Mary-Louise Parker talks to Letterman about her current bed bug scare

by nobugsonme on August 26, 2009 · 6 comments

in bed bugs, tipping point

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.

Links updated 1/2019

1 persona-non-bugga August 27, 2009 at 7:56 am

I was an admirer of Mary Louise Parker before this – ever since I saw her on stage in Proof – and I subscribe to Showtime (in large part) for Weeds.

That’s awesome that she spoke so frankly about this. She was honest, informative, but amusing and not at all heavy-handed – which is the perfect tone for a show like this. That was some deft talk-show navigation, Mary Louise!

Hope this is a false scare and that she’s bedbug free.

2 Tamales August 27, 2009 at 9:00 am

I loved her before and I love her even more now!

3 nobugsonme August 27, 2009 at 11:32 am

Thanks, persona and Tamales — I love MLP (and Weeds) too!

4 DougSummersMS August 27, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Really enjoyed the clip … Tough topic for a comedy talk show…

You know that times have changed …when a celebrity talks about having a Bed Bug Dog inspection & plans to fumigate their belongings on a late night talk show.

MLP … You Rock… You were able to communicate that bed bugs are a nightmare without sounding like a fanatic … Thanks for putting a human face on the problem …

5 Emma August 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I love her for talking about this! She’s so great!

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