by Jason Johnson
Have your parents ever told you to "sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite"? Thinking about it, isn't this scary - especially for children? I remember the days when my parents used to tuck me into bed and tell me wonderful bedtime stories, which I so loved to hear. But, then comes the doom and gloom; don't let the bed bugs bite...!
What are these monstrosities, I wondered, as I lay awake night after night? Why would they bite? Are they hiding under my bed, or in the bedroom closet? Shock, horror!
Up until a few years ago I thought bed bugs were a myth. As time passed, I realised that no monsters were going to bite me, and I was safe from the wrath of these strange creatures my parents liked to talk about. This was until I was forced to wear long sleeved clothing and turtlenecks every single day during the summer.
Similar to the way I stalk people whom I absolutely despise on social media platforms, I decided to do some further reading on bed bugs and I came to realise one thing: bed bugs are the most disgusting creature ever to exist! They have no redeeming qualities at all! The best thing about bed bugs that I could possibly think of is that they almost completely vanished for about 40 years. Unfortunately this story does not have a happy ending as they simply reappeared in the early 90's.
My utter disdain for this creature is caused solely by the fact that I have very pale skin and that they have a particular penchant for the blood in my face neck and forearms. Unfortunately for me this meant that because of these infuriating bed bug bites, I would have to wear turtle necks all year round - which I did.
As a result of my traumatizing experiences with these blood suckers, I have grown to hate absolutely everything about them. I know I have said this about many things before, including cockroaches - but I swear bed bugs are right at the top of that list. I hate them even more than food poisoning or people who wear crocks, and I really hate people who wear crocks. Bed bugs give off a sweet and sickly smell, they feed on you, and they build cities in your bed and run successful feeding schemes off your body. Did you know that bed bugs are such hardy creatures, that in fact they can survive without a meal for an entire year! I think I hate their craftiness more then anything else.
What I find really alarming is that bed bugs don't just lie around underneath your bed sheets, but they also hide behind wall skirtings, paintings, under carpets etc; and appear at night time while you are fast asleep, ready to bite! In some instances, as was the case with me - these bed bug bites can result in itchiness and discomfort. Luckily they aren't a big health threat, but still, the thought of them sucking your blood and the possibility of breaking out in an allergic reaction still leaves me sleeping with one eye open.
What I find even scarier and much more annoying is the fact that they seem to have built up a resistance to most pesticides. I think they went away on a secret training camp and came back stronger. They came back bigger in number as well. I can only hope they are due for another disappearing act some time soon. I hope that their training lasts a very long time and that if they have to come back, they don't do so in my life time.
So here it is; this is the score - Bed bugs are disgusting. They eat us, they give off strange smells and they become more resistant to pesticides every year. They have hardly any domestic natural enemy other than a few spiders and a venomous ant (the Pharaoh Ant).
At least we can trust Rentokil to come to the rescue. They have sent in many experts to get rid of bed bugs and conquer these blood suckers. The move in on this enemy, and deal with bed bugs effectively; finding their hiding spots and directly eliminating them, with a specialised bed bug treatment.
Rentokil Initial knows a thing or two about killing pests. I hope they usher in a new bed bug free era and get rid of bed bugs and their annoying bites! If they develop another secret bed bug treatment, I hope that their bed bug killing methods are absolutely brutal. I hope it includes an acid of some sort!
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Don't let the bed bugs bite! Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki