The ninth “Global War on Bedbugs” column has appeared in McSweeney’s; this one is good: author Alan Good goes to New Brunswick to meet Dr. Changlu Wang, of Rutgers.
Of course, we love Changlu Wang.
He is doing wonderful, practical research on bed bugs, and he understands the problems in detecting and treating them. As Good notes,
Many people still don’t realize there’s a bedbug problem, and when they do realize there’s a problem, they have no idea what to do about it. “I think that we should really educate people about choices so they can know what to do,” [Changlu Wang] said.
And here is what makes his work so important: “We still need to really also invent new technology to make it more affordable, more effective, faster.”
But this story from Wang about a bad case of bed bugs really was a jaw-dropper:
“Some people really say ‘OK, I don’t have any,’ but they have thousands on the bed. I actually observed at least two people. They don’t have any signs on their arms, but their rooms have easily more than ten thousand bedbugs. They don’t react. They are elderly people. Maybe that’s the one reason.”
We know many folks don’t react to bed bug bites. And recent research suggests the elderly are less likely to react when bitten by bed bugs.
We have heard stories like that before, but they always cause the same reaction.
I know you’ll want to read the rest of Good’s story here.