"Over the past summer, America has been gripped by bedbug fever -- and not in a good way. The minuscule pests have gotten out of control: In New York, they forced the closure of several high-end retailers, bedeviled Bill Clinton`s Harlem headquarters, and were recently discovered in Google`s offices.
When I was a child my mother would tug me in at night with the comforting words, "sleep tight, don`t let the bedbugs bite."
Bedbugs were as real to me as the Boogeyman and the Easter Bunny. Bedbugs infestations were rare until fairly recently, but now it seems that our nation is being invaded by the tiny bloodsuckers.
In my essays I have taken on Obama, the Pope, and many other wealthy and powerful individuals. But I would never take on Google, I`m afraid my essays would disappear in cyberspace if I criticized the behemoth Internet company. But the fearless bedbug has invaded Google`s offices.
In 2002 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared them a public health pest, that`s the equivalent of the FBI putting a dastardly crook in its Top Ten Most Wanted list.
In 2009 the EPA held a national summit to consider ways of fighting the bedbug infestation. We`ve had national summits to fight crime, and to address the problems of AIDS and unemployment. This shows how seriously our government is taking the problem of bedbugs.
The government is taking the bedbug infestation seriously, but what can an individual do to combat this problem?
"Barring the unlikely development of new pesticides or an EPA decision to permit the use of banned chemicals, bedbugs are here to stay, which means that fighting them will either require a bottomless wallet or a vastly different perspective about cleanliness and prevention."
The government may be marshalling all of its resources to fight the bedbug problem, but like reality shows, death and taxes, bedbugs will be with us for the foreseeable future.
Your city will never be a bedbug free zone, but you can prevent the minuscule monsters from taking over your home.
*If your mattress is infected with bedbugs, throw it away and buy a new one.
*Buy a plastic enclosure for your new mattress
*The pests tend to hide in clothing. To protect against an infestation, clean and dry ever piece of clothing that could be infected.
*Bedbugs don`t munch on beds, they feast on human blood, That means they can be found wherever you spend a lot of time: Sofas, chairs " Keep you entire house clean, but especially the pieces of furniture where you spend a lot of time relaxing.
*Don`t invite any pests (the human variety) into your home. If your uncle is a slob, don`t let him enter your home for any reason, not even for the Thanksgiving meal.
*Don`t buy clothing from flea markets or thrift stores. You don`t know who the hell those clothes belonged to, it could have been a crackhead like Amy Winehouse. For God`s sake don`t buy a used bed, or rent a bed from a Rent-A-Store.
*If you visit the home of a friend or neighbor who has a bedbug problem, play it safe: Burn your clothes. And don`t ever visit him again.
You may be thinking: I don`t want to go through all that drama. Then learn to live with bedbugs!
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