Hi, I am a bedbug, and I would like for you to hear me out. Halloween is in a few days, and I know that this is a time when people like to celebrate what goes bump in the night and other creepy crawlies – I think you would consider us in this category.
We bedbugs often find that most humans regard us as uninvited guests. We are certainly not the most popular insects in the world, humans seem to love butterflies and bees much more than us bedbugs. But please do allow me to take you on a journey into our tiny world and help you understand us from our perspective.
First of all, yes, there are a lot of us in Paris right now. But can you blame us? I mean, it’s Paris! By the way, over in France, we are called “punaise de lit” (“punaise” means bug, “de lit” means of bed). That said, we are in other towns as well. You can find us all over the place.
It’s a common misconception that we bedbugs are out to get you or to ruin your sleep. In reality, we’re just trying to survive. We may be tiny, but our lives are not without challenges. We’ve been around for thousands of years, evolving and adapting to coexist with humans. And, well, you humans have really had a run of the things.
You see, we depend on you for our nourishment – your blood. It’s not because we want to cause you harm; it’s just the way we’re built. We didn’t ask to be this way, we just are. In order to survive we’ve perfected the art of stealth. Please note that our bites are often painless, allowing us to feed without you even noticing. After all, a well-fed bedbug is a happy bedbug, and we don’t want to harm the hand that feeds us.
Also, we are not known to spread disease. Okay, our bites can be a bit itchy, but you have lotions and potions for such things. Please do note, however, if you itch and scratch too much, you may cause a secondary skin infection, and we do not wish this upon you.
As for the “epidemics” that, at times, show up in the headlines and news feeds, it’s essential to understand that infestations can and do happen. It is definitely not a bedbug conspiracy; we don’t gather in secret societies plotting to take over your homes. We reproduce quickly, and our numbers can grow rapidly if left unchecked. This is why infestations can sometimes occur.
We may not be the most beloved creatures on the planet, but remember, we’re just trying to survive in a world dominated by you – by humans. Instead of fearing us, it’s better to take proactive measures to prevent us from becoming unwelcome guests in your homes:
- Keep your living spaces clean and tidy, we love clutter as it gives us plenty of places to hide.
- Regularly wash and heat-dry your bedding, as well as any clothing that touches the floor.
- Clean out your laundry containers and hampers as well.
- Vacuum often and thoroughly; rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs and other crafts and crevices.
- When traveling, inspect your accommodations and be vigilant if you suspect an infestation.
In the end, we’re not here to frighten you, we’re like any other species on this planet – this is our home and we want to stay here. So, next time you think of us, try to empathize with our tiny struggles, and maybe, just maybe, we can coexist peacefully. After all, it’s a big world, and there’s enough space for all of us!