds” suspected bed bugs and then had bed bug sniffing k9 “Bugsy” in to inspect. We are not sure what firm this is, but she is talking about New York City. We’re sure it’s not the Seattle Housing Authority’s bed bug sniffing dog, who is also called Bugsy. I gather this is a popular name!
Parker is not yet sure if she has bed bugs yet, but she talks about the option of commodity fumigation with Vikane gas (sending your belongings away “in a pod”).
There’s definitely some inaccurate information here: adult bed bugs are around 6mm or 1/6″ long — not the size of a pinhead as Parker states.
And only the adults look like the bed bug photo Letterman holds up.
First instar bed bug nymphs are 1mm or 1/32″ long, and either translucent, if unfed, or — if they have already fed — bright red with translucent legs and head. Subsequent life stages look a bit more like adults but are in progressively larger sizes, per Stephen Doggett’s chart here.
Also, everyone does not react to bed bug bites. Parker seems to be concerned that her son has been bitten — it was his line of three welts in a row that made her suspect bed bugs. However, if bed bugs are present, Parker could also have been bitten, showing no reaction.
Those who do react to bed bug bites may experience three bites in a row, which is how Parker says bed bug bites appear. But people can also get single bites, or pairs, or sets of three in triangles. There’s a wide variation.
Despite these inaccuracies, and despite the fact that Letterman does not seem the slightest bit concerned about bed bugs, I love that Mary-Louise Parker shared her bed bug scare on Letterman’s show.
No doubt she’s one of many celebrities who are going through (or have been through) such an experience, but she’s the first I’ve seen discuss it in this way on national television. I do hope Parker’s home is free of bed bugs.