by Marinka on September 22, 2010

Everyone in NYC is obsessed with bedbugs. Specifically with not getting them. A friend gives me daily updates on where they have been found. A million movie theatres and Niketown. Bergdorf Goodman now has their own bedbug sniffing beagle, so if you come into the store and the beagle starts barking her head off, you know you’re infected. Hopefully the Bergdorf Goodman employees will immediately spring into action Silkwood shower you amid the Judith Lieber jewel encrusted purses.

Yesterday my friend Susan came over for dinner and within minutes, we were talking about bedbugs and about what a money saver it has been to have stores like Abercrombie & Fitch infested with them. And then she tells me that if she had bedbugs, she’d never tell anyone. I ask why and she explains that because it’s disgusting and no one’s business.

So of course we spend the next five to eight thousand minutes on my cross-examining her about whether or not she has bedbugs, and she gets to experience first hand the All Greeks Are Liars, Said a Greek dilemma.

And then I tell her about the close call we had with bedbugs.

In August, a few days before Wendi was scheduled to grace me with a visit, we learned that someone in our building had bedbugs. As a result, other apartments had to be tested. I aged approximately five years during the process.

On the day of the test, a beagle showed up with a handler and another man. I assume that the second, non-beagle handling man was there as some kind of a grief counselor to talk me off the ledge in case we had bedbugs.

But fortunately we didn’t. The dog went through the apartment twice and did not bark. Of course because I am so careful (or as Husbandrinka would say, insane), I was worried that the dog had laryngitis and didn’t want to hurt her throat and/or had a summer cold and had a stuffed nose that could not smell.

Finding out that we were bedbug free was one of the happiest moments of my life. I mean, sure the birth of my children was nice too, but this was pure elation without the hormonal surges and lactation.

I highly recommend it.

One year ago ...

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

September 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

I have the shakes just thinking about it. I am so freaked out by them. Washing our sheets constantly and flipping couch cushions to check. Now I need a shower just thinking about it!


September 22, 2010 at 10:40 am

And now I’m terrified to come in November for the marathon. I think I’ll be wrapping my bed in plastic before I sleep in it.


brett harris September 22, 2010 at 10:41 am

OMG – these bedbugs are freaking us out in Chicago too. Actually, the bedbug Summit was held here in Chicago yesterday!!! Uggg!!!

Well stay bedbug free. I love your blog. Being an ex-New Yorker who is not stuck living in “Mayberry” Cheers


annie September 22, 2010 at 10:43 am

Your post made me itch! Stop it.


DodiM September 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

I so totally “get” this! I am now afraid to travel because of them… tore our Las Vegas hotel room APART last weekend making sure I didn’t find one tiny indication they were there. GAH!!! My husband even bought me a kindle, as the main public library had them here (Denver), and now I’m afraid of library books.

Stay bedbug free! (Seriously, how do you even leave the apartment some days? And, I’m guessing all this bedbug drama is a boon to internet shopping and Netflix!)


Marinka September 22, 2010 at 11:06 am

hey, you know Banned Books Week starts on Monday–maybe we can couple it with a book burning ceremony?


Jane September 22, 2010 at 10:52 am

Silkwood shower……..made me snort!!!

I saw that beagle on the news here in Denver. Did you get her autograph? Isn’t she pretty famous? Maybe her and Nicki can pal around to together and Nicki will get famous too. Kind of like Paris and Nicole……….no…… Oprah and Gail.
That’s better!


Awesome dude September 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

It was a very chronic problem in Russia, getting rid of the bed bugs was a good reason not to show up at work.

I am sure they are still on the same stage.


Jane September 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

DodiM –
Are you serious!!!! The Denver library!!!! Yuck!!! I didn’t hear that!?
I use the Golden Library……I should look into that! I have a lot of books on the waiting list.


September 22, 2010 at 11:27 am

First Kelsey talks about lice, now you are discussing Bed Bugs? I’m thinking I need a giant bubble around my house.


K-Line September 22, 2010 at 11:35 am

You know I live in downtown TO, the only place in the world that rivals your city for bbs. I can’t write the word. I only use the acronym. And I won’t sit down on anything in public anymore.


September 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

Is nobody else wondering what it is about beagles and bedbugs? It’s weird, right?


Marinka September 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

It’s weird if you’re an anti-beagalist. Beagles have very sensitive noses and they can smell bedbugs. Also, they’re one letter away from “bagels” so I think that in case of emergency they can sniff those out as well and really save a brunch.


Elaine September 22, 2010 at 11:52 am

Great. Now I need to borrow someone’s beagle. Geez. 😉


the mama bird diaries
September 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

How do you know if you have bedbugs, without buying a beagle? Can you see them? Are they invisible? Do you get itchy? Are you itchy right now?


Loukia September 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

The thought of having bed bugs freaks me out completely. The other day, I woke up with a suspicious bite mark on my leg, and I was pretty sure it wasn’t from Edward. Ahem. Probably a spider, right? Bed bugs don’t leave marks, do they? DO THEY? And then my 2 year old who sleeps beside me woke up with a weird rash on his face the other day… Oh MY GOD. I’m starting to panic…


the grumbles
September 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

oh lactation, why do you plague me so?

i thought i owed you a comment, rather than just lurking around. i hate a lurker. you have the funnies.


September 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

With greener living comes bedbugs. Mice and cockroaches are throwing them housewarming parties all across the city. I’m telling my cleaning lady to start using the heavy duty chemicals again. Who wants to live longer if you have to share your bed with bugs?


Kate Coveny Hood
September 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Freedom from bugs and lactation sounds pretty good to me. Good news indeed!


September 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I cancelled a hotel reservation because of possible bedbugs. Except I was only going to Cincinnati, Ohio, so it was no big deal. And this is neither here nor there, but my best friend went mushrooming in Oregon and had a tick fall out of her head back in her cubicle at work. I think ticks are more evil, so you can tell New York to thank their lucky stars that at least they don’t have ticks.


Nadine September 22, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Eeek. My husband will be there next month. Will a Silkwood shower when he gets off the plane work to debug him? They have the drug and horticulture dogs at the airport — they are beagles. But what if they haven’t been introduced to bedbugs? Which I didn’t realized smelled significantly? Okay, hmmm. So, when he returns, what do I do with him and all the gifts he will bring. Can jewelry harbor bedbugs? Perhaps he can bring just jewelry and slip it through the mailslot while he and his luggage soak in a Silkwood bath?


September 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I totally want one of those dogs.


Maria @ Mom et al
September 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I’m having one of those ignorant-sheltered-life moments where I have to admit that I always thought bed bugs were just a metaphor.


September 23, 2010 at 10:51 am

My midwestern father always tells me about every terror scare in New York to convince me that I should move back to the midwest and not to the city, as we’re planning on doing. He was very excited to tell me the news about these bugs. Still, they do not elevate indianapolis suburbs over brooklyn. Sorry dad.


Trishk September 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

I work for a domestic violence center here in Florida. We had a bed bug outbreak in our shelter last year. We ended up having to close the shelter for treatment for over 3 months. Treatment includes taking apart the beds, and caulking any openings anywhere in the entire building. It is a very time consuming and expensive process. And yes, we are hyper vigilant anymore!


CSY September 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I’m just hoping that the bedbugs will have gone on vacation by the time I come up there next year…I’m keeping my fingers crossed!


Nikki September 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

thank God you were bedbug free! We hear about it all the time at work and I’m really nervous about going to the movies now. A coworker had them and no one would go near him until they were gone!


anna see September 23, 2010 at 11:29 pm

i am terrified of bed bugs. i am going CAMPING with girl scouts this week, and going to a non-beagle tested hotel next weekend, so i’m pretty sure i’ll have lice and bedbugs.


Fairly Odd Mother
September 24, 2010 at 9:54 pm

My daughter woke up with a weird rash on her face and four bites on her butt a couple of weeks ago, and I just about lost my mind. Ripped off every sheet, took down her pictures from the wall and pulled them apart to look for eggs or bugs (apparently they like to hide there). Nothing.

But, we’ve been thinking about getting a dog, and the beagle has now shot to the top of the list. Do you have to pay extra for bedbug-sniffing ability?


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