Over the past several weeks I have been working to produce a show that has now recently aired on The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR 90.5 Connecticut Public Radio. The idea originated with one of the station’s producers, Betsy Kaplan. I thought it was really interesting and she was kind enough to let me run with it.
When I started out, I didn’t really know much about bed bugs other than they can be really hard to get rid of and no one wants to have them! I know a lot more about them now …
Our paths probably crossed in an ancient cave when a bed bug decided to skip the usual bat blood and try a taste of a sheltering human’s blood instead. Apparently we were quite to their liking so the bed bug has stayed with us ever since, traveling with us all over the world and adapting to our habits and habitats.
I wondered why I had never heard of anyone having bed bugs when I was growing up since they seem to be everywhere now. Maybe it should have been obvious, but it wasn’t until I researched the show and read Brooke Borel’s book Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World that the obvious became clear to me – DDT. It had virtually wiped out bed bugs, except those that were immune to its effect. When we stopped spraying DDT and the residual effects wore off, the bed bug made a comeback with one slight difference – much of the population had developed a resistance to the chemicals we use to kill them.
From weird bed bug sex known as traumatic insemination to how the selfie may be behind increased head lice among teens, you’ll learn a few things you never knew you wanted to know if you Listen to the podcast of the show here!