1 itchyincharmcity November 14, 2007 at 11:24 am

Wow. A really scary sentence in the Columbus Dispatch article: “Even DDT is not an answer. In countries that used it after the U.S. ban, bedbugs grew resistant, Haynes said.”

2 James Buggles November 14, 2007 at 3:56 pm

As Winston himself reported, bed bugs in New York City can be traced to immigrants in Queens. Also, immigration patterns have shifted over the last 15 years — most immigrants now hail from countries that never got rid of bed bugs.

Just think about it logically. We didn’t have bed bugs for many years and now we do. Clearly, they came from overseas. Sure, some from hotels in which Americans stayed, but probably only a fraction. Think about the chances of carrying bed bugs in your suitcase versus carrying them in all your belongings as is the case with an immigrant. Don’t let political correctness get in the way of logical analysis.

3 James Buggles November 14, 2007 at 3:58 pm

And let’s not forget Craigslist and eBay, the other half of the equation.

4 hopelessnomo November 14, 2007 at 4:06 pm

WTF? Seriously, WTF?

5 nobugsonme November 14, 2007 at 4:13 pm

My sense of the Queens theory is that it is a theory, and doubtless there is some relationship between highly mobile populations and bed bugs. But no one has studied exactly how bed bugs got to a particular location. The article said “many infestations can be traced to people coming from third world countries or Eastern Europe.” This has not been studied to my knowledge.

Yes, bed bugs do travel with people. But not just with people coming from third world countries or Eastern Europe. To assert this is absurd. Bed bugs are all over Europe, the US, and Canada, and doubtless also the rest of the world. They’re going from one place to another in all directions.

Besides human travel, other prime factors in the resurgence of bed bugs in the US is the change in PCO practices– they used to spray baseboards monthly, which killed roaches but also kept bed bugs at bay. Now most places control roaches with baits, which don’t kill bed bugs.

I have not heard any experts suggest that there was one cause of the resurgence of bed bugs.

6 aye November 14, 2007 at 5:32 pm

I read all the articles you post on this site (I’m in the trenches as we speak, as far as the bedbugs-in-my-apartment-thing goes) but I really, truly hate how almost every article has to post a ginormous picture of the things.

7 nobugsonme November 14, 2007 at 6:06 pm


Thanks for your message!

I assume you mean the articles in the news media, since we rarely post a ginormous picture of anything, let alone ginormous pictures of bed bugs.

I hear you on the never-ending trauma those pictures induce, though actually, some might argue that more pictures in the media would be good (as per Lou Sorkin’s words to the New York Magazine journalist, in the article covered in another recent post here.) Since people typically search only for an adult, brown bed bug, many infestations may grow because people see transparent/white unfed or red fed first instars, and assume they’re not bed bugs. If photos of both unfed and fed first instars and adult bugs were provided, it would help those who later find a bed bug to identify it.

Doesn’t help us sleep any better, though.

8 nomorebugs November 14, 2007 at 6:39 pm

The blame game:

The blame game is pointless and just detract from the problem. Bed bugs have been a spreading problem in the US since the early 2000’s. I’ve read news articles warning about them since 2002.

They are here. They are a problem and we need to address it. Public awareness, shared PCO best practices. The only good point I can see is that with their spread, PCOs are more experienced with treatment.


I also glad that Lou Sorkin is trying to make people aware of nymphs as well as the adult. I’ve only caught one nymph and man are they small. I would not have known what it was there, except I was scrubbing an infested mattress seam, it fell on my foot, and I felt it moving. Was I so lucky. When cleaning be careful.

9 James Buggles November 14, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I stand by my assertion that you’re more likely to move bed bugs when you move all the belongings from an infested structure (i.e., a person who moves) than when you just move a suitcase from an infested structure (i.e., a hotel situation).

Yes, bed bugs are all over, but that’s not the whole story. Reading a blog like this one is like being a doctor who treats [insert disease]. Some days, it might seem like everyone has bed bugs.

The vast majority of people in this country still don’t know what a bed bug is and do not have bed bugs — even frequent travelers. The first pitch of the game has not yet been thrown. We’re still in batting practice. There’s a loooong way to go before it gets really bad. Remember, we started from virtually zero eight years ago. It’s a very big country and even epidemics take time.

By contrast, countries that never beat bed bugs or only beat them to the same extent that we beat roaches are in extra innings. So there’s no question that they’re exporting them with greater frequency than we are. At some point, we might reach equilibrium and eliminate our “trade deficit,” but that’s years or decades away. I hope we don’t and can turn the tide.

Finally, baiting became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but my understanding is that many PCOs no longer use baits and have gone back to spraying. Maybe Winston could sort out this issue.

10 kraystone November 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm

I also agree that it is unfair to shift all blame to foreigners to this country. They could also have brought them back to their own country. The bugs don’t care and move to and back. They breed so fast and hard to get rid of, so it is also part of the reason of the sudden explosion. Moreover, many people still don’t know what is a bed bug and are prone to set bug bombs which worsen and spread the infection.

11 aye November 14, 2007 at 9:13 pm

nobugsonme: I mean the articles themselves, yes. I have to brace myself when I click on links! doesn’t help that I’m typically reading this blog at the end of the day …

but I agree with you, as knowledge is certainly power. and if it takes a gross picture to make someone that much more aware, maybe it will prevent someone somewhere from going through this hell.

12 nomorebugs November 14, 2007 at 10:23 pm

The comfort is that when you know their biology (eggs hatching in 10 to 14 days), you understand the methods used to exterminate them.

I’m thinking we need TV public service commercials to inform people what the signs of bed bugs especially in shared housing. It’ll scare people, but an infestation will happen whether people know what they are or not.

Our way to fight back.

13 nobugsonme November 14, 2007 at 11:07 pm

I agree. There needs to be a full-on public education campaign: TV, radio, subway ads, magazine ads. We’ve been saying that for a year.

14 James Attila Fodor November 15, 2007 at 10:50 am

My mothers apartment is infested with Bed Bugs. I don’t know how or where they came from??
The lanlord MLT Properties is blaming her for this. I believe that it is not her fault at all, and while yes he has agreed to have PCO come to her unit he is all so telling other tenents about the problem and from were it originated. As well as intimdating my mom.
This rental unit @ 111 Lawton Blvd. Toronto Ontario M4V 1Z9 is full of cockroaches and the service is by them is all most non existent, (e.g. NOT ENOUGH HEAT, STAIRWELLS NOT CLEARD, WATER TURNED OFF 10 TIMES THIS YEAR 4X THIS MONTH etc). Is there any way for her to stop the intimidation from them.
James A. Fodor

15 James Buggles November 15, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Good for James — finally someone exposing a landlord. Why hasn’t Nicholas Brown identified his building and exposed his landlord? Isn’t that the mission of the HuffPost — calling wrongdoers to account?

16 hopelessnomo November 16, 2007 at 5:35 pm

The Star article about Toronto Community Housing Corp. is very interesting. The interview with the housing official is excellent. (Yes, there’s a bit of confusion on the term fumigation but we see that often enough.)

Steve Floros is starting to think outside the box. He’s talking about rethinking building specs, fomenting tenant enterprise opportunities to prepare apartments or educate tenants, quicker response times. That’s a forward-thinking housing official there.

Very encouraging.

17 Kim D. July 10, 2008 at 2:13 pm

I would be really interested to know whatever came of the Bed Bug situation at 111 Lawton Blvd in Toronto… I have rented an apartment there and move in in August and I was pretty horrified to read this!!!!

18 CraveLeVay July 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Well it seems to me and that’s because it is the truth that immigrants that come from squaller bring a mass amount of the things. If you are a immigrant who is poor has a not so sanitary home as we do enjoy in the US of course the pest are going to love it there. Then they want to come to America and such pack up all their stuff jump a fence swim an ocean boom you brought a vast quantity of them. By the way the Bed bugs originate from Asia. The people here in NJ I have seen have the bed bugs have all been illegal immigrants who live like tribesman in their apartments. Then their ignorant asses go to your house knowing they have the things and don’t care and boom you got them. Truth is much more believable then Political Correctness.

19 hopelessnomo July 21, 2008 at 10:37 am

CraveLeVay, you are the reason I stay away.

It seems to me, and that’s because it is the truth, that you should hone your critical thinking skills.

Your charm, however, I wouldn’t do anything about. It is a beacon of light!

20 nobugsonme July 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm


I really want to delete your post, but I try to allow the full range of opinions here, so I am leaving it up.

Correcting just a few of your errors:

–Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt or messy homes.
–Lots of non-immigrant people in the US are absolute slobs. Lots of immigrants are extremely tidy.
–Bed bugs do not come from Asia. They’ve been in the US since before your ancestors, unless, perhaps, you are a Native American.

In other words, you’re talking out of your ignorant a$$.

I am not going to dignify the rest of your ignorant statements with a response.

By the way, I would also choose truth over political correctness, but I think you are not grasping the truth.



So basically you’re more influenced by the idiocy present in a small, small minority of the blog comments than the genius present in so many more of them?

That’s not fair!

21 hopelessnomo July 22, 2008 at 1:08 am

You’re right, of course, Nobugs. However, I’ve tried different things and it’s always an unpleasant experience in the end; don’t know what to do. My next project will be to take this to the source and plead with the scientists who are making such careless statements, like for example Dr. Susan Jones in today’s press out of Ohio. I don’t see any other way otherwise. Dr. Potter has this notion too in the first paragraph of his website. It’s a losing battle.

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