Things that go 'bump' in the night
In a conscious effort to steer clear of the contentious but perhaps obvious matter of university fees and budget cuts, I have decided to focus my words on a issue that’s really bugging me at the minute.
In beds across London, people are sleeping alongside a host of unwanted visitors. Cimex lectularius, better known as bed bugs, are making themselves comfortable ready to prey on the warm skin of their victims.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one who takes kindly to the media’s spin on stories such as the Swine Flu pandemic, which was let’s face it, a mountain out of a molehill scenario.
But I think it’s fair to say that these pesky blood-suckers are making a comeback in our bedrooms, and are beginning to no longer hold their foreign and mythical status. They have made headlines in New York where there is currently a bed bug crisis across the city with many establishments having to close in order to treat the problem.
And now the iPhone has an bed bug app available to American citizens to download and track infestations in ten of America’s main cities, including New York. Bed bug chaos has set in.
I for one, should be an expert on the bugs by now after having to sleep next to the creepy-crawlies for 12 long, gruelling months. But although I appear to be rid of the bugs (touch wood) and settled into a new flat, I have not escaped the fear that permeates through me every time I hear a mention of the insects. Currently I am breaking out in an itching frenzy just writing about the creatures.
It’s understandable how the issue is treated with such a blasé attitude by those who haven’t experienced the torment of waking up every morning with your body covered in fresh angry red welts. The most I had ever heard about bed bugs before my encounter was from my mother or father as I was tucked into bed as a young child; “night night, don’t let the bed bugs bites!”
A phrase, which for me, has unfortunately lost all novelty.
To many yes bed bugs are a bit of a joke, I use my grandmother as an example of this: “Bed bugs were everywhere in World War II, see that woodchip wallpaper we’ve got upstairs, that’s just bed bugs that have been painted over!”
But soon bed bugs seem set to be a reality to many more innocent civilians, as their presence is becoming more prevalent in the Western world. And that is where the problem lies, the more they grow, the more difficult they are to eliminate.
Let’s hope that the Americans currently dealing with that overwhelming influx of bed bugs in New York, will create some revolutionary device to put the bed bugs to bed for good.