Bedbugs In The Big Ten

Some traditionalists objected to Nebraska joining the Big Ten.  Would the Cornhuskers have been invited if Big Ten officials knew that the University has an embarrassing bedbug problem?

Officials at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln admit that they’ve found bedbugs in student rooms and common areas in four dorms.  An article in the Lincoln Journal Star says the situation is “indicative of a growing wave of bedbugs in Lincoln.”  The college is using a bedbug-sniffing dog to try to locate the critters.

To make matters worse, some students believe the University tried to cover up the bedbug problem.  One intrepid student, after being bitten repeatedly on the neck by an apparently vampiric bedbug, captured one of the pests and took it to school officials — who promptly said it was dead.  The students says her resident director instructed her to put a sign on her door saying that her room was being remodeled to explain her absence from the room while it was being cleaned of the bedbugs.  The University denies that there was any attempted cover-up.

What?!?  Bedbugs in Big Ten dorms?  Hey, Nebraska — as the newbie in our conference, you need to understand that the esteemed institutions that make up the Big Ten have certain standards.  Cockroaches, bad food, excessive noise, childish behavior, and generalized filth in dorms is one thing, but bedbugs is where we draw the line!

Bed Bugs On Parade

The New York Daily News is reporting that one in 10 New Yorkers is suffering from bed bugs.  How bizarre — one in 10 New Yorkers, battling a pest that you tend to associate with medieval living conditions.

Bed bugs are small, bloodsucking insects of the Cimicidae family.  They congregate in areas where people live and bite people when they sleep.  In America, bed bugs were pretty much wiped out decades ago through liberal application of pesticides like DDT.  It is not clear what has led to the resurgence of bed bugs, although some researchers believe that bed bugs may have been brought back to America — unintentionally, of course — by travelers and immigrants.

It will be interesting to see how New York City addresses the bed bug problem.  Given the density of New York, it seems like a unit-by-unit approach to the problem is doomed to failure.  And given the great sensitivity to the environmental impact of pesticides, chemical solutions to the problem are bound to be disfavored.  At the same time, however, New York’s tourism and hospitality industry is going to suffer if the City is overrun with bed bugs and visitors to high-end hotels get bitten in their swanky rooms.  I predict that the jobs-producing tourism industry will win that battle and convince the City to take a broad and effective approach to the problem — even if pesticides are part of the response.