Vacation are supposed to be fun, but lately travel has started to feel stressful and like a lot of work. If you go to a big city there are parking struggles – either nowhere to park, or you sell the soul of your first child to pay for parking. And don’t even get me started on the hassle at the airport – wandering around carrying your shoes, ID, and belt makes the start of vacation feel like about as much fun as being picked for a lineup. Then there’s the hassle of paying for your ticket, your luggage, your food, and your trip to the compact airplane restroom. And arriving at the airport to watch the carousel go around and around again with everyone’s luggage except yours. And now there’s a new wrinkle in the travel continuum – bedbugs, aka Cimex lectularius.
Bedbugs have been in the news a lot in the past year. Infestations have been popping up everywhere – from hotels, both sleazy and five-star, department stores, movie theaters, used furniture and clothing stores, and hospitals. “Here honey, I brought you some flowers AND some DDT.” It makes me not even want to go out to a movie or a weekend getaway, knowing that I could run into bedbug infestation. Nobody likes the idea of going to bed with bugs. You’re sleeping, you feel this creeping, crawling. You’re tossing and turning until you finally wake up to find – bugs biting your face, arms, scurrying off your mattress at the switch of the light. It’s like waking up in a horror movie, only the horror does not stop.
Why? The real scourge of bedbugs? If you visit someplace that has them, you’re likely to unwittingly bring them home with you on your clothing and luggage. Once bedbugs are settled in, they’re hard to oust. They live in the seams of mattresses, headboards, crevices, and furniture. They can live up to a year without food. They’re resistant to many pesticides and generally require extreme treatment from a professional exterminator to eliminate.
Is there any good news here? Here’s some hope. The most promising recent development is the introduction of training dogs to detect bedbugs – either the eggs or the actual insects. Now, you can just take Fido with you whenever you go out – to the store, hospital or that weekend get-away. No more worrying about boarding your pet. Your pet is now a valuable asset on your vacation trip – just as vital as your passport and quart-sized bag of travel-approved liquids. For a mere $10,000, in four short months, your best friend can be trained to sniff out bedbugs for you where ever you go. No more worries about bringing bed bugs home with you after that stressful coronary bypass or trip to Hawaii. Now Fido can be your constant travel companion, protecting you and your family from vermin.
- How bedbugs invaded New York (guardian.co.uk)
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