Do you remember as a kid when the local board of health would send a man or woman to your house who would take a look at you, and say, "That's Chicken Pox, all right!"
Then he or she would put a sign in your window which said in big black letters, "CHICKEN POX."
Well, if it was not chickenpox it was mumps, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles, or the dreaded polio.
You do not remember?
Well, I guess you are not of my generation.
We got shots for some of the children diseases of our day, but not for all of them.
There where seven kids in my house and someone always had something. My mother wanted everyone to have the same disease at once. Once she put me in bed with my little brother so that I would catch whooping cough.
I did not catch whooping cough or anything else that came into our home, except one day after a remarkable career of complete immunity, I woke up with a rash.
Mother said, "John, you got chickenpox!"
"It's just bedbugs. That's all. The rash will go away. "
I knew I could not catch anything because I always held my breath around the sick.
We had to fight bedbugs back then. Everybody in our neighborhood did. I do not know if the sparrows transported them to the rich side of town or not. But we had them.
We were continuously teasing the beds apart, scrubbing the springs with lie soap, stomping, killing, maiming the bed bugs here and there. After such a cleaning, you could sleep well possibly until the next Thursday, and then you had to go through the cleanup ritual again.
When I was in Korea before DDT was poisonous and softening the bird eggs and all, we were continuously harassed by medical guys shooting DDT into our britches. That was so we would not get Bubonic Plague from the fleas in our bunkers.
I never got the Bubonic Plague, never saw anyone with the Bubonic Plague, and never heard of anyone with the Bubonic Plague. (After seeing seeing the plague documentary on the History Channel, I'm very glad of that. Http://www.historychannel.com/classroom/admin/study_guide/archives/thc_guide.0037.html )
The DDT did the trick.
That's how we finally got rid of bedbugs forever.
We used DDT.
I went to [http://www.naturalginesis.com/remove_bed_bugs_the__nontoxic_way_.htm]. The pictures there of bed bugs made my skin crawl! I hated those things when I was growing up. The little buggers would suck the blood out of you and swell up until they were the size of lady bird beetles, except they were hideous lady bird beetles.
The reference site carries products to kill pest. I'm sure they are not in competition with most of us, so I used them as a reference anyway. One of their testimonials says:
"I kept waking up with mysterious bites and on occasion found blood spots on my sheets, suggesting they were the culprit. Sure enough, I found some bed bugs upon further inspection the day after I bought your product. They were all over my apartment! I only found a few, but one was in the living room, one was in the bedroom, one was in the kitchen and a baby was even in the bathroom! "(The person who gave the above testimonial did not have chickenpox!)
That's what they call bedbugs at the reference site.
I agree! My skin is crawling from thinking about the little creeps.
My mother did not believe me, of course. Mothers seldom do in such matters. The man came from the health department, put the sign on the window, CHICKEN POX, and left.
I said, "Momma, I'm going outside to play."
"You can not go out, not for 10 days."
I said, "Mother, I'm not sick. I want to play. These are bedbug bites.
It did no good. I never got a fever nor did I become ill, but I did get quarantined like my paternal grandmother at Ellis Island.
After much research, I've found that they had to have bedbugs on the Mayflower.
I'm descended from George Soule who was the 35th signer of the Mayflower compact.
At http://members.aol.com/calebj/soule.html you will find that George was born in 1595-1602, England and he died 22 January 1679, Duxbury, MA He married Mary Buckett in1626, at Plymouth and had nine kids.
Iought to know a bedbug bite when I see one.
PS I want you to know that I restrained form using a great deal of profanity in describing the bedbugs in this article.
copyright © John T. Jones, Ph.D. 2005