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Beret-wearing bedbugs may be heading your way

  • Paris’s now-famous bedbug infestation is a serious cause for concern, especially with the 2024 Olympics coming up. But wags will still have a go at the subject, with tweets and editorial cartoons like  A Bedbug’s Guide to Paris.

    From this morning’s NYT:

    Paris’s psychosis over bedbugs — tiny, vampiric and tricky to eradicate — has crossed the channel to Britain, an island nation of astonishing diversity but apparently finite tolerance. Some there worry that the Eurostar, which connects Paris to London with about 15 speedy trains daily, is an all-too-perfect conveyance for insects hitching a ride in luggage or upholstery.

    A dispatch the other day in the Guardian, a British newspaper, noted that Google searches for bedbugs had spiked in the U.K., and that social media postings pointed to an incipient meltdown. “My friend is on a train from Birmingham to Leicester and she’s just seen a bedbug,” tweeted a Londoner using the handle @tiandemi last week. “The whole carriage is screaming. It’s game over lads. We’re f-----.”

    Opinions on France

    A bedbug’s guide to ParisA bedbug’s guide to Paris 


    Why Paris is bugging out over ‘punaises de lit’Why Paris is bugging out over ‘punaises de lit’


  • Aaaaargh! I had a terrible bedbugs adventures some 15 years ago in NY.

    I had rented an apartment on Craig's list, and after a couple of nights sleeping there I started developing red spots on my legs and arms. I thought it was a food allergy, but it kept getting worse. My torso, neck, face, hands... all covered in red spots, and they were itchy!

    Plus, I was stupid enough to be in the US with no health insurance whatsoever. I sought medical care through a friend of a friend who directed me to a public hospital, where I still had to pay $200 for a visit, plus $100+ in creams and another $250+ in hotel room (the I was able to stay at a nuns' home for much less untill my flight date). The dermatologist on call was kind enough to write me a certificates stating I was not contagious, as I had to take the flight back home and I was afraid they wouldn't let me board at the airport. Thank God it was winter time and I could cover up most of the pimples, so that it just looked like acne.

    My nightmare wasn't over, as I had to avoid bringing home the bastards. I was able to unpack only after 10-15 days, in full daylight and away from textiles, my clothes were bagged for another 15 days, after which I had to wash them on a separate load.

    I even had contacted a lawyer to sue the landlord, but he refused to return my money and didn't acknowledge the fact that his place was infested with bedbugs. So I kept the keys... I still had to go to his apartment to feed the cat, since I was pet sitting. I just hope my landlord was a better pet owner than a landlord.

  • How big are they? Can you see them?

    They are the size of a cat flea in the earliest stage, and become the size of an apple seed when they are full grown, and get bigger after a full meal. They like dark places, so they tend to cradle into tiny creases in textiles, so you really have to look for them.

    Bed Bug Size Comparison - Are Bed Bugs Visible To The Eye

    how big are bed bugs_ Pictures

  • As we have dogs the missus is always spraying the house for all sorts of bugs and God knows what else. I keep telling her having to breathe the stuff in is more damaging to my health than a few bloomin' insects. ^^

  • I’m very sorry to have started this thread. The sight of these little blood suckers scurrying around is making me sick.

    I am wondering if there is any precaution you can take when traveling. For example, would wearing an insect repellant help? From the article you posted, it seems they can also travel from luggage to luggage, as well on planes.

  • I have searched the internet, and have found answers that sound pretty inconclusive to me. Examples: lavender / lemon / tea tree / peppermint oils or rubbing alcohol.

    The best answer I read was that you should eat significant amounts of garlic to repel bedbugs. Well YES - and people, too!

    Oh, and I loved the video about searching a hotel room for bedbugs when you check in. Especially the part about taking the bed apart and looking on the under sides of the mattress and springs or platform. Before my next hotel stay, I definitely need to spend a few months at the gym to build up my muscles so I can lift the mattress and hold it aloft with one hand while holding a flashlight in the other and hunting down those repulsive, elusive suckers!