Monday, March 31, 2008

Chicken Pox or Bedbug Bites A Definitive Analysis

Do you remember as a kid when the local board of health would send a man or woman to your house who would take a look at you, and say, “That’s Chicken Pox, all right!”

Then he or she would put a sign in your window which said in big black letters, “CHICKEN POX.”

Well, if it wasn’t chickenpox it was mumps, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, or the dreaded polio.

You don’t remember?

Well, I guess you are not of my generation.

We got shots for some of the childhood diseases of our day, but not for all of them.

There where seven kids in my house and someone always had something. My mother wanted everybody to have the same disease at once. Once she put me in bed with my little brother so that I would catch whooping cough.

I didn’t catch whooping cough or anything else that came into our home, except one day after a marvelous career of complete immunity, I woke up with a rash.

Mother said, “John, you got chickenpox!”

“It’s just bedbugs. That’s all. The rash will go away.”

I knew I couldn't catch anything because I always held my breath around the sick.

We had to fight bedbugs back then. Everybody in our neighborhood did. I don’t know if the sparrows carried them to the rich side of town or not. But we had them.

We were continually tearing the beds apart, scrubbing the springs with lie soap, stomping, killing, maiming the bed bugs here and there. After such a cleaning, you could sleep well perhaps until the next Thursday, and then you had to go through the cleanup ritual again.

When I was in Korea before DDT was poisonous and softening the bird eggs and all, we were continually harassed by medical guys shooting DDT into our britches. That was so we would not get Bubonic Plague from the fleas in our bunkers.

I never got the Bubonic Plague, never saw anyone with the Bubonic Plague, and never heard of anyone with the Bubonic Plague. (After seeing seeing the plague documentary on the History Channel, I'm very glad of that.

The DDT did the trick.

That’s how we finally got rid of bedbugs forever.

We used DDT.

I went to The pictures there of bed bugs made my skin crawl! I hated those things when I was growing up. The little buggers would suck the blood out of you and swell up until they were the size of lady bird beetles, except they were hideous lady bird beetles.

The reference site carries products to kill pest. I’m sure they are not in competition with most of us, so I used them as a reference anyway. One of their testimonials says:

“I kept waking up with mysterious bites and on occasion found blood spots on my sheets, suggesting they were the culprit. Sure enough, I found some bed bugs upon further inspection the day after I bought your product. They were all over my apartment! I only found a few, but one was in the living room, one was in the bedroom, one was in the kitchen and a baby was even in the bathroom!” (The person who gave the above testimonial didn't have chickenpox!)


That’s what they call bedbugs at the reference site.

I agree! My skin is crawling from thinking about the little creeps.

My mother didn’t believe me, of course. Mothers seldom do in such matters. The man came from the health department, put the sign on the window, CHICKEN POX, and left.

I said, “Momma, I’m going outside to play.”

“You can’t go out, not for 10 days.”

I said, “Mother, I’m not sick. I want to play. These are bedbug bites.

It did no good. I never got a fever nor did I become ill, but I did get quarantined like my paternal grandfather did at Ellis Island.

After much research, I’ve found that they had to have bedbugs on the Mayflower.

I’m descended from George Soule who was the 35th signer of the Mayflower compact.

At you will find that George was born in 1595-1602, England and he died 22 January 1679, Duxbury, MA He married Mary Buckett in1626, at Plymouth and had nine kids.

I ought to know a bedbug bite when I see one.

The End

P.S. I want you to know that I restrained form using a great deal of profanity in describing the bedbugs in this article.

copyrightฉJohn T. Jones, Ph.D. 2005

John T. Jones, Ph.D. ( a retired R&D engineer and VP of a Fortune 500 company. He is author of detective & western novels, nonfiction (business, scientific, engineering), poetry, etc. Former editor of international trade magazine. More info: Business web site: (wealth-success books / flagpoles)

Bed Bug Bite

I just turned on the news a minute ago and wondered why there weren't news flashes regarding when -- and perhaps where -- people are turning on the news. Sometimes it is a slow news week, and there's not much to read in Newsweek, so maybe this could take up some space. I think that's how Neptune got there...

What I am really wondering, though, is how bed bugs got their reputation. Don't worry, there is no need to inspect your bed spread, although I heard the spread does improve the taste of toast. But I've been thinking for at least 32 seconds about the history of bed bugs and why they are among the most feared creatures in the world, and possibly in the universe, assuming that other worlds have beds. Think about it. We don't tell people, "Don't let the rabid dogs bite" or "Don't let the spiders bite" unless we're in the White House, in which case all warnings are figurative anyway. Everywhere else the line a person hears before sleeping is "Don't let the bed bugs bite," as if bed bugs are worse than the nightmare the person will likely have anyway...

I feel sorry for that sucker who was actually bitten by a bed bug, because he can't shrug off the warning like the rest of us can. In fact, he's the reason we use the statement to begin with:

Victim: Well, I'm tired. I'm going to bed.

Victim's Acquaintance: Be careful in there. You remember what happened the last time you went to bed, right?

Victim: Yeah, yeah, I remember.

Victim's Acquaintance: Well, don't let the bed bugs bite. Not again.

I just hope there's no worldwide phenomenon of people being bitten by all kinds of animals while sleeping, because that's just too many things to list while wishing someone a good night. And just imagine if a person was bitten by a sheep while sleeping. That would throw the whole sleeping process for such a complete loop that we'd all probably just stay awake forever. Think about how stale the Fruit Loops would get...

In between the previous paragraph and this one I decided to take a few minutes to do some research. After all, research can save lives, and the typical reader checks out this column to have his or her life saved -- or maybe it's to read about lime Life Savers. Regardless, I've read that bed bugs are commonly found in homes that have bats in the attic. Now, I know what you're thinking: "That's good to know. I'll go to the attic right away to get rid of those darn bats." But don't act so quickly! Remember: those bats are protecting your old boxes, including your Yahtzee game. So slow down and think before you do something you'll regret in a day or two...

It is said that a room with bed bugs typically has a distinct odor. Furthermore, black spots may be found on sheets, or there may even be small blood stains that are evident. So before you blame your crazy aunt for coming over to your house and leaving a trail of her own blood, understand that she probably never made it past the attic after her entrance through the chimney. The same applies to Santa Claus, I'd imagine...

Since bed bugs are nocturnal, they hide in dark places during the day before feeding at night. Placing glow-sticks all over your house, so that there is no dark crevice, will assure that these creatures will seek a house more conducive to their ways, although this other house is probably not nearly as well-decorated. Realize that bed bugs feed on wild birds, in addition to domestic animals, bats, and humans. So pretending to be a wild bird all day isn't your best escape, unless you are a wild bird, in which case it's good you aren't afraid to be yourself. And I thank you, wild bird, for reading...

Bed bugs are most commonly found in old rooms and hotels, as well as in places which are considered unsanitary. Something tells me, though, that if you are living somewhere unsanitary, you have other issues besides bed bugs, such as the fact that you are sleeping in your own filth. This aside, the best way to not let the bed bugs bite, wherever you live, seems to be ignoring their existence. When they hear, "Don't let the bed bugs bite," their obvious reaction will be one of the following:

a) Hey, they're acknowledging us, but in a negative way. Let's go do some serious biting.

b) I hope no one has caught on to our Yahtzee fetish in the attic, especially those darn bats.

So by not giving the warning, and using some other bedtime greeting instead, you're saving yourself in the process. You see, the purpose of this column is not to stop you from getting a good night's sleep, because we all know that's what fire trucks and crickets are for. Instead, please take this column as a warning that bed bugs do exist, and you know what? They're a lot like news flashes. That's right -- they come when you're watching late-night television, and they leave you with an empty feeling after they take some of your blood. Yes, exactly like news flashes, yes...

But I digress.

Greg Gagliardi is a teacher and writer. His stream-of-consciousness weekly humor column, "Progressive Revelations," has been ongoing since 1998. ()

Friday, March 7, 2008


- Bed Bugs Update. The Executive Housekeeper
- Black plastic for bed bug control - this myth is busted!
- Encasing mattresses in black plastic will not provide thermal control of bed bugs, Cimex spp. (Hemiptera: Cimicidae).
- Bed bugs: the unwanted guest.
- The resurgence of bed bugs in Australia, with notes on their ecology and control.
- Has the Tropical Bed Bug, Cimex hemipterus (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), invaded Australia?
- Between the sheets with bed bugs: their ecology and control.
- Bed bug management & control.
- Bed bug management: a case study.
- A survey of bedbugs in short-stay lodges.
- Do bed bugs carry disease?

Link :