The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

The Next Big “Scourge”?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:07 am on Monday, September 20, 2010

There are few things that make Pharmacy Chick’s skin crawl but all the media attention to this subject has done just that.  BED BUGS.  Apparently one of the side effects of the ban on DDT is the re-emergence of bedbugs.  They show no mercy and affect all socio economic classes.  Yuck..

I remember a couple of years ago there was an article in our local paper about the infestation of bedbugs at the college downtown.  It was so prevalent that students were no longer permitted to bring used beds into the dormitories. (I had always thought that dorms provided beds, but I guess some dont…go figure).  Well, either way,  bed bugs were back.

Today, Yahoo had another article about  bedbugs in NYC, and how it affects major retailers, most specifically NIKE Town, its most recent victim. Apparently they move on the trucks used to transport merchandise.  Mr Chick and I like to travel, but I have to admit that the idea of sleeping in beds not my own is becoming less of an appealing idea.  When we did an overnighter in august, one of the first things I did was lift up the sheets and looked at the mattress creases.  I was grateful to find nothing there, but I thought to myself…what if I had seen bugs???  WHAT THEN??

My mother used to say this little ditty before bedtime..” Good night..sleep tite..dont let the bedbugs bite”.  I thought they were imaginary creatures.  That little ditty isn’t so funny anymore. 

One common theme in the literature that the newspaper publishes is how difficult it is to get rid of them if you happen to be infested.  To date, I haven’t been asked as a pharmacist how to deal with this issue (thank goodness).  I am not sure there IS a good way.  Probably have to call an exterminator.  Lice I can deal with…Bed bugs..not so much. 

I’ve checked my house..so far so good.  Do you suppose it would be in poor taste to never let guests sleep  in my house again?

7 Comments »

Comment by Doris

September 20, 2010 @ 1:05 pm

Apparently, there is no good pesticide for bedbugs. They all deveopled immunity in the 70s (or so I saw on a televison news piece a few days ago) and this recent resurgence has taken everyone by surprise.

Heat is about all you can do to kill them and their eggs. The same piece showed this humungous machine in a room with a bed that raised the ambient temperature to 100+ degrees. The reporter looked mighty uncomfortable.

Whoever comes up with a chemical that kills bedbugs without being horrendously toxic to humans and the environment is going to make a bazillion bucks…until the little buggers develop immunity.

Comment by jen

September 20, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

I saw one bit on tv where they said that if you crank the heat up to something ridiculous (like get the house up to 105 for 90 minutes), the heat will kill them.

They then turned around and basically said “don’t try to kill them yourself, get a good exterminator”.

Comment by Dr. Grumpy

September 20, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

Depends on how many legs the guests have…

Comment by Beloved Parrot

September 21, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

Here in Lexington a woman put a portable heater in her bedroom to raise the temp to 95 to kill the bedbugs she found in her mattress. Set the room on fire. Fire department reminded people not to do that.
yes but I bet she got rid of the bedbugs…and the bed…and the bed ROOM..

Comment by Pharmacy Mike

September 23, 2010 @ 5:05 am

If I saw a bed with bugs in it, I would never sleep in it even after it was sterilized. In fact, I’d never sleep in the room that had the bed with bed bugs. They’d have to burn the place down and start all over again.

I sure hope I don’t have to do that to my condo, lol.
Ive seen the photos of your condo…not likely you’ll have to burn that one down!

Comment by STUK

September 26, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

While living in New York City I had to deal with bedbugs. Every morning I would wake up early and turn on the lights and catch the little blood-filled demons with clear packing tape and mount them on the wall (then watch them try to wriggle out over a few days, then pop ’em!). Eventually I figured out how to stop them: using metal bed frame with Vaseline on the legs, a mattress cover encasing the pesticide-soaked mattress, and mosquito netting taking care of the ones from the ceiling (never implemented). Oh, and they are flat when not engorged with blood, and like to travel hiding between book pages. Three days in a freezer kills them, though.

So yeah, your paranoia is justified. The goodnight mantra has a very sinister meaning for me now.
yuck..yuck..and triple yuk…I dont think I will be visiting NYC anytime soon

Comment by stargirl65

September 28, 2010 @ 8:07 am

I read that diatomaceous earth (DE) can be damaging to bed bugs. Now unfortunately DE is carcinogenic to inhale. It can also be dangerous to other insects. If you put it on flowers, then the honey bees that pollinate will die. It is NOT damaging for humans to ingest DE though. Or other mammals. So, it won’t hurt your cats or dogs. I am not saying to eat it but if put around the room it can cause the bed bugs to die.

I also heard they have dogs for sniffing out the bed bugs that give off a certain odor. This helps exterminators find them and get rid of them. It can also tell them if a house is “clean”.

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