Bed bugs or rats: Gothamist asks which you’d rather have

by nobugsonme on August 24, 2009 · 7 comments

in bed bugs

Things have sunk pretty low, don’t you think?

Gotahamist’s take on the weekend’s New York Times Real Estate section’s bed bug series: asking commenters whether they’d rather have rats or bed bugs.

(Would you rather be ruled by Pol Pot or Idi Amin?)

So far, it’s hands down: people would rather have rats in their apartment than bed bugs.

It’s kind of a trick question: everyone knows rats are easier to get rid of.

But be warned: no one has mentioned rat mites yet — they bite humans and can be left behind after the rats are dead.  And they may be trickier to detect and to shift than the rats.

If it seems obvious to you, cast your vote in the comments on this post: Bedbugs, The Real Estate Deal Killer? – Gothamist.

The Gothamist “poll” is, of course, a reference to this quote from the “Buying and Selling in Bedbug City” article in the New York Times, in which a prospective co-op buyer quoted her broker:

“The broker said, ‘This is New York City — you have all sorts of things like cockroaches and rats,’ ” she explained, asking that her name be withheld because she was worried about being labeled as a troublemaker by another co-op board. “But it’s very different to have a cockroach than something that sucks your blood and is in your bed. I would rather have rats.”

1 Winston O. Buggy August 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm


2 Killbug August 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm


1. They do not suck your blood.
2. They are animals not insects (you can even try to pet them :D)
3. They are easier and cheaper to get rid off. One cat can be enough in most cases
4. They do not make 5 babies per day.

3 BugsInTO August 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm

– If you tell people you have rats and they will understand how horrible it is.
– You can see rats without magnification
– You can’t spread rats via your clothing / shoes
– Bubonic plague can be treated with antibiotics.

4 never_again August 24, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Hands down rats…

Don’t BB bite rats also? rats can make an BB infestation harder to get rid of, so i feel very sorry for anyone with both

5 Winston O. Buggy August 24, 2009 at 6:06 pm

What fools these mortals be, don’t under estimate the third most successful mammal,
Norway rats can sexually mature and mate at 8 to 12 weeks they average 8 to 12 pups per litter, averaging 4 to 7 litters per year. Therefore, a single female may produce up to 84 offspring annually. A cat will not solve a rat problem and trust me an outbreak of Plague would not be so ho hum to treat.

6 Aimee December 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I couldn’t cope with either pest but at least you can
1) SEE rats easily
2) HEAR the rats
3) SMELL the rats (do rats smell? I have no idea but it sounds good)
Last but not least, the survey asked bed bugs or rats…it didn’t specifically say rats WITH mites. 🙂

7 nobugsonme December 14, 2009 at 10:47 am

Rats are a very bad scene, but certainly a much easier target than bed bugs!

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