Friday, September 10, 2010

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite, Sookie

I’m obsessed with bedbugs. Surely you’ve heard that there’s an epidemic of bedbugs in the US. And that once you get them they will bite you and your loved ones all night, every night and leave ginormous welts all over you as well as making you feel dirtier than a case of soupy-wet crabby pants. And that you basically can’t get rid of them until you move and burn all of your belongings in the fiery flames of Mt. Doom. Totally true.

The Cap’n thinks my bizarro fear of bedbugs and the amount of media attention these awful critters get is somehow linked to America’s fascination with bloodsuckers, as evidenced by the popularity of the Twilight Saga, True Blood and the astounding number shows, books and movies about lawyers. What is he even talking about? I hate lawyers. Except for him, heh heh. And as for stuff about vampires, well I stand behind my record. Of loving Young Adult "science fiction" and vaguely porny cable TV. I can’t help it. I love them.

But back to the real issue here. I know all about vampires from Twilight and True Blood. What’s more - I know all about bedbugs. I used to work for the Health Department, and they have a whole division dedicated to gnarly pests. That’s right, people. There’s a whole cluster of cubicles full of people with advanced degrees in things that sound all made up like Entemology (not to be confused with Entenmann's and their delicious donuts and sundry baked goods). These brave souls investigate infestations of things like rats and cockroaches and bedbugs in places where people pay to eat and sleep.  You may stop vomiting now.  It’s actually a pretty cool job, and the people who do it are almost universally cool and hilarious. I mean, once they found a dirty motel room full of hundreds of poisonous snakes!

I had to go on a ride-along with them (just like Jason Stackhouse did when he wanted to become a cop on True Blood season three!!). We had to go investigate things like HOARDING and BEDBUGS and FILTHY MOTELS and it may have been one of the best days of my life. Except I thought people who collected thousands of empty pudding cups and newspapers and live cats and kept them all in their house would be funny, but it was actually really sad.  And I really don’t like hotels anymore.  Especially brick ones off of the interstate that look like horror movies were filmed there.  I really learned something at that motel.  Please pay attention, never ever take off the pillow cases.  Oh and I also threw away all the clothes I wore that day before I walked in my front door, just as a precaution.  My neighbors totally saw me run from the trashcans to my door in my underwear, and that’s the truth.

But back to bedbugs and vampires.  The bedbug investigation I went on was just like being on a cutting edge TV show produced by local cable access and directed by a drunk, old Russian man with candy in his pants.  We walked through two apartments in a cheapo complex that was inhabited in equal parts by college students, illegal immigrants living 12 to a bedroom, and single moms.  But don’t be fooled – bed bugs can strike anywhere.  Just like vampires!  Be ever vigilant!  These particular bedbug complaints?  From the college students.  One of them even lifted his shirt up and showed me his back, and it was covered with oozey bites. ::shudder::

You know how he thought he caught the bed bugs? The internet. Don’t let your mind go to bad places, now.  He moved across country to go to college and furnished his apartment with a bunch of stuff off of Craig’s List and Freecycle and apparently, his couch had the bed bugs.  The Health Department person I was riding along with just nodded and said: “Craig’s List… Yup.  We hear that a lot.  You've got to be careful.  It’s like you invited them in your house.”

Oh snap. You NEVER invite bedbugs or vampires into your house. COME ON!  Everyone knows that.  They teach that in first grade in our school district.  Look both ways before you cross the street, wipe front to back, and don’t invite vampires or bedbugs in your house.

You know what they don't teach you in school?  How bedbugs and vampires are practically the same thing.  So I decided to make a scientific and informationally accurate list because I am an expert on both subjects, as I have clearly demonstrated in this post.  The Cap’n says that I am just making his point for him, and I’m like whatever. You don’t know anything about it, lawyer.

Why Bedbugs and Vampires Are Exactly Alike
  • They are both totally real.
  • They both come out at night.
  • They both suck your blood.
  • You should not invite them into your house (already established).
  • They CANNOT be killed by silver bullets, that's werewolves, as you damn well know unless you are illiterate or don't have cable.
  • Once they get in your house, it takes an act of God or possibly Fairies to get them out. Also, fire.
  • If either bedbugs or vampires start coming in your house you should probably just move far, far away.
  • They hide under the bed and some of them are telepathic. You can tell the telepathic ones by their artfully tousled hair.
  • You can catch them in hotels, so don’t go to hotels.  Especially in Cincinnati.  And if you are in Cincinnati, you should avoid cars with tinted windows that seem to be driven with inappropriate alertness.
  • They climb in bed with you while you’re sleeping and do unspeakable things.  If you are a wussy, skinny, brown-haired high school student named Bella, this may not bother you.
  • If you let them bite you on purpose, you might want to get a check up from the neck up.
  • They cannot glamour Sookie Stackhouse.
  • Parents disapprove if you try to date one.
  • They have Kings and Queens and a rigid hierarchy with swift and final justice for wrong-doing.
  • If one goes to your high school, you should pretend like you don’t know its secret.
  • The Health Department should be called immediately if you suspect an infestation though the Health Department may be slightly less effective with an infestation of vampires.
I really hope this post has helped you understand just how serious a problem bedbugs are and how close we are to understanding the relationship between these creatures and the imminent appearance of Eric Northman Edward Cullen vampires in society.

And now I'm off to buy more pillowcases.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. OMG! Love Love LOVE True Blood! I had to buy Season 1&2 because I missed some stuff and had to catch up...Also, Bedbugs would not stand a chance against Eric. He's just too hot for them. Bill? Well, maybe, he's a bit of a softy... But did you have to go there on the whole hotel thing? I travel (as much as possible), and um, just ewwww!

  2. There are bedbugs in the homes of some families at my school and I start twitching a little bit every time i think about it. *shudder* worse than lice! And the school nurse says there is no protocol to deal with it (like with lice you get sent home with a special shampoo), just call the health dept and continue life as normal. As normal as you can be scratching and oozing and red I guess.

  3. When my sister & I were little & staying w/our grandma, we would always say "Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite." Until one night after she got in bed...she started screaming & said something had bit her. We turned on the lights & pulled back the sheets to find....piss ants! Appearantly, this is why you should not eat in bed. Now 20+ years later, my sister still gets mad @ me when I say, "Don't let the piss ants bite!" Hahaha

  4. We had to go to a hotel a couple of weeks ago and I completely stripped the beds, including the mattress pads. I did not find any bedbugs thank goodness, but I did find a stack of used napkins between the sheets at the foot of one bed. Even though the bed was neatly made when we got there. So no bugs, but still...eeew. Changed rooms. Inspected room number 2 and found no evidence so I sprayed the hell out of everything with lysol, opened the windows to air it out, and left for an hour. And this was no scary motel off the highway...this was a nice place...but you can't be too careful. Hope the cleaning lady from the first room got reprimanded!

  5. I am offended that Buffy is not even given an honorable mention here. sniff sniff. We need to call her to figure out how to really get rid of those pesky bedbugs. Did you hear that they are even in movie theaters? That's the one that really has me freaked out. Of course, I generally only go to 2 movies a year so my risk level is not that high...

    Even though you don't mention Buffy, you make up for a lot since you used the word "sundry". It's just not given enough use... I applaud your fabulous vocabulary yet again.
    xo, Dag

  6. Ok, this is very strange and wholly disturbing but in a hilarious and shake-your-head-in-disbelief kind of way.

  7. bwahahahahahahah! Can I use garlic to ward off bedbugs?

  8. I've never laughed so hard at a blog post before. Nicely done. :)

  9. We bought a foreclosed home that had been empty for months and months. It had bedbugs! Did you know those nasty little bastards can survive for up to a year without a "blood meal"

    It's a good thing Vampires can't do that. TV and Movies just wouldn't be as good if Buffy got vacation days and Edward only wanted to eat his girlfriend annually instead of daily.

  10. The "I'm a telepathic bedbug" thing has been rolling!!!

  11. I beg to differ. Some vampires are totally worth inviting in. Like Spike! Maybe Eric and Angel. Season 4 Eric for sure. Early Eric is a bit is early Spike come to think of it. Post Season 4 vampires are the best apparently.




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