Bedbugs in the news today: Peterborough, England

by nobugsonme on October 22, 2006

in bed bugs, england, united kingdom

Peterborough (UK) is itching. It sounds like it costs 99-120 pounds ($200 US, give or take) to clear a house of bedbugs in Peterborough. It sounds like the city council and the private pest control operators there are getting plenty of practice with bedbugs. The article says they fumigate as well as spreading insecticides, which is interesting, since we’re told that fumigation is not a good way to treat bedbugs (it’s ineffective and it spreads the problem, rather than containing it). But perhaps they are doing something along the lines of tenting.

But, according to this article in the Oxford Mail, some Brits, in Shipton-under-Wychwood, are actually choosing to live with bedbugs and other parasites.  Creepy virologist Dr. Mike Leahy convinced patrons of the Crown pub to submit to bizarre experiments in which parasites were allowed to feed on them:

The experiments were carried out at different locations around the county, including Didcot, Bladon and North Leigh, for a new television series called Invasion of the Bodyscratchers, which is being shown on Sky TV tonight.


For the three-part series, Dr Leahy, 40, who lives in Shipton-under-Wychwood, shared his body with headlice, leeches, bed bugs, dust mites, tics, malarial mosquitos, a two-metre-long tapeworm and a Bot fly.

His brother Aidy, 29, was persuaded to have a live Tunbu Fly inserted into his buttock and his drinking partner Duncan Lonsdale agreed to take part in an experiment to see whether tapeworms, which live in the gut, thrive better on healthy or less healthy food.

Two other customers at the pub were persuaded to become infested with tics and several more agreed to help with an experiment involving bed bugs.

Dr Leahy said: “I have always been interested in infectious diseases and parasites and the best way to see them is on a host.

“I have done experiments like this before, but thought it would be fun to get some other people involved as well.

“I just told them I would make them film stars and they decided to give it a go.

“The wife wasn’t too happy at times though – she kicked me out on one occasion and I had to live in a shed at an airbase.”

During filming, Dr Leahy met a hospital patient whose foot had become a temporary home to hundreds of maggots, placed on the wound by doctors to suck out an infection.

His brother Aidy said: “I think he’s absolutely mad. I wouldn’t go through with half the things he’s put inside his body.

“I just did it out of interest really. I was apprehensive beforehand, especially when they wanted to put the Bot Fly on my genitals – there was no way I was going to do that – but they assured me it was not one of the nastier parasites, so I agreed to do it.”


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